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Posts Tagged ‘Lance Armstrong’

Doug Ulman Finally Moves on From Livestrong

livestrongLivestrong — a one-of-a-kind case study in branding, PR, advocacy and damage control — has lost its long-time CEO Doug Ulman.

Ulman’s 14 years at Livestrong included both a period of stunning growth fueled by Lance Armstrong’s seven Tour de France victories and the little yellow $1 bracelets that helped carry an aggressive message about beating cancer and a subsequent descent as rapid as any of Armstrong’s own Alpine passes.

Ulman will take his talents to Pelotonia, an organization in Columbus, Ohio with a very similar mission. Pelotonia is successful in its own right, having raised more than $60 million through bike rides. (The money helps fund research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.)

This is a good move for both Ulman and Livestrong, because Ulman literally gets to leave town (Austin) and put the best of what he knows to good use. The cancer community will never hold what happened in France against him, and there’s no one more experienced in managing the operations of non-profit driven by cycling.

Livestrong gets to move on too.

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Mediabistro Course

Public Relations

Public RelationsStarting October 1, learn how to get your foot in the door and launch your PR career! Taught by the former VP of Corporate Communications at Playboy Enterprises, Linda Marsicano will teach you how to draft pitch letters and press releases, develop and implement PR plans, garner media coverage, and other skills you need for a successful career in public relations. Register now!

INTERVIEW: Ellen Barry, New PR Brand Champion for LIVESTRONG

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Last week, we brought you a story on the brand re-awakening of a known advocacy team based in Austin known as LIVESTRONG.

Oh sure, you may have heard about the place. And you may recall the tumult caused by its founder a few years back. However, when you think about an iconic yellow bracelet, does anyone consider the magnanimity this organization has done (even still)?

What about the more than $500 million it raised to date in the fight against cancer? DYK 82% of those funds have gone directly to support its programs and services for survivors? Its numerous programs and partnerships on behalf of cancer survivors? Nothing, huh?

This is precisely why LIVESTRONG CEO Doug Ulman has hired a stalwart for branding and perception management, Ms. Ellen Barry, executive vice president of strategic communications for LIVESTRONG.

And that’s why we reached out to her instantly and asked for an interview. Guess what? She’s after the jump… Read more

LIVESTRONG Rides with PR for a New Horizon

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A few things in this world have been marketed so seamlessly that consumers cannot think about one without the other.

There’s Disney and Mickey Mouse. Nike and Jordan (or Tiger). Volvo and Safety. Starbucks and Coffee. Susan G. Komen or Mary Kay and the color pink.

Branding is very successful when done right, which is why “staying true to the brand” is vital. And then there was LIVESTRONG. It was a global phenomenon because of an amazing story, a charismatic individual, and a yellow bracelet. Yeah, those were the days.

This week, the Austin-based cancer advocacy organization is looking to do it again with true PR strategy, but can they without … that guy?

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Top 7 ‘PR Case Study’ Names We Never Want to Hear in 2014

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You may have missed it (lucky you), but lots of PR-ready news stories went down this year. Some were ridiculous, some were inspiring, some were cringe-worthy “teaching moments” and some were held up as “let’s figure out how this person got so successful so we can quantify it” case studies. We posted on every one of them at some point, and for that we offer our profoundest apologies—but they were trending at the time, and this is how the blog game works.

Here’s the point: after performing some in-depth research, we decided that 2013 gave us more than enough news and analysis regarding these seven people, and we’d prefer to hear absolutely nothing about them in 2014. In fact, we think we can distill the “lessons” learned from each case into a single sentence.

Click through for what we hope will be one last glimpse at those who have (almost) nothing to teach the rest of us.

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More Lance Armstrong Fail: He Offered Rival $100,000 to Throw Race

lanceCalamitous falls from grace in sports are unfortunately commonplace.

There was Pete Rose’s gambling and A-Rod incessant whining, Tiger’s addictive philandering and Michael Vick’s dog killing, Aaron Hernandez murdering and Kobe Bryant’s alleged pillaging. It happens every year, as it seems.

These darlings of the media are given spotlight, fame and a truck load of cash for playing a game. So, of course, they start jonesin’ for more and think they are incapable of being caught doing no wrong. Such is life for these insipid athletes who need to spruce up their image by taking advantage of others.

And then there is the dingleberry in the roto-rooter of humanity, Lance effin’ Armstrong. (Technically, I think that is his legal middle name.) And wait until you hear this…

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A-Rod Follows Lance Armstrong and Takes the Easy Way Out

How much do you love me? A couple of months ago we gave Yankees slugger/celebrity boyfriend/yacht enthusiast Alex Rodriguez some totally unsolicited advice about the best way to deal with the steroid controversy threatening to ruin his already soiled career.

Now we have to wonder whether A-Rod even read our little blog post, because we’ve seen a glimpse of his role model and it looks a whole lot like pre-Oprah Lance Armstrong.

He decided to turn the tables on his accusers by filing suit against both Major League Baseball for “slandering” him with a world-record 211 game suspension and his team’s physician for “misdiagnosing” a hip injury in an attempt to prevent him from playing.

That’s a devilishly brilliant and completely unbelievable scheme right there.

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New York Magazine Interview Reveals Oprah’s Rebranding Secrets

This week New York Magazine published a revealing interview with Oprah Winfrey, reigning queen of reinvention. It specifically dealt with how she saved her OWN Network, which looked like a big bust as recently as mid-2012.

Oprah’s partnership with Arianna Huffington, which led to “HuffPost OWN”, wasn’t enough to immediately rescue the floundering ship, but OWN finally became profitable this summer as its ratings jumped more than 60%. Well-hyped interviews with Rihanna and Lance Armstrong helped, as did Tyler Perry‘s soap opera The Haves and the Have Nots, but many still wonder how she pulled it all off.

Here are some key revelations from the woman herself.

On dealing with “no”:

Oh, I hear that all the time.

 On the challenges of choosing the right people to manage OWN:

What didn’t feel right from the beginning was, “Who are we going to get to do this? Because I have a full-time job.”

When I first suggested [network presidents] Erik and Sheri, [the idea] was not welcomed with open arms…I’d never done cable, and they’d never done cable.

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American Public to Soccer: Now Is Not the Time to Take a Dive

Most kids in high school know one thing: the good looking girls like the popular guys, and if you’re on the football team—yes, American football—then you’re doing okay with the ladies. Meanwhile, the rest of us turn to unhealthy habits, The Catcher in the Rye, and hanging out in poorly lit parking lots.

Over the years, however, the sport of soccer—yes, European/South American/African/Asian football—has been making inroads with the American public. But it feels like it is taking forever. Seriously. Just when it appears the American public is finally going to fall in love with soccer, something weird happens. The public gets cold feet. The public backs away. It refuses to commit, and runs back to the stable, familiar, good-looking NFL and its bazillions of dollars and father who is a rich doctor and drives a Lexus. Poor soccer is left at home, brooding on the couch, devouring ice cream with its bare hands.

The American public loves a winner, and soccer hasn’t been able to throw itself that raucous champagne-drenched party for champions that the good-looking girls need in order to be popular.

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‘Me Walls’ and Vanity License Plates Reflect Personal Brands

Having a active presence on the latest social platforms is the main focus for many self-promoters. But ‘me walls’ and vanity license plates have been around far longer than Facebook posts and Twitter handles. They offer creative personal branding options for car owners and execs with corner offices.

‘Me walls’ “display photos of a person posing with President X or foreign leader Y,” according to Mark Leibovich, author of the recent best seller, This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral – Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking in America’s Gilded Capital. He was referring to the decorated office walls of Washington D.C.’s power players, but the term also applies to the corner offices at PR firms, corporations, sports agencies and Hollywood studios.

For top-level executives who aren’t stuck in cubicles, floor-to-ceiling exhibits include impressiive photos, exotic travel souvenirs and trophy cases. ‘Me walls’ offer a chance to show off one’s accomplishments and high profile contacts in a personalized setting. They’re the visual equivalent of name-dropping, also serving as conversation-starters for visitors. Since scandals can arise at any time, rotating displays are preferable. Photos of David Petraeus and Lance Armstrong were likely replaced this year, for example.

Vanity license plates: Car owners willing to pay the Department of Motor Vehicles an extra fee have the opportunity to convey their essence in fewer than ten characters. Back in New York, while wandering around locally, we spotted some catchy career-related plates. These may belong to editors, pr execs, techies, financial speculators or sports enthusiasts: MR EDIT, SPYNDOC, RISK MAN, SURFR GRL.

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The PR Police Power of Self-Awareness During a Pot Festival

Effective PR requires two critical elements: knowing your audience and the ability to accept reality. Too often brands, celebrities and companies misidentify customer sentiment and lose any opportunity to create good will by being tone deaf, arrogant, or dishonest. (Or, in the case of Lance Armstrong, all three.)

So kudos to the Seattle Police Department, which—as we reported last week—implemented a uniquely audience-specific, creative and realistic Twitter campaign in anticipation of last weekend’s very public Hempfest. The celebration came on the heels of a ruling that legalized marijuana in the state of Washington last fall.

Knowing the penchant stoners have for snack foods, the Seattle Police Department handed out 1,000 free bags of Doritos sporting stickers informing participants that they shouldn’t drive while high or give weed to minors and—oh yeah—don’t forget to have fun, either. This isn’t polished marketing Geico green lizard PR. This is true public relations outreach. Here is the message the Seattle PD conveyed: We get you. Read more

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