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Things We Like

Tony Hale of Veep Impresses the Ladies by Standing Up to Cancer

In Celebrity Cause Marketing news, today witnessed the debut of a spot promoting hotel search engine RoomKey and its Stand Up to Cancer initiative via Hungry Man Productions and Emmy winner Tony “Don’t Call Me Buster” Hale.

We very much like the fact that the spot satirizes the driving force behind most cause marketing campaigns (and, if we’re being honest, most charities): self-satisfaction mixed with a little third-party validation.

For the record, we hope more cause campaigns embrace this tone of self-awareness. It’s much more appealing than the guilt trip that fuels so many such initiatives.

Now, in case you doubted Mr. Hale’s acting prowess, click through for a clip of him promoting a very different kind of product…

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Mediabistro Course

Presentation Writing: Design and Delivery

Presentation Writing: Design and DeliveryLearn how to use storytelling techniques and visual content to create and deliver successful pitches and presentations! Starting August 6, Amanda Pacitti, the manager of learning at Time Inc., will teach you the best practices for presentations, from using software like Prezi and Powerpoint, to writing your script, and using images, audio, and video to drive your points. Register now! 

Market Basket Parody Account Masters Investor Relations

Remember Market Basket? They’re the company that amazingly did not take our wise (in retrospect) advice about not firing the executive that everyone likes.

The firing was so unpopular that at least three separate Save Market Basket/People of Market Basket Facebook pages now exist; the most popular has more than 75,000 likes.

That’s not all: this morning Boston.com alerted us to the activities of a certain individual/individuals so invested in the future of Market Basket and its terrible PR decisions that he/she/they set up a parody Twitter account mocking the company’s board of directors.

More tweets after the jump.

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50 ‘Most Beautiful in D.C.’ List Goes (Hot and) Heavy on PR

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When reading today’s reports on the 1,300 editorial journalists who lost their jobs in 2013, you probably didn’t turn to The Hill’s annual “50 most beautiful people in D.C.” list to defend the craft.

Yet “Washington is Hollywood for ugly people” is one of the oldest and most persistent cliches concerning business in our nation’s capital–one that The Hill seems desperate to disprove each year by highlighting the good-looking folks behind the faces that haunt our nightmares.

In a shocking turn of events, this year’s list includes quite a few young professionals who work on the communications side of the political world.

Let’s review (all pics courtesy of The Hill, so give them some clicks).

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When Did Press Coverage of PR Explode? The New York Times ‘Chronicle’ Has Your Answer

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Two years ago, we first saw this report from the prestigious Nieman Journalism Lab about Chronicle, the latest digital toy from The New York Times:

“Chronicle is a database of articles and story tags from the past 31 years of Times content. The tool makes it possible to see the frequency of use of certain words — but also what people, organizations, or locations are most related to keywords.”

Today, it’s a Web-based application that traces back to the very origins of printing the news, and a divine way for the publishing giant to make some cash on the concept since that paywall thing was such a bad idea.

Logophiles: Suit up! 

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Batkid Begins Trailer Brings Make-a-Wish Hero to the Big Screen

The tiny hero who launched a million* tweets is headed for the big screen.

In case you missed it (yeah right), #SFBatkid was the hashtag of the fall, scoring a whole hell of a lot of attention for sponsor Make-a-Wish, the city of San Francisco and partner-in-crime social media agency Clever Girls Collective.

Now, as revealed at Comic-Con this weekend, social media superhero Miles Scott will soon hit the big–or at least bigger–screen via Batkid Begins, a “feature-length crowdfunded documentary”; the trailer debuted online yesterday.

It’s quite a cinematic effort from “award-winning filmmaker Dana Nachman (Witch Hunt)”, who has raised “$45,500 of a $100K goal to date” in an ongoing Indiegogo campaign. This looks like another big win for both Miles and Make-a-Wish; does anyone doubt that Nachman will reach her goal?

Also: whoa there, Chris Taylor of Mashable. Don’t dive too deeply into our psyches.

One thing we know for sure: this clip will give you a more positive Monday morning buzz than the new Mockingjay trailer.

*Well, 400K tweets. But still.

Ann Friedman of New York Magazine Defends ‘PR Girls’ Everywhere

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Today in New York magazine, regular contributor Ann Friedman becomes one of the first journalists to offer extended commentary on an unspoken issue within the public relations industry: media relations push-pull is in many ways a game of girls versus boys. And that’s not a good thing.

We’re oversimplifying, of course:

“While there are many men in PR — including 80 percent of upper management — it’s women, often young women, who are likely to be doing the grunt work of sending emails and writing tweets and cold-calling contacts. The very work that journalists, and the rest of us, are likely to see as fluffy.”

Do go on…

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7-Eleven’s Birthday Week Thwarted Because of New App Glitch, Makes It Right All Month Long

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ICYMI: these glorious sugary rainbows of greatness were being given away 12 ounces at a time on July 11. Free. (Get it? 7 [July] 11?)

It’s been a tradition since 2002 that anyone can waltz inside a local 7/11, grab a small 12 oz. cup, and fill up on this sweet elixir of Texas love (born here, based here, y’all). This year, something went awry when 7-Eleven attempted to bring more technology to the mix. For months, the convenience empire has been promoting its fun little ‘Only at 7-Eleven’ app. When you download it, you would benefit from push-text offers sent exclusively to your phone.

Only, that didn’t happen for some folks, and America went nuts.

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‘Weird Al’ Hits Reddit, Corrects Your ‘Word Crimes’

We’d like to justify this post by reminding everyone that our favorite–hell, the world’s favorite–novelty musician “Weird Al” Yankovic promoted today’s release of his latest album, Mandatory Fun, with the latest promotional necessity: a Reddit AMA.

(Things we learned: he likes Epic Rap Battles of History and wanted to parody “Let It Go” with the Star Trek-themed “Make It So” but had to cancel after learning that some enterprising YouTuber had beaten him to the punch.)

Frankly, though, we just wanted to share his latest video for “Word Crimes”, especially after posting on grammatical rules from the journalists at Poynter, the actor formerly known as Frasier and–most impressively–the CIA.

Not only was Al’s song more entertaining and less creepy than the original, but something tells us that his future Twitter Q&A will be more successful (if not more satisfying in a schadenfreude way) than Robin Thicke’s as well.

Top 11 Writing Tips Drawn from the CIA’s Style Guide

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You know, the CIA didn’t just celebrate its one-month Twitterversary last week by reminding us that it has no idea where Tupac is.

No, the world’s most infamous intelligence organization also released a very long and very particular style guide originally completed in 2011 and fit to compete with ye old Strunk and White and AP Stylebook.

Why? Well, as Director of Intelligence Fran Moore writes in the foreword:

“The information CIA gathers and the analysis it produces mean little if we cannot convey them effectively.”

Accurate. Here are eleven tips that stood out to us.

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Grammer on Grammar: Frasier Corrects Twitter’s Atrocious Language

The doctor is in: actor Kelsey Grammer announced his arrival in the Twitterverse with the below message on June 30.

Since then, he’s been keeping his promise of enlightening Twitter users about the finer points (or, in some cases, the basics) of proper grammar by correcting poorly-crafted tweets.

We imagine this is just what Doctor Frasier Crane would have done, had Twitter existed in 1999. His (imagined) response in GIF form after the jump.

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