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Planning a Rebrand? Tips for Creating the Perfect Logo

135 logo transitionsWith nearly a decade in business under its belt, the 135th Street Agency unveiled a new logo during a private dinner event last week to celebrate honors it received at the 2014 NAMIC Excellence in Multicultural Marketing Awards.

During the dinner, creative director Shawndra Diaz told a story about being sidetracked by a hurricane this summer while preparing for her wedding in Puerto Rico. (!!) Inspired by that, you can see, in the center of the new logo, a replica of the swirl that shows up on a meteorological map when a hurricane is developing. Proof that the germ of an idea can come from anywhere.

And in keeping with the geographical theme of the original street sign, the hurricane swirl is surrounded by what resembles the modern map marker.

With their logo revamp complete, we thought we’d gather from them three tips for others who would like to freshen up their brand as well. Those tips are after the jump.

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‘Most Common Misconceptions’ List Details Ferguson Damage Control Strategy

The town of Ferguson, Missouri has obviously made quite a few headlines over the past two months.

We followed the story but avoided posting on it until it became a formal public relations matter: the town hired local firm Common Ground to handle its considerable media relations responsibilities and the story became — for some — an angle with which to pitch clients to media outlets hungry for more coverage.

In a late August post published on O’Dwyer’s blog, Denise Bentele of Common Ground confirmed that her agency was not the only one involved:

“The Devin James Group, a nationally certified Minority-owned firm, has been working with St. Louis County and the City of Ferguson as an independent liaison to handle the public relations and long-term needs”

Last night, a document titled “Most Common List of Misconceptions in Ferguson”, which was apparently released at a town hall meeting on Monday afternoon, made its way around Twitter, Facebook and the blog world, giving readers some insights into how the town is attempting to handle a wave of media attention that has yet to recede.

The full document is a talking points memo that’s worth a read for anyone with an interest in crisis communications.

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‘Corporate Journalism’ Is Better Than No Journalism


Today we bring you a guest post from Andrew Graham, founding partner of Clear and co-founder of Grow America.

The solution to bad speech, as they say, is more speech. So when a big newspaper publishes a long complaint about how a giant company is funding a local news outlet, I have a tough time understanding why that’s inherently bad.

In case you missed it earlier, a Los Angeles Times columnist expressed shock that Chevron is funding a local news website in Richmond, California, a region in which the oil company operates a refinery. The Times columnist calls The Richmond Standard “a Chevron PR website,” though two of the six articles on the front page as of this afternoon covered area homicides (and I doubt Chevron wants to be associated with murder any more closely than it already is).

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The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) Refuses To Change Its Name

Most companies named ISIS have been struggling with how to deal with the now toxic moniker. But some, surprisingly are not.

The Institute for Science and International Security, or ISIS, is steadfastly sticking with the name.

“We’re not going to change our name,” David Albright told the National Journal. “We’re going to get through this.” The group looks at global nuclear programs and has a staff of six. Their Twitter handle is @ISISNuclear.

“Its recent work has been largely focused on Iran’s nuclear program, and the group has been looking to get a little extra publicity. But not like this,” writes the National Journal. Ha… yeah.

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Doug Ulman Finally Moves on From Livestrong

livestrongLivestrong — a one-of-a-kind case study in branding, PR, advocacy and damage control — has lost its long-time CEO Doug Ulman.

Ulman’s 14 years at Livestrong included both a period of stunning growth fueled by Lance Armstrong’s seven Tour de France victories and the little yellow $1 bracelets that helped carry an aggressive message about beating cancer and a subsequent descent as rapid as any of Armstrong’s own Alpine passes.

Ulman will take his talents to Pelotonia, an organization in Columbus, Ohio with a very similar mission. Pelotonia is successful in its own right, having raised more than $60 million through bike rides. (The money helps fund research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.)

This is a good move for both Ulman and Livestrong, because Ulman literally gets to leave town (Austin) and put the best of what he knows to good use. The cancer community will never hold what happened in France against him, and there’s no one more experienced in managing the operations of non-profit driven by cycling.

Livestrong gets to move on too.

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THIS JUST IN: New Jersey Police Officer Crashes Into Dunkin Donuts

THIS JUST IN 2Okay. Stop me if you have heard this one: A cop is hungry so he drives as fast as he can to the local donut shop and…

We know. It’s a stereotype even older than “white people can’t dance” or “journalists drink coffee all day every day.

Having worked for a police department for six great years, we can tell you that Krispy Kreme never sponsored any related fundraisers. Not even a grocery store deli offer to make their cheap, knock-off glazed doorstops for the boys and girls in blue. Nonetheless, police officers do adore donuts.

And then a cop from South Jersey set the entire force back a decade or two.

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Pinterest Now Drives More Magazine Referrals Than Facebook or Twitter

Pinterest logoThat’s the line that jumped out at us from this weekend New York Times profile of the network, though it should come with a qualifier: it applies to publications like Self, Better Homes and Gardens and other lifestyle pubs that also drive a lot of both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce for relevant clients.

Still, it’s a pretty big deal: obvious cliches aside, if you want to sell stuff to women then Pinterest is the way to go.

The company knows this: yesterday brought news of the appointment of former Google media relations specialist Robert Macdonald to perform the same role at Pinterest.

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Yum Brands’ New Concept Changes Logo Because Texans Hate Communism


Ever heard of Banh Shop? If North Texas had its way, you wouldn’t have had the opportunity.

Banh is the shiny new toy of Yum Brands, owner of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. In the opinion of the powers-that-be at Yum, the bánh mì sandwich is the next new sub sammich, burrito, or fish taco. In case you aren’t familiar, we’re talking Vietnamese-style sandwiches made of meat or tofu baguettes with various accoutrements.

There’s only one problem: they’re all cooked by Commies!

Look at the picture and see if you can tell why this place freaked North Texans out.

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Rockefellers, Heirs to Oil Fortune, Announce Divestment from Fossil Fuels

640x400rbf-logo_color_left__largeWe can’t imagine John D. Rockefeller ever thought his heirs would be releasing a statement like this one.

On the heels of the largest-ever climate change protest that occurred in NYC this past weekend, and just before multiple countries are set to meet at the UN to discuss a climate change treaty, the Rockefellers — heirs to the Standard Oil fortune — have announced that their $860 million charitable foundation, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), plans to completely divest in fossil fuels.

The statement reads in part:

“Given the RBF’s deep commitment to combating climate change, the Fund is now committing to a two-step process to address its desire to divest from investments in fossil fuels. Our immediate focus will be on coal and tar sands, two of the most intensive sources of carbon emissions. We are working to eliminate the Fund’s exposure to these energy sources as quickly as possible…As we take the steps to divest from coal and tar sands investments, we are also undertaking a comprehensive analysis of our exposure to any remaining fossil fuel investments and will work with the RBF Investment Committee and board of trustees to determine an appropriate strategy for further divestment over the next few years.”

This move represents a trend in philanthropic planning toward treating endowments and investments themselves as tools for social change; over the past few years, college endowments, churches, pension funds and city governments alike have pledged to sell a total of $50 billion in investments in oil, coal and gas companies. Read more

TripAdvisor’s Jetsetter Brand Soars into Hashtag Heaven with #Jetsettering

Jetsetter Image FinalCatchy hashtags aren’t new to Aaron Clossey, social media manager at Jetsetter, the travel arm of Gilt Groupe that TripAdvisor acquired last year. After all, his personal twitter handle is #clossboss. So when he needed an evergreen hashtag for brand users to rally around, he used the simple yet action-oriented #jetsettering. Members of the site have responded in force with tweets and photos of activities ranging from snorkeling to canal rides in Venice.

Clossey presented recently at BDI/Business Development Institute’s Food, Beverage and Hospitality Social Media Marketing Summit in New York about Jetsetter’s efforts to harness visual social media content. The brand’s initiatives have involved contests, partnerships and influencers, all in keeping with its whimsical, irreverent persona.

While Jetsetter got its start with exclusive flash sales in the luxury travel segment for its invitation-only upscale subscriber members, the brand has evolved since then. “We’re a lifestyle brand, not just an OTA”, [online travel agent] Clossey said. Now Jetsetter also does personal travel planning, for trips like honeymoons. In addition, the brand offers a trove of content on its site that’s accessible to more than its current 20 million members.

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