Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Here Comes the Bride!

And yes, the bride is ME!!!

I am getting married this weekend!

I won't be back blogging until the first week of November, but please check out some of the people on my blog roll. They are all excellent resources and have great information on PR and other aspects of our industry.

I will still be doing Twitter updates....some PR related, some not. So if you aren't following me on Twitter yet, please do so!!!

Back to PR in November! Keep those great e-mails and comments coming!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Resolution to the Marriott Saga

As I previously mentioned, I've had some issues with Marriott in regards to my upcoming wedding.

Finally, after much back and forth and many hours spent on the telephone and sending e-mails, Marriott has resolved the frustrating customer service process I have experienced to my satisfaction.

They are providing me with a hospitality suite for the five days I am staying at their location for the same price as the block room rate I secured for my guests. They also offered a heartfelt and sincere apology.

And while I did have to keep calling and following-up, Marriott did keep their word to call me back and actually took the time to listen when I called their customer service line.

While I am frustrated by the service I received initially, Marriott has redeemed themselves and I will continue to book my stays at their locations.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Nightmare Clients

No, not my clients! (I love you all!)

But I do have to give a shout out and acknowledge Richard Laermer at The Bad Pitch Blog for his Oct. 5th post (rant) on difficult PR clients.

Thank you, Richard for saying what many of us sometimes feel and highlighting what several of us have encountered over the years with difficult clients.

If you are a client looking for advice on how *not* to treat your agency or are wondering what constitutes bad client behavior, check out Richard's post.

And, yes for the record: I have had similar experiences to Richard's in the past. I would love to hear from clients and my fellow PR pros on what types of behavior and actions make-up a horrible client/agency relationship.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Company Outrage Online

Clean Air Gardening in Dallas, TX, has launched a Web site alleging egregious and horrible mistakes made by its former IMC agency, Christie Communications based in Santa Barbara, CA. 

Among the allegations made by Clean Air Gardening's President, is that Christie Communications provided poor quality deliverables (press releases and media kit materials) and violations of process (company alleges press release was not reviewed or approved by Company POC for distribution and among other things, that company location was wrong). Check out the link above for more info.

Again, WE DON'T KNOW what Christie Communications side of the story is (and I doubt we will since agencies generally (really shouldn't) talk about client relationships, but let this serve as a cautionary tale to other PR professionals and agencies - if you do a bad job, companies have the option to bad-mouth you online to a global audience. Be prepared to defend yourself and your work.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Looking Inward

As I do 2009 planning for several clients, I am noticing that more and more of them are devoting resources to further development or enhancements of their internal communication programs.

Historically, most clients internal communication programs are linked closely with HR and rightfully so.  But what I'm noticing is a trend to want to develop a more robust internal program that while involves HR, isn't centered around corporate notifications and HR initiatives.

Most strategic recommendations being considered tieback to one or more of the following internal communication goals:

  • Morale - With the economy down and fear over job loss, I see some companies more actively looking for ways to boost employee confidence and attitude.
  • Retention - There are reports everyday surrounding the current layoffs and despite the current economy, several industries are still involved in a talent war.  Actively investing in employee incentive programs and other activities seem to be at the forefront of clients minds when putting together their internal comm program.
  • Recruitment - Better days are right around the corner or a large contract win is at hand. In order to attract the best people needed to do the work, clients are looking at incentives and want an aggressive WoM, social media and traditional PR strategy to attract top talent.
  • Intelligence - While arguably this may not be internal communications in the traditional sense, companies seem to be making a significant (continued) investment in internal collaboration tools (company and project wikis) as well as spending more on trade shows or hosting town hall type customer forums to gather information about their products/services and industry as a whole. 
Are any fellow PR pros seeing their clients devote more resources to internal communication programs?  What types of things are other companies considering?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

How Much Time Does Social Media Take?

HUGE Thank you to Beth Kanter who just posted her analysis on how much time it takes per week for companies, non-profits and other organizations to implement a sound social media strategy.  

Beth has even made her excellent slide demonstrating the time available for download on Slideshare for all of us to review and "remix" if necessary.

Beth, YOU ROCK!  I appreciate your analysis and definition of categories that social media participation can fulfill.  Thank you so much for an excellent post!