You are currently browsing JoAnne Laffey Abed, Public Relations Manager’s articles.

I was out of the office last week attending the funeral of my grandmother.  In her mid-eighties, this woman had survived the Great Depression, raised 5 children and lived long enough to dote on and enjoy 13 great-grandchildren.  Over the years, she hosted countless parties and holiday gatherings for huge numbers of people.  Her door was always open, and there was never a better hostess.  However, what many of us remember most about my grandmother are Sunday dinners, where it was “just us.”

Even during these simple Sunday meals, Grandma insisted on setting the table with the “good” dishes.  When her kids or grandkids would ask why or complain about having to do the prep and clean-up that went with that task, she always had the same answer: “We do this because your family is the most important company you will ever have.” Read the rest of this entry »

With all the great debate swirling around primaries and parties this season, I have become oddly intrigued by a rather unusual issue, one that has absolutely nothing to do with my politics.  Read the rest of this entry »

I had the privilege of attending a recent client event in Charlotte that reminded me of the importance of corporate social responsibility and serving broader industry needs in branding and reputation management. Read the rest of this entry »

Life is cyclical for marketing professionals.  Each February, I am filled with excitement and pride in my profession as new Super Bowl ads are rolled out, and, conversely, each December I cringe as I watch and listen to the parade of commercials aimed at informing people about all the things they simply cannot live without, or must give to loved ones if they truly want to demonstrate their yuletide affection. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s that time of year again when our thoughts turn to home, hearth, family, and for me, one of the single greatest PR tactics ever invented — the Butterball Turkey Talk Line. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the lifeline millions of Americans have used to save their holiday feasts. Read the rest of this entry »

Every PR person has one: The ultimate war story, the craziest thing they’ve ever worked on.  Mine happened 8 years ago this week, when an unsuspecting Cubs fan reached out for a ball and, in the opinion of many Chicagoans, stole the Cubs’ chances of finally getting to the World Series in the process.  Sports fans the world over remember a name that I will never forget: Steve Bartman. Read the rest of this entry »

Like millions of others out there, I got a rather long-winded email from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings this week.  Frankly, the content of the email left me a bit boggled. He was apologizing (but not taking corrective action) and explaining why I should be happy to pay more to get less through a soon-to-be much more inconvenient system.  Read the rest of this entry »

A recent conversation with my nearly five-year-old daughter has reminded me of the basics of crisis communications.  She started the discussion as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

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