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Walmart Comms VP to Resign Over Fake Resume

David TobarIn a peculiar story, David Tovar has announced his plans to resign from Walmart after spending more than eight years in various top PR roles at the big box chain. The reason? He was less than honest about his (alleged) status as a college graduate.

Tovar’s name isn’t new to us or our readers: he’s been a popular speaker at industry events like The Holmes Report’s 2013 Global Summit and PRSA’s recent corporate comms conference. He also made headlines by doing things like boycotting The Huffington Post over its “unfair coverage” of his employer, “fact-checking” an unflattering New York Times op-ed, and admitting that the Waltons sometimes have trouble keeping their shelves stocked.

In other words, he’s bolder than your average corporate communications executive — especially when it comes to massaging the truth about his background.

He tried to explain things to CNBC today.

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Pope Francis Marries 20 Couples So They Won’t Be Shacking Any Longer

pope-vatican

In the past, our fearless leader at PR Newser suggested that Pope Francis has solidified his position as the Patron Saint of PR (though he has not ascended). And with all due respect to the now canonized Saint John Paul II, the Catholic Church desperately needed some good mojo.

And then the white smoke appeared introducing the world to Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who later changed his name to Francis.

He has embraced the Twitter, left the grandiose Popemobile for a leisurely walk, proclaimed the Internet to be  a gift from God, scored his own weekly magazine, stated that no one should work on the Sabbath (yeah right), and excommunicated the Mafia.

But what he did over the weekend may have the Catholic Church looking as progressive as a non-denominational community picnic.

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Former NSA Chief Compares ISIS Air Strikes to ‘Friends with Benefits’

nsa_logoOne of the fundamental tactics for any flack is writing talking points ahead of interviews. This isn’t purely “spin”, by the way — but clients do sometimes get skittish during on-the-air talks. The prep sheet, then, is like a security blanket minus Elmo.

Because of that perfunctory aspect of PR, it’s always easy to tell which clients don’t have proper talking points. When it happens, you sometimes hurt for the spokesperson (a little).

At other times, though, you laugh so hard that you pee (again, a little).

The latter happened when former NSA and CIA major domo Gen. Michael Hayden went viral for all the wrong reasons while discussing ISIS and air strikes.

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10 Pointers for Navigating the Measurement Maze

High Line Punctuation Sculpture FinalSince measurement is such an integral yet complex part of PR and social media, it has merited an entire week of events in New York. Cision Vocus is hosting morning sessions as part of AMEC Measurement Week 2014. PRNewser is following suit with the continuation of a multi-part series on the topic with featured event speakers. Recently we explored measurement’s future with Rebekah Iliff of AirPR and with Peter Himler of Flatiron Communications.

Now we’re reporting on yesterday’s presentation with Mark Schaefer, author and founder of Schaefer Marketing Solutions as well as a panel moderated by Himler that included Heidi Sullivan of Cision Vocus, Shonali Burke of Shonali Burke Consulting, Chris Penn of Shift Communications and Sharam Fouladger-Mercer of AirPR. They had different takes on various aspects of measurement and metrics, as captured in selected comments:

1. Measure or perish:

In response to those who say you don’t need to measure social media: There’s an implied value to everything and you’d better measure it. (Schaefer)

2. Re-focus on dual value:

Much social media value that’s created is qualitative, not quantitative. Intangible business benefits include building worthwhile relationships and increasing brand awareness. We spend too much time on spreadsheets, not on the human pulse of social media. (Schaefer)

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Radisson ‘Suspends’ Vikings Sponsorship; Will Other Brands Follow?

radissonDespite the “tsunami” of bad press that has begun to touch on NFL sponsors like CoverGirl via the hashtag #GoodellMustGo, we think it safe to say that most of the corporate names backing the world’s most profitable sports league will continue keeping the bench very warm until Roger Goodell does something that goes well beyond the poor management practices he’s displayed so far this year.

However, one brand did make headlines last night by becoming the first to drop its sponsorship: Radisson Resorts will (temporarily) suspend its relationship with the Minnesota Vikings. This move almost reminds us of the team’s decision to (temporarily) suspended running back Adrian Peterson himself when he was charged with abusing his son: the suspension lasted one game, and the team will allow him to continue playing while under indictment.

To answer the second part of our headline, then, the answer is almost certainly “no.”

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Urban Outfitters Semi-Apologizes for Kent State Sweatshirt with Blood-Red Stains

The latest installment of the “Urban Outfitters hocks yet another terribly-offensive clothing item” saga centers around this Kent State shirt, complete with what looks rather unmistakeably like blood stains. enhanced-16199-1410759430-11

What was listed as a $129 “vintage” shirt struck most people who saw it as a tasteless, insensitive reminder of the Kent State Massacre that left four people dead in 1970. As the image swirled around the internet and outrage mounted, even Kent State itself made its disgust known, saying in a statement:

“We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit…This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.We invite the leaders of this company as well as anyone who invested in this item to tour our May 4 Visitors Center, which opened two years ago, to gain perspective on what happened 44 years ago and apply its meaning to the future.”

In response to the flood of complaints, Urban Outfitters issued a semi-apology for the product on Monday morning, saying “We deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively.”

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The Ticker: Agents Chasing YouTube Stars; Tim Cook Holds Firm; Clients on Native Ads; And More

Talk About Product Tie-In! Indie Film Using Medical Marijuana for Promotional Purposes

 

The upcoming indie film Tusk has partnered with a dispensary called Buds & Roses and a company called Kushman Veganics on two strains of medical marijuana — White Walrus and Mr. Tusk — that will also be a promotional vehicle for the film.

The movie is about a man who’s slowly turning into a walrus, stars Justin Long and is written and directed by Kevin Smith, who’s known for taking a liking to the wacky tabacky from his previous work, such as Clerks.

“This is right at the intersection of art and stoner culture,” Graham Retzik, a marketing strategist with the film company A24 told The New York TimesIndeed.

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STUDY: Media Coverage Has Little Influence on Consumers’ Travel Decisions

If only I'd read this BEFORE I bought tickets

Here’s an interesting, somewhat contradictory finding from our friends at travel blog Skift.

Turns out that media coverage of a given destination wields little, if any, influence when it comes to determining where consumers will take their next vacations.

If true, this finding might require some travel/leisure-focused firms to adjust their strategies…

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Miss America Organizers Really Want You To Know They’re All About Educating Women

Last night, we crowned a brand new Miss America — Miss New York Kira Kazantsev. This marks the third time in a row that New York has taken the crown. Her talent was singing a version of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” while tapping cups on the floor, and during that performance an on-screen pop-up touted her love of “anything Jane Austin.”

Meanwhile, Miss Ohio moved her lips while singing a duet of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” with a ventriloquist’s dummy. And we learned Miss Virginia is “terrified of frogs.”

All of this is news in and of itself (sort of). But judging by the emphasis placed by the Miss America pageant organizers, the college scholarships that are awarded is really what they want all the chatter to focus on. I guess we were all distracted by the bathing suit portion of the competition.

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