Our favorite headlines this week: April 10-14

Whew. The past couple of weeks have been rife with advertising and PR lessons, with big brands generously showing us what NOT to do to keep customers happy.

Last week started with a Pepsi ad that didn’t quite have the desired effect (sarcasm intended), while this week opened to a debacle from United Airlines,which was only prolonged by terrible crisis management.

We’re not sure about you, but as communicators, we’re feeling a little worn down from trying to figure out why things keep going so terribly awry.

With that in mind, we’ll try not to push you further with this week’s roundup of our favorite headlines. If you can’t possibly read another sentence about United Airlines, just skip to the second – otherwise, we tried to be sure to cover it only briefly. Then we promise that the other articles will lift you right back up, with some seriously inspiring ideas and statistics. Check them out below!


PR 101: United Airlines’ lessons in how not to manage a crisis

The Takeaway: We’ll get this one out of the way quickly, since we’re sure you’ve already seen a slew of articles describing what United Airlines could have done to better manage the PR crisis sparked by the forced removal of a passenger from Flight 3411 last Sunday. It’s true that United failed on a number of levels – allowing the incident to happen in the first place, failing to address it until a day later, and initially sending out a non-apology that used terms like “re-accommodate” (seriously?) and “upsetting” (for whom, exactly?). What we like about this article is that it addresses each level of failure and elaborated on three key lessons we’re taking away from the crisis:

  • Corporate policy MUST be balanced with customer service, if not driven by it.
  • Crisis communication must be swift.
  • Communication after an incident must be human – A response should: be open and sincere, get to the heart of the issue, accept blame, and outline next steps for fixing the problem.


A Face-to-Face Request Is 34 Times More Successful than an Email

The Takeaway: This article from Harvard Business Review is likely confirmation of what a lot of us already knew: If you want to get a response, go see someone! This is a great lesson to apply in your day-to-day work life, but can also help you with your marketing strategy, too.

We know that you can’t get out to see every single member of your audience in person, but it’s still a great idea to look for opportunities for face-to-face interactions with segments or large chunks of your audience. Are there tradeshows you can attend to reach them? What about conferences for professional associations? Could you host your own in-person event, like a talk or an open house, where you can give your brand a human face? Be creative with the ways you can put a real live person in front of your audience.


36 Creative Ideas To Post On Social Media For Business

The Takeaway: Whether your organization is B2B or B2C, this post from CoSchedule is chock full of fun and inspiring ideas to help build your social media presence. Heck, we even got a few ideas for how to improve our own social efforts! (Stay tuned…) Our advice is to read this article with an open mind and a notepad on-the-ready. Let the ideas flow as you read, then once you’ve got some creative ideas jotted down, go back and think more critically about how they fit into your overall marketing strategy, objectives, and brand.


An Hour of Running May Add 7 Hours to Your Life

The Takeaway: Do we really need to elaborate here? If anything, here’s to hoping this could be the motivation you need to get out there and go for that run.

If you aren’t able to run, that’s okay! Walking and cycling both have a similar (slightly smaller) associations with longevity. Whatever you can do, find a way to get your heart pumping a few times a week.


What articles did you find particularly interesting or relevant? Let us know below on Facebook or Twitter!

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