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Archives: June 2014

PR Newswire Will No Longer Tolerate Your Spam

spam_can-SMWhile The Associated Press announced its plans to use robots to create financial press releases today, PR Newswire went in the (sort of) opposite direction last week with a new regulatory crackdown on spam. We missed it at the time, but now we’re on the case.

This move is interesting in that it won’t be based on algorithms alone: instead, the organization reports that its own editorial staffers will review submitted releases to make sure they deliver real value to readers via “a number of message elements” like original research and substantial analysis.

In other words, no more link-farming or jargon dumps/SEO tricks–in theory, at least…

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Will Robots Write Your Client’s Next Press Release?

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Did you take our headline too literally? Our apologies. Robots will almost certainly not write your next press release…or the one after that, or the one after that.

The Associated Press did, however, just announce a very real “robotic content production deal” with a company called Automation Insights. In fact, the AP even published a Q&A on the matter which very closely resembles…a traditional press release!

Of course there’s more.

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Choice of Former P&G CEO Robert McDonald For VA Is A Nod to Agency’s Managerial, Comms Needs

 

In a surprise selection, President Obama will choose former P&G CEO Robert McDonald to head up the Department of Veterans Affairs, an agency that has come under fire in recent months for the poor job it’s been doing taking care of the needs of the nation’s veterans. By turning to McDonald, the administration is conveying to many that the agency’s problems go beyond an understanding of the military. It suffers from bureaucratic ills and communications issues.

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3 Things Wrong with KLM’s ‘Is It Racist?’ World Cup Tweet

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You’ve almost certainly read more than enough about Dutch airline KLM’s now-deleted tweet following its home country’s dramatic win over Mexico in the World Cup–and its subsequent apology “to those who feel offended.”

Twitter outrage, etc. We’ll leave the “is it really racist or just a sign of a culture given to indignation” debate to other blogs and the people who comment on them, but we do think KLM should have seen this coming.

Here are three very obvious things wrong with the tweet.

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5 Things PR Can Learn from Transformers

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Because sometimes PR people need a parachute to help slow them down.

ICYMI: Michael Bay blew another part of Hong Kong and Detroit into the Stone Age with the unveiling of Transformers 4: Age of Extinction.’ It was mildly successful, earning $104 million to score the the largest opening weekend of the tetralogy.

This may be a surprise to some, but I found myself in one of those weekend theaters, grasping a large caffeinated beverage with cargo shorts full of cheap snacks from Walmart (Oh please! Like I was the only one). And while I was watching Optimus Prime get all ‘Urban Cowboy’ on a dinobot, the oddest 5 Things came to my flacky brain: 5 things PR pros can actually learn from Transformers.

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Lawsuit Blames Woman’s Injuries on ‘Shocking and Menacing’ Dexter Ad

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We thought Dexter‘s MO was to generally avoid harming the innocent, but one woman is claiming otherwise.

In a lawsuit that names Showtime, The City of New York, and The Manhattan Transportation Authority, Ajanaffy Njewadda asserts that her recent tumble down a flight of stairs at the Grand Central subway terminal — which resulted in a concussion and a broken ankle — was caused by the “shocking and menacing” ad for “Dexter” that was plastered to the stairs at the time.

Njewadda claims that the image of actor Michael C. Hall with his face wrapped in cellophane startled her so badly that she lost her footing and fell, sustaining the injuries.

To be honest, ever since we told you about the TNT/Purell ads urging subway riders to avoid becoming victims of a (fictional) global pandemic, we were kind of wondering when someone would freak out about one of the over-the-top brand takeovers that have been happening in the Grand Central Terminal — we just didn’t expect it to be one we had already completely forgotten about.

‘Kitchen Nightmares’ Was Only a Dream Come True 40% of the Time

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Chef Gordon Ramsay has approximately 1,649 shows on TV. Okay, perhaps that is an overstatement, but it’s close. Between his monopolizing BBC America and FOX with original and remake programming, you would think this chef can do no wrong.

As a foodie, I know anyone who wasn’t a cafeteria lady or a hospital cook on a reality show looking for those precious 15 minutes of fame will act like Chef Ramsay is “just a dude.” However, someone who really loved cooking food would salivate at the man’s footsteps. He really is that much of a stud in a kitchen, so you expect he has the Midas touch … and then someone did some digging around the success rate of his show ‘Kitchen Nightmares.’

And that’s when Gordon Ramsay quit. Really.

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The Ticker: Email Newsletters Rule; Coulson Still Screwed; Boy Scouts’ Gay Pride; And More

Biggest Stories of the Week

Matt Lauer Says His Question To GM’s Mary Barra About Being A Mom & CEO Wasn’t Sexist

matt lauerMatt Lauer has faced quite a bit of backlash since he interviewed GM CEO Mary Barra yesterday. Ironic since she’s the one leading the company that’s had to recall millions of cars after years of bad business practices, injuries and deaths.

During the interview, Lauer asked, “Given the pressures of this job at General Motors, can you do both well?”

Barra’s response was fine: “You know, I think I can. I have a great team, we’re on the right path. … I have a wonderful family, a supportive husband and I’m pretty proud of the way my kids are supporting me in this.”

But the fact that it was even asked has upset many people who think the question was sexist. A ThinkProgress writer points out that Lauer himself has traveled the world for his job despite having three kids at home. When was the last time you recall a male executive being asked this question?

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