Posts Tagged ‘Arizona’

Arizona Foothills Magazine Interviews Image Consultant Janice Hurley-Trailor About Mom’s Post Pregnancy Transformation

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

The Flip Side provides public relations for Janice Hurley-Trailor.

Click here to read the story. 

Please like the story on Facebook and share it on Twitter. Thank you.

Is PR About Quickies Or Something Long Term?

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Some businesses commit themselves to hiding or spinning problems instead of better understanding the causes and addressing solutions. I’ve attended staff meetings where not one employee intended to ask a challenging question, fearing management would somehow punish him or her for raising a concern. But businesses gain strength by identifying, even publicly, their weaknesses.

A public relations firm or campaign should help businesses achieve their long-term goals by highlighting successes and correcting failures and misperceptions. This is easier said than done when a company’s own conduct lands it in quicksand. When money is at a stake, how do you persuade a business to be willing to reverse course even if a new approach means, in the short term, bruised egos and lighter pockets?

Because a Bandaid is just that for serious publicity injuries:  a short-term fix that briefly allows management to duck for coverage without actually changing minds or influencing important audiences. This strategy, or lack of strategy, may slow the downward spiral and bring about some spurts of goodwill. But even the least educated people have noses and they are skilled at smelling B.S. even when covered in roses.

Public relations should not be spin. An audience already anticipates that and has a pre-existing condition called suspicion. Surprise them by reminding them what you do right and showing a willingness to accept and correct what you do wrong. Think short term and that’s how you will be judged. Think long term, be willing to take some punches and that’s how you will increase your chances of success.

Our Video For The BBB About An Ad Agency

Thursday, August 8th, 2013
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Employee Communications: Crazy Work Ideas

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

A manager once told me my paycheck should be all the incentive I need to appreciate my job. Other managers made it clear to me extra pats on the back are unnecessary because bosses shouldn’t need to thank employees for simply doing their jobs. Those arguments may hold some merit but are out of touch with reality and present a poor strategy in retaining top talent. On the other hand, creating a fun office environment must stretch beyond the foosball table. We understand changing a work atmosphere starts with changing work culture, but let us shoot for the stars and pitch some ideas most executives would never consider. But we dare you to run these ideas up the corporate ladder.

  • Do The Limbo: This classic inspires smiles from cruise ships to Bar Mitzvahs. All you need is a broom stick from the supplies room. Recommend proper attire to prevent awkward moments when people fall down.
  • Trampoline: This won’t thrill the companies’ attorneys, but five minutes bouncing at lunch will make 5pm not seem so far away. Again, recommend proper attire.
  • Throw loud things: Few things release frustration more than throwing stuff that lands with a bang. Grab a sample of traditional office supplies, head for that unused office and make the walls fear your arm strength.
  • Stickers: Rewarding excellent work with sports or fashion stickers should raise spirits.
  • Get dirty: Take off the ties and high heels, find a communal mud hole one Friday afternoon and make puddles.
  • Blow bubbles: Bubbles seem to make people happy especially as employees refine their skills and improve drastically at this fun task.
  • Bring dogs to work: A co-worker regularly brought his big dogs to work. The canines strutting around led to smiles. Then suddenly he stopped bringing our four-legged friends. The rumor was someone complained to management. Executives may poop on this idea, but they should stuff their excuses into a bag.
  • Spin in chair: Lift spirits by asking people to quickly spin co-workers in their chairs. The ensuring laughter and dizziness can help kickstart the day.
  • Funny hat day: I sparked several conversations when I started wearing an Indiana Jones-type hat while reporting outside during Arizona summers. Imagine the range of discussions when everyone puts their hats and heads together.
  • Limo Ride: For a while, I thought of a way to scale back employee absentees or “mental health days.” When our business is large enough, we look forward to awarding the employee with the fewest absences and a guest a limo ride to an expensive dinner on us. A drawing will break ties in lowest absences.

What are some of your crazy ideas?

Some Of The Silliest Stories I Covered In TV News

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

A neighborhood invaded by unwanted chickens on the loose

Women getting drunk by using tampons soaked in alcohol

A woman cleaning houses topless

A proud adult movie actor complaining that Viagra evened the playing field

Farmers worrying the government might tax them for cows passing gas

A search for a family’s large, lost lizard

Dressing up in a tuxedo and covering an Oscars party at a college

Airing two stories in one night about the fact it did NOT snow as predicted

Visiting a Nevada brothel to investigate whether Arizona should legalize such businesses to collect more taxes

Spending a day at a mall to demonstrate how much free stuff shoppers could get, which included getting my ear pierced at no charge

Our Video For The BBB About A Moving Company

Sunday, July 28th, 2013
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Applaud Cheerios For Showing Family Few Others Will

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

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Yes, we took notice of the Cheerios commercial showing a white mom and an African American dad. We took notice because how many companies are willing to show interracial couples in their commercials? And why not? Look around. Couples whose faces do not look alike are part of America’s fabric. Look no further than our president. Look no further than my brother-in-law and sister-in-law.

But Cheerios still had to fend off people leaving shameful comments. (Notice comments are disabled for the video unlike other Cheerios commercials on YouTube.) And, according to a report, kids don’t understand why people would write such shameful words.

I grew up in a South Florida elementary school where most of my classmates were African American or Hispanic. Few of us cared about our different colors. We were so young, no misguided adults had time to teach us to dwell on such differences. By contrast, I attended an almost all-white high school where classmates sometimes discussed minority-related issues as if writing a thesis. In other words, they had no significant relationships with people of color.

So I don’t blame kids for wondering what the heck is wrong with some adults. This is one situation where a company should not worry about offending a portion of its audience. If part of its audience can’t accept parents whose faces are of different colors, a company need not worry too much about such customers.

We applaud Cheerios for showing a family few others will. But it’s sad if showing a white mom and African American dad is still considered a risk.

Public Relations: Is This AT&T Letter A Good Call?

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

We opened an envelope displaying nothing more than an address and AT&T’s logo. We were initially wary. Some companies send such envelopes, hoping their lack of information will increase the chances of people opening them. Also, we recently read that some cell phone companies are trying to quietly raise revenue with new fees. Most likely, we assumed, the letter would promote services.

The letter’s first line states, “I’m Vicki Martin, the Vice President and General Manager for AT&T in the Arizona and New Mexico area.” Beginning the letter this way was refreshing. Most big businesses don’t even try to take a personal approach.

The letter’s purpose is to let us know “what we’re doing” and “how we’re contributing to the community.” Seeing a company write in plain English also is refreshing.

The letter goes on to explain how AT&T is helping promote education, uphold human rights, protect the environment and prevent the dangers of texting and driving. The letter does not end with a catch. You know how some managers deliver compliments to employees simply as a bridge to deliver unfavorable requests?

Cynics might argue AT&T is up to something. They will assume the company is attempting to deflect negative impressions and will scoff at the idea that simply printing Vicki’s name on a piece of paper makes it personal. We also can’t verify the extent of the efforts the company outlined in the letter.

But this letter is still one step ahead of many other businesses. And moving companies from robotic to personal communications takes one long step at a time. Instead of constantly criticizing, the public must find moments, when appropriate, to applaud big business’ approach to building customer relationships. For this letter, we say good call AT&T.

The Flip Side Searches For An Intern

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

The Flip Side Communications LLC is a Scottsdale media company offering professional video, media/public relations, media training and employee communications. Keith and Loren Yaskin own The Flip Side. Keith was a TV reporter for 17 years, primarily as an investigative journalist. He won three Emmys and three first place Associated Press Awards. The AP once named him Arizona’s TV Reporter of the Year. He graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where he received the Gary Cummings Memorial Award as the top broadcast student. Loren specialized in marketing and public relations at Edelman Public Relations and Delta Dental of Arizona. She was an internal communications consultant at The Vanguard Group and an employee communications manager at PetSmart. Loren also graduated from Northwestern.

We are searching for an intern who is creative, willing to question conventional wisdom, able to come to the table with plenty of ideas, comfortable with tight deadlines and eager to learn. Strong social media skills and a willingness to come up with new concepts on how to use social media on behalf of businesses are important. We are searching for someone who wants an opportunity to go beyond the conventional internship and instead play a strong hands-on role. Responsibilities include:

  • Pitching stories to the media
  • Developing story ideas
  • Helping write blogs
  • Helping write news releases
  • Posting to social media sites
  • Monitoring social media sites and tracking industry-specific information on the Internet.
  • Identifying public relations opportunities
  • Identifying media outlets to pitch stories to
  • Tracking news events related to clients’ industries

Please send information to keith@theflipsidecommunications.com. Thank you.

WATCH THIS: Is A Call To Action Really That Critical?

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Keith Yaskin of The Flip Side Communications in Scottsdale, Arizona and Duncan Matheson, President and co-founder of BissettMatheson Communications in New Brunswick, Canada, discuss if a call to action is really critical.

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