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Spin the Agencies of Record

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  • Columbia Business School went with Coyne PR for counsel on ways to help reinforce its new positioning as the school “At the Very Center of Business”…the Upper West Side.

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Neil Patrick Harris Is the Best, Makes a Video to Promote His New Book

Neil Patrick Harris is a national treasure. And now with his new autobiography, Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography, we can all take a piece of him home with us.

To promote the book, NPH has made a video clip in which he shows the depth and breadth of his talents. Watch him take shots of rubbing alcohol! Watch him eat a piece of spaghetti with his hubby David Burtka like Lady and the Tramp (aww)! Listen to him do the warm up that he used to go through when he was in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”! Oh my goodness, there is so much NPH.

Book trailers have been a thing for a while now, a great way for those authors with good screen presence to make a video clip that can get passed around and add to the usual routes for book publicity. A television star with Tony and Emmy awards on his mantle, years of screen experience, charm and a cute husband… this could only be a marketing win.

The book will be for sale on October 14.

h/t E! Online

The Roadmap for Measurement’s Past, Present and Future

roadmap

Today we bring you a guest post from Mark Stouse, PR industry veteran and managing member of Vaulting Ventures.

This post came about as part of a series of Q&A’s with top professionals curated by Hotwire PR in honor of AMEC’s Measurement Week.

Your resume encompasses many different types of industries and businesses—from kicking off your career at Edelman to playing key roles with big names such as Hewlett Packard, Honeywell and BMC Software.

Can you talk a little bit about how communication and the role of measurement shifted not only as you grew your career but as more technology became available?

The epiphany happened for me when I left the profession for 8 years in the 1990s and took on business roles inside a rapidly growing technology company. I was a sales person for a while, then I moved to marketing, then to R&D. One of my projects earned a valuable patent that drove the business to new levels.

I spent the last four years as the GM of a business. Collectively, those experiences completely transformed my point of view. When I returned to the profession in 2000, it was with a deep commitment to be “in business,” not just “in the business.”

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Colorado Advocacy Group Runs Maureen Down-Inspired Weed Safety PSA

Here’s an amusing aside from Colorado, which — as Denver Post editor Ricardo Baca reminded us earlier this month — is now home to a large and quickly growing legal marijuana industry.

When something becomes a legitimate consumer good, its sale requires PR and marketing services. Longstanding advocacy group The Marijuana Policy Project and its CO-based spinoff Consume Responsibly have assumed those duties, responding to New York Times writer Maureen Dowd’s infamous “I ate too much pot and TOTALLY freaked out” op-ed with a mature PSA campaign and an outdoor billboard (note the red hair, which is obviously her natural color):

Consume responsibly

The campaign is fairly extensive: it includes a web presence and some print elements after the jump.

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Air Force Stops ‘Aiming High,’ Omits ‘So Help Me God’ from Oath

080528-F-2319R-005Prayer and the American military have gone together like bread and butter for as long as we can remember, but the United States Air Force has now apparently decided to count its blessings — because it doesn’t really need them anymore.

According to the Washington Post, the Air Force will now allow airmen to omit “so help me God” from enlistment oaths. 

The catalyst for this decision was an airman stationed in Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nev., who was denied re-enlistment because he purposely omitted that sacrosanct phrase when taking said oath.

He (along with the American Humanist Association) chose to raise a stink, and two weeks later we have this:

“We take any instance in which Airmen report concerns regarding religious freedom seriously,” Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said in the statement. “We are making the appropriate adjustments to ensure our Airmen’s rights are protected.

“The Air Force will be updating the instructions for both enlisted and commissioned Airmen to reflect these changes in the coming weeks, but the policy change is effective now. Airmen who choose to omit the words ‘So help me God’ from enlistment and officer appointment oaths may do so.”

This isn’t much of a surprise, but the Air Force should certainly prepare for blowback.

Sure, it’s haughty at the very least to think there are only Christians in this world or that everyone must profess faith in a Christian God (or any god, really) to serve his or her country. But will this decision lead to a slippery slope on which other airmen seek a pass from swearing to protect other things that go against their personal beliefs?

Time will tell — and so will more than a few Christian bloggers.

Mattel Shushes F-Bomb Barbie

Swearing-Barbie

NSFW or Home

Imagine that you are the dedicated parent of a sweet seven-year-old girl. Quite naturally, the girl can’t walk past a toy aisle without jonesin’ for a Barbie. While visions of brushing her fake locks of blond love dance in her head, you examine the price tags in disbelief.

Then you grab the new Talkin’ Barbie, much to your daughter’s delight. Good times.

Following the 38 minutes it takes to rescue Talkin’ Barbie from her plastic bondage, your daughter hits the button and you hear “What the F*ck!” Quite naturally, you rush to wash that sweet girl’s mouth out with soap … and then she tells you it was the doll.

This is (allegedly) a true story.

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‘Diversity Is the New Black,’ Says Omnicom’s Tiffany R. Warren

Tiffany-Warren-articleTiffany R. Warren is Omnicom‘s senior vice president and chief diversity officer, but her work on diversity isn’t just a day job. In 2005 Warren created ADCOLOR, a non-profit devoted to promoting and paying tribute to diversity in the advertising, marketing, media, PR and entertainment industries.

For our latest So What Do You Do feature, Warren describes how ADCOLOR went from awards show to social movement, how the work of diversity officers has grown and what it takes to be an agent of change:

You have to like people. You have to like when people are hot messes and when they’re not. When they’re scared, when they fail and when they’ve failed you. You have to like every aspect of the human nature in order to be an effective change agent. We’ve had some not so good times in our industry and that’s [when] I grew the most as a professional and as a leader — during those times when people were doubting whether this industry could pull itself out of the hole of this lack of diversity.

For more from Warren, read, So What Do You Do, Tiffany R. Warren, Chief Diversity Officer for Omnicom Group?

Under Armour Comms VP Explains Damage Control Strategy

Here’s a quick but relevant clip that our friends at AdAge posted yesterday.

Diane Pelkey — VP of global communications for Under Armour — explains how the brand tackled the fallout from the bombshell February Wall Street Journal story in which members of the U.S. speed skating team blamed the company’s products for their disappointing performance at the Sochi Olympics.

Pelkey’s point is simple, and it’s worth repeating: be transparent, don’t hide from the story and make sure to offer all relevant spokespeople to media contacts for comment.

While the success of the ensuing campaign may be up for debate, the logic behind the strategy is sound.

One Man Wants to Show You How to ‘Get It Right’ with Wikipedia

wikipedia1Have you ever had a client ask you to “look into” or “take care of” their Wikipedia page? Most likely the answer is “yes.”

For PR professionals and the clients they serve, Wikipedia matters. It is the planet’s fifth-most visited domain, and 53% of American adults consult it on a regular basis.

Take a look at your client or brand’s page on Wikipedia now — is it up to date? Is all the information correct? Are all associated images optimized?

Wikipedia’s volunteer community has created an incredible resource, but it does contain some major blind spots.

So what’s a PRNewser to do? Editing a Wikipedia page can be difficult on one’s own—the rules for writing and editing are constantly changing, and they’re governed by a community that is resistant to outside assistance.

They have their reasons: we’re all aware of the fact that certain firms specialize in Wikipedia “sockpuppeting”, and while a coalition of the industry’s top names did come to an “agreement” with the site’s community this year, problems remain.

(For a refresher, we spoke to seven experts on the ramifications of the agreement earlier this Summer.)

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