Are Aetna’s Moves a Bellwether or a Reaction to the ACA?

2017-04-18 by Aaron Sarno
Are Aetna’s Moves a Bellwether or a Reaction to the ACA?

Leadership is often about making the right calls at the right time. In many cases, that means knowing when to stay and when to go. After a series of lost battles with regulations related to the Affordable Care Act, leaders at Aetna, one of the country’s largest insurers, began slowly pulling out of exchanges in various states. They say they can’t compete, even though some of their competition have managed to do so nicely. Regardless of the reasons, when you can’t reach your goals doing what you’re doing where you’re doing it, you need to change. That led Aetna to... Read More >

Got Dystopia? The Bookstore Sure Does!

2017-03-23 by Aaron Sarno
Got dystopia The bookstore sure does!

Fiction sales go through trend cycles just like any other kind of fashion. For a while Westerns were all the rage. Then Science Fiction or Mysteries, Fantasies or Chick Lit. These days, you can’t toss a bookmark in a bookstore without hitting a dystopian novel. From George Orwell’s celebrated work, “1984” to the smash hit “Hunger Games” series, stories about cultures that have descended into total government control … and the imagined negative consequences … appear to be the flavor of the decade. Sales of 1984, and other dystopian classics such as “Fahrenheit 451” and “It Can’t Happen Here” are... Read More >

Disney’s New Gay Character – PR Hit or Miss?

2017-03-20 by Richard D. Pace
Disney's New Gay Character - PR Hit or Miss

It’s not that Disney hasn’t had characters with some gay subtext before. They have; in fact, several of their villains seem to nod to a less than straight life, but LeFou, Gaston’s somewhat prancing and foolish (his name actually means the fool or madman) sidekick is the first character that is openly gay and making his debut in the newest release of Beauty and the Beast. The show recently aired in Russia and was almost banned because of the character and negative PR associated with the movie. The problem, well, LeFou is not a “full” character but rather a parody... Read More >

This Bud’s Not for Boston

2017-03-16 by Richard D. Pace

Even after the Supreme Court essentially legalized gay marriage nationwide, gay rights remains a hot button and contentious political issue. Some companies, like Starbucks and Chick Fil A, have come out strongly on one side or the other of the issue. Others have been a bit more circumspect, donating to this cause or that one, and trying to do so quietly. With every stand, rather public or private, there is a consequence, a price that is paid, for good or ill. One major “all-American” brand is about to put that truism to the test. Rumors are spreading that Anheuser-Busch, parent... Read More >

Pawnees Sue Oklahoma Over Earthquakes

2017-03-13 by Aaron Sarno
Pawnees Sue Oklahoma Over Earthquakes

Native Americans have been in court with fossil fuel companies quite a bit lately. For the past few years, Sioux in the Dakotas have been fighting against pipeline projects they say endanger their water supply. Now, an Oklahoma-based Pawnee tribe is suing a number of oil companies, alleging that the severe increase in earthquakes is causing “extensive damage” to their tribal buildings and lands. The suit brings the hot topic of hydraulic fracking back into the headlines. Fracking has been a contentious topic for some years now, as environmental groups and research scientists assert that the practice of injecting wastewater... Read More >

PR Found in Entertainers Choosing a Political Side

2017-03-01 by Richard D. Pace
PR Found in Entertainers Choosing a Political Side

In the middle of awards season in Hollywood, there’s been a lot of political side-taking going on. It started long before the Golden Globes and Meryl Streep’s Lifetime Achievement much viewed acceptance speech and pointing a beautifully manicured and accessorized finger or two at the current administration. She was called brave and heralded by her peers, but others, many even in the entertainment industry didn’t see it as courageous at all, saying they couldn’t see anything brave about saying something in front of a group who largely agreed with everything she had to say. Then came the Grammys, there were... Read More >

Josh Kushner Straddling Parties Lines as His Business Thrives

2017-02-10 by Aaron Sarno
Josh Kushner straddling parties lines as his business thrives

Just about everyone these days is familiar with the name Jared Kushner. Married to the President’s daughter, Ivanka, Jared also has Mr. Trump’s trust and his ear, perhaps more than anyone else in terms of business. As such, that part of the Kushner family is – at least currently – staunchly Republican. But there’s another Kushner in business, and he’s putting together a template for how a business, even with deep political ties, can bridge the political divide in order to bring in sales and increase value. Josh Kushner, owner of VC fund Thrive Capital, confirmed that his company has... Read More >

What’s the future of gun sales in Trump’s America?

2017-02-09 by Jason Tannahill
What’s the future of gun sales in Trump’s America

Conventional wisdom says with a gun-friendly President in office, gun enthusiasts will breathe easier and enjoy their hobby more. This should lead to increased gun sales in a, literally, trigger-happy environment. Others say the opposite is true. The perceived threat of President Obama sent gun sales soaring, and now the industry will have to figure out how to deal with dropping sales. So, who’s right? At first blush, it seems like the latter theory is holding true. In one of the worst-kept secrets in consumer America, President Barack Obama turned out to be one of the nation’s best gun salesmen.... Read More >

Elon Musk gets political

2017-02-08 by Richard D. Pace
Elon Musk gets political

Vowing to take his concerns about immigration restrictions directly to the source, entrepreneur and billionaire Elon Musk says he will take his objections straight to President Trump. Is this announcement more bluster and PR theater from a CEO who has proven adept at grabbing headlines, or does the mind behind SpaceX and Tesla really plan to dive into this incredibly divisive political environment? Musk met with Trump and a group of other business leaders at the White House last Friday, and little has come out of that meeting at this point. But what is interesting is the timing of Musk’s... Read More >

Customs Agents Stand Against Court Decision – the PR of a Government Divided Against Itself

2017-02-06 by Richard D. Pace

No matter which side of this issue people are on, the government is in crisis communication mode … or it should be. The problem seems to be, though, that the government representatives are just as divided as the citizens, immigrants, and the global community. A separatist stance could be taken against the rest of the world and whatever opinions they have, but in the age of social media and people around the world feeling they too should have a voice, separatist thinking may no longer be an option for any country. So… It all started with a Trump's Presidential Executive... Read More >

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