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Posts Tagged ‘Huffington Post’

GOOD NEWS: The ‘Gays in the Military’ Debate Just Ended

navyseals

There are few people on Earth that people from all walks of life would collectively consider a “total badass.”

Much like a question on Family Feud, the top answer would be debated across popular football players and MMA fighters. Others, may wax nostalgic like Mike Tyson or Bruce Lee. Some may go the way of pop culture and argue for someone in “Game of Thrones” because they don’t get out much. And then, the real answers show up around numbers 5 through 7.

One of them will unquestionably be “a U.S. Marine,” “Special Forces,” “Green Berets,” or my personal fave, a U.S. Navy SEAL. No debate. No reservation. Just a simple “yup” does the trick, thank you kindly.

So, what if I told you there is a SEAL…who is openly gay? Did you just bump into a glass wall throwing papers up in the air because yeah, that happened.

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Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Snapchat Slowly Learning How to Respond to Messages

Confession: we almost enjoy picking on Snapchat at this point.

The latest “scandal” to rock the kings of “now I can show you how drunk I am and my mom will never see the evidence” technology concerns spam. Lots of spam, as in promotional messages sent by people who may dare call themselves “marketers.”

This is nothing new, but on a positive note it seems the company may have learned something from its history of “whatevs” responses to crises: this blog post appeared Monday before we’d even heard of the story via the Huffington Post.

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 9.36.39 AM

See: totally reasonable, instructions included. Baby steps!

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Former Associated Press Editor to Head PR for BP

Bp_1385932cIt’s a tough job, but someone with a solid journalistic background’s gotta do it.

Yesterday we learned that Liz Sidoti, most recently the national politics editor for the Associated Press, will now work as one of the top PR names at BP (that’s “beyond petroleum” to you).

In an email acquired by the Huffington Post, Sidoti told family and friends that she will be “managing a great group of professionals in the press shop, internal communications, speech writing and social/digital media sectors.”

True, but the most interesting part of this story will, of course, be her attempts to help BP shrug off its status as one of the world’s most hated brands.

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Coal Rep’s Climate Change Spin Sparks PR Ethics Debate

How does a PR rep handle the conflict inherent in representing The Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports, an organization created to increase coal exportation in the northwest US, with a history working for the EPA? The two organizations could not be more ideologically opposed to one another.

In this extremely off-the-record clip, Edelman VP Lauri Hennessey tells coal industry marketers how she navigates around the issue by using her EPA past to convince environmentally concerned audiences that more coal exports would not contribute to climate change. A couple of things are clear:


The clip may be a hit piece, but it’s also a revealing look into the way spin works in one particular case.

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Reputation Management at Amazon: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Last week, online retail behemoth Amazon received the kind of PR boost that any brand outside the Republican Party would kill for: President Obama visited its massive Chattanooga warehouse and used his media megaphone to promote the company for creating jobs fit for every politician’s favorite fallback character: the “middle class” American.

This is all well and good, but Amazon’s recent reputation management challenges are far more complicated…and less complimentary.

The real purpose of the President’s visit was to propose a bargain between the two political parties in which he would trade a cut in corporate tax rates for increased government investment in “education, training, and public works projects” designed to facilitate the creation of those precious middle class jobs. The event unsurprisingly attracted critiques of both the company and the President that highlight their unique PR struggles.

It’s true that Amazon’s planned hiring wave will create as many as 7,000 American jobs, but Obama’s visit raised several questions that the company would rather not address:

  • Are these jobs truly “middle class?”
  • Is Amazon the sort of company that will help strengthen the American economy at large?
  • Will this PR stunt facilitate any truly meaningful political activity?

That’s easy: no, no, and…no.

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Edelman’s Content Strategist Explains the New ‘Content Marketing’ Model

Steve RubelThis week we posted on Weber Shandwick‘s decision to publicize its new content-creation wing, Mediaco, and what that means for the future of PR. This morning we had the opportunity to speak with Steve Rubel, chief content strategist at Edelman PR, to go over how his firm is addressing this newest chapter in the ongoing “PR vs. marketing vs. advertising” debate.

How does the Weber Shandwick announcement relate to recent “creative” moves by Edelman?

There’s a lot of hype in the never-ending hunt for shiny objects in marketing, but the bigger picture here is that the economics of the industry have changed – demand side platforms (ad exchanges) have made advertising more efficient, which caused the price of CPM (cost per impression) and ads themselves to plummet. This is good for the industry but bad for publishers, because media outlets squeezed by tech developments can’t make the leap to other revenue streams like subscription, video, etc.

This has led to a greater willingness to open their platforms to branded/sponsored content, thereby empowering marketers to make good on their longtime desire tell their stories their own way on some of world’s largest websites (Ed. note: see The Washington Post). That is the big change here.

Some people say this is all old news. How do you respond to that point?

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PR Stunts: Fake Study Links Fox News to Low IQs

Fox News ChannelIt was a headline destined to simultaneously inspire a dozen highfalutin op-eds and a million bitchy comments: Fox News Viewers Are the Dumbest. One problem, though: it was what we in the media world call “a bunch of BS.”

Here’s the funny thing: the “story” wasn’t some sort of stunt pulled by MSNBC or another one of Fox’s many ideological opponents in the so-called “lamestream media.”

No, this little bit of fakery came from the inside—its source, according to a Huffington Post follow-up, appears to be a longtime “PR guru” and dedicated Republican who wants his party of choice to loosen its ties to the Fox News brand in the interest of its future electoral fortunes. See, the purpose of the “study” wasn’t to call Republicans dumber than Democrats: it was to insinuate that conservative Americans who choose not to watch the Fox News Channel are smarter than those who do.

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Does the Growth of PR ‘Threaten Democracy?’

Excuse us for the inflammatory headline courtesy of Guardian UK’s media commentator Roy Greenslade–but it certainly got our attention.

We agree with Michael Ramah of Porter Novelli when he reassures us that any report of an “impending meltdown” within the public relations industry is nothing but a bunch of noise—didn’t we tell you in August that the business is doing “just fine, thanks?”

Now here’s the key question: Is the PR field growing too large and influential for its own good?

The Guardian piece is far too short and lacking in specifics to truly facilitate an in-depth conversation on the topic, but we’d like to think it leads back to our piece about “brand journalism” and the role of a PR discipline blessed with growing influence in an increasingly fractured media world. Greenslade is primarily concerned with a series of studies showing that the numerical advantage PR pros hold over journalists continues to grow. In the United States, studies find the current ratio to be 4:1—and some authors advocate government subsidies to help keep the journalism profession viable.

Greenslade’s argument is that, as PR pros continue to outnumber journalists, the public will be deprived of a crucial filter (the press) that serves to hold the feet of politicians, businessmen, and publicists to the fire.

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Roll Call: Hill+Knowlton Strategies, DEC PR, Zing, and More

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has announced that Amy McMichael Paddock, SVP and general manager of the firm’s Austin, TX office, will co-lead global client services with Vivian Lines, vice chair and co-head of client services. Paddock will work from Austin and report directly to H+K’s global chairman and CEO Jack Martin. In another shift, Bill Lauderback has also been named general manager of H+K Austin. Bill most recently worked as a senior advisor at Public Strategies, a role which allowed him to  counsel clients on strategic campaign development and execution with a particular emphasis on government relations. In his new role, he will draw on more than 25 years of senior-level experience in business management, government affairs, public policy and communications. (Release)

Australia’s DEC PR has named Kirsty McRae as client services director and “head of consumer.” In her new role, Kirsty will champion the provision of the highest levels of client service across the agency’s key clients and build on the agency’s successful consumer business. Kirsty has more than 10 years industry experience across consumer and corporate PR along with the attendant expertise in global and domestic market initiatives. Her client portfolio includes P&G, Unilever, Nike, Bacardi, Billabong, Danone, Premier Foods, BMW Mini and Intercontinental Hotel Group. (Release)

Zing’s two most senior executives, Robert McEwen and Preya McMahon, have created a second brand, McEwen McMahon, which will offer more corporate public relations services while Zing remains a consumer PR brand. “Zing will continue to focus on the beauty, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment work that has been its hallmark,” the two principals said in a release, “while McEwen McMahon will be more of a high-level consultancy, advising C-suite executives on internal and external reputation management issues.” (Release)

Huffington Post ad sales chief Moritz Loew has been dismissed by AOL. According to Adweek, Loew believes the dismissal was the result of a background check and an outstanding warrant from a 2003 DWI charge. A spokesperson from AOL told Adweek that “Recent information has indicated that Moritz’s hiring did not meet AOL requirements.” (Adweek)

Sunshine Sachs: Fans “Earn” Tix to Neil Young Charity Gig

Wailin'Principals at big-time NY/LA-based PR firm Sunshine Sachs don’t like to bring too much attention to themselves, but that hasn’t stopped them from scoring great headlines and sponsoring A-list events with a focus on noble causes like, say…reducing poverty rates around the world. (Did you know that more than 1.3 billion people across the globe live on the equivalent of $1.50 a day? We need to get out more.)

The firm’s latest announcement is significant in a couple of ways. They’re publicizing a massive September 29th concert in Central Park with headliners Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters, and The Black Keys, but the details of the event are even more interesting: As reported on the Huffington Post, the show’s 54,000 tickets will not be available through the usual channels. Fans will have to “earn” their way into a raffle by downloading an app from the Global Citizen website and accumulating points by performing acts like donating to charities, signing petitions, or sharing information about global poverty on social media channels.

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