Anybody who watched Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on CBS’s "60 Minutes" had to be dazzled. Bezos showed that he rivaled the late Steve Jobs as master manipulator of the media. He led Charlie Rose into a secret room and revealed to the world a dazzling project—mini-drones that deliver merchandise to customers within 30 minutes.
Amazon.com Inc. is testing drones to deliver goods as the world’s largest e-commerce company works to improve efficiency and speed in getting products to consumers. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos unveiled the plan on CBS’s “60 Minutes” news program in the U.S., showing interviewer Charlie Rose the flying machines that can serve as delivery vehicles. Bezos said the gadgets, called octocopters, can carry as much as 5 pounds
So Marissa Mayer‘s Vogue shoot raised quite a few eyebrows last month. Unfortunately, no one discussed anything she said in the accompanying interview—the questions that followed were all variations on “Is it appropriate for a female executive to appear in a fashion spread?”, with the Web’s many master debaters wondering whether she’d somehow lost a bit of her dignity and/or credibility by doing so. At an Adweek forum yesterday, she had a chance to “explain” the shoot to Charlie Rose, who likes to interview many famous people when not guest-starring on "Breaking Bad." She reminded him that the famous shot
This is not about politics or policy. It’s about process—an exercise in public relations and communication that directly applies to every organization—a one-person entrepreneurship, CEOs of a small business or a giant corporation all the way up to the President of the United States.
Over the past year, the Obama administration has botched myriad PR opportunities and come up the big loser in the court of public opinion.
Quite simply, it is imperative to have a system in place to recognize a public relations crisis and deal with it—a plan that can be implemented immediately. Not tomorrow. Not after the weekend. Now! In his seminal book, “Guerrilla P.R. 2.0,” Michael Levine writes:
One of the single most important points to keep in mind when facing a negative situation of your own is to follow the old dictum: The best defense is a good offence. You must never go on the defensive. By anticipating negative questions you can stand ready with positives.
Levine adds, “There are two speeds in modern P.R.—fast and dead.”
Too many CEOs—Barack Obama included—do not understand the art and science of public relations. PR is too important to be handled by well-meaning amateurs.
It’s not good when the face of your organization has egg on it.
When I saw that the 2008 rate for a speech by Larry Summers was $45,000 to $135,000, I got to thinking.
Out of curiosity, I started prowling the various Web sites of speakers' bureaus and came to six conclusions:
- It seems everybody in the world is available for speeches. Included are political and show business stars, second and third bananas, and hundreds upon hundreds of people I never heard of.
- All of these people—luminaries and nobodies—get fees from $1,000 to $1 million, plus expenses.
- I used to make a lot of speeches, and all I ever got was expenses and a plaque with my name engraved on it.
- I was a damned fool. I was as much a nobody as anybody else and could've picked up some dough if I'd just asked.
- If someone invites you to make a speech, think about asking for an honorarium at the very least, if not a fat fee, plus expenses. For Colin Powell, expenses include a private jet along with his $100,000 fee.
- The worst that can happen is that no money in the budget exists for fees or expenses. If you refuse, someone will replace you.
If the Iraq War is considered a business model, it is unraveling—just like General Motors (and Ford and DaimlerChrysler). A number of knowledgeable experts have declared our Iraq incursion not to be winnable. It does not take a language scholar to read between the lines of General Abizaid’s and General Pace’s testimony to see that the Pentagon is beginning to agree. That’s because no one has a clue about how to deal with three 800-pound guerrillas. The three 800-pound guerillas are al Qaeda plus Sunni and Shi’a murderers that are turning Baghdad into a scene reminiscent of Michelangelo’s “Last Judgment” on the altar wall of the