Sandra Fine

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So far Sandra Ericson has created 27 blog entries.

McDonalds’ attempt to take the myth out of the Big Mac

It’s been a few weeks since rbb announced that we’ve formed a joint venture –  Gibbs-rbb. It’s a company that understands and speaks to the Conscious ConsumerTM, those who demand to know what’s in their food, how it’s made and are willing to spend more with those brands who have the right answers.

The timing couldn’t be better, in my opinion, as this trend has officially spilled over from the granola eating, yoga practicing, exclusively Whole Foods shopping margins to the mainstream.

Because there’s nothing more mainstream than McDonald’s, with billions of hamburgers served all over the world. And with its new integrated marketing campaign, the fast food chain is finally coming to grips with the fact that the Conscious Consumer is not only here to stay, but growing exponentially and making choices that seriously impact the bottom line for many companies.


By |October 24th, 2014|Blog Post|0 Comments

#PRSAICON 2014: Who’s Making News Now? Riding the Trend Wave

It’s that time again when PR professionals from all 50 states and beyond descend upon an unsuspecting conference center, creating Apple Store-style lines for lattes and hoarding charging outlets like they’re spitting out gold. That’s right – the PRSA International Conference in Washington D.C.!

It’s my fourth year reporting from the action, and my goal is to spot the hidden themes – the underlining messages woven between the keynote speakers and smaller panel sessions that tell us about the future of PR.

Those with big data still on the brain will say I should provide research-backed analysis of social media keywords to produce these themes. Alas, my measurement philosophy this year is a back-to-basics approach. And as Steve Turnbo, winner of this year’s Paul M. Lund Public Service Award, so elegantly reminded us today with a quote from Maya Angelou:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
So I’m going to tell you how I feel about the underlying trend coming out of PRSA Conference: It’s the changing news cycle.


By |October 14th, 2014|Blog Post|0 Comments

Abercrombie and Fitch’s skinny scandal: One year later

In 2013, the Internet exploded in rage in response to comments made by Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries about catering to cool kids and not serving larger customers. Since then, what have we learned?

Immediately following the controversy, the world (along with this blogger) surmised how it would affect Abercrombie sales and stock price, with many hypothesizing that nice guys still finish last, especially in an age of bullying and obesity-shaming.

The problem for the retailer is that the world continues to change, and with it the Abercrombie customer. While many cynics worry that millennial and post-millennial generations lack empathy and social skills due to increased online activity and decreased face-to-face interactions, I have always disagreed with that assertion.


By |May 27th, 2014|Blog Post|0 Comments

7 public relations lessons I learned from my year as a PRSA president

The end of 2013 also marks the final days of my tenure as president of Public Relations Society of America’s Miami Chapter.

In addition to the valuable professional development opportunities that both the national PRSA organization and local Miami membership have afforded me, I have also gained several insights during my time in the leadership role that I extend to anyone considering getting involved in any civic or charitable organization.

Volunteering your time for any organization is certainly a commitment, but with the right perspective it’s an investment that will pay you back many times over.

By representing rbb within our local South Florida PR community as PRSA Miami president, I learned quite a few things this year.


By |December 30th, 2013|Blog Post|0 Comments

The meat on public relations measurement part 2: Five trends fundamentally changing PR

It never ceases to amaze me how much can change in a year.
At PRSA’s 2011 International Conference in Orlando, creative storytelling was the name of the game. In 2012 in San Francisco, reigning in your customers’ passion for the greater good was all the rage.

So what’s the buzz ribboning through this year’s largest gathering of public relations pros on the planet? Mathematics and statistics.

What?! But we are PR people! We aren’t supposed to do math. (That’s my excuse every time a restaurant bill comes that I don’t feel like figuring out.) I’m in PR – I do words, not numbers.

Well, all aboard the numbers express everyone. Two words have entered the marketing lexicon that are changing how we measure, design and execute our programs: BIG DATA.

Now, more than ever, PR is being based on facts. And I’m liking it.


By |October 28th, 2013|Blog Post|0 Comments

The power of public relations, as demonstrated by Vladimir Putin’s op-ed

Opinion editorials, known as “op-eds,” can be an extremely effective tool in the PR toolbox to deliver a message in a client’s own words – often on complex or controversial issues being covered in the news.

Op-eds are often penned by C-level executives, legislators, and even famous actors and actresses. Angelina Jolie used the forum to deliver news of her preemptive double mastectomy and Anna Gunn recently authored an opinion piece on her “Breaking Bad” character.

In a way, op-eds are an opportunity to bypass the system – to ensure one’s thoughts are delivered directly and in no way adapted by a reporter’s intended or unintended media filter.

They are usually not a vehicle for foreign policy, but Vladimir Putin’s op-ed in the New York Times may have changed that.


By |September 12th, 2013|Blog Post|0 Comments

Abercrombie and Fitch’s skinny scandal: Smart marketing or just plain mean?

When I first began seeing outrage in my Facebook feed over Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries’ alleged comments about not wanting larger people shopping in his store, I immediately headed over to to see if it was true. It sounded like it “had the makings of a tall tale turned legend, similar to the false lore about Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” origins or the bogus story of Oprah throwing designer Tommy Hilfiger off her show following racist comments.

It turns out this one is true – sort of. Business Insider and ABC News took it upon themselves to investigate whether large sizes can be found at A&F stores. When they couldn’t find the sizes, they dug up a 2006 interview in Salon Magazine, where Jeffries is quoted saying, “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends.”

Coupled with some unflattering comments from retail analysts and a refusal of comment from A&F, the teen clothing giant has a bit of a crisis on its hands – again.


By |May 15th, 2013|Blog Post|0 Comments

The meat on public relations measurement: Part 1

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”

This is a popular saying for those who study analytics (apparently this phrase hung in Albert Einstein’s office at Princeton University) and it certainly sums up today’s public relations measurement debate.

The problem with measurement is not so much a question of whether we need to do it (yes), but how we’ll do it and how we’ll sync up as a community to ensure we’re comparing apples to apples.

The industry has stepped up to steer this along through the Coalition for PR Research Standards. With members from a multitude of national PR organizations like PRSA and the Council of PR Firms, the Coalition is working toward a list of standards that define the terms that help us speak in a common language (reach, engagement, awareness).


By |February 13th, 2013|Blog Post|0 Comments

Politics: Is it all just perception? Michael Steele addresses PRSA Conference

When I saw that PRSA had tapped former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele to serve a keynote address at PRSA International Conference, I must admit I was surprised. After all, with such a highly politicized election just weeks away, you would think PRSA, above most organizations, would think carefully about perceivably granting one side favor over another.

It’s no secret that Michael Steele is highly partisan, and he is certainly no stranger to scandal himself. So what advice would he have for us (that we’d listen to, anyway)?

During election season, I always find it interesting how small and minute perception missteps, which often have very little to do with policies or leadership, can make career-ending differences. Remember the “Dean Scream,” which undid presidential hopeful Howard Dean in 2004? So the guy’s a little emotional. Who among us hasn’t delivered a misplaced “WHOOOO!” at a sporting event or party?


By |October 19th, 2012|Blog Post|0 Comments

PRSA Conference: Channeling passion for the greater good

Hello from PRSA International Conference in sunny, I mean foggy, I mean sunny San Francisco! What a fabulous city but it’s not without its severe multiple weather personalities.

Last year’s overall conference vibe in Orlando played to storytelling, primarily led by Disney’s Imagineer Joe Rohde. In 2012, no doubt steered by the Bay-area’s history for innovation and revolution, the theme leans toward how PR can help the greater good and the humanity all brands must embrace to make an impact with audiences thirsty for meaningful connections.

Twitter Founder Biz Stone kicked off the conference with an inspiring speech about his road to success, that started with a basic desire to showcase the good in us all.

“If we were to be a triumph, then we were not just to be a triumph of technology, Twitter was going to be a triumphant of humanity,” Stone said. “It didn’t matter how many servers… it only mattered that people were basically good. If you give them the right tools, they’ll prove it to you every day. That’s what got us up every morning to work on Twitter — that it wasn’t about us, it was about people doing amazing things around the world.”


By |October 16th, 2012|Blog Post|0 Comments