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Archives: February 2010

Former Fleishman-Hillard Consumer Lead Launches Agency

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Ron Antonette, formerly consumer marketing practice group lead at Fleishman-Hillard, has launched R. Antonette Communications.

He calls the new firm, “a micro agency specializing in supporting family and parenting brands, green marketing and CSR campaigns, and professional services firms.”

Before Fleishman, Antonette spent 14 years at GolinHarris and held director roles at Mattel and ConAgra Foods.

Survey: 80% of Journos Say Bloggers Are “Important Opinion-Shapers”

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Middleberg Communications and the Society for New Communications Research have released the results of their 2nd annual “Media in the Wired World” survey. The results are not surprising: journalists have increased their use of social media.

Nearly 70% of journalists surveyed are using social networking sites, a 28% increase since 2008

48% are using Twitter or other microblogging sites and tools, a 25% increase since 2008

66% are reading blogs

48% are viewing videos online

25% are listening to podcasts

Nearly 80% of journalists surveyed believe that bloggers have become important opinion-shapers in recent years

91% of journalists surveyed agree that new media and communications tools and technologies are enhancing journalism to some extent

The tricky thing here in regards to the 80% figure is what defines a “journalist” versus a “blogger,” as these worlds converge more and more. Read the full results here.

The Ticker: Toyoda weeps; Mitt fights; Whale react; Traditional vs. social; Norwegian curling pants

Sarah Palin Spokesperson Resigns; No Immediate Plans To Hire Replacement

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Sarah Palin spokesperson Meg Stapleton has resigned, Politico reports.

CNN’s Peter Hamby said Stapleton, “developed a rocky relationship with other Republicans and members of the media,” and there are no immediate plans to hire a replacement.

This basically means it’s not clear how reporters can contact Palin as of now, given there is no media contact on the Website for her PAC.

Intuit’s PR & Social Manager Jumps to Sony’s Online Gaming Division

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Scott Gulbransen is leaving Intuit to join Sony Online Entertainment, maker of massively multiplayer online (MMO) video games including the Everquest series, and DC Online Universe. His last day working on brands including Turbo Tax and Mint.com is March 5th according to a post on his personal blog.

Gulbransen joins SOE after nine years at Intuit, where he worked closely with traditional media and consumers–especially during tax season–and on social media campaigns including the successful “Freeloader Nation” sponsorship of MySpace’s secret shows.

Gulbransen doesn’t have gaming in his background and is “ecstatic” about the challenge of leading SOE’s global communications function.

RELATED: Interview: Scott Gulbransen, Senior Manager of Public Relations & Social Media, Consumer Group, Intuit

Toyota CEO Apologizes As FBI Raids Toyota Suppliers

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Things just seem to be getting worse for Toyota. As the company’s chief executive Akio Toyoda apologized in front of a U.S. congressional panel today, saying “we never run away from our problems,” the FBI raided the office of several Toyota suppliers in Detroit.

The raids add yet another layer onto the crisis communications catastrophe being faced by the company. Nearly every crisis communications executive PRNewser has spoken with said the company is not handling the recall as well as they could be.

Also in the hot seat: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA, which is now being implicated as “going to easy on the company” in advance of the recall.

Ray Wert, editor-in-chief of auto industry news blog Jalopnik told PRNewser earlier today, “I’m interested in hearing Akio Toyoda answering questions with a translator’s help. On the basest of levels, that alone may hurt their public perception given the automaker’s desire to market themselves as an American automaker. Especially after [Jim] Lentz’s inability to answer questions yesterday on safety because all of the real decision-making occurs at Toyota Japan.”

In regards to media coverage, Wert said, “There’s a handful of reporters who got into the hearing, but there aren’t any real media avails happening right now, especially given the news that the SEC and many state attorneys general may be filing or opening cases against Toyota.”

RELATED: Toyota To Dealers: Don’t Hire Your Own PR Firm

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Matt Labov Leaves Hollywod PR Firm B|W|R

“What’s bizarre is that this follows B|W|R last month promoting [him] to co-president with Leslie Sloane Zelnik,” writes DeadlineHollywood.com’s Nikki Finke.

Labov handles Jack Black, Steve Carell, Sacha Baron Cohen, Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow, among others. Rumor is he’ll be taking all of this talent with him as he starts up his own shop.

PRNewser Poll: 58% Say Toyota Is Handling Crisis Comm. ‘Horribly’

In our most recent PRNewser poll, we asked how you would grade Toyota’s crisis communications strategy thus far. 58% of you said, “They’ve done horribly. The company reacted too slow, and when they did, it wasn’t effective.”

30% responded, “They’ve done OK. I’m neutral on their efforts,” while only 12% said the company is “doing well.”

For this week’s poll, we’re going to skip around to the topic of PR budgets in 2010.

In 2010, my PR budget — from clients or as part of a brand marketing budget — has:polling

Spin the Agencies of Record

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[The view from the gate of the Hotel Royal Monceau]

Account wins in this edition of Spin the Agencies of Record include law and account firms, food products, telecom technology, a luxury hotel, baby products, and cookware:

Furia Rubel lands two law firms and an accounting firm

Susan Magrino Agency lands three: Parisian hotel Raffles Paris, Le Royal Monceau, Weil Baby products, and Lagostina cookware (a subsidiary of Groupe SEB)

Calysto Communications communicates for General Telecom

Client wins with a cherry on top–Rogers Group gobbles up Cinnabon and Dole Frozen Fruit

Beth Harte Joins Sergenti Communications

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MarketingProfs Community Manager Beth Harte is leaving the company to join agency Sergenti Communications.

“I am really looking forward to this next phase of my career as I dive into a position that allows me to prove, once again, that social media is a viable part of a sound digital marketing strategy,” Harte said on her blog.

Sergenti is a quirky little agency. They advise on all facets of digital communications. Check out their interesting response to Edelman’s recently released Trust Barometer study.

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