Are Brands Becoming the Media?

Agnieszka Walczak-Skałecka

Agnieszka Walczak-Skałecka

By: Agnieszka Walczak-Skałecka

They say that a psychologist’s favorite answer to most any question is “It depends.” It applies here as well.

Read More (Prowly Magazine)

Brand Journalism on Steroids

Hey, nobody would ever accuse me of being a fan of lawyers, especially personal injury ones.

However, this guy took a news event about the murder of his own brother and turned it into a local 2 min. Superbowl commercial in Savannah, GA area.  Talk about NewsJacking!

This is creative non-fiction brought into movie-like special effects.  It’s not just an ad for his law practice.  The lawyer, Jamie Casino, is trying to set the record straight about the local chief of police, Willie Lovett.  You can’t make this stuff up.  Even the character names fit.

Carl Hiaasen couldn’t make a more amazing parody of southern cops and local ambulance chasers.

What do you think?

Professional Writers vs. Everyone Else

Rewriting on Steroids

Rewriting on Steroids

A friend recently told me that they hired a marketing copywriter from one of those online sweatshops where “writers” will work for $5 an hour, and in some cases, less. 

While it’s true that you can knock out a letter, or email, to home on the first try, professional writers are worth the fee they charge.  After all, the art of writing is rewriting.  Anyone working for $5 an hour either isn’t a pro, isn’t very talented, or isn’t working very hard for you.

Think of it this way… a cheap writer is like a cheap “date.”  You get exactly what you pay for – and all the bad stuff too.

The content I saw from the online sweatshop was at best amateur.  No focus, not helpful, nothing that would motivate anyone to do anything, full of cliches that would make a reader or buyer gag, etc.  It came complete with poor grammar and misspellings.

It was clear no research was done, no creative thought was attempted, and no real quotes from real customers.  Just words. Lots and lots of them.  Abraham Lincoln said, “I’m sorry I wrote such a long letter. I didn’t have time for a short one.”  Tight copy takes time and a focus on the objective.

It’s true. Great copy is shorter, has a purpose, is well researched, creative to meet the objective, is a story told well, and works to achieve exactly what the client wants – sales, more web traffic, more foot traffic, signups for information, or whatever the client needs.

The real problem with hiring a sweatshop writer isn’t the cost.  “Hey, so what if I lose $5 an hour,” said my friend. 

I asked him after the failed attempt was over, could you afford the waste of time?  You can’t get that back.


Old Navy – You Stepped In It & Now You Stink

Army Veteran Banned from Old Navy Store Over Teen Employee in Marine Uniform

Vet’s story goes viral on Facebook

Aaron Bennett

Army veteran Aaron Bennett says he was banned from an Old Navy store in Jacksonville, Florida, after he pointed out a teen employee improperly wearing a Marine Corps uniform dress jacket complete with rank insignia, ribbons and a weapons badge, reported Wednesday.

Click to See Story (

Our View

Is this a case of the Navy not liking the Army?  Nah… It’s a case of a stupid store manager, a stupid teenage employee, a stupid mall with stupid mall security… all in a military town.  And where did the kid get the Marine Corps jacket?  Where are the parents?

How to solve this Crisis PR problem?  Well Old Navy, you just managed to whack your brand.  You pissed off 35 million veterans and more.  And one thing we all know about our men and women in the real uniforms, they learned how to accept a mission and execute it.  They now have a cause…

And of course Old Navy, you did this right before the Christmas shopping season.  The time of year that you make most of your sales and revenue.

Aww, the heck with it.  Just fire everyone involved in the stupidity of it all.  Old Navy will be lucky if they survive.

Your Public Relations Tip for the Day

denial w=300

Spreading rumors are often a tactic of those that are in denial. It helps their case.

Whether it’s politicians on the national level or posers on the local level, many participate in the fantasyland of denial.

They manufacture fake joy & image via fraud PR.

Even though they have hurt their own party and country, as in Obamacare, or broken up their family by divorce or other personal crisis, a common tactic is to blame others and put on a happy face.

Faking happy only works short term.

Ignoring the big issue you caused or stonewalling doesn’t work.

It fools those that are shallow or have surface level knowledge, without facts, only.

Long term, your national or local personal brand can recover through repentance.

In both cases, the only cure is to take FULL personal responsibility, admit the problem and fix the wrong, apologize publicly, and ask for forgiveness.

Otherwise you are doomed to be known as a: #pretender or #poser and someone that refuses to accept and address serious situations with the proper understanding and care.

Cranking out nonstop happy talk just confirms your denial.