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Things We Don’t Like

Bad News for Journalists and PR: Coffee Is Terrible for Productivity

coffeeJust when you thought all was right with the world and your local barista got your order right (you know the one)…

A grande extra hot soy with extra foam, split shot with a half squirt of sugar-free vanilla and a half squirt of sugar-free cinnamon, a half packet of splenda, all in a venti cup. And fill up the “room” with extra whipped cream with caramel and chocolate sauce drizzled on top. 

…turns out that coffee might not be the world’s second greatest beverage after all.

It’s no secret that hacks and flacks alike are terribly addicted to coffee, but now a study tells us that coffee may be the worst thing for productivity.

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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!

Threat to Leak Nude Emma Watson Pics Was an Agency Hoax

Oh boy. Turns out that the much-reported “threat” by an anonymous party to leak nude pictures of Emma Watson just as her #HeForShe campaign goes viral was a big hoax.

While the responsible party — the “viral marketing agency” Rantic, named and shamed by The Drum this morning – claims that the point of the stunt was to take down 4Chan, infamous distributor of stolen images, it looks a whole lot like an exercise in tasteless self-promotion.

There was a leak countdown, a “letter” to President Obama, and some cryptic tweets. We didn’t really pay attention because come on, guys: did you really need to sink so low?

Oh, alright then. They’re so proud of their work, too.

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John Boehner: ‘Unemployed People…Don’t Think They Have to Work’

boehnerIf you ever had any doubt that the primary job of our current and future Congress is to look out for the little guy, may we present exhibit A: U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. unemployment rate is 6.2 percent, which amounts to 51 million people currently out of work and unable to support themselves. No one except those 51 million individuals knows how they landed in such an unfortunate predicament, and the reasons are legion: cutbacks, loss of revenue, unpleasant bosses…the point is that people are out of work.

Yet Speaker Boehner seem to have access to insights unavailable to the rest of us mere mortals: last week, he told a crowd at a conservative think tank that unemployed Americans just don’t want to work; they’d rather “just sit around.”

Remember that this man has a driver, a government salary, and a book deal.

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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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Texas Firm Admits to Bribing Journalists for Coverage

money bags

Well, maybe “bribing” is too strong a word. What’s a synonym for “we will pay this supposedly objective journalist for giving our client favorable coverage?”

In a story that seemed destined to break during PRSA’s Ethics Awareness Month, a Texas firm sheepishly admitted to offering a CNBC freelancer money to include their client in a story.

Guilty pitch email after the jump (emphasis ours).

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Lesean McCoy Holds a Press Conference to Deny Being a Bad Tipper

lesean mccoy

Lesean McCoy is a very talented running back for the Philadelphia Eagles. He is also a complete tool.

How so? McCoy is in the middle of a six-year, $45.615 million contract, so it’s easy to think the dude can spare a dime every now and again. So, there he is, shoving a cheeseburger down his gullet at local fave PYT Burger. (I’ve been…it’s legit!) He receives his bill of $61.56 and doesn’t forget about the person that served him.

And that’s when he drops 20 friggin’ cents! The outrage went viral, the restaurant manager blasted McCoy, and Captain Tiger Blood Charlie Sheen stepped in to make everything right.

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A Day in the Life of a Marketer: Long Hours, No Lunch, Dashed Dreams of Being an ‘Artist’

Oh good, it’s not just me.

According to a new survey conducted by AtTask in partnership with MarketingProfs, life is hard for modern day marketers and public relations professionals.

Here’s the breakdown: we work long hours (the survey found that nearly one in four of us works 10 or more on an average day); we’re slaves to our inbox (3 to 4 hours each day on email); we routinely skip lunch breaks (56 percent of us eat at our desks).

Despite all this, we still feel like we can’t get anything done. Case in point:

“An astounding 40 percent of marketers blame manual tasks, unexpected projects and rework as primary sources of lost productivity.”

Sadder still, one in three of us still dreams of a career in the arts while another 16 percent are scheming to transition into a more left-brained field like business, law or engineering.

Does this all sound like the conversation you just had with your next-door office mate?

It’s deja vu all over again.

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Bad PR: Malaysia Airlines ‘Ultimate Bucket List’ Competition

Malaysia_Airlines_B777-200ER

Straight from the files of What Were You Thinking? comes a “Bucket List”-themed contest from Malaysia Airlines that ranks as the second worst decision recently made by the beleaguered travel brand (the first was to retain its name in the “rebranding” campaign that started Friday with the elimination of 6,000 jobs).

As reported by Time, potential customers in Australia and New Zealand were recently invited to share their “bucket lists” (i.e., lists of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying) for a chance to win a free ticket.

We don’t even need to tell you why this idea was one of the worst possible choices for the company.

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Sexist Headline in The Telegraph Sparks Backlash, Social Media Uproar

When was the last time you saw a headline about a man’s job promotion that read, “Father of Three Poised to Lead Major Company?”

Oh, that’s right. Never. Which is why this recent headline in The Telegraph announcing the expected career move of Rona Fairhead, the former Financial Times chief executive who is likely about to become the first female chair of the BBC Trust, just didn’t sit well with readers.

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Is it true and accurate that Ms. Fairhead is indeed a mother? Yes. Is it a worthy and major accomplishment of which she should be proud? Of course. Is it the most relevant of her accomplishments with regard to her career? Nope.

The paper could have mentioned that she is a longtime businesswoman who holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, or that she was a former employee at Bain & Company and Morgan Stanley and the former CEO of Bombardier’s UK Aerospace Services, or that she is currently a non-executive director at HSBC Holdings. But instead, the paper decided to focus on the novelty of a woman (a mother, no less!) holding such a position of power. Read more

6 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Rely on Automated Pitching

HODOR!!!!

We have a confession to make, readers: we get the pitching challenge because we’ve done it ourselves. We know that many firms emphasize quantity over quality despite all evidence to the contrary, and we understand that the pressure to score press often overwhelms basic logic — especially when employers hand out performance bonuses.

So yes: mass pitching is part of the game.

However, we would like to take a moment to warn those about to send pitches to all 324 contacts on a given “oh sh*t we’re f*cked” mailing list: please stop for a moment and reconsider.

Here, from our perspective, are six good reasons why.

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