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Archives: August 2008

Happy Blog Day!

Blog Day 2008

Today is the 4th annual Blog
. The idea is get bloggers to stretch a bit and recommend new, unknown blogs and recommend them to one’s readers. I decided to recommend other PR blogs, and sought out ones from oversees. Given the studies coming out saying U.K. PR doesn’t get social media, I was especially happy to find Drew B’s post about four British bloggers who clearly do. Three are included below:

Paul Stallard’s Tech PR Blog covers social media trends from a U.K. perspective. Stallard is a senior account manager at Berkeley PR in Reading.

Hedge Lines is about the increasing presence of news about hedge funds, and what it means for PR people who represent them. It’s penned by Alex Paidas, head of the Clarion Group in Manhattan.

Balancing Act is written by Becky McMichael, a “geeky PR chick with a passion for all things digital, and head of tech and corporate PR at Ruder Finn UK

Flexible Thinking Forum, the companion blog to the book “Overcoming Stupidity”. Andy Green explains that you can be intelligent and still stupid if you don’t practice flexible thinking. “Everyone should be comfortable with their own stupidity–we all make mistakes every day based on inadequate information. We all however, should avoid 5 star stupidity, repeating any earlier stupid acts, and should challenge ‘compound stupidity’ wherever we witness it.”

After 18 years representing brands like Apple, Facebook, Motorola, MTV, Symantec, Tiger Beer, and Yahoo!, McCann Erickson’s head of PR Robin Wilson is headed in The Opposite Direction. He covers the important and endlessly interesting interplay between PR and advertising.

[Notice of Blog Day via Chris Brogan's Twitter feed]

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Are You in the Office Today?


It’s the Friday before Labor Day, and most offices are shutting down early, if they’re open at all. Is your office open? If so, what do you hope to accompish before the holiday weekend?

Marifer Rodriguez, ePR Specialist at Adaptive Marketing says, “Office is open. Business as usual at least until 1pm. Office officially closes at 1pm. Some people stay longer, most are not even here.”

Maria Garcia, Account Coordinator at Converseon explains, “Yes. I guess there’s too much work to do and too little time to do it. Friday’s after all are part of the work week.”

Others are sticking to the basics. Rob Manfredo, Account Director at KCSA tells PRNewser, “I had to come in today to clear the floors in my work station for a thorough end of summer cleaning that is to take place over the holiday weekend.”

What are you up to today? Or any day for that matter. Our inbox is always open, and of course you can always send in your anonymous tips via the entry form on the right. Anonymity guaranteed!

The Obama Speech, How it Got Done


(Barack Obama, David Axelrod, speech writer Jon Favreau and Communications Director Robert Gibbs working on the historic text, via TIME)

Barack Obama’s acceptance speech will remain at the top of the list for most critics, if only behind his 2004 convention keynote. When we interviewed Ethan Riegelhaupt, former speechwriter for another great orator Mario Cuomo, he told us that successful ones are “75 percent speech and 25 percent delivery”.

The delivery last night was exceptional–putting the balance more at 50/50–given excerpts of the speech were shared with the media in advance, and the campaign promising “nuts and bolts”.

TIME has a look at Obama and his inner cirle, including the 27-year-old speechwriter Jon Favreau, and how he got the job done. Favreau, according to a Times profile from earlier this year, met Obama backstage during the convention in 2004 when he was writing for John Kerry, and helped him make a quick final edit to that speech.

The overall media impact of last night was summed up by New York Times TV Watch columnist Alessandra Stanley this morning.

Meanwhile, there is controversy brewing over Chuck Babington’s (Associated Press) negative analysis of the speech, initially spurred by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann late last night. The Washington Monthly‘s Political Animal blog (via CBS) demands the AP take a look in the mirror.

Obama “Very Pleased” With Speech, Says Communications Chief


Yesterday we highlighted Obama Chief Communications Officer Robert Gibbs, and his role as the media “enforcer.”

After last night’s big event, what did Obama relay to Gibbs regarding his feelings on the speech? Gibbs told the Wall Street Journal Obama was, “Very, very pleased…and to some degree, relieved.”

Also weighing in on the speech to reporters late last night at Invesco Field was Oprah, who said, “I’ve never experienced anything like that. I think it was anything anyone could ever expect.”

Check out coverage from TVNewser, FishbowlNY & FishbowlDC, all of whom were on the ground in Denver.

Robert Gibbs: Obama’s Communication Chief, and the “Enforcer”

robert gibbs1.JPG

A profile in today’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required) dubs Obama Communications Chief Robert Gibbs as the media “Enforcer.” Gibbs told the WSJ that he tries “to attract more flies with honey than vinegar” and, “I work the referees a little bit if they’re unfair or inaccurate. The other side is working on them, too….I’m a protector of the image.” Hailing from Alabama, Obama calls Gibbs his “one-person Southern focus group.”

As PRWeek reports, “…Gibbs served as Obama’s communications chief during his senate run in 2004, and assumed the same role for the presidential campaign.”

The Ticker: WPP PR Growth, Social Media Workflow, Brandjacking…

LPGA: Speak English or Get Out


The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) seems to have gotten itself into a little PR mess.

Reports Newsday:

The LPGA, worried about losing interest among fans and sponsors, said it will suspend players who can’t pass an English oral exam after two years on tour.

This appears aimed directly at South Koreans, who represent 45 of the 121 international players on the tour and who – British Women’s Open champion Ji-Yai Shin and U.S. Women’s Open champion Inbee Park, to name two – are dominating.

The issue also seems to be with the way the news was made public, not via press conference or public announcement, but rather through a leaked story on Golfweek magazine’s website. However, Newsday’s Mark Hermann reminds us that despite this news, “…the organization is generally open- minded and forward thinking.” Nonetheless, with the sport losing sponsors and needing to drum up business, this is an unnecessary ruffle in the proverbial feathers. What would you have done?

Mommy Blog Impregnates Lizzie Grubman


Oh wow, Lizzie Grubman and Chris Stern are expecting their second!

Umm, doubt it. The picture above–via Pacific Coast News–illustrates a serious problem with the Splogosphere (blog + spam). The item in question is from Celebrity Moms, a site rich with baby advertising, and get this: 9,259 posts since inception in 2005.

Five seconds of research indicates the photo above was frequently used when Grubman was actually pregnant in 2006. PRNewser is very bullish on user-generated content–when it’s legal. C’mon!

We’ll email people at Grubman PR and see what we can find out.

Russia vs Georgia PR War Continues


According to The Age, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has been handling the bear’s share of the peaceful rhetoric himself in the conflict with Georgia. Interviews include the BBC, CNN, al Jazeera, LCI and an op-ed in the Financial Times titled “Why I had to recognise Georgia’s breakaway regions”. A week ago, Mikhail Gorbachev quelled some of the heat with his own piece in The New York Times.

“We don’t need another Cold War or a modern-day remake,” said the 42-year-old Medvedev on CNN. The Age article points to the work of Ketchum’s sister company in Brussels, GPlus Europe and quotes partner Tim Price on the Kremlin’s willingness to listen to council: “They realised that they needed to explain the rationale behind this decision.”

The Kremlin’s spokesman Sergei Lavrov, was quoted earlier this month, “We are like schoolchildren when it comes to using the media. But we are learning.”

Meanwhile, Intelligence Online (registration required) is reporting the Republic of Georgia will be looking to choose a Paris-based firm to amp up their European media relations. Currently they’re using the small Brussels-based Aspect Consulting, which shows a variety of pharma, food, and energy companies on its client list in addition to Georgia.

More after the jump:

Read more

Live from DNC: CNN, CBS, FNC

[Somewhat related to this post: Charles Barkley and James Carville at the CNN Grill]

As we’ve mentioned, TVNewser’s Steve Krakauer is reporting from the Democratic Convention in Denver this week. This morning he posted some excellent video interviews, including CBS Anchor Harry Smith, CNN/U.S. President John Klein , and Fox News Channel correspondent Alicia Acuna.

Click on the names to watch the videos. And if you’re in Denver, Klein reminds us that at the CNN Grill, “the food is excellent.”