News and PR Insights from 5W Public Relations CEO Ronn Torossian

Tag: Media Relations

Newspapers Answer Concerns About Cyber Attack

newspaper cyber attack

Cyber attacks are a constant growing concern in the Digital Age. As nearly everyone is hooked into the web, and more offsite and cloud-based computing is becoming popular, especially when far too many consumers are not well-versed in online safety, weaknesses and vulnerabilities abound.

Some of the biggest brands in the world have been hacked in recent years, suffering PR consequences and lost consumer confidence. But, when it comes to companies that might be vulnerable to computer-based attacks, print newspapers would not likely be at the top of anyone’s list of potential targets.

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Tesla Addresses Lost Tax Break by Lowering Prices

tesla marketing

Tesla has been going gangbusters. Despite a serious PR hiccup when production lagged on its promised mid-level family sedan, the fully electric automotive pioneer has been doing banner business.

While not a chief driver of the company’s success, the promise of a tax rebate for buying a fully electric car helped make the price tag more attractive for fence-sitting consumers. Unfortunately for late-adopting Tesla buyers, the tax credit had a temporary shelf life. Once the company reached 200,000 units sold, the tax credit would begin a gradual phase-out.

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Lululemon Founder Says Company Worse off Without Him


When a brand has to part ways with its founder, it’s not generally under happy circumstances. There’s often a lot said, and there can be some very public hard feelings. In the case of women’s sportswear brand, Lululemon, founder and former CEO Chip Wilson is still speaking out, still insisting the company did better with him despite the controversial statements that forced his resignation.

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Payless Shoes’ PR Prank

payless pr

Payless Shoes launched a fake luxury brand as a PR prank – and boy, did it work! The discount footwear retailer Payless pulled out all the stops and took a satirical shot at influencers.

This prank achieved a lot – it showed that the difference between Payless and luxury shoes are just brand names, and it also showed that even expert fashion influencers aren’t able to distinguish between a discount sneaker and a designer shoe.

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Burger King Pokes the Competition With New Promotion

burger king pr

In recent years, fast food brands have been frantically jockeying for position in a consumer market that is showing more of a taste for tacos and “fast casual” dining, in lieu of fast food burgers and fries. Wendy’s has grabbed market share with witty social media campaigns and well-managed messaging around their “fresh never frozen” message.

Meanwhile, McDonald’s, after earning some negative headlines for parting ways with the Olympics, has been gaining ground by promoting their fresh, not frozen, Quarter Pounder. Sure, the company got some snide social media commentary from Wendy’s about the “never frozen” announcement, but it’s been a winner so far.

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Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Ratings Fall in Wake of Bad Press

victoria secret pr

Recently, cultural news program 1A on National Public Radio devoted at least an hour-long segment, essentially, to arguing that the Victoria’s Secret fashion show is not a good look. The arguments made both by guests and by callers and posters on social media touched on the style of the garments, the look of the models, the quality of the products, and the expectations consumers feel when they see a standard Victoria’s Secret advertisement, even one as slickly produced as the fashion show.

In the same segment, guests and callers frequently and loudly promoted VS competitors that are considered, especially by Millennials, to be both more socially conscious and “woke” to socio-cultural trends.

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Lion Air Crash leads to PR stumbling block for Boeing

airplane pr

On 29 October 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 was scheduled to fly from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang in Indonesia. However, tragedy hit 13 minutes after take off with the flight crashing in the Java Sea, northeast of Jakarta. None of the passengers or crew on board survived.

The aircraft was a Boeing 737 MAX 8, and the incident was the first major accident involving the 737 MAX and the deadliest involving the 737 aircraft, resulting in both engineering and public relations challenges for Boeing and its executive team.

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NFL Found the Secret to Revival: Touchdowns

nfl public relations

For two years, the most popular, and one of the most profitable, programs on television suffered an ongoing consumer PR crisis. The NFL just couldn’t seem to get out of its own way. From Roger Goodell being booed during televised draft programs to the exodus of fans from live games and TV viewing, the NFL struggled to find solutions to their nagging troubles.

The issues, from the fans’ perspectives, were many: the deaths of legendary players from brain disease, unpopular rule changes, the anthem scandal, the so-called “coddling” of quarterbacks, and the off-the-field issues of well-paid players committing violent crimes and seeming to receive relative slaps on the wrist. As of this writing, it was announced a player accused not once, but twice, of domestic violence was signed by the Redskins just after being cut by the 49ers. Fans and critics raged.

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Dutch Rail Company Announces Reparations

dutch rail

What do you do when your brand is directly associated with unimaginable horror? Some wounds don’t heal, and some stigmas are not easy to wash away, but, sometimes, it’s still the moral thing to do to make an effort to take responsibility. This scenario was illustrated recently when the Dutch national railway company announced it would be setting up a commission to “investigate how to pay individual reparations” related to the railway’s role in deporting Jews during World War II. The company released a public statement calling its role in the mass deportation, ordered by the Nazi occupation force, “a black page in the history of our country and our company…”

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Victoria’s Secret May Have a Generational PR Problem

victoria secret pr

Not that long ago, from a branding perspective, Victoria’s Secret practically owned the lingerie market. Even today, if you ask anyone over 40 to name a national lingerie brand, the majority will get to Victoria’s Secret quickly. But, as with many other established brands in many other markets, young people are trending away from this clothing brand.

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