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Damage Control

Bad News: Poll Shows Confidence in News Media Very Low, Right Above Congress

we hate TV

500 channels and nothing on…

There is nothing more mesmerizing than our ability to ignore fact, figure, and logic.

Collectively, there are groups of people who can be so dense that one would think every highfalutin group walks around in wifebeaters drenched in sweat and beer stains. For example: It is no secret that the current Congressional body has the lowest approval rating in U.S. history, yet there they are, re-elected and sitting pretty.

Glowing in the spotlight of that single-digit love is one other group that just can’t take a hint: National Network News.

The numbers we have to share have nothing to do with ratings, but they probably should.

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5 Reasons Why the PR Industry Needs to Do Some Damage Control

same thinking PR

Yeah, that’s about it.

For years, your friends at PRNewser have dared to think and write things that some in our industry aren’t too crazy about us posting. Why? We are spilling the secret sauce all over the kitchen floor … and then dance in it to show our panache.

Listicles such as: PR myths that need debunking, traits of bad PR people, the worst PR stereotypes, PR buzzwords that suck, things PR people do to piss off the media, and the highly controversial things the media does that piss off PR people are itemized retrospectives on what ails the industry we all adore.

Yet, public relations is in dire need of PR itself. And here, right on schedule, are five reasons why…

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Disney to Make Princess Leia Toys Thanks to #WeWantLeia Hashtag

leiaBack in May, Disney announced it would be rolling out a new line of Star Wars themed toys, which will be available for purchase in Disney stores. As excited customers browsed through the soon-to-be-collectibles, they quickly noticed the lack of products featuring female characters — Sure, Luke and R2 and Han and Vader were all represented, but where was the no-nonsense heroine Princess Leia?

A mother shopping for her daughter asked Disney that exact question via Twitter, to which the brand responded:

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Jonah Hill Gives Good Apology

shutterstock_170008331Another day, another celebrity pulling an Alec Baldwin on an innocent professional photographer.

This isn’t really news, but when TMZ calls your apology “near perfect“, there might just be lessons to learn…

22 Jump Street star and surprise Oscar nominee Jonah Hill showed everyone else in L.A. how to kiss and make up after telling an overeager paparazzo to “s— my d—” over the weekend and throwing in a homophobic slur for good measure.

For some reason, Hill thought that Howard Stern would be “the perfect person to talk to about this“–and he proceeded to hit every note on his one-stop apology tour.

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Jack White Apologizes to The Black Keys, Lana Del Rey, Meg White, Basically Everyone

20140520-jackwhite-x600-1400602440Musician Jack White has recently had fans of Meg White, The Black Keys, Lana Del Rey, Adele, and Duffy up in arms because of a recent interview with Rolling Stone in which White seemed to be picking on each of them for one thing or another. While he seemed to present his White Stripes counterpart Meg White as an unsupportive recluse, he also claimed that The Black Keys were effectively ripping off his sound and seemed to be insinuating that artists like Adele, Duffy and Lana Del Rey have only found success because of the door opened by Amy Winehouse and the gap left by her untimely passing.

This past Saturday, in an effort to explain himself and apologize to his fellow musicians, White posted a lengthy letter on his website. He opens this way:

It seems like it’s becoming obvious that to continue the activities I have planned for the rest of my year as a musician, and not be hounded by nonsense throughout those experiences, I should make a statement to clear up a lot of the negativity surrounding things I’ve said or written, despite the fact that I loathe to bring more attention to these things.

White then addresses his feelings about the interview itself, and how he felt the need to discuss very personal topics after his personal letters were leaked to the public last year. Read more

Alleged Bigot Sues Red Lobster, Waitress for Accusing Him of Bigotry

red lobsterLast September, Toni Christina Jenkins was waiting tables at her local Red Lobster in Tennessee when some jackleg fool left an unfortunate, highly racist note in the tip section instead of money (pictured in its original NSFW fashion after the jump).

To wit, Jenkins posted it on Facebook and the thing went viral faster that the flu. And for her efforts to “show that racism was still alive and well,” she was suspended from her job for “violating the company’s policy prohibiting the posting of receipts online.”

Stay classy, Red Lobster.

Anywho, things went very well for Jenkins but the guy who allegedly went all backwoods trailer park on her receipt is suing Red Lobster — and Ms. Jenkins — for $1 million. His claim: She did it.

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Rap Genius Co-founder Resigns After Disturbing Comments on Elliot Rodger’s Manifesto

RodgerWhen human beings do unspeakable things to their fellow man, society’s need to understand why such things happen often leads to mass speculation and a sort of fascination with the persons who commit these violent acts. As such, manifestos, journals, and other windows into the minds of such people are often widely shared and discussed. The manifesto of Elliot Rodger — who murdered six people in a shooting rampage near Santa Barbara, CA on Friday — is no exception.

Mahbod Moghadam, co-founder of annotation website Rap Genius, felt compelled to not only read Roger’s hate-filled manifesto, but to use his company’s website to leave comments and notes about the parts of the text he found most interesting. Most unfortunately, those comments were, for the most part, insensitive at best and deeply disturbing at worst. Read more

Newspapers Get Worst News Ever: Now They Cause Allergies

ah choo

I should have majored in computer science.

For decades, newspaper publishers and media giants alike have seen the erosion of its medium widdle into a blob of ink. You know, like Jello, only not as appetizing.

Many of these beleaguered brands have tried to grow with the times (e.g., San Francisco Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune), and for that, PR peeps and consumers alike have responded well.

However, this latest news to come out Baltimore just may be the death knell for the entire industry. What could be so tragic? What is so heinous? There is now a real allergy to newspaper ink. Oh yeah, it’s real.

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Chipotle Bans Guns at Restaurants After ‘Open Carry’ Demonstration in Texas

1311973338-chipotle-logoRemember when gun enthusiasts celebrated a heavily-armed “Starbucks Appreciation Day” to thank the coffee chain for defaulting to local gun laws (including “open carry” regulations), resulting in the company banning firearms from all of its locations to separate itself from the highly-political kerfuffle?

Well, if being barred from polishing your colt 45 while sipping on a latte at your local Starbucks disappointed you, you’ll be devastated to learn that if you were hoping to brandish an assault rifle while enjoying your next Chipotle burrito, you’ll now officially have to order it to go.

The new policy banning guns from all Chipotle locations comes after participants in an “open carry” demonstration brought guns — including assault rifles — into one of Chipotle’s Texas stores. The spectacle (for some reason) made customers rather uncomfortable, and also launched the fast food chain into the center of a hotly-debated issue — neither of which the company particularly appreciated. Read more

FIFA President: ‘Qatar World Cup? My Bad.’

sepp blatter fifa

From the Olympics to the Super Bowl, cities around the world have made it a mission to win “announcements.” You know? When the desired event (e.g., RNC 2016, DNC 2016, Tea Party, well, you get the idea), holds a press conference, opens an envelope, and immediately creates millions of dollars in economic impact for a city?

Yeah, Futbol (or Soccer, if you are so domesticated) does this in a big form.

Getting the World Cup for its quadrennial global championship means huge money for the host city in tourism, shopping, dining, lodging, and of course, sport watching. FIFA President Sepp Blatter recently announced that Qatar — a rumored opulent peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia — would host the 2022 World Cup.

Except now, he wishes he never said a word.  Read more

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