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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.

Another Reporter Quits Kremlin-Funded News Network Because Truth and Ethics

Steven Segal RT News

Man, they get all the good interviews.

Just when you think you have lost hope in network news, a story like this comes along trying to restore that faith. Now, if only you can get over the fact it’s from MOSCOW! Yes, really.

The RT is a Russian news network that has one huge setback in that “unbiased reporting” angle — it is completely funded by the Russian government and Putin runs the thing. You can imagine no one is talking to smack to that president on-air right?

ICYMI, there’s a little news in the Ukraine about a “tragic mistake,” which some Ukrainian officials have called shooting down a Malaysian passenger jet mistaken for the enemy. Despite that horrific murder of 295 people, the RT is in full spin mode, which caused one reporter to grow a set of ethics and quit.

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CW’s Supernatural Gets Twitter Trolled in Miraculous Fashion for ‘Queer Baiting’

supernaturalThe CW (formerly known as the WB because initials are good) isn’t exactly known for “quality programming” lately. Back in its heyday, the network was populated with Gilmour Girls, Steve Harvey, the Wayans family (and Jamie Foxx), and Dawson’s Creek.

Today, not so much. One of its breakthrough-ish hits has been Supernatural

So, it’s the summer doldrums and the network is in need of an idea to resurrect its viewing audience and maintain its interest in the show. “Good audience. Good show. Good material. Eureka!”

And then, the network discovered the dark side of Twitter.

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Does Size Matter? 5 Differences Between Big and Boutique PR Firms

PR highway

Public relations is full of many things, stereotypes being one of them.

However, when a nubile flack is fresh out of college (or even the newsroom making the switch these days), there is one thing to consider. This one quandary has PR hopefuls in the agency world so perplexed that they choose in-house because they aren’t sure which way to go.

Do I apply at a major PR firm or one of those boutique agencies? 

I never understood why this is such a conflicting decision because PR “happened” to me. (Long story. Tell ya’ later sometime.) Now that I have been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, and put my name on it just in case, I get it. There are differences, many of which are subjective. Others are objective. Both types have their definite advantages and drawbacks, but both are rewarding.

Here is this week’s listicle of 5 Things: 5 differences between big and boutique PR firms.

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APOCALYPSE WATCH: A Kinder, Gentler Ku Klux Klan Using Candy to Recruit Kids

klan-candy

Yes, this is real. Yes, this is 2014. Yes, that is an untouched picture. Yes, the sardonic hicks of hatred known as the Ku Klux Klan have decided to get back on the campaign trail because membership may be a little low these days.

And so this loosely fit flyer made in Publisher because the economy was delivered across an Oconee County subdivision of northwestern South Carolina. Inside, was a candy cane and some family friendly paraphernalia reading  ”Save Our Land, Join the Klan.”

Sweet, right?

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Comcast ‘Provides’ What May Be The Worst Service Call Ever

comcast

There is no secret, no hidden truth, no mystery on this planet that refutes the abysmal customer service that call centers at cable companies provide. It’s like they all hire from the same discount store that shuttles HR rejects from the hotel.

The proposed Comcast and Time Warner merger? That’s a utopia of pleasantry just waiting for America (and one of those brands may vanish this year).  You would think the powers-that-don’t at Comcast would appreciate public perception.

Not when gems like this call to cancel service, which should serve as a crisis communications starter kit. (Oh, please take time to listen to these 10 minutes of bliss.)

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7-Eleven’s Birthday Week Thwarted Because of New App Glitch, Makes It Right All Month Long

slurpees

ICYMI: these glorious sugary rainbows of greatness were being given away 12 ounces at a time on July 11. Free. (Get it? 7 [July] 11?)

It’s been a tradition since 2002 that anyone can waltz inside a local 7/11, grab a small 12 oz. cup, and fill up on this sweet elixir of Texas love (born here, based here, y’all). This year, something went awry when 7-Eleven attempted to bring more technology to the mix. For months, the convenience empire has been promoting its fun little ‘Only at 7-Eleven’ app. When you download it, you would benefit from push-text offers sent exclusively to your phone.

Only, that didn’t happen for some folks, and America went nuts.

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Meet the Top 10 Brands That Will ‘Disappear’ in 2015 While You Can

24-7-wall-streetFrom CEOs with the worst reputations to the worst places to work in America, the happy-happy-joy-joy-listicle fun people at 24/7 Wall St. can’t (and won’t) stop. This time, they offer an apocalyptic countdown for 10 beleaguered brands across this great land of ours.

While many of the ten here have suffered due to a lack of a coherent crisis comms strategy, some of these haphazard brands made the list because of the ever-growing mergers and acquisitions market. In short, those brands may not have a choice about disappearing.

And so, here are 10 brands those subjective observers believe will be gone by this time next year.

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Former Press Secretary Jay Carney Rumored to Be Chief PR Candidate for Apple, Uber

jay carney iphone

Well, at least he took his farewell press room picture with the right phone. #BrandLoyalty

It was only two months ago when Apple’s communications major domo, Katie Cottonannounced that she was leaving the company. Since that announcement (and a few “good riddance” posts from certain hack-turned-flacks), Apple has been searching for her replacement.

Thanks to a Re/Code post, we learned they may have found their guy: Jay Carney, former press secretary for the Obama Administration.

According to the report, the former Time Washington bureau chief and head flack for Joe Biden is the hottest name around for major PR gigs after he stepped down in May to be replaced by Josh Earnest.

Uber has its headlights set on the guy for good reason: the company is currently in need of serious public relations and public affairs because of its fight against the deeply entrenched taxi industry. Incidentally, during an interview earlier in May, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick infamously called the company’s opponent “an asshole named Taxi.”

As classy and appealing as the challenge may be, Apple could seem more enticing to Carney. But then he’s never been a guy averse to conflict…

PBS Idea Channel’s Mike Rugnetta Tries to Wrangle Rules for Internet Spoiler Alerts

spoiler alert

Spoiler. Alert. Think about it.

If the Internet could receive a huge #PRFail, it would be because of spoiler alerts. (This means you too, social #$@*’n media.)

They are the worst, but it’s not the problem of the Internet to police your work schedule or the fact that you have to DVR a certain event. It’s your fault for trolling the Internet in the first place if you haven’t watched your recording anyway, right?

To that end, they do suck and the great Mike Rugnetta of PBS Idea Channel has tried to do the inconceivable: create rules for these dreaded appendages of the Internet that reach out and choke the very hope out of people everywhere.

And it’s compelling stuff too.

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Reason No. 5,298 Why People Hate Local News Coverage: Breaking Into World Cup Final

worldcup.jpgViewers are a little persnickety about what they think local news should and should not cover.

Unfortunately, if you don’t please them, your ratings could suffer. They hold on to the mantra “The customer is always right” closer than a Klansman and his tighty-whities. They bicker about fashion on the anchors, general assignments for beat reporters, and meteorologists getting out of shape over heavy rain. You can’t please them all the time because they can be irrational.

And then came WENY-TV and its interruption of the World Cup final for a weather report proving why they may have a point.

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