Author Archives: magadmin

About magadmin

Cheryl Scales’ Magnificent Public Relations is a full service marketing firm based in Atlanta with clients across industries, across channels, and across the country. We strategize, create, and grow your brand to the magnificence you deserve! We aggressively seek new client opportunities in Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer. We work with start-ups, Fortune 500s, political, sports, and spiritual organizations. We unleash proven best practices and we also write new rules too.

PR Lessons: Changing a Bad Situation to New Possibilities



New Mavs CEO Cynthia Marshall, faced a toxic workplace in an extremely high profile environment of excellence. The problem was that level of excellence wasn’t transparent across all the environments. As her leadership has emerged, here are just a few nuggets worthy of consideration in many workplaces.

  • Own the Mistakes But Move Forward
    Bring  transparency by allowing outside investigators full access to staff and other materials, Be willing to release the results. Recommend making values clear by formulating a 100-day plan. Share it with staff and customers too if needed. 


  • Create Supportive Communities for Employees
    Groups for people such as new parents, people of color, LGBTQ employees, and other subsets of the staff are a way to foster trust among employees. Allow participation to happen organically. 


  • Make the New Values Clear
    Make the values come to life visually. Engage an artist if needed to paint the mantras on walls or re-work the office layout. 


  • Don’t Be Afraid to Admit Weaknesses or Ask for Help
    If your leadership is emerging in a new industry, don’t be afraid to ask others to help you learn the soft spots. Marshall did this as she learned the Mavericks’ roster and also relied on employees to teach her the sports business.


  • Invest in the Undervalued
    Rising Stars are often just below the spotlight. Look for them and invest in their possibilities including correcting pay imbalances.





3 Things Oprah Says about Being Your Own Brand



Vogue Magazine interviewed Oprah, the iconic one herself, about several topics of the day. One of them happened to be what she believes about being your own brand. We loved 3 of her nuggets enough to share:


1. Make choices everyday that feel like the right move.


2. Small decisions   eventually build the success you deserve or desire.


3. Know that success is possible but it takes work to get there.



Do you agree? What’s been your path?  Read more of her wisdom in the full Vogue article.



Real Risk-Taking: Branson Always Says Yes!

Richard Branson, CEO Virgin Airlines Billionaire, says he learned early in his career to always say yes, even if he doesn’t know everything at the time they ask the question. 

Branson said in this CNBC article interview, “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later! 

This philosophy to opportunity works when your persona has an affinity for three things:

  1. Doer! Your persona is grow to being a doer versus a talker.
  2. Learn Later! This translates to a willingness to learn as soon as you’ve said yes even when you don’t have the experience.
  3. Move Fast! Have a willingness and/or ability to respond and move fast. In this movement, there’s also a need for accuracy.


Anointed & Prepared Victory: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is anointed and prepared for the political upset that just happened in NYC. Her passion is clear. Her message is clear. Her legislative agenda is focused on unleashing economic and social dignity for working people. “Even if you’ve never voted before, we’re talking to you,” she says. I believe that’s true for every race, and as much as 45 takes up air waves, people are focused on the daily activities in their lives. #StayFocused

Learn more about this NYC race

4 Lessons Major Lessons from Ocasio-Cortez

@Starbucks Color Brave Decisions

Starbucks’ leadership made a decision to take the 1st step of training its’ employees to interact with its customers in a new way.  CEO Kevin Johnson shares insighful perspective on where they started and where they hope to continue on their journey. Many companies and individuals can learn from their steps on leading for success and uplifting their brand. 

Take a listen at CEO Kevin Johnson and CNN’s Don Lemon on what’s being described as Starbuck’s journey to becoming color brave. (Click this pic below)


3 mistakes Starbucks made handling the Philadelphia Crisis

Thursday, April 12th was normal as two men waited for a 3rd friend to conduct a business meeting. Normal. Nothing out of the ordinary until the manager decided these two African-American men had not purchased anything and called the police. Fortunately, another Starbucks patron, Melissa DePino, captured video and tagged @Starbucks on Twitter. Other customers were seen on this video standing up for the young men as the police arrived and arrested them. The men were held until almost 2 a.m. and now have a record that will need to be expunged. Why?

Within the next 24 hours, the video went viral

–more than 150,000 retweets

–more than 200,000 likes

–tens of thousands of shares on other social media channels. Many of the shares also tagged the video @Starbucks, @Starbucksnews, and #Starbucks.

Ultimately, more than 10+ million people viewed the video and there are lessons for progressive businesses to make note:

  1.  Timelines and Tags. Don’t overlook the small things. Today our stories are told  by dates, times, and tags. In Starbucks case, the @Starbucks tag began trending but its important for frontline people or systems in your business to immediately escalate customer concerns. Within minutes, Starbuck’s management should have known there was an issue. As a small business, you may have a team who does this, and as a leader, at a minimum, you should have alerts that come to your phone or office because nothing is more important than your customers’ experience with your brand.
  2. RFR Team. Pre-establish a rapid-fire response team (RFR) with cross-functional decision makers who have the insight, talent, and authority to respond and/or escalate without the red tape.  This is what leadership looks like for businesses today. Don’t duck the issue. This kind of team is critical to helping senior most leadership be effective in resolving issues without lasting damage to your reputation. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson’s response was late (almost 24 hours after the incident) and not initially seen as geniune to the situation.
  3. Stupid Policies No More. Review your customer service policies for social media gaps. Look for front-line options and identify potential gaps of issues that can go viral. Details have been mirky and vague about whether Starbuck’s actually has a policy to call police in this type of situation. The sad thing is that such a policy, if true, would fly in the face of the organic ‘cool-factor’ of the Starbuck’s brand. It woud also counter their brand as a ‘welcomng atmosphere’ and gathering place. If it’s not true, then a new policy consistent with the learnings from this situation must be established.

Final thoughts

  • Does your company have a crisis communication team ready to address issues at a moment’s notice?
  • Who monitors negative comments with a process to address when things go awry?
  • Who reviews your customer-facing policies and on what schedule for gaps that can become opportunities for success?

If you’re not sure how your policies match up, Magnificent PR offers a new service, Social Media Customer Service Gap Assessment. It allows companies and its leaders to have a 3rd party review your policies and provide recommendations for your decision making and/or review with your leadership team. For more information on this service, please contact us.




Bad news travels like a rocket. Good news can limp into the spotlight unless it’s a super human interest story. For those in business, the role of a successful newsletter is pivotal on your company’s brand reputation. Using this newsletter tool is one of the essential ways that brands build loyalty. When a reader knows they will get great content or tips for their success or growth, these newsletters automatically get an open in the inbox. Here’s a magnificent take on 3 things your newsletter must include:



Delivery Purpose. When a newsletter comes to the inbox, the reader must understand is what to expect. Will they learn a tip for their career, life, or business? Will they learn a tip on how to attract a customer or recover from a personal situation? Will you consistently deliver the message via a single king of post (e.g. written article or post) or multi-media like consumer video or professional content such as television show? You’ll want to think through what makes sense and/is more consistent with your brand because that will influence how your resources, staff, or friends feed information for consideration.



Establish a Rhythm to Your Messages. Small changes in the timeline delivery of your good news can make a difference. One of the pivotal parts of our client strategy plans is understanding the interaction priority of their customers and/or followers. We identify the difference in sharing a personnel announcement versus new product news. Understanding this behavior and how it applies to the types of information you can share makes a difference for  the level of reach and relationship you have with followers of your social media and/or newsletter.



Newsletters Still in Vogue.  When a Communications Director has done their due diligence, it’s easier for leadership and/or decision makers to understand the kind of information that is most relevant for this tool as part of their business goal-setting strategies. Whether the newsletter goes business-to-business or business-to-consumer, those following your newsletter have a different relationship with your brand. It’s the Communications Director’s role and/or the role of your consultant to understand this difference and map it into a tool that your organization can understand and/or act upon with information or projects that may be worthy of including in a newsletter. This newsletter user relationship can be more loyal, personal, or intimate but it influences the word of mouth, actions and/or recommendations these followers are willing to take.



A communications plan is strategic and takes all of these components into consideration for successful newsletter design and content delivery.



10 Smart Ideas for Getting Publicity

Publicity is about getting the attention of the media. Publicity helps you grow your business and can be an important part of your content and marketing strategy.


Here are 10 tips:


1. Build a social media presence. Building a presence for your business on popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. This presence creates ongoing opportunities for publicity. Make frequent, relevant, and interesting posts. Provide bloggers and members of the media with information, activities, and events their readers will want to know about.



2. Disagree with an industry influencer. A disagreement can stir up some controversy and publicity. Make sure you are on solid ground before you disagree with someone. Be ready, willing, and able to back up your views with sound facts and figures.



3. Start a Facebook group. An active Facebook group that is relevant to your niche can generate a great deal of publicity, especially when members work together on specific projects.



4. Win an award. Winning an award gives you more exposure to new prospects. It also helps you build credibility and authority in your industry.



5. Make use of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a very effective site for online business networking and contacting members of the press.



6. Create something new or improved. Take something in your industry and make it better. That is great leverage for publicity because people love the words “new” and “improved.”



7. Re-launch your website. Update and overhaul your website. Then host a launch party that builds awareness and attention for the changes and improvements.



8. Maintain a blog. A good business blog is great for publicity. Keep it updated with relevant and engaging posts.



9. Publish a book. You might be surprised how much publicity you can earn from publishing. It creates credibility and using a specific chapter could create opt-ins.



10. Post link worthy content on your blog. “Top 5” or “Top 10” lists tend to attract links nicely, as do product reviews and tutorials.

Media pick-ups of your press release holds weight with their audiences. When they write about and recognize you in their publications, they bring the public’s attention to your name and company and the goals you have for progress.



Cheryl Scales is an innovative strategist who propels progress through consulting, coaching, and collaborating. Embraces branding and civic mobilization and engagement for transformation and results. Twice-selected as White House Community Leader and Business Contributor. Read more