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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.

More Proof Congress Knows Its Image Problem: Fire Staffers; Hire Flacks

congress toilet

Election after election, we see the same thing: People hate Congress. People protest the system. People complain about the election. And then they do one of two things: 1.) Don’t vote or 2.) Vote for the same fools who are already there.

Why? There is no other explanation — voters are stupid. However, it seems that Congress may be getting smarter than the oafs who put them there. Based on a report from D.C. blog, InTheCapital, we learn that Capitol Hill has “cut down on staffers but increased their PR firms.”

Think they’re onto something? You know? Like, finally?

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Another Word the Media Should Really Learn to Use Properly

breaking newsFor what seems like this entire year, the phrase “Breaking News” has been questioned. You may remember a certain Malaysian airline flight that disappeared without a trace. Every story that came out was “breaking news.”

A rumor was heard: breaking news. A psychic had a dream: breaking news. A news crew may have a lead: breaking news. It was the news station who cried wolf all day long. We even had a great story about MSNBC’s Chuck Todd and his blatant disregard for the inherent meaning of the phrase.

Let’s now add to that lexicon of misnomers: Exclusive. Shall we? And TMZ, we’re looking at you.

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Step Aside Family Vacations on Facebook; Move In Breaking News?!

zuckerberg funnyFor years, Facebook has been the storehouse for the personal ego. No merit of anything other than where the beautiful people spend vacation, perfect marriages of Barbie and Ken, and stupid pet tricks.

That may also be why people are just getting tired of Facebook. Until now.

According to an interesting infographic from UGM news site, Newswhip, it seems that people are sharing this thing called “the news” on Facebook more than ever. I know, right?!

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APOCALYPSE WATCH: 47% of Americans ‘Can’t Last a Day’ Without a Smartphone

smartphone addictionSo, I love my phone.

I’m at a stop light — there’s my phone. I’m bored in a meeting — there’s my phone. I’m spending 5-10 minutes “occupied” — there’s my phone. Whatever the need, my phone is my trusty sidekick.

The difference between me and you (shout out to Dr. Dre) is that I can put the thing down, take a deep breath, and walk away. However, there are others who break out in hives if the thought even comes up in conversation.

And thanks to this study by Bank of America, we find that almost half of this country feels the same way. That explains a lot.

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CNN Reaches for Ratings By Asking America to Deport One of Its Own

jose antonio vargasMeet Jose Antonio Vargas

This guy is one of the most brazen reporters today. Why? He has courage and temerity to do what few others of his ilk would even consider — he is willing to sacrifice his own residence in America for a greater cause.

As you can see from the picture above, he added to the “Dear God, give us ratings but really not a bad idea” juggernaut of the newly minted CNN FilmsDocumented.” In this amazing documentary, Vargas discloses even more details about living as an undocumented American journalist. More so, because in 2011, he put his stamp on the national immigration debate in The New York Times. 

And for his reward, CNN asked Twitter to deport him. Yes, really.

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U.S. Veteran Claims Cracker Barrel Fired Him for Giving Needy Man a Corn Muffin

cracker barrel pic stitch

Meet Joseph Koblenzer.

He is a 73-year-old man, former war veteran, and now standing in the unemployment due to the actions of Cracker Barrel. What actions? According to CBS Tampa Bay, Koblenzer was a man with a heart for the needy.

In fact, it was the appearance of a needy man and woman (on separate occasions) who cost him a nice job as a three-year greeter of said folksy eatery. His deviant act of thievery? A corn muffin, packets of mayonnaise and tartar sauce, coffee, and a coke and a smile.

Yeah, we hate him too.

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BET Awards to Lionel Richie: ‘Say You, Say… Who?!’

lionel richie good

ICYMI (and by the look of the national ratings, you did), the BET Awards have come and gone. At the annual affair, the once-all-music channel gave a Lifetime Achievement Award to the inimitable Lionel Richie.

To the kids in PRNewser-ville, the guy is so much more than the father of that girl who was BFF to a hotel heiress. This is a man that has been sangin’ his tail off since he was the lead vocalist of The Commodores in the 70s.

“Easy,” “Still,” “Brick House,” “Three Times a Lady,” “Zoom,” and so much more to make your mix tape the bomb (dot) com. Lionel is a legend in music. Seriously fabled if you consider the hits he has written. And to honor that amazing career, BET did this… 

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5 Things PR Can Learn from Transformers

t4 parachutes

Because sometimes PR people need a parachute to help slow them down.

ICYMI: Michael Bay blew another part of Hong Kong and Detroit into the Stone Age with the unveiling of Transformers 4: Age of Extinction.’ It was mildly successful, earning $104 million to score the the largest opening weekend of the tetralogy.

This may be a surprise to some, but I found myself in one of those weekend theaters, grasping a large caffeinated beverage with cargo shorts full of cheap snacks from Walmart (Oh please! Like I was the only one). And while I was watching Optimus Prime get all ‘Urban Cowboy’ on a dinobot, the oddest 5 Things came to my flacky brain: 5 things PR pros can actually learn from Transformers.

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‘Kitchen Nightmares’ Was Only a Dream Come True 40% of the Time

gordon ramsay

Chef Gordon Ramsay has approximately 1,649 shows on TV. Okay, perhaps that is an overstatement, but it’s close. Between his monopolizing BBC America and FOX with original and remake programming, you would think this chef can do no wrong.

As a foodie, I know anyone who wasn’t a cafeteria lady or a hospital cook on a reality show looking for those precious 15 minutes of fame will act like Chef Ramsay is “just a dude.” However, someone who really loved cooking food would salivate at the man’s footsteps. He really is that much of a stud in a kitchen, so you expect he has the Midas touch … and then someone did some digging around the success rate of his show ‘Kitchen Nightmares.’

And that’s when Gordon Ramsay quit. Really.

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THIS JUST IN: Super-Hungry Supermodel Busted for Stealing Food

THIS JUST IN 2The modeling industry has a terrible reputation and it seems a legion of finely tuned, hipster publicists couldn’t correct that.

What with serial airbrushing on covers of the beautiful people, only a certain — shall we say, homogenized-type person — has a future on certain publications and whatever the hell those people wear during “Fashion Week.”

However, the most detrimental stigma to the world of modeling is eating disorders. People to need a waif, or possibly a refugee, to fit in and get noticed. Like I always say, “Stereotypes become a type for a reason.”

And then a model gets caught lifting food at a NYC bodega because she had the munchies. However, it’s what she stole that made news.

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