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Archives: October 2008

Can the Volt’s Buzz Save GM?


General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz think the buzzy publicity for the yet-to-launch electric Volt vehicle can lift all boats, and told a room full of PR people so during his keynote at the 2008 PRSA International Conference this week.

Despite some circular–or Palinesque–quotes in the Detroit Free Press, Lutz was a hit on Monday:

“One of the reasons that we are being so open with the Volt and permitting the media to participate in the development is that this is uncharted territory for us,” Lutz said.

“In the unlikely event that we were going to hit some huge stumbling block, we wanted the world to kind of see how we got to that stumbling block and what that stumbling block was. As it happens, luckily, we
don’t seem to be encountering any stumbling blocks.”

Non-car types following corporate blogging became familiar with his name a few years ago when GM’s Fastlane blog launch with Lutz as the main blogger.

According to chats and Tweets with attendees, he was in his element, more so than say his Colbert Report appearance last month.

Full text of Mr. Lutz’s keynote available on the PRSA site.

The Top PR Blogs, According to Matthew Watson

Rainer PR Account Executive Matthew Watson regularly does the handy work of filtering out AdAge‘s Power 150 list of the top media and marketing blogs to only those that focus mainly on PR.

PRNewser made the top ten, along with some other blogs that we admire and you should be reading if you aren’t already. They are as follows:

1) PR 2.0
2) PR Squared
3) A shel of my former self
4) Communication Overtones
5) POP! PR Jots
6) Strategic PR
7) Pro PR
8) PR Blogger
9) Young PR
10) PRNewser

[Editor's note to PRWeek: You should start a list like this!]

Lunch is On Taco Bell Today


(Happy taco eaters from the 2007 promotion)

Americans can enjoy a bit of a recession special today, as Taco Bell again has to shell out for their annual Steal a Base, Steal a Taco promotion with Major League Baseball. Walk in to any location between 2 and 6 PM to receive one free Crunchy Seasoned Beef taco today, retail value: .89 cents.

CNBC’s sports blog did some napkin math if you’re curious what the promotion costs the Yum! Brands chain. WSJ’s Numbers Guy Carl Bialik reports chances of Taco Bell not having to pay out on their stunt to be 1 in 1,000.

Northeast Papers To Challenge AP?


From Editor and Publisher (via Romenesko):

Editors from several dailies in the Northeast, dissatisfied with the Associated Press, met recently to discuss the formation of a content-sharing agreement that in several cases would serve in place of their AP agreements. Shawn Moynihan reports the “Northeast Consortium” of newspapers, which is expected to include the New York Daily News, Buffalo News, Albany Times-Union, Newark Star-Ledger and Newsday, is weeks away from announcing a content-sharing arrangement.

So Many Bill Cunninghams

Bill Cunningham.jpg

Newsday’s Spin Cycle blog illustrates the potential downside (or upside if your behavior needs to be obscured) of having a common name in the age of rapid-fire blogging with the side-by-side comparison of Bill Cunningham, Managing Director of Dan Klores Communications (DKC) and Bill Cunningham of New York Governor David Patterson’s office.

The former was Mayor Bloomberg’s director of communications prior to joining Klores.

Putting a face to a name on a Google Image search isn’t so easy either. I only knew the photo above to be the DKC Cunningham because I saw him speak on a CenCom panel about how the 2008 election is covered by the media.

To further confuse the soup of politics, PR, and media, there is also the New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham, and the radio talk show host Bill “Hussein” Cunningham.

Cunningham likely improved this little SEO problem by doing something very cutting edge: picking up the phone suggesting the story to Newsday’s Dan Janison.

Twittering Journalist Wiki Compiled

Have you always thought that there has to be a lot of journalists on Twitter, but you just can’t find them? Rest assured, we now have the Media People Using Twitter Wiki, which lists, you guessed it, the Twitter account names of media people using Twitter. This list is nowhere near comprehensive – for example, we don’t see anyone at mediabistro on the list and many of us Twitter. (@laureltouby @mediabistro @fishbowlny, @fishbowlla, @fishbowldc @tvnewser @agencyspy, @unbeige, @galleycat) but hey, it’s not a bad start.

The journos are already on to the fact that this list is spreading fast, namely due to a mention today on the 30k strong HARO list. Writes BusinessWeek columnist and tech reporter Sarah Lacy, who is on the list: “i just got 20+ followers at the same time with seemingly no provocation. hopefully you’re not all looking for sarah palin,” followed by, “up to 40 now in 10 min. apparently there’s some list of reporters on twitter.”

This actually works out rather well for the journalists, who now that they’re increasingly being judged by pageviews and other web traffic metrics, won’t mind a nice growth in the list of followers they can push story links to.

Grazia Magazine Lives in a Bubble


In what could become the basis for an Ugly Betty episode, Grazia magazine Editor Jane Bruton and her staff of 45 will produce the next issue of the glossy weekly from within a glass box at a shopping mall next week.

The stunt is a co-promotion for Westfield London, the new 1-billion-pound shopping center located in Shepard’s Bush. It’s the largest mall in Europe.

PR is handled by Mary “Queen of Shops” Portas.

[via The Guardian's Media Monkey]

The Ticker: Burson & AIG, NFL Star’s Verbal Abuse, Stronger PR Ethics…

It Happened This Weekend…

shankman at hardees1.jpg
[Peter Shankman with the crew at Hardee's in Myerstown, PA. Image courtesy:]

Editor’s note: We may turn this into a regular feature (if you want us to), but here is a recap of some interesting things that happened this weekend.

Craiglist founder Craig Newmark keynoted the PRSA International Conference in Detroit. The conference runs through Tuesday. Prior to his keynote, Newmark told PRSA that he always has to be connected. “…No way I could stay off-line for longer than the time of a flight. My job is customer service right now. I’m looking forward to Internet access being on planes. My life will be easier that way. I won’t have a big backlog of e-mails waiting for me. I do work every day. I stay connected as much as reasonable. And that works for me,” he said.

In regards to Twitter and micro-blogging, Newmark believes they are “an intimate form of communications. It’s real time to a lot of people. It forces you to be brief. And I believe pretty strongly that brevity is the soul of wit.”

In media news, Radar magazine folded, again, however their Halloween party for this Thursday is still on. Think PR staffer Claudine Gumbel told FishbowlNY the club is still “planning for” Radar’s party and they’re “going to be doing it, most likely as a closing party for them.”

And finally, on a completely different, but possibly somewhat related note, uber-flack and HARO founder Peter Shankman drove 124 miles to Myerstown, PA, the site of the closest Hardee’s location to New York City. Upon arrival, he promptly downed 2,200 calories worth of Thickburgers, French Fries and Milkshakes. No joke.

KCSA Celebrates 40 Year Anniversary

KCSA 40th.jpg
[KCSA poses for a group shot at the ol' racetrack]

NYC-based strategic communications agency KCSA recently celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a day long retreat that included both business meetings and what looks like a nice way to release some work week frustrations: go cart racing. KCSA CEO Jeff Corbin tells PRNewser, “We celebrated the teamwork that binds our three practice areas of public relations, investor relations and creative services — I am privileged to have such a great group of professionals working here.”

As far as the racing went, Jason Mayde, Director of IT had the fastest lap time and lead his team to victory in a “60 minute endurance race.”