Posts Tagged ‘Michael Bloomberg’
Something tells us this wasn’t what Michael Bloomberg had in mind when he started the “Demand a Plan” campaign–but it has potential. Hip-hop mogul Michael “Blue” Williams, whose clients include Cee-Lo and Outkast and who doesn’t claim to be the world’s best manager despite choosing the Twitter handle @TheBestManager, has proposed a campaign called “Guns for Greatness” designed to reduce the number of firearms on New York streets by offering “mentorships” and free Beyoncé/Jay-Z concert tickets to anyone who turns his weapons in to the police department.
Sure, it sounds a little ridiculous at first, but according to a letter Williams sent to the NYPD earlier this week, he’s already three quarters of the way toward his goal of raising $100,000 to fund the initiative.
Beyoncé, Jay-Z and the NYPD have yet to sign off on the proposal, but top cop Ray Kelly did tell the New York Daily News that “We want to get as many guns off the streets, and if this works, we’d like to support it.”
In our last post, we discussed brands whose names have become synonymous with the products they offer (even when other companies sell similar or identical products). Styrofoam (a subsidiary of Dow Chemical) is one of those brands–and we have a feeling the company’s PR department, if such a thing exists, isn’t too happy with the latest news about New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Seems that Mayor Mike (also known as El Bloombito) might take steps to ban Styrofoam cups and containers in all city businesses as part of a big recycling initiative. You’re probably aware that Styrofoam has a bad reputation due to the fact that it does not decompose and is considered by the FDA to be a “a possible human carcinogen”. Many products containing “expanded polystyrene”, the most environmentally unfriendly element in the mix, weren’t created by Dow at all–but people still refer to them as “Styrofoam.”
In fact, if you Google the word you’ll probably see a whole lot of petitions like this one urging companies, particularly restaurants, to stop using the stuff. It’s a bit of a branding conundrum.
Some recycling providers are trying to change the public’s perception of the white stuff by offering “Styrofoam recycling” services (not sure how that would work), but Bloomberg is hardly the only city official considering a ban–the city of San Jose, for example, recently considered banning any food products containing expanded polystyrene.
Complain about “nanny state” Bloomberg all you want–but it’s hard to argue in favor of an unhealthy product with a terrible reputation.
In case you hadn’t heard, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg won his battle with “big soda”, banning extra-large servings of sugar water via a unanimous City Board of Health vote. The ban will take effect in March, but this doesn’t mean the conflict is over–far from it. See, Coca-Cola may admit to making Americans fat, but the world’s biggest brand will continue to fight for its right to sell ridiculously oversized portions to anyone who cares to buy them.
Now comes the next phase–and big soda chose a very interesting PR approach this time by enlisting the NAACP and the Hispanic Federation to argue against the ban on racial terms. During the first courtroom arguments in the class action suit filed against Bloomberg and the city, representatives from these organizations argued that the ban would disproportionately “hurt small and minority-owned businesses while doing little to help health” and placing said businesses at a further disadvantage when compared to their larger rivals. Of course, soda also plays a crucial role in boosting obesity rates within minority communities, but we’ll just forget about that for now.
Here’s the real shocker: these groups don’t just receive lots of donations from Coke, Pepsi and other soft drink brands; they also give them awards for outstanding “corporate leadership”. This isn’t to say that social advocacy groups should be immune to the usual lobbying nonsense, but the completely unsurprising revelation does damage the credibility of this particular PR initiative while simultaneously diluting the larger and far more important mission of these civil rights advocacy groups. It’s very unfortunate.
One thing that does really bother us about this ban: it will exclude 7-Eleven, home of the famous “Big Gulp”. Why? Because, for some reason, the city can’t legally regulate convenience and supermarket chains (which are slowly smothering its classic bodegas). That’s just dumb.
We’ve recently posted on the PR components of our nation’s latest debate over gun control. Topics include the NRA‘s media strategies and a new campaign from Michael Bloomberg‘s advocacy group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which made waves with a viral video featuring A-list celebrities voicing support for the group’s “DemandAPlan” initiative.
Today brings news of another related campaign, this one created by the American politician who has the most direct experience with real-world gun violence. Exactly two years ago, former Arizona representative Gabriel “Gabby” Giffords was shot in the head by a mentally unstable individual who also killed six bystanders and wounded 12 others.
Giffords’s group, called Americans for Responsible Solutions, officially launched this morning with a web page and a USA Today op-ed. ARS hasn’t outlined many specific proposals, but its stated goal is to “launch a national dialogue and raise funds to counter influence of the gun lobby” in order to encourage Congress to pass relevant laws.
Like all things related to gun control, this initiative won’t advance without controversy: a Connecticut politician already took to her Facebook page to decry a recent visit by Giffords and her former astronaut husband, Mark Kelly, to family members of Sandy Hook shooting victims.
The social advocacy organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns, co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Meninio, has launched a new PR campaign via social media in an effort to push American politicians to pass gun control legislation. The group also released a petition this week urging Americans to “join more than 750 mayors and 750,000 grassroots supporters to demand that President Obama and Congress step forward with a plan to end gun violence” on a national level.
The three main objectives of the Demand a Plan campaign are:
- Require a criminal background check for every gun sold in America
- Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines
- Make gun trafficking a federal crime, including real penalties for “straw purchasers”
Like most modern advocacy campaigns, this one gets creative with social media:
Streaming events in real-time alters the dynamics for event organizers, impacting the scope of the audience, press coverage and sponsorships. Livestream is a key provider of real-time event coverage services–and while Mitt Romney’s infamous forty-seven percent fund raiser video wasn’t livestreamed, many A-list happenings are: examples include the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute gala, The World Economic Forum in Davos and the Times Square ball drop on New Year’s Eve.
PRNewser spoke with Jessica Kantor, livestream’s head of marketing and content, at November’s Digital Hollywood conference and met recently with Kantor and her colleague, Sam Kimball, EVP of advertising and brand sales, at Livestream’s New York office (left) and here. Below are highlights of our conversation on the Livestream model.
Elements of Livestream’s successful equation include:
1. Brand snapshot and evolution: “To viewers, Livestream is entertainment and live TV”, Kantor explained. “Anyone in the world, both individuals and companies, can broadcast their events”, Kimball added. Viewers can also see past events by accessing Livestream’s online channels.
Adoption of Livestream during the past five years has been steady, but it wasn’t easy early on. “Event organizers may have been nervous at first, since nothing replaces being there in person”, Kantor said. “Livestream isn’t mainstream yet, though more people use it now.”
2. A myriad of usage occasions. Entertainment and music events are popular, and musicians often tape segments at Livestream’s studio as part of their press tours. Livestream is also available overseas, and “as long as an internet connection exists, you can go live”, Kantor noted. Livestream’s most remote customers without internet acces, such as SpaceX and the Volvo Ocean Race, need to rely on a satellite feed and proprietary equipment.
Political candidates frequently Livestreamed events this fall; Kantor said that Obama’s campaign used the service extensively. “The President’s dedicated video team made it a priority, including the final rally with Bruce Springsteen and Jay Z”. Another political customer is Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who Livestreams his press conferences. (They’re also entertaining, thanks to his sign language interpreter.)
We understand that the communications pros at the National Weather Service have a challenging and largely thankless job: convincing barely-interested Americans to pay attention to dangerous weather systems and respond accordingly.
Their jobs are especially important at a time like this: Hurricane Sandy is about to slam into New Jersey, and its aftermath won’t be pretty: Governor Chris Christie stopped begging Bruce Springsteen to hang out with him long enough to tell residents that they should prepare to go without power for 7-10 days, adding (with his trademark understatement), “Don’t be stupid, get out.”
OK, we get it: this is a big deal. The NWS knows that people don’t generally like to pack up and flee their homes, and we don’t doubt that some hard-headed New Jersey residents will stay put no matter what. Still, we wonder whether the tone of the service’s Sunday evening message was completely appropriate. Here’s the passage that raised some eyebrows (bold text ours, all caps theirs):
2. IF YOU ARE RELUCTANT TO EVACUATE, AND YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO RODE OUT THE `62 STORM ON THE BARRIER ISLANDS, ASK THEM IF THEY COULD DO IT AGAIN.
3. IF YOU ARE RELUCTANT, THINK ABOUT YOUR LOVED ONES, THINK ABOUT THE EMERGENCY RESPONDERS WHO WILL BE UNABLE TO REACH YOU WHEN YOU MAKE THE PANICKED PHONE CALL TO BE RESCUED, THINK ABOUT THE RESCUE/RECOVERY TEAMS WHO WILL RESCUE YOU IF YOU ARE INJURED OR RECOVER YOUR REMAINS IF YOU DO NOT SURVIVE.
Well, that was certainly blunt. Since Buzzfeed won’t tell us whether we should be outraged by this insensitive gut punch, we’re stuck between freaking out and following New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s more measured suggestion:
“Sit back, have a sandwich from the fridge, watch television” – Mayor Bloomberg
— ben walsh (@BenDWalsh) October 29, 2012
We’ll get back to you when we figure it out.
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