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Archives: March 2009

BBC Kid Reporter Interviews Max “Ate My Hamster” Clifford

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Max Clifford, the legendary British publicist spoke on camera to one of the kids from the Islamia Girls’ Secondary School as part of the BBC’s School Report program.

He’s known for endless episodes of flackery in his 47 year career, including inventing the classic British tabloid story, “Freddie Starr Ate My Hampster” for client in need of attention, and a sandwich.

Though Clifford has amassed fame and wealth representing celebrities, he advises the kid to avoid unhealthy obsession with them, and says the only bold face name he cared about as a kid was footballer Johnny Haynes.

Clifford ranked fourth on the new PRWeek UK Power Book, out this week. He was bested by Matthew Freud, Roland Rudd, and Alan Parker in the first three spots.

For reference, his 2006 10-point guide to getting famous (below) is still relevant, except in the U.S. #5 and #7 are the same thing:

1. Appear on a reality series
2. Enter a talent contest
3. Be abysmal on a talent show
4. Gain fame by association
5. Date a celebrity
6. Flaunt your body
7. Date a Royal Family member
8. Make a home sex video
9. Be a success on MySpace
10. Be in the right place at the right time

Minor League Baseball Team Offers Flatulence Disguiser Promotion

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File this in the creative, fun – and maybe somewhat disturbing promotions department. A minor league baseball team, the Lake Elsinore Storm, is offering what can be described as “fart disguisers” at their “weekly all-you-can-eat Tuesday home games.”

From the press release (via Deadspin):

“You can probably deduce that All-You-Can-Eat ballpark food might lead to substantial gas subtle emissions, which is where corporate sponsor, Subtle Butt, enters the picture. Made of activated carbon fabric, each disposable 3.25″ square shield is held onto the inside of the underwear with two self-adhesive strips. Subtle Butt effectively filters flatulence, absorbing and neutralizing its odor.”

Therefore, the first 250 fans in attendance at every “Fat Tuesday” ballgame (the first is on April 14), will receive a free product sample of Subtle Butt.

Fart all you want, baseball fans, no one will know!

VMS Seeks To Provide Solution For Endless “Advertising vs. PR” Debate

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[Screenshot of Vantage, a new media intelligence tool from VMS]

Ad equivalency reports – in which PR pros attempt to align media coverage with advertising spend and compare the ROI of both – are generally a dreaded task in the PR world. Do they really mean anything? Isn’t it an apples to oranges comparison? These are just some of the questions that surround the practice.

Media intelligence company VMS wants to make this process a bit easier, with the launch today of Vantage, a solution the company says gives marketers “the ability to understand true Return On Investment (ROI) for advertising and public relations media activities and expenditures.”

The solution is not cheap. Left out of the press release, but mentioned in a story today on the launch by PRWeek‘s Tonya Garcia:

Carrying a seven-digit price tag, Vantage is intended for the large marketing budgets of Fortune 500 companies.

To be clear, Vantage offers much more than what PR pros seek to uncover with just an ad equivalency report. The solution also involves messaging analysis to see if advertising and PR messaging is aligned, and the ability to “Measure advertising and public relations performance across all major media to see how editorial coverage and advertising effectiveness impact each other,” among other features.

Spin the Agencies of Record

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[I cashed in my piggy, woot! Via Consumerist]

This edition of Spin the Agencies of Record includes a few budget-minded client wins for these trying times, including those green machines in the supermarket that take your change, and spit back out a voucher for paper money, and all of your buttons, paperclips, and Canadian money that it couldn’t digest.

Other wins include the stadium in Miami, Campgrounds spelled with a K, a community development group in Harlem, and a company that makes industrial cooling (AC, skating rinks) more efficient by making and storing ice during off-peak times, and using it during the day:

Swirl Inc. cashes in with Coinstar, the coin-counting machine company

JMPR puts stakes in the ground for Kampgrounds of America for a three month project, in time for the likely scaled back American family vacation season

Morris + King builds an uptown message for the Abyssinian Development Corporation as agency of record

Vantage Communications chills out with CALMAC‘s IceBank├é┬« Energy Storage Systems

rbb PR brings HEAT to the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. In addition to basketball, the venue is known as the top spot for Latin Music, and tour stop for everyone from Madonna, U2, Kanye West, Britney, to Phish.

The Ticker: Twitter Tag Alongs, Assessing Obama, RNC’s New Media Leader…

Taylor PR Cuts Staff, Loses XBox Project Work

An anonymous tip to PRNewser, confirmed by a source wishing not to be named, told us that Taylor PR laid off a significant percentage of staff and lost work with the XBox gaming console.

The midsize agency ranks 10th on the O’Dwyer’s list of of independent firms with billings of $20 million and a staff of 105. The sports, lifestyle and entertainment firm does work for brands like Kleenex, MasterCard, Jose Cuervo, Guinness, and BRP (those three-wheeled cycle-car things).

I spoke to Taylor COO Bryan Harris who confirmed the layoffs, though said they were in Q4 2008, and that the tipster’s 20% number was inaccurate. According to Harris, the firm has taken steps to stabilize and revenue is actually up in Q1 2009 over Q4 of 2008.

Harris also said the firm completed three XBox projects for Microsoft in Q1.

What’s Your Take on President Obama’s “PR Barrage”

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President Barack Obama has been even more public facing than usual lately, with appearances ranging from the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” to ESPN. But is it working? That is the question asked by Advertising Age‘s Michael Bush in a feature story this week.

The aggressive campaign is aimed at “making the president more human, as he communicates directly with those outside the Beltway, who most likely aren’t nightly viewers of Bill O’Reilly or Rachel Maddow,” wrote Bush.

“It’s a bold decision to challenge the idea of overexposure, but I think it’s the right decision. So far it seems to have paid off,” Bob Shrum, current Edelman adviser and former John Kerry campaign consultant told Bush. What do you think? Has the President’s media blitz helped or hurted his efforts to sell the stimulus plan and his overall agenda?

Clean Up That Resume

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Manning, Selvage & Lee is looking for a Vice President

Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications is looking for a Senior Associate

Playboy Enterprises, Inc. is looking for a Director of PR – Media Businesses

Digitas is looking for a SVP Interactive Media

mediabistro.com is looking for a Membership Marketing Intern

PRNewser Interview: Greg Matthews, Director of Consumer Innovation, Humana

SXSW is officially over, however here at PRNewser we still have a few more interviews to post from the conference that we think you’ll enjoy. Today’s interview is with Greg Matthews, Director of Consumer Innovation at Humana, a Fortune 100 healthcare company that is doing a lot more than what one would think a “traditional” healthcare company does. Greg is a member of Humana’s Innovation Center, which has been tasked to come up with, “creative ways to help people be healthy while having fun.” You can view the Innovation Center’s projects here.

We specifically wanted to talk to Matthews about the fact that even though much of the Innovation Center’s work has integrated social media, there is not one person on the team with a marketing or PR background. “Human’s innovation center is kind of a unique place,” said Matthews. “It was designed to be a place that’s helping to take this company that is in a very traditional industry, forward into a kind of new future and really reshape that industry, and so none of the people that work on our team actually have a healthcare background, and frankly none of us have a background in social media either.” The takeaway: How can you work in social media in ways that go beyond just PR and marketing?

How To Get Re-Tweeted: Advice from Three PR Pros

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We sincerely hope that Twitter doesn’t get filled up with lots of marketing campaigns and gimmicks, like the recent campaign by Maggiano Italian restaurants that encouraged users to spread a message in exchanges for the chance of winning a $100 gift card.

That being said, “re-tweeting” is quickly becoming a big part of Twitter. Back in December Edelman’s Steve Rubel did the math and found that 2% of all Tweets are Re-tweets. Naturally, PR people are thinking to themselves – how can I get my message to spread through Twitter like wild fire?

The answer? We asked three PR pros for their take. Click continued to read re-tweeting tips from Christine Kirk, Murphy O’Brien Public Relations, Peter Shankman, founder of Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and Jason Brown, Principal, PublicCity PR.

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