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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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Reading Rainbow Kickstarter Raises $6 Million Thanks to ‘Viewers Like You’ (and Seth MacFarlane)

When we first told you about LeVar Burton‘s Kickstarter campaign to resurrect Reading Rainbow in a web-based format aimed at giving classrooms and kids everywhere access to an unlimited library, the fundraising goal was to reach $1 million by the second of July. Only a few days into the campaign, on May 29th, the campaign had already exceeded that goal. Overwhelmed and inspired by the support, Burton then decided to shoot for a “stretch goal” of $5 million.

As of this writing, with five hours left in the campaign, over $5,150,000 has been raised. Factor in comedian Seth MacFarlane‘s recent pledge to donate another million all by his lonesome, and Burton is looking at well over $6 million.

So what does exceeding the goal mean for Reading Rainbow?

A colorful GIF (below) explains exactly what the extra money will allow Reading Rainbow to do, including the creation of mobile apps and free subscriptions for thousands of in-need classrooms. And since there’s still time to donate, the Kickstarter page currently has this promise posted: “We have reached our $5M stretch goal and can help 7,500+ classrooms. Now, EVERY $100K helps another 500+ classrooms!”

Is it too early in the year to call this the greatest Kickstarter campaign of 2014? Possibly. But that’s not going to stop this PRNewser writer/bookworm/library enthusiast/childhood-Burton-admirer from declaring it so.

 

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This PSA Featuring Dildo Humor May Actually Make You a More Responsible Gun Owner


Watch the video first (we don’t want to spoil this one for you!)

Well, we admit it: we couldn’t imagine where this PSA was headed (but were giggling with sympathetic mortification on behalf of the mothers featured in the video). It opens with two mothers chatting on a front porch after their sons’ play date, when the boys suddenly tumble into the front yard while having an epic sword fight. Their weapons of choice?

Dildos.

We watch as the mothers’ faces drop into mortified masks of horror and speechless embarrassment, and then the PSA gets to its actually-vital point with the clever tagline: “If they find it, they’ll play with it. Always lock up your guns.”

We can’t help but feel this is pure PSA brilliance; in America, we tend to be shocked by (and want to shield our kids from) sex more than violence — a movie with tons of gun violence? Rated PG13. A movie with tons of sex? Rated R. So what better way to grab the viewers’ attention? What begins as a humorously shocking spot takes a serious turn thanks to the tagline, when the double meaning of a child playing with something they do not understand and should not be able to get ahold of, truly hits home. Often, our sex toys are probably better hidden from our children than our weapons. Now that is mortifying.

Who Jacked the #USAvGER Meme This Morning?

Sure, you’ve probably already seen the morning’s biggest tweet. But we’ll share it yet again because it’s a brilliant little piece of self-promotion. Also: Jurgen Klinsmann has a great signature, doesn’t he?

Now how can you watch the game? And who jacked this meme?

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Poynter, Journalists Come Out As #TeamOxfordComma

We Give a Fuck

Last week, we got a good bit of attention from the advertising and PR communities alike for Shawn Paul Wood’s post on the status of the Oxford comma, informally known as “the Kanye West of punctuation”. A recent survey by FiveThirtyEight, or your home for data-driven OCD on the web, found that only grammar snobs and copywriters really “give a f*ck” about the greatest/worst mark to come to our attention since the tattoo we wisely decided not to get during freshman year of college.

What, did you think the debate had ended? To paraphrase the late Karen Carpenter, it’s only just begun…

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Google Employees May Need Children to Get Parents a Day Off

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Just when you thought this was the best place on Earth to work…

Google has become the perennial best place to work on the planet. Sure, Disney has perks with that six-foot-tall rat walking around in a field of tinsel and magic dust, but that’s nothing to a place with a slide in it. Other theme parks are fun but long lines and all.

So, Google pretty much wins the contest. And in a place as happy-happy-joy-joy as that one, you would think working overtime wouldn’t suck so much. We presume that paychecks from the owners of the Internet might lead some to cancel a few lunches to work late.

Everything is fun-and-yuks until someone’s adorable daughter writes a boss at Google to send Daddy home early. In crayon. Yeah .. heartwarming stuff.

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