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Posts Tagged ‘john oliver’

FCC Flooded With Comments After John Oliver Tackles Net Neutrality

FCC Flooded With Comments After John Oliver Tackles Net Neutrality - PRNewserOn Sunday night’s episode of “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver gave an impassioned thirteen-minute speech about the FCC’s controversial net neutrality proposal, which, in case you haven’t been paying attention, would allow internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon and other giants to charge companies and websites for “fast lanes” to the web, which could leave smaller websites, companies, and online publications that can’t afford to pay in the “slow lane,” effectively doing away with the equally accessible level playing field that allows all online data to be treated equally, no matter who creates it.

Oliver said of the proposal:

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BAD PR: John Oliver’s GM Parody Highlights Real, Disturbing Details of Internal Company Practices

Let’s play a little game of word association, shall we? What comes to mind when you think of the following words: deathtrap; decapitating; grenade-like; powder keg; and rolling sarcophagus? If your answer to any of these is “a car made by General Motors,” then an internal GM memo specifically banning the use of these words (and over fifty others) must have failed.

This past Sunday on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver delivered a scathing breakdown of a decade’s worth of disturbing internal PR practices at GM, and then — as the final nail in the rolling sarcophagus — showed a pitch-perfect parody of a GM ad. And in case not enough people subscribe to HBO for this clip to contribute to the company’s already-sticky PR problem, the network has made the video available on YouTube (where it has already been watched almost 700,000 times).

Just like in Shakespeare, the fool often speaks the truth more boldly and honestly than anyone else, and in this case, while viewers may be laughing (we certainly are), they are most definitely not laughing with GM.

POM Responds to John Oliver’s Not-So-Gentle Ribbing

In case your viewing schedule is getting the best of you, John Oliver of “The Daily Show” has a new weekly news program on the Home Box Office channel called “Last Week Tonight”, and April’s debut episode did indeed serve to assuage our doubts over whether Mr. Oliver could carry such a program on his own.

One of the first subjects of his very British ire was POM Wonderful, which he pummeled during a segment on consumer brands and their dubious health claims (something we understand all too well).

Rather than take it lying down, the people at POM decided to respond with a letter we’ll let Oliver review:

They even let their fans know afterward, lest anyone call them humorless…or worse.

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The Key Ingredients of Well-Crafted Speeches

“Before you ask me who wrote such shrewd prose, let me just say: Speeches are like sausages. It’s better not to see them being made”. Those were comments by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as reported in a recent New York Times article. Years earlier, when a West Wing episode focused on drafting a State of the Union speech, in culinary terms it was like a ten-course gourmet meal. (Photo below: scene from West Wing episode at 2006 Democratic National Convention)

Speechwriting coach and author Joan Detz certainly agrees about the challenges of creating and delivering effective speeches. But instead of keeping her speechmaking sauce secret, she demystified the process and shared some pointers during the IABC World Conference in New York last month.

Worth the effort? “Remember, it’s an invite, not a subpoena,” Detz cautioned the audience. Before covering the specifics of speech content, she emphasized that prospective speakers should weigh whether the speech is even worth the substantial amount of time involved in preparation, revisions, rehearsal and travel. “It’s ok occasionally to decline an invitation to speak”, she said.

Clearly this may run counter to the goals of many corporate presenters and those seeking high-profile, lucrative speaking engagements. Though as Detz noted, “too much value is lost by giving mediocre speeches. Huge egos go out and speak too much when they could be doing other things.”

Deciding factors: What are key variables Detz recommends considering when figuring out which speeches are warranted? Find out about the host organization, target audience, subject matter, which other speakers are slated to appear, the proposed day and time slot. That way you won’t end up delivering a talk to a controversial group or be surprised when you show up and discover you’re scheduled for the dreaded late afternoon session. (And it’s best not to take the stage behind comedian John Oliver, unless you’re Stephen Colbert.)

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‘The Daily Show’ Explains Political PR: Lie and Lie Again!

The correspondents at The Daily Show have some…unflattering opinions of the famous “spin doctors” who handle PR for political figures (and spend most of their waking lives trying to put a positive angle on every story or press mention). It would seem that these well-paid professionals also happen to be cynical, dishonest and, well, evil.

We’d like to argue against the mean stereotypes discussed in this clip, but we don’t have any real-world counter-examples handy. Help us out, PR pros: surely spin doctors occasionally take the opportunity to smile at a child or pet a puppy, no?

On a side note, we do enjoy John Oliver’s obvious love of the word “balls.”