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PR Fail

Pittsburgh Penguins Broadcaster Jokes About ‘I Can’t Breathe’

penguins i cant breathe

(Photo Credit/Screen Grab via Deadspin)

People protest for various reasons. Most of them are good.

Today, thanks to the power of national TV, social media, and a little bit of merchandising, sociopolitical or economic causes can take on a whole new life. Most recently, the death of New York native Eric Garner – who died after an NYPD officer applied a chokehold to restrain him — inspired more than 25,000 to march in Manhattan this weekend.

The line “I Can’t Breathe” has been seen everywhere as a result, and a local sportscaster thought it was fair game for a bad joke. Read more

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New York Cafe Owner: I Don’t Like Big Butts, and I Cannot Lie

bleekerAccording to its website, Bleecker Kitchen & Co. is “a neighborhood American restaurant with a seasonally inspired menu, which offers small and large plates at affordable prices.”

Sounds innocent enough, until you focus on that large plates description. 

You see, Bleecker Kitchen & Co. owner Joshua Berkowitz isn’t a fan of many things large. In fact, he is being sued for allegedly having a twisted sense of humor about people with the proverbial junk in the trunk.

(We dare you not to laugh and think about a certain someone when you hit the jump.)

Read more

More #UberFail: Company Offers Credit to Sexually Harassed Passenger

uberUber is a conflicted company.

On one hand, its concept has met with resounding success and growth. People picking you up from wherever via app is cool, but the company seems to be testing how far it can push a “we don’t care” media relations strategy.

Emil Michael still has a job and the company still keeps scoring bad press.

This time it’s about how Uber handled sexual harassment allegations. Read more

Rolling Stone Revises Apology as Backlash Against its Handling of Rape Story Grows

A Note to Our Readers | Rolling StoneIn order to change the current culture and systems that allow colleges and universities to systematically fail victims of sexual assault in the name of self-preservation and rosier PR, many things must take place — not the least of which is the spreading of awareness of such egregious failures through deep-digging, responsible journalism. It’s for this reason that Rolling Stone‘s recent article “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA” was so explosive; it’s also the reason that the magazine’s bad-to-worse handling of the story has caused such a massive firestorm.

A few weeks after the magazine published its account of “Jackie’s” brutal assault by seven members of a UVA fraternity, some discrepancies in the details of the student’s story began to surface. In response, Rolling Stone posted a statement on Friday, signed by managing editor Will Dana, which admitted, “there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account,” and then added, “We have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced.”

This “apology” didn’t sit well with many readers, as it seemed, rather than taking responsibility for its own failure to fact-check, the magazine was effectively placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of a possible trauma victim. The backlash was swift, and many took to Twitter, using the hashtag #IStandWithJackie to call out the magazine, pointing out that trauma victims often misremember details, and that this didn’t necessarily mean her story was fundamentally untrue.


Rather than further apologizing for its tone-deaf apology, the magazine responded by quietly deleting its statement and publishing an updated version the next day. The new version explains the editorial choices in greater detail and puts the responsibility of fact-checking and well-rounded research back on its own plate. The statement reads in part: Read more

Former Google+ Designer: ‘We F*cked Up!’

CHRIS-MESSINA

Meet Chris Messina. 

He’s a guy whose palatial estate may be large enough to contain his ego: he was a lead designer at this start-up called Google. In fact, he was one of the user experience masterminds behind Google+.

(Not for nothing, but dude is credited by many with creating the hashtag.)

No matter how much Google tries to force us to use its own network, the project has been a failure by any real measure. Now Messina is blogging about its demise in very unflattering (and profane) terms.

Read more

‘Rico Suave’ Says Womanizing Is ‘Expected’ in His Culture

gerardo

An old, tired cliche holds that “there’s truth in every stereotype.”

Maybe. But there is no excuse for making generalizations about an entire sociological grouping of very different people. None.

No matter how hard someone tries to paint everyone with the same brush, there is always an exception to every rule. For that reason, we shouldn’t be surprised when some 90s one-hit-wonder tries to say that his “culture” expects him to treat women like slabs of meat…and gets slammed for it on social media.

Isn’t that right, Mr. Gerardo “Rico Suave” Mejia? Read more

GOP Comms Director Resigns After Rant About Obama Daughters Goes Viral

malia_sasha

Photo Credit: AP

Hell has finally frozen over as our fractious political parties have figured out something to agree upon: don’t mess with another man’s kids.

An unwritten rule in Washington has long held that journalists and political opponents alike do not report negative news about the children of our elected officials.

Elizabeth Lauten, communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), broke that rule all over Facebook last week…and this morning we learned that she paid for her mistake with her job.

Read more

Twitter CFO Doesn’t Understand How Twitter Works

Anthony Soto

(Source: Brian Ach/Getty Images) 

In most cases, the surest sign of excellent internal communications is a team’s ability to fully advocate for and support the brand in any situation.

Do people from Disney have a hard time discussing magic? Do employees of any sports team hesitate to talk up their players? No, because they are acolytes, brand champions and, perhaps, consumers of the Kool-Aid.

You’d think a company like Twitter — which is all about communications — would be on top of its own messaging efforts. But company CFO Anthony Noto made national news yesterday thanks to his seeming inability to figure out how the service’s direct messaging feature works.

Read more

When Geeks Attack: Mattel Apologizes for ‘Barbie Can’t Code’ Book

barbie computer designer

Graphic artist? Maybe. Engineer? Not so much. 

According to Mattel (BarbieMedia.com), Barbie has held more than 150 different jobs “spanning from registered nurse to rock star, veterinarian to aerobics instructor, pilot to police officer.”

Maybe a temp pool is next for the former bikini model?

Her latest career turn had many people in the tech world irate because of a seemingly sexist approach: seems Barbie can’t do much with a computer beyond plugging it in.

Read more

The New York Times Experienced Premature Publication on Keystone XL

NYT BuildingThe New York Times just can’t catch a break.

The editors of the Old Grey Lady have serious sight problems, as noted with this unfortunate front page drama and this mistreated story. We aren’t sure if it’s the ghost of former executive editor Jill Abramson haunting the newsroom halls, but something is afoot. And much like one with no socks in a crusty pair of Toms, it stinks.

Enter into the fray the much-debated story about the Keystone XL pipeline. (For context, our fearless leader posted on the leak of Edelman’s “strategy” documents regarding a similar project from the same company, TransCanada).

Read more

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