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Posts Tagged ‘Howard Rubenstein’

Goldman Sachs’ PR Strategy: ‘A Stiffly Extended Middle Finger’


The New York Observer‘s Max Abelson takes a deep look into Goldman Sachs’ PR head Lucas van Praag. The piece is perhaps less hard hitting than Charlie Gasparino‘s, which was published in The Daily Beast this past December, where Gasparino wondered if van Praag’s job security was threatened.

Abelson says that van Praag and Goldman continue to come off as too arrogant in their communications:

It isn’t just that the cooed-over firm has become the iconic scoundrel of an entire era. It’s also how much worse they’ve made things for themselves with a continuing communications and PR policy that’s basically a stiffly extended middle finger, waved in the air for all to see.

Howard Rubenstein, who declined to comment on Van praag or Goldman in particular, told Abelson, “In any crisis, the spokesperson, or the head of the company, has to proceed with modesty.”

Happy Birthday Howard Rubenstein


The PR legend turned 78 today.

Ailes Bites Back: Freud ‘Needs to See a Psychiatrist’


Fox News Founder and Chairman Roger Ailes has shot back at PR executive Matthew Freud, husband of Rupert Murdoch‘s daughter Elisabeth, after Freud said in a New York Times profile piece highlighting Ailes’ accomplishments at Fox News that he is “ashamed and sickened by Roger Ailes‘s horrendous and sustained disregard of the journalistic standards…”

Of course, that set off a mini-firestorm in the media world, with allegations that Murdoch’s family is trying to push Ailes out of News Corp. and that his job could be in jeopardy. Both Elisabeth Murdoch and James Murdoch have since reached out to Ailes, according to the LA Times.

Ailes joked that Freud, who is a descendant of Sigmund Freud, “needs to see a psychiatrist.”

Interestingly, some of the most “pro-Freud” commentary on the matter comes from The Daily Beast, a publication which Freud once counted as a client. Freud also represents Fox News competitor CNN.

Based on the LA Times story — which contains strong support for Ailes from News Corp. deputy chairman Chase Carey — and a conversation PRNewser had with a source close to the matter, it is evident that clearly some Murdoch family members want Ailes out, but rumors of his job not being secure are greatly exaggerated.

Our source told us that because Fox News has “real clout,” the Murdoch kids “are intimidated by that” and “want [Ailes] out because of his success.” Now, the “loyal opposition has a voice,” and “this is all about positioning to Rupert as opposed to Ailes.”

The “feud” also involves one of PR’s most powerful agencies, Rubenstein, who represents News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch personally, as well as the News Corp.-owned New York Post.

With the opening shot fired, and the rebuttal now in place, we’ll be keeping an eye on who makes the next move.

PR Execs Outpace Journalists 3-to-1 in Salary…in 1958


Yesterday we learned that PR is indeed a good field with a future. Today we find that PR executives made considerable money 50 years ago–less than only veterinarians and surgeons, according to a list compiled by CareerBuilder.

Sadly, newspaper journalists made only a third of the $9,748 of PR, earning more than fast food workers but less than janitors. “Social media consultants and IT administrators weren’t job titles anyone had,” according to the introduction.

For the sake of timeline, the PRSA launched in 1948, Howard Rubenstein launched his firm in 1954, “The Sweet Smell of Success” gave us the seedy press agent Sidney Falco in 1957, and Crab Coulson of Rogers & Cowan dined with Don Draper and Roger Sterling in 1963 (“Crab, Duck, Duck, Crab”).

Rubenstein’s Resolution for NYC


In the Metropolitan section of The Times, Howard Rubenstein joins a number of quintessential New Yorkers including Russell Simmons, George Steinbrenner, the Naked Cowboy, Donald Trump, and Jimmy Breslin in offering New Year’s resolutions for the city.

Rubenstein offers an entire PR plan in a few sentences–recognizing in his own way that user-generated media is where it’s at. No longer can he merely make a few calls, the don of the industry recommends wholesale media training for the entire city:

“I think the city has to create a million advocates for itself by crisscrossing New York and reminding everyone of all the great pluses we have, so when people go visiting other cities, states or other parts of the world, average citizens can promote New York.

Continued after the jump:

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The Year In Rubenstein

Rubenstein 2009 from Rubenstein on Vimeo.

It’s Rubenstein’s city, we just live in it. The most Manhattan-y of all PR firms put out their annual holiday video today, highlighting glitzy client work, non-profits, museums and awards including Cirque du Soleil, NYC Ducks, John Jay Justice Award, Madame Tussaud’s After Dark, the Tribeca Film Festival, the Lasker Awards, Autism Speaks, MoMA, the New York Observer, the TIME 100, Russian Tea Room and Rock-related work including the Race to the Top of the Rock, and the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

Unlike last year, neither Steven Rubenstein or his father Howard Rubenstein are in it, and the World Series Champion Yankees don’t make an appearance either.

RELATED: Rubenstein’s Greatest Hits of 2008

The Evolution Of PR Advice Given to Tiger Woods


The advice given to Tiger Woods by a slew of PR professionals over the last few weeks has had three phases. First it was “talk fast, to everyone, now!” Then it was, “you issued a statement talking about your ‘transgressions,’ that’s good, no need to do much more.” Now it’s just, “Wow, you’re in big trouble.”

As Howard Rubenstein told ABC News today, “He is beyond PR redemption. He is in public relations hell right now. There is not a PR man on Earth who can restore his image.” That’s about as clear as one can get on this situation.

The icing on the cake came yesterday, when Gatorade announced they were canceling their Tiger Focus brand. It is the first endorsement deal Woods has lost since the fiasco began. “The more women that come out and the more mistresses we learn about…the sponsors certainly have more of an evaluation going on, and there’s increased pressure for them to at least consider dropping him,” Mike Paul of MGP & Associates Public Relations told CBS News.

RELATED: Should PR Pros Continue To Pile on Advice For Tiger Woods?

Rubenstein Communicates (Yet Another) Yankee World Series


The New York Yankees celebrated their 27th World Series today with a parade through downtown Manhattan’s “Canyon of Heroes.” Rubenstein Associates, the team’s PR agency of record, issued the following statement to media on behalf of team owner George Steinbrenner, sent by agency president Howard Rubenstein.

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Howard Rubenstein One of New York‘s Power Dozen


New York magazine placed Howard Rubenstein in very elite company this week, including him their Power Dozen, a list anchored by mayor Mike Bloomberg. Called the “dean of damage control,” Rubenstein is noted for his cross-aisle brokering, and for engineering the mayor’s term limit putsch. The 76 year-old is President of Rubenstein Associates, a firm he founded in the 50s.

Megamogul Rupert Murdoch made the list, as did Vogue EiC Anna Wintour–the former owns a multi-billion dollar media empire, while the latter conducts and champions a multi-billion dollar business that employs 175,000.

The other nine are Al Sharpton, Sheldon Silver, Stephen Ross, Jamie Dimon, Herb Pardes, Andrew Cuomo, Mike Fishman, and of course, Chuck Schumer.

Bernays, Sonnenberg Make “New York City 400″ List


Two legends of public relations made the Museum of the City of New York’s list of 400 prominent New Yorkers, assembled in honor of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s arrival in the harbor.

Edward Bernays and Benjamin Sonnenberg both made the list. Howard Rubenstein did not, though the competition was stiff with major actors, politicians, academics, athletes and architects from all eras represented.

Bernays, author of the book “Propaganda,” is known for bringing his uncle Sigmund Freud’s ideas into PR for among many other things, getting women to smoke:

Edward L. Bernays (1891-1995)
An executive and pioneer in the field of public relations, he started as a press agent on Broadway, opened his own agency in 1919, and taught the first course on public relations at New York University in 1923.

Sonnenberg was the aristocrat of PR, known for entertaining friends, clients, and journalists in his huge mansion:

Benjamin Sonnenberg (1901-1978)
One of the first modern public relations men, whose work was, in his words, “fashioning large pedestals for small statues,” handled the p. r. needs of organizations from Philip Morris to CBS and was known for his private mansion, 19 Gramercy Park.

More after the jump:

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