A round-up of recent happenings in the world of PR, marketing, and other things I find interesting.
Penn State hires big-name PR firms: In the wake of the Sandusky scandal, Penn State writes a few big checks to fulfill its pledge to be more transparent. Penn State needs to change its culture. Will these firms help with that?
Netflix Stock Takes a Dive: A few weeks ago, after I heralded Netflix's recovery, a Facebook friend noted that its stock was still in the tank. So sue me. Bottom line, though, is that the lessons learned from the whole episode are still relevant.
The Disney Institute: Disney is building up quite a little side business helping companies become, well, become more like Disney. The New York Times, in reporting on The Disney Institute's growth, seems almost apologetic:
Disney, which employs 64,000 people in Orlando alone, has its own employee difficulties, of course. Union spats arise, and some cast members — Disney-speak for employees — chafe at the company’s strict rules, although it recently lifted a facial-hair ban and now allows women to forgo pantyhose. Disney’s sugary customer service can also startle visitors who aren’t used to such uniform cheerfulness.
But vast numbers of consumers love it, and the company is routinely showcased in business books, like “The Disney Way: Harnessing the Management Secrets of Disney in Your Company,” for its hospitality and efficiency. For instance, the company has spent so much time studying its park customers — more than 120 million of them globally last year — that it places trash cans every 27 paces, the average distance a visitor carries a candy wrapper before discarding it.
New York City journalists, perhaps you'd like to visit America sometime. It's a lovely place.