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Archives: December 2009

Did Napolitano’s “System Worked” Comment Force Second Obama Statement?

President Obama made his second public speaking appearance yesterday afternoon since the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas day. Was it the flack the administration has been receiving from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano‘s “the system worked” comment that lead to the second appearance? CNN’s Ed Henry said the second statement was “unexpected” and asked if it was because Obama was “feeling heat from critics.”

Napolitano has since clarified that she meant the system worked only after the failed bomb attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was known. Who approved this administration stance? Rightly so, the American people are not as concerned about what happened after the attempted bombing, but with the fact that we did not catch the bomber before he boarded the flight.

Obama’s messaging yesterday was clearly aimed to address Napolitano’s comment, as he used the words “systemic failure” to describe the event. The question now is if his second statement will be enough, or if the administration will have to go even further.

2010 PR Predictions: Crisis Firms Will Adopt ‘Pay-By-Performance Model’


We had to post 2010 PR predictions from David Moye, media relations manager at San Diego agency Alternative Strategies after he wrote in and said, “Not only am I in PR, but I have worked as a psychic in the past – doing readings for celebrities like Chuck Norris and Bret Michaels.”

Moye’s thoughts business prospects for 2010:

I am seeing folks who spent 2009 trying to secure their base and now want to expand their business. I am already getting interest from potential new clients and I believe that business owners are realizing they have to do something to stick out from the competition.

The biggest PR story of 2010 will be…

More and more businesses specializing in crisis management will adopt a pay-by-performance model in order to show the true value of their services. The impetus will come after Tiger Woods fires his PR folks for their mishandling of his scandal.

RELATED: 2010 PR Predictions: A New Player Will Emerge To Challenge Facebook Supremacy

Year In Review: The 10 Most Popular Stories of 2009

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Continuing with our year in review coverage and analysis, here are the ten most popular PRNewser stories for 2009, based on web traffic.

1) ABC News Reporter On Being Interrupted By Publicist: “That Frequency and Aggression of Interruption I Have Not Seen Personally Before’

2) Sunshine Sachs & Associates Opens West Coast Office, Adds Sports and Marketing Divisions

3) Kelly Cutrone Loses Client After Spitzer Call Girl Shows Up Fashion Week Event

4) Want Kim Kardashian To Tweet For You? It Will Cost $10,000

5) The Complete Bloomberg Layoffs List

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

7) Five Popular Types of PR Tweets

8) Why Did Anita Dunn Step Down As White House Communications Director?

9) How To: Plant An Item in Page Six

10) FTC Clarifies Blogger Guidelines: ‘We’ve Never Brought a Case Against Somebody Simply for Failure to Disclose’

Colgate To Attempt ‘Most People Kissing Simultaneously’ World Record This New Year’s Eve


As we’ve previously noted, we’re suckers for one of the most time honored PR stunts in all of the land: setting a Guinness World Record.

Colgate is attempting their own record this New Year’s Eve for “the most couples kissing simultaneously in multiple locations.” The company should able to set the record. All they need is 20 couples in ten different locations to simultaneously kiss.

The promotional tie-in is for Colgate’s Wisp, “the first of its kind single use mini toothbrush.” Fresh breath, kissing, we get it. Agency of record Cohn & Wolfe is handling all media.

Will Google Phone News Overshadow CES?


For all you PR professionals – especially those in the consumer tech space – who are taking this week off and gearing up for the behemoth Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas beginning January 7th, be warned: next week is Google’s week, or so the company hopes.

Google has a press conference planned for January 5th and rumors are swirling the event will be for the launch of its Nexus One phone, the first phone it will sell directly to consumers.

“Google’s announcement will likely kick off a crowded week for the technology industry and could perhaps overshadow any news to emerge from CES later in the week,” says CNET’s Tom Krazit.

Adds John Paczkowski of AllThingsD, “By scheduling the event just before the official start of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 7 (and hours before the first CES press briefings begin), the company would seem to be taking a page from the Steve Jobs‘s playbook – sucking some air out of the annual event. Remember, Apple (AAPL) upstaged CES in a very big way back in 2007 when it announced the iPhone.”

2010 PR Predictions: Ketchum Edition


Here are some 2010 predictions from Ketchum executives, starting with agency senior partner and CEO Ray Kotcher:

On business prospects for 2010:

At Ketchum, given the current economic environment, we are being sensible about our 2010 forecasts and are planning for what may be a flat year compared to ’09. But we also have been seeing signs that 2010 could be a year of growth. Clients are “green lighting” 2010 work earlier and with firmer commitments than last year. Our new business activity in the final quarter of ’09 is the strongest it has been all year and our win rate has been outstanding.

On PR M&A activity in 2010:

There is clear evidence that more and more clients are consolidating their accounts with one or two shops that can offer them broad spectrum, integrated global service and greater efficiencies. As providers of public relations services, agencies have the choice to “buy or build” in order to meet client demand.

For example, Ketchum has pursued a “build” strategy with the hiring of Jonathan Kopp to lead Ketchum Digital and we continue to build out Zocalo, our word-of-mouth specialist agency. But in order to immediately expand the spectrum of client offerings of our technology practice here in the States and quickly seize market opportunities, we recently chose the acquisition route with Access Communications, a recognized leader in tech.

Click continued for thoughts from Ron Culp, partner at Ketchum and Director, North American Corporate Practice.

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2010 PR Predictions: A New Player Will Emerge To Challenge Facebook Supremacy

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C. Renzi Stone, CEO of Saxum Public Relations, a $2 million revenue firm based out of Oklahoma City, has some bold predictions for 2010, especially when it comes to social networking. “MySpace was alive and in control of the social space in 2007. A new player will emerge to challenge Facebook supremacy,” he told PRNewser.

On business prospects for 2010:

We will not be up because current clients are raising their budgets to pre-recession levels. Current client budgets will likely remain flat to slightly up. We will be up because we have invested in training and hiring top human capital and developing intellectual property in 2009 – all in speculative anticipation for the rebound. My best new business indicator – as always – is how many proposals we have sent out. In December alone, we generated more proposals than July through November combined.

On PR M&A activity in 2010:

Acquisitions follow capital which follows confidence. Public relations still needs to build mainstream (read: CEO and private equity) confidence in our new-found acceptance as the prominent player in the overall marketing mix. There will be more acquisitions in 2010 than 2009. There will be more acquisitions in 2011 than 2010.

Year In Review: Five Important PR Innovations of 2009

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We begin our 2009 Year In Review coverage with a list of five important innovations that made the biggest impact on the PR industry over the last year.

Click continued for the complete list. Coming soon in our continuing year in review coverage: agency trends, the top five pitches of 2009 and more…

1) Facebook Makes Changes to “Fan Pages”

Facebook’s changes to their “Fan Pages” in March — which are destinations set up on the social network by everyone from celebrities to large brands — was possibly the innovation that brought brands and marketers on to the social network en-masse, giving them a formal and better way to communicate. Perhaps the biggest change was that status updates from fan pages now appeared in user’s news feeds “more often,” wrote David Berkowitz in Advertising Age. This positioned brands in the same way as ones’ “friends” on the social network for the first time.

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Tyra Banks To End “The Tyra Show”

“This will be the last season of ‘The Tyra Show,’” Tyra Banks told People magazine in a story published late yesterday. She will turn her focus to Bankable Studios, a N.Y.-based film production company. FishbowlNY has more.

RELATED: 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian Advises “Nutty” Celebs on Tyra Banks Today

2010 PR Predictions: Growth Returns, M&A Activity Increases

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Continuing with our series of predictions for the PR industry in 2010, we present the following from Wendy Lane Stevens, CEO of Lane PR, a $3 million boutique agency with offices in New York and Portland, Oregon.

On business prospects for 2010:

In 2010, I expect our business to be up. I expect it to be up because we have booked 25% more business for Q1 2010 than we have ever booked in the 20 year history of the company.

On PR M&A activity in 2010:

I expect there to be more acquisitions in the PR industry because companies understand that now is the time to take market share in a cost effective manner (balance sheets are still low from 2009) and this window of opportunity is closing.

RELATED: 2010 PR Predictions: More Social Media Blunders