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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.

UK Firm Goes to Outer Space and Back to Announce Rebranding

Today we learned that a service apparently allows users to send objects into space and film them there for YouTube-ready clips. We also learned that the UK’s Houston PR (nee Twelve Thirty Eight) used the service to highlight the World’s Highest Press Release as it hovered 27 miles above the planet.

It’s a pretty cool way to announce a name change.

Unfortunately–as our own Shawn Paul Wood showed us yesterday–the myths about our ability to make such clips “go viral” are just that (especially when said clips do not involve Walter White bobbleheads or George Takei action figures carrying gay pride flags).

The stunt is certainly fun–but Houston, we may have a problem with the font size…

(H/T AdRants)

The Ticker: New Walmart US CEO; Big GM Payout; Twitter Diversity Problem; And More

Social Media Case Study: National Golf Day Edition

golf balls

Golf and social media might seem like artifacts from entirely different eras, but when the two reach the green together they turn out to mesh quite well. In fact, they may be the only things on which our two political parties can reach agreement.

This case study, via Buffalo Communications, demonstrates the ways in which social can be integrated into pretty much anything.

The task: promote National Golf Day events in Washington, D.C. to audiences worldwide for client WeAreGolf.

The strategy: increase the reach with the help of strategic hashtags, professional golfers, golf fans and, yes, politicians.

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Q&A: Separating Business from Personal Politics

In case you missed it, venture capitalist/Silicon Valley money guru and Y Combinator founder Paul Graham–who helped startups like Dropbox and Airbnb achieve their impressive valuations–received a bit of negative attention from others in the tech scene over the past week for tweeting news stories about the Gaza conflict currently dominating headlines around the world. Here’s an example:

The tweets didn’t go over well with some Israeli members of the tech world. VC and sometime TechCrunch writer Roi Carthy wrote a blog post protesting Graham’s tweets and announcing his decision to stop working with Y Combinator in Israel. He spoke to Kevin Roose of New York magazine and compared Graham’s actions to those of Brendan Eich, who resigned as CEO of Mozilla after reports revealed his donations to the anti-gay marriage Prop 8 campaign:

“Due to mandatory army service, the tech industry and the army in Israel are intertwined…If you don’t recognize that, you shouldn’t be doing business with Israelis.”

The question: how can executives and other public figures avoid this potentially toxic meeting of politics and industry thought leadership?

We spoke to Stan Steinreich, CEO of Steinreich Communications, for his take.

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Roll Call: Ruder Finn, Edelman, RLM Finsbury, And More

Ruder Finn announced several new additions to its global healthcare leadership team:

  • Elyse Margolis was promoted to the position of executive vice president/director, New York Healthcare, where she will continue to serve as client service leader for accounts as well as assuming new responsibilities for the New York team.
  • Trina Chiara was named executive vice president/director, Global Healthcare Business Development. Chiara, who previously served as an NPR reporter for a decade, will both oversee current clients and identify new business opportunities in the healthcare field.
  • Rob Schachter has been promoted to the position of executive vice President, global Healthcare. As a Ruder Finn employee for the past eight years, he handled global franchise portfolios for multiple clients.
  • Glenn Silver joined the practice as senior vice president, Healthcare Media Relations. He will counsel the firm’s extensive list of pharmaceutical clients.
  • Christine Hanson will now serve as senior vice president, Global Healthcare. Hanson, who worked at Manning Selvage and Lee and Danielides Communications, Inc. before joining Ruder Finn, recently managed several high-profile campaigns including one for Novartis’ Bexsero MenB Vaccine. (Release)

Edelman Seattle announced the appointment of Michael Thomas to the SVP role for its technology team. Thomas, who previously served as VP at Edelman’s Chicago office, brings more than a decade of counselling experience in the tech and health sectors to the role; her past clients include GridApp (acquired by BMC Software), Redback Networks (acquired by Ericsson), Opsware (acquired by HP), CrowdControl for Amazon Mechanical Turk, Code Green Networks, Skytap, Fortress Grand, Twisted Pair Solutions and others.

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Raleigh Firm Attributes Fake Release to Mayor’s Office

FAKE release

(Pic via newsobserver.com)

Yesterday the Raleigh, North Carolina-based firm Misner & Associates defended its decision to issue a press release falsely attributed to the city’s mayor Nancy McFarlane and her communications team.

The release, created to promote a biker festival run by Misner client Ray Price, was printed on what looked like official city letterhead and mailed to local publications; the “letter” listed the mayor’s spokeswoman as a contact alongside Scott Misner himself.

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The Ticker: Marketing Pinterest to Men; Waggener Edstrom Launch; Mashable Expansion; And More

Tony Dungy Can’t Decide How He Feels About Michael Sam

tony-dungy-inspires

Today former NFL coach/current NFL analyst Tony Dungy had to issue a clarifying statement after an earlier quote he gave to the Tampa Tribune regarding the draft status of Michael Sam. Here’s what he said several weeks ago:

“I wouldn’t have taken him Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it. It’s not going to be totally smooth…Things will happen.”

Dungy didn’t clarify what those “things” were at the time, but we have a feeling that old NFL guys coming out of the woodwork to give their opinions would be one of them.

Today he issued a clarification that didn’t really clear things up at all.

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New SHIFT Communications EVP Scott Monty on the Future of PR

ScottMontyWe’ll make a wild guess and assume that, if you work anywhere in communications, you heard the big news this morning: Scott Monty, former head of social for Ford Motor Company, joined Boston-based SHIFT Communications as EVP of strategy (he even has his own URL).

The announcement received mentions in trade pubs from Adweek to Automotive News and even inspired a bit of good-humored hashtaggery:

Scott elaborated on the #MontyDecision on his personal blog this morning, but he and SHIFT CEO Todd Defren also talked to us about the logic behind the move and their shared vision for the future of the comms industry.

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Former WH Chief Defends Powerful Women Appearing in ‘Women’s Magazines’

MICHELLE-OBAMA-VOGUE-COVER-570

You may have noticed a not-so-recent trend: powerful women in politics, technology and other fields appearing on the covers of magazines like Vogue and Cosmopolitan as they make major career transitions.

Unfortunately, these very women often receive a steady drumbeat of criticism after making such appearances. This doesn’t just apply to politics, either–remember Marissa Mayer‘s 2013 cover shoot?

Last week, Marie Claire’s newest contributing editor Alyssa Mastromonaco finally stood up to defend the practice in The Washington Post with the simple headline “Being informed and fashionable is natural for women.

Mastromonaco is more qualified than most to comment on this topic: she spent six years as President Obama’s White House Deputy Chief of Staff.

We’ll review what she wrote after the jump.

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