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Former WH Chief Defends Powerful Women Appearing in ‘Women’s Magazines’

MICHELLE-OBAMA-VOGUE-COVER-570

You may have noticed a not-so-recent trend: powerful women in politics, technology and other fields appearing on the covers of magazines like Vogue and Cosmopolitan as they make major career transitions.

Unfortunately, these very women often receive a steady drumbeat of criticism after making such appearances. This doesn’t just apply to politics, either–remember Marissa Mayer‘s 2013 cover shoot?

Last week, Marie Claire’s newest contributing editor Alyssa Mastromonaco finally stood up to defend the practice in The Washington Post with the simple headline “Being informed and fashionable is natural for women.

Mastromonaco is more qualified than most to comment on this topic: she spent six years as President Obama’s White House Deputy Chief of Staff.

We’ll review what she wrote after the jump.

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‘At The End of The Day,’ Even The New York Times Does This

likeThe catchphrase for an epidemic that ruins most new business pitches and PR interviews is “vocal crutch.”

It is that drastic moment when a flack runs out of something interesting to say, and needs a second to think. Instead of a well-placed pause to show consideration for using a brain, the audience — be it a prospective client, a member of the media, or even a PR director considering your future career — gets pelted with a deluge of “ums,” “uhs,” and “likes.”

Much to the chagrin of anyone having to sit through a conversation with anyone who hurls buzzwords or vocal crutches at anyone in their path, it seems America has found your leader: The New York Times. 

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5 Generation Gaps in Need of Bridging in Public Relations

music gen gap

I was having a spirited conversation about the state of public relations with a journo buddy of mine last week when this question came up: “How in the hell can anyone build a bridge long enough for the widening generation gap in the media and PR?”

After he downed a few shots of a certain toxic adult beverage following that stress-induced question, it got me thinking about another 5 Things topic for all us flacks to enjoy and discuss. It should scurry up some conversation, so here’s to hoping.

Here are 5 Generation Gaps in Need of Bridging in PR. If you have tools to build this structure, we will set up the contractor site immediately.

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STUDY: Oxford Commas for Grammar Snobs Only (Ironically)

serial comma kayne

Who gives a f*ck about an Oxford comma?

We do. Because we’re snooty.

Number-crunching blog for the OCD-compliant FiveThirtyEight.com released a mind-numbing study that will cause curse words to be hurled in PR and ad agencies nationwide. Its key finding: only the grammar snobs in America embrace the Oxford Comma.

This may fly in the face of copywriters and flacks alike who have been taught by the “So, let’s talk journalism and … SQUIRREL!!” experts at the AP Stylebook, but here we are: If you like writing, you love the serial comma.

And it’s not even close.

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THIS JUST IN: ‘Judgment Maps’ Are Now a Thing

THIS JUST IN 2We all have our favorite map apps, with most of the debate placing Google Maps and Apple Maps in the coliseum in a fight to the death. Hopefully, first up in homicide will be that bimbo scolding me with “recalculating.”

Anywho, while GPS makers try to keep their products relevant, there is another kind of maps quickly populating Web browsers across this great land of ours — JudgmentalMaps.com.

These annotated maps take a comedic, but arguably realistic, slant on how to get about town. How many times have you been new in a city and wondered where are the places to avoid? Well, this is the map for you.

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Walmart’s Next Victim Is Organic Food, and You Can’t Blame Them

walmart organic

Wait, what?

Hey, when you’re Godzilla, you try to step on everything else, crush it, and keep on moving. Why? Because you can.

Meet Walmart. You may have seen a store or two around your neck of the woods. And for the world’s largest company, the one thing you have to give them is they never stop trying to add new cards in the spokes of its ginormous wheel. So, what in the world could it possibly add to its current global domination?

Organic food. I know, right?  Read more

MWW CEO Kempner on Independent Agencies vs. Holding Companies

1007kempner-obamaWe’ve shared a good bit of news about New Jersey’s MWW recently, and we couldn’t pass this one up. A site called The Native Society, which publishes interviews with CEOs and other business world bigwigs, published an interview with the firm’s founder, president and CEO Michael Kempner yesterday in which he touches on what it takes to succeed in PR and, more compellingly, what differentiates independent agencies from those that belong to holding companies.

We’ve picked some choice quotes, because that’s what we do.

On qualities needed for the job:

“Emotional intelligence and unwavering curiosity are key traits for a PR professional. Every project is a learning experience and time spent with clients and influencers is always time well spent.

It is also important to understand that public relations is a lifestyle not just job. It’s about living in an always-on world, and having great confidence and a desire to be great every day.”

On why independent agencies are better than holding companies:

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Kim Jong Un Keeps North Korea in the Dark, Literally

n-korea-at-night

Must have something to do with Dennis Rodman or those damn pistachios

See this colorful — or absence thereof, depending on whether you call Pyongyang home — picture from NASA? It’s making the rounds for one particular reason. That black hole in the middle of the Sea of Japan and the Korea Bay, just a smidge off the Yellow Sea.

Yeah, that’s North Korea. Ironic, no?

Kim Jong Un, heir to the family of ‘The Walking Dead (and Heartless), literally keeps a dark cloud over his entire country because he can.

The glamour shot of the forbidden country to everyone but demented basketball players was taken by the Expedition 38 crew aboard the International Space Station on Jan. 30. The only significant dot of anything comes from Pyongyang, its capital city.

Interestingly, and borrowed from several reports, per capita power consumption in South Korea is 10,162 kilowatt hours, vastly more than North Korea’s 739 kilowatt hours, according to figures compiled by the World Bank.

Think about that a little the next time you think our government has too much power, kids.

Today in Irony: Reality TV Snake Preacher Bit by Snake, Dies

jamie coots snake

Hey Pastor? Those snakes bite.

“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19 KJV)

That is a verse in the Bible. It’s meant to be a metaphor highlighting the power of the Cross in a Christ-follower’s life. It wasn’t said for fools to walk out in the desert, see a cobra, grab it by the tail and start dancing like a freak. Nonetheless, that happens, which is what gave this guy a reality show on the National Geographic Channel.

And today, he’s dead. Surprised?

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Bill O’Reilly: ‘The Internet is Making America Stupid.’

pinheadWarm. Fuzzy. And a fresh batch of WTF, right?

While I would mail a high-five to Mr. O’Reilly if he said that about text messaging for all the dolts who speak in text lingo, he said the entire Internet is making us a nation of idiots.

Newsweek survey is causing his manties to ride up his self-righteous behind. You see, more than 3 million immigrants took the U.S. citizenship examination from October 2009 to August 2013. Roughly 92 percent of applicants passed it.

As for the U.S. citizens who took the native citizenry overview? Well, that earned the name calling… Read more

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