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Education

STUDY: Abstaining from Alcohol Will Cause Premature Death

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Yeah, that’s what I thought as well.

I began searching for “paid by the same cats that brought you Jack Daniels distillery,” but what I found was enough to make a hobo stand up and shout “Amen!”

This study was conducted by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas at Austin. While that sounds impressive, a clinical psychologist smoking a fru-fru pipe standing in his white jacket and smart inscription “Charles Holahan, M.D.” I used my hack-turned-flack journalist Spidey Sense to ascertain something that was rather fishy.

The study 20 years in the making after the jump…

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Buffalo, NY Teacher Sends Note Home About ‘Smelly’ Kids

Teacher-sends-smelly-childrenAs a former vocalist and crack philosopher once said, “I believe the children are our future.” Yes, they are. And Buffalo pre-kindergarten teacher Sharon D. Perry Dunnigan believes a bath should occur in their immediate future.

The inspiring picture to the left confirms that Ms. Perry Dunnigan personally wrote a lovely letter informing all of her BUILD Academy parents about the many reasons that she wasn’t thrilled to touch her students this year.

Outlandish, WTF reasons:

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UT Austin’s New Holiday Game: ‘Catch an Illegal Immigrant’ on Campus

illegal-immigrant-gameI love being a Texan, and most of what that implies.

You know, aside from the bigoted castigation placed upon this state by some of our native dolts. However, when you travel down south to the state capitol of Austin and visit the Survivor Island known as ‘The University of Texas at Austin‘, it is easy to ascertain that the Lone Star state needs to get a ninja star (shuriken, for those not in the martial arts know) hurled into its stereotypical cowboy ass.

First reported by the sage minds at the Texas Tribune, the campus group ‘Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT)‘ thought it would be a fun game to play “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” on campus. And the reward for said incarceration? A $25 gift card. Oh yeah, and it gets even awesomer…

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Ads for Catholic Girls’ School Take Feminist Approach: ‘Don’t Wait for a Prince; Be Able to Rescue Yourself’

mercy-ads-2First the pope admits that the Catholic Church has been too focused on policing what goes on in people’s bedrooms, and now an all-girls Catholic school is promoting female independence and empowerment? Oh, what is the world coming to?

This awesome, stereotype-shattering campaign for a small, all-female Catholic college-prep academy in Kentucky sends a necessary and feminist message that girls may not hear often enough: “You’re not a princess” and “life’s not a fairytale,” so “don’t wait for a prince; be able to rescue yourself.”

The fine print of the campaign goes on to say that while girls may not be wearing tiaras, they can “still rule the world” by getting an education and “preparing for real life.”

Hey, Disney: It looks like American Catholicism might just manage a progressive re-branding faster than you. In which case, all we can say is this: when the Catholics are calling you out for being stuck in the dark ages, it might be time to reevaluate.

Here are a couple more of the ads:

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The Evolution of Metrics

RIP-AVEA long time ago in a flackdom not too far away lived a gaggle of PR professionals that were under the impression the only way they could quantify what they did for a living was through an obscure metric known as Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE). Since 1949, AVE has been heavily debated — albeit, it’s been used by agencies across the nation — but griped about nonetheless.

Then, some highfalutin flack questioned the ethics of it all because ad numbers tend to be, shall we say, mercurial. That was 2010, and pretty much the end of AVE. However, I am in the minority when I say it will never be completely eradicated. Why? Try telling a small business owner about his exposure and influence among paid, earned and shared media and he or she will point your narrow behind to the door. Show him or her numbers (no matter how obscure they are to define) and you will find a happy client.

Because measurement — to a client, not to an agency — has to be seen, experienced and measured in order to be real. What do you say then? How do you validate your effectiveness then? Let’s discuss ethics and possible solution about this quantifiable evolution after the jump…

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Malcolm X’s Family Seek to Block Diary Publication

Malcolm XFebruary 21, 1965, a man entered Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom for a speech about unity within the black community. That dreary day in American history was the assassination of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, who would be taken from that ballroom with 21 gunshots to his chest, left shoulder, arms and legs.

The man many would come to know as Malcolm X is a myth to as many as he is a beloved legend.

And to date, his sole memory has been authorized and archived in Alex Haley’s award-winning autobiography of Minister Malcolm. Its pages have been rippled through the annals of time and inspired a most amazing film by Spike Lee.

There have not only been controversial tales (and conspiracy tales) of his assassination, but also of the death of his wife, the alleged plot of his daughter to murder Louis Farrakhan and most recently, the murder of his grandson in Mexico. Admirers, followers and historians alike have been angling for facts on Minister Malcolm since 1965.

Today, his family has gone to court to block publication of the late civil rights leader’s diary, according to the New York Daily News

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STUDY: 4 out of 5 People Believe There Is an ‘I’ in Team

teamwork_blameThis life we have chosen as flacks is one of many aspects — creativity, spur-of-the-moment decisions, crisis planning and preparation, multitasking, but specifically, relationship building.

It’s a primary facet of everything we do. From working with the media to learning about clients, building a team to reinforcing a brand, if you don’t strive to create relationships in all that you do, consider picking up an application at Mickey D’s on the way to work tomorrow.

And if that is you, buck up, lil’ camper. Evidently, you are not alone thanks to a new study developed by the University of Phoenix.

In fact, 84 percent (more than four-in-five) of working adults believe working on teams in the workplace is difficult. Of working adults who think teams often fail in the workplace, more than three-in-five (61 percent) say there is not enough training.

What else? More after the jump…

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To RFP or not to RFP: What a Friggin’ Question.

RFPsI was trolling through AdAge last week—as is my routine for finding jocular pieces of information—and came across the article “One Small Fix for Broken RFPs: A Little Feedback, Please“ by Mark Simon.

The following was a lovely call out quote for me:

This isn’t about changing your mind or challenging your decision. It’s not an appeals process. All anyone wants is to learn from the experience so they can be smarter next time. Scottish author Samuel Smiles said, “We learn wisdom from failure much more than success.” Which is another way of saying: Give it to me straight.

To wit, the church said “AMEN!”

Requests for Proposals (RFPs) — namely, the governmental ones — are the banes of existence for every agency. Don’t get me wrong, they are vital to the economic foundation of most smaller agencies. One RFP can create a retainer that will pay for a year of overhead, but those heads need to get lobbed off and leap through rings of fire to pitch said RFP.

So, given what we know about RFPs and understanding popular opinion, to RFP or not to RFP? Pros and cons after the jump:

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INTERVIEW: Allison Goodin re: ‘Penn State Lives Here’

Penn_State_Lives_Here_LionA couple of weeks ago, beleaguered Penn State University came out with a new marketing campaign “Penn State Lives Here,” which was covered on PRNewser. This post (humbly submitted by yours truly) got the attention of one Allison Goodin, assistant director of university relations for Penn State Lehigh Valley.

We are a friend to the flack and the journo equally, and without reservation.

To wit, I asked Ms. Goodin a few questions about this campaign. My questions were based on its timing, challenges to overcome the devil’s own Jerry Sandusky and what impact she wants this campaign to have on the student body.

Much as I would encourage any of our readers, if a post is focused on your brand, holler back. We have no enmity toward the follow-up. A big shout out to Allison for the email, and on behalf of all of us at PRNewser, we wish Penn State University the best…or in this case, the happiest in the Valley.

Her interview is after the jump:

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Public Relations: The Journalist’s New Frontier (Part 1)

Andy CToday we bring you the first post in a two-part story by Orbit Media Studios founder and content marketing specialist Andy Crestodina (find him on Twitter and Google+). 

It’s inevitable. Every time I speak about content marketing around the city of Chicago, I’ll be approached by a journalist-in-transition who was sitting in the audience. With each passing month, they make up a larger percentage of the crowd.

Honestly, it’s a bit sad. These are, after all, people who chose to pursue a career in news, a noble profession that requires long hours and has never paid all that well. But at least until the last decade, it was one that provided some job security.

Not anymore, reports Holly Regan of Software AdviceSince 2000, newsrooms have laid off 25 percent of their workers, and many have closed entirely. Regan cites some depressing numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts a further drop of 6 percent between 2010 and 2020. That actually sounds optimistic.

According to the American Society of News Editors, there were 40,600 print journalists in 2012, with the number expected to dip below 40,000 this year for the first time since 1978. But there’s hope for erstwhile journalists because, as Regan says, “there is still a large and growing demand for journalism skills.”

After the jump: The Content Marketing Career Explosion

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