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Posts Tagged ‘Al Gore’

Al Gore Taps Agency Behind ‘Truth’ Campaign to Spread Awareness About Climate Change

Anyone who picked up a magazine or watched TV in the early 2000′s probably remembers the shocking images and hard-to-swallow facts of the anti-smoking ‘Truth‘ campaign. Ad spots like the ominously (and appropriately) titled “Body Bags” delivered statistics about the dangers of smoking without an ounce of sugar coating–and with a healthy dose of shock value. Even if you didn’t want to hear it, you were compelled to pay attention (especially when your loving daughter cut out the magazine ads and stuck them to your steering wheel…you’re welcome, Mom!).

Now, champion of all things green and climate-related Al Gore is hoping to elicit the same can’t-look-away public reaction when it comes to not-so-pretty facts about global warming. Gore’s Climate Reality Project has hired Arnold Worldwide, one of the agencies behind “Truth,” to raise awareness about the dangers of climate change and challenge the “fake science” and half-truths being circulated.

Arnold has answered the call to action by creating a website/social media tool called “Reality Drop,” which finds climate news from all over the Web and compares it with the most relevant science. Articles displayed in red are said to contain myths and denier-science, while those displayed in green contain evidence that climate change is an undeniable scientific fact. Visitors to the site are encouraged to share the green articles on Facebook and Twitter, and also to “drop some reality” on the red articles by posting comments containing copy-and-pasted scientific facts provided on the Reality Drop website.

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Are PR Reps All Liars?

“To lie about an issue is to be a politician. To lie about a corporation is to be a public relation[s] executive.”

That’s the money quote from Reuters journalist Jack Shafer’s piece “Why We Vote for Liars”—and it’s been making its way around the worlds of PR and journalism this week. A little incendiary, no?

Our first instinct is to defend the PR business against Shafer’s generalizations, though his quote does play back into one of this week’s most contentious questions: Whether the growth of the PR biz—and the corresponding decline of objective journalism—truly “threatens democracy”. If everyone who speaks to the public is a publicist or a politician, then who will check their facts and call them out on their lies? The mere promise of honesty is not very reassuring.

Shafer points to the growing importance of fact-checkers in a polarized political media landscape, writing that “If either presidential candidate met you, he’d tell you a lie within 15 seconds of shaking your hand, and if he knew he were going to meet your mother, he’d invent a special set of lies for her.”

Why do they lie? Because the political market places very little value on honesty, no matter how much we citizens express our desire for a more noble brand of politics. This is nothing new.

And, of course, we deal with many degrees of untruth in politics, from the tiny insignificant lie to the blatant misrepresentation to the bizarre and unnecessary fib told to create a false sense of camaraderie. There are even lies about lies—Al Gore, for example, never actually claimed to have “invented the Internet”, but everyone’s familiar with the anecdote anyway.

OK, point taken about politics, Mr. Shafer. But why does that sentence treat the general dishonesty of PR execs as a given?

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What Will ‘The Future of Storytelling’ Look Like?

Charlie Melcher has been upending traditions and expectations in the publishing industry for more than 25 years. He first broke onto the scene in a big way with Madonna’s notorious “SEX” book, and his company Melcher Media published a string of successful titles ranging from Eminem’s autobiography to Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” before Melcher was forced “out of [his] comfort zone” in 2009 by a market that continues to push the industry in a digital direction.

Melcher Media’s first significant digital project was creating an app tie-in to Gore’s most recent book, “Our Choice”. After the app ruled the iTunes store for a few weeks and received both a David Pogue write up in The New York Times and a design award from Apple, Melcher became more fully invested in the idea of “reinventing the book for the digital age” and turning traditional narratives into multi-media experiences.

Melcher has some big ideas about the future that extend well beyond the world of traditional publishing and into the basic practice of storytelling, or the human desire to share and re-share personal narratives that touch us, move us, and even infuriate us. This Friday, October 5th in New York’s Snug Harbor, Melcher Media will host a one-day summit titled “The Future of Storytelling” to begin the complex task of turning those ideas into reality—and you’re invited.

This won’t be your conventional media gathering;

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Al Gore’s ‘Climate Reality Project’ To Host 24-Hour Broadcast Event

The Glover Park Group, working with “retired” advertising super star Alex Bogusky, is launching two short ads for the Climate Reality Project, former Vice President Al Gore’s crusade against climate change. The Project will kick off “24 Hours of Reality” on September 14, a round-the-clock online broadcast event that will show the impact of climate change across 24 time zones. It’ll air once every hour in 13 languages.

The ads are called “The Fat Lady Sings” and “The Denial Has Hit the Fan,” and they show an overweight opera singer, and something brown hitting a fan, respectively.

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High Praise for Obama Speech

Photo: David Becker, Getty Images

President Obama‘s speech last night at the memorial service for the victims of the Tucson shooting has been widely praised across the media and political spectrum. The New York Times’ Michael Shear has a wrap-up, and follows with his own column, comparing the speech with Sarah Palin’s video, posted early yesterday morning.

“But what could not have been more different was the tone. Where Ms. Palin was direct and forceful, Mr. Obama was soft and restrained. Where Ms. Palin was accusatory, Mr. Obama appeared to go out of his way to avoid pointing fingers or assigning blame. Where she stressed the importance of fighting for our different beliefs, he emphasized our need for unity, referring to the ‘American family — 300 million strong.’”

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Al Gore’s Repower America Takes on BP’s PR Spending

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Repower America, a project of Al Gore‘s Alliance for Climate Protection, is telling BP to stop spending money on PR. The organization is currently promoting an online petition, which states:

While millions of gallons of oil spew into the Gulf each day, BP is spending millions of dollars in a massive public relations effort to deflect blame and distract from the real story.

BP needs to stop using its big oil fortune on TV ads and lobbyists. It’s time for real responsibility — and real progress solving this disaster.

Tell BP to get its priorities straight and spend its money restoring the environment, not restoring its bottom line.

[h/t @kmccau]

RELATED: Survey: BP’s Consumer Perception Sinks Below Goldman Sachs

Longtime PR and Lobbying Exec. Ed Gillespie Among Leaders of New GOP “Network”

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The Republican party is in the midst of building a “massive fundraising, organizing and advertising machine based on the model assembled by Democrats early in the decade, and with the same ambitious goal – to recapture Congress and the White House,” Politico reports.

One of the leaders of the network is Ed Gillespie, who has held numerous communications roles for the GOP, including senior communications advisor for the presidential campaign of George W. Bush, and Director of Communications and Congressional Affairs for the Republican National Committee.

Gillespie left Quinn, Gillespie & Associates, the lobbying and PR firm he co-founded with Jack Quinn, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Al Gore, in 2007 to join the Bush administration full time, where he was involved with communications strategy.

“Where they [Democrats] have a chess piece on the board, we need a chess piece on the board,” Gillespie told Politico, as to the group’s motivations.

Asked about the new network, Gillespie directed us to Jim Dyke, founder of strategic communications firm Jim Dyke & Associates, who said, “The group or network is actually inaccurate. These are separate organizations that have a variety of missions and each will have its own PR or communications strategy.”

However, there are common goals between the organizations. “Understanding and utilizing new media, paid media and traditional media in concert to inform, motivate and activate voters on behalf of Republican candidates is critical to our success,” said Dyke.

Dyke has held communications roles with the Republican National Committee, the Rudy Giuliani Presidential campaign, President George W. Bush and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

Gillespie is involved in all five groups that make up the network: The Republican State Leadership Committee, Resurgent Republic, American Action Forum, American Action Network and American Crossroads.

Former AOL PR Exec Matthew Frankel Joins Current Media

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Matthew Frankel, formerly Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications at AOL, has joined Current Media, the content company founded by former Vice President Al Gore.

He will hold the same title as he did at AOL, Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications. Frankel will serve as the company’s chief spokesperson and will report directly to CEO Mark Rosenthal.

Frankel’s career also includes a stint with Rainbow Media, the cable programming subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation, where he was Vice President for Corporate Communications for seven years. He also served at The Weinstein Company as Chief Communications Officer and Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs.

Needless to say, he will be busy in his new role. Current Media Chairman Al Gore said at a recent media conference that executives are planning a new iteration of the company, “that we call Crowdsourced TV.”

Will BP’s Brand Ever Recover After Gulf Coast Spill?

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One can’t help but be at least somewhat amused by the contradictory statements following any major crisis, the latest of which being the massive Gulf Coast oil spill at the hands of British Petroleum (BP).

In The Daily Beast, crisis communications expert Eric Dezenhall states in a piece titled, “BP’s Image Will Recover, “…over the long haul, good companies like BP do recover once they find the right balance between good business sense, fundamental decency, and the merits-and pitfalls-of public relations.”

Not so fast, says Rob Anderson, Managing Director at Fenton Communications, the agency that handled Al Gore‘s “An Inconvenient Truth” and many other environmental campaigns over the years.

“It will be impossible for BP to recover from its missteps in the days following this crisis when they mislead the public about the severity of the spill. It has been 10 years since BP rebranded themseves into Beyond Petroleum. It was a promise way ahead of reality and consumers will hold them to a higher standard,” Anderson told PRNewser this morning.

As always, we’re curious to hear your thoughts. Leave them in the comments.

[image via Nasa Earth Observatory]

Toyota Adds To PR Agency Roster in D.C.

Toyota has added two D.C.-based PR agencies to its roster of consultants as the company manages through a massive product recall, PRWeek reports.

Glover Park Group and Quinn Gillespie & Associates were hired by the car-maker. The agencies will work alongside existing Toyota agencies Powell Tate and Golin Harris.

Both Glover Park and Quinn Gillespie are high-powered and well-connected D.C. firms. Glover Park recently employed former Hillary Clinton 2008 presidential campaign communications director Howard Wolfson, before he left to take a full time role with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s administration.

Quin Gillespie is run by Jack Quinn, former White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton and Chief of Staff to Vice President Al Gore. Ed Gillespie left the firm in 2007 to serve as counselor to President George W. Bush and has since worked on various Republic campaigns.

UPDATE: Jack Quinn tells PRNewser via email, “Yes, we are retained by Toyota. We were hired to provide general representation, but, at the moment, we are assisting on issues regarding the recall matters.” The agency is acting as high-level general counsel and in a government relations capacity – not media relations.

RELATED: FishbowlDC Co-Editor Matt Dornic Joins Quinn Gillespie & Associates

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