January 25, 2015
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PR Biz Update

New Lawsuit Accuses McDonald's of Ignoring Racism: Should the Company Be Responsible for Actions of a Franchisee?

Are the sins of a franchise owner and staff considered to be those of the company's, as well? Well, there are certainly "the buck stops here" perceptions that say the company is ultimately responsible, while others may think that the brand has limited control over the actions of franchisees, and therefore limited responsibility. But a new lawsuit against McDonald's, filed in federal court on Thursday, alleges racist comments and actions by supervisors at three Virginia franchises, including unlawful terminations because black and Hispanic employees did not “fit the profile”—and also accuses McDonald's' corporate office of taking no action whatsoever when workers reached out to them. Whether the brand is said to be complicit or not, the PR collateral damage is piling up.

Climate-Change PR in Focus: Pres. Obama Says There is “No Greater Threat” in SOTU—How Do Americans Really Feel?

Usually during the State of the Union address, the congressmen and women on the president's own side of the fence applaud wildly after nearly every proclamation. And that was certainly the case during President Obama’s speech this week—until he broached the subject of climate change. "No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change," he declared—and the reaction was scattered and reluctant applause, even on the Democrats' side of the room. Sure, the subdued reaction could have been in response to the "no greater threat" part of the statement, as many clearly feel that terrorism and the economy are more urgent problems. Or is it an indication that climate change appears to permanently reside on the political backburner? In other words, are the public relations efforts of climate change enthusiasts missing the mark?

Thought Leaders

Learning from Their Mistakes—3 Social Media PR Disasters of 2014

By Larry Alton, Freelance Writer

Social media fiascos continue to haunt companies, serving as shameful reminders of what can go wrong with tasteless or uninformed posts. When your social media strategy goes awry, it can lead to public relations nightmares, and continued attention is heaped on that one awkward and very public moment. Viral content can work for or against companies, and it can dramatically hurt and organization if their mistakes are broadcast to millions online. Removing the offending post doesn't always help.

An Internet culture phenomenon known as "the Streisand effect" was coined after the singer, Barbra Streisand, brought attention to photos of her own home by suing the photographer. Her attempts to remove the images off the Internet ended up having the reverse effect: the publicity caused thousands of people online to access and save the images. 

On Deadline

Content Marketing Case Study: How William Mills Agency Is Increasing Awareness and Sales with Content Distribution

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media, Business Wire

Many of today’s communication firms are moving away from just public relations to include content creation and marketing. But with the huge amount of content flooding the Internet, many are realizing that it is the distribution of their content that is driving real results.

In this article, Serena Ehrlich, Business Wire’s director of social and evolving media interviews Jerry Goldstein, VP of marketing services Atlanta-based William Mills Agency about the challenges facing a newer company in gaining visibility and engagement within their highly targeted audience and how the agency utilized traditional PR tactics to achieve, and exceed their visibility and sales goals.

Media Pro News

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