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Archives: February 2009

Mickey Rourke and WWE Planning Post Oscars PR Stunt?

Is the WWE synching up with with Oscar nominee and The Wrestler star Mickey Rourke? According to Broadcasting and Cable, “The head of PR for WWE confirmed Monday that actor Mickey Rourke is planning to attend the company’s Wrestlemania 25, the 25th anniversary of Wrestlemania event in Houston in April…Sal Cataldi of Cataldi public relations, which does PR for WWE, he has confirmation from head of WWE PR Robert Zimmerman that Rourke is planning to be there.”

Insiders tell B&C that Rourke wouldn’t confirm the appearance until after the Oscars “for fear that his association would hurt his chances” of winning an award (Rourke lost out to Sean Penn).

The above video of Rourke and WWE wrestler Chris Jericho has all the makings of a “faux feud” leading up to the event. Let the speculation begin.

Tropicana Changes Packaging, Consumers Sound Off, PR People Opine

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[Tropicana, before and after]

Tropicana recently went ahead and changed its iconic “straw in the orange” packaging, but consumers are none to happy. After a plethora of complaints, notably via social media, the company has decided to forgoe the new look (which cost Tropicana $35M) and return to their original design.

Nonetheless, PR pros were happy to sound off to the NY TimesStuart Elliott for his story on the issue. “You used to wait to go to the water cooler or a cocktail party to talk over something. Now, every minute is a cocktail party…You write an e-mail and in an hour, you’ve got a fan base agreeing with you,” said RLM PR CEO and Bad Pitch Blogger Richard Laermer.

Meanwhile, Help A Reporter Out founder Peter Shankman told Elliott, “There will always be people complaining, and always be people complaining about the complainers…but this [social media] makes it easier to put us together.”

The real winner in all of this? Laermer, who got a link to his Bad Pitch Blog mentioned in Shankman’s massive newsletter today. Agency Spy has more.

The Ticker: Everlast Taps MWW, A Sports PR Legend Passes, Obama’s Latest PR Challenge…

Happy Hour Fun: Settle Down and Watch Some Kittens

Dear celebrities, Governors, Senators, wannabe Senators, Oscar-wanters, Facebookers, Twitterers and all corresponding PR consultants. Settle down. It’s Friday. Pour yourself a cocktail and enjoy this lovely video about kittens. Don’t like kittens? Check out this ad porn, courtesy of our big brother, the AgencySpy blog.

Fleishman-Hillard Layoffs Now Official

Fleishman-Hillard, the big PR division of Omnicom, officially acknowledged staff cuts today by way of a statement to PRWeek from CEO David Senay.

Senay said the cuts are in the low single-digit percentage, and many markets in North America will not big affected at all. He also said the rumored cuts in Canada were overblown (9 instead of the blogged 20).

We hear that two General Managers were included in the cuts. Only a dozen people at Fleishman are listed in LinkedIn in North America with that title. If you have information on this, or background on the cuts that you’d like to share either on or off the record, get in touch here. Discretion guaranteed as always.

Changes at Edelman: Bob Angus To Step Down as President at A&R Edelman

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According to PRWeek‘s Aarti Shah, Edelman made some executive team changes this week. Bob Angus, “will step down as president at A&R Edelman in May, giving up day-to-day management of the tech firm he cofounded and sold to Edelman in 2006,” Shah reports. He will be replaced Todd Irwin, GM and EVP, who will pick up day to day duties.

Matt McGinnis, Commercial Product Communications at Dell, posted on Twitter in response to the news, “Looks like Bob Angus has lived through his earn-out period after Edelman bought A&R in ’06.”

Edelman Chief of Staff Derek Creevey says the statement is not accurate. “Bob has stepped down from the global tech practice role, but Bob is very much continuing in his role as chairman of A&R and absolutely that is going to continue. He’s not leaving the company,” Creevey told PRNewser.

[Image: Bob Angus, Courtesy PRWeek]

The Ticker: Facebook and Twitter Press, This “Internet” Thing, Kilmer Hires PR…

Robert Gibbs on White House Press Briefings: “There is a Pretty Big Adrenaline Rush When You Are Out There”

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[Gibbs with President Barack Obama, image cred]

The profile of Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs that we mentioned was coming yesterday is now out. TIME‘s Michael Scherer disects the campaign spokesman’s decision to “pivot” strategy in the initial weeks of the Obama presidency, from “backroom schmoozing, the Capitol Hill and Super Bowl mixers, the bipartisan glad-handing” to notching up “criticism of the Republicans” and setting off on a “cross-country sales tour through struggling towns and cities” for the recently signed stimulus bill.

In reference to the daily White House press briefings, Gibbs told Scherer, “There is a pretty big adrenaline rush when you are out there. You do need about half an hour to just sort of decompress.”

Enfatico CEO: “We Have Transitioned the Work of 850+ Agencies Around the World”

PRWeek and DM News recently sat down for an interview with Torrence Boone, CEO of Enfatico, the agency created by WPP Group to service the $150m global Dell account.

Boone’s thoughts on differentiation:

“One of the core points of differentiation for the agency is the global focus.”

On analytics:

“We have a number of next generation analytics projects that are going on.”

On the continued questions about whether the agency will land another client besides Dell:

“We’re in the throes of a lot of new business development as well.”

While Boone is certainly bullish on the agency’s prospects, not all share his viewpoint. As BNET advertising reporter Jim Edwards reported in late December, Dell has laid off the two biggest supporters of Enfatico in recent months, then CMO Mark Jarvis and VP Marketing Casey Jones. “With Enfatico’s two top client supporters at Dell gone, and a massive cost–utting drive under way at Dell, it is shaping up to be a difficult 2009 for Enfatico,” he said.

Robert Gibbs Profile Coming in Tomorrow’s TIME

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Via FishbowlDC:

Michael Scherer will have a profile of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs in tomorrow’s Time magazine. Playbook has excerpts:

“Hours after the lowest point of his boss’s first two weeks in office, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs ended the first chapter of the Obama presidency and launched the second. At the end of his morning staff meeting- where his team had gathered to discuss the handling of issues from the first fortnight, including Tom Daschle’s unexpected failure to join the Cabinet because of tax-compliance problems- Gibbs reminded members of his team what they had come to Washington to do. ‘One other thing,’ Gibbs said as the room went quiet. ‘When the President said “I screwed up” last night, that officially ended our experiment with sipping from the waters of the Potomac,’ he continued, referring to the Obama team’s determination not to be sucked into old Washington ways. ‘I, for one, don’t want to look back four years from now and think, We should have done this differently…”

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