Category: Hermanoff Public Relations

Sandy Hermanoff on FOX2 News Discussing GM Crisis


A study conducted by the The Center for Auto Safety, a private watchdog group in Washington DC, reports that 303 deaths occurred after airbags failed to deploy in 1.6 million compact cars recalled last month by General Motors Co.

General Motors issued this statement in response:

“As knowledgeable observers know, FARS tracks raw data. Without rigorous analysis, it is pure speculation to attempt to draw any meaningful conclusions. In contrast, research is underway at GM and the investigation of the ignition switch recall and the impact of the defective switch is ongoing. While this is happening, we are doing what we can now to ensure our customers’ safety and peace of mind. We want our customers to know that today’s GM is committed to fixing this problem in a manner that earns their trust.”

Just how bad is this crisis situation for General Motors’ business? Should the company have responded and reacted differently?

VIDEO: Auto analyst John McElroy, public relations and marketing executive Sandy Hermanoff and FOX 2 legal analyst Charlie Langton discuss the crisis with FOX 2’s Murray Feldman

Top 7 Reasons Why Your Company Needs Social Media

pam perry social media expert

An avalanche of new opportunities is available on the Internet in the form of social media sites. These sites serve as a strategic public relations and marketing tool to build your brand and target key audiences for your business.

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter enable individuals, groups and companies to easily publish, share and interact on the web. By joining a social site, you can discover topics that people are talking about and what they think about your business and how to improve accordingly.

Here is a list of popular sites to give you a quick overview of how each serves its purpose:

Facebook: Facebook is considered the heavyweight of social networking. From uploading photos, to making status updates, which allows users to inform their friends of their whereabouts and actions, is the epitome of social media.  It’s a great way to keep in touch with friends and family as well as marketing tool. In addition, you can create a fan page for your company or start or join a group related to your company.

  • Forty-five percent of Facebook’s 45.3 million active users in the US are 26 years old or older. Nearly a quarter of all Facebook users are over 35 today. Facebook is growing in every age and gender demographic. The fastest growing segment is women over 55, up 175.3% as of February 2009.


Twitter: Twitter is considered a more basic format of Facebook. The users known as “followers” are allowed to send brief messages, only limited to 140 characters known as “tweets.” Followers can search by name and follow your daily tweets. There is no limit on how often you can tweet, but make sure the information is related to the company that followers would find interesting and useful.

  • For example: Your company can use Twitter to inform followers of the latest company news or upcoming events. This is a hassle-free way of disseminating information in a mass message.


LinkedIn: Unlike all the other major social networking sites, LinkedIn is dedicated to helping people connect for business rather than social purposes. It’s useful to search for consultants and contractors and identify people in companies that you hope to do business with in the future. It’s also become a major source for posting professional job openings.

  • For example: LinkedIn can be used as a socializing platform for you to interact with other like-minded people, especially those in the same industry. It can be used to establish consistent and deeper relationships for future benefits such as colleague recommendations.


YouTube: This site pertains to videos only. Although you may think it has nothing to do with your company, businesses have discovered it’s a great way to provide information to prospects. You can make a video of the products you sell, describe your services or even video testimonials and easily upload them to YouTube.

  • For example: By using YouTube, your company can embed a watermark so users watching the video know which company and website the video is from. This is another way of building your company’s brand.


Top 7 Reasons Why Your Company Needs Social Media

  • It’s free, fast and flexible.


  • Establish yourself as an expert in a field, while staying on top of your field and your competitors.


  • Target potential and current audiences without resorting to spam. Since the users make the decision to connect with your company, marketing messages will be anticipated not disregarded.


  • Engage with user-friendly options such as photos, videos, blogs, and status updates. Traditional media is passive while, social media is interactive.


  • Market and build your brand while engaging audiences.


  • Enhance credibility by controlling and communicating directly with the key audiences.


  • Learn directly from audiences on social media sites such as Facebook. These platforms let the company learn directly what customers are saying about its service and products.

For more information contact, Pam Perry, Social Media Strategist at 248.851-3993 or 248.690-6810.

Do you have a Communication Policy?

sandy hermanoff

Do you have a Communication Policy?

Policy_331If you don’t, look out. It could take a bite out of your brand, reputation and damage your integrity — when you least expect it.

To make sure your company or organization is visible, accessible and accountable both internally and externally, you should have a communication policy. It ensures that communications by every employee is understood, coordinated and effectively managed and followed by everyone. Communication plays an essential role in the conduct of everyone’s business.

How you communicate with people not only reflects on you as an individual but also on your organization. It applies to everyone. This is the information everyone must know to carry out their day-to-day work. It is the responsibility of leadership to communicate this information effectively.

A policy provides your constituencies with timely, accurate, clear, complete and objective information – and it is consistent throughout your company.

Social media rules are written and enforced. There are a variety of ways and means to communicate and when policies are set, then there is less HR hassle.

All communication needs are addressed, but these should be evaluated and changed, if necessary. Technology and the way people communicate changes quicker than you can change your socks.

A policy creates trust and confidence and protects the integrity of your company or organization. It provides strategic direction.

If you have a communications policy in your company, congratulations. If you don’t, call Hermanoff Public Relations today. We’ll write one for you so you’ll sleep better and everyone in your company will thank you.


About the author

 100 sandy

Sandra M. Hermanoff, APR, S.A.G.E, Fellow PRSA
Hermanoff Public Relations
P: 248.851.3993  F: 248.851.0706
31500 West Thirteen Mile Road, Suite 110
Farmington Hills, Michigan, 48334

Proud to be a Buckeye!

Hermanoff Public Relations is a partner of the Worldcom Public Relations Group, the
World’s largest consortium of independently owned public relations counseling firms.




pr internship

Do you love PR? After a successful three-month internship with us, would you want to be an associate with us?  Here’s what Hermanoff Public Relations is looking for:

pr intens


  •     Know public relations – media, writing, style, journalistic basics
  •     Know our agency – philosophy, policies, resources and technologies
  •     Know business – role of marketing, return on investment, business basics
  •     Know government – “good governance” philosophy, public outreach, civics
  •     Know the client’s business – their industry, priorities, competitors, buzzwords


  •     Perception of issues – having good instincts
  •     The “big picture” – understanding the program beyond immediate tasks
  •     Problem solving – identify problems, but more importantly, solutions
  •     Understand priorities – focus on what’s really important, set expectations


  •     Ethics – always do the right thing
  •     Accountability – accept responsibility, don’t place blame, meet deadlines
  •     Diligence – do your best, manage your time
  •     Loyalty and commitment – to clients, the agency, your team
  •     Sense of urgency – be responsive, set appropriate priorities
  •     Positive attitude – be enthusiastic, have an upbeat outlook
  •     Professional confidence – offer recommendations
  •     Initiative – be a self – starter
  •     Creativity – go to clients with ideas, not for ideas, try new approaches


  •   Abundance – in synch with how we approach interpersonal relationships
  •     Communications – we should excel at interpersonal communications
  •     Teamwork – pitch in to get the job done, share credit
  •     Consideration of others – ask, don’t demand; understand then be understood
  •     Adaptability – change is a given
  •     Appropriateness – in what you say and how you treat others
  •     Realistic expectations – of you, clients, the media
  •     Lead by example – others will  follow if you proceed with conviction
  •     Sense of humor – have fun!

We’re looking for YOU if you got the goods. Send us a resume & cover letter to: pperry (at)

P.S. This is a PAID internship and you DO NOT have to be in school. Recent graduates encouraged to apply!

PR Earns Top Billing for Stress

Forbes just released the top most stressful jobs for 2013. Here they are with their median salaries:

  1. Enlisted military personnel $46,000
  2. Military general 196,000
  3. Firefighter 42,000
  4. Commercial airline pilot 92,000
  5. Public relations executive 58,000
  6. Senior corporate executive 101,000
  7. Newspaper reporter 36,000
  8. Taxi driver 22,000
  9. Photojournalist 29,000
  10. Police officer 55,000

Here is the link with the entire list, if you don’t believe me:

Susan Adams of Forbes says this about PR executives:

Other jobs on the most stressful list that may seem surprising: public relations executive and senior corporate executive. Though many people may picture PR execs wining and dining and taking lunch with friends and connections around town, in fact they face almost constant rejection from people like me. I am subject to such an onslaught of PR email, I don’t even reply to most of the notes I get. I’m sure that is discouraging and stressful to anyone who approaches me. Lee also points out that PR clients are never satisfied. If the PR executive succeeds in convincing to cover something, the client will most likely say great, but what about The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times.

No wonder I work out every morning before I come to work – and sometimes after as well. This lady has it right. But that’s just one ice cube in the tray. There are clients who are never satisfied, constantly throwing their retainer in your face (which is much lower than it should be), the calls in the evening and weekends, the clients who sign contracts and then go back on their word, the late-paying client who makes you sweat payroll, the reporters who never return emails or phone calls who don’t realize how much money you might be losing on the deal, the prospective client who says you’re hired and you never hear from again – and the list goes on.

But despite all that, I still get a high when I land a new piece of business. I am on a roll when I am developing a strategic plan that gets the client excited, then making it happen. I get a rush when I come up with a new creative twist that makes the client smile. I love when reporters email or call and say they want that interview. I am awed by numbers spiking with social media. And I melt when someone gives me a nice compliment. Nice job, Sandy. That’s what gets me out of bed every morning, and what I love about public relations.

It’s the price of going into business for yourself, of trying to survive the HR issues, payroll, healthcare costs, the bottom line every month and the constant worrying about yearly growth or loss. Sometimes I think I’d like to pack it in and veg. And I’ve come close. My husband is a dream putting up with my 3:00 am “what the hell am I going to do” conversations.

My parents wanted me to become a teacher. They said it was a “solid profession” — whatever that meant. Yuk. I tried that honorable profession, but it wasn’t me.

So with all the stress, the ups and the downs, I love being a public relations executive. Even with the low pay and sometimes no pay. There are lots of lows, but boy, how one high really can change the complexion on everything. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Planning and Prevention Goes a Long Way in Crisis Communication

Just read about a CEO with 8,000 employees who warned his employees that if one of the candidates for president wins, they could lose their jobs. How would you feel going to work every day for that company?

That’s an internal crisis:  one that is going to take some quick turnaround time to give his employees a comfort level. Communication is the key – traditional and social media took this story viral.

Then there’s the case of the custom-made steroid prepared by New England Compounding Center, a specialty pharmacy in Framingham, Mass., that has caused the outbreak of rare fungal meningitis from steroid shots for back pain. The steroid was recalled Sept. 26, 2012, but 13,000 people were injected and who knows how many people will die from it. That’s an external crisis:  one that should be addressed immediately with an internal crisis issue as well. Again, communication is the key – and traditional and social media are taking this story viral.

If your company experienced either an internal or external crisis, are you set up to tackle it right away? Do you have a crisis team in place with a list of cell and home phone numbers for quick access? Is there an attorney on the team? Do you know how to prepare and handle media inquiries? Who are the audiences you must reach immediately? Does someone in your organization understand how to use social media in a crisis?

Don’t get caught like the chemical company that was asleep when a crisis occurred and lost just enough momentum in communicating with their audiences to eventually put them out of business. There were high stakes, they gambled and lost everything.

Crisis prevention is very affordable and can be a company life saver. The Tylenol case is a prime example. They communicated well with their audiences often and honestly and saved lives and jobs of thousands of people.

Our message is to have a crisis plan in place, hoping you will never need to use it.  Any good PR firm will be able to help.  At Hermanoff Public Relations we do all of the above – and offer 24-hour crisis counseling.

It’s always better and safer to stay ahead of the curve.  And planning for a crisis is just one smart move before the holidays.