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Posts Tagged ‘Gothamist’

New York’s 9/11 Museum Encounters Some Publicity Problems

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The very nature of New York City’s 9/11 Memorial Museum, which opened this week to the public after a limited preview for survivors and victims’ family members, ensures that it will always be something of a magnet for controversy.

A couple of issues have emerged in recent weeks: the fact that the museum organizers decided to move the unidentified remains of more than 1,000 victims into the museum without letting families know ahead of time and that the museum includes a gift shop and will soon add a restaurant–which some families have attributed to “crass commercialism.”

The most recent instance of bad press concerns media relations: a reporter for NYC blog Gothamist was escorted from the premises this week for asking a question of a fellow attendee.

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The Cronut Apology: You’re Doing It Wrong

cronutIf you live in New York–and even if you don’t–you may have heard of the Dominique Ansel Bakery and its famous invention, the cronut.

[Full disclosure: we tasted one and it was pretty good, especially the super-creamy filling. But there is no way in hell we would ever wait in line for one like so many insane people do every morning.]

Anyway, the bakery recently won even more headlines than usual after the city Department of Health shut the site down due to the discovery of “several hundred mouse droppings.”

The story has now been resolved and the bakery reopened, but it didn’t end before a bit of back-and-forth between the bakery’s rep and a local blog as well as a a defiant thank you/apology letter from the proprietor to his fans.

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Man Sues New York Tech Firm for Sexual Harassment

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Today in Unfortunate Headlines news, a former account coordinator at a Manhattan tech PR firm has filed suit against his co-workers and his boss. The legal matter addressed in the suit is (alleged) sexual harassment and its dismissal by company executives.

Sound familiar?

We won’t go into too many details as you can read them in the complaint itself:

We’ll just say it looks like a bit of a mess.

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The Super Bowl Will Force Times Square Into ‘Lockdown’ This Year

Get ready to address a whole lot of complaints from the notoriously friendly people of New York City, NFL!

Seems the old National Football League will install a 180-foot-long toboggan in the middle of Times Square to promote the 2014 Super Bowl, set to be played in historical East Rutherford, New Jersey. And yes, that means closing off  the area from 33rd to 48th streets to all traffic for an entire week. Here’s an artist’s extremely optimistic rendering:

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Of course the event will be heavily patrolled by “police helicopters with special sensors to detect radiation on the ground”, bomb-sniffing dogs, more cameras than you can count and “ lots of radiation detection boats in addition to the usual complement of heavily armed cops.”

Sounds fun—and we can’t imagine any New York-based journalists writing articles about how annoying it is or posting pictures of the mayhem on Twitter.

We look forward to a detailed play-by-play analysis of all the (fake) snowball fights.

(H/T Gothamist)

NYC PSA Tells the Kids to Turn Down That Damn Racket

Today in Get Off My Lawn news, the New York City Health Department released a PSA offering subway riders and others a subtle twist on the classic “turn down that damn racket!” complaint: do it now or you’ll lose your hearing.

Via Gothamist, the city tells us that we shouldn’t listen to anything at too high a volume in order to drown out the insufferable noise around us, because “Loud sounds, including media played at high volume, can injure the delicate hair-like cells of the inner ear.”

This is not a bad idea, but it is a lame pun—and the concept of “hair-like cells” in our inner ear makes us think of that unnamed great uncle who has real hair growing out of his. We also prefer a more passive-aggressive variation on the “kids and their rock and roll” beef:

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McRib ‘Reveal’ Less Scandalous Than Expected

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Whatever your thoughts on industrial meat products, you have to agree that the McRib has been a big, fatty win for McDonald’s. When your product inspires a memorable plot line in a Simpsons episode, you can officially call it a success (and yes, this was well before the show turned into Family Guy 2.0 so it still counts).

Today Gothamist raided Reddit for this picture of a raw, frozen McRib shipment arriving in Canada from…wherever the magical porkers whose ribs look like this live.

Just kidding, everyone knows there are no ribs present in a McRib. But we have to say that this image isn’t as scandalous as we imagined it would be. We don’t think McD’s will have to go on damage control, and we wonder whether they should even issue a response. If they do, here’s our suggestion:

“What the hell did you expect a slab of ground pork parts pressed into the shape of a ribcage to look like?”

On the other hand, if you’ve never actually watched your sausage being made, we’ll just say “ignorance is bliss.”

11 PR Lessons We Learned from Banksy

Didn’t see this one coming, did you?

If you’re a big media hound, then you’ve been up to your eyeballs in Banksy this month—and given his ability to dominate headlines with PR stunts, we felt compelled to comment.

Love him? Hate him? Sick of hearing about him? Whatever your opinion, you have to admit he’s a brilliant self-promoter. Here are eleven lessons we took from his wildly successful monthlong “Better Out Than In” campaign:

1. Don’t be too obvious. Tease your audience.

While Banksy did establish an Instagram account, a Twitter feed and a website just for the campaign, he didn’t coordinate any announcements with major outlets or saturate social media before the event began. He simply told fans on his site via blog post and audio guide that his New York “residency” would last the entire month of October.

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Most of our clients don’t have Banksy’s name recognition, but the point stands: no one likes to be barraged with promo messages. They prefer to “discover” your stuff on their own.

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JetBlue’s Premium Service Rollout Strategy: ‘Don’t Call It First Class’

jetblue-mint-serviceWe’ve been watching JetBlue‘s “Mint” service rollout campaign with interest this summer because it makes for a great case study in brand messaging.

The basics are these: JetBlue has, despite some colorful incidents, established a reputation as the “we all fly coach” airline for the little guy—an image reinforced by clever “we get it” stunt campaigns. The Mint offering toys with that equation by giving certain passengers on certain cross-country flights (New York to LA and, later in 2014, NY to San Francisco) a “premium experience”, but during the rollout, JetBlue’s comms team has taken every opportunity to remind the public and the media not to call it “first class.”

The web copy is telling:

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David Rakoff, Writer and Humorist, Dead at 47

At the core of all PR is humanity, and David Rakoff understood humanity like no one else. His insights were naked and powerful, his life heartfelt and poignant. Boldly insecure and damned funny, Rakoff connected with people because he was honest about being sad. For Rakoff, being unhappy was OK, even normal. For many of us, this unwelcome truth was beaten out of us as children and replaced with Santa Claus.

As noted in this Gothamist post, Rakoff opened his most recent book, Half Empty, with the lines “We were so happy. It was miserable.” If that doesn’t make you laugh, then I’ve got some terrible news for you about Santa Claus. Rakoff wrote two other collections of essays, Fraud and Don’t Get Too Comfortable, in addition to publishing pieces in magazines from GQ to Spin. He was also a popular contributor to This American Life on NPR.

Rakoff’s death was especially notable because he treated his disease with humor, which is a form of courage we give to others to spare them our pain. Rakoff, born in Canada, was also a classic New Yorker—the kind of New Yorker who believed that art and its ability to bring together, and not money and its ability to separate, was at the core of the city’s soul. He will be missed. RIP David Rakoff. You can relax now.

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