Medical PR mistakes

Medical PR Mistakes That Continue to Enrage Patients

Medical PR mistakes

Some negative stories seem to never die. When you’re in the medical industry, and you end up with negative press, that can be tough to shake. That being said, it can be a real jaw-dropper when a medical company creates the negative PR firestorm themselves. Last year, two health industry companies that no one had ever heard of suddenly became household names, for all the wrong reasons. Continue reading →

Venus fights back to Wimbledon final

Venus Fights Back to Wimbledon Final

Venus fights back to Wimbledon final

By the numbers, Venus Williams is not the most dominant women’s player in history, in her generation … or even in her own family … but she’s certainly one of the best ever. Venus’ sister Serena is the undisputed GOAT of women’s tennis with 72 titles, 23 Grand Slam singles and over $85 million in prize money. Serena is in good company, with stars of another era like Graf (22 Grand Slams), Navratilova (18 Grand Slams) and Evert (also 18 GS). 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.

How basketball is changing the charity game

Everyone who loves college basketball is busy pouring over their bracket for the next few weeks. The NCAA basketball tournament is on, and March Madness has officially infected folks from coast to coast. Already Middle Tennessee State has cracked many brackets, but will those upstarts be this year’s Cinderella story? Too early to tell, but what is already certain is this: March Madness is big business … and it’s big charity too.

Bloomberg introduced its Bracket for a Cause program, inviting some of the country’s wealthiest business people to toss $10,000 in the pot for the right to pit their bracket against their peers. According to Business Insider, all the proceeds from the tournament will be donated to charity.

Participants to date include Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, T-Mobile CEO John Legere and, of course, Michael Bloomberg. These industry titans have been joined by pro sports team owners such as Mark Cuban, Mark Attanasio, and Steve Ballmer.

The winning bracket owner will donate upwards of $420,000 to the charity of his or her choice.

While sports and charity have long been best pals, this bracket contest provides a template through which charities of any size can create a fun and interesting way for folks to support their cause. People already love bracket contests, and half the country is already obsessed with the Madness so that part wouldn’t be a tough sell at all.

This sort of creative tie-ins with long-established cultural traditions can be a productive way for nonprofits to connect with their current donors and to bring attention to their cause without encountering the typical apathy or request fatigue many otherwise willing donors display when asked to support an unfamiliar cause.

It’s all in the approach. Think about it. Would you rather be asked to support something with which you are unfamiliar, or would you rather be invited to join your friends for some spirited but ultimately harmless competition? Again, it isn’t rocket science, it’s all in how you ask.

Wounded Warrior Project head in hot water

It’s not been a stellar week for the top executive at popular military-based charity Wounded Warrior Project. Fred and Dianne Kane, two top donors have called for Steven Nardizzi to resign or be fired after it came to light that the charity may have been overspending on “lavish” office parties and staff meetings.

The Kanes, parents of two Iraq War veterans, donated about $335,000 to WWP in the past seven years, through their charity, Tee-off for a Cause. When CBS News reported that barely more than half of those funds actually went toward benefitting veterans, the Kanes went looking for answers. They were not happy where that search led.

According to various media reports, tax forms showed massive expenditures, such as $26 million on conferences at luxury hotels in a single year. Conference and travel spending have grown substantially year-to-year, and these donors are fed up. CBS News reported the Kanes started an online petition demanding a public audit of WWP, and they canceled a planned benefit tournament. About the same time, Charity Navigator put WWP on its “watch list” of nonprofit organizations suspected of less than stellar conduct.

Former employees, some combat veterans, have come forward to express similar disgust for the way WWP spent their funds. When your cause and your brand are built around American heroes, to have those heroes calling you out and casting aspersion on your work, you have a major PR crisis on your hands.

Even if Nardizzi is ousted, it may not be enough to protect Wounded Warrior Project from further suspicion, and it certainly won’t be enough to repair the charity’s tarnished reputation. At this point, more people are beginning to view WWP as taking advantage of wounded soldiers to live the good life, an accusation the organization must distance itself from immediately. If they don’t start major damage control right now, the project may find itself wounded beyond recovery.

cam newton dab

How Cam Newton made the NFL fun again

Fail and they will ignore you. Succeed and there are those who will try to bring you down. Just ask Cam Newton. The Carolina Panthers quarterback is leading a team on a tear. They had a great record in the regular season, and they went into the NFC Championship the odds-on favorite. Along the way, Newton became a polarizing figure. His on-field antics revved up the Panther faithful and rubbed many commentators and critics the wrong way.

But, say what you want about Cam, he sure puts his heart into the game, and he seems to be having a great time out there. Remember that? Remember when quarterbacks enjoyed the game? When the on-field generals let their emotions show. They grinned when they made a good pass and jumped up and down or threw their fist in the air when they connected on a touchdown pass. It was fun to watch them having fun.

Today’s NFL is about flashy and cerebral. QBs either blaze around defenders or sit back and pick them apart. Regardless, they do so with a stoic resolve. Not Newton. He’s passing out game balls in the stands and high-fiving in the end zone. He’s celebrating. And why not? His team is absolutely on fire this season. And he’s playing a game…why not have a good time doing it?

Naysayers will argue that “fun” is for receivers and running backs. Those guys can turn flips and dunk footballs over goalposts. They belong on Sports Centers highlight reel, not the quarterback.

Newton has no time for such noise. His team is winning, and he’s going to enjoy it. “Act like you’ve been there,” some would say. “I know how rare that can be,” Newton seems to reply.

In a game tearing itself apart because of aggression, concussions, and necessary roughness, Newton is the rocket-armed clown prince. He is a one-man show reminding all the gritty, angry teeth grinders that they are, after all, getting paid huge money to play a game.

Cam Newton will charge ahead for first down yardage, get mauled by half the defense and come up with a grin on his face. Getting this is part of the game … and this game is fun, remember?

Some players aren’t buying. They don’t like Cam’s antics, and they hate that he’s having fun. They can’t stand the smile or the casual confidence. Newton just grins and dares them to make him stop.