TVNewser AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Shawn Paul Wood

Shawn Paul Wood is a PR executive, copywriter and online strategist with more than 20 years’ experience in the field, with 12 of those years as an on-air host and radio news director. In his "free time," he also writes for Talent Zoo‘s Flack Me blog, PR News' Insider, as well as writes and edits for national blog Through The Fence Baseball. For more about SPW, follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood or his agency @WoodworksComms.

Uber France Cancels ‘Hot Chick’ Promo for Being Sexist

Sometimes I think it’s a shame that sex actually sells. I mean, think of the kids. And the dirty old men.

It works on everyone…but not every time.

Uber France got a reality check the other day when its  marketing people concocted the idea to hire “incredible hot chicks” as its drivers. Maybe it’s all the bread up there, but some women with muffin tops took some umbrage to that in a loud fashion.

Here’s the site, which quickly went dark:

avions-uber-france

The promo website and app is called Avions de Chasse, which means fighter jets in Francais, but it’s also slang for hot chicks. (Don’t ask me; not even my Cajun or Canadian relatives get that one.)

Read more

Sen. Ted Cruz’ (Should-Be-Former) Staffer Connects Ebola and Obamacare via Twitter

ebola obamacare

DERP DERP DERP

In the words of an ancient philosopher, “Let it go!

Ebola is gravely serious. We just cleared the scare in North Texas, and now Ebola has made its way to New York. This isn’t time for jokey jokes.

Yet, that doesn’t stop political satirists — otherwise known as politicians’ staffers — from getting 15 minutes of fame on the improv stage. Latest to the stand-up spotlight is Nick Muzin, deputy chief of staff for Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas). His tactic: tweet about a connection between Ebola and Obamacare.

There’s never a rotten tomato to throw when you need one.

Read more

GOOD NEWS: Elizabeth Vargas Returns to ABC Following Rehab

A Celebration Of Barbara Walters Cocktail Reception Red Carpet

This face used to be on the proverbial milk carton in the ABC News cafeteria — she’s 20/20 anchor Elizabeth Vargas.

On Halloween night, she makes her return to the show following a stint in rehab for alcoholism. Vargas, who has been brave and transparent with her addiction, has encountered some public turmoil because of this personal issue for her.

Last November, she tried to end her decades-long battle with the bottle. She did so again this past August. Unfortunately for her, the event that sparked the second trip was her husband, Marc Cohn, filing for divorce.

That’s usually what it takes: life stopping on a dime and you finally waking from the haze to pay attention to it.

I know, because I was there more than 22 years ago. It’s my birthday month: clean and sober since Oct. 20, 1992 at 10:42 a.m. (yeah, it was that bad). Many people can go to a bar, have a drink, and go back home with no problem. Good for them.

I couldn’t. Elizabeth couldn’t. And millions of people today still can’t. That’s why seeing people come back is really good news.

The New York Times Ignores Spell Check…Again

NYT building

Quick question: Anyone know any editors at The New York Times? Specifically, someone who works on the front page?

You see, we in the PRNewserverse are concerned about the paper nicknamed “The Old Grey Lady” because we believe the old broad has a serious case of glaucoma. Don’t get us wrong, we heart our journo friends at the Times and believe they’re some of the best reporters in the country. Their editors, though, aren’t doing them any favors recently.

Lately, the Times has been on a roll with a string of spelling kerfuffles, and its most recent issue is something most MS Word programs will flag with quickness. Pour a little liquor on the curb for that lady…

Read more

CNN Spins Its Breakup with Dish Network

CNN failThe year was like, 1980. 

Jimmy Carter was president and awaiting a defeat at the hands of this actor fellow from California. Mount St. Helens erupted in Washington state causing $3 billion in damages. John Lennon died in New York City. Blondie was at the top of the charts. Movember found a hero in ‘Magnum P.I.’ And gas was one dollar and eight cents a gallon!

It was also the year the mustachioed Ted Turner decided that what America needed was 24 hours of news. He invested $20 million into the launch of The Cable News Network and the rest is history. Today, people could care less and one satellite network has even decided its consumers don’t care at all…so they dropped CNN from its packages.

That was CNN. 

Read more

Avengers 2: Age of Ultron Trailer Leaks; Marvel Embraces Crisis

ultron avengers

Hell hath no fury like a Comic Con nerd bent on finding a trailer and leaking it.

This has consistently been the plight of Stan Lee and Marvel Studios — how to protect the brand from making a movie public before the marketing campaign is ready. Granted, it’s only a week early, but is nothing sacred, people?!

Marvel Studios was forced to release the official trailer (in all of its glorious HD viewing pleasure) thanks to some troll out there with too much time on his hands who somehow posted the video. Many companies would have flipped out, but it takes a superhero to embrace a crisis…fittingly, Marvel did just thatRead more

20 Tools Every PR Professional Needs to Know

pr swiss army knife

Ever come across the saying “A good craftsman never blames his (or her) tools?”

There is a very real reason for that aphorism: a tool is only as effective as the craftsman (or woman, as it were) who uses it. If you consider the average PR practitioner, you could probably name most of the tools in his/her proverbial toolbox. Most of them are bookmarked in a folder with about four to six items that include Vision…sorry, Cision/Vocus, a couple of necessary subscriptions to PR News, PR Week, and O’Dwyers, and the various and sundry blogs out there discussing what’s up in the industry.

However, in these days of online accessibility, one’s toolbox should be so full of useful tools that you can’t even close it. Don’t know what we mean?

Here’s a list of 20 necessary tools every PR professional should know and use. 

Read more

Poynter Calls Out the ‘Worst Pitches Ever’

email bad PR pitches

In case you want to remind yourself that many pitches are not successful, here’s a story via Poynter — actually, a public query — about the worst pitches certain journalists have received. Sad to say, it’s hilarious (and Mr. Senor Flack and Ms. Anonymous PR Girl, we’re thinking of you two sharing this cacophonous mess).

How so? This post will scream #PRFail!

So why point these bad pitches out? Just scroll through our #5Things and you will see the countless times we offer the PRNewserverse tip, tools, and even tricks on how to best represent this glorious industry. (Yes, for real.)

That said, we must do better — because once our journo friends have sworn us off for good, there is no reversing that mess. They are gone and you only have green flacks pitching and “oh so senior” mentors forgetting to do that part of their job to blame.

You’ll see what we mean after the jump…

Read more

Why Gwyneth Paltrow Is to Blame for Whisper’s Failure as a Media Source

whisperEarlier this summer, Whisper — the creepers app that allows people to send and receive meme-ified messages anonymously — wanted to become a viable news source.

The idea: if you have real, possibly unflattering news to share and don’t want to be outed by the soothsayers at TMZ, you post it on Whisper.

Also: a legitimate source is now some dude with a smartphone, a happy trigger-finger, and an axe to grind.

Then, came along Gwyneth Paltrow to ruin all the fun.  Read more

Facebook Sues DEA Over Fake Profile Pages

fb-dea

Facebook has tried, almost to a fault, to protect the identities of its users — as long as they’re real. See, for example, the site’s recent conflict that ended with the network allowing some users who dress as members of the opposite gender to use their stage names online.

The drama was based around fake profiles, which are highly frowned upon in Zuckerberg’s environment.

Recently, Facebook poked the Drug Enforcement Agency because it wants “assurances” that the feds are no longer using fake profile pages to conduct investigations. Read more

NEXT PAGE >>