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Archives: December 2011

The Top Ten PRNewser Stories of the Year, Part II

As promised yesterday, here are the top five PRNewser stories of the past year. Don’t forget, sign up for the daily PRNewser newsletter and get all of our stories each day delivered directly to you.

Thanks again for making this a great year and see you in 2012!

5. Firm Wraps Up the Year With One Last PR Fail

4. Bradley Cooper Reinvents Himself With Some Smooth French Talking

3. Six Tips for Making Your Press Release Twitter Friendly

2. B-M Says Facebook Assignment ‘Should Have Been Declined’

1. Ten Must-Have Mobile Apps for PR, Part II

[In the final Media Beat episode of 2011, Kristen Baldwin, executive editor of Entertainment Weekly, answers the burning question: "How did Ryan Gosling become the man this year?" Learn more about EW and other major media outlets and personalities on Media Beat.]

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It May Be Unpleasant, But Flying is Pretty Safe

A report from British aviation consultancy Ascend finds that air travel is pretty safe these days, with passenger fatalities down to the lowest level since they began tracking it in 1990.

This year, there were 401 deaths on commercial and charter flights, versus 726 in 2010. That’s one for every 7.1 million passengers. There were nearly 2.9 billion passengers in 2011.

However, air travel is still a little dicey in any country ending in “stan” and in Africa due to slower aviation industry development and infrastructure in those location, according to Peter Goeltz, SVP of O’Neill and Associates and former director of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

New airline tagline: Stop complaining! At least you didn’t die.

[via Overhead Bin blog]

The Ticker: Facebook ‘Liking’; Career Advice; Media People; Global Markets; and Top 10 Videos

AT&T Eyeballing Smaller Wireless Companies

Because there hasn’t been enough weirdness in wireless news, it’s being reported that analysts predict Leap and Metro PCS may be taken over by one of the monolithic carriers.

Businessweek says AT&T and T-Mobile USA are eyeing the smaller pay-as-you-go wireless companies because the AT&T/T-Mobile merger fell through this month amid antitrust problems. Vision2mobile.com also writes that the deal would be more likely to get approval. Metro PCS, based in Texas, has 9 million subscribers and Leap, 5.7 million. T-Mobile, by comparison, is the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the U.S., with 33 million subscribers.

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Ron Paul Has To Look Kind of Presidential Now

Photo: AP

Of all the GOP presidential candidates, Ron Paul has been the one who comes off as least concerned with keeping up appearances. He says things that don’t appeal to a conservative base. His suits often look a little too big. Still, he’s a contender in Iowa. Which could mean nothing since, you’ll recall, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and as recently as a few weeks ago, Newt Gingrich were the candidates to beat.

Anyway, so now Ron Paul is to be taken seriously by voters and, especially, the other candidates. As such, the campaign wants its volunteers to be taken seriously. So college student volunteers, you have your marching orders: keep your drunken fairy/viking tattoos under wraps, shave your ironic moustaches and face-engulfing mutton chops, and don’t go sexin’ it up at the posh Iowa Motel 6 where you’ll be staying while you’re campaigning non-stop for your man Ron Paul. Who is technically a libertarian and theoretically believes in keeping out of people’s personal affairs. But this is politics young people.

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Yahoo Partner in Asia Hires D.C. Lobbying Firm

Alibaba Group, a Chinese e-commerce company that is partially owned by Yahoo, has hired Washington D.C. lobbying firm Duberstein Group, a step that many believe is the set-up to purchase Yahoo.

Yahoo owns 40 percent of Alibaba. That relationship, which also extends to Yahoo Japan, is considered Yahoo’s greatest asset. Those two companies along with Japan’s Softbank are in the middle of untangling their business relationships.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has expressed an interest in buying all of Yahoo. However, there will likely be an issue with a Chinese company trying to buy a U.S. Internet business.

“Hiring a Washington lobbying firm could help Alibaba address any U.S. political opposition to a complete takeover of Yahoo by a company from a country that controls and censors the Internet,” Reuters reports.

The relationship was revealed in a government filing that was effective December 1.

[via Reuters, BusinessWeek]

The Top 10 PRNewser Stories of the Year, Part I

This was a great year for PRNewser. Thanks to all the readers, commenters, tweeters, and contributors who made 2011 the place to be. In case you missed any of the big stories, we’re counting down the top ten. Numbers 10 through six are below and numbers five through one will appear tomorrow.

All of PRNewser’s stories can be delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for the daily newsletter and you won’t miss a thing in 2012.

10. Facebook Launches a Journalists Page

9. B-M Pitch on Behalf of Unnamed Client Raises Ethical Questions

8Awkward Pitch of the Decade

7. Study: PR Gets Higher Marks Than Advertising for Social Media Use

6. Research: Twitter Drives More Traffic to Press Releases Than Facebook

Spotify revealed today that “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People was the most streamed song of 2011.

Verizon Learned Nothing from BofA, Will Charge ‘Convenience Fee’

A leaked memo posted on Engadget reveals Verizon’s plan to start charging customers $2 for each one-time online payment or bill payment over the phone on January 15. Verizon confirms this ridiculous plan. And they’re calling it a “convenience fee.”

Remember the uproar when Bank of America tried to charge $5 for debit card purchases? Apparently, Verizon doesn’t. Ultimately, BofA had to dump the plan because of the backlash and other banks, taking a hint, decided to dump theirs as well.

Both Engadget and CNET suggest alternatives to charging a fee, such as stiffer late fee penalties and (gasp!) a reward for loyal customers who sign up for an automatic bill pay.

Charging people more when they’re recovering from holiday spending during a tough economic period is simply wrong-headed. It’s made even more so when telecom companies were among those on a “most-hated” list published just a couple of months ago. Folks on Twitter and on blogs are already complaining. Moreover, this is happening while service outages are a problem. Let’s see how long this lasts.

Get Social and Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s is a time for revelry, reflection, and making resolutions, both personal and work-related. PsychCentral blog says about forty to forty-five percent of American adults make at least one New Year’s resolution. USA.gov, America’s official Web portal, lists the most popular categories of New Year’s resolutions. Among the top ten, though not in rank order, are getting a better job, a better education, volunteering, money management, eating healthier, stopping bad habits, managing stress, getting fit, recycling, and taking a trip.

While many people set their sights high, far fewer follow through on their lofty plans. The Psychology Today blog cites research that shows after six months fewer than half the resolvers  have kept their New Year’s commitments and after a year less than ten percent have done so. According to the experts, one of the keys to achieving one’s New Year’s goals is sharing them with family and friends. New social platforms may help provide the answer to reaching your New Year’s resolutions in the coming 12 months.

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No. Korea Puts On a Show as Kim Jong Il Memorial Comes to an End

In this photo, a camera crew seems to be omitted and the snow appears whiter. Photo: KCNA/Reuters

The world has seen more of North Korea since the death of Kim Jong Il than it has in the many years prior. With the world watching, the isolated and secretive country has been sure to put on a show for global onlookers.

Over the past week and a half, we’ve become familiar with the overwhelming expressions of grief coming from the North Korean people, which some speculate may be exaggerated because the authoritarian government wouldn’t have it any other way. We have an ABC news clip about that after the jump.

The Guardian also suspects that an image from the memorial service (above) may have been Photoshopped (click to their website for the original image). It’s not clear what would be gained by altering the photo, but we’re confused over most everything else about this country.

Today was also the public coronation of Kim Jong Un, Kim Jong Il’s son, to “supreme leader.”

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