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VLOG of the Month: Media Takes “Hands Off” Approach to FTC Native Advertising Compliance According to D S Simon Report


Introducing The SPOKEies™

The PR Industry’s First Awards To Recognize Best Brand, Corporate & Non-Profit Spokespersons

With political spokespeople and CEO missteps dominating today’s 24/7 news cycle shouldn’t the best of the best in the corporate and non-profit worlds have an award that recognizes their skills in delivering their organization’s message? Today, The SPOKEies™ were born to do just that.

The SPOKEies™ are the first awards program to honor the best spokespeople representing brands, non-profits and corporations. There are more than 40 awards in six categories including 24 for corporate and brand spokespeople and 18 for non-profits. Categories include C-Suite Leader, Most Authentic, Most Engaging, and Crisis Management. Additionally, The SPOKEies will include specific awards in financial services, healthcare, sports, technology, entertainment and start-ups. Social media awards will be selected through a Twitter vote.

Spokespeople will be judged based on their trust and authenticity, plus their ability to engage the audience and cogently communicate their organization’s messages.The judges represent the best in the business. They include executives with the Better Business Bureaus, Twitter, Google, Barron’s, Edelman, Weber-Shandwick and others. A complete list of judges is here.

Judges feel The SPOKEies™ will make a difference:

  • “When you think about The SPOKEies™, you think to yourself, why hasn’t that existed historically.” — Alex Josephson, Head of Global Brand Strategy, Twitter
  • “It’s incredibly important for a CEO to be recognized as an effective communicator.” — Silvia Davi, CCO at Equities.com.
  • “One of the key elements of the SPOKEies is communicators and trust. Trust” – Scott Monty, CEO and Co-Managing Partner, Brain + Trust Partners
  • “There is great ROI if your leader is a great spokesperson,” — Fay Shapiro, Publisher of CommPro.biz, the industry trade site that is handling the technology for the award submissions.

SPOKEies™ University with Michael Smart

Michael Smart, Principal at Michael Smart PR spoke with D S Simon Media‘s Kristina Doytchinova about the importance of having authentic spokespeople that connect with the story you’re trying to pitch. Michael also gave some of his tips and best practices for corporate and non-profit spokespeople.

Key Quotes: 

“For spokespeople to be effectively authentic, they ought to believe in or at least subscribe to the point of the campaign.”

“Authenticity is so key for spokespeople because what’s the value of earned media? It’s that credibility. It’s the extra trust your audience affords us when they know that some gate keeper has decided to put this spokesperson in front of us.”

SPOKEies™ University with Shonali Burke

Shonali Burke, President and CEO of Shonali Burke Consulting spoke with Mike Bako of D S Simon Media about the importance of transparency when prepping your corporate spokesperson. She also provides some of her best practice tips and mistakes to avoid for brand and non-profit spokespeople.

Key Quotes:

“People forget that good spokespeople really represent the brand. So when you have a good spokesperson that is able to distill your story and communicate it to your audience and to your prospects in a way that it becomes their story, that’s really priceless.”

“What the public hears is going to be what the spokesperson says and it puts the spokesperson in a very awkward position if what they’re saying is incomplete or not the entire picture. That is something we have to try really really hard to avoid.”

The Big Apple Awards: Honoring Al Golin, A PR Legend with Matt Neale of Golin

Matt Neale, CEO of Golin spoke with Doug Simon, CEO of D S Simon Media about honoring Golin‘s founder and PR industry legend, Al Golin at The PRSA NY Big Apple Awards. Matt had the distinction of accepting the John W. Hill Award in Al Golin’s honor. Matt discusses his legacy and his numerous contributions to the public relations industry.

Matt Neale’s VlogViews: 

“He (Al Golin) wrote the book on trust…he was in many ways a pioneer and a founding father of our industry. Al instructed and told businesses that really it was more effective to build your businesses when you had the trust of the communities in which they were based.”


The Big Apple Awards: Mike Fernandez on mentoring the next generation of PR pros

Mike Fernandez, CEO of Burson-Marsteller and this year’s winner of the PRSA-NY Philip Dorf Award spoke with Doug Simon, CEO of D S Simon Media after The Big Apple Awards ceremony. Mike shared his two key lessons for mentors and mentees. He emphasized the importance of critical thinking and asking the right questions as well as giving back to others.

Mike Fernandez has mentored two dozen CCOs and CMOs of major corporations. He shared themes from his acceptance speech.

“It’s only by giving back, it’s only by being other focused that you truly succeed.” – Mike Fernandez

The Big Apple Awards: Fox news’ Arthel Neville and NY1’s Cheryl Wills on Why They Love Good PR People

Do we have a scoop? Will Cheryl Wills and Arthel Neville be hosting the Big Apple Awards next year? Watch the video to find out.

Doug Simon caught up with the two hosts of this year’s PRSA New York Big Apple Awards Arthel Neville, anchor for Fox News, and Cheryl Wills, anchor for NY1 News. They spoke about their experiences hosting the awards and on how public relations professionals are valuable resources to journalists.

It’s “Real” News Not “F____” News

Scott Thuman, Chief Political Correspondent for WJLA Washington, DC and the Sinclair Broadcasting Group is confident about the state of the “real” news business, seriously.

Doug Simon spoke with Scott Thuman, Chief Political Correspondent for WJLA in Washington, DC and the Sinclair Broadcasting Group at the PR Summit DC about news and journalism in today’s political climate. He feels media should stop using the term “fake “news. Who are we to argue?

PHRMA’s CCO – Leading an Association’s Communications

Christian Clymer, VP of Public Affairs and Communications at PhRMA discusses navigating change.

Christian Clymer of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America spoke with Doug Simon at the PR Summit DC about PhRMA’s new Go Boldly campaign and the keys to effective communications leadership at a large association.

Martha Boudreau of AARP on How Nimble is the New Norm

Doug Simon, CEO and Founder of D S Simon Media had the chance to speak with Martha Boudreau, Executive Vice President & Chief Communications and Marketing Officer of AARP at the Capitol Communicator PR Summit DC.  Martha and Doug both have a BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan. Martha discussed the four areas of change that communicators need to navigate. She also emphasized how an effective mobile strategy is critical to an organization’s success.

Martha Boudreau’s VlogViews: 

‘The most effective organizations at creating one brand voice are those that blend communications and marketing under on organizational structure so that the priorities can be set and channels can be synchronized in a way that speaks across all those channels to the audience.”

“It’s all about mobile devices… People want to interact with brands and other organizations that matter in their lives on their mobile device and that’s not just getting information, that’s buying things, that’s voting on things, that’s joining, that’s weighing-in so a mobile first strategy is crucial for every brand and every organization in this day and age.”

Leadership Communications and Advancing women in the workplace with Allison Matejczyk

D S Simon Media‘s Kristina Doytchinova had the opportunity to sit down with Allison Matejczyk, Director of Corporate Partnerships at Ellevate Network to talk about the importance of leadership communications for women in business. Allison delves into how developing your own personal brand can help you stand out in a competitive landscape.

Allison Matejczyk’s VlogViews:

“It gives women a leg up when they establish themselves as an influencer or become a thought leader. It’s a very competitive landscape out there so cultivating your voice in that landscape is very important.”

“Develop what we call at Ellevate Network your “personal board of directors” to really test your personal brand, test your voice and ask for feedback.”