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Posts Tagged ‘Anthony Weiner’

Top 7 ‘PR Case Study’ Names We Never Want to Hear in 2014

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You may have missed it (lucky you), but lots of PR-ready news stories went down this year. Some were ridiculous, some were inspiring, some were cringe-worthy “teaching moments” and some were held up as “let’s figure out how this person got so successful so we can quantify it” case studies. We posted on every one of them at some point, and for that we offer our profoundest apologies—but they were trending at the time, and this is how the blog game works.

Here’s the point: after performing some in-depth research, we decided that 2013 gave us more than enough news and analysis regarding these seven people, and we’d prefer to hear absolutely nothing about them in 2014. In fact, we think we can distill the “lessons” learned from each case into a single sentence.

Click through for what we hope will be one last glimpse at those who have (almost) nothing to teach the rest of us.

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Media Relations 101: Don’t Call Anyone ‘Racist’

Tomorrow marks the party primaries in New York City’s mayoral race. You can be forgiven for not caring if you don’t live in the Big Apple (and even if you do!), because Anthony Weiner‘s epic, face-first fall from grace seems to be the only thing anyone’s talking about.

Until now, that is.

Over the weekend current Mayor Michael Bloomberg—lover of bikes and hater of soda—made a classic media relations error by letting his outspoken character get the best of him. In an otherwise  solid interview with Chris Smith of New York magazine, Mike accused his least favorite mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio of running a “class-warfare and racist” campaign.

The word would be inflammatory enough on its own, but de Blasio is a white man married to a black woman with two bi-racial children who have been very visible throughout his campaign.

This story illustrates a very simple media relations no-no for figures who rely on the public’s approval: never call anyone a racist.

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Don’t Do What the Anthony Weiner Campaign (Supposedly) Did

We’re not saying that the New York Post‘s report on Anthony Weiner‘s mayoral campaign reaching out to “publicity firm” Crowds on Demand to hire fake supporters for a rally is totally accurate.

We can’t confirm that his surrogates wanted Z-list actors to act “like either supporters or people who met him and became supporters as a result of that encounter”. It’s like, who’s to say with anonymous sources, right?

On the other hand, we have no doubt that Weiner needs credibility very badly right now and that he would love nothing more than to follow the company’s tagline and “Live Like an A-Lister”. Also: we don’t know a single person in the greater New York metropolitan area who would willingly attend one of his rallies or volunteer to speak on one of his campaign commercials—and we know a fair amount of people despite the fact that our mom is always telling us that we should get out more and make new friends. Some stories are just imminently believable, aren’t they?

Crowds on Demand responded to the news with “no comment”, which we take to mean “much high-fiving and fist pumping” because no one in the world had ever heard of them before today. (We kid, we kid.)

*Photo via Doug Meszler/Splash News

We’re Surprised It Took This Long: Anthony Weiner-Inspired Carlos Danger Brand Hot Dogs Hit The Market

This tailgate party set is on sale for $79.95.

Someone finally went and done did it. Carlos Danger Weiners are being sold online. Randall Richards, CEO of a company called Web Dominators LLC and an Illinois company, Thrushwood Farms Quality Meats, have come together on this one. And besides the hot dogs themselves, there’s a social media contest for the “best disguise” while eating one of the dogs, along with the funniest caption.

“Our dogs are seriously good (no kidding) so share the Carlos Danger Weiners with all your friends,” the site reads. “Or, you can take a picture of yourself with your Carlos Danger Weiner and send it out to your friends, or even people you don’t know at all!… It’s also the perfect gift for a loved one, that special co worker (wink), or turning heads whenever you choose.”

Also, there are “Weiner girls” to host the parties as well. Groan, yuck and yikes. Seriously, every silly and suggestive image or phrase that can be coupled with this product is being used to push it. And why not? The shelf life is only until Weiner loses the election.

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Learn Some New Curse Words! Anthony Weiner’s Comms Director Loses It Over Former Intern’s Tell-All

Because nothing about Anthony Weiner’s campaign for mayor is sane, of course his communications director went on a profanity-laced tirade with a Talking Points Memo reporter about a former intern.

ICYMI, here’s a link to that story, in which the comms director Barbara Morgan completely loses it over a New York Daily News tell-all cover story written by a college student and former intern for the campaign, Olivia Nuzzi. According to the Nuzzi, a number of people joined Weiner’s campaign to get closer to his wife Huma Abedin and, by extension, Hillary Rodham Clinton. And she goes on to say that Weiner had trouble getting high-level people to work on his campaign. She dismisses comms director Morgan’s prior experience, saying she “last worked as the press secretary for the New Jersey state education commissioner.”

She adds, “There were a lot of short résumés around the office.”

On the NSFWCORP blog, Nuzzi also says that Weiner’s campaign manager Jeremy Kedem resigned because Weiner wasn’t honest about the “timing” of his sexting scandal.

“It’s all bullshit,” Morgan tells TPM. “I mean, it’s such bullsh*t. She could f**king — f**king tw*t.” Oh.

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Syfy’s Sharknado: The Perfect Storm on All PR Fronts

This week the Syfy Channel aired its much-hyped, campy B-rate movie Sharknado, which triggered a social media feeding frenzy that included 318,000 tweets on Twitter (for a laugh check out #sharknado).

As PR professionals we’re intrigued by anything that garners the public’s interest on this level. The obvious appeal of Sharknado is the creative genius behind the idea of combining one of the most feared creatures on earth with one of its most devastating natural disasters. It’s stoner level brilliance mixed with meteorological whim and a touch of Jacques Cousteau. The concept is simply hilarious.

It’s been a rough several years for the public. The deep recession, two costly wars, political infighting, international upheaval, strained race relations, and a general WTF? vibe have taken a toll on the American public. We’re tired of being serious. We’re worn out. We need a break. As all PR experts know, timing in this industry is everything, and the timing for Sharknado could not have been better. Flying sharks attacking Los Angeles as Tara Reid and Ian Ziering defend the human race?

Yes please. Read more

Scandal Is A Bad Thing Right? So How Are Politicians Able To Come Back So Often These Days?

Eliot Spitzer, who seemed silenced by a prostitution scandal and the end of shows on both CNN and Current TV, is barking again. This time he’s talking about a run for New York City Comptroller, a far cry from his days as governor of New York State, but still. He’s asking people to cast their vote of confidence in someone who had to give up office in shame and disgrace.

Of course, he first has to get 3,750 signatures by Thursday just to get on the ballot. “The public is forgiving. Whether that forgiveness extends to me is a separate question. I will ask for it. I will say to the public: Look what I’ve done in the intervening five years. Look what my record was as attorney general and governor,” he said during one of many interviews he gave today (five before noon, by the New York Daily News’ count). Despite some heckling, some say the campaign launch has been a successful one.

No doubt, he’s taking cues from Mark Sanford, who won a Congressional seat in South Carolina earlier this year after getting caught leaving his post to spend time with his then-mistress in Argentina. And, closer to home, he could be looking to Anthony Weiner, who’s now leading the pack of mayoral candidates in New York City alongside Christine Quinn. The Daily Beast also calls out President Bill Clinton, who overcame more scandal than a group of people have in a lifetime and maintains incredible popularity among Democrats into his post-presidency.

So how is it possible that politicians can thwart scandal with relative ease? Are the suits made out of Teflon? Are they wearing Wonder Woman Bracelets of Victory underneath those cuff-linked Brooks Brothers shirts? Do they have one of those crazy gizmos that Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones use in the Men in Black movies to make people forget everything? We’re going to propose that politicians have the benefit of distance and low expectations.

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Anthony Weiner Promises to Keep It in His Pants This Time

Oh my. Disgraced former Representative Anthony “I did not send pictures of my crotch to those women” Weiner has wormed his way into the headlines again this week with talk of a comeback, a return to the public spotlight or a “political rebranding”, if you will. In case you forgot or didn’t pay attention in the first place (lucky you), we have Weiner to thank for some of the best/worst puns in recent memory:

The big reveal is a TL;DR profile in this coming weekend’s New York Times magazine in which Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin review the painful details of the fallout and his plans for a new beginning in which he will rise from the ashes like a triumphant phoenix in boxer-briefs. It seems that Weiner entertains fantasies of running for mayor of New York City next year along with everyone else who lives in the greater metropolitan area.

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7 Tips for Your Next Big Apology Tour

Last week brought news of disgraced general/CIA chief and potential presidential candidate David Petraeus‘s first post-scandal appearance. Petraeus used a speech before a University of Southern California dinner honoring the military to effectively begin his apology tour. We and everyone else in PR are obsessed with damage control, and we feel like Petraeus got it right. Now we’d like to take a moment to relay seven lessons from recent scandal-wracked personalities who didn’t quite get it right.

1. Make it public — but not too public: Whoever told Arnold Schwarzenegger that appearing on every interview show ever to talk about his affairs and his out-of-wedlock child while simultaneously hawking his new book was very wrong.

2. Be humble. Seriously: Jonah Lehrer didn’t get the message that being a public intellectual does not allow you to avoid taking the blame for your own failings by over-intellectualizing the whole thing and pontificating about the why and the how. “I need rules because I don’t trust myself to not be arrogant”? Come on, man.

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MWW Adds Former Weiner Comms Director to Staff

Dave Arnold, former communications director to former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, has joined MWW Group as a VP. He’ll be working with clients across the firm’s practice areas on media relations strategy with a particular emphasis on the corporate comms and public affairs areas. He’ll be based in the New York office.

As we mentioned in yesterday’s Roll Call column, MWW has been doing quite a bit of hiring lately. MWW CEO Michael Kempner says it’s a result of the changes at the firm since it regained its independence from IPG in January.

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