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Interviews

Kelly Cutrone Dishes on PR Nightmares

Kelly Cutrone againOn Tuesday, the folks at Racked scored a Q&A with the current face of fashion PR: Kelly Cutrone of People’s Revolution and America’s Next Top Model.

It’s worth a read as Cutrone pieces tend to be; here are some of her best quotes.

On winning clients:

“I’ve never chased a client ever, I’ve never solicited—I’m not really good at that. I’m not a pitcher. I just started working and people started calling me.”

On working for herself:

“I’ve been offered tons of director of communications jobs over the years. It’s like the difference between being a cop and a bounty hunter: I still like being a bounty hunter.”

On the good, the bad, and the horror stories…

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Mediabistro Course

Public Relations

Public RelationsStarting October 1, learn how to get your foot in the door and launch your PR career! Taught by the former VP of Corporate Communications at Playboy Enterprises, Linda Marsicano will teach you how to draft pitch letters and press releases, develop and implement PR plans, garner media coverage, and other skills you need for a successful career in public relations. Register now!

Roger Goodell Press Conference Is Your #PRFail of the Week

While we didn’t have a chance to watch NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s entire press conference live thanks to our day jobs, we’ve already read enough recaps and seen enough tweets to know that it was a disaster — and not just because of the random annoying Howard Stern guy.

Mediaite has highlights, and here’s the full conference (the audio is a little off, and you’ll note that Goodell doesn’t even appear until the 21 minute mark):

In short: he knows that domestic violence exists, he will establish a conduct ommittee, he has never considered resigning, and he’s “proud” of the “opportunity” to do a better job than the crappy one he did before.

Goodell says that “domestic violence has no place in the NFL” as if it’s some kind of bold stance. And “nothing is off the table” except his own credibility.

He’s also amusingly misspeaks and calls the Super Bowl the “Super War.”

The main conclusion, though: he’s not very good at answering questions!

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5 PR Experts Weigh in on NFL’s Attempt to ‘Combat Domestic Violence’

Peaceful football

We’re all well aware that the National Football League has a big problem on its hands. A recent YouGov survey tells us that the NFL brand has experienced “the [sharpest drop] in consumer perception since Target’s data breach” last December.

Here’s something you may have missed this week: in order to confront all that terrible publicity, the league announced the creation of a “social responsibility team” consisting of its own community affairs VP Anna Isaacson and three (female) advisers, each of whom have built careers as experts on the prevention of domestic violence and sex crimes.

The question: is this a meaningless stunt or an earnest attempt to address underlying issues?

This week, we spoke to five industry experts to get their take on the league’s move. For context, we’ll start with quotes from two of the women involved, who will be responsible for “policy-making and education.”

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‘Diversity Is the New Black,’ Says Omnicom’s Tiffany R. Warren

Tiffany-Warren-articleTiffany R. Warren is Omnicom‘s senior vice president and chief diversity officer, but her work on diversity isn’t just a day job. In 2005 Warren created ADCOLOR, a non-profit devoted to promoting and paying tribute to diversity in the advertising, marketing, media, PR and entertainment industries.

For our latest So What Do You Do feature, Warren describes how ADCOLOR went from awards show to social movement, how the work of diversity officers has grown and what it takes to be an agent of change:

You have to like people. You have to like when people are hot messes and when they’re not. When they’re scared, when they fail and when they’ve failed you. You have to like every aspect of the human nature in order to be an effective change agent. We’ve had some not so good times in our industry and that’s [when] I grew the most as a professional and as a leader — during those times when people were doubting whether this industry could pull itself out of the hole of this lack of diversity.

For more from Warren, read, So What Do You Do, Tiffany R. Warren, Chief Diversity Officer for Omnicom Group?

Under Armour Comms VP Explains Damage Control Strategy

Here’s a quick but relevant clip that our friends at AdAge posted yesterday.

Diane Pelkey — VP of global communications for Under Armour — explains how the brand tackled the fallout from the bombshell February Wall Street Journal story in which members of the U.S. speed skating team blamed the company’s products for their disappointing performance at the Sochi Olympics.

Pelkey’s point is simple, and it’s worth repeating: be transparent, don’t hide from the story and make sure to offer all relevant spokespeople to media contacts for comment.

While the success of the ensuing campaign may be up for debate, the logic behind the strategy is sound.

Journalist Reveals Ketchum’s Suggestions for Discrediting Him

Ecuador2In case you missed it, Bloomberg Businessweek published an intriguing story yesterday by veteran journalist Paul M. Barrett that ran with the headline “What It’s Like to Be Attacked by Putin’s Flack.

The “flack” in question is Ketchum — more specifically D.C.-based partner Kathy Jeavons, who “heads both the Ecuador and Russia accounts” for the firm.

For the record, Jeavons did not personally attack or even contact Barrett. But a source did forward him a talking points document that the firm wrote for Nathalie Cely, Ecuador’s ambassador to the United States. The doc included both well-stated observations about Ecuador’s history with Chevron and suggestions for casting doubt on the credibility of Law of the Jungle, Barrett’s upcoming book on the lawsuit that accuses the company of abusing its relationship with the people of Ecuador.

One such suggestion: use friendly media outlets to raise doubts about whether Barrett ever actually visited the country or met the individuals he interviewed for the book.

We spoke to Mr. Barrett today for more information.

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LaForce+Stevens Talks Tying Scandal to Fashion on Social

Kerry-Washington-Scandal

A question for PRNewsers: are you excited that Scandal is coming back? And would you like to feel closer (in a fashion sense) to everyone’s favorite professional fixer, Olivia Pope?

The Limited hopes that the answer to both of those questions is “hell yes”, and they’re getting help from Manhattan firm LaForce+Stevens in promoting the fashion brand’s new partnership with the ABC drama. So far, the campaign and its well-fit coats have earned coverage via The New York Times, People, Forbes, Entertainment Tonight and others, so we’d say the collection is heating up.

We spoke to Megan Brown (follow her on Twitter), who manages digital/social at the firm, for more on the campaign and Kerry Washington herself.

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Peter Himler on The Future of Measurement

measurement 2

In case you missed it, the newly united Cision/Vocus is hosting a big event in New York next week to discuss the topic that won’t go away: measurement.

Earlier this week we asked friend of the site Rebekah Iliff, CSO at AirPR, for her opinions on the future of the practice.

Today we have another take on the same topic from veteran Peter Himler: blogger, influencer, industry veteran, Balthazar fan and founder of Flatiron Communications.

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Q&A: What’s the Secret Sauce Behind Successful Content Marketing?

Content Marketing

One thing we can all agree on in the contentious world of content marketing: it’s important and it’s incredibly hard to predict.

We spoke with Skip Besthoff, CEO of content analytics software company InboundWriter, to learn more.

He tells us that it’s quite simple, really: as much as we’d like to think it’s all about the quality of the writing, topics and placement can determine whether a given piece will be successful ahead of time with a remarkable degree of accuracy.

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‘Secretary of Defense’ Tim Howard on Finding the Right Brand to Sponsor

Apropos of celebrities, here’s a short clip from Experian Marketing Services‘ recent “Storytellers” Client Summit in which the Secretary of Defense Tim Howard explains a bit about what helps him choose a brand to sponsor.

You won’t be surprised to learn that it’s his agent (and his moral compass):

“I don’t want to lend my name to just any old company…at this point I’ve put too much hard work into building my own brand.”

So far, Howard’s only partnership of note has been with Marriott. Where will he go next? Why not your client?

Full “fireside chat” interview after the jump if you’re interested.

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