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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.

FOX News’ Tucker Carlson Suspects Kids Are ‘Learning Too Much’ in School

tucker-carlson-1024x682Someday, somehow, someone is going to invent a mute button just for certain “journalists.” If you have ever doubted a need for such a Rube Goldberg device, read this story, brought to you by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.

As he took his frequent seat on FOX & Friends, Carlson began discussing the usual suspects — ISIS, the economy, Obama’s birth certificate — then took an abrupt detour, careened off the road, and ranted against the U.S. education system, public school, and the teachers in it.

Because if you want good PR mojo, attack the teachers. It’s right up there with harassing the elderly and making fun of someone’s mother. The unbelievable video is after the jump, along with his explanation. Read more

What’s the Difference Between ‘Strategy’ and ‘Tactic?’

strategy-vs-tacticsTwo of the most common words in the flack’s vernacular (next to coffeeare strategy and tactic. 

According to Michael Porter, strategy leader and author of Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance, “Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value.”

The conundrum in this industry is that, although you have to think (strategy) before you do (tactic) anything, these two terms are often used interchangeably. It seems “being different” is understanding the difference in the first place.

This should help…

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5 Reasons Why SEO Belongs in Your PR Toolbox

Toolbox

The aphorism “A good craftsman never blames his tools” holds true most of the time unless there is a PR professional that doesn’t understand which tools are actually in his or her toolbox.

As this industry evolves, we should always be on safari to find new and exotic contrivances to place at our clients’s disposal. They do count on us breaking out those utensils to give them hits, awareness, traffic — and to justify the occasional braggadocio.

Agencies are becoming more integrated every day, yet many PR types still lack the new plug-in SEO appliance. Honestly, there’s no excuse for that — and for this week’s #5Things, here are five reasons why SEO should be in every PR’s toolbox.

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Pope Francis Marries 20 Couples So They Won’t Be Shacking Any Longer

pope-vatican

In the past, our fearless leader at PR Newser suggested that Pope Francis has solidified his position as the Patron Saint of PR (though he has not ascended). And with all due respect to the now canonized Saint John Paul II, the Catholic Church desperately needed some good mojo.

And then the white smoke appeared introducing the world to Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who later changed his name to Francis.

He has embraced the Twitter, left the grandiose Popemobile for a leisurely walk, proclaimed the Internet to be  a gift from God, scored his own weekly magazine, stated that no one should work on the Sabbath (yeah right), and excommunicated the Mafia.

But what he did over the weekend may have the Catholic Church looking as progressive as a non-denominational community picnic.

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Former NSA Chief Compares ISIS Air Strikes to ‘Friends with Benefits’

nsa_logoOne of the fundamental tactics for any flack is writing talking points ahead of interviews. This isn’t purely “spin”, by the way — but clients do sometimes get skittish during on-the-air talks. The prep sheet, then, is like a security blanket minus Elmo.

Because of that perfunctory aspect of PR, it’s always easy to tell which clients don’t have proper talking points. When it happens, you sometimes hurt for the spokesperson (a little).

At other times, though, you laugh so hard that you pee (again, a little).

The latter happened when former NSA and CIA major domo Gen. Michael Hayden went viral for all the wrong reasons while discussing ISIS and air strikes.

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Kanye: ‘Throw Your [Prosthetics] in the Air Like You Just Don’t Care’

kanye-quotes-performIf you have ever been to a hip-hop show, you probably know that the headline’s cheer is not a typical way to get a crowd in the zone. But there’s nothing typical about megalomaniac narcissistic Kanye West.

Take, for example, his latest actions on the “Yeezus” tour in Sydney, Australia.

An eyewitness told Daily Mail Australia that Kanye refused to perform until the crowd came to its feet, saying, “I can’t do this song, I can’t do this show until everybody stand up.”

And then, he called out an amputee in the audience for not standing. You know, like people with both legs. 

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Illinois TV Anchor Courageously Shares Brain Cancer News with Viewers

Dave-Benton-Cancer-VideoIn the wild and wacky world of public relations, those who stand out often do so by creating great relationships with media types.

Understanding that, if you know anyone with PRSA Chicago, IABC Chicago, or even the College of Media for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaignplease pass this story along!

Why? Dave Benton at WCIA-3 (CBS) out of downstate Illinois in Champaign is easily one of the most courageous media personalities to come across in a long time.

Learn why after the jump. Read more

Journalists: Proudly Keeping Starbucks Open All These Years

another-coffee-funnyWe love our friends in the media, at least most of us. That said, it’s nice to clue into what drives them to make good news and what drives them bat-ess-crazy.

It’s not easy being in the media, regardless the position or the medium. The glamorous life is comical to most and unattainable by many. However, without them, where would we be, right? Understanding that, the next time you are out and see a Starbucks, you may want to stop in for a $50,000 gift card or some such.

According to a recent survey, and this article from TVNewser in the friendly confines of the mediabistro nation, few media types will refuse that kind of gift.

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FOX News Loses Copyright Lawsuit Against TVEyes

fox-news-occupy-wall-street-occupysomething

Last July, the head honchos at FOX News caught an ill wind blowing about a Connecticut-based company called TVEyes, which was recording snippets of the network and selling it to others. They were like any other media clipping service, but because people used TVEyes’ product to criticize FOX News, Rupert Murdoch wanted to shut ‘em down.

The lawsuit accuses TVEyes of misappropriating “the entirety of the works that Fox News has developed at great expense and to reproduce, to distribute, to publicly perform and/or to publicly display verbatim copies of the works” without authorization.

And in the spirit of Public Enemy, the company decided to “Fight the Power.” Fast forward to yesterday when TVEyes did the unthinkable: They ‘brought the noise’ and beat FOX News.

Here’s what happened. Read more

Lesean McCoy Holds a Press Conference to Deny Being a Bad Tipper

lesean mccoy

Lesean McCoy is a very talented running back for the Philadelphia Eagles. He is also a complete tool.

How so? McCoy is in the middle of a six-year, $45.615 million contract, so it’s easy to think the dude can spare a dime every now and again. So, there he is, shoving a cheeseburger down his gullet at local fave PYT Burger. (I’ve been…it’s legit!) He receives his bill of $61.56 and doesn’t forget about the person that served him.

And that’s when he drops 20 friggin’ cents! The outrage went viral, the restaurant manager blasted McCoy, and Captain Tiger Blood Charlie Sheen stepped in to make everything right.

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