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Is the Press Release Ready for Its Latest Makeover?

Tiny Pitch

We know, we know: you’re tired of reading stories about whether the press release is dead or not. So are we!

One of the most/least surprising findings in the Business Wire survey we posted on last week held that “traditional” releases are still quite valuable for journalists covering big-name corporate clients.

And yet.

We’ve covered Jason Kintzler‘s PitchEngine a good bit in the past thanks to his ongoing efforts to convince PR “to do more than attach a word doc to an email when it comes time to pitch.”

He does have a new product called Tiny Pitch to show you, but we were interested in a longer conversation about the state of the pitching process and the blunt instruments we use to do it.

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What We Should All Learn From Edelman’s Commitment to Become Its Own Client

Edelman ReputationEdelman PR has been in a bad way lately — not for their client outreach efforts but for what they have done to themselves.

First, the global independent juggernaut caused a small kerfuffle by taking a stance against all those pesky “climate change skeptics.” Given their ardent statements of commitment to the cause, this didn’t go over too well.

Then, the agency thought that using Robin William’s unfortunate death to start a conversation about effective pitching would be a good idea. Many disagreed and they apologized, but no one really listened.

Now, Edelman will start to consider itself as a client. Question from the rest of us: What took so long? 

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Brooklyn Firm Works for Free to Attract Top Talent

Praytell

Today Brooklyn-based boutique firm Praytell Strategies announced the launch of its Passion Project, in which the company will offer up to $30,000 in varied services to non-profit applicants each quarter.

Of course all agencies are familiar with the benefits of pro-bono work in terms of building on reputation, expanding client rosters and scoring a few media mentions.

The Praytell project, though, is unique in a few ways — first being that it was inspired by the work of the MAC AIDS Fund (a Praytell client).

We spoke to founder/CEO Andy Pray to find out more.

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Anthropologie Brings Us ‘Nipplegate’

breastfeedingAnthropologie shopper Ingrid Wiese Hesson recently spoke to CBS news about an unfortunate (and illegal, according to California state law) incident she experienced at the chain’s Beverly Hill’s store, which she is calling “nipplegate.”

Here’s the story:

After spending $700 dollars on “breastfeeding friendly” clothes, Hesson sat down to breastfeed on one of the stores plush vintage chairs. Before long, she was approached by a manager, who said “I’m here to escort you to the ladies’ room so you can finish breastfeeding…”

When the manager opened the door to the restroom, she apologized for the lack of a chair. “Of course the only thing in the bathroom is the toilet seat,” Hesson noted.

Hesson said she contacted the store manager later to find out more about what had happened. The manager “said there are other customers in the store, and she thought they would be more comfortable and you would be more comfortable,” she recalled.

The manager’s actions “won’t stop me from doing what’s best for my baby, but it could stop me from shopping at stores that aren’t tolerant,” Hessen said.

Frankly, this one shocks me because I swear I’ve come across an Anthro catalogue featuring a breastfeeding model in some tribal maxi skirt pedaling optional $100 nipple tassels to plug up leakage when not in use.

It just all seems to go against the brand’s bourgeoise bohemian ethos, amirite? Read more

Should Small Businesses Handle Their Own PR?

small biz

In a guest post last week, Sarah Rose reminded us that freshly launched startups don’t necessarily need PR assistance…yet.

A New York Times story from earlier this week makes the same point for small businesses, claiming that most of them don’t need third-party PR at all.

Robert J. Moore’s five points read like a promo primer of sorts…

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A Pumpkin Spice-Flavored Summer? The Too-Early Trend Making Us Crazy

spotthespicechallengeJPEG

As has been made abundantly clear in previous posts about the pumpkin spice marketing craze, this PRNewser writer loves Fall. Like, really, really loves it. As a New Englander, there’s nothing more magical to me than a crisp October morning kissed by the scent of fresh apples, piles of leaves, and — yes — my mug of pumpkin spice tea. I’m a sucker for the Autumnal marketing madness and I’m not sorry. But though I may be a full-fledged Fall-ophile (is that a thing? I’m making it a thing), even I know there’s a time for nutmeg and Jack-O-Lanterns, and it is not — I repeat, NOT while the beaches are still crowded and kids are enjoying their last days of summer vacation.

We’ve been griping about the holiday creep for years when it comes to Christmas decorations lining store shelves before Halloween, and now, it seems, those pesky marketers have figured if they’re going to bulldoze Halloween for Christmas, why not just move the whole calender up a couple months and bulldoze summer with way-too-early Fall? I mean, the logic is undeniable.

We’ve been seeing Halloween candy in stores for a couple of weeks now; the seasonal Sam Adams currently being sold is Octoberfest; Starbucks is releasing its Pumpkin Spice Latte on August 25 (if you have a super secret passcode), and Twitter has even been aflutter over the potential introduction of Pumpkin Spice Oreos.

All way before we’ve even had our Labor Day barbeques. Read more

Mike Ditka on Daniel Snyder’s PR Problem: ‘What’s All the Stink?’

Football Pro NFC  Games 1984 Devision Playoff

Funny how he’s looking away from this Redskins situation too.

Some people are celebrated for their lack of — or complete disregard for — a filter. If you want a true opinion, one without all the flowery crap, just holler at people like Donald Trump, Rosie O’Donnell, Sophia from The Golden Girls, or any uptown socialite with a little booze intake.

The NFL has someone like that: Hall of Famer, beloved coach and current ESPN broadcaster (for now) Mike Ditka.

For many months, people have stepped to one side or the other regarding whether the Washington football team needs to change its mascot. Some believe it is a regaled tradition in the NFL and that changing that mascot would be criminal. Others take a more human interest angle, arguing that the act of calling someone a “Redskin” is bad enough to warrant a change.

Guess which side ‘Da’ Bears’ coach is on…

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The Ticker: UPS Data Breach; ALS Hypocrisy; Changing NYT Tech Section; And More

The White House Doesn’t Care How You Nerds Dress

Did you know that the U.S. Digital Service is a thing? It is now. The White House established it in order to create “a customer-focused government through stronger IT“, aka hiring the people who helped fix healthcare.gov after realizing that the most talented programmers around do not happen to double as public employees.

One of those people was Mikey Dickerson — current title Deputy Federal Chief Information Officer, current LinkedIn status “pursuing a number of schemes“. He plays a starring role in this new “Day One” video:

While the group’s ostensible purpose is to “ improve the delivery of federal services, information, and benefits”, Dickerson wants you to know that the most important issue is the dress code — or lack thereof.

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Ketchum Shuffles Its Tech Leadership

ketchum_logoIn what looks like a strong pivot toward the tech sector, Ketchum orchestrated a game of musical chairs involving several top executives within its San Francisco-based Access Communications shop and its Global Technology Practice this week.

Partner Susan Butenhoff, who founded Access and served as both president and CEO there until this week, will now serve as director of the firm’s tech practice while retaining the title of chief at Access.

Matthew Afflixio, who worked under her as EVP/creative director, has been promoted to president.

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