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Why Punishing the ‘Dancing Guard’ Might be a Bad PR Move for Buckingham Palace

By now, you’ve likely seen the viral video of a member of the illustrious Queen’s Guard taking a timeout from the tedium and seriousness of his back-and-forth marching to break into dance (if you haven’t been graced with the subtle awesomeness that is this video, it’s included below). Since the red-coated guards of Buckingham Palace are famously stern and aren’t even supposed to crack a smile — let alone bust a move — the fleet-footed, lighthearted guard has become something of a YouTube sensation, bringing mirth and giggles to millions.

But England’s Ministry of Defense isn’t laughing.

Now that the guard has been identified publicly as 20-year-old Samuel Jones, his friends and family worry that the powers that be will make an example of him in an effort to prevent similar shenanigans in the future.

A friend of Jones’ recently told The Evening Standard, “The strict routines of army life can get a bit heavy sometimes and Sam really enjoys cheering people up…He has no idea how seriously his latest stunt would be taken – and it has worried his family…It was just a prank and everyone is hoping his bosses don’t make too much of an example out of him.”

The possible penalties could include a £1,000 fine, a loss of privileges, and even a three-week prison sentence. Though a Ministry of Defense spokesperson told The Evening Standard last week it was unlikely that Jones would be jailed, he also made it clear that the guard certainly isn’t getting off scott free: “He will face some sort of action but it is more likely to be a fine. No decision has been made,” the representative said. Read more

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Mobile Content Strategy

Mobile Content StrategyStarting September 24, learn how to write content for smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices! In this online course, students will learn how to publish across multiple channels and manage the workflow, optimize content for mobile devices, and  engage with their audience across screens. Register now!

McDonald’s and the Smartphone Mafia Made the Most of Friday’s iPhone Launch

Were you among the 10 million people who helped turn the iPhone 6 into Apple’s fastest-selling model to date this weekend?

We were not. Honestly, we just got our iPhone 5 a few months ago and we almost enjoy being so very far behind the rest of the world. Anyway, two organizations made the most of the Friday release: McDonald’s and whatever one would call the international syndicate responsible for selling said phones on the Chinese black market (at a 300-400 percent markup).

First, the wise people at McDonald’s decided to show up outside the 5th Avenue Apple store early Friday morning to pass out Apple pies to the “folks who had been waiting in line so long, they were sure glad to see us”. Get it? USA Today and Ronn Torossian of 5WPR certainly do.

McD’s was only the biggest brand looking to steal some of the excitement and mayhem. This clip, created by YouTuber Casey Neistat, is a must-watch if you haven’t seen it already:

Neistat apparently received some pushback over the video, so he explained himself a bit on its page:

Read more

Neil Patrick Harris Is the Best, Makes a Video to Promote His New Book

Neil Patrick Harris is a national treasure. And now with his new autobiography, Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography, we can all take a piece of him home with us.

To promote the book, NPH has made a video clip in which he shows the depth and breadth of his talents. Watch him take shots of rubbing alcohol! Watch him eat a piece of spaghetti with his hubby David Burtka like Lady and the Tramp (aww)! Listen to him do the warm up that he used to go through when he was in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”! Oh my goodness, there is so much NPH.

Book trailers have been a thing for a while now, a great way for those authors with good screen presence to make a video clip that can get passed around and add to the usual routes for book publicity. A television star with Tony and Emmy awards on his mantle, years of screen experience, charm and a cute husband… this could only be a marketing win.

The book will be for sale on October 14.

h/t E! Online

Under Armour Comms VP Explains Damage Control Strategy

Here’s a quick but relevant clip that our friends at AdAge posted yesterday.

Diane Pelkey — VP of global communications for Under Armour — explains how the brand tackled the fallout from the bombshell February Wall Street Journal story in which members of the U.S. speed skating team blamed the company’s products for their disappointing performance at the Sochi Olympics.

Pelkey’s point is simple, and it’s worth repeating: be transparent, don’t hide from the story and make sure to offer all relevant spokespeople to media contacts for comment.

While the success of the ensuing campaign may be up for debate, the logic behind the strategy is sound.

FOX News’ Tucker Carlson Suspects Kids Are ‘Learning Too Much’ in School

tucker-carlson-1024x682Someday, somehow, someone is going to invent a mute button just for certain “journalists.” If you have ever doubted a need for such a Rube Goldberg device, read this story, brought to you by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.

As he took his frequent seat on FOX & Friends, Carlson began discussing the usual suspects — ISIS, the economy, Obama’s birth certificate — then took an abrupt detour, careened off the road, and ranted against the U.S. education system, public school, and the teachers in it.

Because if you want good PR mojo, attack the teachers. It’s right up there with harassing the elderly and making fun of someone’s mother. The unbelievable video is after the jump, along with his explanation. Read more

Bryan Cranston Promotes MLB Postseason with Hilariously Fake One-Man Show

So, what’s Bryan Cranston doing with himself after the glory that was “Breaking Bad,” you ask? Why, he’s tackling a one-man show, of course — why steal a show by outshining everyone around you when you can just play all the roles yourself? And what better subject matter than postseason baseball to encompass all the intense highs and lows of human emotion?

In perhaps our favorite promo for post season athletics to date, Cranston gives an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at a one-man masterpiece that, sadly, doesn’t actually exist. The spoof features the award-winning actor portraying baseball players for multiple different teams, among other roles, while the “backstage” collaborations include dance lessons from a prima ballerina and a tutorial on trophy accepting from a baseball great.

Cranston also flawlessly delivers ridiculous lines like, “Any actor who tells you that he is not inspired by Bugs Bunny is a liar, frankly, or just a hack,” with unflinching seriousness.

Oh, and the lyrics to ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame” have never, ever sounded so epically dramatic.

Illinois TV Anchor Courageously Shares Brain Cancer News with Viewers

Dave-Benton-Cancer-VideoIn the wild and wacky world of public relations, those who stand out often do so by creating great relationships with media types.

Understanding that, if you know anyone with PRSA Chicago, IABC Chicago, or even the College of Media for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaignplease pass this story along!

Why? Dave Benton at WCIA-3 (CBS) out of downstate Illinois in Champaign is easily one of the most courageous media personalities to come across in a long time.

Learn why after the jump. Read more

This Serena Williams Clip Looks A Lot Like The One Gisele Bundchen is Starring In


We didn’t need to see tennis champ Serena Williams working out to know that she does. But marvel folks — MARVEL! — at the arms, the six pack, the high knees… Incredible.

No this isn’t a Nike ad. It’s an ad for Beats by Dr. Dre‘s new wireless headphones. At this point, we know that Beats are the choice headphones for athletes around the world. FIFA literally had to tell them to steer clear of the World Cup. But it’s interesting that an audio company would choose to build these relationships with athletes rather than, say, putting lots of music stars in its marketing.

It’s particularly interesting when you consider that an actual athletic wear company chose to sign a model to its spokesperson lineup rather than adding to its roster of athletes.

Read more

‘Secretary of Defense’ Tim Howard on Finding the Right Brand to Sponsor

Apropos of celebrities, here’s a short clip from Experian Marketing Services‘ recent “Storytellers” Client Summit in which the Secretary of Defense Tim Howard explains a bit about what helps him choose a brand to sponsor.

You won’t be surprised to learn that it’s his agent (and his moral compass):

“I don’t want to lend my name to just any old company…at this point I’ve put too much hard work into building my own brand.”

So far, Howard’s only partnership of note has been with Marriott. Where will he go next? Why not your client?

Full “fireside chat” interview after the jump if you’re interested.

Read more

Enraged Little Girl Insists that ‘Hello Kitty’ Is Indeed a Cat

jjjjjjkitIn case you missed the recent Earth-shattering revelation that Hello Kitty is not, in fact, a feline, here’s a brief update to put the below video and its furious, ranting star in context: Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist who is currently curating a Hello Kitty exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, was informed by Sanrio (Hello Kitty’s parent company) that despite her feline features and name, Ms. Kitty is, in fact, a member of the human race.

“I was corrected — very firmly,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat.”

Once this news broke, social media rants circled the web, and general pandemonium ensued. Among the shocked, confused and disbelieving fans was this little girl, who, despite being visibly and audibly distraught, makes a pretty clear-cut case as to why she just isn’t buying it.

“She LOOKS  like a CAT,” she sputters. She is a cat that acts like a human, like usual cartoons!”

We hear, ya, Honey. It’s enough to send a person spiraling into existential crisis. Isn’t Goofy a dog? Isn’t Winnie The Pooh a bear? Isn’t Sebastian a crab? We don’t even know what to believe anymore.

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