Thursday, April 16, 2009

PR people: Here's the real problem.

A while ago I did a post about the disintermediation of the main stream media. This morning I found this at Ad Age:
CHICAGO ( -- Domino's, in its ongoing effort to put out the public-relations fires ignited by "disgusting" YouTube videos made by two employees, has fired back with a YouTube video of its own. In it, Patrick Doyle, president of Domino's USA, apologizes for the incident, and describes the steps his company is taking to ensure such an incident doesn't happen again.
Following the clicks, I got to this:
CHICAGO ( -- Only 24 hours ago Domino's was looking for a reasoned response to a web video showing two employees apparently defacing its food. The pizza chain had located the employees and was examining its legal options but was trying to stay below the radar.
Consider how many disgruntled employees are being laid off and have lost their pensions, instead of being retrained or nurtured to move to new careers. Then consider how easy it is to make a video. Then consider what it must be looking like at the Domino PR firm today. As our politicians are learning every day, it does not pay to spin or to do the wrong thing.

Free advice to PR people
Tell the truth to your clients. If you don't sooner or later, you are going to take the hit. I know that it's really hard to tell truth to power. But that's your real job.

When your client makes a stupid decision, tell them as quickly as possible. As soon as you find out about the latest stupid decision, get someone to make a smart decision, fast. The reported $12,000,000 + $125,000 comes to mind as the stupidest thing I've heard about this week. Especially with May 29th very close. Do you really think this is not going to get on the radar of the 4 institutional investors who have almost 30% of the common?

If you don't know, say "We don't know." Don't predict profits if you don't know. Don't announce products without announcing the dates and time to market. Erasable paper? Stream?

Stop trying to play defense. Stop wasting time trying to get some distracted too busy to think journalist to get the story right. The whole thing is moving much, much too fast for defense. The time/space for PR is internet time, not corporate time. The power player is not the media. The power player is the internet and every person with a video camera who touches the company.

Morph into message managers. Consider using the printernet to manage the message. With all the OPMs (PSP) you have, you could do a million hits over night, in Print, and create revenue for your installed customer base at the same time.

So the value of a box is not just a box. It's being part of network that supplies work.

Think Apple. Think iTunes.

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