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Jason Chupick

Groupon Goes Medieval on Amazon’s Drones

Proving Groupon still has some of the old magic, check out their response to Amazon’s buzzy announcement on the use of drones for rapid shipping.

“Groupon is about great deals, great service, and Medieval catapults,” said un-chyroned dude spokesperson. They may not win the game of thrones, but they play well.

(h/t Gennady Kolker’s Twitter feed. Kolker is senior press officer at The Guardian in New York)

Party Like You Don’t Have a Website: Annual Sunshine & Sachs Invite Shows 33% Growth

For the 7th year, it is this blog’s tradition to pre-announce the Sunshine & Sachs holiday party with the location redacted. And as is tradition we will measure the growth of firm helmed by PR sages Ken Sunshine and Shawn Sachs by comparing the number of names on the invitation with last year’s (each staffer’s name is included, and each invites their own list of guests). Rounded up for good measure, the firm grew 33% by headcount, crossing the 100 person mark.

In an email exchange, the affable Sachs reminded me of the firm’s wins this year: adding a creative services department, a DC office, a new New York headquarters, and most aggressively, the launch of Madica Productions, a full scale production division for film, TV and digital content.

Last year it was the 47%; this year the firm leaned into their own mystique, noting their lack of a website in the midst of some big thing going on with Obama.

Sunshine

Nudists Remind Us it’s National Mammography Day

In what could have been a wildly shareable piece of social content, the American Association for Nude Recreation mentioned in passing on their Facebook page to the tune of just 5 Likes at presstime: “Today is National Mammography Day.”

Capture

Now that we have your attention, here’s something of note from FactCheck.org:

Q: Does the Affordable Care Act restrict my ability to get a mammogram?

A: No. In fact, the law requires insurers to cover mammography, with no cost-sharing, every one to two years for women starting at age 40. Medicare fully pays for mammograms once every 12 months with no upper age limit.

Read through the entire post for more information on the critical need for regular mammograms, including links to resources, and misinformation to avoid on the subject.

Thank you nudists for propelling this message. For the record, the AANP, established in 1931, provides advocacy, public education and improved conditions for letting it all hang out in North America. They boast 40,000 members (and 7,349 fans on Facebook) who enjoy the “relaxed, all-natural environment” offered at 260 clubs coast-to-coast.

Dial 1-800-TRY-NUDE for more information.

Time‘s Rick Stengel Named America’s New Publicist

Time magazine managing editor Rick Stengel is leaving journalism for a job at the State Department. The very likely title is Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, one we’ve characterized before as “America’s Publicist“. Stengel, the oft-face of magazine on shows such as Morning Joe, and nominee of many National Magazine Awards (including a win for Magazine of the Year in 2012)  has the following job description:

The Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs leads America’s public diplomacy outreach, which includes communications with international audiences, cultural programming, academic grants, educational exchanges, international visitor programs, and U.S. Government efforts to confront ideological support for terrorism. The Under Secretary oversees the bureaus of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Public Affairs, and International Information Programs, well as the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, and participates in foreign policy development.

Stengel replaces Tara Sonenshine, who served under both Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. The position has been occupied by a number of big names in recent history including James K. Glassman, Karen Hughes, and Judith McHale.

[h/t Capital New York]

Happy Birthday to The Onion

Happy 25th birthday, America’s Finest News Source. Now get a job and move out of your parents’ basement.

To the delight of Area Men everywhere, the weekly newspaper-turned Internet phenomenon has survived and flourished by speaking truth to bullshit since 1988.

Modeled on the classic daily paper, The Onion‘s mastery of reporting, opinion, factoids, news-you-can-use, sourcing, quotes, and photography makes it a must-read for PR pros. Why?  Because we all need to level our judgement with a bit of satire from time to time, the tone is always perfect, and it makes for a highly entertaining teaching aid for new executives looking to tighten their writing.

Here are a few of my favorites:

It’s also with pride that the Onion’s content marketing arm Onion Labs uses a PRNewser quote on its site for promotion. Hat tip to my colleague Patrick Coffee for writing it.

Peel back the layers further and listen to NPR’s interview this morning with Onion Editor-In-Chief Will Tracy:

Werner Herzog’s Latest Harrowing Film is a PSA Funded By AT&T

German filmaker Werner Herzog, a living legend who founded his production company in 1963 has put his heft behind a brutal, 35-minute public service announcement as part of AT&T’s It Can Wait campaign. The multi-facet initiative is designed to get people to stop texting while driving.  Herzog pulls you into personal stories of personal tragedy remarkably fast–there’s no action, no breaks and no way to hide from the issue when you watch and listen to his chosen subjects tell their stories.

“From One Second To The Next” will be distributed to more than 40,000 high schools in time for the school year.  Here’s the kicker from TechHive gleaned a Newsday story: Texting while driving has now surpassed drinking while driving as the top cause of teen driving deaths, resulting in some 3,000 deaths a year and 300,000 injuries. That’s just one segment of the population.  We applaud AT&T’s efforts to draw attention to this horrible growing problem.

You can view the entire documentary on YouTube:

Elasticity’s Rally for St. Louis Funds First Projects

We’re all rooting for America’s cities these days.  They’re coming back. Maybe it’s the sports, the aversion to lengthy car commutes or the nightlife, or a stubborn pride dating back to the classic 1970s the classic Daily News headline “Ford to City: Drop Dead.”

After bouncing around several other American cities, Aaron Perlut settled in St. Louis with his family, and along with partners Brian Cross and Andy Barnett, headquartered their agency Elasticity there.

Perlut in particular believes wholeheartedly that the city doesn’t suck. The need to plant deep roots in the community to grow the firm and the fondness for his region spurred a Forbes.com column to fight against the notion of suckitude. With 158,000 views and counting, “St. Louis Doesn’t Suck” became  jumping off point for a not-for-profit crowdsourced and crowdfunded platform Rally Saint Louis to address the city’s reputation issues. The column begins as a rant and ends as an outline for an integrated marketing plan, complete with SEO kicker.

Read more

Marco Rubio’s Siete Sunday, Appears on Seven Talk Shows

Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-Fl) took the “full Ginsberg” to a whole new level yesterday, appearing on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week, Fox News Sunday, and State of the Union as well as on top Spanish-language shows on Univision and Telemundo to bilingually tout the bipartisan Gang of Eight’s proposed immigration legislation, expected to be unveiled tomorrow.

The presumably well-hydrated junior Senator  received good marks for the blitz, which some see as a risky gambit given the Beltway’s distaste for anything truely bipartisan. We see it as a fete of messaging, logistics and negotiation to get the job done, though it is questionable how much of a difference it makes to do seven shows instead of one or two. That’s perception, yo and the there’s the GOP’s problem regarding latino voters in swing states to contend with. A recent survey found the bloc more likely to vote Republican if a bill goes through.

You can watch the highlights in 3 minutes courtesy of The Fix:

 

Digg Founder Kevin Rose Gives @Milk Handle to Small Creamery

Kevin Rose, the serial entrepreneur known for founding Digg, has given away his very valuable “@milk” Twitter handle to the small Straus Family Creamery based in Marshall, California per a Tweet moments ago.

Just weeks after quitting Digg in the spring of 2011, Rose announced the founding of Milk, Inc. to develop mobile web and app ideas. Presumably, Rose held the @milk handle for years prior to selling the startup to Google in 2012.

Though the act of selling a handle violates Twitter’s terms of service, it can be done with permission. @Milk could have gone to the California Milk Processor Board (known for the Goodby-Silverstein classic tagline “Got Milk?”) or one of several dairy lobbies.

A four-letter Twitter handle isn’t quite as rare as such a short URL, but it’s close. The family-owned dairy in Marin County makes “field to bottle” products that (we assume) sell very well down the road in the big Bay Area cities. At any rate, Rose has well over a million followers — so Straus just got a whole lot of free PR.

Jon Stewart Clips Secretaries Gibbs & McLellan, Begrudgingly Respects Fleischer

Breaking news: Political spokesmen sometimes bend the truth! Last night on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart devoted six minutes to shooting those messenger(s). Stewart lambasted Barack Obama’s first press secretary Robert Gibbs for the way he came clean, during his new gig as an MSNBC analyst, on his stonewalling two-step over the administration’s use of remote drones to kill suspected terrorists.

Stewart compared the glib Gibbs with the seemingly emotionally damaged Scott McClellan, George W. Bush’s second spokesman, concluding that neither are any good at protecting the POTUS in their respective retirements. “Either way, secrets spilled,” Stewart finds. “What you need is a jaded believer. Boom.”

When McClellan came out with his admissions of lying, guess which Bush surrogate went after him? Boom, Ari Fleischer.

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