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5 PR Catchphrases ‘Spinning’ Out of Control

PR-Dictionary

Much like niche cultures and mainstream industries, public relations has developed a glossary of its own. It’s not “‘In N’ Out” burger ordering off the menu’” cult-like verbiage, but flacks from all walks of life speak in the same universal code.

We understand each other when discussing work around a water cooler. We empathize with each other when commiserating about the cries of a client over an adult beverage. We share experiences as we exchange terminologies native to PR during a networking soiree.

And yet, there are a couple of phrases that we should really just stop repeating, at least in the way they’re used today. Here is this week’s 5 Things: The 5 PR catchphrases that are spinning out of control.

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Tried and True Moves from the Clinton PR Machine

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In the essay “My Battle With the Clintons“, completely objective reporter Daniel Halper (who just happens to edit the conservative Weekly Standard) gives Politico some dirt regarding his “It Happened to Me” moment going toe-to-toe with the Clinton PR team over his critical book.

“When I started to write Clinton, Inc: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine, I knew the reaction to expect… But even if I hadn’t known it, many, many people in Washington, on the left and right, popped up to warn me of what to expect from the Clinton PR team. Other authors—legitimate ones with serious pedigrees—who’d written about the Clintons said they were threatened and verbally attacked. Of course, nearly everyone in Washington has seen the much-vaunted Clinton PR machine in action. It’s very predictable.”

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Clintons know a thing or two about this PR biz. According to Halper, here’s how it works:

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Where’s the LUV? Southwest Airlines Kicks Passenger Off Flight for Tweeting

LUV

In most circumstances, love (or LUV, Southwest Airlines’ NYSE Symbol after its home airport Love Field) does go a long way. In the case of Minnesota resident Duff Watson, it got him kicked off the plane.

According to his hometown CBS affiliate WCCO, Watson was asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight from Denver to Minneapolis because he allegedly threatened the safety of an agent via Twitter. His tweet called out an agent by name, gave her the distinctive title “rudest agent in Denver,” and directed it at @SouthwestAir shortly before takeoff.

The complaint didn’t work out the way he planned.

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UK Firm Goes to Outer Space and Back to Announce Rebranding

Today we learned that a service apparently allows users to send objects into space and film them there for YouTube-ready clips. We also learned that the UK’s Houston PR (nee Twelve Thirty Eight) used the service to highlight the World’s Highest Press Release as it hovered 27 miles above the planet.

It’s a pretty cool way to announce a name change.

Unfortunately–as our own Shawn Paul Wood showed us yesterday–the myths about our ability to make such clips “go viral” are just that (especially when said clips do not involve Walter White bobbleheads or George Takei action figures carrying gay pride flags).

The stunt is certainly fun–but Houston, we may have a problem with the font size…

(H/T AdRants)

The Ticker: New Walmart US CEO; Big GM Payout; Twitter Diversity Problem; And More

To Turn Things Around, Maybe Crocs Should Just Admit Their Shoes Are Ugly

crocsAfter a boom in which it seemed everyone and their grandmother owned a pair of the wide, colorful Croslite Crocs, the company is in trouble. To turn things around, the company introduced different styles, including ballet flats and heels. Still, the company reports that net income fell 44 percent for the second quarter, it’s going to need to close as many as 100 of its 624 stores around the world and 183 people will have to be laid off.

“The company is now planning to cut back on its range of styles by 30% to 40%, as a result,” says Business Insider.

Now might be the time for Crocs to take a lesson from Birkenstocks: You can’t be successful if you can’t face the cold hard truth that the shoes you sell are ugly.

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Social Media Case Study: National Golf Day Edition

golf balls

Golf and social media might seem like artifacts from entirely different eras, but when the two reach the green together they turn out to mesh quite well. In fact, they may be the only things on which our two political parties can reach agreement.

This case study, via Buffalo Communications, demonstrates the ways in which social can be integrated into pretty much anything.

The task: promote National Golf Day events in Washington, D.C. to audiences worldwide for client WeAreGolf.

The strategy: increase the reach with the help of strategic hashtags, professional golfers, golf fans and, yes, politicians.

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Startups and PR: a Mutual Distrust Club That Doesn’t Need To Exist

Distrust yo

Today we bring you a guest post from Paul WilkeWilke is CEO of Upright Position Communications, the leading IPO public relations firm in Silicon Valley.

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.

Startups are leery of PR people. PR people are leery of startups. How did it get to be this way? W.C. Fields’ famously said that actors should “never work with animals or children”. If you ask your average PR professional, they’d probably switch out “children” and “animals” with “startups” and “lawyers.”

I run a startup and I work with startups, so I understand where both sides come from and I’m here to say that these two camps don’t need to circle each other warily. The secret to both sides co-existing, co-mingling and thriving is for both to understand where each is coming from, where they’re going and what they want to achieve.

After the jump: Five areas where there appears to be the greatest misunderstanding–and some easy lessons to learn.

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Q&A: Separating Business from Personal Politics

In case you missed it, venture capitalist/Silicon Valley money guru and Y Combinator founder Paul Graham–who helped startups like Dropbox and Airbnb achieve their impressive valuations–received a bit of negative attention from others in the tech scene over the past week for tweeting news stories about the Gaza conflict currently dominating headlines around the world. Here’s an example:

The tweets didn’t go over well with some Israeli members of the tech world. VC and sometime TechCrunch writer Roi Carthy wrote a blog post protesting Graham’s tweets and announcing his decision to stop working with Y Combinator in Israel. He spoke to Kevin Roose of New York magazine and compared Graham’s actions to those of Brendan Eich, who resigned as CEO of Mozilla after reports revealed his donations to the anti-gay marriage Prop 8 campaign:

“Due to mandatory army service, the tech industry and the army in Israel are intertwined…If you don’t recognize that, you shouldn’t be doing business with Israelis.”

The question: how can executives and other public figures avoid this potentially toxic meeting of politics and industry thought leadership?

We spoke to Stan Steinreich, CEO of Steinreich Communications, for his take.

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Roll Call: Ruder Finn, Edelman, RLM Finsbury, And More

Ruder Finn announced several new additions to its global healthcare leadership team:

  • Elyse Margolis was promoted to the position of executive vice president/director, New York Healthcare, where she will continue to serve as client service leader for accounts as well as assuming new responsibilities for the New York team.
  • Trina Chiara was named executive vice president/director, Global Healthcare Business Development. Chiara, who previously served as an NPR reporter for a decade, will both oversee current clients and identify new business opportunities in the healthcare field.
  • Rob Schachter has been promoted to the position of executive vice President, global Healthcare. As a Ruder Finn employee for the past eight years, he handled global franchise portfolios for multiple clients.
  • Glenn Silver joined the practice as senior vice president, Healthcare Media Relations. He will counsel the firm’s extensive list of pharmaceutical clients.
  • Christine Hanson will now serve as senior vice president, Global Healthcare. Hanson, who worked at Manning Selvage and Lee and Danielides Communications, Inc. before joining Ruder Finn, recently managed several high-profile campaigns including one for Novartis’ Bexsero MenB Vaccine. (Release)

Edelman Seattle announced the appointment of Michael Thomas to the SVP role for its technology team. Thomas, who previously served as VP at Edelman’s Chicago office, brings more than a decade of counselling experience in the tech and health sectors to the role; her past clients include GridApp (acquired by BMC Software), Redback Networks (acquired by Ericsson), Opsware (acquired by HP), CrowdControl for Amazon Mechanical Turk, Code Green Networks, Skytap, Fortress Grand, Twisted Pair Solutions and others.

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