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Posts Tagged ‘ethics’

Oxymoronic? September Is PRSA’s ‘Ethics Awareness Month’


The Public Relations Society of America has declared September to be “Ethics Awareness Month.”

This is a banner under which public relations practitioners everywhere should march. Strict ethical guidelines should be that fundamental to an industry that specializes in repairing and maintaining reputations. But does establishing a month for PR types focus on ethics even matter any longer? Does ethics carry as much of a place of importance as it should in this industry?

The younger this industry gets, the more ethics should matter.

How are we doing on that front?

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Obama Administration Locks Out White House Press Corps (Again)

obama white house

In a word… Yes!

To quote a poet laureate somewhere in the annals of baseball, “It’s like deja vu all over again.”

You may recall a story last week about journalism groups, led by the Society for Professional Journalists, demanding the Obama Administration open up the doors to give them the access they were promised almost seven long years ago. Now, someone in the White House is at it again.

And this time, it gets even shadier because the meetings in question concerned two top Democratic Super PACs.

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


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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A PR Look at the ‘-Isms’


Ever since Jill Abramson has been putting The New York Times on blast about her pay scale issues for the past 17 years, the word “sexism” has appeared in many headlines. People who want to claim intolerance in any industry, at any level, often name an ‘-ism’ even if they have no clue as to what it means.

It’s a miracle activist groups don’t have their own version of the “Urban Dictionary”, because they are so screwing with Merriam and Webster right now. An example: cries of “racism” in the face of Michael Sam hate (which is about his sexual orientation, not his skin color).

To wit, we thought we would help the huddled masses understand “-isms” in their truest sense–the way they affect public perception. Read more

More MSNBC Issues: Network Sued for Misidentifying Michigan Man as Criminal

MSNBC FailSo, for the past few weeks, MSNBC has been in the news, instead of reporting it.

Most recently, we have MSNBC celebrating Cinco de Mayo in an appalling way with sombreros and Tequila. Then, Chuck Todd got called out by CNN‘s Vaughn Sterling in a glorious way for the peacock’s “breaking news.” And then, there was that time when MSNBC decided to broadcast its own “Racial Draft,” because Dave Chappelle’s skits needs to be resurrected on national news formats.

This #MSNBCFail actually occurred in October 2009 but it is just now seeing its day in court. For those who have misplaced their “Media 101″ handbook, here’s Rule No. 4,934 of “How not to screw your entire credibility with one report.” Get the name right, please. Yes, this really happened.

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NBC News Continues its Hack Attack Form of Checkbook Journalism Because Ratings

interactive newsroom

Ironic what the NBC Interactive Newsroom chose to adorn its wall, huh?

Ratings (n.) — The source of all things monetary in media; The force by which all journalists show their worth the bigwigs in the corner offices; The reason media can suck.

When I was in a newsroom, there was just about nothing I wouldn’t do to get people to listen to what I had to say. Hell, in PR, it’s the same way. I’ll beg, borrow or steal borrow some more to help my clients get what they deserve and help tell their story. However, the people at NBC News, go a skosh past unethical into a whole new realm of paparazzi.


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So, It Seems ‘Black PR’ Is a Thing


So yesterday I’m trolling my typical bajillion news sources looking for PR stories and one from the South China Morning Post catches my attention in the way that wandering onto a nude beach and seeing someone’s grandma would catch anyone’s attention. In other words, I wanted to grab a spork and attack my eyes.

Why? I love this profession and I demand much from it (and the people who make a living doing it). So, when I read the term “Black PR” in the headline, I cringed because the phrase does NOT refer to African-American organizations across this country.

No, this is “Bad PR” (which, MEMO to the complete dolts who came up with smear term: ‘Black’ does NOT equal ‘Bad’. I’ll call my brothers in Alpha Phi Alpha, Incorporated to give you a holler. Okay, thanks.)

Let me explain why:

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America: ‘Reporters are a Bunch of Liars!’

Gallup Poll HonestyHey, those aren’t my words. As most people who backpedal would say, “Some of my best friends are reporters.” (But seriously folks, as I loosen the knot in my tie, some of my best friends are reporters.)

Gallup polled a litmus test group of ‘Mericans about the most and least trustworthy professionals in this country.

As you can tell by the professionally graded graph to the left, nurses rock. Because you never had a nurse tell you, “Oh no. That rash will stop itching in a couple of days.”

It’s nice to see that with all the ballyhooed press about “bad cops,” that clergy ranks below them on “honesty and ethical standards in professions.” Nice to have hope these days. Below them are: judges, day care providers (?!), nursing home operators (?!?!), auto mechanics, bankers and … Read more

Bloomberg Will Never, Ever Report on Mike Bloomberg


“So a priest, a minister and a rabbi walked into a bar…”

We get the whole “avoiding a conflict of interest” thing, but it’s a little tough to report on business without mentioning one of the world’s biggest businessmen, no?

Since its founding in 1990, the Bloomberg media company has held itself to a policy strictly forbidding any coverage of its owner, soon-to-be-ex New York head honcho Michael Bloomberg, beyond “a limited exception for covering Mike’s official actions as New York’s mayor”. This is the equivalent of Fox News refusing to report anything related to Rupert Murdoch, and it’s quite unique among media entities.

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INTERVIEW: Dave Lieber of The Dallas Morning News re: The Haggler, #PRFail, Pitching Properly

batman robin spamYesterday, we brought you a story penned by David Segal (aka “The Haggler”) of New York Times consumer reporting fame. In summary, he was sent an atrocious email by an Austin, Texas PR firm. This pitch was so bad, Segal called Vocus for putting his number on a list and the PR firm for actually using it for such imbecilic reasons. Neither Vocus nor the PR firm ever called him back, and now Segal hates flacks from here to eternity.

In response, I called a friend of mine: Segal’s counterpart at The Dallas Morning News, the great Dave Lieber.

For more than 20 years, Dave was the consumer crusader of the southwest from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. That is until he was called upon to play for the other team at the Morning News. If anyone will help flacks understand the suckdom of others in this profession, it’s Dave Lieber. He really cares, not only about journalism, but also about people in general. And yes, that includes PR professionals. Here’s my interview with Dave “The Watchdog” Lieber.

Read to the end and enjoy. Trust me, I know you will:

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