Political Campaign Season Provides Lessons in “Optics”

Vote ImagesThis week brings another election day to my community, providing an annual reminder for me of the great democracy in which we live, and why I am glad I don’t work in politics. I’ve got many good reasons for not getting involved in politics, but  that doesn’t stop me from paying close attention to political campaigns from the largest national elections to the smallest campaigns for school board.… Read the rest

10 Things to Know about Doing PR in Pittsburgh

From its own special language, Pittsburghese, to an exceptional pride in its sports teams and a yellow ”terrible” towel, Pittsburgh is unique.  With this in mind, doing PR in Pittsburgh carries with it some very region-specific challenges and characteristics.  Here are ten:

  1. Unless it’s Steelers-related, never plan an event on Steelers’ game day. I’ve been told that the best time to do your grocery shopping in Pittsburgh and avoid the crowds is when the Steelers are playing.
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To Get People to Know, they Must Care. To Get them to Care, We Must Educate

Audience and LightsNot long ago, O’Brien Communications began to provide assistance to a nonprofit organization centered on marking a major anniversary of a historical event.  To avoid creating any confusion on the PR issues at play, for now I won’t name the project or get into its specifics.

It’s more important to explore the situation and the process because the communications challenges this nonprofit faces are some of the most common challenges most organizations face.… Read the rest

Do Tweets Deserve the Credibility they Get?

shutterstock_191728364You know what they say: ‘Life imitates Twitter.’ Well, actually, “they” don’t really say that. I just said it, which kind of ties to a tweet I posted last week that gained a little traction.

Every day, I tweet a PR “Tip of the Day,” and one of last week’s postings was, “’Tweets’ are hearsay, don’t comment on them unless facts are independently verified.”… Read the rest

8 Spokesperson Critical Success Factors

shutterstock_116176801You’ve been tasked with speaking on behalf of your organization to the public. Maybe it’s the media, or maybe you’re going to speak at a community event or town hall-style meeting.

Regardless, there are two things you know: first, that there are so many uncontrollable variables that you never really know what you may be asked; second, once it starts, there is good potential that word-of-mouth, social media and possibly professional reporters in the audience will amplify and extend the life of your words.… Read the rest

Welcome to the New Online Home of O’Brien Communications!

It’s been long overdue, but it’s finally here, the new web site.Web Site Billboard - Deep Red New and Improved

From your perspective, the main thing is that now both my blog – PR, Pure & Simple – and the O’Brien Communications site are now on one platform, making it easier to access the information you may want.

From my standpoint, this means more adequately and accurately presenting O’Brien Communications’ brand and capabilities to you.… Read the rest