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Archives: July 2014

Spin the Agencies of Record

walnutz

  • Edelman will be PR AOR for the California Walnut Board and the California Walnut Commission, effective September 1. Edelman will handle all PR and social duties for the organization, which was previously known as the Walnut Marketing Board; the org was established in 1948 to represent the state’s walnut growers and handlers. Edelman will focus on raising awareness of the walnut’s “robust health benefits and innumerable culinary applications” (love that one) and protecting its reputation against its sworn enemy, the hazelnut.

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Mediabistro Course

Presentations: From Planning to Design

Presenations: From Planning to DesignLearn how to create clear, visually compelling presentations! Starting December 1, you'll learn how to plan and design your presentation, understand your audience, choose which presentation software to use, and tailor your narrative to meet your audience's needs. Register now!

Jay Carney Talks About the ‘Tension’ Between the White House and the Press Pool

carneyNow that he’s no longer the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney has a lot to say about the job.

Last night he was on David Letterman reflecting on the relationship between himself and the press pool, one that’s not always so congenial. One need only go back to footage of a few Q&As between Carney and members of the press to see that there was, as Letterman put it, a “rub” between the person behind the podium and the journalists in the audience.

Having covered politics prior to his appointment to the White House, Carney was aware of this “adversarial” relationship. And though there were a couple of times where we cringed as we watched him try to navigate the aggressive questions that were being tossed at him, in the Letterman interview, he talks about the experience almost (almost) in positive terms.

“As a democracy, we would be rightfully concerned if there wasn’t that tension,” he says at one point. “If the White House press corps was just happy with what they got every day and they weren’t working to get more, they wouldn’t be doing their jobs.”

That’s a lesson that a lot of publicists should remember.
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Tony Hale of Veep Impresses the Ladies by Standing Up to Cancer

In Celebrity Cause Marketing news, today witnessed the debut of a spot promoting hotel search engine RoomKey and its Stand Up to Cancer initiative via Hungry Man Productions and Emmy winner Tony “Don’t Call Me Buster” Hale.

We very much like the fact that the spot satirizes the driving force behind most cause marketing campaigns (and, if we’re being honest, most charities): self-satisfaction mixed with a little third-party validation.

For the record, we hope more cause campaigns embrace this tone of self-awareness. It’s much more appealing than the guilt trip that fuels so many such initiatives.

Now, in case you doubted Mr. Hale’s acting prowess, click through for a clip of him promoting a very different kind of product…

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Your Backstage Pass for Uncovering and Influencing Sales Leads

detective

Today we bring you a guest post by Jennifer Donovan, founder of San Francisco’s Nova CommunicationsFollow her on Twitter.

This post is presented by AirPR, a technology platform to increase PR performance. The San Francisco-based technology company is passionate about using data to show the true impact and value of PR.

Social media can be intimidating even to the most experienced sales person. It’s a completely different beast than traditional sales methods, but what social offers is a chance to build relationships while getting to know your potential customers on a unique level. With just a little information and training, members of any sales team can turn a few minutes a day on social media into new relationships, leads, and most importantly, closed deals.

Social media “listening” gives sales teams the opportunity to learn valuable insights about a customer or prospect. Sure, there are ways to get insights through traditional methods, but social media is like a back-stage pass – you secure a closer look, uncover hidden gems, and get a chance to engage on a more personal level. One of the best ways to use social to drive incremental sales for your brand is through active listening.

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Top 5 Ongoing PR Industry Debate Topics

Create-The-Debate

Let’s do this! (Image: The Parliment [U.K.])

There is a potpourri of things that make up this great industry: people from all walks of life; diverse experiences creating premiere skill sets; campaigns that make you proud to be a PR professional. You are probably thinking of some now to fill in those blanks.

Whatever they are, cherish those memories because they make public relations what it is today.

On the other hand, if you don’t have those memories, it is probably because you have been involved in any number of inner-agency or in-house-team spats about principles of public relations. Some have come, others have gone, but at least five of them show no sign of going anywhere.

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More Bloggers Using PR Services to Solicit Free Stuff

EMPTY BOX

We all know that Help A Reporter Out and Profnet are great tools for PR pros and that product reviews by prominent bloggers are great for clients.

But what about those social media entrepreneurs who use the service to explicitly request free stuff? And how does this square with pay-for-play ethical boundaries?

After the jump, a couple of examples from bloggers who, frankly, don’t have a whole hell of a lot of leverage to make such requests.

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Johnson’s Baby Sort-of Apologizes to Concerned Moms

You may have heard at some point over the past few years that Johnson & Johnson’s massive baby products line encountered something of a credibility problem.

A quick recap: in 2009, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics called upon the company to remove certain proven carcinogenic ingredients from its baby shampoos. J&J promised to remove the elements and earned a spot atop the Forbes “America’s most trusted brands” list for 2011. However, a subsequent report claimed that, despite the company’s promise to make safer products, one would have to buy its “natural” shampoo (which was twice as expensive) to ensure the absence of those carcinogens.

In January, the company announced that it had reached its goal of removing certain potentially toxic chemicals but continued walking a PR tightrope by both claiming that its current products are safe and promising to remove more such ingredients by 2015. This announcement only came after a series of embarrassing recalls led to the resignation of J&J’s CEO.

That long, winding damage control road leads us to this clip, released this week and produced by RF|Binder.

The message: we hear you and send you good vibes…even though your fears are completely unfounded. Here’s the corporate statement to go along with the campaign.

Will it work? Adweek notes that it’s part of a campaign that will “see 40 more videos released throughout the rest of the year”…but will the message resonate when the company has yet to complete its ongoing chemical purge?

Do Celebrities Need Publicists in the Age of Instagram?

beyonce instagram

Are Beyonce and Jay Z divorcing? Is that trouble-making sister Solange to blame? And what’s going on with Bey’s career?

A picture can silence a thousand words. Read more

ESPN Decided It Needed to Take a Stronger Stance Against Stephen A. Smith

stephen a smithESPN, taking things a step further than Stephen A. Smith‘s long apology, has suspended the commentator for one week after he made gross and misguided comments about domestic abuse against women. The comments followed the NFL’s weak two-game suspension of Ray Rice after footage showed him dragging his unconscious wife out of a casino hotel after he allegedly hit her.

Smith made a lengthy broadcast speech after first trying to tweet-splain what he meant by his warning that women shouldn’t “provoke” men to violence. During the apology he was much more contrite, bringing up the women in his family and his outspoken stance against domestic violence.

To really bring the point home, ESPN also had a female commentator, Cari Champion, say many words after Smith was done. Most of those words were in support of her colleague, who wore his special purple tie for the occasion.

Clearly, the PR team was working overtime on this spectacle. Wisely, the network felt the need to do more, hence the suspension.

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Why the Redskins Lost PR Points by Hiring Burson-Marsteller

redskins_facepalmFULL DISCLOSURE: I am a proud former Burson employee.

That said, the Washington Redskins lost whatever integrity they had left when they hired Burson-Marsteller yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, the hire made sense. If B-M is known for anything, it is a powerful one-two combination of public affairs and crisis communications.

Those are two things that team and its thick-headed owner sorely need.

The problem is that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder didn’t hire them to help his football team do the admirable thing. He hired B-M to help his team continue to do the wrong thing.

And there goes his credibility, swirling down the drain.

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