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Archives: July 2012

New Study: Energy Efficiency Critical to Building Positive Brand Image

We know that going green is important for the environment and can help curb energy costs, but might it also be an imperative ingredient to building a positive brand image? According to a new Deloitte report, improving energy efficiency at America’s businesses is as important to brand building as it is to growing the bottom line.

According to the study, reSources 2012,  85 percent of companies say that electricity cost reductions are essential to staying financially competitive, which isn’t too much of a surprise. But the eye-catching part is that nearly an equal majority (81 percent) feel that reducing energy costs is critical to brand building. In fact, more than three-quarters of the organizations surveyed say that they are actively promoting their energy efficiency efforts to their customers.

“Corporate America is coming to a clear consensus: Energy efficiency is an important competitive advantage,” said Greg Aliff, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and the report’s co-author. “It is no longer just the purview of plant operations or building management. Senior leaders are beginning to view it as a strategic business driver.”

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A PR Conundrum of Intergalactic Proportions

PR professionals expect things to go wrong. In many respects, it’s what we do. PR people are typically creative types, and nothing requires more resourcefulness and imagination than an unexpected situation that suddenly propels a brand, a person or a product into a negative and public spotlight. Sometimes PR experts work on a local level, a national level or even an international level. But what happens when things go awry on an intergalactic level?

America, and the entire planet earth, is experiencing a PR problem on the moon, which can be argued was the first planetary billboard space ever used by mankind. This 2012 space odyssey has to do with the American flags US astronauts planted on the moon decades ago. It appears, well, that the flags are no longer conveying the sense of pride, power and identity they used to project. This article on Gizmodo explains the details: “While the $5.50 nylon flags are still waving on the windless orb, they are not flags of the United States of America anymore. All Moon and material experts have no doubt about it: the flags are now completely white. If you leave a flag on Earth for 43 years, it would be almost completely faded. On the Moon, with no atmospheric protection whatsoever, that process happens a lot faster. The stars and bars disappeared from our Moon flags quite some time ago.”

What does this mean for public relations between the human race and aliens? Who knows. It all depends on how aliens interpret the meaning of five white flags stuck on the moon. (There were six flags, but one, set too close to the Apollo 11 landing site, was knocked down by the force of the craft lifting off from the moon’s surface.) Many in our profession like to speculate where the industry is heading, but few look so far into the future, and the past, to even consider PR on an intergalactic level. Perhaps now is the time. After all, right now “Made in America” isn’t faring so well on the moon. Perhaps Curiosity will do better on Mars.

Ross Levinsohn Leaves Yahoo

Ross Levinsohn has left Yahoo. Earlier this month, Yahoo named former Google executive Marissa Mayer CEO, passing over Levinsohn, who had been serving as interim CEO, a move that left many wondering about Levinsohn’s future with the company. According to Ad Age, there has been wide speculation as to whether Mayer may want to surround herself with former colleagues, and also whether Levinsohn would want to stay after being passed over for the top spot.

Although Levinsohn built strong relationships with ad agencies and made content deals with media companies like CNBC, ABC News, Clear Channel, and the ad network Interclick, Yahoo’s board, with Mayer at the helm, has reportedly decided to shift its focus away from media, and onto products that tie users into the Yahoo experience.

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The Ticker: NBC’s Olympics; GM Ouster; Social Media Focus Groups; Apple Ads; Samsung’s New Phones

Where Have All the CEOs Gone?

CEO visibility, or lack of it, is an ongoing PR issue and one that has been frequently mentioned at media industry events. Examples abound of corporate leaders who are tight-lipped during tough times or deliver misleading comments. Many CEOs only make a public appearance when the news is favorable or prefer to network with each other at gatherings such as the annual summer conference in Sun Valley for media and tech leaders.

Instead of covering this topic in our usual manner, we’re borrowing an alternate approach from Calvin Trillin. As an author, humorist and longtime contributor to The New Yorker, Trillin often wrote poems about politicians and current events. Inspired by his rhyming wizardry, we thought this would be an effective style for tackling the CEO dilemma.

CEO (In)visibility

The problem:

CEOs are ultimately accountable
Even when issues seem insurmountable
In the business world there is constant disaster
If not handled well, things get worse much faster

CEOs collect exorbitant pay
But when crises hit most have nothing to say
Or if they do it is after delay
Or they use stand-ins who get in the way

Richard Edelman, a renowned PR pro
Thinks CEO public face-time has hit a new low

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PR Jobs: Rainforest Alliance, Focusrite Audio Engineering, The Morris + King Company

This week, Rainforest Alliance is hiring a manager of media and marketing, and Focusrite Audio Engineering needs a public relations manager. Meanwhile, the Morris + King Company is seeking an account supervisor for tech PR and a digital/tech PR senior account executiveGet the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

Find more great PR jobs on the PRNewser job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented PRNewser pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

Athletes and NBC Discover the Olympic Power of Twitter

The 2012 London Olympics, which NBC paid $1.18 billion to televise, is already providing PR experts with plenty of learning material, especially in regard to Twitter.

Just ask Hope Solo’s publicist. Ms. Solo has managed to elevate her personal brand into the national conversation by lambasting commentator and U.S. women’s soccer icon Brandi Chastain. Though this cyber confrontation may prove for the Olympics, women’s soccer and NBC’s ratings there is no such thing as bad publicity, it also irked many fans already fed up with the lack of civility, selflessness and sportsmanship in so many other sports. Read more

Who Let the Dogs In? Man’s Best Friend Gains Entree and Influence

Lately canines have been getting the attention and red carpet treatment they deserve. No longer stay-at-home dogs, they now accompany their owners to venues such as banks (right), hotels, ballparks, and even the alter. They have certainly earned their reward, since they play a role in many aspects of humans’ lives, including serving in the military, as seeing-eye dogs, companions and as conversation starters for singles.

Dog owners represent a sizable and devoted audience, and their spending has been relatively recession-proof. Thirty-nine percent of U.S. households own at least one dog, and if people with an affinity for dogs are included, that number is far higher.

Madison Avenue and Hollywood have long featured dogs based on their enormous popularity, and now other industries have followed suit. Here are ten examples of dogs’ increased exposure, ranging from media, entertainment and travel to sports and politics.

  • Madison Avenue often chooses dogs for its high profile ads, such as the Volkswagen spot called “The Bark Side” starring a canine chorus that aired during this year’s Super Bowl.
  • Hollywood celebrated Uggie, the Jack Russell terrier who nearly stole the show at the Oscars this year based on his performance in The Artist.
  • Silicon Valley companies are known for allowing dogs on their campuses. DogPatch Labs is a startup incubator, and new site MatchPuppy.com find play dates for dogs and their owners.
  • In social media some dogs have a voice with their own Twitter accounts. Among YouTube’s most popular videos are those with canines (including nearly 17 million views for VW’s ad)
  • Jonah Peretti, founder of BuzzFeed, readily acknowledges that dog related content (especially beagles) generated much of his site’s traffic. (Huffington Post is better known for cat videos)
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British Optical Shop Turns Olympics Gaffe into Ad Campaign

It certainly didn’t seem that there would be any positive reactions to last week’s Olympics blunder that caused the image of a South Korean flag to be displayed on the big screen in Scotland’s Hampden Park as the North Korean women’s soccer team took the field. To say that the two countries are bitter rivals is putting it mildly — we’re not talking Red Sox/Yankees here, we’re talking major and long-standing diplomatic and political conflict.

Reactions were, therefore, what one might expect. Supporters of the North Korean team were understandably horrified, and the team itself walked off the field in protest, refusing to return for over an hour. Obligatory finger-pointing and apologies followed.

But one bold reaction to the gaffe was a bit less standard, and has come from a British optical shop in the form of a new advertising campaign. According to Reuters, Specsavers, a chain of contact lens and glasses sellers, often uses ads featuring embarrassing cases of mistaken identity to urge customers to get their eyes checked, the tagline being: “Should have gone to Specsavers.” In keeping with that theme, the company has taken out advertisements in national newspapers (image above) suggesting that the whole faux pas could have been avoided, had Olympics officials only visited a Specsavers for an eye exam prior to the game.

Somehow, I’m not sure the London-based video producer who was found to be at fault for the mix-up will see the humor in the ad. No pun intended.

Revolving Door: Norah O’Donnell Replaces Erica Hill on ‘CBS This Morning’, Dick Cheney Interviewed by ABC’s Jonathan Karl, and More

CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Norah O’Donnell has been named co-host of “CBS This Morning” replacing Erica Hill who first came to CBS News in 2008, while still with CNN, to co-anchor the weekend “Early Show.” In January, 2010 she joined CBS full time. (TVNewser)

Lauren Kapp, the former top communications and marketing executive at NBC News who left for a strategy and marketing position at Huffington Post in May, will be leaving that job this week. Reuters reports Kapp will leave Huffington Post Media Group August 1, three months after joining from NBC. Reuters says personal reasons are behind the change. (TVNewser)

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was interviewed by ABC’s Jonathan Karl. The interview, Cheney’s first since his heart transplant earlier this year, will be previewed across all ABC’s platforms today, and will air in its entirety on “Nightline” this evening. (TVNewser)

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has been making the media rounds to promote his new book, and one of the stops was C-SPAN. C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb asked Scalia about his recent interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, and why Justices are usually so reluctant to do public appearances. (TVNewser) Video Below:

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