Olive Garden continues a comeback
Olive Garden might be the butt of innumerable foodie jokes, but the company isn’t listening. The home of breadsticks and endless bowls of salad has been shouldering most of the load for parent company Darden Restaurants as of late. Overall Darden earnings easily eclipsed expectations, and, believe it or not, Olive Garden can take most of the credit. And, for the second quarter in a row, Darden raised its fiscal outlook… right, and it announced a new stock buyback plan while also boosting its dividend. Talk about making everyone happy! Consequently, Darden stock is up nearly 20 percent in 2015. Of course, none of this was really expected. Olive Garden’s First Big Mistake Back in September 2014, industry watchdogs came…Read More
Elie Hirschfeld: Entrepreneur Of The Month
If ever a man fits the description of driven to succeed, Elie Hirschfield does. His father, Abe Hirschfeld was a major real estate developer, but Elie has taken it to the next level – his real estate holdings include over 1,000 apartments in New York City, approximately one million square feet of commercial property in the City, and added to that, other real properties including what was once the summer home of the Clinton’s – with an estimated value of over $32 million for just that property. He’s the President of Hirschfeld Properties. The list of historic and luxury properties he developed reads like a who’s who for New York City real estate including Park Avenue Court, the Crowne Plaza…Read More
Bigger is, once again, better!
There was a time, not long ago, when American consumers were thinking small. Smaller cars, smaller portions, even smaller homes. Those days are over. If the Small Movement was ever a trend, consider it done. When you ask retail CEOs, they will all tell you, Americans want Bigger along with their Better. Those two modifiers go together in the American consumer brain like peanut butter and chocolate. This newfound return to excess crosses just about every consumer segment. In consumer electronics, as tech gets increasingly more advanced, wireless and communicative, consumers are back to wanting bigger TVs and other devices. Sure, iPads are still selling, but the “mini” experiment? Not going as well as expected. And when it comes to…Read More
Tesla Invites Customers to Customize their Car
In recent months, Tesla has been on a public relations roller coaster. From the release of new models and new features to the unfortunate recall of these high-tech vehicles for a simple seat belt latching issue. Now, they’re back with a strong vengeance: Personalize your Model X. Tesla Customization a Great Idea The SUVs are not the most popular Tesla models … everyone seems to love the sports cars … but those who want an electric SUV are sure to salivate at the opportunity to personalize their new truck. The deal currently only applies to those who previously reserved their vehicle. But the offer still makes for strong international PR. One of the biggest hindrances to past one-off car companies…Read More
Did Crest Mislabel Their Product?
Few people noticed, but Crest’s mouthwash once featured one very questionable label. Whether it included an actual error, or left meaning open to interpretation, the phrasing was dubious. On the label, Crest promised customers 24-hour protection, but required them to use the product twice per day. Wouldn’t the need to use the product twice in 24 hours mean that it only offers 12-hour protection? Anything can offer 24-hour protection if you take enough of it, or use it several times per day. However, it seems unlikely that this was the message Crest wanted to bring across to the masses. Crest PR Success Even so, that is how the company chose to phrase it. Whenever Crest got the chance to elaborate…Read More
Chipotle Still Reeling Thanks to E-Coli Scare
Chipotle just felt the “two” of the one-two punch land. Immediately after the CDC discovered an outbreak of e coli in locations in Seattle and Portland social media exploded with endless barrages of consumer doubt and disgust. Recently, the company was forced to disclose the outbreak was not contained and could be in as many as six states. Upon hearing that news, the market responded accordingly. Chipotle stock plummeted about 12 percent last. Now the company is facing a PR crisis on two fronts: consumer and investor. The consumer PR crisis is bad and getting worse. Every time the CDC announced a new state impacted by the outbreak – California, Minnesota, Ohio, New York, Oregon and Washington have been listed…Read More
Why Rick Perry Quit the 2016 POTUS race
Rick Perry had never lost a bid for election until he first aimed for the White House in the 2012 campaign. He held the office of Governor of the State of Texas longer than anyone has and seen big successes, but the Presidential candidacy is probably the most difficult bid anyone could attempt – and the most expensive. Perry had been doing well in the 2012 Primary when he spectacularly flamed out by flubbing a debate question. His campaign had been loudly proclaiming his intention to axe 5 federal agencies. When asked which ones, Perry could not name them all. His closing salvo “oops” was the soundbite on everyone’s lips the following day. Voices from inside the Perry camp are…Read More
Crisis PR: Sorority In Trouble for Being Happy and Fun
They’re young, they’re hot, and they’re happy. Guess which attribute got an Alabama sorority in trouble? If you chose “All of the Above”, you get an “A” for the day. Bowing to the harsh competition between Greek organizations on campus, the ladies of Alpha Phi decided to go all out with their recruitment video. The production values are top notch, and the content is as fun, breezy and easy on the eyes as it can be. The reaction of most sane people? Hey, those girls look like they’re having a good time at college. I might want to check that out. But that reaction is not good enough for the haters who, for better or worse, troll the ‘net for…Read More
King James is Changing Lives in his Hometown
Akron native and NBA superstar LeBron James has always been vocal in his heartfelt support for his hometown and the greater Akron community. Even after leaving Cleveland for Miami, James was a force for good in Ohio. Now, he is taking those efforts even further. James recently announced that (at least) 200 Ohio school kids will have the opportunity to go to college entirely for free … as long as they complete his mentoring program. That program, the LeBron James Family Foundation, works with at-risk kids in Akron. According to further reports, the scholarships are available to middle school children in Akron Public Schools IF they complete the six-year mentoring program through the Foundation. The mentoring program is supported by…Read More
Can Blue Bell Beat the Listeria Nightmare?
In March Blue Bell, a Texas company, experienced a PR nightmare as many of their ice cream flavors were found to contain Listeria bacteria. This triggered a recall, and ultimately all four of their plants in Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas were closed down until further notice. The company took no chances, and all of their products were removed from the freezer aisles in grocery stores. Years of Experience Doesn’t Stop Bacteria Blue Bell has been supplying frozen treats for 108 years, and this is the first time they have faced such a situation. All of the plants have been receiving complete cleaning and decontamination treatments. But now, as of the first week of August, at least their Sylacauga, Alabama plant…Read More