Hairgate: Rumor, Reputation and Death by a Thousand Lashes

October 7th, 2014

The latest Apple product “scandal” trending in the consumer blogosphere claims the new Apple iPhone 6 has a tiny gap where the screen meets the case that catches and tears out users’ hair. “Hairgate” some wags are calling it.

It looks like the uproar may be over nothing (there’s no gap, for example, to catch users’ hair.) But that hardly


matters: Non-owners of the Apple iPhone 6 can’t know that until they buy one… if they do.

Apple has lately been on the r

A good reputation can be dealt a lethal blow from a single incident (think of all the sex scandal revelations that overcame otherwise solid political careers.) But one’s good reputation can also suffer the death of a thousand tiny cuts.eceiving end of as much media buzz for its alleged flaws, gaffs and missteps as for new product launches. That’s not good for a company still struggling to prove its viability in the wake of founder Steve Jobs’ death.

Apple faces having its reputation being cut to pieces, one thin slice at a time  — if it can’t harness the power of its uber-loyal customer base to help recapture the narrative.



Want to Get a Take on Branding from a Visionary PR Pro?

October 1st, 2014

Public Relations Society of America has chosen Allspire Chair and Evergreen Partners Co-Founder Karen Kessler to speak at the 2014 PRSA International Conference in Washington, D.C. As a leading figure in the public relations world, she has amassed an extensive background in a variety of subjects ranging from reputation management to branding. Kessler has been at the helm of numerous high-profile campaigns involving popular sports teams and a multitude of politicians. In addition to being profiled in The Wall Street Journal, she has been sought as a source of insight on crisis management news by The Star- Ledger and The TODAY Show.

The session focuses heavily on Kessler’s successful plan to brand Allspire Health Partners, a conglomerate compriseBrand Checklist Identity Quality Loyalty on Clipboardd of seven different companies. The union attracted media attention from several outlets, including Fox Business and Thomson Reuters. The task of creating a brand for this new brand fell onto the shoulders of Kessler, who managed to tackle the issue with ease and apply her immeasurable skills to an impressive branding campaign.

Kessler’s vast experience, coupled with her fascinating approach to PR, makes for a captivating presentation that’s a must-see for anyone with an interest in the field. Come to Kessler’s presentation Monday, Oct. 13, at 10 a.m. and learn a thing or two about branding from an expert!


Karen Kessler to discuss the branding of healthcare group at PRSA conference

September 30th, 2014

karenkesslerheadshot (1)Karen Kessler

President of Evergreen Partners Inc. and Chairman of AllSpire Health Partners

PRSA International Conference 2014 Session Name: “Communicating in a world of mergers, takeovers, partnerships and alliances”

Twenty-five years ago, I was approached to join the Board of Directors of my local community hospital. The board was seeking to diversify and they thought having one female board member might do the trick.

Two decades later, I have now served for six years as Chair of the Board of a two billion dollar healthcare system. Along the way, the community has diversified, the hospital has merged, the Board has changed and the industry transformed. It has been quite a journey and the future looks no less exciting.

When I was a young practitioner of public relations and investor relations, my skill set was not often sought out in healthcare. The industry was so heavily regulated that aside from the infrequent but alarming medical missteps, the role of the communications department was to promote the golf outings and coordinate the service line brochures.

I want to emphasize how vital a strong and innovative communications effort is to the healthcare system of today and tomorrow. In 2013 alone, 98 hospital and health system combinations were announced and during the first quarter of 2014, healthcare M&A total deal value amounts to $12.3 billion dollars.

The success of these megadeals is crucially dependent on a thorough and strategic communication plan. In my session, I will take you through the process of how I branded AllSpire, the largest health care consortium in the country, as well as the hurdles and insights along the way.

Can a Bad Break Be a Good Break?

September 10th, 2014

The pre-wedding pummeling delivered by Ray Rice in a casino elevator has been played on television, on websites, in offices, on iPhones, in homes and offices, and is the definition of a viral video. Now what?  Beyond the hand-wringing, the empathetic comments, the angry tweets and the many, many collateral issues- the NFL response? The Casino? The investigators? The teams?- is there a good break?

If an athlete with ALS can spur tens of millions of supporters sending donations to combat the disease, can this video be the engine for a nationwide effort to support safe houses? Domestic violence groups? Legal services for victims?

Does it have to be “fun” to create a CCTV security cameracontribution frenzy? Something we want to look at like funny freezing friends?  Or can it just be something we can’t bear to watch?




UnderArmour and Overselling

September 4th, 2014

Can two supermodel women working out like fiends be the essence of what it takes to capture the women’s work out clothing market?

Giselle Bundchen and Lindsey Vonn signed up with Under Armour to showcase their abs, their looks and oh right, their “ you can get this body, too” approach. The commercials begin today, the stock has risen and the competitor apparel companies are nervous…

But will this change a reputation that the company has built for clothing super muscled footballers?

Indeed, time and sales will tell… but the unattainable looks and body marketing effort is one that has been rejected by women for the last few years as evidenced by the Dove commercials, the “ stars without makeup”  and  the “ this is real women” campaigns.

Lulu Lemon has weathered rocky waters  by selling  workout clothes that aim to slim hips, lift the rear and have  uber fashionable style.

Watching this kickboxing match will be good sport.