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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Vick’

Paula Deen’s Carnival of Disaster Finally Hires Renowned PR Professional

Oh boy. That was painful. As you know Paula Deen appeared on the Today Show recently after abruptly cancelling an interview with Matt Lauer last Friday.

By now everyone in our industry has formed their opinions regarding Paula Deen’s rapid demise and her subsequent barrage of awkward apologies and wayward explanations. This entire situation is sad. There are no winners here. So we’re hesitant to jump in the media melee and add energy to this sadness, but as PR experts it’s our job to deconstruct this ugly mess.

These are emotional times for the Paula Deen empire, and emotional PR situations must be handled with logic, sincerity and intelligence. That means showing up and treating the public like adults. For Paula Deen the folksy, southern “aw shucks” shtick may sell Virginia ham, but it doesn’t sell the truth. Read more

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Michael Vick Is a Dog Owner Again

We’re guessing the title above either made you shout an expletive or emit a compassionate sigh. Michael Vick is what we call a polarizing figure, and the public views him as either a heartless torturer of innocent animals or a man who has paid his dues to society and earned the right to move on in life.

As PR professionals, we won’t judge Vick here, but we will break down his relationship with the public because, like it or not, Michael Vick is a public relations textbook still in the making. Here’s the story:

Michael Vick, from Hampton Roads, Virginia, was the electric quarterback for Virginia Tech before being selected as the number one pick in the 2001 NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons. Vick had undeniable talent, awe-inspiring athleticism…and tens of millions of dollars to show for his gifts before playing a single professional down. This was a 30 for 30 script long before the show ever aired on ESPN.

A series of poor financial and personal decisions, alongside a smug attitude toward his quarterbacking duties somehow culminated in an FBI investigation, lies to the NFL commissioner and, ultimately, jail time for running a dog fighting ring with “friends” near his hometown. This wasn’t the usual cocaine and hookers–this was brutality and Fido. The public wanted blood. Vick went to jail, and most thought the story would end there, as any aspirations of a comeback seemed doomed by both human reality and spiritual karma. Read more

Is Michael Vick’s Image Rehab Complete?

NFL lives to play another day, and so does gifted quarterback and convicted dogfighter Michael Vick. It looks now like Vick’s PR moves are from the right playbook. He’s done what all public figures do at the end of a long ordeal: a long-form interview with a glossy magazine to hone the details of their narrative.

In an upcoming a profile in GQ by Will Leitch, Vick not onlygets to tell his story but explain that he actually had other options besides the Philadelphia Eagles when returning to football after federal prison. He does credit the Eagles, however, with making him a much better player.

With the exception of a hiccup involving birthday cake, Vick has advanced down the field of reputation recovery rather well.  He won the player-nominated Ed Block Courage Award in 2009, and has stayed out of trouble while making some insane plays on the field. Joining the Eagles at third string QB with a small salary set the stage perfectly.

Look for more of the same from Vick this season.  If it all works out, he’ll be at the head of the parade in Philadelphia after the Super Bowl, and then probably on a talk show in July after his probation is up–with a dog in tow.  He’s not allowed to own one until then.

Spin the Agencies of Record

Arian Foster

Houston Texans running back Arian Foster has chosen French/West/Vaughn as his new marketing and PR AOR. F/W/V also works with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback (and dog lover) Michael Vick and retired NFL player Simeon Rice.

Turner PR has three new clients: The Four Seasons Resorts in Jackson Hole and Whistler and The Brown Palace, a hotel and spa in downtown Denver.

PRWeek reports that Reckitt Benckiser has chosen Euro RSCG Worldwide PR as the PR firm for the Durex brand, which it recently acquired from SSL International. The firm had worked with the brand previously. Ogilvy PR Worldwide had also worked with Durex pre-acquisition through Ogilvy & Mather. That will be transitioned. Porter Novelli works with Reckitt Benckiser’s Veet brand, and Lippe Taylor with Clearasil.

Read more

Crisis Communications: Getting Back to Basics

We’re only a month into the new year and 2011 is already turning into a crisis bonanza.

We’ve gotten to know Taco Bell’s president Greg Creed (at left in an appearance on Good Morning America) and the company’s beef recipe following a class action lawsuit. Toyota has had its recall of the month. The list of trust troubles at Johnson & Johnson has one former marketing staffer telling The New York Times that, “it looks like a plane spinning out of control.” And folks are calling for boycotts of Chick-Fil-A after one of its restaurants agreed to cater an event hosted by an anti-gay organization.

So it seems like a good time to take a step back and revisit some of the basics of crisis communications and reputation management.

We asked three experts on the topic to share their thoughts on some of the key steps to respond to a crisis and rebuild trust. Their responses are after the jump.

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Tidbits: Alec Baldwin, The Dirtiest Hotel, Hacking, Michael Vick, Jane Fonda, and Taco Bell Meat

Alec Baldwin will not replace Keith Olbermann. The news came via MSNBC spokesperson Jeremy Gaines and Baldwin’s spokesperson Matthew Hiltzik. “Alec is committed to 30 Rock through 2012,” Hiltzik told the New York Daily News.

Management at TripAdvisor’s “dirtiest hotel” selection announced that they’ve hired a housekeeper.

Facebook reiterates its commitment to security after Mark Zuckerberg and French President Nicolas Sarkozy get hacked. BTW, Friday is Data Privacy Day!

Michael Vick has an endorsement deal.

Jane Fonda‘s latest workout videos target those ages 50 and over.

Taco Bell has been hit with a class action lawsuit over the nature of its meat. Taco Bell president and chief concept officer Greg Creed has published a statement on the company’s website saying, “Unfortunately, the lawyers in this case elected to sue first and ask questions later — and got their “facts” absolutely wrong.”

Spin the Agencies of Record

In this edition of Spin the Agencies, there are optics, images, and Michael Vick (above).

Celestron, a manufacturer and importer of telescopes and other optical devices, has chosen MWW Group as AOR. The firm will help with product launches and announcements at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.

Hill & Knowlton was hired by the North American Working Group (NAWG), an industry group that promotes wood as a sustainable building product, to develop messaging and brand position strategy.

O’Dwyer’s reports that convicted Michael Vick, the NFL player convicted on charges related to dogfighting, has enlisted French/West/Vaughn for PR help.

Getty Images has hired M Booth as its US AOR. The firm will help the company as it shifts its corporate positioning, PRWeek reports.

Michael Vick Inexplicably Wins Award for Courage

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Michael Vick won the Ed Block Courage Award this week for displaying courage in the face of adversity. The foundation in charge of the award is dedicated to ending child abuse. It runs over 100,000 radio PSAs each year to raise awareness, and supports agencies who provide care and assistance for abused children.

The award is player-nominated, and given to one person on each of the 32 NFL teams. Reports say that Vick received every vote but his own. The statement on the Eagles site makes no mention of Vick’s felony charges for dogfighting, and no mention as to why he deserves the honor usually reserved for players with deep commitments to causes.

We’ll leave the obvious commentary to the Philly Inquirer’s football blog.

Related: DogPAC to Eagles: Campaign Won’t Help Dogs

Vick’s Image Rehab Kicks Off with 60 Minutes

[Via Yahoo!'s Shutdown Corner blog]

Vick’s Image Rehab Kicks Off with 60 Minutes

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Like many other fallen stars before him, convicted dogfighter and Atlanta Falcons star Michael Vick is going with the long-form TV interview to tell his story and set the stage for a comeback.

He will appear 60 Minutes this coming Sunday, though not with one of the regular correspondents, rather the potentially sympathetic CBS Sports NFL TODAY anchor James Brown.

The segment will include Wayne Pacelle, head of the Humane Society of the U.S., and Tony Dungy, the former NFL coach who is currently helping with the comeback

A solid and sincere mia culpa could push his equity higher as a deal with a team is anticipated.

Like Roger Clemens before him, I doubt Vick’s handlers would confirm the booking without the right interviewer and the right questions laid out in advance. Mike Wallace came out of retirement to interview Clemens.

I spoke to Vick’s former PR person Susan Bass, of the Susan Bass Group who declined to comment. She did confirm that she worked with the former superstar about three years ago. Prior to starting her firm, Bass was the VP of communications and community relations from 2002 to 2005.

More on Vick’s image rehabilitation as it happens.

Related: Michael Vick Really is Talking to Peta