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UNC’s Edelman Bill Rises to Nearly $2 Million; Critics Pounce

unc_logo_c_32a691Last month, the scandal-plagued University of North Carolina revealed the “scary” price of crisis communications: $782,000 for “several months” of work performed by a team from Edelman.

Yesterday, that number jumped to $2 million — and you could almost hear the sound of critics scoffing online.

Key quote via The Charlotte Observer:

“A copy of the contract provided under a public records request shows Edelman will receive more than $1.65 million for public relations services over the period of a year, ending April 30, 2015.”

But will the investment ultimately pay off for the school?

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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!

THIS JUST IN: Teacher Takes 11 Kids on Field Trip…in Her Honda Accord

THIS JUST IN 2Teachers are responsible for some of the most important work on the planet: educate our future generations.

Despite what Time magazine staffers think about their locked-in job security (and sometimes, rightly so), teachers deserve much more respect and pay for what they have chosen to do for a living.

That said, there are other teachers out there who make Rosie O’Donnell look like a nice, sweet lady…and then there is this woman from some backwoods, high-heels-and-socks town in Oklahoma who took 11 kids on a field trip.

In a Honda Accord. With two students in her trunk.

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DePaul University’s Anti-Assault Campaign ‘Consent the D’ Scores a #PRFail

consent-the-d

And no, NCAA homers, that’s NOT for DePaul.

If you dig the DePaul University Blue Demons, then prepare to argue about this haute couture (which is not a Halloween costume). If you don’t understand the reference to DIBS (said university’s mascot’s name) or the Chicago-based institution of higher learning, then you will probably bemoan this hellacious campaign.

According to CBS Radio’s WBBM-FM 105.9 in the Windy City, “a group of DePaul students have been selling T-shirts to raise awareness of sexual assault, but the message on those shirts isn’t sitting well with some women.”

Consent the D,” double-entendre fans.

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#ChangeTheMascot Creates Most Persuasive Spot Yet (for the NFL to Ignore)

changethemascot

Earlier this summer, advocacy group ChangeTheMascot.org created a PSA to make both sympathizers and opponents pay full attention to its message.

It’s 2014 and this organization is still fighting the fight to ask — or, rather, demand – that Daniel Snyder #ChangeTheMascot. You know which one we mean.

Sure, the NFL is steeped in tradition. Yes, the NFL team in Washington has embraced its name for more than 80 years. Yet life goes on, seasons change, and traditions are reconsidered. If this new PSA doesn’t make him consider the issue more carefully, then dude has some serious issues.

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UNC Chancellor Gets Probed in NCAA Crisis

Wainstein-Ken-UNCThis better be a book people at the University of North Carolina should read

Although whistleblowing isn’t an actual class on campus, former standout shooting guard Rashad McCants seems to be an ace student at doing it because he has tried not once — but twice — to throw his entire alma mater of University of North Carolina under the NCAA bus.

Earlier this summer, McCants decided to blow that whistle about tutors writing his homework and only going to class “half of the time” at UNC. Although his claims raised a small cloud of dust at UNC, the story didn’t gain that much momentum. Last week, McCants blew the whistle again.

And did those Pavlovian dogs in the media ever drool this time.

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Former VJ Kennedy Says Young People Shouldn’t ‘Rock the Vote’

Kennedy MTVAnyone remember MTV? No, not the beleaguered reality show network of today…we mean the first music television video network.

For you young’uns out in the PRNewserverse, MTV had a gaggle of notable people known as “VJs” or video DJs. Cool, right? People like Kurt Loder, Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, and Alan Hunter recall the 80s in a way few things can. Following the original VJs, MTV tried to spruce up their look by hiring young Gen-Y folk like Bill Bellamy, Carson Daly, Daisy Fuentes, and some chick named Kennedy.

Today, Lisa Kennedy Montgomery is no longer commenting on the videos of yesteryear. She is on Fox Business Network co-hosting a show called “The Independents.” On that show, Kennedy drew a brain fart, forgot the days when she gave full-throated endorsements to “Rock the Vote“, and told viewers that young people should not vote when they don’t know the issues.

Bet she wants her MTV now.

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FOX News’ Tucker Carlson Suspects Kids Are ‘Learning Too Much’ in School

tucker-carlson-1024x682Someday, somehow, someone is going to invent a mute button just for certain “journalists.” If you have ever doubted a need for such a Rube Goldberg device, read this story, brought to you by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.

As he took his frequent seat on FOX & Friends, Carlson began discussing the usual suspects — ISIS, the economy, Obama’s birth certificate — then took an abrupt detour, careened off the road, and ranted against the U.S. education system, public school, and the teachers in it.

Because if you want good PR mojo, attack the teachers. It’s right up there with harassing the elderly and making fun of someone’s mother. The unbelievable video is after the jump, along with his explanation. Read more

Oxymoronic? September Is PRSA’s ‘Ethics Awareness Month’

ethics

The Public Relations Society of America has declared September to be “Ethics Awareness Month.”

This is a banner under which public relations practitioners everywhere should march. Strict ethical guidelines should be that fundamental to an industry that specializes in repairing and maintaining reputations. But does establishing a month for PR types focus on ethics even matter any longer? Does ethics carry as much of a place of importance as it should in this industry?

The younger this industry gets, the more ethics should matter.

How are we doing on that front?

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Why Labor Day Needs Public Relations Assistance

Labor-DayThis weekend, everyone is ready to get their grill on and enjoy the extended weekend to commemorate Labor Day.

This day is usually celebrated in the company of a body of water, a gaggle of friends, and a trough of adult beverages (none of whom are certain as to why they have the day off). The most prescient reminder that we don’t have to go into the office is the “closed” sign in the window of our local bank.

The problem is that the day was not created for a telethon or an excursion to the beach, but rather to celebrate the true laborers in this country way back in 1882.

The day was created to recognize the little man — the person who worked 10 to 12 hours each day, received very little pay, lived with an extremely compromised quality of life and never received anything in the way of thanks for a day of hard labor. 

Sound familiar?

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Grammatical Ignorance Considered Support for Gay Rights in Utah

Inigo-Montoya-WORD-MEANS

I love a good turn of phrase. Much of the time, one can be achieved via the mastery of a word/figure of speech — like these three, for example:

Homograph (n.) – Words that have the same spelling, but different pronunciations and meanings.

Homonym (n.) – Words that have the same spelling and same pronunciation, but different meanings.

Homophone (n.) – Words that have the same pronunciation, but different spelling and different meanings.

That last one is tricky because it reminds narrow-minded people of a word that no one uses correctly: HomophobeYou see, to have a ‘phobia,’ one must be legitimately afraid of something. People who are labeled with that term aren’t scared. They’re just idiots.

Kinda like this guy in Utah who fired a blogger for using that word. No, not that one, the other one: Homophone. 

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