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Archives: August 2008

Burson CEO Mark Penn Still Advising Hillary


Hillary Clinton rallied the Democratic Party with her convention speach last night, urging party unity, and delivering what might become a well remembered campaign phrase in, “No way, no how, no McCain.”

In addition to the calls for unity, Clinton advisers sought advice from a former strategist, Burson-Marsteller CEO Mark Penn.

The NYTimes reports, “…her aides limited input on the speech from Obama advisers, while seeking advice from her former strategist, Mark Penn, a loathed figure in the Obama camp.”

Make Sure Your Pitches Don’t Hit A Reporter’s Inbox Way After the Wire Release

We wrote yesterday about embargos, and whether or not they are an effective PR tactic. While some reporters disdain embargoed news, every reporter loves an exclusive, and none of them like receiving an email pitch hours after the news is public.

On this note, an editor writes in to PRNewser asking, “Can you explain why PR folks think it’s helpful to send a press release out to their press list at, say 3PM when the thing hit the wires first thing in the morning and then act like we wouldn’t have already seen it?”

It’s certainly a fair point. No reporter likes being left out of a news cycle, or even worse, hearing from a PR rep hours after the news has been made public. Next time you’re prepping an announcement, make sure to keep reporters in the loop beforehand, or at least notify them at the same time as when your press release hits the wires.

U.K. PR Firms Missing Out on New Media, According to Survey


According to another study from our neighbors across the pond, PR firms in the U.K. don’t get new media. A smaller survey from a few weeks ago found more than half of PR people see print media as more valuable than online.

A new survey released today by interactive marketing shop bigmouthmedia, “79% of the industry’s major players have yet to develop a set of online and social media services”. Further, 89% of agencies still don’t have their own blog.

We’d love to compare to numbers in the U.S. Our contrarian guess would be the numbers are about the same. Perception of the industry–especially in the age of the echochamber–is that everyone is blogging and engaged in new media. With something like 240,000 workers in this country identifying themselves as practicing PR, the percentages of firms engaged in social media could be even less.

Are you from a U.K. agency? Send us your POV here.

[Image of the wonderful cast of Little Britain via Illiterarty; the show has no relation to the survey or bigmouthmedia. No offense to the PR industry there.]

Clean Up That Resume


Ketchum is looking for a Vice President, Interactive Strategy Group

Myspace is looking for a Director of Communications

Rhizome at New Museum of Contemporary Art is looking for a Social Media Intern

Pollock Communications is looking for AE’s, SAE’s and AS’s

Zagat Survey is looking for a Communications Associate

Do Embargos Still Exist?


Jon Greer over at BNET recently polled his readers, 55% of whom said the embargo is still alive and kicking, while 45% said it is dead.

The embargo, where the PR person and journalist agree that a story will not be published until a certain time, is “one of the most useful tools in the PR toolkit,” according to Greer.

However, in the new media landscape that we live in, are they practical? The answer: sometimes. If it’s really big news, or something from a public company, reporters can be more likely to hold tight until the agreed upon time. If not, there is always the chance the reporter will run with what they have, so tread with caution.

As an editor at a well known digital media news site recently told PRNewser, “We’re going to pass on 90 percent of them going forward.”

Live from DNC: McCain and Obama Spokespeople Get Together


Our fellow mediabistro bloggers, TVNewser, FishbowlNY and FishbowlDC are all reporting this week from the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. Chances are many other reporters you may be trying to pitch this week are as well.

TVNewser reports on a first ever meeting between spokespeople from the rival campaigns, “It was their first joint appearance, but it wasn’t even on TV. Obama spokesperson Bill Burton and McCain spokesperson Tucker Bounds appeared together for an impromptu interview with Greta Van Susteren on the’s The Strategy Room.”

In other convention related news, Nielsen sent out a press release proclaiming Obama’s VP announcement by text message was, “the single largest mobile marketing event in the U.S. to date,” and “one of the most successful brand engagements using mobile media…” By Nielsen’s tally, the text reached a total of 2.9 million people. Is mobile marketing finally here en-masse?

The GOP’s Rapid Response Effort in Denver


What do you do if the opposition is poised to pack a football stadium–in a swing state–to accept the Presidential nomination, and you bumble your Jay Leno spot? No one is betting against the Obama strategy this Thursday, and the only thing to report on the opposition is their prayers for rain.

You fire up a rapid response team, installed in a “war room” in striking distance and fly in heavyweight surrogates from your party including Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani to give press conferences.

If you agree with David Carr’s analysis, the effort may be futile. However, the effort itself is newsworthy and aids perception that McCain can contend in a PR battle. Perhaps unintentional and not within the GOP’s control, the label “war room” brings to mind two things for many people: The 1993 documentary about Bill Clinton’s rapid response team led by James Carville and George Stephanopoulos, or worse for them, the many chillingly hillarious scenes in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

PRNewser will keep an eye on the wires as the responses roll out.

Disclaimer: I’d like to do more on the McCain camp’s efforts though I believe–win or lose–the Obama PR story is the story to tell.

Spin the Agencies of Record


(Meet reygato, the SportsFanLive fan of the day)

This edition of Spin the Agencies of Record again illustrates the diversity of work in the PR business. Client wins include the IMF, the Cherokee Nation, a sports fan network, a travel site where you can find a room or even just a couch, and something by nature of its name, may require little effort:

Dan Klores (DKC) lands, a social sports site that even has “gentleman’s bets” or, BuxBets.

MSR to blow up AirBed&Breakfast, a localized travel site

The Goss Agency selected to help the Cherokee Nation with branding

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) hired Hill & Knowlton for Asia and the Middle East, now has Euro RSCG for Africa and Latin America. PRWeek reports the two combined are worth $1.5 to $2 million.

Cherry Communications to put in LittleEffortBigResults–sounds like a dream client.

The Ticker: Convention time, LinkedIn, MSFT and WPP…

PRWeek to Blog Contestants: Chillax!


According to an email to the semi-quarterfinalists of PRWeek‘s Blog Competition leaked to PRNewser, Editor-in-Chief Keith O’Brien wants all involved to chill out: “PR people on the Internets have expressed concern about this completely fun competition–that people are spending way too much energy demanding every man, woman, and child vote for their blog.”

The remaining eight are:

Intake vs. Beyond the Hype

Communication Overtones vs. PR Squared

Pit Bulls & Labradors vs. Down the Avenue

Glass House vs. Influential Marketing Blog

The email reminds those involved they do not get to hail themselves as Best PR Blog, and that he will not allow it. Hmm. Knock knock, Pandora’s Box. As we said before, it’s all fun and games till someone looses a head.

O’Brien’s full email available after the jump:

Read more