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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Romenesko’

New Haven, Connecticut Has a ‘Perception Study Task Force’

new havenToday we learned, via Jim Romenesko, that the city of New Haven, Connecticut (home of Yale University) has created its own “perception task force” created to “plant feel-good stories in the media” and downplay area crime problems.

From the original story in the New Haven Independent:

“The task force meets approximately once a month to discuss the results of studies about what people think about downtown New Haven…The task force is new; the studies are not.”

The issue is that local news just keeps running crime stories, despite the fact that Mayor Toni Harp recently held a press conference to announce decreases in crime from 2011-2014. So the task force aims to “develop a stable of positive City focused stories to funnel to media to discourage” all that sensationalism.

But isn’t the work of securing media placements and improving reputations better suited for a public relations firm than the mayor’s press office?

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Texas Firm Admits to Bribing Journalists for Coverage

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Well, maybe “bribing” is too strong a word. What’s a synonym for “we will pay this supposedly objective journalist for giving our client favorable coverage?”

In a story that seemed destined to break during PRSA’s Ethics Awareness Month, a Texas firm sheepishly admitted to offering a CNBC freelancer money to include their client in a story.

Guilty pitch email after the jump (emphasis ours).

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Rep Demands That Editor Credit Staff for Press Release

Today the always-excellent Jim Romenesko discovered evidence of a big PR no-no in action. Seems that a five-paragraph story in the Jacksonville Daily Record may have borne some resemblance to the two-page press release accompanying the initial pitch–and whoever sent it thought that the team responsible deserved a little more credit.

Here’s the exchange as reprinted on Facebook by editor Marilyn Young, who hasn’t seen this sort of thing during more than three decades in the industry.

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“Plagiarism” seems like an odd charge for regurgitating a press release, no?

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Local Paper Crowdsources the Editorial Process

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Mistakes, I’ve made a few…

If you want to get a little sad about the current state of local journalism, look no further than our friend Jim Romenesko, who posted this story earlier in the week.

It concerns the publisher of the Florida-based St. Augustine Record and her plan to turn the copy editing process into a “find the typo” contest for readers. Yes, you did just hear a groan emanating from newsrooms across the country.

The problem is that, while the paper’s content does “[go] through about four or five people” before reaching your mailbox or tablet, those pesky typos just can’t stop/won’t stop.

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Sarah Palin’s Media Relations Strategy: Keep ‘Em in the Back Room at Walmart

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Sarah Palin has made millions telling people how much she hates every media outlet that doesn’t pay her, and this week she revealed that her basic strategy for dealing with journalists at an event is “relocate them to a back room in Walmart and make sure they don’t talk to me or anyone here to see me.”

The former half-term governor of Alaska visited a box store in Wisconsin to sign copies of her new Anti-Anti-Christmas book and, according to her Facebook page, show the world “that there is power in unity as we battle against Scrooges who want Christ out of Christmas.”

The only thing that makes it remotely newsworthy is the way her “team” dealt with the local journalists who showed up to write about her (because love and hate both drive traffic): they guided the group to a back room, closed the door and directed a guard to watch them until the event was over.

Oh, and:

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Snapchat’s CEO Can’t Handle Your ‘Controversial’ Questions, OK?

Oh hai.What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “Snapchat?”

If you answered “sexting!” then you have something in common with every other person on Earth who’s heard the word “Snapchat”. Marketers tried to get us into it last year, but people will always associate the name with quick, flirty texts and pictures that destroy themselves after a few seconds—no evidence, no problem. What could go wrong, right?

Yeah, OK, but app creator and company CEO Evan Spiegel would prefer that you members of the media not ask him anything about that. He’d rather you stick to talking about how shy he was in high school or how much he loves Red Bull or how he doesn’t mind living with his parents or anything other than the one subject that is the only reason you would ever want to interview him in the first place (sorry dude, but you know it’s true).

Some journalists are in a bit of a huff over this lightweight Spiegel profile in hometown paper The Palisadian-Post, primarily because of the following disclaimer:

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That’s one way to (not) avoid controversy.

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NYT Apologizes for Calling The Mario Brothers ‘Janitors’

ign-presents-the-history-of-super-mario-bros-20071108044755327It’s all over: we have found the uncontested winner of this week’s “best New York Times correction” contest.

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 11.51.50 AMThe Times also forgot to mention that the siblings are indeed “super”, that their preferred modes of transportation are sewer pipes, dinosaurs, turtles and flying raccoons, and that they have a long and complex history with media partner “Donkey Kong”. Come to think of it, we never did catch their last names either…

Hat tip to Jim Romenesko. Thanks to everyone else for playing and better luck next time.

Amazon Flack’s Comment on How Often He Makes Comments: ‘No Comment’

Tucked away in this weekend’s nth “What Will Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Do with The Washington Post?” article lies a less-than-subtle hint at the company’s media relations strategy:

Ha ha. Jim Romenesko even asks “Does Amazon’s spokesperson have the world’s easiest job? (All he ever says is ‘no comment.’)”

We don’t know that we’d go that far, but it’s safe to say that Bezos and Co. follow the Bill Belichick “keep it boring” model to a T. And yes, Amazon spokesperson Drew Herdener does make liberal use of the phrase in question. Their company’s PR team has determined that it’s best to simply put up and shut up whenever possible.

Here are some other key quotes about Bezos, his management style and his approach to media relations:

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When Should PR Pros ‘Tell Journalists How to Do Their Jobs?’

Well here’s a highly fraught debate: to what degree should PR pros manage the message in content created by the journalists they pitch? When does “making helpful suggestions” turn into “telling journalists how to do their jobs?”

This week journalist Jim Romenesko (who everyone in media should follow on Twitter and Facebook) brings us a couple of cases in which he and some of his colleagues believe that PR pros went too far.

In the first instance, a reader who is also a newspaper editor received an unusually bold pitch from a man who claims to transcend the traditional role of the flack:

“I would like to propose engaging in a relationship where once in a while I supply you with fully developed stories (completed articles) that you can publish under your byline, with or without editing, at no fee.”

That’s right, this guy will write full articles (for a real physical paper, no less) and the writer will get credit for them. No real work necessary. Oh, and also:

“I placed a few expert quotes by some of my clients into the piece, so I am not looking for compensation or acknowledgement.”

Ah yes — there we go.

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Journos Report on Their Relationships With Fox News PR

Jim Romenesko has spoken with a press pool full of journalists who report on the craziness of dealing with the Fox News PR department. More specifically, dealing with the shadowy figure that is Irena Briganti, the Fox News and Fox Business SVP of media relations.

Much like Nikki Finke, photos of Briganti are hard to come by, Romenesko writes. But her presence is certainly felt if you’re ever trying to do a story about Fox or interview one of its journalists. Reporters tell tales of blacklists and being “iced”; of insults and transgressions that happened when they weren’t looking.

Not all of the criticism is negative. And, on a certain level, reporters seem to realize that working with the Fox PR team is like working with any other — publicists are advocating for their clients and you shouldn’t expect otherwise. But the tales these reporters tell fly in the face of the common PR goal of building strong relationships with journalists.

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