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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.

Ben & Jerry’s Takes a Stand, Refuses to Rename New Flavor

If-Its-Not-Fun

Many of us in the PRNewserverse heart Ben & Jerry’s for many reasons.

The ice cream is the absolute shiznit. The culture they exhibit in branding and social media is contagious. How can one not adore flavors like “Cherry Garcia,” “Phish Food,” and “Half Baked?”

We paid homage to the hippie lettuce trend when B&J surreptitiously supported the legalizing of cannabis, because someone in the company’s marketing/PR department gets it.

Ben & Jerry’s may have a light-hearted approach to publicity, but the company can step outside the hookah lounge long enough to get serious, too.

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Art (Unfortunately) Imitates Life for Stephen Collins of 7th Heaven

stephen collins

Recently, one of the most (seemingly) wholesome actors of the small screen revealed a very dark and disturbing secret — at least, that’s what we thought.

Stephen Collins – who played the pastor/dad on the WB TV show 7th Heaven – apparently confessed to his counselor that he was a child molester. TMZ received and posted on the tape, which prompted a criminal investigation.

Although that came up inconclusive (which means he probably won’t be prosecuted), there’s other news: Later this year, Collins will play a pedophile on TV.

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Newly Minted ‘Ebola Czar’ Conspicuously Absent from Ebola Strategy Meeting

ron klein

ICYMI: America is freaking completely out over three isolated cases of Ebola with a strand of connection to warrant a skosh of hysteria (and some PR fees for managing crisis communications).

To help deal with a situation that is less than a month old, President Obama felt pressured empowered to appoint an “Ebola Czar” who will help guide the federal response while working hand-in-hand with the CDC.

Enter into the fray Ron Klain, formerly known as Chief of Staff for Veeps Biden and Gore. Klain, who will reportedly answer to both White House homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, is supposed to be the go-to source for all things Ebola.

Yet reports held that Klain did not attend a White House meeting Friday discussing the federal response to the domestic threat. And when it came time for the first strategy meeting, Klain was nowhere to be found. No word yet from any of his bosses…yet.

Chin up, America.

5 Important Skills PR Interns Should Possess Before They Get the Gig

pr internInternships have never carried as much importance in PR as they do today.

In this new marketplace, PR agencies can afford to be more persnickety about the people they want to recruit and bring into the fold. They are asked to do so much more. They are expected to get less recognition. And it’s all in the hope that they’ll score a permanent fixture on the team.

You need to have “soft skills” when you walk in the door. That’s not to say you are a dunce looking for direction, but you have assets that are pliable and position you for success. Instead of just getting by on a pretty face and nice cologne, you need to bring a little something to the table.

It’s hard out there for an up-and-comer, so if you want to ensure you get a sniff that AAC or AC job, here is this week’s #5Things: 5 important skills PR interns should possess before they get the gig. 

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Cision, Vocus Merge to Sweet Home Chicago

cision

Back in June, our fearless leader Patrick Coffee had a nice conversation with someone you really need to knowPeter Granat, who is the new CEO of the now-merged Vocus and Cision media database software organizations.

Yes, kids, it’s official.

All the technology you love and the customer service you might not is now part of one big happy, unified family. And just like the Brady Bunch, they all have to live under one roof: One Prudential Plaza on East Randolph in Chi City. Movin’ on up, anyone?

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THIS JUST IN: the Most Uncomfortable Moment in Family Feud History

family feudThis story is why we created this category.

You see, during a slow news day — or when it every station is focused on a certain malignant, terrorizing disease — a PR professional needs a little levity. And on one of the seven days, God created game shows.

There’s a reason why the Game Show Network is so successful. Anything from newfangled game shows like The Chase to the oldies but goodies like Match Game can make the heart smile. And then there’s the awesome reboot of Family Feud, which purposely tries to trip up the audience, Steve Harvey, and the viewing public at large with asinine answers that are probably trolled from Gawker or BuzzFeed, as you can see pictured (and not Photoshopped!!) here.

However, this week gave us what had to be the most uncomfortable moment in Family Feud history.

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Neil Patrick Harris: ‘A Kiss from Burt Reynolds Made Me Gay’

Neil-Patrick-Harris_Burt-Reynolds

It’s not like a kiss from a 70s sex symbol is as contagious as Ebola, but if you ask the new host of the Oscars, Neil Patrick Harris knew he was gay following a kiss from Burt Reynolds.

Somewhere Dom DeLuise is shouting at Sally Field (they’re both of Smokey and the Bandit fame for all you young’uns out there) saying, “Girl, I know the feeling.”

Read more about Doogie’s revelation after the jump.

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UPDATE: Sears Apologizes for Third Party Connecting Them with Third Reich

Sears-SorryYesterday, we brought you the distressing story of Sears and Amazon trying to serve the niche (and morose) market of Goths and Emos.

Why? Who knows, but there it is — a business plan to reach the supercilious and splenetic kids down the hall…swallowing razor blades and considering hematolagnia.

In short, they were selling Swastika rings not because of the whole Nazi thing but because it’s trendy. In less than 12 hours, Sears proved that it is still a retailer for the common man while Amazon proves it is…not. One communicated directly with the media, while the other chose to ignore headlines (and customer complaints).

By understanding its own crisis communications plan, Sears proved that it really does have everything.

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Pink Slip Mania: This Is (Now) CNN

CNN fail

Unfortunately for Turner Broadcasting Systems, ratings haven’t been kind to the network that invented — for better or worse — 24/7 news.

In fact, they have sucked a little. This consistent downward spiral has forced the muckety-mucks at Turner (parent company of CNN, HLN, TNT, TBS, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, and others) to consider what many in media believe to be the inevitable.

Reports show up to 300 have been let go at CNN and HLN alone, and this afternoon our sister site TVNewser learned that the recently relaunched Crossfire had been put out of its misery (again).

Factoids on the dearly departed after the jump. Read more

Chipotle Sticks Its Organic Nose Up at Pizza-Making Italians Everywhere

Chipotle PizzaEditor’s Note: Possibly not a Chipotle official photo. Also, possibly not an Editor’s Note.

Late last year, the progenitors of fast-casual food with a little added integrity decided that, because the burrito business has done them a solid for a minute, it was time to bring the Chipotle mania to another sector: pizza.

Much to the chagrin of the little box delivery chains across this great land of ours, Chipotle’s presence on the pizza scene is a legitimate threat. And although there are no holes to shoot in Chipotle’s dough, the burrito giants have decided to throw down.

Almost a year later, here’s the shot fired: Pizza people, you’re doing it wrong!

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