Making an ...

And Now for Something Really Important . . .

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He was handcuffed, blindfolded, forced to wear a ghilly suit, and taken to an undisclosed location . . . then OMG Mike’s day got worse.

As punishment for losing an on-air bet that initially cost him his job, Paul & Young Ron’s sidekick will live for more than two days with giant Galapagos turtles during mating season at Zoo Miami (formerly Miami MetroZoo).  OMG will eat, sleep, and clean up after the 500 lb. animals until Saturday morning, all while wearing a heavy camouflage suit that can be more than 100 degrees on the inside.

Watch all the action as it happens (no pun intended) here then listen throughout South Florida to our clients on the “Paul & Young Ron Show” mornings 6:00-10:00.

An Opportunity to Partner with the Make-A-Wish Foundation

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I am very fortunate to have a longterm professional and personal connection to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida.  I have been their public relations representative for more than a decade, believe in their mission, and enjoy significant relationships with the many people who help create magic for local children who have life-threatening medical conditions.

Please consider this a formal invitation to join us, not only to grant the wishes of sick kids, but to affiliate for your own benefit with one of the world’s most loved and widely-known nonprofit organizations.  While becoming a donor, volunteer, or referring a potential wish child are the traditional ways to get involved, they are not the only opportunities.  Restaurants can host Make-A-Wish events, organizations can request guest speakers, businesses and their employees may want to reinvest in their communities through fundraising or by providing in-kind services . . . the possibilities are only constrained by the limits of our creativity.

By the way, this is not a one-way street.  The foundation has nearly 20,000 opt-in e-mail subscribers, more that 10,000 Facebook friends, almost a thousand followers on Twitter, and a popular YouTube channel that can be utilized to promote partnerships.  They have a history of mobilizing their army of supporters to attend events, virally spread information through social media/networks, and otherwise support like-minded people who want to bring happiness to children and families coping with medical issues.

Let’s discuss how you and/or your business might join the effort.  Are you interested in a strategic introduction?

Stu Opperman, APR
(954) 815-2303

An Important Day

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Many “holidays” are actually the marketing arms of company’s like Hallmark effectively creating markets for products.  “Parental Alienation Awareness Day,” April 25, isn’t about the card.  It’s about real pain and damage being done, right now, in families everywhere.

Michael Jeffries, a client and author of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation, shares his perspective on why this Sunday has taken on added significance:

“This is the fifth consecutive year that parents, friends and family members will gather on April 25 and bring attention to parental alienation — a destructive family dynamic that is destroying countless loving, parent/child relationships all over the world.  On April 25 from Boston to Brazil, London to Los Angeles, and Singapore to Sydney, people will light candles, blow bubbles and read proclamations — all to educate elected officials, legal and mental health professionals about a mental health issue that should not be ignored or mis-characterized any longer.

Contrary to what many damaged people and zealous advocates on the web would have you believe, parental alienation is not another name for pedophilia. Parental alienation is also not a legal strategy designed to allow an abusive parent to continue beating up on the kids. Finally, parental alienation is not the latest get-rich-quick-scheme from consultants and authors in order to make money off the backs of people who are at their most financially vulnerable.

Parental alienation is the unhealthy byproduct of one parent’s fear of abandonment. These fears often date back to childhood. When a parent with these fears faces divorce or separation they need a child to take over for the exiting spouse or partner and keep those abandonment fears away. The parent pulls the child into adult conflict and makes his or her fears the child’s fears. It doesn’t take long for a child, looking for security in a world where his or her parents are no longer taking care of the child’s needs together, to form a very unhealthy, co-dependent relationship with the alienating parent. There is little room for the previously-loved other parent in the child’s new world.”

On April 25, say a prayer that alienated parents can somehow, someway reconnect with their own child(ren), and that yours isn’t the next family to understand why Sunday is so important.

(Read Michael Jeffries’ entire blog post).

UF Gets it Right

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When former University of Florida broadcaster Steve Babik was recently charged by federal authorities with possessing and distributing child pornography on his home computer, his ex-employer released a media statement that was textbook crisis communications.

While it was probably tempting for the University Athletic Association (UAA) to look at Babik’s arrest as his crisis, the nature of his longtime and very visible role as one of their employees demanded a comment to the press.  Theirs read, “We were made aware of the investigation in late November and immediately suspended Steve Babik from his work responsibilities.  Now that he has been charged, his employment has been terminated.  We are deeply disturbed by the charges.”

The UAA’s statement communicated to audiences that they took  decisive action at the appropriate times, won’t tolerate illegal/immoral behavior and are as disgusted by what they’ve heard as their fans will be.

Concise, substantive, and positioned appropriately.  Nicely played.

Two Decades of Hectic Days

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Happy 20th anniversary to friends (and clients) Paul & Young Ron . . .

the “morning show for all of South Florida” has been kickin’ ass since 1990.

Crisis Communications 101

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When working with media in a crisis situation, there are some basic communication guidelines to follow. They won’t make the negative news go away, but will significantly shorten the time the story spends near the top of the news cycle and go a long way toward preserving relationships/audiences you had prior to the crisis:
  • Tell what you know
  • Tell it when you know it
  • Be honest
  • Be accessible (never use “no comment,” it will be perceived as guilt)
  • If appropriate, apologize for your actions and anyone hurt by them
  • Tell what you will be doing moving forward to insure this type of situation doesn’t happen again

Remember, the media is going to report the story with or without your cooperation, so it is best they get information from the source instead of finding others to speculate.

Your goals should be:

  • To get out “in front” of the news
  • To maintain (some) control of information that is published/posted/aired
  • To have your messages included in the coverage
  • To be perceived by media and the general public as in control of an unfortunate situation

You listening, Tiger Woods?