Category Archive: Wellons PR News

What companies can learn about crisis PR from the United Airlines leggings incident

On Sunday morning, a United Airlines gate attendant barred two teenage girls from boarding a flight from Denver to Minneapolis because they were wearing leggings. News of the leggings incident went viral, and within hours, United Airlines had a PR crisis on its hands.

The incident started when Shannon Watts, political activist and founder of Moms Demand Action, overheard the exchange and tweeted about the incident to her followers.

 

 

The airline responded to the public backlash with its own tweets to explain the incident.   

 

 

The company also issued a release explaining customers are welcome to wear leggings on its flights. The release explains that United views employee pass riders as representatives of the company and expects them to be appropriately dressed for flights.

 

 

Though United responded quickly to the crisis, customers, activists and even celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen and Patricia Arquette have expressed anger about the incident.

Jonathan Guerin, a United spokesperson, said himself the airline should have done a better job of responding to the situation. According to Reuters, Guerin said, “We’ll definitely take something away from today, but we’ll continue to engage with our customers (on social media).”

So what can other companies take away from this viral situation when facing their own crisis?

First, never underestimate the power of social media. Incidents today don’t stay contained, and with Facebook and Twitter, angry customers have an easy—and potentially viral—outlet.

Second, be sincere. Many considered United’s response to the issue stilted or unsympathetic. As per the Reuters article, Guerin said the company could have been more clear in its initial response to the issue.

Finally, have a plan for your social media outlets. United did a great job of responding to a potential issue quickly and telling its side of the story, but because the initial response was bungled, it backfired. Know what kinds of feedback you need to respond to, what you’ll say, and in what format you will respond.

After all, the best way to handle a crisis is to prepare for it before you’re facing it. If you need help crafting your plan, give us a call. At Wellons Communications, we have experience in social media and in handling crisis situations, and we can help you put your best foot forward. Give us a call today at 407-339-0879.

Turning Pointe Studio Director Living Her Dream

 

Cathy Mae Cavanaugh is living her dream.

Ever since she was a teenager putting herself through college, Cavanaugh has been an instructor at Turning Pointe – A Dance Studio.

Over the years, Cavanaugh has taught more than 5,000 students to dance, or to dance much better. Her STAR teams have won countless awards and competitions. In the process of learning to dance – something magical happens – the students (and their parents) become members of the Turning Pointe family.

Working her way up the ranks at Turning Pointe, Cathy Mae knew that one day she wanted to own her own studio. Cavanaugh has always known more about tap, Jazz and ballet than being an entrepreneur.  Her life is dance, but her dream is rooted in running a business. Wellons Communications is proud to help businesses like Turning Pointe to thrive and grow.

In the past year, she purchased Turning Pointe from her former boss. She knew she would have to work tirelessly to help hundreds of children (and often their parents, family and friends) learn to be excellent dancers.

This fall, Cavanaugh’s dream will fully take shape. She is moving Turning Pointe – A Dance Studio to a new location in the Springs Plaza, off of State Road 434 (SR434) in Longwood. Cavanaugh will have the opportunity to put her stamp completely on the business, including installing just the right type of floors for any dance or exercise instruction.

The new studio will serve dancers of all ages from toddler to adult. Busy parents will likely enjoy that they can shop at Publix, or have a great meal in the Plaza while their child has lessons.

“This past year has been a whirlwind! We are so excited to be moving and building out a brand new space.’’ Cavanaugh said.

“The next chapter of Turning Pointe is going to be the most exciting yet!’’

Congratulations to Turning Point and Miss Cathy Mae. She has the honor of both shaping lives and living her dream.

To learn more about Turning Pointe – A Dance studio, go to www.turningpointedance.com  or call 407.862.5500.

Building your brand one step at a time

Marketing agencies like to tout their wins for big companies. We applaud those wins, for we know how hard they are to garner.

Yet, what about small companies? Don’t they deserve the same services as the big firms? Emphatically we say yes!

Sometimes when you’re a small company just trying to make your way in the world you have to start somewhere. That somewhere might be a single press release, or media pitching, or social media campaign.

We have had the privilege of working with national companies in multiple markets.  Our firm takes an equal amount of pride in the work we do to promote smaller businesses. We are happy to provide project work – a single press release if needed – to bring companies the publicity and business they richly deserve.

In just the past few months we’ve announced restaurant openings, worked with dance companies, app developers, window shade manufacturers, and even horse farms to help promote small business owners.

We’d love to tell your story!  Reach out to us at 407.339.0879 or emailmystory@wellonscommunications.com to discuss your PR potential.

Happy 10th anniversary, schmidt design studio

This week Schmidt Design Studio celebrates 10 years of amazing design and successful business. Congratulations to our friends, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.

 

 

Social media + politics= loss of friends

Most of us are aware to shy away from political discussions at family gatherings or cocktail parties.  However, one of the latest trends in the social media world is to discuss politics. This can lead to bruised feelings, loss of business, and in some cases, quickly being removed from social media fan bases if you take a different view than your friends.

 

USA Today pointed that Facebook is becoming the new battleground state for politics. Entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to serve the entire political spectrum should proceed with caution before putting their views online even in personal social media postings.

Thanks Ma – for the worldwide publicity!

We had the pleasure of providing publicity and media relations support for the listing of the renowned Ma Barker house.

The story was launched with an online exclusive in the Wall Street Journal, followed by a front page story in the Orlando Sentinel, followed by a story from Reuters news service. The ensuing media coverage led to the story appearing all over the world, in all types of publications. Media hits included CNN, the front page of Yahoo, CNBC, real estate trades and even overseas media like the Daily Mail.

The number of people who read the Ma Barker House story is well into the millions and growing.

When you have a great story to tell, it’s worth knowing seasoned public relations people who have worked in the media. Our firm carefully crafted the message and pitched the story to key national and local media that would give us the best chance for widespread pickup.

Cynics might say that anybody handling PR for a renowned gangster hideout house will get coverage. However, people who’ve worked in the media and are experienced in public relations understand that proper placement can make the difference between a few hits and global coverage.

Not everyone has a Ma Barker story to tell. The truth is, you don’t have to be Ma Barker to make public relations work effectively for you. Our agency uses the same research-based approach for each project. Whether announcing a new business, a promotion, a restaurant opening, a community event or a new product, we spend time finding the right person to pitch the story to and craft the story in the right manner. At the end of the day, that messaging becomes the cornerstone for much of your media coverage. We use the same approach whether working with media in Central Florida or media across North America.

We can never dictate what members of the media will cover – but we can strive to serve up news of all kinds in the most appropriate manner for the audience we are trying to reach. The Ma Barker house is our latest shining example of the success we can achieve with a single press release followed by experienced media pitching and follow up.

Tell us your story – we can likely find a home for it too. To learn more about project assignments with Wellons Communications, please feel free to contact us at mystory@wellonscommunications.com or call 407.339.0879.

Facebook frenzy in the Zimmerman case

Social media sites have transpired past our everyday lives and into the courtrooms. Just look at the Trayvon Martin case and current trial against his killer George Zimmerman. Zimmerman’s team of lawyers has now entered the social media fray by creating a blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts to interact with the public, sparking interest and conversation. Recently, the George Zimmerman Legal Case shared a link on their Facebook to a blog article about Zimmerman’s abandoned Myspace page. In just four hours, the post had one share, seven “likes” and 93 comments.

With that said, the Zimmerman defense team may have bitten off more than it can chew. Media exposure has made George Zimmerman a household name and the face of evil. Their tactic of trying to shape public opinion of the most vilified man in the nation is an admirable effort, but the consequences have revealed that these social media labors can be detrimental to their cause. With dozens (sometimes hundreds) of comments popping up every time something is posted, we can see that the perception of Zimmerman continues to spread and swell. The handler of the Facebook account is threatening that any discussion or speculation on the facts of the case will be deleted, but that is not enough to control the catalyst of negative opinions brought on by every post.

Only time will tell how George Zimmerman’s legal defense team will handle such heightened criticism of their high-profile client and whether their online efforts will pay off. Either way, this case has certainly proven to be an interesting experience showcasing the evolution of social media.

Wellons Communications helps tell your story in 2012

The New Year is right ahead. Have you drafted your story/vision for the coming year? WWC Logo 2011 - small

It’s likely that you have a story to tell and may not even realize it. Many businesses have stories about their progress, new programs, expansions or cool new ideas of how to get things done.  Journalists, bloggers and even your Facebook fans love to learn what you have planned.

Communicating often – whether to your employees, your customers or your future customers – pays consistent dividends.

One of our clients recently remarked, “I had no idea what we were doing was even remotely newsworthy.’’ The comment came after she was profiled in the most highly sought after trade magazine for her industry.

Stories worth telling net business results, either with direct impact to the bottom line or a priceless boost in credibility.

We are experts in developing and promoting businesses’ stories.  So if you don’t know your story yet, let us help.

What do the media and hurricanes have in common?

Unpredictability is the rule of the game when it comes to hurricanes…..and the media.

This past weekend, the media rushed to call Hurricane Irene a once-in-a life time storm – a major hurricane that would race up the eastern seaboard and wreck havoc on all along its path.

In many ways, Irene lived up to its billing. Just ask the millions of people still without power or the good citizens of Vermont who are still sopping up the damage from massive flooding.

Yet the same media that staked out weather teams ready for wall-to-wall coverage did not appear satisfied with the multi-billion dollars of destruction. As soon as the storm cleared the U.S. border, many news organizations switched quickly from forecasters predicting gloom to news writers asking why the gloom and doom didn’t meet the forecast.

Only the media could create so much noise and then turnaround and complain that the noise was too loud for the result.

Hurricanes have been – and always will be – unpredictable. You never know what path they will take or how hard they might hit their target. Unfortunately, the same can be said for many members of the media.

The take away: Prepare as best you can. Whether with hurricanes or media relations, it is best to have a firm plan in place for when the storm hits your business.

VINYL FEVER ANNOUNCES CLOSING

Everything for sale, including that Rolling Stones autographed guitar

TAMPA, FLA. — December 27, 2010 — The end of an era. After serving the Tampa Bay area for almost 30 years, Vinyl Fever, located at 4110 Henderson Blvd. in South Tampa, will close its doors at the end of February.  Known for its knowledgeable staff and extensive, eclectic selection of new and used CDs, vinyl records and related merchandise, Vinyl Fever has drawn customers from across the state and beyond.  Recently voted one of the Top 25 record stores in the country by Rolling Stone magazine, Vinyl Fever endured in no small part because its crew lives and breathes music, passionately providing customers with information and an experience they cannot get at other stores.

“It has been a great run,” says Owner/Manager Lee Wolfson.  “We feel honored and fortunate to have lived such a long business life doing what we love. We would have liked to make it to 33 and 1/3 [years], but the combination of industry changes, a difficult economy, and the upcoming expiration of our lease has forced our hand.”

A CELEBRATION BEGINS

“We plan to celebrate and commemorate our 30 rocking years in Tampa.  We’ll thank our customers and the community with blowout sales and special events, and hopefully leave everyone with great memories.”

Everything in the store will be sold, including the famous guitar autographed by the Rolling Stones that’s had a “Not for Sale” sign on it for years. For now, most items will be 30%-50% off.

THE BALLAD OF VINYL FEVER

As the independent music scene grew in the late 1970’s, two idealistic bohemians named Sam and Dave pooled their personal record collections, music knowledge, and a few hundred bucks to open Singing Dog Records in Columbus, Ohio.  Through their store they met Mike, who managed a similar store in Cleveland.  Mike had lived in Tampa, was eager to return, and helped open Vinyl Fever in 1981.  A Tallahassee store soon followed.

Dave’s brother Lee followed in Dave’s footsteps.  Starting out at Singing Dog, Lee transferred to Tallahassee in 1984 and took charge of all of the stores in 1987.  Over time, Vinyl Fever Tampa split from its sister stores, still managed by Lee and an amazing crew of music aficionados.

LOCATION & STORE HOURS

Vinyl Fever Tampa, 4110 Henderson Blvd. (West of Dale Mabry), Tampa

Monday – Friday:  11am – 9pm

Saturday: 10am – 9pm

Sunday:  Noon – 7pm

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CONTACT:

Lee Wolfson

727-463-6531

Lee@vinylfevertampa.com

www.vinylfevertampa.com

Will Wellons

Wellons Communications

407-339-0879 office

407-462-2718 cell

Will@wellonscommunications.com

Posted by Wellons Communications, an Orlando public relations firm.