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Cision, Vocus Merge to Sweet Home Chicago

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Back in June, our fearless leader Patrick Coffee had a nice conversation with someone you really need to knowPeter Granat, who is the new CEO of the now-merged Vocus and Cision media database software organizations.

Yes, kids, it’s official.

All the technology you love and the customer service you might not is now part of one big happy, unified family. And just like the Brady Bunch, they all have to live under one roof: One Prudential Plaza on East Randolph in Chi City. Movin’ on up, anyone?

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The Ticker: World Leaders Tweet; Ketchum Knows EU Sports; Whisper Outreach Fails; And More

Clown Group Has a Problem with AHS: Freak Show’s Serial Killer, Twisty

ahs_clown_mainIf you’ve watched either of the first two episodes of American Horror Story: Freak Show, then no doubt you’ve peed a little bit in your pants over Twisty the Clown, the crazed, sadistic, killer clown that’s knifing some people to death and holding others hostage. We’re talking about Michael Meyers, Texas Chainsaw MassacreSaw-level scary here.

That hasn’t been lost on a group called Clowns of America International (?), which has a real problem with the way clowns are depicted on the FX show.

“We do not support in any way, shape or form any medium that sensationalizes or adds to coulrophobia or ‘clown fear,’” the group’s president Glenn Kohlberger told The Hollywood Reporter“Hollywood makes money sensationalizing the norm.”

Sensationalizing or not, Twisty the Clown is straight up scary as hell.

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Guy Fieri Restaurant Thriving Despite One of the Worst Reviews in History

guy fieriRemember that time The New York Times‘ Pete Wells went all the way off in a restaurant review of celebrity chef Guy Fieri‘s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square?

“Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex?” Wells asked, one of a lengthy series of over-the-top questions that made up the entirety of the article.

“Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are?… Hey, did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste?” it continues. It is brutal poetry.

Despite the acerbic review, that restaurant is one of the top moneymakers in all of New York, proving that people on vacation really don’t care what they eat so long as they don’t have to do the dishes.

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Spin the Agencies of Record

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  • Cohn & Wolfe China signed a three-year contract to represent Tourism Fiji; C&W is the first China-area firm appointed by the group. The purpose of the contract: to convince more of China’s growing leisure class to choose Fiji as its next tourism destination. Sadly, while the islands boast more than their share of natural beauty and local attractions, only Tom Hanks can hear the volleyballs.

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10 Biggest and 5 Most Surprising Brands ‘Friended’ by Millennials

Facebook BEER

No alcohol here, sorry.

Recent studies have told us that the kids these days just aren’t really into brands on social media. WPP found that 55 percent of young Americans don’t see the point of “friending” a brand, and Edelman told us yesterday that a vast majority of consumers simply aren’t satisfied with the “relationships” they have with corporate entities online — even the ones whose products they buy.

Many brands, however, have managed to accumulate thousands, if not millions, of Millennial “fans.” Independent ad agency Moosylvania recently conducted a survey of 1,500 young people to identify the top 50 such brands, and we’ve reviewed the first 10 for this post.

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Burson-Marsteller Will Help Handle the Texas Ebola Crisis

burson-marstellar-logoWe would have left this bit of news for today’s “Spin the AOR” post, but it’s a big one: a New York Times article shared by our friends at Everything PR revealed that Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has hired Burson-Marsteller to improve its admittedly poor response to the Ebola crisis.

Note the line near the bottom of the article: “On Friday, the hospital hired Burson-Marsteller, the global public relations firm, to help tell its side.”

While the health org has repeatedly admitted that mistakes were made on both the operational and messaging fronts, news that a second worker has been diagnosed with the condition ensures that the story will only continue to grow.

For reference, the org’s handle has been tweeting links to related resources. The account also released a statement from Nina Pham, the first employee to be diagnosed with Ebola, two days ago:

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THIS JUST IN: the Most Uncomfortable Moment in Family Feud History

family feudThis story is why we created this category.

You see, during a slow news day — or when it every station is focused on a certain malignant, terrorizing disease — a PR professional needs a little levity. And on one of the seven days, God created game shows.

There’s a reason why the Game Show Network is so successful. Anything from newfangled game shows like The Chase to the oldies but goodies like Match Game can make the heart smile. And then there’s the awesome reboot of Family Feud, which purposely tries to trip up the audience, Steve Harvey, and the viewing public at large with asinine answers that are probably trolled from Gawker or BuzzFeed, as you can see pictured (and not Photoshopped!!) here.

However, this week gave us what had to be the most uncomfortable moment in Family Feud history.

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Neil Patrick Harris: ‘A Kiss from Burt Reynolds Made Me Gay’

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It’s not like a kiss from a 70s sex symbol is as contagious as Ebola, but if you ask the new host of the Oscars, Neil Patrick Harris knew he was gay following a kiss from Burt Reynolds.

Somewhere Dom DeLuise is shouting at Sally Field (they’re both of Smokey and the Bandit fame for all you young’uns out there) saying, “Girl, I know the feeling.”

Read more about Doogie’s revelation after the jump.

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HBO, CBS Score #PRWin at Netflix’s Expense

You may have heard that HBO made lots of headlines yesterday by announcing that its first standalone streaming service would launch in 2015. This was great news for people like us, who only use their parents’ HBO GO password when Mom and Dad are in town…super serious, you guys! Fingers not crossed!!

It was also a brilliant act of PR — and CBS followed it up today by doing HBO one better:

Going to have to agree with Brian Stelter – this release was definitely worth more than five bucks. So why was this such a big PR win for the two companies?

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