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Posts Tagged ‘Mayor Michael Bloomberg’

Uptown Boy: Banksy’s Artwork Makes Cameo on Manhattan’s Upper West Side

Banksy UWS1Banksy’s art appeared on a wall outside retailer DSW at Broadway and 79th Street on Sunday, as the stealthy British artist whose painted stencils caused a media phenomenon headed uptown. Entitled Hammer Boy, the work drew a large crowd of spectators, eagerly snapping photos.

Our Banksy art sighting was purely by coincidence. We read about his New York escapades, but hadn’t actively followed his website where he posts daily entries. We were out for a stroll after seeing New York Historical Society’s exhibit, the Armory show, which also caused a stir–in 1913.

As we were taking photos of the boy with the sledgehammer, another onlooker placed a Time Magazine with a cover story of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg below him. That gave the impression that the boy was about to hammer the Mayor — for recent anti-Banksy comments.

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NYC PSA Helps Girls Deal with Body Image Issues

Nice.Marketers may be taught to target women “when they feel least attractive“, but the City of New York has other, more noble ideas. In fact, if we didn’t know better we might say that outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg has finally abandoned his fight with Big Soda to pursue a more important goal: helping young women resist the very messages that play on their insecurities to sell them consumer goods.

The NYC Girls Project, aimed at young women aged 7 to 12 throughout the city, will primarily take the form of print bus and subway ads along with the hashtag #ImAGirl, some fitness classes and “a pilot program addressing self-esteem issues for girls at 75 after-school programs.”

Here’s the key difference between this campaign and the Bloomberg administration’s previous social initiatives: the tone.

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Media Relations 101: Don’t Call Anyone ‘Racist’

Tomorrow marks the party primaries in New York City’s mayoral race. You can be forgiven for not caring if you don’t live in the Big Apple (and even if you do!), because Anthony Weiner‘s epic, face-first fall from grace seems to be the only thing anyone’s talking about.

Until now, that is.

Over the weekend current Mayor Michael Bloomberg—lover of bikes and hater of soda—made a classic media relations error by letting his outspoken character get the best of him. In an otherwise  solid interview with Chris Smith of New York magazine, Mike accused his least favorite mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio of running a “class-warfare and racist” campaign.

The word would be inflammatory enough on its own, but de Blasio is a white man married to a black woman with two bi-racial children who have been very visible throughout his campaign.

This story illustrates a very simple media relations no-no for figures who rely on the public’s approval: never call anyone a racist.

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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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Cities Worldwide Address Urban Issues Using Digital Technology

New Yorkers have often heard about Mayor Michael Bloomberg traveling domestically and overseas to meet with city leaders to compare notes on urban innovation projects. On Monday during the first day of Internet Week, representatives from a dozen cities around the globe, including New York, convened on the Mayor’s home turf.

The officials appeared at the symposium to describe their initiatives for improving their residents’ lives using digital technology. These represent quality of life and business issues rather than the most pressing urban problems. Each speaker was allotted only ninety seconds, so here’s a brief snapshot:

New York City: Last year the Big Apple launched its Made in NY website to promote local entrepreneurship. Since then they’ve expanded the effort with increased access to workspaces, partnerships with academic institutions as well as other programs and competitions to assist startups.

Boston: launched its Street Bump app, a citizen enabled sensing device for potholes. This project was introduced following extensive road construction, including the Big Dig tunnel project that lasted several years and took its toll on locals’ automobiles.

Philadelphia: The PHL program is a social enterprise partnership with funding from Michael Bloomberg. The civic challenge asks entrepreneurs to identify, select and pilot new programs that solve a host of local issues.

Chicago: Mayor Emmanuel’s ‘Broadband Challenge’ is aimed at improving the city’s fiber network by offering free wi-fi and low cost connectivity. The process even involved updating the sewer network infrastructure.

Quebec City: The Canadian city has its own social network and also has the capability for residents to send personal text messages to help with snow removal. That way they don’t ended up stranded in their cars during snowstorms.

Ottawa: The Canadian city encourages citizen engagement and government transparency. Through an open source website, the public has access to all data. The Apps4 Ottawa open data contest rewards developers who create the most valuable uses and visualizations of the open source data.

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64 Oz. to Freedom: Bloomberg’s Big Soda Ban Is DOA

Well that was fast: one day before Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s contentious “soda ban” was set to begin, The New York State Supreme Court called a kibbosh on the whole undertaking with a strongly worded decision.

The incredibly named Judge Milton Tingling declared in his opinion that New York City is “permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations”. Why? Because the ban’s official language was confusing and its “arbitrary and capricious consequences” difficult to enforce. According to the judge, “the loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose of the rule”. Oh, and something about Big Brother getting too heavy for his britches…

“The Rule would not only violate the separation of powers doctrine, it would eviscerate it. Such an evisceration has the potential to be more troubling than sugar sweetened beverages.”

We’d like to think that those PSAs and protests and weird calls for racial equality had something to do with this decision, but they didn’t. Not at all. And now for a challenge: the first person to create a social media campaign for a major soda brand that makes light of Bloomberg’s crushing defeat without being too smug about it wins our respect for a lifetime. This might be hard!

Oh, and by the way: remember when Bloomberg loved Snapple? Those were they days, weren’t they?

NYC Faces Backlash for PSAs ‘Shaming’ Teen Parents

We think you’ll agree that everyone wants to reduce teen pregnancy rates. But some citizens and advocacy organizations aren’t too happy with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s Human Resources Administration‘s latest attempt to dissuade teens from becoming parents with a bold new PSA campaign that seems to leverage the power of shame.

The campaign consists of posters like the one to the left that pair photos of distraught infants with harrowing facts like “90% of teen parents don’t marry each other”. Each poster encourages viewers to text HRA to learn more and offers “games” that allow users to follow pregnant teenage couples and answer questions like “my GF is pregnant! Prom is coming up and she’s not going, should I stay in or go to prom? Reply ‘promyes’ or ‘promno’”. It’s a sort of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure for the at-risk teenage set. User engagement, calls to action–seems like it could make for effective advocacy PR.

Planned Parenthood is not amused, however.

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Social Media Guides Post-Sandy Volunteer Efforts

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s decision to cancel Sunday’s marathon after a few days of contentious debate left thousands of individuals with race plans and very low-body fat wondering what to do with themselves this weekend. What did these frustrated runners do? Many staged their own unofficial marathons–and quite a few simultaneously began organizing via social media to help the storm’s victims.

Twitter hash tags like #nycvolunteerathon and Facebook pages like “New York Runners in Support of Staten Island” earned thousands of followers in mere hours, providing information to help those interested in volunteering figure out where their efforts would be most effective. Other sites like the “Marathon of Relief” page also directed users to locations on the Internet and around the New York area where they could donate time, funds or goods to the recovery effort.

A revived Occupy also emerged after the storm with a new role: members of the movement created a spin-off group called Occupy Sandy that used its existing infrastructure to help raise funds and arrange volunteer shifts in areas of New York City that had been particularly hard hit by the storm.

In summary, the past week offered quite a few examples of people making the most of two less-than-ideal events: A huge storm and the cancellation of a major cultural event. The fact that they did it almost exclusively via social media–and that related feedback was overwhelmingly positive despite the countless headaches caused by the storm–is reason to feel a little better about the human race today.

Should NYC Postpone the Marathon? (UPDATED)

Today a battle wages on Twitter over what most would probably not consider a pressing issue: whether New York should proceed as planned with the ING New York City Marathon, currently scheduled for Sunday morning. The debate has turned bitter and divisive as pro and con camps make their cases.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others who think the race should happen argue that a postponement or cancellation would be devastating to the NYC-based businesses that bring in hundreds of millions of dollars each year thanks to the Marathon (this year’s race will include approximately 50,000 runners). Bloomberg pointed to the city’s quick rebound after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 as an example of crisis recovery, saying, “The city is a city where we have to go on.”

Anti-marathoners essentially argue that the race, which is a massive undertaking, will divert crucial resources from the city’s Hurricane Sandy clean-up efforts–and that travel disruptions will depress participation rates anyway. Quite a few suggested that runners should boycott the race and volunteer to help Sandy survivors instead–and they’ve even set up a Facebook page.

The latest spat concerns the generators required for the race–and the power they could potentially provide to homes devastated by wind and flooding. Some have predictably turned the issue into a partisan bludgeon to use against Bloomberg, who broke character yesterday to formally endorse President Obama for re-election. Drudge Report deemed the headline “Bloomberg Diverts Critical Supplies from Sandy Aid to NYC Marathon” worthy of a siren, while the New York Post ran with “Abuse of Power”. Coincidence?

Another complication: The race starts in Staten Island, one of the areas hit hardest by the storm (at least 19 dead, many homes destroyed, thousands without power). Postponement advocates argue that starting the race there belittles SI residents, many of whom already feel ignored by city and federal authorities. Yet Bloomberg insisted that the race will go on, and today he doubled down on that promise.

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Beverage Brands, Bloomberg All Hurt By Soda Ban Proposal

Ever since Mayor Bloomberg suggested a ban on oversized sugary drinks, those in opposition have been vocal. Local business owners, members of the media, and health experts have all taken turns poking holes in the proposal.

Bloomberg has done himself few favors by endorsing Doughnut Day, declaring his love of mayonnaise, and, in the past, showing his affinity for hot-dog-eating contests. With July 4 just around the corner, it’ll be interesting to see if he’s as enthusiastic about the annual Nathan’s event.

Despite all that, Bloomberg’s proposal seems to be having the desired effect. According to YouGov BrandIndex, beverages across both the soda and non-soda sectors have taken a hit to their reputations in the New York area. There’s even been a decline in reputation for the beverage sectors nationwide, though YouGov said it’s not statistically significant just yet.

For his part, Jerry Seinfeld is against the ban, but pro-Darwin.

[image: Associated Press]