TVNewser AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘Jonah Lehrer’

7 Tips for Your Next Big Apology Tour

Last week brought news of disgraced general/CIA chief and potential presidential candidate David Petraeus‘s first post-scandal appearance. Petraeus used a speech before a University of Southern California dinner honoring the military to effectively begin his apology tour. We and everyone else in PR are obsessed with damage control, and we feel like Petraeus got it right. Now we’d like to take a moment to relay seven lessons from recent scandal-wracked personalities who didn’t quite get it right.

1. Make it public — but not too public: Whoever told Arnold Schwarzenegger that appearing on every interview show ever to talk about his affairs and his out-of-wedlock child while simultaneously hawking his new book was very wrong.

2. Be humble. Seriously: Jonah Lehrer didn’t get the message that being a public intellectual does not allow you to avoid taking the blame for your own failings by over-intellectualizing the whole thing and pontificating about the why and the how. “I need rules because I don’t trust myself to not be arrogant”? Come on, man.

Read more

Mediabistro Course

Social Media 101

Social Media 101Get hands-on social media training in our online boot camp, Social Media 101! Starting September 4, social media and marketing experts will help you determine the social media sites that matter most to you, based on your personal and professional goals. Register now! 

Jonah Lehrer Can’t Save His Reputation Now

Jonah LehrerAt first the Jonah Lehrer plagiarism story may feel a little too “inside the media” for its own good–but it’s a very relevant case study for anyone involved in PR and reputation management.

In short, Lehrer was a promising essayist/journalist/public speaker whose career crumbled after a few investigative writers discovered that he had not only copied and re-printed sections of his own work (which were published by different companies, thereby violating copyright laws) but also copied from other blogs and completely invented elements like quotes from Bob Dylan.

Now for the lesson in crisis comm: Lehrer’s first response to the controversy was denial. He eventually admitted to plagiarizing himself and inventing the Dylan quotes and lost his various media gigs, effectively killing his credibility. Today brings news of the first step in his rehabilitation campaign: he was hired to speak on his own misdeeds at a Knight Foundation journalism conference in Miami.

The journalists on Twitter aren’t having any of it, though.

Read more

Notable Quotes from 2012 Events

Savvy presenters at business events know the audience is there to hear candid comments, fresh insights, and surprising anecdotes–not humblebragging, self-promotion or overused buzzwords. If presenters don’t deliver, attendees will tune out and spend more time networking outside the conference hall. Not every speaker got that memo, however: it’s still a challenge to sift through all the jargon and make each event worthwhile.

We’ve highlighted seven memorable quotes from various New York-based events we covered in 2012. They deal with a range of topics: creativity, media relations, CEO visibility, producing original content, the risks of using celebrity spokespeople, teamwork, publicity and controversy.

1. “Grit is especially important when it comes to creativity. If it was easy, someone else would have done it.

-Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works and former contributor to The New Yorker and Wired magazines, delivered a keynote at ARF’s Re:think conference in March. In the ensuing months, Lehrer saw his own career falter after being accused of plagiarism and quote fabrication–so he didn’t follow his own advice.

2. “Now it’s a better age between journalists and PR. There’s an absence of friction, and PR is part of the data stream.

-David Carr, New York Times media reporter, spoke during Internet Week in May. Carr’s welcome though limited remarks on the dynamics of the relationship came in response to an audience question.

3. “A few companies with secure, confident CEOs take the lead on issues and speak out, but it’s hardly a universal practice.

-Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman PR, addressed Ethisphere’s Best Practices in Ethics Communication event in June. His comments have since been echoed by others in the industry.

Read more

Scandal du Jour: Plagiarism!

The Words” is a new film starring everyone’s favorite faux Frenchman, Bradley Cooper. Its plot, as we understand it, revolves around the concept of author as plagiarist–and while we can’t exactly recommend the movie based on its critical reception, we thought we’d use this opportunity (and the emergence of another small-scale plagiarism story) to examine parallel scandals that engaged the chattering classes this summer: the public trials of Jonah Lehrer and Fareed Zakaria.

Seems like everyone is copying the work of others these days–even noted wordsmith Chuck Norris has been caught red-handed. The two men at the center of this hot topic are very different personalities—and both the charges leveled against them and the public’s reaction to their respective PR crises have been very different as well. Fareed Zakaria is a respected journalist and TV news personality while Jonah Lehrer is (or, more accurately, was) a rising writer, speaker, and acknowledged expert in the realms of neurology and human behavior.

What, exactly, did they do?

Zakaria copied a paragraph of a Time article on gun control from an earlier New Yorker piece by historian Jill Lepore. CNN also found that one of his blog posts for CNN.com “contained similar unattributed quotes.” When accused of other acts of sloppy journalism, he lashed out at critics before backing down.

Lehrer’s first crime was plagiarizing himself—observers discovered that he often repeated passages that had appeared in previous columns or books. While this was bad news for Lehrer, it wasn’t necessarily the end of the world. Unfortunately, further investigations uncovered a disturbing history of similar behavior during his time at Wired and other publications. And that wasn’t the worst of it: The final, damning revelation was the fact that Lehrer had straight-up invented nonexistent Bob Dylan quotes for his bestselling book “Imagine”—and when pressed on his offense, he denied it and made more false claims before breaking down and confessing to his own dishonesty.

The saddest part about these stories is that both writers remain very talented, very busy men who obviously bit off more than they could chew. What conclusions can we, as PR and media professionals, draw from their cases?

Read more

Creative Work Ideas Come From Unlikely Sources

While creativity has long been a mystery, lately researchers have been unlocking keys to the creative process and dispelling some common myths. Jonah Lehrer, Wired contributing editor and author of Imagine: How Creativity Works shared findings about personal creativity and group collaboration during a presentation at the Advertising Research Foundation‘s (ARF) Re:think conference on Monday in New York.

Public relations ranks as the top creative services job in U.S. News’ recent report, underscoring its creative component. So understanding the secrets of creativity can be valuable the next time you’re asked to come up with a big idea. As it turns out, daydreaming, diversions, and random conversations all play a role.

Read more