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Archives: November 2012

Roll Call: NBCUniversal, Bloomberg LP, and Viacom Inc.

NBCUniversal executive Lenore Moritz was promoted to the position of vice president, communications, digital and integrated media, in NBCUniversal’s Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media (E&DN/IM) division. Most recently, Moritz was VP of Communications for Integrated Media and iVillage, which recently moved to the digital portfolio in NBCUniversal’s News division. In her new position, Moritz will oversee corporate messaging and media outreach, as well as work closely with and advise the leaders of the businesses she supports. (Release)

Josh Rucci, a former Getty Images executive, joined Bloomberg LP as global head of content sales, a new role at the company. Rucci had been with Getty Images for the past five years, most recently serving as senior director of media and broadcast for the company’s London office. (FishbowlNY)

Wade Davis was appointed CFO of Viacom Inc. Mr. Davis previously served as Viacom’s executive VP, strategy and corporate development. Effective immediately, Mr. Davis will be responsible for the company’s accounting and financial reporting, planning, tax and treasury functions. He will also continue to oversee the strategy and corporate development functions across Viacom. (Release)

The Ticker: United Airlines; Happy B-day Recession; Groupon; Verizon Top Carrier; Lucky Charms

Teach for America Seeks Innovative Vice President of Marketing

Calling all job seekers! Teach for America is looking to hire an innovative vice president of marketing for its New York office.

In this role, you’ll be expected to lead the overall strategy for the market account group, while directly overseeing six staff members and a team of 22. You will help lead message development for key audiences; deliver high-quality, multi-channel marketing solutions; and drive awareness among parents and potential donors. Read more

Yoko Ono’s Menswear Line Is a Brilliant PR Stunt

Yoko Ono Opening CeremonyYoko Ono: abstract artist, obtuse celebrity, Beatles wife, woman who claims to have “so much love because the whole world hated me”. She’s not really known for subtlety, is she?

Neither is the eccentric fashion/retail brand Opening Ceremony, which recently debuted a line of menswear designed by none other than Ms. Ono herself. Is it every bit as weird as you’d imagine? Oh yeah. The two might just be a perfect pair!

The line, creatively titled “Yoko Ono’s Fashions for Men 1969-2012″, consists of a bunch of…let’s say eccentric coats, shirts, kneepads, open-toe thigh high boots (for men, mind you) and the “lightbulb bra” pictured at left. We can’t claim to be fashion experts, but we wonder: What are the handprints all about, other than Ono’s unceasing desire to grab crotches? We don’t even know what to say about the “butt hoodie“…

This is all more than a little ridiculous, and Ono’s explanation doesn’t really clear things up.

Read more

Spin the Agencies of Record

Building on its recent success with several technology clients, M&C Saatchi PR has acquired three new accounts in the areas of social gaming and technology:

  • Flow, a performance fitness app backed by professional athletes including Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche and Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
  • The new casual gaming tournament platform gogamingo. The start-up launched this month in New York City, and it’s shaking up the casual gaming market by allowing players of mobile games to compete in tournaments for real world prizes.
  • Sumeria, a national network that connects young professionals to social engagement opportunities with events and activities year-round nationwide.

The Morris + King Company (MKC) announced that it has been retained by Jacks & Jokers—a contemporary apparel company inspired by the iconic imagery and art of the United States Playing Card Company (USPC). As agency-of-record, MKC will develop and execute a comprehensive PR campaign heightening awareness of a brand known for its “bold, effortless cool.”

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Driving Brand Journalism Through Social Media (Pt 2)

In yesterday’s post on using social media to drive brand journalism (co-written by Tim Gray, content strategist at online marketing/web design firm Blue Fountain Media), we discussed  moving beyond the traditional self-centered PR mindset. Today we go into greater detail about researching and creating great content–and making it social.

We’ll start with the second step in the journey toward successful brand journalism:

2. Establish “The Newsroom Effect”

Brand journalism requires marketing/PR professionals to start thinking like journalists (or, at the the very least, bloggers).

Learn your beat by listening through social media channels. If you have a personal Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest account, then you’re already something of an expert—you just have to practice observing channels that are relevant to your target audience through their eyes.

  1. Share and share alike: You don’t just need to share your own content—send your audience a few pieces from other sources that you follow. They’ll appreciate the effort as long as the material is relevant to them.
  2. Develop an editorial calendar: Everyone likes consistency, and readers want to know that they can expect fresh content from you on a regular basis. If scheduling is a challenge, encourage team members and others at your business to contribute ideas or posts of their own.

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Morgan Freeman, Kate Winslet Oppose the War on Drugs

Morgan Freeman is a busy guy: When he’s not making movies, he’s narrating commercials to endorse politicians and support social causes.

Now Freeman has joined a few other celebrities like Virgin founder Richard Branson, actress Kate Winslet (aka Rose) and rapper Dizzee Rascal in recording very brief promo clips for an upcoming documentary about the infamous War on Drugs called Breaking the Taboo.

The filmmakers have already set up an official YouTube channel and a Twitter feed to promote their flick, set to be released on December 7th by Sundog Pictures and Spray Filmes.

We’re trying to think of a better-executed promo campaign for a recent movie, but nothing comes to mind. Here’s the full trailer, featuring many other famous faces:

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Billionaire Invites You to Live on Mars for $500K

Total Recall Are you rich, bored and worried about the future? A new and exciting life on Mars could be yours for the low one-time fee of half a million dollars!

South African entrepreneur Elon Musk is many things: eccentric character, co-founder of PayPal and Telsa Motors, billionaire many times over. He’s also very, very concerned about the future of the human race, and he wants to let you know about his unconventional solution to our approaching overpopulation/natural resources crisis: move to Mars and join a settlement free from the nefarious influence of God and government!

That’s right—in one of the year’s most bizarre PR stunts, Musk recently announced his super-cool plans to build a permanent colony of approximately 80,000 obscenely wealthy individuals on the Red Planet through another one of his companies, a venture called SpaceX that he created to “revolutionize space transportation, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.”

What, you don’t think he’s serious?

While Musk does “in fact know that this sounds crazy”, he told Bloomberg “I want to die on Mars”. Certainly doesn’t seem like he’s kidding.

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Scientists Study Likelihood of Robot Uprising: Bad PR for Siri?

Thanks to movies like I Robot, The Terminator, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, robots get a pretty bad rap for plotting to take over the world and enslave the human race that created them. Fortunately for the reputations of friendly neighborhood robots everywhere, however, such conspiracy theories of a technological takeover are generally considered science fiction (emphasis on the “fiction” part). That is, until now.

Is your Roomba vacuum about to sync with Siri and take you hostage? British scientists plan to find out.

Cambridge University researchers at the The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) plan to determine whether technology could end up destroying human civilization by studying the existential threats posed by biotechnology, artificial life, nanotechnology and climate change. Think it’s all a joke? The scientists involved certainly seem pretty serious about it, saying that dismissing concerns of a potential robot uprising would be “dangerous.”

While the researchers admit that “the seriousness of these risks is difficult to assess”, they feel that uncertainty in and of itself is cause for concern, given what’s at stake. Creeped out yet? Here are a few more chilling quotes from a professor involved in the study:

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NYPD’s Heartwarming Photo Goes Viral

NYPD Facebook PhotoWe recently reported on the NYPD‘s social media unit and the department’s new-found skill in using Facebook and Twitter to track down criminals. Turns out New York City cops and their spokespeople also know how to use social media to generate some positive PR.

Here’s the story: On November 14, a tourist wandering through Times Square happened upon an officer tending to a barefoot homeless man. According to Officer Lawrence DePrimo, “It was freezing out and you could see the blisters on the man’s feet”–so he decided to stop in a nearby store and buy the guy a new pair of boots. The tourist snapped this photo of DePrimo presenting the boots, shared it, and presto–it went viral, quickly accumulating 350,000 likes, 90,000 shares and 22,000 comments on the department’s Facebook page.

As the photo made its way around the Internet thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and others, thousands voiced support for the NYPD–even those who “have a grudge against law enforcement everywhere”. In a follow-up interview with The New York Times, DePrimo said he keeps the receipt in his pocket “to remind me that sometimes people have it worse”. Some commenters wondered whether the picture had been staged, but it still looks like a big PR win to us.

We understand why the NYPD would be very cautious when it comes to social media, but they’re clearly learning: A quick glance at the department’s photo stream reveals pics of the Macy’s parade as well as visits to senior centers and schools for autistic children alongside the usual gun seizures and awards ceremonies.

What do we think? Was this pic a fluke, or is the NYPD learning how to use social media to improve its image with the public?

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