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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.

The NSA Wants You…as Its New Director of Strategic Communications

NSA

Ready to absorb the unqualified hatred of the American public and channel it into a robust comms strategy?

Today we learned that the current leader in the race to win the “America’s Least Popular Organization of Any Kind” race is looking for a PR professional who revels in such public abuse.

On the other hand, the National Security Agency gig will pay $175K.

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Batkid Begins Trailer Brings Make-a-Wish Hero to the Big Screen

The tiny hero who launched a million* tweets is headed for the big screen.

In case you missed it (yeah right), #SFBatkid was the hashtag of the fall, scoring a whole hell of a lot of attention for sponsor Make-a-Wish, the city of San Francisco and partner-in-crime social media agency Clever Girls Collective.

Now, as revealed at Comic-Con this weekend, social media superhero Miles Scott will soon hit the big–or at least bigger–screen via Batkid Begins, a “feature-length crowdfunded documentary”; the trailer debuted online yesterday.

It’s quite a cinematic effort from “award-winning filmmaker Dana Nachman (Witch Hunt)”, who has raised “$45,500 of a $100K goal to date” in an ongoing Indiegogo campaign. This looks like another big win for both Miles and Make-a-Wish; does anyone doubt that Nachman will reach her goal?

Also: whoa there, Chris Taylor of Mashable. Don’t dive too deeply into our psyches.

One thing we know for sure: this clip will give you a more positive Monday morning buzz than the new Mockingjay trailer.

*Well, 400K tweets. But still.

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Biggest Stories of the Week

Roll Call: Hearst, Maroon PR and the PRSA

Jason Chupick, who you may know as the co-founder of a certain weblog covering the public relations industry, joined Hearst as Director of PR for Hearst Magazines Digital Media, reporting to the President of the division and to the VP of PR. The digital unit of Hearst Magazines is dedicated to creating and implementing the digital strategy for the company’s magazine brands and other sites including Cosmopolitan, ELLE, ELLE DECOR, Esquire, Good Housekeeping etc. as well as digital-only sites such as Delish.com and RealBeauty.com. The company also includes iCrossing, a global digital marketing agency. Chupick previously served as VP of editorial operations at MWW and VP of PR at Harper’s magazine.

Columbia, Maryland’s Maroon PR signed Mark Foglesong as Director of News & Multimedia. Foglesong, who previously served as the Bureau Chief & Senior Photographer for Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, will handle the creation/development of original content for Maroon clients. He will also advise clients in the sports, nonprofit, hospitality and entertainment sectors on content strategy. In his older role, Foglesong produced news magazine-style shows and documentaries for local sports teams including the Ravens and the Orioles.

The PRSA’s Entertainment and Sports Executive Committee named PR Founder & Sports Publicist Natalie P. Mikolich to its board. Mikolich, who founded both NPM PR and the sports PR blog Sports Publicity Spin, will play ”an active role assisting the Committee with their on-going initiatives and helping practitioners develop public relations and management skills directly relevant to their industries.

STUDY: How Many Brands Would You Call ‘Friends?’

Add_as_friend_12981602

Is your favorite brand the kind that you might call…your best friend? How many brands would even qualify as casual acquaintances? And which ones do you come back to again and again like a well-worn pair of pants?

Yes, these are ridiculous questions–but they’re also very serious, because their answers go a long way toward determining where the average John or Jane spends his/her money. A new survey of more than 4,000 consumers worldwide by IBM-owned email marketing tech provider Silverpop addresses the very real idea that every business should personalize its service as much as possible.

As you probably know, a “best friend” brand is one that will regularly lead consumers to open and even actually read emails, therefore leading to more sales etc.

Some stats, then:

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JustReachOut Thinks It Can Beat Your Startup Pitches

Sherlock

This week, we’ve witnessed the further evolution of the “do tech startups even need PR?” debate.

Uber’s General Manager Chris Nakutis gave the concept a big thumbs down while contributor Paul Wilke of Upright Position Communications presented ways to try and dispel the sense of inherent distrust between the two parties.

Today, TechCrunch let us know that yet another company called JustReachOut wants to replace you(!) by making the email pitching process a little easier for those startup folks.

We can tell you’re curious…

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Will the YouTube/Michelle Phan Lawsuit Change the Influencer Game?

Michelle Phan

In case you missed it: Michelle Phan, the “make-up demonstrator and entrepreneur” who became a prime influencer by posting short YouTube videos with titles like “Beach Beauty Essentials” and “How to Take the Perfect Selfie”–and earning nearly seven million followers in the process–got sued last week.

The suit, which could be worth several million dollars, stemmed from the fact that Phan allegedly used music by Ultra Records artist Kaskade in her clips without permission.

Phan is at the forefront of the social media influencer movement, earning more than $5 million in 2012 thanks to brand deals and appearing in ads for YouTube itself. The suit filed against her marks something of a first and raises some big questions about the future of one of the hottest trends in marketing.

Will it change the way the influencer game works?

Eric Dahan, the CEO of Instabrand.com, who spoke to us about using influencers to market to Millennials last month, has some thoughts after the jump.

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Edelman Goes Bipartisan, Hires Two Ex-Senators

D and R

Turns out that the members of our country’s major “lesser of two evils” political parties can agree on a shared love of two things: golf and lobbying.

Today Edelman announced that it had hired former senators Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) as advisors. What does that mean?

Edelman created the new roles specifically for the two one-time lawmakers, who will “provide public policy and communications advice” to clients. Gregg himself told The Hill that he aims to help give members of the Edelman roster “a better understanding of Congress.”

Conrad and Gregg previously worked together on the Simpson-Bowles commission, a bipartisan fiscal reform group convened by President Obama that couldn’t even manage to approve its own proposal; they now count themselves as members of a similar group called Fix The Debt, alternately known as Slash Your Social Security Benefits.

For the record, the duo do not technically qualify as lobbyists in their new roles: they will not be helping congressmen figure out how to make the laws that pander most directly to the interests of the industries that hired them.

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