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Archives: September 2010

Burson Execs Delivering Keynote at BlogWorld Conference

As reported by PRNewser’s colleagues at WebNewser, two Burson-Marsteller execs will be delivering the keynote speech at the BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2010: Mark Penn, CEO of B-M and Penn Schoen Berland; and Karen Hughes, worldwide vice chairman for B-M (and former counselor to President George W. Bush). They will discuss the results of a recent study about the use of social media during the mid-term election races. The speech will take place Friday, October 15.

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Moms Prepare Before Heading to the Market

MediaPost identifies two factors impacting moms‘ “traditional path-to-purchase” – the use of smartphones and the need to keep an eye on spending during the recession.

Printable coupons, loyalty cards, and mobile coupons have become increasingly popular, with the article citing a recent report showing that more than 45 million consumers have used digital coupons.

To reach moms, social media is good, but expertise is better. “They want usage tips, recipes, new product reviews, special offers and price breaks. And more than anything else, they want solutions,” the story says. Also, respect the fact that she’s busy, and always let her opt-in.

Revolving Door: 9.30

Here are this week’s PR and media highlights from mediabistro’s Revolving Door Newsletter:

Jane Bianchi has been named senior news editor at Seventeen. She had been associate health editor at Family Circle.

John Koblin has been named media reporter at WWD. He had been media reporter at The New York Observer.

Nitsuh Abebe has been named pop music critic at New York. He had been writer at Pitchfork.

Katherine Heintzelman has been named entertainment editor at Parade. She had been entertainment director at More.

Click here to receive’s Revolving Door Newsletter via email.

Tony Curtis, a.k.a. Sidney Falco, Dies at 85

Tony Curtis died yesterday at the age of 85 at his Las Vegas area home.  Among his greatest roles on the big screen was as the sleazy press agent opposite Burt Lancaster’s J.J. Hunsecker in the “Sweet Smell of Success” (1957).  Flackery, hackery, influence peddling, beat-downs and shake-downs–this movie is an absolute classic and probably the darkest movie to come out of the 1950s.

If you haven’t seen the Sweet Smell of Success, run to your video store or fire up your Netflix queue immediately, and ponder what Choire Sicha told us when asked about the film during my rambling “Gawker on PR” series a few years ago: “Enemies are for destruction. People *enjoy* being evil. Try it! It feels great!”

Myers Predicts Press Sec Gibbs Will Step Down

Dee Dee Myers, recent addition to D.C. firm Glover Park Group and Twitter, is using her 140 characters to predict that President Obama’s Press Secretary Robert Gibbs will step down after the midterm elections with Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton stepping up. Burton was the go-to guy for Gibbs when he was on vacation last month. According to the L.A. Times blog, there are others making the same prediction, and Myers herself did the same during the Clinton administration.

In other Glover Park news, the firm has signed (sub req’d) a $400,000 contract with South Korea’s Washington D.C. embassy to handle legislative and government affairs issues.

PR Hiring On the Rise?

The Wall Street Journal‘s career site,, reports on the increased importance of PR and the hiring that’s happening across the industry, both in-house and at PR firms. “In January this year, business started picking up and all the positions that were frozen last year and in 2008 opened up again,” Lindsay Olson, partner and recruiter at Paradigm Staffing is quoted saying. Another recruiter, Maryanne Rainone, an SVP at Heyman Associates, said employee relations has become important on the corporate side.

Ogilvy PR SVP Sheri Leonardo called pharmaceuticals and healthcare “especially hot” and the story reports 61 openings on the firm’s career page. (The story posted September 29. A quick search of “Public Relations” by PRNewser showed 33 results. Clicking on “View All Jobs” showed 105 results.) Fleishman-Hillard chief talent officer Agnes Gioconda said the firm has “around 100 openings in any given week.”

Gary McCormick, president and CEO of PRSA, emphasized social media when discussing the need for PR. “There are repercussions for businesses who used social media incorrectly, or didn’t use it at all, and suddenly they’re realizing a need for PR,” he said.

This article is optimistic given the continued fears about a double-dip recession. Have you noticed an increase in hiring in the PR industry?

Philippine Official: PR Firm’s $15,000 Fee Was ‘Very Cheap’

At a news briefing following Philippine President Benigno Aquino III’s visit to New York for the United Nations’ General Assembly meeting, government officials talked about their decision to hire PR firm Kreab Gavin Anderson.

According to a local website,, reports about hiring the firm have said the fee was high. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima stated that the cost was $15,000. GMANews.TV quotes Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo saying the price was “very cheap” and “way, way worth it.”

Purisima said that the Kreab Gavin Anderson’s work was a “one-time engagement” but they are looking for a long-term PR partner. PRNewser has contacted Kreab Gavin Anderson for comment about whether they are pitching the work. Read more

Facebook’s Sandberg Talks Privacy, ‘The Social Network,’ and More During Ad Week

Photo: Nancy Lazarus

The growing role of social media versus websites, openness versus privacy, community giving, and the new movie The Social Network were among the topics covered when Arianna Huffington interviewed Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, during day three of Advertising Week at a Huffington Post event on social media.

For marketers to reach their audience, Sandberg said, “Now people are spending more time on social media and less time than they once did on websites. More marketers now are tying their campaigns to social media since that is where their customers are.” She said that the personalized nature of social media was also a factor driving its popularity. Read more

A Look at PepsiCo’s Mission Control

In an Advertising Week presentation earlier this week, PepsiCo‘s Bonin Bough mentioned “Mission Control,” a social media monitoring and engagement program for the company’s Gatorade brand. Ad Age took a tour of the Mission Control center and interviewed Carla Hassan, senior director of consumer engagement for a video currently available on the magazine’s website.

According to Ad Age, “The team has had more than 2,000 one-on-one conversations with consumers, while the brand’s likes on Facebook have skyrocketed to 1.2 million, reaching the 1 million milestone a full five months ahead of schedule.” Among the agency partners helping with Mission Control is Fleishman-Hillard.

Some of the insights gleaned are simple ones. For instance, Hassan says one of the first things the company learned was that customers were having a hard time finding the product. As a result, a product locator was created.

Google on Positive PR

Google turned 12 on Monday, giving Business Insider and others a great reason to reflect on how the company’s been doing so far. And a big part of how it’s doing is how people think about the company.

It gets solid reviews in the public relations department, Business Insider says, citing the company’s “smart PR decisions” as “integral to Google’s success.”

Among its notable actions: anticipating potential problems, responding to community concerns, and talking to the public, the article says, recognizing that the company has also had “some pretty big messes” to mop up along the way.

It points to privacy issues caused by Google Buzz and Google Street View, which many argued came too far into people’s lives, the former by showing who users emailed most and latter zooming in too far into people’s comings and goings.

“But the company’s reaction on both occasions was decisive, swift and accommodating,” the article says. “Google revamped Google buzz privacy settings and launched a campaign to educate users on their choices. On Street View it blotched out faces, building interiors, and other revealing details and setup a system where users can request the removal of compromising pictures.”

In January, PRNewser reported on Jill Hazelbaker taking the helm for Google’s communications.