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Archives: July 2012

PR Jobs: Amazon, BBC, Restoration Hardware

This week, Amazon is hiring a senior marketing manager, while BBC Worldwide Americas is seeking a PR and events manager. Restoration Hardware needs a public relations leader to join its product placement team, and Rodale is on the hunt for a publicist for Prevention magazine. Get 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.

How Should Fashion Magazine Publishers Handle China?

Despite recent indications of a financial slowdown, China remains an economic juggernaut. An emerging middle class is changing the way millions of Chinese people perceive materialism and the value of owning luxury items from Gucci hand bags to Rolex watches. This is welcome news, of course, to high-end brands in a flagging global economy.

This article in The New York Times about fashion magazines—Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, for instance—proliferating in China, raises a poignant issue that characterizes the challenges many PR efforts face when crossing cultures. “Publishers willing to contend with censorship, relationships with local business partners and low-level corruption common in many Chinese businesses are being rewarded so far.”

Are these magazines and their advertisers risking a public relations conundrum in their traditional markets by affiliating themselves with such practices? Google very publically left China over censorship issues in 2010. As PR experts, how would you advise these elite magazines and their sponsors navigate the challenges of penetrating an emerging and complex demographic?

Warner Brothers Pulls TV Ads, Cancels International Press Activities for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

In the wake of the tragedy that unfolded during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, CO on Friday, Warner Brothers movie studio has acted quickly and respectfully, choosing to cancel much of their marketing for the film, including the remainder of the international press tour and many television ads.

As FishbowlLA reported, the Paris press conference and evening red carpet premiere, which had been scheduled for last Friday, were canceled, as were premieres and press junkets in Mexico City and Tokyo, which had been scheduled for this week. The studio also refrained from sharing TDKR box office numbers for the film’s opening weekend.

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Off the Beaten Path with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien

“There’s a tremendous niche in telling stories that fly under the radar,” Soledad O’Brien told the audience at the Paley Center for Media in New York last Thursday. O’Brien, anchor of the CNN morning show Starting Point, shared these and other insights based on her reporting career and growing up in a mixed race family.

O’Brien said she left NBC’s Weekend Today show to go to CNN to be “knee-deep in breaking news stories. It was like going to college in terms of learning the craft.” She said she’s pleased to be known as a tough interviewer, and she has modeled her interviewing approach after Katie Couric. “Katie’s style is also conversational, polite and friendly,” O’Brien noted.

The anchor said her upbringing “shaped her as an outsider, which was a challenge at times.” But from that experience she also learned “your bosses don’t have to love you, and you can still succeed if your work is good. It’s not a popularity contest,” she added.

Working on documentaries has helped O’Brien make her mark in journalism, and she has focused on various demographic groups, including blacks, Hispanics and Muslims. In each case she tells what it’s like living in America from their standpoint.

As O’Brien explained, “the stories that interested me were the ones where you’re not bumping into everyone else covering the same topic. It allowed me to bring a perspective that otherwise wouldn’t exist. There’s no competition for these types of stories. I don’t have a mission or agenda to do PR for a community. I just want to tell these complex human beings’ stories and let them unfold.”

Revolving Door: Rupert Murdoch, NBC Universal News Group, Jeff Daniels on ‘CBS This Morning’, and More

Rupert Murdoch (pictured at left) has resigned from a number of News Corp. boards, including his post as director of News International, the holding company for the newspapers at the center of the U.K. hacking scandal. The company is reportedly preparing to divest its publishing and entertainment properties, a split that was approved by the board of News Corp. on June 27. After the split, Murdoch will remain chairman of both companies as well as CEO of the new entertainment company. (Adweek)

Pat Fili-Krushel has been named chairman, news group, at NBCUniversal. Fili-Krushel, who joined NBC when Comcast took over, will now oversee a new unit called the NBCUniversal News group comprised of NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC, The Weather Channel and all their digital properties. (TVNewser)

Sam Grobart is leaving The New York Times for Bloomberg Businessweek. According to a memo obtained by Jim Romenesko, Grobart will “develop multimedia projects” as well as write tech features for Businessweek. Grobart had been with the Times since 2008, most recently as personal technology editor, since 2010. (FishbowlNY)

In case you missed it, actor Jeff Daniels was on CBS This Morning and on MSNBC’s Hardball last Thursday. Daniels, who plays Will McAvoy on HBO’s The Newsroom told Chris Matthews, “It’s not like we’re out trying to whitewash all of cable news. We’re trying to shine a light on the people really trying to tell the truth and get out the truth every day.” (TVNewser)

On a related topic, Aaron Sorkin has gotten rid of his entire Newsroom writing staff, with the exception of his ex-girlfriend Corinne Kinsbury. The Newsroom had 10 credited writers in its premiere season. HBO renewed the show for a second season after its second episode aired. (FishbowlLA)

Viacom has reached a new programming fee agreement with DirecTV, ending a 10-day blackout for the satellite-TV service’s 20 million U.S. viewers. (Ad Age)

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The Ticker: Political Chick-fil-A; Penn State’s Fate; Google in Europe; McDonald’s Slows; iPhone

Corporate Sponsorship Poses PR Challenges for NBA, All Major Sports

Starting with the 2013-2014 season, the National Basketball Association will become the first of the four major sports leagues—the others being the NFL, MLB, and the NHL—to allow corporate sponsorship on its players’ jerseys. For many fans of the NBA and sports in general, this marks a sad if not inevitable development.

Professional sports in America have reached stratospheric levels as top athletes enjoy cult-like status in society and games such as the Super Bowl have become culture-consuming events. Fans remain rabidly loyal to their home teams, even if they can no longer afford the expensive costs of attending games, let alone shelling out $12 for a beer. Major sports leagues, however, should ask themselves this question: At what point does the commercialization of sports undermine the enjoyment and allegiance fans have for their favorite teams? Read more

Chick-fil-A’s Stance on Gay Marriage Causes Firestorm of Both Outrage and Support

Between the Boy Scouts reconfirming their stance on excluding gays, and controversy over Target‘s refusal to sell Frank Ocean’s album, it’s been an uproarious week in the debate over gay rights. The latest firestorm of conflicting public opinions on the subject was sparked by anti-gay marriage comments made by Dan Cathy, President of Chick-fil-A. The fast food company famous for inventing the chicken sandwich is now scrambling to invent a way out of the political spotlight.

According to CNN, when asked on Monday about his company’s opposition to gay marriage and support of the traditional family unit, Cathy told the Baptist Press that he and his company were “guilty as charged.” He went on to say that he and his company are “very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

Both an outpouring of support and a wildfire of outrage followed, with Chick-fil-A’s Facebook and Twitter accounts being flooded with arguments on both sides, causing Chick-fil-A to become a top trending subject on Google on Thursday. In an apparent attempt to douse the flames, the company posted the following statement on their Facebook page:

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Roll Call: Ogilvy PR, Zola Books, MRM, and More

Ogilvy Public Relations (Ogilvy PR) has announced that Kevin Slagle joins the agency’s corporate communications practice as senior vice president. Prior to joining Ogilvy PR, Slagle was a principal and partner with Capitol Public Affairs in Sacramento, where he specialized in public policy-related public affairs programs. He began his career at Porter Novelli and spent over 10 years at the firm, most recently as senior vice president.

Seale Ballenger joins Zola Books as head of marketing and publicity. Prior to Zola, he was vice president and group publicity director at HarperCollins Publishers, where he has worked with a number of bestselling authors including Bill O’Reilly, Lauren Bacall, Bill Romanowski, Joe Hill, Christopher Kennedy Lawford and John Grogan.

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The Ticker: Google Grows, Viacom/DirecTV Agree, BlackBerry, Millennials Struggle, Heineken Deals