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PR Win

Michael Sam: The (Gay) Guy Who Could Change the NFL

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Get ready, haters. He’s coming to get your team!

FULL DISCLOSURE: As an avid baseball fan and blogger, I can’t stand the “He’s the Jackie Robinson of [insert this industry or sport].” Yet there is really no other way to describe the addition of Michael Sam to the NFL and the St. Louis Rams.

And before anything is said, can we just kill the noise about Jason Collins? He was a so-so player (at best) despite being drafted by the Nets in the first round. After travelling the continent as part of five different teams, he received attention in the twilight of his career for making an admittedly b0ld decision that still had very little to do with the way he played the game.

Again, Michael Sam is not that man. Let’s learn who he is…

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When #PRFail for Drake Turns Into #PRWin for Toronto

Toronto Mayor Ford wipes face during an announcement that the Toronto Raptors will host the 2016 NBA All-Star game in Toronto

Stop sweating, big man. We are not talking about you … for once.

Unfortunately for the great city of Toronto (Shout out to my cousins up north), the entire place is under a blizzard of crap. Nothing weather related, just its crackhead Mayor. So, the city tries to find whatever happy-happy-joy-joy it can to forget about that blowhard.

To wit, we come to the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, which are currently in a nice playoff series with the favored Brooklyn Nets. At an earlier game, Captain D-Bag of the R&B scene, Drake (whom we have covered several times for his toolbag of nothing here, here, and here), was caught exhibiting his primping courtside in a YouTube video that went viral in a millisecond.

And then, the Toronto Raptors organization stretched out its baby Tyrannosaurus arm and cashed in with some genius…

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#PRWin? Elmo’s Puppeteer Kevin Clash Cleared of ‘Tickling’ Charges

kevin-clash-2-300The man whose voice became the clarion call of Sesame Street every time he laughed and sang “Elmo’s World” can finally mutter a sigh of relief.

Kevin Clash, 53, the man behind the furry faced myth, was officially cleared of sexual abuse charges in a U.S. Court of Appeals.

In 2012, Clash was accused of molesting multiple young men who asked him how to get to Sesame Street. Those allegations cause Clash to lose a job and children everywhere to lose a voice that been with them since infancy.

It was tragic news. Two years later (sad how some justice just isn’t that swift), he has been cleared of charges, but will the stain be cleared of his reputation?

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WATCH: Netflix Goes to Prom, Proves Being a ‘Third Wheel’ Can be Epic

Call me old fashioned, but there’s just something totally un-romantic about propositioning a potential prom date via Twitter. That is, unless you’re courting a major company, not a classmate.

Seventeen-year-old Muthana Sweis, a student at Marist High School in Chicago, sent out the following tweet in January:

Hey @netflix if this gets 1,000 retweets will you go to my junior prom with me?— Muthana Sweis (@muthanasweis) January 30, 2014

In an appropriately-gushing response, Netflix accepted, tweeting:

We said yes! We’re third wheeling to #Prom2014 with @muthanasweis and his date: https://t.co/0AQKYrljxj— Netflix US (@netflix) March 28, 2014

So how exactly does Netlix “third wheel” it to prom? Well, for one thing, by providing some serious wheels.

Sweis got to choose between a few different TV-themed rides, and ended up selecting a classic ’50s Buick from “Grease” and a chauffeur dressed as John Travolta’s character, Danny. Oh, and for good measure, he also got wear a James Bond-esque tux. Read more

Joss Whedon Preemptively Apologizes for Making a ‘Mess’ of Seoul During Avengers Filming

Why Joss Whedon Is Already Apologizing for The Avengers_ Age of UltronLike we needed another reason to consider Joss Whedon a class act.

If you’ve ever lived in a city that was taken over by a film crew, you’re well aware of the headaches involved — celebrity sightings never seem worth the extra-long commute, the complete lack of access to your favorite coffee shop, or being treated as though you’re the outsider and the one in the way.

Even just an acknowledgement or a thank-you from someone involved in the filming might make up for it, but when does that ever happen?

It just did.

Filming for the new Avengers flick is set to begin in Seoul, Korea on March 30, and before his cast and crew swoop in and disrupt the goings-on of the city’s residents, director Joss Whedon released this preemptive video apologizing for the “mess” the process will inevitably make of the city. The tone of the video comes across as genuinely gracious, grateful, and appreciative of not only the city’s cooperation with the filming, but appreciative of the city itself, which Whedon seems excited to portray to an American and world-wide audience. Read more

#PRWin: Rocco’s Pizzeria V. Arizona’s Bigoted Senate

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As quiet as they would have liked it to be kept, the Arizona state Senate passed S.B. 1062, which reads the following: 

“Exercise of religion” means the PRACTICE OR OBSERVANCE OF RELIGION, INCLUDING THE ability to act or refusal to act in a manner substantially motivated by a religious belief whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.

Arizona Democrats, who argue the legislation is a way to legalize discrimination against LGBT individuals, sponsored eight amendments in an attempt to thwart the legislation — all of which were rejected by Senate Republicans. In other words, “no shirt, no shoes, no gay folks, no service.”

And then a notable Tucson-based pizzeria decided to stick a pie in Arizona’s eye. And it’s so dee-lish.

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Tinder Makes a New Match…at the South Pole

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Don’t sleep on this selfie opp

The dating app Tinder scores today’s biggest completely random PR win from way down south in Antarctica.

According to NYMag’s The Cut, a nameless American researcher got bored while doing the data analysis thing at McMurdo Station near the South Pole (imagine that!) and fired up his smartphone on a lark because he “wanted to see if there were any available women out on the loveless tundra.”

To the endless joy of whoever runs PR at Tinder, the answer was “yes” (after said dude expanded the app’s location radius).

Now click through for some real romance.

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Michael Sam’s Publicist Shares Lessons Learned from His Coming Out Story

NCAA Football: Missouri at Indiana

We think you’ll agree that Fifteen Minutes PR chief and Reputation.com vice chairman Howard Bragman scored one of 2014′s biggest PR wins to date by breaking and managing the Michael Sam story.

He also happens to be a LinkedIn “influencer” who shared his lessons learned in a post earlier today. His key point: coming out is less about making news than “owning your truth”—which sounds like a great message management tagline.

So what are his universal PR lessons?

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Behind the Michael Sam ‘First Openly Gay Football Player’ Story

It was the perfect time to break the perfect sports story: one week after the biggest, most boring Super Bowl ever, a young man set to become an NFL pro told the media that he happens to be gay.

Of course it wasn’t just a spontaneous announcement from Michael Sam; it was a PR masterpiece of sorts orchestrated my one Howard Bragman, his agency Fifteen Minutes Public Relations, and many others.

You’ll note that Sam made sure to thank Bragman and Empire Athletes in his second-ever tweet:

Sam reached 50,000 followers faster than any account we’ve seen outside the Vatican—and most of the people who had problems with his announcement chose not to voice their opinions in public.

Now for some backstory behind this historic PR Win.

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WWD Keeps It Glassy for New York Fashion Week

You know, we really doubted Google Glass there for a minute.

Somehow, the world’s nerdiest eyewear continues to score media wins: the latest is the news, announced this morning, that WWD will include a “Glass Menagerie” in its New York Fashion Week coverage. What does that mean? Here’s your answer:

WWD isn’t just highlighting Glass, either.

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