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Archives: August 2012

President Hits Reddit for Q&A

In case you hadn’t heard, President Obama is currently participating in an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit. Some things we might ask him:

  • What’s your favorite brand of coffee? (Please don’t say Starbucks.)
  • We noticed that you have worn a bow tie in the past. Why would you do that? (We hope you had no choice.)
  • Which Star Wars movie was worse, “The Phantom Menace” or “Return of the Jedi?”
  • Do you enjoy playing Monopoly with friends and family, or do you tend to get bored after an hour like we do?

Feel free to pose some more hard-hitting questions–or just visit the site and post them yourself.

Tips on World Domination (from the Man Who Brought You Bieber)

Anyone with more than a passing interest in public relations and pop culture at large should take a look at The New Yorker‘s fascinating profile of Scooter Braun, a master media manipulator who may be the world’s most successful manager but describes himself as “a camp counselor for pop stars.”

His current claim to fame? An extremely profitable partnership with the world’s favorite pre-pubescent crooner, Justin Bieber.

In case you haven’t heard, Braun is a former Atlanta-based party promoter who worked with various area hip-hop stars and discovered Bieber while browsing YouTube for clips to help promote his biggest client at the time, singer Ne-Yo. After a bit of pleading with Bieber’s mother, he managed to persuade the two to relocate to the ATL and join forces with R&B veteran Usher. This move gave Bieber the credibility he needed to pass muster as a lily-white soul singer capable of reducing tween girls across the globe to incoherent screeches while simultaneously looking innocent enough to win parents’ approval.

Despite appearances, Bieber was not quite an overnight sensation, and the route he took to superstardom was anything but traditional.

Read more

More Bad News for Prince Harry

Prince Harry has a bit of a PR problem—and it doesn’t look like it will get any better any time soon. In addition to the now-famous nude photos, “British PR guru” Max Clifford reported last week that a couple of women had approached him with “more material” on the man who happens to be third in line for the crown.

Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun already chose to ignore the royal family’s request to avoid publishing any photos that depict the prince in a…compromising position–and this move seems to pave the way for other tabloids to go ahead and spread the dirt around.

Today, Murdoch’s favorite American publication, the always-classy New York Post, gives us some more damning details: Read more

Anti-Poaching Campaign Wins Big-Name Backers

Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Tom Hardy are teaming up to produce a still-untitled animal-trafficking drama with Warner Bros. Studios. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film is shaping up to be reminiscent of Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, but instead of focusing on the widespread, multi-tiered impact of the war on drugs, this film would cover everything from the ground war on poachers in Africa to the ways in which animal materials end up in Parisian fashion houses and runway shows.

The idea for the film was reportedly Hardy’s; the actor claims to have drawn inspiration from friends who left their positions as Special Forces operatives to fight poaching practices in South Africa and other nations. DiCaprio’s involvement also makes perfect sense; animal rights is an issue close to the actor’s heart, a fact most recently demonstrated by his role as spokesperson for the International Fund for Animal Welfare‘s campaign to protect elephants.

So what does this have to do with PR? Read more

A Brief Comment on ‘Honey Boo Boo’

We don’t like to think of ourselves as moralists. We understand that people often act in their own self-interests and that publicity—and the money it sometimes brings—can inspire otherwise rational individuals to behave in…questionable ways. We also understand very well that, in business, the success of one’s client is paramount (as long as no ethical lines are crossed).

But on hearing that “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” has become a runaway hit for TLC (an acronym which thankfully no longer stands for “The Learning Channel”), and reading a Los Angeles Times post in which “Jersey Shore” creator SallyAnn Salsano expresses regret that she did not produce the show herself, we had to voice our disbelief. Surely we can all do better than this:

PR pros: Have you worked with clients whose antics you find distasteful? What are your thoughts on the “Toddlers and Tiaras” phenomenon? Do you share our belief that someone somewhere should be very ashamed?

Breaking: Political Conventions Often Inspire Bad Behavior!

Today CNN confirmed an earlier report about some particularly bad behavior at the Republican National Convention in Tampa: Two attendees apparently taunted an African-American CNN camera operator by throwing peanuts in her general direction and yelling words roughly transcribed as “this is how we feed animals.” They were ejected from the event by officials, and the RNC itself followed with a statement:

“Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated.”

We certainly hope so! This incident looks very bad, and the fact that it happened on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech gives it a particularly heinous aftertaste, but we think it may have led us to a moment of revelation: When hundreds of people with strongly held and often dramatically conflicting opinions gather in a relatively small space for a short period of time, unsavory things sometimes happen! It’s amazing!

Get ready for a shock: This is hardly the first time that political party conventions, bad behavior and scandal have been spotted together. For example, this year’s soiree is nothing compared to the 1880 Republican Convention, a raucous event that ended in…MURDER!

(We’ve always wanted to do that.)

Read more

The Ticker: BofA Joins Trend; Muve Music; Samsung Lives; Ford Eyes China; Banks Thrive

Roll Call: Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, DC Comics, and Yahoo!

Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has named Silvia Taylor senior vice president of investor relations, public relations, and corporate communications. Ms. Taylor will report to Cary Claiborne, CFO of the company, and will lead the company’s investor relations, public relations, media relations and internal communications efforts in order to establish the corporate brand and to enhance its presence among the investment audience and other stakeholder groups and within the different communities in which the company operates around the globe. (Release)

Alex Segura has returned to DC Comics to serve as the executive director of publicity. For nearly two years, he had worked at Archie Comics as the executive director of publicity and marketing. In that role, he launched the company’s first daily news blog, The Source, and also worked on national campaigns for beloved comic book figures such as SupermanBatman, and Wonder Woman. (GalleyCat)

Kathy Savitt, the founder and CEO of the photo sharing site Lockerz, is joining Yahoo! as chief marketing officer. Savitt started Lockerz in 2009. Prior to that she was executive vice president and chief marketing officer of American Eagle Outfitters for three years. (FishbowlNY)

PR Jobs: Weber Shandwick, Kellen Communications, ShopWell

This week, Weber Shandwick is hiring an account executive, while Kellen Communications needs a senior account executive. ShopWell is seeking a public relations and community marketing manager, and STELLAService is on the hunt for a public relations manager. 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.

Apple’s Win: Beginning of the End for PC’s?

You’ve probably heard that Apple won their big copyright infringement suit against Samsung. Their victory was, in fact, overwhelming—but how did it change the current tech landscape?

We feel like the verdict made Google sweat, but they seem to think that they’ll be fine since most of the claims  “don’t relate to the core Android operating system.” And while Samsung will have to make some big changes in key product lines (especially as they begin new rollouts), they’ve labeled the financial losses “manageable.”

So who were the biggest losers? Dell and Hewlett-Packard, the world’s top producers of personal computers.

While these two former heavyweights weren’t directly involved in the case, its conclusions only served to re-emphasize how quickly they’re falling from their former perches atop the tech heap. The message: The iPhone, tablets and touch-based computing are the future, while traditional PCs are a fast-fading thing of the past. Color us shocked!

Read more

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