Will Wonder Woman Revive the Box Office?

Will Wonder Woman Revive the Box Office?

Will Wonder Woman Revive the Box Office?

Not long ago a film critic, who shall remain nameless, publicly bemoaned the endless line of superhero movies that has been rolling through the box office pretty much ever since Tobey Maguire donned his spider-mask. Then came Iron Man and Thor, Hulk and the Avengers. DC gave us Batman, then Batman again, then a few versions of Superman, before they put these two icons in the same movie. Continue reading →

michael phelps ronn torossian

Michael Phelps Cements Olympic Legacy

Has there ever been an Olympian greater than Michael Phelps? No, not really. The American fish-man picked up multiple new gold medals at the Rio Olympics, coming out of retirement to end the coronation of the Next Generation of world-class swimmers…except for Simone Manuel, who is currently experiencing what it feels like to be seen as a certified superhero.

Back to Phelps. How do we know he’s the best? Well, Phelps recently broke a record that stood since 152 BC. Leonidas of Rhodes won 12 individual medals in the Games. Phelps just picked up lucky number 13 individual medals, to add to 22 total golds and 26 medals overall.

The success in the pool will win Phelps legions of fans, including up and coming American swimmer Katie Ledecky, who has “liked Mike” since she was a guppy. Phelps will also pick up even more – and likely richer – endorsement deals for this showing. But that’s not all the fame Michael Phelps won at this year’s Olympics.

Chances are, if you’ve seen Michael Phelps’s face lately, it’s been involved in a meme. The swimmer’s All Business expression prior to last week’s match against a jitterbugging South African rival has become an internet sensation. Forget the Wheaties box. Becoming a meme subject is the New Fame in Millennial World. And it lasts a lot longer than 15 minutes.

The meme popularity just adds to another factor of Phelps’s success. He’s relatable. He has an everyman face and seems a bit awkward in front of the camera. That makes him endearing, while his accomplishments make him feel superhuman. It’s an interesting and dichotomous complement. Phelps is both what everyone aspires to be and what most already are. Both talented and average. Hopeful and committed.

Phelps’s fame has made a huge difference not just for Phelps but for U.S. swimming in general. There’s more money flowing into the sport and thus more opportunity for American kids to get off the couch and get into the pool.

PR Realities All Charities Must Face

PR Realities All Charities Must Face

There’s a reason many nonprofits consistently fail to meet fundraising goals, see falling membership in volunteer teams and feel like they’re constantly, desperately trying to get attention and commitment from potential donors. They simply don’t understand how to connect. They don’t “get” public relations, and they interact with people from a position of need and want, rather than a shared message of collective success.

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ken garff auto crisis public relations

Ken Garff Auto Campaign Runs Afoul of the law

Ken Garff Automotive Group recently changed its branding slogan after 80 years in business. The car dealership with locations in Utah, California, Nevada, Iowa, and Texas felt the need to update their brand with the public and in the process become more transparent to build a higher level of trust. That was the idea anyway.

Brett Hopkins, Ken Garff Automotive Group’s CEO, said “The message we’re trying to convey is that our customers should expect a very different car-buying experience when visiting a Ken Garff Dealership. We’ve learned, through extensive research with customers, that in most car-buying experiences, salespeople do too much talking and not enough listening to customers.”

And so the new slogan, “We Hear You” was born. And it’s a good one.

However, a recent version of the ad campaign turned sour when they set up billboards over Independence Day weekend showing the upper body and head of a policeman filling one side and the other, the words …. “He doesn’t hear you. We do.” The problem – total lack of transparency to get those ads up, and trying to build a positive rep while throwing police under the bus.

It turns out, the officer in the picture is a police officer and he was doing a favor for a friend who works at Factory Ad Agency being told his image would be used to sell official police equipment such as helmets. The police were upset, but the public took to social media and let the dealership have it with both barrels.

Almost immediately Factory Ad Agency said it was their fault, but in a good PR decision from KGAG, the group’s representatives responded on Facebook saying it was a bad decision on their part, and they would be taking the signs down immediately. 30 minutes later, they issued a second statement on their Facebook page – “At Ken Garff, we are grateful for all of the hard work of our law enforcement.

We seriously regret our messaging and apologize for making light of their service. We blew it. The signs will be down today and tomorrow.”

Yep, that’s the best first course of action, apologize, don’t minimize, and fix the problem ASAP.