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Where United Went Wrong: Doug Simon Gives His Take On Their PR Nightmare

United Airlines has come under intense scrutiny after a video showing a passenger being violently dragged out of a United flight by police went viral. In the aftermath of the video, United Airlines CEO, Oscar Munoz, made a series of public relations missteps in handling the crisis. Doug Simon, Founder and CEO of D S Simon Media, gives his take on how the situation could have been handled differently.

Doug Simon’s VlogViews: 

“United’s problem started operationally. They didn’t have an overbooking plan when people were already on the plane. United, notoriously, has had a poor relationship with employees. From his letter to employees, Munoz clearly was thinking of them not the public. That doesn’t work anymore.”

“PR Week mistakenly honored business success not communications success when they named Munoz “Communicator of the Year.” This is clear in Editor-in-Chief Steve Barrett’s opinion piece on the debacle: http://bit.ly/2omXNQS Based on Munoz’s internal memo, regardless of his success in business, it’s doubtful his credentials as a communicator and as a human being capable of empathy were ever impeccable.”

The Team at D S Simon Media Shares Their Favorite Super Bowl LI Commercials

Drew Penkala, Marketing/Communications Associate at D S Simon Media, sat down with the D S Simon team to hear which Super Bowl LI commercials were some of their favorites this year. Let’s see what they had to say!

Some of our favorite Super Bowl LI commercials incorporated comedy, heart-felt stories, and messages of diversity and inclusion. Let us know what some of your favorite ads were this year! Send an email to drewpen@dssimon.com and give us your thoughts.

It was a first: Publishers Clearing House and the story of the first Live On-Location Super Bowl ad

If you are a fan of Super Bowl commercials you are aware of the headlines Snickers is making for their plans to run the first live commercial during the Super Bowl. The ad, starring actor Adam Driver, will be broadcast on February 5 during the most-watched live TV event in the U.S.

What you might not know is that the first live on-location spot to air as part of a Super Bowl broadcast was actually in 1995. Publishers Clearing House surprised its $10 million winner by broadcasting the spot live with an intro by their own Todd Sloane as the Prize Patrol surprised the winner at the door. The spots aired during the first commercial break of the post-game show.

Forget about rehearsal, this was the only Super Bowl commercial that the stars didn’t know they were set to appear until moments before it aired. Mary Ann Brandt opened the front door to find lights, cameras, and PCH executives declaring her the winner of the $10 million Publishers Clearing House prize. If  she saved her winnings Mary Ann would be able to buy a commercial spot on this year’s telecast for a cool 5 million dollars.

The commercials were produced and directed by D S Simon Media. PCH and D S Simon partnered for a total of 21 live spots from 1995-2002 including 8 Super Bowls.

“What was exciting about the entire process is that we did not know who the winner was going to be until Tuesday of Super Bowl week. The it was rush to put all the pieces of the production together and see the joy on the winners face” said Doug Simon, producer of the commercial and President & CEO of D S Simon Media.

Other notables appearing in the Publishers Clearing House commercials include Tom Bergeron, the current host of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars

Here’s how Dateline NBC covered the live commercial story in January, 1995.

Communication Strategies for Changes to Obamacare

Doug Simon, CEO of D S Simon Media, says there are two phases to make sure your voice is heard.

Phase 1: Is it going to be, Repeal and Replace, Repeal and Delay or just a tweak to the existing Obamacare?

Phase 2: Steer clear of appearing as part of the partisan divide. Even though your position will likely fall on one side or the other.

New York Times article that covered that lobbyists are nervous and hesitant to engage, fearing Trump.

Crisis Plan if Trump Attacks Your Brand

Individual corporations are being singled out for criticism by Donald Trump. Doug Simon, CEO of D S Simon Media, says if you need to activate your crisis plan, it’s too late.

What should you do?

Don’t take him on. You can’t match his firepower.

You need to be proactive.

Be more ambitious in and how you’re approaching the media, telling more compelling stories to different audiences so you have a strong base.

You need to get out in front of potential issues or you’re going to be fighting with a very weak crisis communications plan.

New York Times article that covered key point to put a crisis plan together.

Trump’s Twitter: Nothing to Rant About

It’s not the medium. It’s the message. Doug Simon, CEO of D S Simon Media says if you don’t like Trump, it’s dumb politics and dumb journalism to rant about his Twitter use. He’s got history on his side.

FDR was criticized for using radio and then hailed as a genius.

JFK and Reagan used television to great advantage.

Obama used social media to reach millennials.

“If you don’t like Donald Trump, praise Twitter. But bury him for the content and meaning of his messages and actions.”

From the archive: Will Trump’s PR Advantages pave the way for him to the White House? That’s the question Doug Simon asked on May 4, 2016. Guess the Clinton campaign didn’t take his advice.

Happy Holidays From D S Simon Media!

We wanted to wish you a Happy Holidays! We are giving thanks and expressing gratitude to our clients, partners and friends by giving to causes our team actively engages with.

All the best in 2017!

Using Social Media to Lead Your Team Through a Crisis

Elizabeth Rosenberger of D S Simon Media, spoke with Rachel Racoosin (@rachelracoosin), Senior Digital Strategist for LEVICK at the PR News Media Relations Conference in Washington, D.C., about leading employees and senior leaders through media firestorms.

In today’s vlog post, Elizabeth spoke with Rachel Racoosin, Senior Digital Strategist for LEVICK about how to lead your organization’s social media messaging in a crisis, taking the right steps to prepare for a crisis, bringing emotion to the conversation through video and how to implement a dark site for your company.

Share this vlog: http://bit.ly/2hiwXoL

Do You Know How to Pitch to the Media?

Doug Simon (@DSSimonDoug), CEO of D S Simon Media spoke with Michael Smart (@MichaelSmartPR) of Michael Smart PR at the PR News Media Relations Conference in Washington, D.C., about how to craft email pitches to the media.

In today’s vlog, Doug spoke with Michael Smart of Michael Smart PR about writing the right email to pitch your product/story to outlets, how video content can help sell the pitch, and some interesting ways to create pitches to outlets.

Share this vlog: http://bit.ly/2hR73t4

Obama’s Comedy Writer, Funny or Die’s David Litt Talks CEO Humor

To be or not to be funny…

Doug Simon (@DSSimonDoug), CEO of D S Simon Media spoke with David Litt (@DavidLitt), former comedy speechwriter (along with 6 others) for President Obama and current head writer/producer for Funny or Die, Washington, D.C. (@FunnyorDie), at the PR News Media Relations Conference in Washington, D.C., about how to pick the right moment to be funny for your CEO or the executive of your company.

In today’s vlog post, Doug spoke with David Litt who was the former speechwriter (along with 6 others) for President Obama and current head writer/producer for Funny or Die, Washington, D.C., about when to choose the right time to be funny during a speech or presentation and when not to be. David mentions that it is more comfortable for a CEO or executive to have jokes or funny lines throughout the speech instead of a punchline at the end of it.

 

Side note: One of Doug’s vlogs from 2012 was featured on Funny or Die. Don’t worry, he’s not quitting his day job. Take a look here.

Share this vlog: http://bit.ly/2hLBG3w

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