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Posts Tagged ‘advocacy’

Detroit’s Gamble Could Be the PR Move Motor City Needs

motor city casino

Is this Detroit’s final bet for a fixed city?

Back in December, we brought you a story concerning the dire need for PR in Detroit. A plea to the public may be the only thing to rescue this once thriving epicenter of commerce and really fine music.

The government has failed it. The auto industry has failed it. And now the folks of Detroit are $18 million in debt with only one ironic source of hope — gambling.

According to the Wall Street JournalDetroit’s three casinos pull in some nice coin, which is what was offered as collateral in the 2009 negotiations with some big banks to secure lower interest rates on its excruciating debt. And that forces us to re-ask the same question: where is the PR?

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Can Bullying Be Funny?

nerds today bosses tomorrow

Because this is hilarious, right?

Strange question to ask, I know, but thanks to a recent PSA produced by VH1 (yes, that VH1), it is a question many advocates are forced to consider. There is no debate on one salient point — bullying is absolutely no laughing matter. However, VH1 is trying to add a few humor points to the subject to show what could eventually happen to these kids and the dolts who bully them.

An anti-bullying ad with the theme ‘nerds today, bosses tomorrow’ has gone viral, but it definitely has created its detractors — as in, most of America that has seen it. Here’s why:

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Bad PR: Cancer Charity Cancels Speech by Anti-Vaccine Activist Jenny McCarthy

Oprah and Jenny McCarthy

We don’t care what anyone says–for charities, all publicity is definitely not good publicity.

We have no idea why a Canadian cancer charity organization called the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation decided to hire former actress/semi-nude model/Jim Carrey flame Jenny McCarthy as a featured speaker at a breast cancer fundraising event scheduled for March 2. McCarthy is currently best known for speaking out against childhood vaccines, claiming that they gave her son autism and that they contain potentially lethal toxins (while proudly speaking about her own experiences with Botox). We would get into the science behind this insanity, but the point is: Jenny McCarthy is a controversial figure.

Our feelings regarding the anti-vaccine crowd are similar to our feelings about those opposed to circumcision: we understand where they’re coming from, but we don’t quite get it. Everyone’s entitled to his or her own opinion, of course, but these positions seem less than rational.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Foundation received a lot of backlash when the news of McCarthy’s appearance went public, but the group’s president says that she “didn’t expect” such a response and was surprised to find that the buzz surrounding the event was “about anything but cancer.”

We wonder why…

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PR Fail: Cheerios GMO Backlash Goes Social

Cheerios Facebook Cheerios recently tried to make the most of social media as a PR tool by doing what everyone else was already doing: designing Facebook apps to encourage its hundreds of thousands of fans to interact with the brand.

Unfortunately, that plan blew up in the face of parent company General Mills. Cheerios attempted to gain the invisible, invaluable thing we call “brand loyalty” by presenting fans with an app that allowed them to write about “what Cheerios means to me” in the cereal’s trademark font. But the brand’s social team quickly discovered that many Facebook users don’t approve of General Mills’s relationship with genetically modified foods—or its political advocacy on the subject.

The activists’ quick storming of the forum forced Cheerios to kill the app after just one day. Click through for the backstory.

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‘Boardwalk Empire’ Fan to HBO: Help Rebuild Atlantic City!

Fans of the well-dressed HBO drama “Boardwalk Empire” and its most important supporting actor, Atlantic City, may be upset by these striking photos of an iconic Jersey strip all but destroyed by yesterday’s storm (more footage here).

One particular viewer wants to see Atlantic City restored to its previous glory—and she’s decided to do something about it. Philadelphia resident (and presumed fan of conflicted gangsters) Hannah Sassaman launched a petition on Change.org last night “while watching ‘Boardwalk Empire’ as Hurricane Sandy moved past her own home.”

Sassaman’s plan: use crowdsourcing to convince the show’s cast and crew, as well as HBO higher-ups, to get involved in the recovery effort. There’s no doubt that Atlantic City will require millions of dollars to repair the damage done last night, and big names can certainly bring more attention to related fundraising drives; Sassaman says her effort was partly inspired by the surge in public advocacy that followed the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Her letter, addressed to the show’s “producers, cast and crew”, reads:

“HBO has won huge acclaim and made millions with its captivating story about how Prohibition changed countless lives. With the horrible damage that Frankenstorm Sandy wreaked on the city’s businesses and homes, HBO can use its powerful media platform to raise money and support local, state, and federal relief efforts.

Please use the high profile of Boardwalk Empire’s writers, producers, and stars to raise money for Atlantic City at a time when it needs it so much.”

What do we think? Will Sassaman’s efforts help raise money for Atlantic City? And can the strip be rebuilt? We’d like to be optimistic: If HBO can build such a period-appropriate model of the boardwalk, then surely the city can, with time, return to its former glory (tackiness aside).

Final note: In case you need a little cheering up, here’s an Instagram’ed rainbow over Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. We never thought we’d write this, but thank you, Al Roker.