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Archives: November 2013

Biggest Stories of the Week

Mediabistro Course

Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsStarting April 22, this in-person workshop will teach you the specific ways to incorporate storytelling into your personal and professional life. Students will examine the role of storytelling in business and put their newfound skills into practice with a series of improvisation, writing, and presentation exercises designed to help them uncover personal stories. Register now! 

Click Here For Your Free ‘Holiday Hangover Helper’

shutterstock_91899770Are you going to a company holiday party this season? Do you still have to show up at the office the following day? If you answered “yes” to both of those questions then you might just want to check out Canadian agency High Road Communications‘ “Holiday Hangover Helper” project.

To participate, simply visit the URL and enter the date of the upcoming company hoedown at which you might just have one too many. Then use the agency’s super-simple instructions to schedule your own “fake morning-after meeting” so you don’t have to sit through another annoying, totally unproductive hourlong lecture disguised as a strategy session.

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The Only Redneck Ginger Ale Candle You Need This Christmas

The hicks behind ‘Kentucky Kicks Ass‘ are back, and this time they brought a hint of the Colonel’s secret recipe and a big bottle of only-in-Kentucky ginger ale with them.

Kentucky for Kentucky already earned a lot of media for its latest scented product launch, which “got hot like Jennifer Lawrence and sold out in under a minute.” The big headline-grabber was the fried chicken candle, created by Bluegrass State artisan Kathy Werking. In the group’s own words:

“THANK YOU SWEET BABY JESUS, THANK YOU KENTUCKY FOR BEING THE FIRST TO FRY CHICKEN.”

CandleStore4_1024x1024But they do other flavors too, guys.

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Luxury Travel Industry Hits All-Time Low with Fake Shanty Town

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Can you recall what you have seen on some disturbing late-night infomercials?

You know the ones: sad violin music, somber voice overs and still shots of kids with flies on their foreheads? That’s real, and even those kids have it better than people who live in a shanty town. These are acres, maybe miles, of self-developed “homes” made of flimsy scrap metal, stolen drapes or even wet cardboard glazed with every bacteria you can’t imagine. While a roof is overhead, share that roof with about 20 to 30 people with little to no energy, water, food, and maybe share a toilet.

Remember that nasty scene in Slumdog Millionaire where the kid plays cannonball in a lagoon of crap? That. 

Now imagine a luxury tourism agency thumbing their noses at a shanty town by creating a fake one for grins and an opulent vacation: giggling at extreme poverty and giving a middle finger to Bono. Yeah, well that just happened too.

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#WalMartFights = PR Nightmare

Today we give thanks for the fact that we didn’t spend Thanksgiving night in jail after stabbing a fellow shopper over a Walmart parking space.

What, you didn’t notice that lots of people are making fun of Walmart today?

The world’s biggest seller of cheap crap took some unusual steps to minimize the easily predictable wave of viral stampede videos this year. These steps ranged from beefing up security with off-duty cops to “using quota systems” for the hottest products and even issuing separate wristbands for sales events starting at 6 and 8, which allow shoppers to “return two hours after an event starts to pick up their purchases.”

But all the “SHOPSTRONG” bracelets in the world couldn’t prevent this knock-down-drag-out over a television:

US CEO Bill Simon made the morning show rounds today in what Forbes calls a “PR offensive.”

How did it go?

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Buffalo, NY Teacher Sends Note Home About ‘Smelly’ Kids

Teacher-sends-smelly-childrenAs a former vocalist and crack philosopher once said, “I believe the children are our future.” Yes, they are. And Buffalo pre-kindergarten teacher Sharon D. Perry Dunnigan believes a bath should occur in their immediate future.

The inspiring picture to the left confirms that Ms. Perry Dunnigan personally wrote a lovely letter informing all of her BUILD Academy parents about the many reasons that she wasn’t thrilled to touch her students this year.

Outlandish, WTF reasons:

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Clever UK Stunt Mocks British Airways ‘Magic of Flying’ Billboard

You’ve seen British Airways‘ “Magic of Flying” #lookup billboard in London, right? You know, the one where the kid magically points at each flight as it passes overhead? Here’s your refresher:

Thanks to Rich Leigh of PR Examples, we can now bring you the latest example of “I stole your meme” marketing via Powwownow. This Brit company, which provides a “Free Conference Calling Service for Business People with More Money Than Sense”, jumped on the meme just in time with the help of its AOR Branded3, which apparently plans to mount this ad in Piccadilly:

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Saucy (or whatever phrase you guys use now)!

5 Things PR Does That Piss Off the Media

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They’re waiting for your press release…

Here’s a guest listicle (“guesticle?”) from Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases or the online leader in affordable PR distribution since 1998. You can follow them on Google+PinterestFacebook and Twitter and download a free copy of their handbook LinkedIn for Business.

The press can be your best friend, but drive them crazy enough and your future press releases will end up in a (virtual) drawer or the trash folder. What can you do to incur their wrath, and what can you do to avoid it?

1. Send too many press releases

Media outlets get roughly a billion press releases in an average day. If you overload them, how are the unpaid interns supposed to find a relevant and newsworthy story amongst the mess?

Only send out press releases when something major happens. Before you send it out, pretend that you’re the reader; if you saw it in your feed, would you click? Would you then care? If not, don’t send it. Overload doesn’t help anyone. Speaking of which…

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Roll Call: CommCreative, Saatchi and Saatchi and DeVries Global

The senior management team at CommCreative has grown, adding John Lawlor as chief operating officer and promoting Joanna Bittle to vice president of strategy. As COO, John directs strategic planning efforts and agency growth. In addition, he supports the account management team with an emphasis on delivering value and results. John brings 25 years of proven business management with corporate, entrepreneurial and privately owned companies and a unique combination of business, marketing, brand strategy and communications experience. Prior to joining CommCreative, John was a principal for Practical Decisions. He also served as vice president of strategic development for Liberty Mutual’s Property Division, a partner with MetroWest Business Advisors, past president of the Middlesex West Chamber of Commerce and a certified Master Mentor with CMT International. Joanna has been a member of the CommCreative team for more than eight years. In her new role as VP of Strategy, she is responsible for leading and overseeing integrated marketing strategy for all of the agency’s clients and serving as the account supervisor on select accounts, including Staples, Verisk Health, and Experian QAS. She will also continue her business development responsibilities. (Release)

Saatchi and Saatchi Los Angeles is adding three seasoned advertising industry veterans to its team. Group account director David Lowrie, group creative director Mark Laughlin and creative director Marlon Hernandez will now all call SSLA home. Lowrie joins SSLA from AKQA NY, and with a wealth of experience in both retail and e-commerce, including leading efforts to launch ATT.com, Humana.com, and a re-design of VerizonWireless.com and Verizon’s new Flagship retail space opening in the Mall of America. Most recently, Laughlin was the executive creative director tasked with opening the R/GA office in Los Angeles, where he built an enterprise site for Beats by Dre. Prior to that, Mark was ECD on Nike at R/GA New York, where he was responsible for delivering world-class digital experiences while leading multidisciplinary campaign and platform teams. Hernandez began his career at branding agencies Landor and Siegel+Gale before embarking on nearly two decades’ worth of experience at R/GA, Ogilvy, TBWA\Chiat\Day and others. Some of the clients he has worked with include Microsoft, Nike and Verizon, as well as Subaru and Volkswagen. (Release)

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GAP Nips Racist Graffiti Problem in the Bud

Here’s a good example of a brand that’s on point on social.

A couple of straight-up racists tagged this GAP ad featuring a Sikh Indian actor in a New York subway station, changing the line “Make Love” to “Make Bombs” and adding “Stop driving cabs” just to be extra dickish.

Lawyer and writer Arsalan Ifthikar saw it, photographed it and encouraged his 36,000 followers to share it; the image quickly went viral.

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Less than 24 hours later, the GAP responded on Twitter:

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