AgencySpy LostRemote TVNewser TVSpy FishbowlNY FishbowlDC GalleyCat SocialTimes

Big Questions

Which Firm Will Represent Cuba?

In case you missed it, the big news in politics today is that the United States is re-establishing relations with Communist Cuba after decades of isolation.

Here’s the video of the morning conference via CNN:

The “new chapter” mentioned by the president comes about, in part, thanks to the release of American Alan Gross in exchange for three Cubans who’d been jailed in Florida for spying.

The question, then: which firm will handle US/Cuba relations?

Read more

Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Baylor Hired a PR Firm for BCS Championship Awareness

baylor

(Photo Credit: Tim Sharp/AP via Bleacher Report)

The NCAA has given football fans and fantasy acolytes alike what they requested — a real college football playoff. Okay, maybe it’s more of playoff-ish, but it’s a start.

Last night, the latest rankings put a certain Fort Worth, Texas college at Number 3 (holler!) but left another North Texas institution out in the cold.

Baylor University has had a great season, and they even beat TCU in a glorious game earlier this year. But instead of working on a defense as porous as a block of Swiss Cheese, the team has decided to devote its money and energies to another cause: self-promotion.

Yes, the football team hired a public relations firm.

Read more

Did Al Roker Just Show PR Pros How to Get Noticed?

Whelp, it’s official. Al Roker has finally made his legend eternal by taking a bold step into the Guinness World Book of Records with a 34-hour uninterrupted weather forecast because dude had nothing better to do on a Wednesday morning.

Playfully dubbed #Rokerthon, the stunt was geared to raise money for Roker’s Crowdrise campaign, which benefits the U.S. armed forces and the United States Service Organizations (USO). NBC reported the event helped raise over more than $70,000 for the charity.

Admirable. Laudable. And yes, laughable. (I mean, they guy had to break a record set by some Norwegian meterologist, so that’s funny.)

And there’s your question PR pros: Is that really what it takes these days — stunts? Seriously?!

Read more

The Top 5 Things Overheard in PR Agencies Today

hunter PR stuff people say

No, they are “saying” a lot here too.

A couple of years ago, Hunter Public Relations of New York provided us with the YouTube homage “Stuff PR People Say.” Many of the points in the video will make you laugh, giggle, and really look at yourself in the mirror.

Yes, folks. We do say these things: “I made a few tweaks,” “Did you get my email,” “Need by COB,” and of course, “Let’s brainstorm around that.” However, there are other sentiments that may be more client-centric or agency-centric that didn’t make this video.

And that’s what got us thinking about this week’s #5Things: The Top 5 Things Overheard in PR Agencies Today. You know, “just a thought.”

Read more

Kraft Foods Sides with PR: ‘It’s Not You, Ad Agencies. It’s Us.’

new kraft foods

Late last week, Kraft Foods announced it was parting ways with many of its advertising agencies. Seven of its 11 ad agencies were unceremoniously shown the door.

The company believes having that many chefs in the kitchen can be bad for cooking. That many agencies playing the game of ‘Telephone’ proves the theory of lost in translation. So, Kraft Foods decided to greatly reduce the white noise. The move to go less with advertising is an effort to align its brands “more strategically with the particular strengths of agencies on our roster.”

Here’s the thing: the company is keeping all 12 of its PR firms on retainer. Strategery!!

Read more

DYK: Al-Qaeda Terrorist Architect Was a Pitchman for Hair Removal Ad

turkish cosmetics al qaeda

Distant cousin to Winnie the Pooh?

That Chewbacca look-alike in the advertisement above is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man dubbed as the “9/11 Mastermind.”

While he will forever be known as one of the worst human beings ever because of the devastation he brought to our native soil, in the country of Turkey, he’s known as something else: Spokesperson.

The ad is for Epila Hair Removal. The call-to-action headline in Turkish means “Waiting won’t get rid of that hair.” The tool is that guy.

(It’s Veterans Day, so let’s have a round of applause that he’s currently in custody. Just putting that out there.)

Read more

Amal Alamuddin Becomes Mrs. Clooney — and Who Cares?

amal clooneyEighteen days ago, a supremely successful London barrister married the sexiest of Hollywood stars. Yesterday, she took his last name. That’s right; the beautiful and intelligent Amal Alamuddin is now Mrs. Clooney. But what does it meeeeaaannn..?

Does it mean she’s closing the chapter on her years (and seemingly identity) as an independent working woman? Does it mean she’s turning her back on her ethic identity? Does it mean anything at all?

The media machine has been hard at work drumming up an alleged “feminist debate” around the name change, which some self-proclaimed “cranky feminists” have argued ultimately involves a woman reneging on her autonomy as an individual.

Read more

No One Wants to Admit to Repping Big Tobacco

NO SMOKING OK

Remember the Edelman-driven CVS initiative in which the pharmacy chain announced its plans to stop selling tobacco in its stores? How about the Truth anti-smoking spots created to shame celebrity tokers?

These felt like somewhat bold responses to a serious health epidemic. Were they, though? Or were they simply a reflection of a new societal consensus? This week we discovered an unsurprising fact: no one wants to admit to representing major tobacco companies. They have entered a class of client best labeled “forbidden.”

Read more

One Man Wants to Show You How to ‘Get It Right’ with Wikipedia

wikipedia1Have you ever had a client ask you to “look into” or “take care of” their Wikipedia page? Most likely the answer is “yes.”

For PR professionals and the clients they serve, Wikipedia matters. It is the planet’s fifth-most visited domain, and 53% of American adults consult it on a regular basis.

Take a look at your client or brand’s page on Wikipedia now — is it up to date? Is all the information correct? Are all associated images optimized?

Wikipedia’s volunteer community has created an incredible resource, but it does contain some major blind spots.

So what’s a PRNewser to do? Editing a Wikipedia page can be difficult on one’s own—the rules for writing and editing are constantly changing, and they’re governed by a community that is resistant to outside assistance.

They have their reasons: we’re all aware of the fact that certain firms specialize in Wikipedia “sockpuppeting”, and while a coalition of the industry’s top names did come to an “agreement” with the site’s community this year, problems remain.

(For a refresher, we spoke to seven experts on the ramifications of the agreement earlier this Summer.)

Read more

What’s the Difference Between ‘Strategy’ and ‘Tactic?’

strategy-vs-tacticsTwo of the most common words in the flack’s vernacular (next to coffeeare strategy and tactic. 

According to Michael Porter, strategy leader and author of Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance, “Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value.”

The conundrum in this industry is that, although you have to think (strategy) before you do (tactic) anything, these two terms are often used interchangeably. It seems “being different” is understanding the difference in the first place.

This should help…

Read more

NEXT PAGE >>