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Archives: May 2013

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Turner Public Relations Seeks Senior Director of Travel

Here’s a great opportunity for an experienced publicist. Turner Public Relations is looking for a senior director of travel to join its New York team.

In this role, you’ll be expected to create integrated campaigns for clients, which include destinations, hotels, resorts, tour operators and active lifestyle brands. Your passion for the travel/tourism industry will help you lead the creative ideation for your account teams, as you conceptualize and execute strategies — among many other tasks. Read more

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Burger Commercial! Superman Sells Hardee’s Burgers

What fuels The Man of Steel himself as he heroically defends truth, justice and the American way? Why, burgers, of course!

Well, okay, so technically –according to these new Carl’s Jr.’s and Hardee’s ads– the burgers are fueling the average joes who have to clean up after Superman’s heroics, but Mr. Kent himself (played by “Man of Steel” star Henry Cavill) does make an appearance.

Even though we are well aware that blockbuster superhero movies are hotbeds of product placements and endorsements, we are often still surprised (somehow) when we catch our first glimpses of our costume-clad heroes in primetime ads for cars, clothes, and restaurants. We must admit though: at least we find these burger ads marginally more plausible than the Iron Man Audi spots — the man has a flying suit, out of which he manages to step looking fresh as a spring daisy…why drive?

Roll Call: GolinHarris, Outreach Strategies and Allison + Partners

GolinHarris announced the appointment of Mark O’Connor as executive director, National Media Relations. Based in New York, O’Connor will lead the agency’s national media relations team and provide strategic media relations guidance to clients across multiple practices. Additionally, O’Connor will serve as co-leader of the agency’s connector community, alongside Jeff Beringer, global Digital Practice leader. The agency’s connector community is responsible for sharing clients’ stories across earned, shared, owned and paid media. Most recently O’Connor served as executive vice president of national media relations at Zeno Group. (Release)

Outreach Strategies, LLC, (OS) announced the hire of Alison Omens, former AFL-CIO director of Media Outreach and deputy director of Public Affairs, as vice president. In Omens’ previous role at the AFL-CIO, she oversaw strategic communications and all national, state and local media strategy in the political, legislative and economic arena. Omens was responsible for developing and supervising a broad communications network with representatives for all fifty states. (Release)

Allison+Partners announced that Jeremy Rosenberg has been appointed senior vice president of digital media responsible for leading and evolving the agency’s digital offerings globally. Rosenberg’s career spans nearly two decades of digital and social media marketing that will serve the agency’s existing and prospective roster well. Rosenberg joins Allison+Partners from Cohn & Wolfe, where he led integrated communications programs for such clients as Walmart, Panasonic and Nokia. While there he also developed the digital and social media-training curriculum for the agency’s global network. (Release)

The Ticker: Samsung Stare Down; Bangladesh; Marijuana; Grumpy Cat; Mystery Wheat

Spin the Agencies of Record

All those vitamins aren’t to keep death at bay, they’re to keep deterioration at bay. – Jeanne Moreau

MWW, one of the top five global independent public relations firms, announced that it has been hired as public relations agency of record by Melbourne-based Swisse Wellness, Australia’s number one multivitamin brand. As agency of record, MWW’s award-winning health and wellness practice will provide North American market insights, strategic counsel and develop a national communications campaign for the U.S. launch of Swisse Wellness.

“Swisse Wellness is a dynamic brand with an entrepreneurial culture, distinct style and a passion for helping people live happier and be healthier. It’s an honor to be part of the Swisse team and to work with them to launch and market their products, promote the Swisse brand and advance their mission of wellness across the U.S.,” said John Digles, MWW executive vice president and leader of the firm’s health and wellness practice.

Swisse Wellness, which has grown more than 357 percent since 2009, produces more than 160 lines of vitamins and supplements in Australia. The company has invested in scientific research for more than 25 years and maintains a high benchmark for quality. Swisse launched in the U.S. in January with a season-long integration on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and has retail agreements with Walgreens and CVS with others to be announced. Additionally, Academy Award® winner Nicole Kidman signed as the global ambassador of Swisse Wellness and is featured in the brand’s U.S. marketing campaign.

JET EIC to Publicists: ‘It’s about how you pitch’

Launched in 1951 as the authority on breaking information in the black community, JET has a loyal readership of over 7 million and covers everything from sports and politics to lifestyle and fashion. All sections are open to PR pitches; just make sure you study the pub and are familiar with the tone and the types of stories that the magazine covers.

“It’s a full-service publication. Pitch your clients. Pitch your products. It’s about how you pitch. There’s nothing that we’re not covering right now,” said editor-in-chief Mitzi Miller. Content has always covered an array of topics, but it’s just a matter of making sure you’re pitching to the right person and that the pitch is customized. A blanketed, mass-mailed pitch without a specific feel for the magazine’s audience or style is guaranteed to get ignored.

For more details and a list of editors’ contact info, read How To Pitch: JET.

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Facebook Vows Action After Advertisers Pull Ads Due to Site’s Failure to Bar Misogynous Content

Facebook has vowed to take action after feminist activists — upset about Facebook’s failure to ban and/or remove misogynous content from its site — sent more than 5,000 e-mails to Facebook’s advertisers and garnered more than 60,000 posts on Twitter, prompting advertisers like Nissan to say that they would withdraw advertising from the site.

Although women’s groups have complained to Facebook about misogynous content in the past, the issue heated up least week when a collective led by Women, Action and the Media; Laura Bates of the Everyday Sexism Project; and Soraya Chemaly, a writer and activist, published an open letter asking Facebook executives to “ban gender-based hate speech on your site.” The letter cited Facebook pages with names like “Violently Raping Your Friend Just for Laughs”, “Kicking your Girlfriend in the Fanny because she won’t make you a Sandwich,” and other pages that featured graphic descriptions and imagery of women being abused.

In what could prove an industry-wide reminder of the power of advertisers (which actually demonstrates the power of consumers), over a dozen of the companies contacted by the activists — including automotive giant Nissan — agreed to pull their ads from Facebook until appropriate action was taken to rectify the situation. David Reuter, a spokesman for Nissan, said on Tuesday that his company has stopped all Nissan advertising on Facebook until it can be sure its ads will not appear on pages with offensive content.

“We thought that advertisers would be the most effective way of getting Facebook’s attention,” said Jaclyn Friedman, the executive director of Women, Action and the Media. “We had no idea that it would blow up this big. I think people have been frustrated with this issue for so long and feeling like that had no way for Facebook to pay attention to them. As consumers we do have a lot of power.”

In response to the upheaval, Facebook published a blog post on Tuesday, admitting its own shortcomings and laying out a plan for improvement. The post read in part:

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The Ticker: New Flickr; Facebook vs. Hate Speech; Disney MagicBand; Apple; Popcorn

Let’s Make June ‘Be Kind to a Journalist’ Month

Hack to Flack is a monthly column by Lindsay Goldwert, a senior program executive at Hotwire, a global tech PR firm. Before she leapt to the dark side, Lindsay worked at the New York Daily News, ABCNews.com, CBSNews.com, CourtTV, Glamour and Redbook.

If there’s any profession that deserves a little TLC this month, it’s the print and online news business. Pink slips flew at the New York Daily News, buyouts reigned at the Post and the Village Voice imploded. The DOJ is breathing down the AP’s neck. Rumors are flying about layoffs at ESPN. I doubt there’s more than handful of newsrooms in the country where reporters and editors feel confident that their jobs, as they know them, will be there in 2014.

There’s been more than a few things written about how the PR industry needs to change in the face of the shrinking newsroom. But in a field that’s supposed to be built on “relationships,” I haven’t seen much empathy for the laid-off journalists. Strange, since we rely on their news judgment, good moods and spare moments to consider our stories and ideas for publication.

Consider what journalists do: They make it known that they’re interested in hearing about, say, new fitness apps. Then they get a deluge of emails from PR people who pitch them everything from fitness water, to fitness DVDs, to fitness instructors. “Maybe for a future story,” we say. That’s like you emailing your friends seeking a good housepainter and getting hundreds of responses for floor guys, electricians, roofers and custom closet makers “just in case.” That’s not good work — that’s telemarketing.

We all talk about “cutting through the noise.” Hail Mary pitches that only push your client’s agenda and don’t propose any real value to a reporter or editor are noise.

Here are some ways to make lives easier for journalists that can only benefit you and your clients in the end:

Read more

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