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Archives: July 2008

Nearly One in Five Marketing Execs Admit to Pay-for-Play


The kicker in the 6th Annual PRWeek/Manning Selvage & Lee Marketing Management Survey released this week (subscription only) is that 19% of marketing execs say the companies they work for have engaged in some form of pay-for-play PR.

The survey, conducted by Millward Brown also found that “10 percent of senior marketers said their organizations have had an implicit/non-verbal agreement with a reporter or editor that anticipated favorable coverage of their company or products in exchange for advertising. And 8 percent, or about one in 12, said their organizations paid or provided a gift of value to an editor/producer to place a news story about their company or one of its products.”

According to MS&L CEO Matt Hass in the release, the damage being done is to the media properties: “Without full disclosure and transparency, media lose credibility and their value as an unbiased source of information for consumers.”

More after the jump:

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Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

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Jon Fine’s Weird Press Release of the Day


We can imagine that BusinessWeek media columnist Jon Fine receives a lot of press releases. So when Fine received a release today from “Hypnosis Focus Groups,” it must’ve really stood out from the crowd, and we can see why. He writes:

For all I know this is an elaborate hoax. But there’s no way I’m gonna let the facts get in the way of posting the following, which I received from an AOL address at 12:19 Eastern time. Extra points awarded for usage of the phrases “compelled to tell the truth” and “the battle to come.”

The release copy is as follows:

We all know focus group respondents lie and this is especially true during recessions.

They just don’t want to admit in a focus group that they are squeezed and are thinking about switching to lower cost and lower value brands – it’s an ego and face-saving thing.

And therefore researchers can’t explore their true feelings on this issue. So, companies get misleading information which leads to incorrect brand strategies and tactics.

Hypnosis Focus Groups ™ solves this problem – under hypnosis respondents are compelled to tell the truth about their economic situation and their true feelings. With this information management will be better armed for the battle to come.

To learn more , please go to

Please, brainwash (er, hypnotize) us into giving up the information you really want. Now that is some market research.

SEC Rules Blogs Are Public Disclosure, What Does This Mean for the Press Release?

In a landmark announcement yesterday, the Securities Exchange Committee (SEC), ruled that companies can use their blog to disclose material information such as earnings reports.

From the IR WebReport:

“UNDER certain circumstances, companies can rely on their websites and blogs to meet the public disclosure requirements under Regulation FD (Fair Disclosure), according to new guidance unanimously approved by the US Securities and Exchange Commission today.”

Over at TechCrunch, Brian Solis writes:

Perhaps, the most significant change stemming from the new SEC guidance is that Web-based disclosure does not have to appear in a format comparable to paper-based information, unless the Commission’s rules explicitly require it.

This can be viewed as a threat to the wire services, as Solis elaborates, “A significant percentage of their lifeblood is tied to market-relevant or earnings content that, until now, required wire services, and hundreds of dollars (in some cases over $1,000) per announcement in order to satisfy SEC disclosure.” Surely, all of this is in a very early stage, as the announcement is less than 24-hours old. However, it could prove to be a game changing development in terms of disclosure.

HagerSharp Founder & CEO Susan Hager Dies


We had received a few tips on this story earlier in the week, but now it is official. Susan Hager, founder of HagerSharp, has passed away.

Her 40-person, employee-owned agency worked for nonprofits and government agencies including the National Cancer Institute and the Department of Education. Hager also co-founded and served as the first president of the National Association of Women Business.

The Public Relations Society of America National Capital Chapter inducted Hager into its Hall of Fame in 2005.

“Susan was first a friend, second a mentor and third a partner. All three of those roles for me, personally, need to be addressed,” said Garry Curtis, former executive vice president of Hager Sharp, who will assume the role of president and chief executive of the company.

The Ticker: IPG Revenue Up, Lifestyles Wants Cyrus, Film PR…

Reporters to Monitoring Companies: Enough With the Update My Info Emails

Media list and monitoring services always make sure to send journalists emails to update or confirm their contact info.

It is their bread and butter, after all, having the most accurate contact info for the most reporters. Here at PRNewser, we were actually pretty psyched to get an email from one of the monitoring services when we first started, asking for our info so they could add us to their list.

However, some of our more seasoned reporter friends have had different experiences. Here is mediabistro Mobile Content Today editor and PC Magazine contributor Jamie Lendino, on always being hit up by one particular company to update his contact info:

I’ve tried unubscribing several times. I’ve tried writing a personal letter asking to please be taken off the list. In the beginning, I had actually answered his questions in detail. But since then, I get an e-mail once a week–sometimes it’s signed but not even sent from the same address. They never responded to any of my inquiries. But they also won’t stop! Thought you might like to see it, since they should know better…

The offending email, after the jump.

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Spin the Agencies of Record


(one of Great Wolf’s indoor water parks)

This edition of Spin the Agencies of Record includes account wins in the areas of retirement communities, sports drinks, indoor water parks, language learning and translation, and designer bedazzled clothing:

Ice It By Bebe Z clothing hires Relations PR

Great Wolf indoor water parks to slide in to the media with Fleishman-Hillard

Entertainment Fusion Group to serve up Vital Action Performance Water

Muliling, the Provo-based languages services, translation and technology company hires Norman Communications as agency of record. Norman has headquarters in New York, with offices in Utah and West Africa

Ketchum’s Consumer Health and Wellness team in D.C. will handle PR for Erickson Retirement Communities. Erickson has also appointed other Omnicom divisions besides Ketchum for services, including BBDO Atlanta as its advertising AOR, and PHD Network Chicago for strategic media.

Meet Your PRNewser Editors: Tonight In NYC

We are thrilled to have a large list of RSVPs for tonight’s PR party at Heartland Brewery in midtown. If you haven’t RSVP’d yet, you still have some time. Do so here.

Hope to see you tonight!

Dell Integrated Agency Enfatico Signs Lease for NYC Office Space

From AgencySpy:

According to the CoStar Group Web site, WPP’s Enfatico has just signed a 10-year lease for office space in the MetLife Insurance Plaza, at 11 Madison Ave., here in Manhattan.

The offices total 98,175 square feet, and is on the building’s 12th floor. That may be more than enough space to handle the $4.5 billion account, and the fancy analytics machine that’s promised to measure Dell’s media outreach.

AgencySpy made the point that Enfatico signed a 10-year deal for the office space, despite only having signed with Dell for three years. Enfatico spokesperson Peter Himler responded, “It should be noted that Enfatico was formed with Dell as its first client. The agency had always planned to take on additional clients with Dell’s encouragement.”

Dell’s DaVinci is Now Enfatico
Dell’s Project DaVinci Names CEO

Countrywide Wins Consumerist’s Worst Company in America


Consumerist took its sweet time polling its readers to finally award Countrywide Home Loans the Golden Poo for being the Worst Company in America.

What’s clear here besides Consumerist’s role as a steam valve for angry shoppers, is the amazing traffic you can garner by going negative. In 67 rounds of voting over 5 months, we’re sure the blog–part of Nick Denton’s Gawker Media stable–easy cleared 7-figure pageviews (about 30,000 for the final post so far, and exposure on the front page of Digg).

After the two finalists were revealed, PRNewser reached out to Editor Ben Popkin to get his thoughts on the foul honor. We heard back tonight: “The Golden Lucky Shit means…once your name is smeared all over the internet, you’ll never get the stain out.”