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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.

Why Labor Day Needs Public Relations Assistance

Labor-DayThis weekend, everyone is ready to get their grill on and enjoy the extended weekend to commemorate Labor Day.

This day is usually celebrated in the company of a body of water, a gaggle of friends, and a trough of adult beverages (none of whom are certain as to why they have the day off). The most prescient reminder that we don’t have to go into the office is the “closed” sign in the window of our local bank.

The problem is that the day was not created for a telethon or an excursion to the beach, but rather to celebrate the true laborers in this country way back in 1882.

The day was created to recognize the little man — the person who worked 10 to 12 hours each day, received very little pay, lived with an extremely compromised quality of life and never received anything in the way of thanks for a day of hard labor. 

Sound familiar?

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Newspaper Publishers’ Arch-Nemesis Is Maine’s Gov. Paul LePage

MaineQuit blaming the economy, newspaper publishers. Stop accusing the Internet, National Newspapers Publishers of America (NNPA). Hey, International News Media Association (INMA), slow down on your blog hate.

Your vitriol should be aimed in one clear direction — Augusta, Maine and the office of Gov. Paul LePage.

He was at a recent GOP rally celebrating the new RNC headquarters in Androscoggin County. Sounds like a happening place, right? I suppose the sauce was flowing as he got a little randy from the lectern and shared that he hates your wretched, ink-stained guts.

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ESPN Gets the Memo on America’s Disinterest in Michael Sam’s Showering Habits

ESPN Michael Sam

We wanted to look the other way too.

ICYMI: The St. Louis Rams drafted a gay guy in the NFL draft this year. Many have discussed this fact. We blogged about it. Everyone is watching it.

However, most of us are also over it.

Michael Sam showed true courage, walked over a line, and took a stand for the LGBT community. And while everyone with a pulse and a non-blackened heart applauded him for that move then, we have all stopped clapping.

Why? It’s old news. ESPN, however, thought a story about Sam’s showering habits in the Rams’ locker room was necessary. A day later, they apologized because social media blew up.

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Chipotle Co-CEO Turns His Nose Up at ‘Cheap, Irrelevant’ Fast Food Chains

chipotle-ingredients-are-better-billboard

It’s difficult to hate on the rollers of the edible fatties, Chipotle. It tastes great, it’s “all natural”, and it’s good for you (as long as you only consume 25% of a given burrito). Even if you didn’t dig the food, the company’s advertising and CSR work is splendid (good work, Edelman).

If anything could possibly damage Chipotle’s sterling reputation, it would be perceived snobbery.

For example: “My food is better than your food. And now, let’s make fun of your diabetes.” Stressing the quality of your ingredients should not be a big deal; Papa John’s Pizza tries to do the same thing.

So guess what happened?

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STUDY: What Recent Numbers on Workplace Identity Could Say About PR

Gallup recently took a poll of U.S. workers to get a glimpse of fulfillment in the workplace. As a part of its annual Work and Education poll, employed Americans were asked if they get a sense of identity from their job.

More than 55 percent shared with Gallup that their job makes up who they are while 42 percent said that their job was just something they happened to do for a living.

gallup poll identity

Here’s the question for every PRNewser out there: What does this say about the public relations industry, if anything? 

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Bad News for CNN Employees: Jeff Zucker Just ‘Went There’

CNN Upfront 2014

So, you think the economy has rebounded and your savings account can begin its weatherstripping for the colder days. Vacations are being planned, allowances are no longer declined and date nights are back in full swing.

Only one problem: You work at CNN.

In a corporate-wide memo recently sent to all Turner Broadcasting employees, CNN Chief Jeff Zucker and Turner CEO John Martin said that, as part of the company’s “Turner 2020″ plan, the company will unveil a new corporate structure “in the next two months.”

This is CNN.

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5 Ways to Ensure That the Phone Pitch Doesn’t Die

keep-calm-and-don-t-call-meThanks to the Internet making things more accessible with email and social media, the phone is pretty much a paperweight for your client’s folders. And I get it: You don’t have to hear the gruff and grizzle of a reporter on the other end of the line telling you to piss off, or some such.

That said, the phone call is still one of the most important tools in any flack’s arsenal. For anything from a follow-up to a lunch appointment, never underestimate the power of speaking to someone on the phone.

Now, some PR professionals are making it very easy for our favorite journalists to never pick up a phone call again. Ever. Why? Here are 5 phone practices we can use to ensure that the phone pitch doesn’t vanish.

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Pamela Anderson Sort of Ruined the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

pamela-anderson-peta-ad

For the past couple of months, the ALS foundation has earned more than $70 million thanks to the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge.This stunt has become a thing of legend created to raise funds for and awareness of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). 

Of course, Hollywood has broken out the flip cams in droves in hopes of getting 15 extra minutes of fame raising the bar and bringing in some coin for a great cause. ALS is getting the attention it deserves regardless of whatever lies in the hearts of these famous folks.

Unfortunately, serial B-lister and anti-fur advocate Pamela Anderson decided to steal the spotlight and make her own cause out of this cause. We wonder whether PETA is proud of this.

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APOCALYPSE WATCH: Westboro Baptist Church Found a Way to Make Us All Happy

wbc-protest-islam

THINK FAST: Who do you hate more? The terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) or the Westboro Baptist “Church”? Hard to choose, but to help make the decision, I believe we would all love to see a no-disqualification cage match.

Whelp, you may get your chance soon enough. Yes, seriously. 

An Australian comic named Adam Hills heard about Westboro’s plans to picket the funeral of Robin Williams. Speaking on behalf of the rest of us, he wondered how far those idiots would take their God-loathing, humanity-hating bravado. So, he offered to pay for them to fly to Iraq and picket ISIS.

And Westboro accepted. See? You’re smiling, aren’t you? Happiness achieved.

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#PRWin for Edelman: Named No. 2 in ‘Culture and Values’ Poll Behind Twitter

edelmaninternsTo call Edelman’s summer “eventful” would be putting it mildly. Following a tandem of misjudgments and bad press involving climate change and Robin Williams, the agency announced (in The New York Times, no less) that they will now officially consider themselves “a client.”

You might think that employee morale could take a hit in a case like this one, but good places to work generally remain good places to work. The most recent “best places to work” piece from GlassDoor confirms this fact beyond what we personally know about Edelman and some of the stellar people who work there.

In short, GlassDoor.com just released its “2014 Top Companies for Culture and Values” — and Edelman beat everyone in culture and values except this little known start-up called Twitter.

In the world of business, this is called “a good rebound.”

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