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Archives: November 2008

Bush Pardons Turkeys For 61st Annual Photo Op

(CBS goes full-footage for the Presidential turkeys including their first class flight to their next gig at Disneyland)

This year marks the 61st Turkey Pardon by the President on Thanksgiving, a public a publicity stunt originally conceived and maintained by the Turkey Federation lobby. You can find more about the tradition on the special White House page for “Pumpkin” and “Pecan” or read a retired reporter’s nice piece about his coverage during the Carter administration.

For PRNewser, it’s mainly an excuse to reprint the best Bush pic ever–the 2001 Turkey Pardon immortalized by Reuters photographer Kevin Lemarque:


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For Immediate Release Fridays


This past Friday was a tough one for uncovering buried press releases.

While the economy is grim, Black Friday is still a biggie for retail and business journalists. There were indeed, many releases uploaded late on Friday touting things like increased traffic to online circular sites as shoppers prepped for battle.

But the battle was literal and the news grim as one Wal-Mart shopper was trampled to death, and two Toys R Us shoppers fatally shot each other.

Toys R Us uploaded a brief statement. Wal-Mart’s statement was a bit more specific.

As I write this, the search ‘Wal-Mart AND death’ yields 2,500 news stories and ‘Toys R Us AND shooting’ yields 254. We can only hope people keep their cool next year, and retailers don’t continue to market Black Friday as some kind of necessary, frenzied starting point of the holiday season.

Meanwhile, there are surprisingly few press releases up dealing with the attacks in Mumbai India. There was a statement from the Anti-Defamation League. Also, Wikipedia has a thorough round-up of the worldwide reactions. A Pakistani paper details the bumbling of the official statements by India. Also see “The Perils of Blaming Pakistan” in TIME for more information on the delicate situation.

The Howard Kurtz Two-Fer With Dana Perino


The Howard Kurtz two-fer of print and TV interviews with White House Spokesperson Dana Perino concluded today with her appearance on CNN’s Reliable Sources.

The CNN spot mirrored Kurtz’s Washington Post interview last week that found Perino shooting back at a few targets, and more widely at the quickened and more opinionated news media by way of blogs:

From her vantage point, the rise of the blogging culture has damaged journalism. With mainstream reporters posting blog items throughout the day, ‘it’s snappy, sarcastic. It doesn’t necessarily engender trust between the reporter and the press people.’ And she sees the growth in “analysis” pieces as an excuse for some reporters to vent “what their feelings are about an issue.”

She also went over the feud, or “difficulties” the Administration has had with The New York Times during the CNN spot, and referred repeated to receiving the access “they deserve”:

They get their questions asked–the president always calls on “The New York Times” at a news conference. But just because he doesn’t want to spend an hour alone with Sheryl [Gay Stolberg] or her colleagues in the Oval Office I think doesn’t mean that they’re not getting the coverage that they deserve.

MicroPR Seeks To Connect Media and PR on Twitter

[Image courtesy]

Lets face it, one reason many a PR pro is on Twitter is to follow journalists or other “influencers” in their space that they would like to connect with. Now, a free service called MicroPR has been created to allow journalists a more formal way to “crowdsource” their stories through Twitter. It’s almost like HARO for Twitter.

Created by Brian Solis, Principal of FutureWorks PR, and Stowe Boyd, here’s how it works:

1) Writers looking resources or help with a story just send a tweet with their request to @micropr (

2) PR professionals following the MicroPR feed will see a writer’s request and respond directly via the writer’s preferred channel

3) The media is also able to block PR people who do not follow the preferred contact model, etc.

Many reporters we’ve talked to can be weary of using services such as this, as it can publicly “out” their story ideas to writers at competing publications as well as the public in general.

The list of journalists on Twitter that Solis lists on his blog and hopes to get using MicroPR is very tech focused, but includes a mix of traditional and new media. Needless to say, there will still be some significant convincing involved. BoingBoing editor Joel Johnson, who is on the list, tells PRNewser, “I could see that being useful if there were actually smart PR people on the other end of the tweet.” It is Mr. Solis’ goal to prove that there will be.

Thrillist Turns Three, Celebrates With Longest Line in Night Club History

["Axe-man" makes friends. Photo courtesy Nick McGlynn,]

Ok, so it probably wasn’t the longest line in night club history, but lets just say this: if one thing was made clear from last night’s Thrillist Third Anniversary party, it’s that not many people plan on working today. Judging from tequila shot consumption, among other metrics, we feel safe making that prediction.

PRNewser showed up a bit late from the AgencySpy party, and noticed there was a clear advertising / media divide on the line outside the club. This was cemented after we introduced ourselves as a blogger to one of the Thrillist reps, only to have her respond, “I’m sorry, I have to get all of my advertising clients in first.” Oof. She could’ve just stuck with a “I’m doing my best” kind of line. No worries, quite possibly our favorite publicist in New York, Thrillist’s Director of Communications Flavie Bagnol emerged shortly thereafter, immediately ushering us into the party.

In attendance were many of the reporters you’d expect to see at a downtown media soiree: HuffPo editor turned Abrams Research consultant Rachel Sklar, CNET’s Caroline McCarthy, Clusterstock’s John Carney and our own FishbowlNY’s Glynnis MacNicol.

A few PR “lessons” from the party: First, don’t make out with someone in a very public place then proclaim to a photographer, “please don’t take our picture, we’re really not supposed to be together.” Second, if you’re sponsoring a party, go for some sort of “experiential” display as was done with Axe body spray. They had a chocolate “Axe man” who roamed the party handing out chocolate cakes. It seems he received more attention than the ads projected on the club walls. Third, and this should go without saying, guys, never make any kind of crude reference to a woman you don’t know very well, they will pour a drink on your head, as this PRNewser witnessed towards the end of the night.

On a related note, you may want to check out our recent post on how to pitch Thrillist, the 500k strong email list for dudes that covers, “the best in food, drinks, services, gadgets, gear, sports and travel.

The Ticker: Abram’s Experts, Samsung, Earning Trust…

Former RIAA Chief Exec, CNN and HuffPo Editor Takes Role at Brunswick Group

Hilary rosen.jpg

Brunswick Group, a DC-based PR firm that “often represents companies involved in big mergers,” according to the NYTime‘s Dealbook, has added Hilary Rosen to their staff.

Rosen has previously served as chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America, and also held the roles of political director and editor-at-large for The Huffington Post and on-air political contributor for CNN.

“I am not sure which Brunswick clients I will be working on. I will be taking my client Viacom to Brunswick. I hope to invigorate a Washington practice for Brunswick with new clients,” Rosen told PRNewser.

In regards to what she is most looking forward to in her new role, Rosen stated, “I think Washington is going to operate a little differently going forward than in the past and I think it will be exciting to participate. Less back room deals or legislation based on high dollar fundraising. It will be more transparent and more interactive with constituencies. Those of us who know members of Congress and the Administration and the media and know how to satisfy their desire for change will be successful in leading clients down the right path.”

Transparency and more interaction with constituents certainly seem like two things Washington needs more of right now. According to the aforementioned Dealbook report, “Brunswick has advised clients like Inbev, which recently closed its controversial acquisition of Anheuser Busch, and Delta Air Lines, which pulled off a divisive deal for Northwest Airlines.”

HARO For Sale? Not So Says Shankman


Peter Shankman‘s journalist and sources matching service Help A Reporter Out has skyrocketed from non-existence to a potential $800k business in less than one year. On that note, we’re already hearing that the service is up for sale. Not so, says its founder.

Reached for comment, Shankman told PRNewser, “As of now, I’ve no plans to sell HARO. Things can always change in the future, but at this time, I’m not talking to anyone about a sale, no one has approached me recently about buying HARO.”

No Media? No Problem. How To Generate Buzz for a Private Event

Tech Summit.jpg

The following is a guest post from Andrew Graham, senior associate at strategic communications firm Greentarget in New York.

Greentarget recently developed and executed a public relations strategy for DLA Piper’s global technology summit. DLA Piper is a global law firm with 3,700 lawyers. Despite the fact that the event was not open to media, the Greentarget team was still able to generate significant coverage and buzz by using social media tools to disseminate relevant information to interested audiences.

Says Graham, “Our social media strategy became our sole approach to this summit.” Read on for the full “mini” case study.

Read more

Spin the Agencies of Record


(The Mamaroo by 4Moms)

Spin the Agencies of Record is proud to show agencies still winning business in this difficult economy including some funky baby products, office gadgets, a commodities and currency platform for retail investors, a concert series for at-risk families, and designer jewelry:

Transmedia to publicize a dozen Home Aid concerts to benefit troubled at-risk families (TARF) because the government’s TARP isn’t

Ketchum gets sticky with Newell Rubbermaid’s technology division, makers of CardScan, mimio whiteboards, and Dymo label makers

Five clients find their Bliss, including Hedgestreet, “the first online commodities and currency exchange to sell binary contracts to retail investors”

Pierce Mattie bedazzles Katrina Kelly Jewelry

Thorley Industries, parent company of 4Moms signs PRWerks as agency of record