Monthly Archives: May 2014

When PR is Boring

By: MJ Pedone

Over the past year, I have been assisting several attorneys with their social media and public relations (PR) efforts. Prior to that, I hadn’t worked on legal PR. My specialty is in Entertainment PR working with athletes, entertainers, celebrities and exciting brands so working with legal professionals was challenging mainly because most people aren’t interested in the law. Lets face it, most rather read about Derek Jeter and his stellar career or Michael Jordan leading the league in scoring than about the law. I was certain I would do my best to make law topics a little more interesting and relevant to people that find the legal system nothing short of boring.

So like everything else, I was up for the next big challenge and delve right in with the persistence of a few of my attorney friends.

Here are a few of my tips that will help make boring topics more interesting:

  1. Make it Relevant – While law (or any topic) may not touch someone personally, they are almost always indirectly affected by it. Our ultimate challenge: Find that human/emotional connection! Provide an example of how a subject that initially may seem unrelated or “foreign” is quite relatable and significant. Example: What does Donald Trump, Walt Disney and Henry Ford have in common with Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson? They all filed for bankruptcy. 
  2. Weave in a Story – A story lifts your topic and associates it with something inherently more interesting. As an example: “Each year Waterford Crystal designs a fabulous new pattern for the famous Times Square Crystal Ball that drops on New Year’s Eve. The company declared bankruptcy in January of 2009. As we put one of the worst economic years on record behind us, we celebrate by lavishing attention on a colorful crystal ball that is produced by a company that fell victim to the recession. We came into the year broke and we should remember that as we exit it, even if they say things are looking up.” – Nick Obourn, The Culture Spoke, 12.30.09.
  3. Thread in an Inspiration – Some people are motivated by inspirational thoughts. Example: Bankruptcy is not an end. It is a fresh start. It is the beginning of your next chapter in your life.
  4. Enlighten with Statistics – There is nothing like a startling statistic to open a reader’s eyes or even just make them feel appreciative of their situation the very day they read the post or tweet. Example: Did you know that one in three of your neighbors are struggling with paying their credit card bills and will most likely file for bankruptcy in the next 24 months?
  5. Humor – Depending on the sensitivity of the topic, a little levity can go a long way. Consider reserving humorous jokes for Friday and be sure to obtain approval from your client if you’re not certain of their style. Example: It is said that the world is in a state of bankruptcy — that the world owes the world more than the world can pay.

It can certainly be a challenge to spice up a mundane topic. However, taking time to discover ways to attract readers and encourage conversation increase brand awareness and stimulate conversations that wont be boring. People love to read a story that they can relate to and that they fine entertaining.

What topics do you struggle with when it comes to writing for your clients? Does this article stir your imagination somewhat? As always, I welcome any comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

What to Take Away from the Donald Sterling Scandal

By: Gina Mason

It is very disheartening that in 2014, racism is still a major issue in our society. Despite the progress that we have made, we still have not been able to completely purge the hate and ignorance of judging others based on race, religion or sexual orientation from humanity.

On Friday, we witnessed a despicable example of hatred and racism in the sports world when the NBA was rocked by a huge scandal that involved LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling. Sterling was recorded making racist remarks about African Americans and it was later revealed that he was notorious for making similar derogatory comments. This offense received a tremendous amount of attention and made people question why Sterling had never faced any repercussions for his ignorant words and if there is a larger issue of racism within basketball.

Despite the scandal, I believe that there is a silver lining to this situation and that we as a society can benefit from his abhorrent actions. Here are a few positive things that I think we can take away from this scandal:

Awareness

There is no denying that Donald Sterling’s remarks garnered a huge amount of media attention and gave people something to talk about. Sterling’s actions had a “shock and awe” factor that generated a discussion about his stupidity and most importantly, the existence of racism today. Even though this scandal was a negative situation, the dialogue of racism spawned greater awareness for the issue and made us all more cognizant that racism is still prevalent within sports as well as our culture.

Unity

In times of adversity people come together and we saw that this scandal not only unified the players in the NBA, but also some of America’s biggest influencers. Following the release of the tape, we witnessed the players (both current and retired), coaches and front office personnel from around the NBA create a united front against Donald Sterling and racism within the sport.  Those actions also spurred politicians, celebrities and influencers to get behind the cause to voice their disdain for Sterling and his actions. All of the people who spoke out against Sterling aided in spreading the message that these actions will not be tolerated in sports or our society. 

Zero Tolerance

I believe one of the most important things that we can take away from this scandal is the zero tolerance statement that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made against racism. By banning Sterling, he sent a message that goes beyond the confines of the NBA and set an example that such actions will not be tolerated in sports, business or our society. I think that children in America can learn from this and will realize that hatred or discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated under any circumstance.

In a world of negativity and hate, I do believe that we can learn from situations like this and grow as a society. There are so many people who follow professional sports and I believe that this has sent a strong message against racism to people around the world.

What did you think of the scandal? What did you take away from the situation? Do you feel that there will be a positive outcome from these negative actions?

As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.