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Tonya Garcia

BlackBerry Should Send CEO John Chen To Talk To the Media More Often

BlackBerry has been up against some very rough times, but the company keeps pushing, trying to get back into the hands, pockets, briefcases and purses of people around the world.

Today, CEO John Chen spoke with Nora, Charlie and Gayle (“a ride or die BlackBerry girl”) on CBS This Morning about the latest phone, how a few new colors could make the phone cooler, and why the government is still hanging on to their BBs.

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Greenpeace Protest in Peru May Have Caused Environmental Damage

greenpeace protestEnvironmental groups are known for the doggedness with which they pursue their causes. So it’s not a surprise that Greenpeace would go to Peru to stage a demonstration, encouraging people to be eco-friendly. That the protest itself may have caused irreversible damage to a historic site is surprising.

Global leaders gathered in the South American country’s capital, Lima, and agreed last week to reduce greenhouse gases with details about how to do that coming this spring.

In the shadow of that, at the Nazca Lines, a World Heritage site where geoglyphs, hundreds of drawings in stone and sand have been around for more than 1,000 years, Greenpeace staged one of their high-profile demonstrations. They laid out a cloth message that can be seen from overhead, spelling out “Time for change! The future is renewable. Greenpeace.”

The only problem is the 20 Greenpeace members were there without legal consent and without the proper equipment normally used by professional archaeologists to prevent damage being done to the sensitive rocks and sand that cover the earth in that location.

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Publicist Hannah Bagshawe Marries Theory Of Everything Star Eddie Redmayne

Congrats are in order! Publicist Hannah Bagshawe married Eddie Redmayne over the weekend in Somerset, England.

Redmayne is currently starring as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, a role that will likely earn him more than a few acting nominations and honors. He’s also starred in the award-winning film version of Les Miserables, My Week With Marilyn and with Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

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This Is Why The Guest List For Your Next Event Is So Important

The Huffington Post tweaked The New York Times‘ Dealbook conference just a bit on the issue of diversity, pointing out that women and people of color were few and far between among the special guests.

“The theme of the conference, hosted by the paper’s finance and deal reporting site, was ‘Taking Stock of the Future: Rebuilding the Economy, Growth and Trust,’” writes the site. “Despite focusing on the future, the cast on stage looked a lot like the distant past.”

But actually, the story points out later, the conference beat big business stats:

The conference did manage to improve on corporate America’s standards of inclusion. Reuters reports that women account for 4 percent of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies, and a 2012 McKinsey study found that women make up only 14 percent of executive committees on corporate boards in the Fortune 500. The Center for American Progress found that a similarly tiny fraction of Fortune 500 CEOs, 4.2 percent, was made up of people of color.

The story demonstrates the importance of being thoughtful about the events you and your clients are hosting, making sure that any panels or VIP lists really reflect the audience in attendance, the industry and the population at large.

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Can SantaCon Reform Its Drunken Rep?


If you live in or around New York City, you know what SantaCon is: an annual holiday tradition in which a bunch of people set upon the boroughs dressed in Santa costumes getting progressively more drunk and gross as the afternoon wears on. Perhaps you’ve woken in the morning to a puddle of vomit on your front stoop, a care package from a pub crawling St. Nick who doesn’t know his limits.

This weekend, the organization behind this yearly bacchanal sought to take the first steps to dispel this reputation with a press conference on Saturday morning reaffirming what SantaCon is really about: a protest against the commercialization of Christmas. Really? Had no clue. Thought it was always just a chance to get your drink on while wearing a costume, like Halloween but a couple months later. So what’s this protest you speak of?

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Sony Corp Comms Leader Canned After Email From Studio Head’s Hubby

via s_bukley /

via s_bukley /

The Sony leak is seriously the hack that keeps on giving. Now we have word that the head of corporate communications for the entertainment company, Charles Sipkins, lost his job shortly after emails calling for his dismissal passed between Bernie Weinraub, a former New York Times reporter, Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Weinraub’s wife, and Sony’s HR head George Rose.

According to Bloomberg, Pascal was left off of a roundtable hosted by The Hollywood Reporter that featured all of the heads of the major movie companies. Weinraub sent an email to Pascal on November 15 saying, “I would fire your PR guy immediately. Or at least tell him you’re not going to deal with him anymore.” Pascal forwarded that email to Rose who agreed. Six days later, Sipkins was out of a $600,000-per-year job.

Sony, of course, hasn’t commented on this citing the need for discretion in “personnel matters.” Pascal denied that the emails had anything to do with Sipkins’ dismissal. Sipkins didn’t comment.

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Are Celebrity Spokespeople Effective?

The campaign to promote Invest In Us, programs that benefit early childhood development programs through help from public and private partners, launched this week with lots of celebrity fire power: Golden Globe nominees Julianne Moore and John Legend, Internet popular international singer Shakira and actress Jennifer Garner.

One of the PSAs used in the effort is posted above. Did you see Julianne Moore? No? That’s because she’s not in it. It’s just her voice.

Do people care as much if a celebrity spokesperson only lends their voice and not their face to a campaign? Not unless you have an iconic voice.

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Delta Takes Airline Seat Shenanigans To New Level With Five-Tiered System

delta planeDelta Airlines is launching a five-tiered seating system on March 1. At the bottom of this mountain of options is “Basic Economy,” which will be the least expensive, but won’t allow for seat selection, seat changes or refunds. Next will be “Main Cabin,” which will offer customers the opportunity to choose a seat and change their flight under certain circumstances. On international flights, it will also include a sleep kit, an alcoholic beverage and a meal.

Next is “Delta Comfort+,” which will offer priority boarding, reserved bin space, more leg room, better snacks and entertainment, and fancy seats.

“First Class” will now be split with “Delta One.” The latter will have flat beds and a chef, for instance, as well as access to Delta Sky Clubs.

All of this is, of course, about money. These “a la carte” travel options are the latest thing in air travel, and it’s making airlines tons of cash. Passenger fees for checked bags and flight changes profited the industry $1.67 billion last year. Delta made the most off of these fees, according to CNN, with $1.67 billion last year.

And while passengers have resigned themselves to being nickel-and-dimed and herded onto and off of uncomfortable flights lacking in what used to be basic amenities, this new system might be so blatant as to backfire.

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McDonald’s Going With a ‘Less Is More’ Strategy Now That Numbers Have Tumbled

via Andrey Armyagov /

via Andrey Armyagov /

McDonald’s is taking its menu in a different direction — one that’s a little more trim — in order to stanch the bleeding at its bottom line. For years, various groups have raised issues and questions about what goes into a McDonald’s meal. But with sales down (since October 2013) and the competition taking continuous nibbles out of the fast food giant’s consumer base, McD’s is putting some more significant measures in place.

To start, the menu is getting smaller. The company is ridding itself of all but one version of the Quarter Pounder with Cheese burger. There will only be one Snack Wrap left on the menu. And there will only be one chicken sandwich. There will also be fewer ingredients in their food. All of this is being tested in six markets.

And speaking of ingredients, McD’s has decided maybe it’s time to let people know what’s in their meals.

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US Birthrate Stats Show It’s Time To Rethink Outreach To Moms

pregnant woman

Image via Shutterstock

The latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control show that birth rates in the US hit a record low in 2013, down nine percent to fewer than 3.93 million. The number of births for women younger than 30 did all of the declining, down 10 percent among teens (yay!), three percent for women between the ages of 20 and 24, and one percent for women between 25 and 29.

However, for women older then 30, the number of babies born actually went up.

The stats indicate a number of things, but for PRs it means there needs to be a rethinking of outreach to mothers in order to stay relevant to this shifting demographic.

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