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Brand Marketing Increasingly Includes LGBT Families & Couples, And Consumers Approve

target adBuzzFeed commissioned JWT to conduct an analysis of how Americans feel about ads that are “LGBT-inclusive.” Although they’re talking about advertising, there’s a lot that PRs can also learn from the study, which reveals some very positive attitudes about the increased diversity we’re seeing. That is awesome, BTW.

Lately, we’ve seen a number of ads that feature LGBT families and couples; from Banana Republic to Honey Maid and Coca-Cola, there’s been a significant increase in LGBT presence in marketing of late. And, according to the findings, that paints an accurate picture of life today. Eight out of 10 consumers surveyed (there were 500 total) said “showing gay or lesbian people in ads simply reflects the reality of our society today.” Another 60 percent said brands that show same-sex couples are “being appropriately inclusive” with their marketing.

“These findings suggest that when diversity and acceptance are authentic and on-strategy for the brand, LGBT-inclusive ads will be met with a high degree of acceptance and benefit the advertiser,” said Mark Truss, director of brand intelligence at JWT.

Some of the ads that have run featuring LGBT couples and families — and even those, like the Cheerios commercial, which feature more racial diversity — have received harsh criticism. And, rightfully so, people have defended the ads, the companies that stood by the campaigns, and the real people in them.

But it’s also worth noting here that brands are following society’s lead rather than the other way around.

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More Tips for Avoiding and Containing Social Media Crises

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It’s only Tuesday, and already this week has seen a year’s worth of headlines regarding major airlines and terrible publicity on social media.

The incidents–whether self-inflicted or not–were severe enough to inspire yet another round of questions regarding a brand’s ability to both stand out and defend itself online.

We spoke to Peter LaMotte, SVP at LEVICK and Chair of the firm’s digital communications practice, for insights on this topic.

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PR Jobs: Air Age Media, Green Room Communications, HarperCollins

This week, Air Age Media is hiring a director of marketing and sales, while Green Room Communications needs a senior publicist. HarperCollins is seeking a senior marketing manager, and BRIC is on the hunt for a director of marketing and communications. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

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Find more great PR jobs on the PRNewser job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented PRNewser pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

TurboTax Wants Your Filing Process to Be As Difficult As Possible

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Of course everyone dislikes filing taxes. The fact that we have to do so once a year is one of the main reasons so many Americans have low opinions of government–at least in the abstract.

And yet, the whole process might be easier were it not for the interference of…the people who make and sell tax filing software.

The Slate piece on TurboTax‘s lobbying efforts to defeat the passage of simplified “return-free filing” measures is damning enough to cause a mini-stroke, but we were particularly incensed by this line:

“A public relations firm working on the trade group’s behalf has been luring unsuspecting spokespeople to join its cause—reaching out to them without mentioning any lobbying ties.”

Shocking, we know.

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New ‘Tweeting Bomb Threats to Airlines’ Meme Didn’t Last Long

Yesterday we tried to write an honest “what would you do?” post about the 14-year-old Dutch teen who tweeted a threat to American Airlines claiming to be involved with “Al Qaida” and promising to do “something big.”

While most agreed that American overreacted by implying that the authorities might just be coming for the girl (who later turned herself in), The Washington Post noticed that quite a few teens followed the story yesterday afternoon by…tweeting even more specific bomb threats to American and other major airlines.

Before you freak out and post the 900th tweet about how this story simply serves to re-confirm your absolute lack of faith in humanity, note that every single account listed in the WaPo piece has now been either suspended or deleted.

Seems like Twitter itself might have a vested interest in protecting you from the world’s rowdier teen demo.

We, for one, just breathed a sigh of relief.

Walmart’s Next Victim Is Organic Food, and You Can’t Blame Them

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Wait, what?

Hey, when you’re Godzilla, you try to step on everything else, crush it, and keep on moving. Why? Because you can.

Meet Walmart. You may have seen a store or two around your neck of the woods. And for the world’s largest company, the one thing you have to give them is they never stop trying to add new cards in the spokes of its ginormous wheel. So, what in the world could it possibly add to its current global domination?

Organic food. I know, right?  Read more

GM Needs a New Spokesperson, Stat

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Not going so well for her.

This young week has already brought us two new job openings that sound great on paper but might just make you think twice: social media manager at U.S. Airways and director of communications at General Motors.

You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that the first execs to get the axe in GM’s ongoing recall drama were the heads of PR and HR. In yet another non-surprise, the company refused to tie the departures directly to the recall. (This is the kind of decision that makes journalists roll their eyes back as far as humanly possible.)

CEO Mary Barra’s most visible statement this week? A blog post encouraging employees to report safety concerns “whether openly or anonymously.”

Cue that eye roll again…

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Just in Time for Prom: KFC Introduces Chicken Corsage

Hey, prom-bound teenagers: unsure of your date’s favorite flower, or clueless as to which blooms would best match her dress? Fear not! KFC is here for you with a corsage that pairs flawlessly with everything (especially mashed potatoes and gravy).

Just in time for the prom-related promo season, KFC has introduced a new type of “arm candy” — a chicken corsage, which is exactly what it sounds like. For a mere $20, the savvy shopper can purchase a kit online, which will ship from a Louisville, Ky. florist, and comes complete with delicate corsage-makings and a $5 KFC gift card to be used for a drumstick. The only decision you’ll have to make is whether the morsel to adorn your date’s lovely wrist will be Extra Crispy, Kentucky Grilled Chicken or Original Recipe.

Just be forewarned of two things: First, it’s not easy to get grease stains out of chiffon. Second, if it suddenly seems as though your date is leaning in for a mid-dance kiss, she might just be leaning in for a nibble of her delicious accessory.

5 Things to Know About Choosing the Right Keywords

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The phrase is content strategy. And, whether you feel confident about it or not, my fellow flacks, this is slowly becoming your bag in PR. SEO is an ever-evolving thing. It’s like watching a child actor grow up — you know the brick wall is coming, it’s just when he or she will run smooth into the damn thing.

We are running into SEO and many flacks aren’t prepared because of all the many nuances behind keywords. What are they really? How do you use them? When is the best time to write them?

To wit, here’s our latest 5 Things listicle: What to know about choosing the right keywords. *High Five!*  Read more

The Ticker: Mozilla Chief; Google Email Scans; Data Theft; Pro Prankster; Hillary and Boeing

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