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What Would Bill Do? Media Coach Bill McGowan Takes on the News

Interview-poster

In the latest edition of our series with Clarity Media Group founder and media coach Bill McGowan, Bill takes on the biggest story of the moment…and a couple more.

A December to Forget

And you thought the racially offensive emails among Sony executives was bad (and it was!).  Now we find out that in addition to being insensitive and snarky, they’re cowards too.

The studio’s decision to cave in to terrorists by scrapping The Interview is a catastrophe that will leave a stain on their brand for many years.

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FCC Says ‘Redskin’ Is Not Profane

FCC redskins

Daniel Snyder? Paging Daniel Snyder? We have the FCC on line one serenading you with their contemporary take on “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

For a while there has been a movement by Native Americans to tell the NFL that they are people … not mascots.

They have made commercials that would make Iron Eyes Cody from the old pollution days stop his sad face and open a can of whoop @$$ in the heart of Washington D.C. They have picketed the team. There have been surveys. We’ve heard radio ads for the kiddos. The team even hired a big PR firm for counsel.

The point, of course, is that lots of people think the name is racist…and the FCC would like to tell all of those people that they’re wrong.

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People Don’t RSVP Anymore. Here Are Tips To Keep Events Running Smoothly

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

For anyone planning an event, the RSVP list are the most important sheets of paper (if you’re still using paper) in the whole building on the day of. Unfortunately, more and more people aren’t responding with a yay or nay for their attendance.

According to Lizzie Post, a spokeswoman for the Emily Post Institute and the great-great-granddaughter of the woman who wrote the book on etiquette, Emily Post, the speed of the latest technology is to blame.

“We want to be able to decide that morning if we want to go that night—we have forgotten how to simply commit,” she told the Wall Street Journal.

In all cases, the non-response is rude. But at least when it’s a cocktail party that might be marginally acceptable. Everyone is standing, schmoozing, having one or two drinks. It’s a little easier to plan in terms of refreshments and swag bags. There’s a margin of error.

When you’re talking about a sit down dinner, it’s terrible.

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Roll Call: Ketchum, MMG, Allison+Partners and More

Ketchum named Bill McIntyre director of its Washington, D.C., office. An award-winning communications professional, McIntyre brings more than 25 years of experience in communications to the role, including work in journalism, association communications and agency public relations, where he built his reputation as an innovator in advocacy strategies, crisis communications and integrated digital engagement.

McIntyre most recently served as executive vice president and group head for the Washington, D.C., office of Edelman. He led digital and traditional public affairs, grassroots and consumer marketing programs on behalf of leading companies and associations in the U.S., Canada and European Union, growing revenue and staff along the way. In addition, he is an adjunct professor in Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies, where he teaches graduate-level courses that focus on digital and traditional communications. Prior to joining Edelman, McIntyre served in leadership positions and, ultimately, as CEO of Grassroots Enterprise, Inc., a high-tech communications firm that specialized in bipartisan grassroots communications support for causes, products and companies. (Release)

MMG, part of Ketchum,  announced the appointment of Helen West as president, effective Jan. 1. She succeeds John Benbrook, who is departing MMG to become CEO of a Pennsylvania-based publishing company. West, whose most recent role was vice president of strategic development, is a pharmaceutical industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience in clinical research. West joined MMG in 2005 as general medicine therapeutic lead, developing and executing global patient recruitment and retention programs across indications and patient populations. In her most recent role leading strategic development, she continued to contribute to the development of recruitment strategies, but also has been driving strategic development for the company, including innovations, partnerships, and initiatives that move MMG forward. West also has held leadership roles at MMG in operational management, business development, marketing, and site support and field recruitment. (Release)

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Prudential Comms Chief Steps Down After 20+ Years

bobby dToday in End of An Era news, Bob DeFillippo, chief communications officer with Prudential Financial, is retiring after more than 21 years with the company.

The company’s press release has a lot to say about the career of DeFillippo, a true industry veteran who teaches at NYU and currently serves on the boards of both the PRSA and the Arthur W. Page Society (where he’s a treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee). In short, he is one of the few remaining members of the Old School.

From Vice Chairman Mark Grier:

“Bob has led the company’s internal and external communications during some of the most significant events in the company’s history, including its demutualization, the financial crisis and the company’s expansion into key international markets.”

The most interesting part about the announcement, though, is that Prudential will not (technically) replace DeFillippo.

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The Ticker: Year’s Best Stunts; Year’s Best Pics; Hollywood Unravels; And More

Spin the Agencies of Record

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Journalists Recommend Getting More Strategic with Event Invites

Tony Romm covers tech for Politico, so of course he would get multiple invites to the Consumer Electronics Show Las Vegas, or “the Global Stage for Innovation.

It’s not just him, though: we’ve received several invites ourselves from PRs repping ad agencies and ad tech companies; we even got one from straight from Time, Inc. CES is a big conference that’s been around since 1967, and the fact that it’s not open to the public makes it a prime stage for showing off the work of clients even if they have little or nothing to do with larger trends in technology.

That said, the lead-up to this year’s event has also seen some grumbling from writers receiving a deluge of form pitches. Friend of the site Ed Zitron got a bit of attention earlier this week for collecting all related emails and trolling the hell out of the PR professionals who sent them.

We definitely wouldn’t go that far; we have enough people angry at us on any given day. But we do feel like the event could be a great opportunity to stress the value of strategic targeting. We asked Alan Henry, tech blogger for Gawker property Lifehacker, for his take.

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More Influencers Hyping Big Studio Films on Social Media

Unlike The Interview, most movies don’t have cyber-threats and worldwide outrage to increase public interest.

For that reason (in addition to general shifts in the market), more major studios are turning to a newfound PR tool to raise awareness of their coming titles: social media influencers.

disney influencers

Above, for example, is a promo for the Disney film Big Hero 6 – which opens today in Italy — sent from Italian fashionista Veronica Ferraro to her 158,000 followers on Instagram and her 25,000 followers on Twitter. Her blog The Fashion Fruit has nearly two million likes on Facebook; that’s a lot of influence.

For more on that, we asked three experts for their takes on the influencers-promoting-movies trend.

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Harriette Cole Explains Why She Considers Alicia Keys Her ‘Best Student’

Harriette-Cole-ArticleThe business that media coach Harriette Cole literally dreamed up while working as fashion director at Essence has as its clients a roster of R&B royalty like Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys and Erykah Badu, whom Cole has taught to show up in the best possible way in front of the press.

Cole calls Keys her best student because “she wanted it so bad.” That’s not the only criteria Cole cites as what makes for a promising client:

I’m working with people to modify their behavior or their communication. If you have a behavior that’s not serving you, it’s very tough to stop. For example, many people clutter their language with words like ‘Um,’ ‘like’ and ‘You know what I mean?’ Smart people with big jobs. It’s equal opportunity in our colloquial way of communicating. The best kind of client is somebody who’s willing to say, ‘OK, I see what you mean. Now what are the tools I can use to make the change?’

But before she was training others, Cole had to first train herself. Read more

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