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Patrick Coffee

I write stuff for Mediabistro and NYMag.com, do freelance consulting work, and waste time on Twitter. You can send me pitches at patrick (at) mediabistro (dot) com or use the anonymous tip box.

Biggest Stories of the Week

15 Buzzwords and Phrases to Avoid in 2015

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It’s that time of year again. No, not the week before Christmas — it’s buzzword buzzsaw time. Our friends at UK firm Houston PR have updated the semi-famous feature created to tell you whether the industry catchphrases you heard in so many press releases and presentations this year need to follow this guy’s lead and quit while they’re ahead.

Last year saw the induction of such winners as “evangelist,” “deliverables,” and our personal (least) favorite, “SoLoMo,” to the buzzword hall of infamy.

This year, Houston MD Hamish Thompson has even more words for you to avoid using in 2015!

As before, we’ve picked a few and offered some alternate translations…but you probably shouldn’t use those either.

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What Would Bill Do? Media Coach Bill McGowan Takes on the News

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In the latest edition of our series with Clarity Media Group founder and media coach Bill McGowan, Bill takes on the biggest story of the moment…and a couple more.

A December to Forget

And you thought the racially offensive emails among Sony executives was bad (and it was!).  Now we find out that in addition to being insensitive and snarky, they’re cowards too.

The studio’s decision to cave in to terrorists by scrapping The Interview is a catastrophe that will leave a stain on their brand for many years.

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Prudential Comms Chief Steps Down After 20+ Years

bobby dToday in End of An Era news, Bob DeFillippo, chief communications officer with Prudential Financial, is retiring after more than 21 years with the company.

The company’s press release has a lot to say about the career of DeFillippo, a true industry veteran who teaches at NYU and currently serves on the boards of both the PRSA and the Arthur W. Page Society (where he’s a treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee). In short, he is one of the few remaining members of the Old School.

From Vice Chairman Mark Grier:

“Bob has led the company’s internal and external communications during some of the most significant events in the company’s history, including its demutualization, the financial crisis and the company’s expansion into key international markets.”

The most interesting part about the announcement, though, is that Prudential will not (technically) replace DeFillippo.

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The Ticker: Year’s Best Stunts; Year’s Best Pics; Hollywood Unravels; And More

Spin the Agencies of Record

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Journalists Recommend Getting More Strategic with Event Invites

Tony Romm covers tech for Politico, so of course he would get multiple invites to the Consumer Electronics Show Las Vegas, or “the Global Stage for Innovation.

It’s not just him, though: we’ve received several invites ourselves from PRs repping ad agencies and ad tech companies; we even got one from straight from Time, Inc. CES is a big conference that’s been around since 1967, and the fact that it’s not open to the public makes it a prime stage for showing off the work of clients even if they have little or nothing to do with larger trends in technology.

That said, the lead-up to this year’s event has also seen some grumbling from writers receiving a deluge of form pitches. Friend of the site Ed Zitron got a bit of attention earlier this week for collecting all related emails and trolling the hell out of the PR professionals who sent them.

We definitely wouldn’t go that far; we have enough people angry at us on any given day. But we do feel like the event could be a great opportunity to stress the value of strategic targeting. We asked Alan Henry, tech blogger for Gawker property Lifehacker, for his take.

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More Influencers Hyping Big Studio Films on Social Media

Unlike The Interview, most movies don’t have cyber-threats and worldwide outrage to increase public interest.

For that reason (in addition to general shifts in the market), more major studios are turning to a newfound PR tool to raise awareness of their coming titles: social media influencers.

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Above, for example, is a promo for the Disney film Big Hero 6 – which opens today in Italy — sent from Italian fashionista Veronica Ferraro to her 158,000 followers on Instagram and her 25,000 followers on Twitter. Her blog The Fashion Fruit has nearly two million likes on Facebook; that’s a lot of influence.

For more on that, we asked three experts for their takes on the influencers-promoting-movies trend.

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PR Weighs in on Sony’s The Interview Move

This morning The New York Post — which happens to be owned by the same company that once owned Sony’s prime competitor, 20th Century Fox — just told us that the scene that caused the world to, in the words of writer/cybersecurity expert Peter Singer, “lose our shit” has leaked.

Here, then, is a screenshot from your Kim Jong Un death scene, set (of course) to Katy Perry:

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That was relatively tame. (And no, the leak isn’t new — it’s just interesting to note that the Post chose to run it.) So what does PR think about the studio’s decision to pull the film entirely?

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Wikipedia Reveals Which Pages Were Edited Most in 2014

Following Facebook and YouTube, Wikipedia is the latest major web property to weigh in on 2014, the year that was. Their approach, however, is even more relevant to PR and assorted sockpuppets: which pages received the most edits over the past year?

That was a great rundown of the year in Things, wasn’t it?

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