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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.

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

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To end the week, another edition of our series in which Bill McGowanClarity Media Group founder and coach to execs from Facebook, Airbnb and more — weighs in on the week’s most controversial stories.

“Bad” Brand Chemistry

A real controversy “cooked” this week in south Florida when everyone’s favorite chemistry teacher-turned crystal meth maker, Walter White  (Breaking Bad) appeared on the shelves of Toys “R” Us in the form of an action figure.  Also for sale, the Jesse Pinkman doll, resplendent in his one-piece yellow drug-making jumpsuit. Jesse comes carrying two detachable bags: one full of money, one full of meth.  The Walt figurine simply wields a gun.  It’s not hard to imagine what kind of action these action figures are gearing up for.

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Biggest Stories of the Week

Spin the Agencies of Record

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  • MWW will be PR AOR for Lapolla Industries, Inc., a manufacturer of “polyurethane foam insulation, reflective roof coatings and equipment” designed to reduce energy consumption. MWW will primarily handle media relations to spread awareness of the brand’s eco-friendly building materials. Lapolla already has some big-name backers: the company was one of those selected to participate in President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and recently signed Ty Pennington of Extreme Makeover as a spokesperson. (No word from Vanilla Ice.)

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Madeline Albright, Queen Elizabeth Win Twitter

On the lighter side of things, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright is on a roll, isn’t she?  Last week Wheaties called her a “champion” and this week she proved that she’s just as good at Twitter trolling as she is at statesmanship and spokesmanship (which IS SO TOO a word, autocorrect).

We missed this one while prepping for an event, but Conan got schooled on his C+ joke:

And she kept going.

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Roll Call: Waggener Edstrom; H+K Canada; Hemp PR; And More

Waggener Edstrom promoted Tiffany Cook from EVP to VP/head of its consumer sector. Cook, who has been with WE for 16 years, will oversee related efforts across the retail, consumer technology, automotive, and spirits industries. PR Week tells us that she will report to co-founder/partner Pam Edstrom.

Hill+Knowlton Strategies‘ Canadian operations named Dimitri Gourdin SVP and GM of its Montreal office. Gourdin, who earned a law degree at Paris’ Panthéon-Assas University and a masters’ from Paris Management School, previously served as VP of marketing/comms at BIOMOD, a biotech company serving the health and beauty industries. In the 90′s he worked in crisis comms at Burson-Marsteller’s Paris office and in 2005 he launched his own Montreal-based firm called Arcane Communications.

Mark Goldman and Ryan McCormick, PR veterans and founders of both Goldman McCormick PR and Legal PR Team, have announced the creation of a new firm called, simply, Hemp Public Relations. We’ll let you guess which sort of clients they plan to serve — and it’s OK if you’re, like, a little slow

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A Collection of 18 Statements on the New York City Ebola Case

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Pic via The New York City Mayor’s Office

There’s really no way you could have missed today’s biggest news: a doctor who had been treating Ebola patients in Guinea was diagnosed with the virus after returning to his home in Manhattan.

After the news broke, a flurry of official responses were issued by every entity from the hospital where Doctor Craig Spencer worked to the bowling alley he visited on Wednesday night before he came down with symptoms.

This is a very serious matter despite the many jokes that filled our Twitter feed last night and this morning. But reviewing all these disparate statements (some formal, some anything but) makes for an excellent case study in uncoordinated responses to a major crisis.

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The Ticker: Ebola Hits New York; Blogger Myths; Don’t ‘Engage’ Me; And More

Late Washington Post Editor Reprimands ‘Flack’ in Classic Letter

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News of former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee’s passing earlier this week rightly led many to declare an end of an era in journalism. A quick look at his paper today reveals protests by staffers unhappy with new owner/Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ management style — primarily his plans for staffing cuts.

But this Throwback Thursday revelation (which actually posted yesterday) reveals that some things never change: namely, the relationship between journalists and PRs who don’t know how to take “no” for an answer. Here’s the full letter Bradlee wrote to this guy about his misguided campaign to get the paper to run a profile on his client.

Also: PR has never liked the word “flack.” Shocker, we know. Full letter after the jump.

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Brad Pitt Uses ‘Between Two Ferns’ to Promote His Charity

Another week, another episode of the Funny or Die/Zach Galifianakis series “Between Two Ferns.”

When last we checked in on our hirsute comedian, he was interviewing the president — and we argued that the move was a smart one to promote enrollment in the Affordable Care Act.

In this episode, Brad Pitt deals with a bit of Galifianakis’ gentle ribbing to (sort of) promote his charity, Make It Right.

Note how he managed to drop the name in there before Louis C.K. made his appearance.

Pitt’s org built homes in New Orleans’ ninth ward for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina before running into some bad PR around the beginning of the year thanks to reports that some of the houses were “rotting from the inside out.

So, while this appearance may  not lead to thousands of donations, it was a pretty good decision on Pitt’s part to play along so he could make the mention, no?

The Ticker: Keyword Research; Edelman Brandshare; Decoding Client Jargon; And More

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