ASTA and Costco Compete for PR

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Last week the “Today” show aired a segment about how to save money when booking a spring break getaway. The secret? Book through Costco Travel, a membership club that charges $55 per year to consumers for the privilege of shopping for commodities at a Costco warehouse store or buying travel products online at the Costco Travel website.

The reporter booked a Fairmont Inn stay in Sonoma Valley, California, and an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, … Read the rest

Travel Survey Results Should Concern Cruise Lines

Morning Consult recently released “The State of American Travel 2018,” a nationwide survey of 2,200 adults. The title of the survey conveys a sense of comprehensiveness and breadth that the report itself does not actually display, and some of the methodology and conclusions do not hold up to close scrutiny.

However, it’s one of the many travel industry surveys that are intended to draw broad, somewhat obvious conclusions that generate media coverage:

• Americans want relaxing, affordable vacations.
• Younger … Read the rest

NewmanPR Stops Domain Squatter from Cashing in on Hurricane Irma

On Monday morning, Sept. 11, I received the call. The day before, Category 4 Hurricane Irma had passed directly over the Lower Florida Keys, sideswiping South Florida and sweeping up the state.

I was loading our car – we had evacuated Miami to a Fort Lauderdale hotel – to head home to see what mischief Irma had wrought.

Andy Newman of our agency and Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi were on the line. Roman wanted NewmanPR – which has represented … Read the rest

Karly and Loretta: The Story of a Girl, a Paddleboard and a Chicken

Sometimes it takes a creative eye, no matter how storm-weary. A stroke of luck. A sense of humor.

A chicken on a paddleboard.

NewmanPR’s video of Keys resident Karly Venezia and her year-old pet chicken Loretta on a paddleboard have gone viral.

Free-range chickens are common in Key West, but uncommon on paddleboards.

Global networks and TV stations, the Associated Press, Reuters, “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” online sites and a veritable “flock” of other media outlets picked up … Read the rest

‘Fred’ Is an Inspiration for Florida Keys Residents

With apologies to Joyce Kilmer: “I think that I shall never see a thing as lovely as Fred the tree …” 

A welcome sight cheered weary Florida Keys locals returning home this week after Hurricane Irma struck the islands Sept. 10. His name is “Fred.”

He’s a salt-sprayed Casuarina, known locally as an Australian pine tree. Fred is growing out of a roadbed on the historic Seven Mile Bridge, built in 1912 as part of the famed Florida Keys Over-Sea … Read the rest

How Not to Get a Job in Public Relations #3: The LinkedIn Connection

I will admit it took me a while to warm up to LinkedIn. I was an early adopter, but I didn’t really grok what the social media platform was all about.

In its early days, I don’t think LinkedIn was too sure of itself either, for that matter.

I had a routine: every Friday afternoon before shutting down the computer and heading home for the weekend, I would devote 10 minutes to expanding my network — thematically. One week the … Read the rest

How Not to Get a Job in Public Relations #2: Lose ’em at the Salutation

It happened again. I recently received an email from a prospective applicant with the salutation “Hi NewmanPR Team!”

Over the years I have also received uncountable emails addressed to “To Whom It May Concern,” “Hiring Manager,” “H.R. Department” and any number of other impersonal, nameless salutations.

Some of the cover letters were spot-on, cogent, energetic and well-written. Often they accompanied a resume with relevant work or internship experience and solid educational credentials. In many cases, I was tempted to contact … Read the rest

Measuring Brand Perception and the Effect of PR

NewmanPR’s Buck Banks was interviewed for this article written by Jenna Seter for Clutch, which provides third-party evaluations for agencies that provide professional services. It’s an interesting study of the intersection of brand perception and public relations. Also, it explores how brands sometimes are their own worst enemies. 

From the article:

In an age where anyone can voice an opinion about a company with a quick message, post, or tweet, the perception of a brand can change at a very … Read the rest

Some Impressive Alternatives to ‘Freelance Writer’

We work with a lot of freelance writers in the travel business. Often they seek to distinguish themselves via an alternative title.

Laurel Rose Milburn offers “11 Titles Other than ‘Freelance Writer’ that Are Sure to Impress,” published on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency:

  • Creative Syntactical Engineer
  • Punctuation Team Lead
  • Chief Sentence Officer
  • Operational Writing Commander
  • Word Count Investigator
  • Contributing Scribble Supervisor
  • Director of Alphabet Design and Structure
  • Temp-to-Full-Time Prompt Correspondent
  • Keyboard Finger Dancer and Linguistic Choreographer
  • Professional Blank Page Repairperson
Read the rest

The Trouble with Stylebooks

A colleague — being helpful, I will generously assume — sent me an article today about how to create a style guide for a brand. Posted by the Content Marketing Institute, the article had a few interesting points to make, most of which our current agency stylebook violates.

First, the writer, Sasha Laferte, said that one’s style guide should be no more than four or five pages long. Ours is 30. A good style guide, she says, also should reflect … Read the rest