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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jackson’

HIRING: Dr. Conrad Murray Looking for a Publicist

conrad-murray-guilty1So, you’re a jaded PR professional. You watch the clock all day long because your clients just don’t do it for you any longer. You stare out the window or watch national network news pondering about the high life. From the convenience of your not-so-smartphone, you troll the special #HAPPO want ads, and you see it…

The big break. The moment for which you have been waiting your entire career. Prayers answers. Cherubs singing overhead. Cash registers ringing a melody of “Handel’s Messiah.” What is it?

According to TMZ.com, Dr. Conrad Murray — as in, the guy accused of murdering Michael Jackson — is looking for a publicist. Here’s an idea of what that fateful want ad may read:

WANTED: A talentless and unscrupulous flack in dire need of that filthy Hollywood attention. Paparazzi, “group” functions at hot tub clubs and gorging at In N’ Out during your 2 a.m. jitters. Someone who uses plagiarism as “research,” treats contacts in the media as if they owe you a solid and would be willing to sell his or her mother for a nice view and some Skittles.

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Celebrity PR: Better Off Dead

Finally, tangible proof that there is indeed life after death—as long as you are, or were, a famous celebrity.

The Forbes 2012 Top-Earning Dead Celebrities report is out, and many will be surprised to learn that both Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley have been relegated to the #2 and #3 spots, respectively. That’s right, Elizabeth Taylor snuck into the 2012 lead by virtue of an estate auction which earned a cool $210 million last year. Taylor’s collection of jewelry was legendary, but she also owned works by both Picasso and Van Gogh, and her perfume line White Diamonds remains a top-seller.

The public wants its celebrities to be both exceptional and human, and nothing reminds us of the humanity of the ridiculously talented and fortunate more than death. We all die, after all–and death doesn’t care who we are.

Death can visit us in the shower, on a highway or during a beachside stroll. It has neither remorse nor regret. It simply does what it does when it wants, and dying turns out to be a defining career move for many celebrities thanks to the misplaced nostalgia of an eager public.

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Toyota Hires Even More PR

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Toyota strengthened its PR bench within the Beltway last week, adding agencies Glover Park Group and Quinn Gillespie & Associates to a roster that already included Powell Tate and Golin Harris.

Now, Southern California Toyota dealers have hired Sitrick and Co., a crisis firm known mostly for their work with high profile clients like Michael Jackson, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Paris Hilton. The agency also handled PR for rapper Chris Brown after his altercation with then girlfriend Rihanna before the Grammy’s last year. Agency namesake Michael Sitrick reportedly bills at $700 an hour.

The dealers hiring an agency does make sense, as media reports on the Toyota recall often quote dealers, who are more likely to give a straightforward take on the matter, as opposed to Toyota corporate executives, who have been fully briefed on talking points and are more likely to give the company line.

“The true and accurate story has not gotten out there. We want to make sure that, when the media reports on the issue, they get the correct facts and get the dealers’ point of view,” Sitrick told Automotive News.

Sitrick and Co. was acquired by consulting firm Resources Connection Inc. in October 2009.

2010 Predictions: Bad Pitch Blog Edition

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For a “lighter” take on 2010 PR industry predictions, we turned to Richard Laermer and Kevin Dugan, founders of “The Bad Pitch Blog.”

On business prospects for 2010:

Kevin: According to economists, we’ll be eating Ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner until 2015. But I think PR business will be flat and any growth will be from companies simply doing more with less. Translation: longer hours for the same pay — if you’re lucky. But it’s how these things go in the service industry. It keeps us all thinking, reinventing and learning.

Richard: I will be up in 2010. Thanks to Viagra.

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Kevin: Let me guess, you’ll be stiff competition?

On PR M&A activity in 2010:

Kevin: There will be more mergers and acquisitions in general. TV will see the biggest shakeup. Perhaps We and SyFy channels will merge and become WyFy? OK, probably not, but TV’s decline is following newspapers in short order.

Richard: Nothing will merge because no one has the money to spend on an agency. Many will close. Some will merge with small shops. Some will do both. PS: Big success story: AOL! Yeah.

Kevin: You mean “Aol.”

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Richard: Oops. They could sue.

Kevin: I see more lawsuits in 2010!

Richard: Hmm. Yeah, it’s the new blackmail.

The biggest PR story of 2010 will be…

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Chances Are Your Facebook Fan Page Has Fewer Than 10,000 Fans

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Ever since Facebook upgraded its fan pages so that brands, celebrities and organizations became equivalent to human beings in the social network — i.e. content from fan pages is displayed in one’s feed, just like with friends — we’ve received a barrage of requests to fan just about anything you can imagine, including about 20 PR agencies.

One social media analytics company, Sysomos, took a look at nearly 600,000 Facebook fan pages and found only 297 — or 0.05% — have more than one million fans. Other interesting findings:

Michael Jackson is the most popular page on Facebook, with 10 million fans; he is followed by actor Vin Diesel (7 million) and U.S. president Barack Obama (6.9 million).

On average, a Facebook Page has 4,596 fans.

Four percent of pages have more than 10,000 fans, 0.76% of pages have more than 100,000 fans, and 0.05% of pages (or 297 in total) have more than a million fans.

95% of pages have more than 10 fans

65% of pages have more than 100 fans

23% of pages have more than 1,000 fans

4% of pages have more than 10,000 fans

0.76% of pages have more than 100,000 fans

0.047% of pages have more than one million fans (297 in total).

Editor’s note: Sysomos sent us a somewhat of a generic pitch, and it looks like they gave TechCrunch the exclusive on the news. However, the data is interesting so we decided to cover it anyway.

Kiss Hires Levine Communications Office

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“Rock band Kiss hired Levine Communications Office for PR as it releases its first album in 11 years, Sonic Boom,” reports PRWeek‘s Kimberly Maul.

The agency has been in the PR business more than 25 years and has worked with household names including Barbara Streisand, Michael J. Fox and David Bowie. Agency namesake Michael Levine recently incurred some public backlash after issuing a statement immediately after the death of former client Michael Jackson that some thought was insensitive.

Levine told PRNewser that he has worked with Kiss before and said of their success, “I am smart enough to know getting to the top is hard, staying at the top is harder.” We asked him if there was one booking he would want to score for the band, to which he replied, “Getting them to play the Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl.” What, no halftime show?

AP Considering Charging News Outlets for Exclusives

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If OK! magazine will pay $500,000 for the rights to run Michael Jackson‘s death photo, The Associated Press, it seems, is no longer content sitting on the sidelines when it could be charging for access to the premium content it produces.

No specific details have been announced yet, but the AP is “considering whether to sell news stories to some online customers exclusively for a certain period, perhaps half an hour,” according to a report on AP chief executive Tom Curley‘s remarks at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club yesterday. “…products can be reserved, and there can be exclusives given, perhaps on a time-base measure. Those who get access to that content and the rich multimedia or metadata that comes with it might get an exclusive for, oh, 20 or 30 minutes,” he said.

Keith Trivitt, account executive at RLM Public Relations said, “In a 24/7 news cycle where people can get information instantly, the AP idea seems absurd.” David Teicher, Social Media Manager & Strategist at McCann-Erickson NY thinks it’s an interesting approach. “They need to generate additional revenue somehow, he said, but added, “This system would work better with exclusives or the not time sensitive stories. Not breaking news.”

Who Do You Call When You Have a Scoop?

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When Harvey Levin‘s TMZ broke the news of Michael Jackson‘s death, it was heralded as yet another victory in the battle of “new media” versus “old.” This past week, the tech/geek crowd has been obsessed with TechCrunch as being the only media outlet to receive – and publish – confidential Twitter company documents.

However, with the recent passing of former CBS News Anchor Walter Cronkite, it was The New York Times who got the story out first, via a fundamental tenet of reporting: a phone call from a source. Cronkite’s son Chip called the Times to let them know of the news. Peter Himler, who served as Chief Media Officer for Edelman Worldwide, following 11 years with Burson-Marsteller as head of the agency’s U.S. corporate and strategic media team and its worldwide spokesperson, reflects on his own experiences on his blog, The Flack:

In early 2003, the family of former CBS Inc. CEO Thomas Wyman asked my firm to help handle the news of his death. The PR duties fell to me. Working with his son, I finally had an announcement in hand. My first call: the city desk of The New York Times followed shortly by the AP city desk. At The Times, Douglas Martin, who penned Mr. Cronkite’s obit, took the lead on Mr. Wyman’s. The media universe ran with the news from there.

As I consider Mr. Cronkite’s passing, I’m stuck on the question of media validation. Which outlets have the journalistic chops to make it safe for everyone else to publish, post or broadcast a big breaking news story? Should one trust TechCrunch, TMZ or BNO as they would a New York Times, AP or CBS News? It’s already clear that many bloggers and most microbloggers don’t distinguish. Shouldn’t they?

Himler makes some good points, namely: which news sources do you trust? It also begs the question: Who would you call when delivering a piece of news as significant as the one Himler had to deliver?