Posts Tagged ‘Hamilton Nolan’
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Yesterday Gawker‘s Hamilton Nolan took the opportunity to give free press to a barely believable project called “$100 PR“–and to provide our entire industry with a bit of good-natured ribbing. While we dispute the idea that the business at large is “desperate for money”, we agree that $100 PR warrants another look.
Created by Laurena Marrone, a PR pro “with over 20 years of diverse experience” that appears to include a lot of music promo work (and the founding of Grit), this “new and extremely unique boutique” firm claims to serve “those who have a need to get the word out about any newsworthy product, service, or event, but cannot afford the high costs of most firms”. Hmm…
The New York Times is in the midst of finalizing the layoffs of 100 newsroom employees. New York magazine has a partial list of those laid off, and reports 74 employees took buyouts, leaving 26 spots for management to cut.
As you know, The Times does not and will not discuss personnel matters, nor reveal any names or numbers relating to the current staff reduction. As a result, The Times cannot and will not comment on the list of specific names you picked up from NY Magazine, except to say the list is in error, as is the information you posted about our blogs. There have been no decisions about shutting down either of those blogs.
From a PR perspective, would the Times be better off just putting the list out there to end speculation, or are there legal or other reasons for them not doing so? “It’s unethical to release the names of people you laid off, and most companies recognize that,” one PR executive familiar with the Times told PRNewser.
Regardless of HR practices, “it’s not fair to anyone who’s being laid off to have the company announce that,” they said. Another PR exec said that the responsibility for getting the world out falls on the journalist, “to let people know they are on the market.”
Another option would be to “ask the employees if they’d like their names to be released…you know other people are going to report on it anyhow,” said one reporter.
When BusinessWeek recently announced layoffs in conjunction with their acquisition, many laid off reporters announced the news via Twitter. So far, we haven’t seen that happen with the Times.
The Times digs in to on Gawker’s story by Hamilton Nolan about Burson-Marsteller using CEO Mark Penn‘s Wall Street Journal column to directly drum up new business for the agency, and secures what Nolan could not. A statement from Penn himself:
In a statement, Mr. Penn, who declined to be interviewed, said that he had not seen the message until after it was sent, and that “nothing was done nor likely to be done as a result of it.” He said that none of the companies mentioned in his column were Burson-Marsteller clients.
“I had no business motive in writing it whatsoever,” he said. But, he added, “We will continue to distribute the columns to friends and clients alike, and assured The Journal they will not be tied to any specific marketing efforts.”
We do agree with WSJ spokesman Robert H. Christie, who told the Times, “the reality is that freelancers do use their columns as ways of marketing themselves.” However it is telling that when asked to elaborate if The Journal was comfortable with this practice, Christie declined to respond.
Gawker obtained an internal Burson-Marsteller email that plainly asks senior management to use CEO Mark Penn’s latest Wall Street Journal “Microtrends” column as a marketing tool to pitch potential clients.
This particular column was about “Glamping,” i.e. glamorous camping. BM EVP and former Bill Clinton speechwriter Josh Gottheimer sent an email to the very top people suggesting they use the column as an excuse to call the national campground association, Coleman, “or emi ll beam etc.” and set up meetings for “mjp.” I assume he meant L.L. Bean, and either REI or EMS.
Illustrating what I call the “Denton Model” of blogging, former PRWeek reporter Hamilton Nolan weaves solid reporting with a full-dredge of all negative news Penn has been involved in, most notably his being spun out of the Hillary Clinton campaign for conflicts of interest. Once you’re in Gawker’s crosshairs, you can’t get out.
Business development is a bare knuckle game so we can’t really fault Gottheimer’s tactic. Nolan also takes a shot at Dow Jones and their Code of Ethics, and makes a stronger a point about the business of these softer trend op-eds.
What never fails to surprise me about these emails though, is the needless typos and errors for the sake of looking really, really busy. It’s better to be clear.
[Panelists Josh Rushing, Ari Fleischer, and Tina Brown, with moderator Gideon Yago. Photo by Diane Bondareff/IFC via VanityFair.com]
President Georg Bush #43′s Press Secretary #1 (of 4) Ari Fleisher continued to toe his Administration’s line yesterday during a panel discussion to promote the IFC Media Project at the Paley Center for Media.
He was baited in to defending the steps taken that led to the rebranding of torture–i.e. extreme interrogation–by a “daydreaming” Peggy Noonan. Stating the obvious that no one likes to receive a subpoena, Fleisher said “I’ll be proud to testify if I get a subpoena. I’m proud of what we did to protect this country.”