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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.

ISIS Spokeswoman Explains Love of Nutella to New York Magazine

nutella_While this story is not directly related to PR as we know it, it is the most disturbing thing we read last week.

If you’ve watched recent reports about ISIS, the terror group currently shocking everyone around the world, you probably noticed that reporters all make sure to mention the group’s media prowess. ISIS is unique in that its spokespeople use the same social networks with which we promote clients every day to spread their hateful message.

Just over a week ago, New York magazine posted an alternately fascinating/horrifying portrait of the young women who serve as spokespeople for ISIS by filling their Twitter, tumblr and Kik accounts with LOLs, emojis…and terroristic propaganda.

These women also interact with Western press representatives — and one topic that repeatedly comes up is Nutella. Seems that many of those involved in the “movement” share images of the product (as well as pictures of their kittens and thoughts on their favorite Disney movies) in order to make themselves seem “softer” and “friendlier.”

While writing the piece, New York’s Katie Zavadski reached out to to one of these ISIS spokeswomen on the subject of Nutella.

Here’s the reply she received:

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The Ticker: NFL Struggles; PR Museum; Obamacare Marketing Refresh; And More

Everyone Is Pissed at the NFL

nflHere’s a somewhat encouraging note on which to end the week: in the wake of its horrific handling of the Ray Rice scandal, the National Football League‘s reputation hit its lowest point in the past five years — and approval ratings have dipped more among men than they have among women.

Before the full video of Rice punching his fiancee broke, the league was at a high point — it was even more popular than during the period after the 2014 Super Bowl. Now, however, the YouGov Brand Index tells us that public perception of professional football has flip-flopped from a positive 36 to a negative 17.

Also: the dip was more than three times as extreme among male respondents as among females.

Maybe bad behavior does come with consequences.

Here’s the chart — and that looks like a game-ending fumble at the end:

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Biggest Stories of the Week

15 People Business Insider Left Off Its ‘Top 50 Tech PR’ List

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ICYMI, yesterday Business Insider posted another of its famous clickbait listicles (not that we would ever do anything like that, cough cough). This one was of particular interest to the people in PR.

It’s true that “The 50 Best Public Relations People in the Tech Industry in 2014” was — as one of our industry friends put it — “so arbitrary.” At the same time, it’s always good to see journalists highlighting the real, valuable work done by PR rather than denigrating the entire industry.

It was also nice to see friends of the site Ed Zitron of EZPR and Barbara Bates of Eastwick get some respect.

A couple of things we noticed: someone really likes working with Waggener Edstrom and Brew PR and there weren’t a whole lot of names on the list from the usual suspects. Check out the O’Dwyer’s top tech firms list and notice how many of them didn’t appear in the BI post.

After the jump, we listed some people — both abstract and specific — whose absence we noted.

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Texas Firm Admits to Bribing Journalists for Coverage

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Well, maybe “bribing” is too strong a word. What’s a synonym for “we will pay this supposedly objective journalist for giving our client favorable coverage?”

In a story that seemed destined to break during PRSA’s Ethics Awareness Month, a Texas firm sheepishly admitted to offering a CNBC freelancer money to include their client in a story.

Guilty pitch email after the jump (emphasis ours).

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The Ticker: Totally Arbitrary List; Ignore This List; Another List; And More

Spin the Agencies of Record

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  • RapidForce, a producer of pain relief adhesives, chose The Halo Group as its AOR for branding/marketing communications. The company spokesperson will be tennis star John Isner, who will help promote the product among athletes and trainers and remind everyone that, unlike Icy Hot, it doesn’t smell like peppermint Lifesavers.

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Newsweek Journo Responded to Every Pitch for a Week. You Won’t BELIEVE What Happened Next

newsweek

In a perfect world, every journalist would respond to all of our pitches, right? Even a polite “thanks, I might check it out” would be better than nothing at all, wouldn’t it?

Yesterday, Zach Schonfeld of Newsweek posted a piece in which he recounted his experience doing exactly that for a whole week.

Let’s just say it doesn’t sound like much fun.

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Peter Himler on The Future of Measurement

measurement 2

In case you missed it, the newly united Cision/Vocus is hosting a big event in New York next week to discuss the topic that won’t go away: measurement.

Earlier this week we asked friend of the site Rebekah Iliff, CSO at AirPR, for her opinions on the future of the practice.

Today we have another take on the same topic from veteran Peter Himler: blogger, influencer, industry veteran, Balthazar fan and founder of Flatiron Communications.

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