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The 5 Types of Media Members You Meet at Events

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And now for something completely different: an infographic!

This one comes to you courtesy of Bizzabo, which AOR 5WPR describes as “the leading mobile networking app for conferences” specializing in integrating social into the event planning/attendance process.

Click through for their take on the different types of media folks you meet at the average event:

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Does Public Relations Have a Problem Relating to the Public?

shutterstock_105032324Weber Shandwick‘s president of digital Chris Perry addressed the headlining question in a Forbes article inspired by a recent conference on the future of media and PR. Here’s the issue as he sees it:

“The continued, misguided belief that marketing and PR teams are smarter than people they are trying to reach.”

A common complaint made against media “elites” and board members alike is that they underestimate the intelligence of their audience. Does PR have the same problem? Here’s a key quote from media critic Douglas Rushkoff, whose new book Present Shock is an analysis of the current state of things:

“This is an industry fathered by a man — Ed Bernays — that believed that people were too stupid to run their own lives.”

That stings. But how many times do we remind ourselves to keep the message simple so the public understands it?

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MWW Expands Amidst ‘Independent Agency vs. Holding Company’ Debate

MWW_Group_398645Today brings news that MWW has finalized its acquisition of London-based Parys Communications, which will now become part of the larger MWW organization. While the move expands the firm’s client roster to include names like News UK (part of News Corp.) and BBC Worldwide and adds all of Parys’ employees to its team, we’re most interested in its strategic implications.

As Edelman‘s David Armano noted in an August AdAge op-ed, the supernova merger of Omnicom and Publicis led to “swelling…support for independent shops” over the far larger holding companies that would (supposedly) lack the “agility” and entrepreneurial spirit of feistier competitors. Armano wrote that his original employer “had stopped innovating and…winning like we used to” after being bought by Omnicom and that he had a similar experience at Digitas.

His article described the holding company experience as a classic tale of a small fish in a big pond but ultimately concluded that the quality of work and employee satisfaction at any agency depends more on the talent within it than any other factor.

MWW is better qualified than some to comment on this trend, and today President/CEO Michael W. Kempner gave us his quick take.

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And Now Obamacare is to Blame for Bad Driving

DOT_message“The scourge of healthcare,” “A death spiral for all Americans,” “The beginning of the end” and “Socialism’s entry into the USA.”

These have been in the news as lovingly euphemisms for the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “Obamacare.” It’s no secret the name, the idea and even the damn website isn’t exactly winning the White House many brownie points with the voting public.

And with this report via Forbes from the Manhattan Institute, we have another reason why people hate it: “In the average state, Obamacare will increase underlying premiums by 41 percent.” Makes so mad you could run someone off the road, huh?

Whelp, funny you say that…

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Meet the Anti-PR PR Firm. Confused yet?

S/O to SpinSucks.com for the artworkIn the wonderful world of agency life, there exists the temptation to reduce prices for fear of clients looking at the menu from right to left (think about it, frugal folk). You are flooded with new business propositions, cross-selling, upselling and determining what works best.

And then, here comes some anonymous ne’er-do-well who founded a startup firm while working out of mom’s garage, surrounded by the nicely kept Star Wars action figures still in their original packaging. The price he offers your client is nearly half of what you pitched. Sure, you know the aphorism “You get what you pay for,” but try telling that to a client living on a budget.

To that point I introduce possible ne’er-do-well Ryan Evans, who wants to unweave the tapestry of PR like a cat in heat with a newly shewn ball of yarn.

Evans, who owns and operates BiteSize PR according to this story from Chicago Grid, has declared a goal to “reverse the flow of information between public relations and journalists.”

“It’s not a PR agency as people typically think of it,” Evans says.

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Hallmark Shows Off Its GLAAD Card, Revises ‘Deck the Halls’

HALLMARK-HOLIDAY-SWEATER-ORNAMENTWhelp, it’s a Christmas story…in October…before Halloween. Sigh.

And as opposed as I am to discussing the most wonderful time of the year before the time of the year has arrived, this story from HuffPo just didn’t light my Yuletide log in a blaze of glory.

So, before I rant, look at the “fun” picture. Notice anything? Hearing the melody of “Deck the Halls” racing in your mind? Yeah, so much for that tradition as the lovely people at Hallmark has decided to take folklore into its hands and change the lyrics of the song.

Why? You guessed it. Because of a word that had nothing to do with the world in which we live in 2013.

More about that word after the jump:

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MEMO from Yahoo’s David Pogue: ‘Buzzwords Blow!’

david-pogueFor those who know me and appreciate this craft, it’s hardly a secret that I have a man crush on affable consumer tech reporter David Pogue, formerly with the New York Times now enjoying a respite with Yahoo! as he “allows his juices to flow. In fact, for another gig I enjoy with TalentZoo’s Flack Me, I have scribed this and this with Pogue as my muse.

He’s friendly to the flack. He’s a journalist that understands this ofttimes hostile and symbiotic relationship we are privileged to share with reporters and editors. And now that Pogue is no longer with the Old Gray Lady and moved on to purpler pastures, it seems he is getting a little randy with his responses.

And yes, I dig it.

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Study: Social Media Makes the PR World Go Round

Social_Media_GuruIf you have been in public relations for any amount of time — be it agency or corporate — you have come to the fanciful realization that we have not selected a 9-to-5 gig. In fact, it can be more of a 6-to-midnight gig given any number of ancillary deadlines.

Well, fret no more fellow flacks, it seems that we have a life preserver in the raging waves of PR — social media. Simon Fraser University (in O’ Canada) released a study to prove it. While the study group is not that impressive spanning 100 communications, marketing and PR professionals, the results are telling.

And among those surveyed, 84 percent say their job satisfaction has either increased or remained the same with more social media responsibilities. “What we found surprised us,” says Peter Walton, who directs the PR program and oversaw the research project and report. “We figured people would be frustrated by the increased demand they’re facing because of technology. We were wrong.”

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AOL CEO Tim Armstrong Failed PR 101

Today in CEOs Behaving Badly: We understand why AOL chief Tim Armstrong was a little upset at the unfortunate struggles of Patch, his well-meaning $300 million experiment in hyper-local news content. He promised AOL that the venture would turn a profit by year’s end, and in order to bring this about he seemingly had no choice but to fire hundreds of the writers, editors, and managers at more than 400 individual Patch sites around the country.

But this hardly excuses the commission of a cardinal PR sin: letting his temper get away with him during a 1,000-strong conference call and firing an employee for taking a photo during his speech. It was mild as outbursts go, but it was recorded for the ages and distributed to every media outlet around.

This wasn’t just any employee, by the way; it was Patch’s creative director Abel Lenz. The fact that such a Trump-worthy incident was terrible PR should be obvious to all, but we’ll go into a bit more detail:

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Adventures in Marketing: CVS Can’t Say ‘Vibrator’ Without Giggling

Some quick background info: When it comes to pharmacies (at least in the northeast), people seem to be either Walgreens people or CVS people. My mother and I are loyal members of the latter group, and share a CVS card (the membership card that allows customers to receive discounts and build rewards as they shop). Because my tech-challenged mom doesn’t have an e-mail address, I get all of the promotional emails and coupons (addressed to her) in my own inbox.

Yesterday, I woke up to an email offering me (well, my mom) 20% off everything at CVS’s online store. The subject line of the email read: “20% Off Everything. Even the hush-hush stuff.” At first, I assumed that meant things like tampons or adult diapers–things no one waves in the air with pride and might be more comfortable receiving via snail mail. But then I opened the email and saw the accompanying picture of a young woman who looked much more like she was getting away with something a little naughty than dealing with a leaky bladder.

The caption read, “If it makes you blush, we’ll ship it to you hush-hush.”

And then, through my still-groggy morning fog, it hit me – are they trying to entice me into their online sale by promising the discreet delivery of a…um… personal pleasure device? And then, finally, the traumatic realization that this email was not addressed to me washed over me. “OMG, they’re trying to sell a vibrator to my mom.

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