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Ethics

A PR Look at the ‘-Isms’

isms

Ever since Jill Abramson has been putting The New York Times on blast about her pay scale issues for the past 17 years, the word “sexism” has appeared in many headlines. People who want to claim intolerance in any industry, at any level, often name an ‘-ism’ even if they have no clue as to what it means.

It’s a miracle activist groups don’t have their own version of the “Urban Dictionary”, because they are so screwing with Merriam and Webster right now. An example: cries of “racism” in the face of Michael Sam hate (which is about his sexual orientation, not his skin color).

To wit, we thought we would help the huddled masses understand “-isms” in their truest sense–the way they affect public perception. Read more

These Companies Are the ‘Best Corporate Citizens’

100BestList.pdfWhat exactly makes a company a good “corporate citizen?” In order for Corporate Responsibility Magazine to determine the answer to this question, its research team considers and documents 298 data points pertaining to seven different categories: environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance, and philanthropy.

The result is a list of the top 100 corporations that have done the best across the board over the past year. The newly-released 2014 list features the following companies in the top spots:

Read more

Nintendo Responds to Petition Asking for Reinstatement of Same-Sex Relationships in ‘Tomodachi Life’ Game

Nintendo Strikes Down Gay Marriage Requests for Tomodachi Life - IGNJust weeks before Nintendo plans to release its life-simulation game Tomodachi Life in western markets, it has patched out a “bug” that allowed — as the company put it — “strange relationships,” AKA same-sex romances between characters. The decision has sparked an increasingly-popular online petition called Miiquality, which is asking Nintendo to reverse its actions.

Tye Marini, the 23-year-old Nintendo fan from Mesa, Arizona, who launched the campaign last month, said of his hopes for the 3DS game, “I want to be able to marry my real-life fiancé’s Mii, but I can’t do that…My only options are to marry some female Mii, to change the gender of either my Mii or my fiancé’s Mii, or to completely avoid marriage altogether and miss out on the exclusive content that comes with it.”

In response to the petition and growing controversy, Nintendo released a statement, saying:

Read more

‘We the People’ of the Web? An Internet Bill of Rights May be a Thing

save the internet

It’s been bantered about in tech circles for the last few years, but since the Edward Snowden kerfuffle highlighted how the NSA can impede on anyone’s rights they deem appropriate on the Interweb, the discussion of an Internet Bill of Rights is now in serious consideration.

And if you think we are leading the charge for this global consideration, then you would be wrong.

Congratulate Brazil (Huh?) for surpassing the United States of America there, as the country of complete debauchery during Carnival, got its president to sign this into a law as Internet Bill of Rights late last month.

Maybe that has something to do with Congress wanting to discuss this too.

Read more

FOX News Offers a New (and Terrible) Way to Cover Presidential Press Conferences

no accurate newsAs we know in the world of media and national reporting, “Breaking News” doesn’t quite have the same authority as it used to hold in the minds of consumers. In fact, when a “Breaking News” stinger hits, many viewers just assume it will feature someone else squawking their disapproval for the administration or leading people down a rabbit hole somewhere.

Lately, the only thing sacred would be a presidential press conference. Unfettered access to the leader of our country’s every word. Every TV camera glued to his message. And then the pundits on any station can vomit at will.

Those days are gone, thanks to FOX News. We are just reporting. You get to decide…

Read more

‘Hip Spectacles and No Testicles.’ Meet the Furry New Face of Pet Population Control

scooter-neutered-cat-2-hed-2014

When we think PSAs about pet population control, we think 30-second guilt trips brimming with the sad faces of caged, abandoned animals and statistics that would make even the hardest heart bleed. But the latest spots from from givethemten.org and agency Northlich/Cincinnati approach this serious issue in an entirely different way; his name is Scooter the Neutered Cat, and what he lacks in virility, he makes up for in attitude and sheer smoothness.

In one of the campaing’s videos (after the jump), Scooter — in his deep, Shaft-like voice — shares insights like: “It’s hip to be snipped,” “I no longer mark my territory; it comes to me,” and “getting my berries picked didn’t just make me a cooler cat; it helped in the fight against feline overpopulation.”

We think this humorous twist on a decidedly-unfunny issue is actually quite effective; the problem with heart-wrenching PSAs is that people flip the channel so as to avoid having their entire day overcast by gloom, and thereby miss the message. This campaign, however, manages to use wit and entertainment to keep viewers, but also mixes in the necessary dose of reality. For instance, while the main page of the website amusingly offers a free T-shirt to anyone who pledges to “go gonad-free,” it also features a countdown at the top of the page informing readers that every twenty minutes, a kill shelter takes the life of a cat.

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Prince George’s PD Gets #PRFail for Live Tweeting Prostitution Sting

PGPD carIn the Commonwealth of Virginia, nestled in political ballyhoo and apparently a fair amount of skanks is Prince George County. Evidently, some of the upper crust in the metropolitan suburb have noticed said trollops gallivanting about during the midnight hour.

The proud men and women of the Prince George Police Department (PGPD) have decided to take on the world’s oldest profession (around some of the world’s oldest men avail oneself of said profession). Like they do in other cities, the police department is putting on some clandestine sting operation.

Oh yeah, and unlike other cities, they are live tweeting the festivities.

Read more

Florida School Stops Providing Mountain Dew Shots Before Standardized Tests

mountain dripping dew

Bottoms up, kid! Your grades count on it.

Next up in “Jacked-up Standardized Testing” News, we go to Melbourne, Fla. HELLO!

According to a story broken by Brevard County’s News 13 and later covered by NPR, some parents questioned officials at Dr. W.J. Creel Elementary School after they found out that teachers made Mountain Dew “available to the students” before they took part in the Florida Comprehensive Assessments Test (FCAT).

Oh, and this practice to get elementary school children amped up for the big test has been happening for the past 10 years. 

Read more

Houston School Creates ‘Wall of Shame’ for State-Mandated Test … Motivation?

shame on you

We believe children are the future. Unless they are taking tests, then they’re idiots!

If you know a teacher, you have heard how deplorable some public schools are in terms of state-mandated, standardized tests. Some say that they are prejudicial. Others believe they are foolish. Overall, they put more of an edict of suckage on the teacher than the student. If the student fails the exam, the teacher gets punished.

He or she should have done better. The student may have poor study habits, apathy about whatever is in the classroom, or maybe an undiagnosed learning disability. None of that matters when it comes time to yank the teacher into the principal’s office.

And that’s why a group of teachers in Houston decided that public ridicule and shaming would be a great way to motivate students into doing better. Wait, what?

Read more

How Did We Become ‘Spin Doctors’ Anyway?

what-is-public-relationsSo, there I was reading PR Week recently when I noticed its quote of the day: “PR professionals hate spin and what it stands for.” The fact that said PR professional shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition notwithstanding, the sentiment is right on!

Candidly, I have never been so smug with this craft to think I am beyond being called a “flack.”

It’s our nickname and it’s a term of endearment. Many journalists respectively celebrate their status as “hacks.” However, one term that is universally frowned upon in this establishment is “Spin Doctor.” 

Why? The term connotes ne’er-do-wells, people who suck at PR, and borderline used-car salesmen or, in the worst case scenario, lobbyists.

Unfortunately, the literal meaning of the term is even worse…

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