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Archives: January 2009

Ken Sunshine on New Client Thain: “We Take Great Pride in Our Discretion”


Sunshine, Sachs & Associates picked up some high profile crisis PR work today, adding former Merrill Lynch chief executive John Thain to their client roster.

S&S president Ken Sunshine wouldn’t say much to PRWeek‘s Tonya Garcia: “I will confirm that we’re representing Mr. Thain, but that’s as far as I’ll go,” Sunshine said. “We take great pride in our discretion.”

If anything, the agency website jibes with that statement.

UPDATE: Bloomberg has more: “Before hiring Sunshine Sachs, Thain approached public relations firm Rubenstein Associates.”

Happy Hour: W’s Jazzy Presser

Tripping over talking points is like tickling the ivories. Brought to you by pianist Henry Hey.

The Ticker: Fox Interactive Layoffs, Citigroup’s PR Bungle, 10 Social Media Changes…

VH1′s T.O., Mo and Kit Reality Show


The four-year vacuum left by Lizzie Grubman‘s PoweR Girls reality show is finally filled. VH1 signed Dallas Cowboys star Terrell Owens and his two friends and publicists Kita Williams and Monique Jackson to star in a yet-to-be-named series to air this summer.

The two will help T.O. get a grip on his antics, play matchmaker, and showcase his “quiet, sensitive” side behind the “braggadocio, emotional histrionics, and sculpted physique,” according to the official press release. Hats off to VH1′s Scott Acord and Toni Herron for using vocab not often seen in PR writing.

We’re so glad. For a minute there we thought the era of publicists inserting themselves in the narrative of their clients might end prematurely.

[via National Post]

Clean Up That Resume


Loyola Marymount University is looking for an Assistant Director, Comm. & Media Relations

BUILT is looking for a Communications Coordinator

Sage Communications is looking for an Executive Media Director

BBC Worldwide Americas is looking for a Senior Manager – Digital Syndication

McCann Worldgroup is looking for a Media Public Relations Director

2009 Edelman Trust Barometer: Trust in Business at 10-year Low in U.S.


Edelman today released the 2009 edition of its annual Trust Barometer, and not surprisingly, the results aren’t promising. Among the findings:

-Nearly two-thirds of informed publics (62%) trust corporations less than they did a year ago

-Only 38% said they trust business to do what is right — a 20% plunge since last year — and only 17% said they trust information from a company’s CEO

-Seventy-seven percent (77%) said they refused to buy products or services from a company they distrusted — the first time the survey explored people’s direct actions toward trusted and distrusted companies. Seventy-two percent (72%) criticized a distrusted company to a friend or colleague.

“Our survey confirms that it’s going to be harder to rebuild our economies because no institution has captured the trust that business has lost — trust is not a zero-sum game,” said Edelman CEO Richard Edelman in a statement.

Read the full report here. Kudos to Edelman for “walking the walk” in making the online report extremely social media friendly.

Did “Hired PR Gun” Eliminate Caroline Kennedy’s Chance for a Senate Seat?


While she was certainly the front runner in name recognition, Caroline Kennedy was not appointed by Governor David Paterson to take over Hillary Clinton‘s Senate seat. Instead this past Friday Paterson selected the virtually unknown New York congresswoman Kirsten E. Gillibrand.

Those following the appointment process may remember supposed baggage of tax, nanny and marital problems that were cited as the cause of Kennedy’s downfall, and which are now being accredited to Judy Smith, a “Washington-based PR guru and former Bush White House deputy press secretary,” according to the Daily News.

The report also insinuates Paterson and some of his staff approved of the campaign. Meanwhile, others are “bemoaning his willingness to listen to a hired gun with little knowledge of New York politics, undercutting his own staff and projecting the image of an administration in chaos.”

Paterson himself has denied any association, telling the Associated Press, “I’m denying it, but there have been leaks coming from my administration during this entire process of choosing a senator…As you said, this is a pretty serious thing and one that I would condemn for whoever was gossiping about the reason that Ms. Kennedy would have withdrawn from the race.”

Interestingly enough, Smith’s firm, Impact Strategies, lists the DC Board of Elections and Ethics among other high profile past and current clients including McDonalds, the Bush 2000 and 2004 Presidential Election, and Kobe Bryant.

Blago’s Magical Media Tour: Geraldo Calls Out Glenn Selig

Geraldo Rivera freely blamed Rod Blagojevich’s publicist Glenn Selig for missing a spot on Fox News Channel’s Live Desk yesterday, calling Selig’s other client the “double murdering” Drew Peterson his arch-enemy.

Enemies be frenimies as the disgraced Governor went on to deliver probably his best interview of the day, after Geraldo bum rushed his limo in the ABC parking lot and shamed him in to it. Blagojevich delivered a slightly less crazy set of talking points.

More on The Tour as it develops.

Related: Blago’s Magical Media Tour Booked By Drew Peterson’s Publicist

[via TVNewser]

The New Blogger Relations: Sway Them or Buy Them?

[Bloggers meet with Pansonic execs at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, photo courtesy Greg Verdino]

As the media landscape continues to change at an exponentially fast rate, so do the tactics and tools communications professionals use to excel at their craft.

Some of these new tactics were profiled in a recent Adweek feature story, “Brands Tap Web Elite for Advertorial 2.0,” by digital editor Brian Morrissey.

Centered around several campaigns that took place at this month’s Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, Morrissey highlighted a Panasonic social media campaign as “one of several undertaken by brands carving out a new take on the old notion of advertorial. Rather than relying on magazines, they are contracting with influential bloggers who bring with them their own powerful distribution networks. Rather than a long-form narrative, content is fit for the Web via blog posts, Twitter updates and YouTube videos. And the key differentiator: instead of dictating the content to lead to a sale, brands typically keep their distance to maintain credibility.”

PRNewser spoke with representatives from several of the companies mentioned in the story, including Greg Verdino, Chief Strategy Officer at crayon (who was responsible for the Panasonic campaign) and Izea CEO Todd Murphy (who’s company provides a more “direct” model of sponsored blog posts, where a blogger is paid to write about a certain product or service.)

Read more

Blago’s Magical Media Tour Booked By Drew Peterson’s Publicist

Remember Glenn Selig, the former TV journalist who launched a Twitter account to let you know about his marquee client, accused wife disappearer Drew Peterson?

He’s handling the media tour for accused Senate seat seller Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. And wow, is it going well. Instead of participating in the impeachment hearings, the Governor–and his hair–are on tour in New York. It began with a bit of fuss between the networks over who got him first over the weekend, evidence the publicist didn’t get the agreements straight, or was intentionally creating controversy (note: there’s enough controversy already).

Next stop: The View. Barbara Walters gave him the business via satellite. Joy Behar tried to get Blago to do a Tricky Dick “I’m not a crook” impersonation and ruffled his hair.

In fairness to Selig, he has a difficult crisis task here, and presumably a client who insists at writing his own talking points.

If the goal in the end is to avoid jail, invoking the names Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., and saying Oprah was on the shortlist for Senate is not helping.

Blago will grace Larry King’s set tonight. His highness of long format damage control will let the Governor to spin his best yarn as he does with all guests, or in this case give him plenty of rope to complete the hanging.