VW Public Awareness Campaign Makes Point

Goldman & Associates Blog

VW Public Awareness Campaign Makes Point

Here is a noteworthy Swedish public awareness campaign from Volkswagen that caught our attention. Texting and driving is a serious problem everywhere. Earlier this year Sweden passed a new law that makes it illegal to text and drive. Since its passage, there have been 153 serious crashes while people were texting and driving. The law hasn’t had a strong effect. VW has taken metal from some of these crashed cars to make 153 smartphone cases. They are available for purchase by the public to be given to people who still text and drive. The proceeds help pay for medical expenses of victims injured by texting drivers. Watch the video courtesy of Adweek at this link. It explains this public awareness campaign quite effectively. The whole campaign is focused and effective at making a very important point.

7 Demographic Trends Having Major Impact

There are seven demographic trends cited by Pew Research Center that are having a major impact on the United States and the world in 2018. Some of these have been the focus of past Goldman blog posts. When they are shown together, it is easy to see how the country is rapidly changing. Understanding these changes helps brands better sell their products and anticipate new markets. Marketers need to know these demographic trends to better direct communications about the values that brands and services offer. We strongly recommend taking a few moments to look over this list provided by Pew Research Center.

Word Selection Shows Stereotype Change

An Artificial Intelligence analysis of 100 years of writing has shown how people in the United States have changed their use of stereotype language for women and minorities. In many ways we have gotten better at not using language that stereotypes, but the evidence shows we still have a way to go. This article in Science explains how “word embeddings” were used to determine the use of stereotype language. The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Amazon Fake Reviews Posted from Facebook

The Washington Post has an investigative article about merchants using Facebook to flood their products and services on Amazon with beneficial fake reviews in order to entice consumers to purchase them. The article is newsworthy in showing that Amazon is not immune from fake reviews. However, it also stands out because of something not mentioned. The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos the CEO of Amazon. Both Amazon and Facebook are knocked in this story about fake reviews, so this isn’t a case of the The Post’s owner using his newspaper to attack a potential rival. In fact, it is very possible this shows Bezos has placed no editorial restrictions on Washington Post content, leaving that decision to his reporters and editors.

Public Relations Tactic Becomes Icon

The Goldman blog has written several times about the “Fearless Girl” statue. You can read earlier posts here and here. This statue, designed for State Street Global Advisors, was initially created as a public relations tactic to garner publicity and to make a statement about the power of girls. It is of a wind-swept girl with hands on her hips facing off against the statue of the “Charging Bull” of Wall Street. The “Fearless Girl” statue angered the creator of “Charging Bull” and was only meant as a temporary statement. However, “Fearless Girl” received such a visceral, positive response from the public that New York City has been trying to find a way to permanently keep it. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that a new home has been found for “Fearless Girl” at the New York Stock Exchange and “Charging Bull” might soon follow. Here is a public relations tactic that was so successful that it actually has become an icon for New York. You can learn more about this story at this CNN link.

Business Social Media Posting Ideas

Keeping your business social media posts relevant takes work and coming up with ideas that have value is sometimes a challenge. Constant Contact‘s blog has 30 ideas for business social media posts that you can try over a month. In fact, Constant Contact has challenged businesses to produce 30 posts over 30 days. As you might expect some of their ideas are better than others; and depending on what type of business you have, some choices might not be of value. Still, they’ve provided are some good ideas that are worth trying that maybe you haven’t thought of.

PR Crisis or PR Problem

You say “te-MAH-toh”, I say “te-MAY-toh”. Call it a PR crisis or PR problem, it’s mostly all the same. If you have a PR crisis, you’ve definitely got a PR problem; and if you’ve got a PR problem, it’s likely to become a major crisis or is being improperly perceived and is already a crisis. Either way, both require quick response and implementation of your crisis communication plan. More often than not, we hear people use the term PR problem because they don’t want to alarm the company. But from our perspective crisis and problem require the same level of response. By the way, if you don’t presently have a crisis communication plan prepared and you’re reading this because you don’t know whether to call your situation a problem or crisis, then by definition you’re already in crisis because you are out of time to prepare.

From Junk Faxes to Internet Literacy

A class action, consumer-protection settlement is funding classes in New Jersey and New York that teach elementary school children about Internet literacy. The children’s classes were developed by Seton Hall University law professors. Legal fellows teach the children about limiting information they should put on the Internet and how that information can be used against them. The Washington Post has this story about the program, but it also points out how little children learn from schools and parents and the pitfalls of not being Internet literate. In an age when young children have their own phones and teachers are trying to utilize various Internet connected equipment to educate children for a connected future, little is discussed about its pitfalls. The story explains why it is important to teach children Internet literacy and the limitations of what can be taught.

Triskaidekaphobia and Other Superstitions

Friday the 13th and nothing too bad has happened, yet. Maybe the other shoe will drop, or is that my Triskaidekaphobia taking hold. Fear of the number 13 is actually a phobia and to a greater or lesser extent many people have it. Is it really that surprising that so many superstitions infect our lives. They are ancient and often have pagan or tribal histories. In honor of Friday the 13th, the BBC History Magazine offers to explain ten common superstitions that, sometimes, we don’t even realize why we act on them. What does this have to do with public relations? Not much, but the timing is great to post this on our blog at the end of a quiet Friday! Besides what other time could we use the word Triskaidekaphobia?

A Crisis at Your Senior Living Community

You’ve just had a crisis at one of your senior living communities and the news media has found out. This is normally when your crisis communication plan should be pulled out and acted on. You no longer have the luxury of addressing the issue in a leisurely manner. In fact, you have only minutes to act. But sadly, many senior living companies either don’t have a crisis communications plan, or haven’t practiced the one they have and are unprepared for what happens next. Don’t panic! Managing a senior living community crisis is a quick overview of what you need to do. It doesn’t suffice for a crisis communications plan, but it might get you through the next few minutes of your senior living community crisis. Quickly contact Goldman & Associates Public Relations. We’ll get you through the next few days and put in place a crisis communications plan for the next senior living crisis that might come about.