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Kelly Cutrone Shutters L.A. Office

Kelly CutroneToday brings news that Kelly Cutrone, fashion/reality TV PR Star, author and America’s Next Top Model judge, has closed the Los Angeles office of her firm People’s Revolution, which the general public got to know via long-running dramatic masterpiece The Hills. The firm’s New York offices are, of course, still going strong.

Cutrone’s note to her press contacts (which sadly do not include us):

“In 1996 I opened People’s Revolution in Los Angeles, California. Over the last 18 years People’s has had quite a run! LA was our birthplace. With all of the changes in technology and our main focus in New York, I have decided not to renew our lease on 7005 Melrose. We are very interested in renting a house with a swimming pool as a possible option going forward so please do let us know if you know of anything.”

This news also recalls the heady days of 2010, when Bravo and MTV seemed determined to create a reality show centered around a PR firm. They did not succeed, though we do now have at least one PR sitcom to look forward to (or not).

Click through for a Throwback Thursday clip in which Cutrone tells our own co-founder Joe Ciarallo about how those who want to do fashion PR “have to be willing to pay their dues.

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Journalism Groups to President Obama: ‘Let Us Do Our Jobs!’

obamawatching

Led by the Society of Professional Journalists, 38 of the most prominent journalism groups in the country made a legitimate and official gripe about the Obama Administration. Ironically, the gripe was about news–or the lack thereof.

They called it “politically driven suppression of the news.”

The report was authored by Leonard Downie, Jr., formerly the executive editor of the Washington Post, and titled ”The Obama Administration and the Press.”  It accuses the president of coming into office with the promise of transparency but asserts that he has “fallen short of his promise.”

The report also compares Obama to Nixon and the Watergate scandal. Yes, that really happened.

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The Ticker: Most-Followed Journalists; Katie Rosman to NYT; Google Euro Startup Fund; And More

PR vs. Advertising: Still the Same Competition?

shutterstock_166919984Forbes just published a piece discussing, in some detail, “the real difference between PR and advertising.”

This realness in difference begins with an old saying: “Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.” Or, boiled down even further, advertising is paid media, public relations is earned media.

A simple maxim from a simpler time. But does it hold up today?

Author Robert Wynne believes that it does. Not only is PR still different from advertising — it’s still better.

“With advertising, you tell people how great you are. With publicity, others sing your praises. Which do you think is more effective?” asks Wynne.

The unspoken answer is supported by a 2014 Nielsen study on the role of content in the consumer decision-making process, which concluded that PR is almost 90% more effective than advertising: “On average, expert content lifted familiarity 88 percent more than branded content…”

Expert sources also agree.

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Target Is Using Philanthropy to Make Back-To-School Better Than the Holiday Season

targetThe holiday shopping season certainly wasn’t good to Target. Perhaps a little too eager to put that in the past, the retailer is already focusing on the back-to-school season. Not even a week after the 4th of July.

To get its mojo back post-data breach, Target is launching a campaign focused on social responsibility — Buy One, Give One — that will give one of Target’s brand of up & up school supply items to a student in need for every purchase made between July 13 and August 2. Items like crayons and paper will be included, more than 300 products in total. The goal is to donate $25 million worth of things to Kids in Need.

“If we reach that goal, this will be the largest cause campaign donation Target has ever made to a single organization; an important milestone on our way to giving $1 billion for education by the end of 2015,” reads the press release about the program.

This is great. The company points out that parents are spending an average of $600 on back-to-school shopping each year, a steep price for many people. But it doesn’t really address the whole data-breach, digital-security thing. Read more

America Officially Hates Sarah Palin

palin_mouthSurveys are fun because they offer insights into America’s red, white, and blue soul. This is especially true when the surveys are about divisive things like politics, healthcare, or Donald Trump’s fabled “Trump Toupee.”

Take Sarah Palin.

See there? The name alone makes hairs stand up, stomachs turn and glasses go foggy. So why is she in the news … again? A survey.

While it’s not like Sarah Palin is on a media hiatus or anything, she’s not as visible as she would like. And thanks to this NBC News/WSJ poll, we know she is still more vocal than anyone would like.

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STUDY: How Effective Is Sponsored Content? Not Very!

CONTENT!!

Probably not a sponsored story

Every agency with its head on straight began creating or facilitating the creation of content some time ago, and quite a few brands and publications have followed suit. Today The Washington Post added a former PR/journalist to its roster to manage a growing content production house.

Yet few can agree on what a successful piece of sponsored content looks like or on best practices for enhancing and measuring its effectiveness.

Expect the debate to continue with the help of some challenging research.

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Marc Jacobs Chooses ‘Real People’ from Instagram for His Latest Campaign

marc jacobs real peopleAnother brand is doing the whole “real models” thing, and this time it’s going high-end.

Marc Jacobs put out a call in April for fans and models to submit their names via Instagram to be considered for the upcoming campaign. According to The Daily Beast, 70,000 people responded and a new hashtag, #CastMeMarc, was born. After some deliberation, nine people were chosen to appear in the Fall/Winter 2014 campaign, which will make its debut in Teen Vogue.

Jacobs says he was looking to tap into “youth and energy” by going the social media route. The Beast has another take: “It was a well-played PR stunt; Jacobs accumulated plenty of free press for—let’s be honest—finding pretty people on the Internet.

“And the media ate it up, praising the campaign’s diversity and selection of ‘real people’ (apparently paid models aren’t actually human). It’s unclear whether these very real and authentic people are being paid as much (if at all) as previous faces of Marc by Marc campaigns—which includes unreal people like M.I.A. and Dakota Fanning—though we can assume that they are being compensated mostly in flattery and social cache,” the article continues.

So lots of different kinds of free publicity here. But we’re going to fall back on our previous question: How much more of this “real people” stuff will people go for?

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PR Jobs: Livingly Media, Swimsuitsforall, Macmillan Science & Education

This week, Livingly Media is hiring a marketing manager, while Swimsuitsforall needs a director of public relations and strategic marketing. Macmillan Science & Education is seeking a communications manager, and Black Frame is on the hunt for a senior fashion PR manager. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

livingly130

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.

Sears, Walmart Apologize for Selling Nazi Poster (No Comment from Amazon)

walmart

Today we learned that three of the country’s largest online retailers do not effectively screen the products they offer for evidence of Nazism.

On Monday, Digiday reported on the news (first broken by Heeb last week) that Walmart‘s online store offered shoppers a poster featuring an image of the gate at Dachau concentration camp, which was the very first opened by the German government to hold political prisoners in 1933 (and at which tens of thousands of innocent people died). The fact that the saying on the gate reads “work makes you free” is especially perverse.

Further searches revealed that Amazon and Sears also featured the item online. Their excuse? The dreaded “third party vendor.”

Let’s compare their statements.

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