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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

THIS JUST IN: White House Forced to Consider Deporting Justin Bieber

THIS JUST IN 2To President Obama’s credit, he had a forum established for the minions of this country to have a voice.

Granted, it comes with a few catches but at least the door to get someone to hear you — someone that may actually matter (no real promise there) — is open for those motivated enough to make something happen.

How?

Visit We the People on the White House website. Yes, it’s official but it requires a petition. And here’s the catch:

Remember you have just 30 days to get 100,000 signatures in order to get a response from the White House.

Whelp, that official proclamation now has 10-year-old girls freaking the #$%& out right about now because Justin Bieber may find Uncle Sam’s red, white and blue boot in his beliebing Canadian behind.

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Is This the ‘Most Secretive White House’ in U.S. History?

jillabramsonThat bold claim came forth last week, loaded with ire directed at one President Barack Obamaif that’s his real name [cue the Law & Order doink doink].

The vitriolic assertion ruffled a few feathers at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, but it wasn’t some run of the mill “I-am-pissed-because-that’s-not-the-dude-I-supported” complaint—it came straight from New York Times editor Jill Abramson, as seen in the snazzy screen shot to your left.

ICYMI: Abramson was giving an interview to Al-Jazeera America‘s John Seigenthaler (former Washington bureau chief for the NYT) when she threw out this statement:

It is the most secretive White House that I have ever been involved in covering…I dealt directly with the Bush White House when they had concerns that stories we were about to run put the national security under threat. But, you know, they were not pursuing criminal leak investigations. The Obama administration has had seven criminal leak investigations. That is more than twice the number of any previous administration in our history. It’s on a scale never seen before. This is the most secretive White House that, at least as a journalist, I have ever dealt with.

And that led to this

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President Obama’s Library Could Renovate Chicago’s South Side

obama library

This time, ‘O’ could mark the spot. Come on, get your minds out the gutter, folks. 

As it goes, people who occupy the White House get to think about life after the coronation: memoirs, speaking circuit, no taxes for life, and of course, the Presidential Library.

They all get one. And despite the wise cracks about how many books should or should not belong in a certain presidential library in Dallas, Obama’s library could be both an architectural wonder and a good thing for the city of Chicago.

While Chicago, New York and Hawaii debate about who gets to host the ceremonial dig (and New York, really?!), Michael Sorkin has decided his plan should win the bid wherever it goes. For the record, he wants it to go in Chicago’s beleaguered South Side. After you see the plans—which are now viral—you will probably agree.

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James Carville: ‘Obama Should Toke on Mayor Ford’s Crack Pipe’

Yes, politicos, you read that correctly. James Carville, the doppleganger for E.T., CNN’s major domo for shock value, and supreme Democratic strategist for the Clintons and anyone else riding into D.C. on an elephant. That James Carville.

Evidently, even he has had it with President Obama. The luster has worn. The honeymoon is over. Stick a fork in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s done.

While interviewed on MSNBC (and I’m sure this media outlet was prepared for this tomfoolery), James Carville shares with Joe Scarborough that the president may want to consider the go-to stress reliever of bat-ess-crazy Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to help cure his flagging poll numbers. Talk about a need for crisis communications if ever there was one.

Watch and enjoy:

No, The History Channel Did Not Want Satan to Look Like President Obama

Media relations in the Internet age is a funny thing, isn’t it? Today representatives from The History Channel and the producers of its extremely successful series The Bible had to reach out to various media outlets in order to clarify that they did not intend to cast a Barack Obama lookalike as Satan. Yes, you read that right.

We’re not exactly sure how this crazy rumor managed to spread (we’re looking at you, Glenn Beck), but today producer Mark Burnett, the man behind such reality hits as Celebrity Apprentice and Sarah Palin’s Alaska, had to issue a statement labeling this latest wave of short-term paranoia “utter nonsense” while the channel’s spokesperson assured the public that “The History Channel has the highest respect for President Obama.”

Of course Burnett is right, but this is the world of crazy Internet rumors that spread like wildfire no matter how reliable they may or may not be. We don’t really get it, because when we saw this picture our first thought was “Middle Eastern Obi Wan Kenobi.”

We will say one thing, though: somebody needs some moisturizer.

Government Gone Social: Even the Feds Use Arrested Development GIFs Now

Today in This Guy Has a Pretty Cool Job News: on Monday we reviewed Newark Mayor Cory Booker‘s suggestion that politicians should act more like PR pros with the ultimate goal of engaging their constituents via social media and interactive town hall meetings rather than just hiding behind lecterns and tired press releases.

In addition to having a nice beard, Justin Herman runs social media at the U.S. General Services Administration’s Center for Excellence in Digital Government. This moniker may read as a joke to cynics, but Herman, like Booker, clearly believes that a more engaged government is a more effective and efficient government–and that politicians and administrators are mistaken if they see Twitter and Facebook as mere “announcement platform[s].”

Sound familiar?

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Fox News, Disney and Every Other Brand Scramble for Latino Audiences

Obama UnivisionOh hey, did you hear about the incredible growth of the United States’ Latino population? So did Barack Obama‘s re-election campaign, the Republican House majority and every entertainment brand in the Western hemisphere. Today brings news of Univision and Disney joining forces to create a 24-hour news/entertainment channel called Fusion that will cater to Latinos. Wait, isn’t Univision already a 24-hour channel for Latinos? Why yes it is!

This new brand, however, would serve those with deep Latin heritage who either predominately or exclusively speak English at home and who probably only watch Univision “if they’re at their grandmother’s house” (ha ha). It’s the same audience sought by the brand new Fox News Latino brand. So where did members of this mysterious demographic get their news and entertainment in the past? From the same channels as every other English-speaking American.

The question: can brands benefit from catering to this very specific audience? They certainly seem to think so.

PR pros: have you worked on campaigns targeting English-speaking Latino Americans? How do the relevant messages differ from those intended for the general public?

Zinc Lobby Still Begging America to ‘Save the Penny!’

The Canadian government’s recent decision to drop the one-cent coin and gradually remove it from circulation in order to save money prompted many Americans to ask “Wait, why don’t we do that?” and brought attention back to an ongoing PR campaign run by an advocacy group calling itself Americans for Common Cents (ha ha).

The campaign, launched in 2006, urged Americans to swear loyalty to Abraham Lincoln and implore their lawmakers to “Save the Penny” from impending doom despite the fact that each penny costs two cents to produce(!)–and quite a few end up in garbage cans, drains and fountains around the country. When the Canucks first floated the idea of putting the penny down last April, the ACA placed op-eds in major papers defending our least valuable coin.

Of course, every successful advocacy campaign needs a celebrity spokesman, which is why the group somehow convinced the great Kevin Federline to endorse it back in ’06. (And we bet they paid him in pennies, too.)

The American “penny debate” is nothing new–during his 2008 presidential campaign, a certain junior senator named Barack Obama said he wouldn’t mind saying goodbye to Honest Abe’s favorite coin, joking that “I need to find out who is lobbying to keep the penny.” Well, as the always-on-point Stephen Colbert reminded us this week, the whole advocacy campaign is really a part of the all-powerful zinc industry’s dastardly scheme to retain its influence among the heavy metals.

Glad we cleared that up–but we’re still waiting to hear from Citizens to Retire the U.S. Penny. Get on it, boys!

Roll Call: Weber Shandwick, CP+B, Virgin Media and More

Weber Shandwick announced that Cori Ashford has joined the agency as a senior vice president in the firm’s global Healthcare practice. Previously employed with the Chandler Chicco Agency, Ashford will be based in Chicago. Ashford joins the firm with more than a dozen years of experience managing global pharmaceutical accounts in disease areas such as oncology, cardiology, metabolic and autoimmune diseases, among others. Her past experience includes strategic counsel, issues management, data communications, regulatory milestones, national and international brand launches and consumer campaigns. Over the course of her career, she led the agency team responsible for global and U.S. communications activities for Bristol-Myers Squibb’s rheumatoid arthritis medication Orencia, spanning the pre-launch, launch and lifecycle management phases for this treatment. (Release)

McGrath/Power Public Relations and Communications has named Christina Armstrong VP of client service. Armstrong was previously MD of the b-to-b technology practice at Grayling Connecting Point. She has also worked as client services director at Phase Two Strategies in San Francisco. In her new role, she will work in conjunction with Kathryn Walker, SVP and partner, to provide program leadership and strategy for the agency’s client base. (PR Week)

Global Strategy Group hired Bill Burton as EVP and MD of its DC office. Burton previously served as co-founder and senior strategist at Priorities USA Action, a super PAC that worked to re-elect President Barack Obama to a second term in office. He served as national press secretary for the 2008 Obama for America campaign, then as deputy White House press secretary and special assistant to the president. Burton also worked as then-Rep. Rahm Emmanuel’s (D-IL) communications director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 electoral cycle. (PRWeek)

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Microsoft ‘Comms Guy’ Challenges Google Rep to a Twitter Duel

Frank X. Shaw is Microsoft’s “top comms guy”. He doesn’t think too much of rival Google’s attempts to go highbrow in the PR sphere—and he let thousands of people know about it on Twitter this weekend.

Let’s unravel the roots of this little playground mud fight between two of the biggest PR pros in the business: Microsoft, still desperate to sponsor the Bing vs. Google fight that no one in the world asked for, just hired much-hated political operative Mark Penn as its top messaging man. You may remember Penn as the guy behind Hillary Clinton’s infamous 2008 “3 AM” ad implying that then-Senator Barack Obama was too inexperienced to run the country.

The New York Times ran a story on the hire, casting Mr. Penn as a negative messenger who would help Microsoft attack Google with “scorched earth” spots like this one that criticizes the company for ruining users’ search experiences by clogging results with sponsored ads. The article notes that Microsoft has “long attacked Google from the shadows” but now looks to take the fight to prime-time. A former colleague of Mr. Penn’s warned that Google should prepare to have “everything…thrown at them”—including the kitchen sink.

Sounds like a run-of-the-mill corporate PR battle, right? Well, the Times also contacted top Google spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker for comment. She said that, while Google employs lobbyists and PR firms just like its rivals, “…our focus is on Google and the positive impact our industry has on society, not the competition.”

Of course Frank Shaw did not like this one bit.

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