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Archives: September 2008

The Ticker: Shaking Hands, Twitter and the Election, Hockey PR Blogger’s Advantage…

Rogers & Cowan statement: Tom Cruise is still ours

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(Tom Cruise, undergoing transformation in to Les Grossman)

Unfortunately for fans of batsh&% crazy outbursts on talk shows, Tom Cruise’s official PR duties will remain with celeb firm Rogers & Cowan, and not revert back to his sister Lee Anne DeVette, according to a statement from the agency:

“Lee Anne DeVette, who is his sister, is not involved in this area for her brother at all.

“As it was announced three years ago, she remains as his assistant working in areas of his production company that do not include publicity or public relations.”

As fans may remember, the Today Show rant and Oprah couch-busting fun happened around the same time DeVette took over PR duties from the legendary Pat Kingsley in 2004.

IMHO, Cruise wiped out any damage done by playing the delightfully offensive Hollywood mogul character Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder. Cruise in “Jewface” was so insane and so unexpected, the studio carefully clamped down any mention or photograph of him during production to generate early buzz for the satire.

You can catch Grossman tearing the vapid, buff and tan agent (played by Matthew McConaughey] here.

TVNewser: Clinton Press Secretary to CBS News

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Our brother bloggers over at TVNewser have the scoop on former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers, (pictured at right) who insiders tell them has signed on with CBS News to be a political analyst.

In other PR related news, TVNewser reports that Jennifer Dauble, manager of Public Relations at CNBC, had her first child yesterday. Ryan Christopher Dauble was born at 12:30pm.

Pandora Founder: “We Spend Very Little Time on Messaging”

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Here is an example of good PR at work. At the IAB MIXX conference this Wednesday, I ran into a sales associate from internet radio service Pandora who stopped by the press room to drop off some marketing materials. We drummed up a converstation, where I mentioned I’d be interested in speaking with someone who does communications for the company.

The sales associate took down my info and just an hour or so later I received an email from their director of communications, offering to set up a meeting with Tim Westergen, Pandora’s founder, to talk about some of the communications strategy the company has employed as it deals with an intense industry debate about royalty rates for online radio that could potentially shut down the service, as well as many others.

Over breakfast this morning in New York, Westergen said the company is “cautiously optimistic” about surviving this latest hurdle. As cited by FishbowlNY’s Noah Davis, Pandora pays 70 percent of its revenues to labels and artists.

Regarding communications strategy, Westergen claimed the company “spends very little time on messaging,” but they think more about “how we can get conversations going about Pandora.”

If anything, it seems Westergen has nothing to hide.

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McCain Camp Busted for Lying About Booking Switcheroo

In an odd turn of events, the John McCain campaign chose to fib and cancel a David Letterman appearance and appear on the Evening News with Katie Cuoric instead. Keith Olbermann filled the gap. McCain said he had to fly back to D.C. to handle the financial crisis and

Once the darling of late night talk shows, this maneuver appears to be plain bad strategy. If someone in his press office chose to lie, it smacks of desperation. Letterman is as much of a platform for serious issues as any news program in time of crisis. Attacking the mainstream media is an effective way to energize the conservative base–as the McCain camp did yesterday against the New York Times–but this is different. The feisty John McCain of old would’ve taken the 10 minutes to sit down with Dave and hash it out.

The Washington Independent brilliantly uses Lyndon Johnson’s response to Walter Cronkite during the Tet Offensive in comparison (40 years ago this month), “”If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America.”

Is this McCain’s Fed Offensive? We’ll know in the next few weeks.

Which Wire Service Generates the Most Pickup?

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The debate among PR pros as to which wire service provides the best service and distribution, or “bang for the buck” entered a new chapter this week, with a study released by PR Newswire, claiming the service generates “more media pick-up and higher volume of coverage” than competitors Business Wire, Marketwire and Nasdaq-owned PrimeNewswire.

Among the study findings were, “Press releases distributed by PR Newswire get used by media more often than copy from competing services and generate more clips when they are picked up,” and that “Press releases transmitted by PR Newswire were used 55% of the time, versus Marketwire’s 43% pickup rate, Business Wire’s rate of 38% and a rate of 37% by PrimeNewswire.”

“Our content has been referred to in more blog posts, Diggs and Delicious Links than any other commercial wire service,” said PR Newswire COO Dave Armon in a statement. “PR Newswire has the highest Google page rank in our industry, and has been referenced as a source on Wikipedia more than any other wire service as well.”

Reached for comment, Tom Becktold, SVP of Marketing for Business Wire questioned the study’s crediblity, telling PRNewser, “If anyone is going to hire a research firm, you’re going to discuss with that firm in advance what info you want to find, and produce a study to support that.” Becktold also claimed the study was a direct sales pitch. “They sent it to Businesswire clients as well, that is where we heard about it,” he said. “So they’re not doing it as an altruistic, ‘lets see where we’re at’ kind of thing. They’re using it to sell against us.” A call placed to Marketwire had not been returned at the time of this post.

There are a whole host of questions here related to research methodology, including: does more necessarily equal better? Were all of the releases analyzed sent over the same type of wire (i.e. national, regional)? And finally, what about media relations? Press releases don’t always get picked up by themselves.

That being said, there is one thing that all of the wire services should agree on: content is king. If you don’t have a well written release with news value, it doesn’t matter which wire service you use, no one will care.

The Ticker: Cohn & Wolfe, Debate Delay, Palin’s Media Dodging…

LIFE Magazine Returns: Online

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Just yesterday, we were at the Future of Media panel at the new TimesCenter, where Bob Guccione Jr., founder of Spin magazine, among other publications was reminiscing about how much he used to love LIFE magazine. Well, now it’s back.

The news out of the IAB Mixx Conference, which PRNewser is at today here in New York, is that Time Inc. and Getty Images will jointly launch LIFE.com.

According to the release, “LIFE.com will offer access to thousands of new photographs from Getty Image’s…consumers will also have access to millions of images from LIFE magazine, many of which have never been seen by the public.”

Previously, only three percent of the LIFE archive has been made public. Writes PaidContent’s David Kaplan, “Users will also be able to create a Life-branded coffee table book of their own photos. And, of course, an iPhone app is in the works.”

The Ticker: Future of Media, Red Roof and Country Artists, Presidential Media…

Spin the Agencies of Record

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(Perca flavescens, or the Yellow Perch)

This edition of Spin the Agencies of Record coincidently includes account wins in fishing reels and a fish farm. Other new agency of record agreements are in snowboarding, air tours, and the law:

The Canadian Snowboard Federation shreds with High Road

Vegas-based Stars & Stripes Air Tours flies with Preferred Public Relations & Marketing

Gibbs & Soell lands Wall Street law firm Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP

Fishing company U.S. Reel hires the Walker Agency for some block & tackle PR

Absolutely PR reels in Bell Aquaculture, producer of farm-raised yello w perch fish

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