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Politics

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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Former NSA Chief Compares ISIS Air Strikes to ‘Friends with Benefits’

nsa_logoOne of the fundamental tactics for any flack is writing talking points ahead of interviews. This isn’t purely “spin”, by the way — but clients do sometimes get skittish during on-the-air talks. The prep sheet, then, is like a security blanket minus Elmo.

Because of that perfunctory aspect of PR, it’s always easy to tell which clients don’t have proper talking points. When it happens, you sometimes hurt for the spokesperson (a little).

At other times, though, you laugh so hard that you pee (again, a little).

The latter happened when former NSA and CIA major domo Gen. Michael Hayden went viral for all the wrong reasons while discussing ISIS and air strikes.

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Groundskeeper Willie of The Simpsons Takes a Stand for Scottish Independence

Willie_s Views On Scottish Independence | THE SIMPSONS | ANIMATION on FOX - YouTube

It’s common for celebrities to publicly back political candidates or openly support causes they care about, but no one ever asks fictional cartoon characters what they think, and as it turns out, they might just have a lot to say — The latest pop culture icon to release a statement urging his countrymen to vote a certain way is none other than the (highly) animated Groundskeeper Willie of The Simpsons.

The proud Scotsman has officially weighed in on the upcoming vote that will decide whether Scotland will separate from the United Kingdom.

“Now, both sides of this argument have valid points,” Willie amicably admits at the beginning of the video (below, after the jump), but his true opinions become clear when he goes on to describe those opposing sides as “the freedom-loving heirs of the highland tradition, and those who enjoy crawling like worms under British boots.”

Well then. Read more

STUDY: President Obama’s Ratings Hit Another Record Low

obama ratings

From ISIS to the economy, domestic drama to foreign policy, it seems that the President is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

Last month, the entire U.S. government received the deplorable edict of the worst approval rating ever, with 71 percent of respondents saying that the country is “headed in the wrong direction.” The same Gallup poll revealed that only 41 percent of Americans approve of the work done by the Oval Office.

This month it got worse.

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Phil Roberston Ensures That Duck Dynasty Continues to Make Headlines

happy_happy_happy

Phil Robertson, the well-coiffed patriarch of the Duck Dynasty empire, has made quite the name for himself when it comes to bellowing his opinions about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. His latest opinions, shared with Sean Hannity on FOX News, may be his greatest hit yet.

Hannity’s discussion strayed from duck-calling accouterments to American foreign policy, because when you need a source for a nonsensical political diatribe, who better than a famously outspoken reality star? That’s when Robertson said this:

“In this case, you either have to convert them, which I think would be next to impossible,” Robertson explained to Hannity. “I’m just saying convert them or kill them — one or the other.”

And the Church said “Amen”?

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New York Press Club Doesn’t Care for de Blasio’s Media Relations Strategy

de blasio

Today the mayor of our hometown gives us a nice lesson in how not to please certain local journalists.

Mayor Bill de Blasio won office in a 2013 landslide thanks, in no small part, to the work of BerlinRosen Public Affairs.

Yet some of the journalists involved in the New York Press Club seem to think that the firm could have taught him a bit more about media relations.

The letter/official airing of grievances signed by NYPC president Larry Seary after the jump. A hint: it involves message management.

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The New York Times Probes Ketchum’s Relationship with Putin

Oh, You!!

New York Times media reporter Ravi Somaiya wrote what might have seemed like the most important PR story to break over the long weekend: a look into Ketchum‘s relationship with its most (in)famous client, Russian president Vladimir Putin.

What did the article itself reveal, though?

Not a whole lot.

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President Obama Talked About World Issues, But We Were Distracted By His Suit

President Obama took to the podium during a press conference yesterday to talk about world issues: ISIS and the tension in Ukraine. And while we’re all, of course, interested in these important topics, the country was also obsessed with the president’s tan suit. A lot of people were not impressed. Read more

Newspaper Publishers’ Arch-Nemesis Is Maine’s Gov. Paul LePage

MaineQuit blaming the economy, newspaper publishers. Stop accusing the Internet, National Newspapers Publishers of America (NNPA). Hey, International News Media Association (INMA), slow down on your blog hate.

Your vitriol should be aimed in one clear direction — Augusta, Maine and the office of Gov. Paul LePage.

He was at a recent GOP rally celebrating the new RNC headquarters in Androscoggin County. Sounds like a happening place, right? I suppose the sauce was flowing as he got a little randy from the lectern and shared that he hates your wretched, ink-stained guts.

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GOP Creates Video Game to Round up Supporters

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 2.50.14 PM.preview

Well, if you ever wanted to assume the role of a conservative elephant (trunk and all) and use your massive feet to stomp out job-killing taxes and misguided liberal “mudslingers,” the GOP has just the thing for you!

The National Republican Senatorial Campaign has developed a multi-level online computer game called “Mission Majority,” which is made to look like a retro 8-bit video game (Millennials love nostalgia). Players can take on the persona of an elephant named Giopi (which sounds suspiciously like “GOP’), and spend their valuable time defeating enemy “taxers” and “mudslingers,” who, when vanquished, recite particularly unfortunate audio-clips from Democrats like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Mark Pryor.

The point, of course, isn’t just to entertain the constituency, but to rack up contact information of like-minded individuals — in other words, potential voters, volunteers and donors. Hence the game requiring players to log in using an email address, Facebook or Google Plus. Read more

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