McDonald’s is giving Charles Ramsay free food for a year.
You know the situation: Charles Ramsay helped rescue three Cleveland women from the monstrous confines of kidnapper Ariel Castro, a heroic deed that landed Mr. Ramsay on national television where he instantly became famous for his candid remarks which included a reference to McDonald’s.
Since then, McDonald’s has been in the center of a public relations conundrum.
Much of the public wanted McDonald’s to step up, do the right thing, and reward Mr. Ramsay for being a hero. Many industry experts agreed that this was a golden opportunity for the Golden Arches to capitalize on free PR.
However, some of the public and industry experts strongly believe that McDonald’s should never exploit a scenario that involves the pain and suffering of fellow human beings. Leveraging this event to gain free publicity is a crass and unforgivable.
By giving Mr. Ramsay free food for a year is McDonald’s indulging in savvy or despicable public relations? Let us know what you think.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network announced respected entertainment communications executive Kevin Brockman has been elected as Chairman of the Board of GLSEN, the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. In his day job, Mr. Brockman currently serves as executive vice president of Global Communications for the Disney/ABC Television Group, a role he has held since 2008. He joined The Walt Disney Company in 1997. (Release)
LarsonO’Brien welcomes Julie Pintar as its director of Media and Research. As LarsonO’Brien’s first director of Media and Research, Julie will build and manage the agency’s media and research department. She will analyze industry, media and client data and ultimately develop strategic media plans for clients. Prior to joining LarsonO’Brien, Pintar was associate media director at Yellow Submarine Marketing Communications where she led media strategies for seven Cedar Fair parks and for EO Products, a brand of organic personal care items. Pintar has worked for many major agencies including McCann Erickson, Ketchum and Arnold Worldwide. (Release)
WT New York has hired Jeffrey Castellano, who specializes in artificial intelligence and works on facial recognition technology, as its creative technology director. Castellano’s new role at JWT NY calls for him to oversee emerging technology projects as well as digital studio output from its Big Apple hub. Along with his 15 months as director of creative technology at Bajibot Media, Castellano has worked with a variety of brands during his career. (AgencySpy)
If you’re a Twitter user, you’re familiar with the hashtag #FML, a shortened version of a certain profane statement that usually accompanies self-pitying tweets like these:
At the self serve check out buying cheese n bacon buns the hot couple next to me buying condoms #fml
Today at work, I asked a patient with an amputated arm what his dominant hand was… #FML
While most of us encounter these tweets with a mix of amusement and sympathy, few actually reach out to help these poor unfortunate souls get their effed-up lives back on track. Enter Jello-O:
— JELL-O (@JELLO) May 20, 2013
— JELL-O (@JELLO) May 23, 2013
The Washington Post: Boy Scouts of America Votes to Allow Gay Members
The New York Times: Debate over ‘Jif’ vs. ‘Gif’ Rages On Despite Creator’s Preference
Chicago Tribune: McDonald’s CEO Fields Questions about Nutrition, Wages
Los Angeles Times: Repairing iPhone 5 to Cost Customers More than Previous iPhones
Advertising Age: CNN Joins Late Night Talk Show Battleground
“Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.” – Vince Lombardi
M&C Saatchi PR has been selected as the retained PR agency for Ubersense, the leading video analysis community for sports coaches and athletes. The appointment adds to the agency’s roster of consumer technology clients.
Ubersense is a Boston-based company that has developed two apps which enable athletes to reach their full potential through video analysis and social collaboration. Both Ubersense Coach and Ubersense Golf include precision slow-motion, screen drawing (telestration), side-by-side comparisons and easy sharing. Backed by Google Ventures and Atlas Venture, the Ubersense apps have already had over one million downloads with more than 205,000 monthly users around the world.
With a number of well-known technology clients in its roster, M&C Saatchi PR continues its growth in this sector. Globally, the firm’s other tech accounts include Twitter, Spotify and SimpliFlow.
“Light, God’s eldest daughter, is a principal beauty in a building.” – Thomas Fuller
Banker Wire’s Milwaukee facility is the United States’ most modern and productive mill of its kind. There, the company produces wire mesh products, customized for any aesthetic on any scale – from intricate design highlights to expansive building facades. LarsonO’Brien will be responsible for Banker Wire’s advertising and public relations efforts.
“Banker Wire is committed to continued innovation in its field. We look forward to using our experience in the building products sector to take the company to the next level,” says Jack O’Brien, President of LarsonO’Brien.
It doesn’t take a public relations genius to identify the obstacles Mike’s Hard Lemonade faces when competing with more established alcohol brands. None of the other brands include “lemonade” in their names. But does that mean the brand is fighting an unwinnable battle? Let’s take a look.
When the public thinks of lemonade we imagine adorable kids in baseball caps or ponytails behind a foldout table raising money for their class trip to the science museum. Mike’s Hard Lemonade wants the 25-to 35-year-old demographic (especially the lucrative male market) to think “Lemonade? Cool. Let’s booze it up.” The most difficult public relations aspect to this PR conundrum is that lemonade holds an entrenched place in our culture, and once an image, product or event becomes part of our culture, it’s almost impossible to spin.
There is something young and innocent about lemonade, and there is something distinctly adult and mature about booze. Nevertheless, Mike’s Hard Lemonade is investing $15 to $20 million into efforts to modify this perception of lemonade, led by a new tagline: Never Not a Good Time. The brand wants to extend its product into all facets of American lifestyles and not just summer-related activities such as barbecuing in the park or backyard volleyball.
As PR people, we know this is going to be fun to watch, because the brand is being candid about its bold goals: to make a lemonade-flavored alcoholic drink more manly without losing female customers while also changing lemonade’s role in our culture. It’s a kind of like a modern, grown-up, multi-million dollar lemonade stand. But will the public buy into it?
In this role, you’ll create and implement the organization’s communications strategy, and define its branding and voice. You’ll also develop and pitch story ideas, while leading the direction of RWI’s website, digital and social media strategies. The communications team will be under your guidance, and you may have opportunities to travel internationally, as well. Read more
As Memorial Day Weekend approaches, you’ll likely find yourself standing in the sunblock isle of your local pharmacy in preparation for barbecues, patio parties and picnics. But how do you choose the product that’s best for you and your family? If you usually feel lost in a sea of SPF numbers and buzzwords like “waterproof”, you’re not alone; the FDA has been working to crack down on sunscreen labeling for years in an effort to empower the public to make informed decisions about sun protection.
Finally, after several years of back-and-forth between regulators, watchdog agencies and companies, the FDA successfully passed new federal requirements last December, which ban potentially misleading terms like “waterproof” and require that all sunblock products provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
A recent survey of 1,400 sunscreen products conducted by the Environmental Working Group found that most products currently on the market meet the new requirements. While this is certainly a major step in the right direction, the regulations do not cover the long-disputed use of SPF ratings over 50, which many experts consider misleading.
Because consumers (quite reasonably) expect that SPF ratings of 100 indicate twice the protection of SPF 50, experts fear that people develop a false sense of security when using such products, leading them to stay in the sun without reapplication long after the effectiveness of the sunblock has worn off. In actuality, there is little difference between SPF 50 and anything above – while an SPF 50 product might protect against 97 percent of harmful rays, an SPF 100 product might block 98.5 percent — nowhere near a 50% improvement. Read more
Public relations professionals are tasked with keeping their clients in the minds of customers. To accomplish this challenge, we employ an arsenal of weapons that leverage various assets from marketing strategies and advertising campaigns to digital brand identity platforms and old-fashioned storytelling.
However, as this article in The New York Times explains, nothing creates a lasting impression in the mind of the public more than being in their line of vision. It’s all about location. For small business owners, kiosks present an opportunity to be in the middle of the public where customers have 360-degree exposure to the company’s products—all with minimal overhead.
Is this the future of retail public relations? Are storefronts going to be rendered archaic as new, smaller and more nimble businesses gain traction? This same principle happened in the food business, where food trucks revolutionized the restaurant industry by offering customers on the move quality products at reasonable prices. Instead of becoming a destination for customers, food trucks and kiosks go the extra step of meeting people half way. And this makes sense.
Public relations is a competitive, proactive endeavor. Brands and companies should make an effort to be where customers already are, and smaller more mobile venues offer this ability. Perhaps the retail industry is poised for evolutions that food trucks and food carts have already leveraged. And if so, is the public ready for such changes in their shopping habits? Are we ready for a Nike kiosk or Gucci truck outside of our office, or do we still want the traditional shopping mall experience?
NEXT PAGE >>