AgencySpy LostRemote TVNewser TVSpy FishbowlNY FishbowlDC GalleyCat SocialTimes

Posts Tagged ‘Mitt Romney’

Swiss Banking Industry Offers Shockingly Sincere Apology for Tax Shelters

The hills are alive with the sound of groveling

Swiss bank accounts are kind of like steroids in sports: lots of ridiculously wealthy people use them and everybody knows that these people use them, but they’re still a big no no. We joke about how they’ve become such a regular part of the national conversation, but any connection to them becomes a PR liability for big-name clients. Just ask Mitt Romney.

For this reason, we find ourselves amused by the incredibly earnest apology issued today by Patrick Odier, a spokesperson speaking on behalf of the entire Swiss banking industry. He wants to let the world know that his clients are very, very sorry for encouraging Americans to avoid paying domestic taxes on the money that they worked so hard to earn (if by “worked so hard” you mean “established high-yield savings accounts”). Here’s his explanation:

It was not because we lacked skills and knowledge that we found ourselves in these unfortunate situations. It was because we acted wrongly and we displayed wrong conduct. I regret this all the more because we have damaged the reputation of the entire Swiss financial center.

Yes, this apology came after Switzerland’s decision to (begrudgingly) assist the U.S. in identifying tax cheats, and that came after a lengthy investigation that forced the nation’s oldest bank to close and threatened to wreck the industry’s credibility. But Odier sounds downright masochistic here. Have any crisis comms pros ever witnessed such a self-effacing apology?

Mediabistro Course

Presentations: From Planning to Design

Presenations: From Planning to DesignLearn how to create clear, visually compelling presentations! Starting December 1, you'll learn how to plan and design your presentation, understand your audience, choose which presentation software to use, and tailor your narrative to meet your audience's needs. Register now!

Livestream: Not Yet Mainstream But Clearly a Game Changer

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.)

Read more

Free Drinks for the Entitled via Sunshine Sachs

As they do each year, the folks at Sunshine Sachs–the biggest firm with no public profile–used a news tie-in as the hook on their holiday invite: “100% of you are invited | 47% of you like free alcohol enough to come”.  Six years after this blog began, Ken Sunshine and his partner Shawn Sachs still don’t have a website–and only the latter Tweets sporadically.

‘Tis appropriate that the firm with Democratic party roots chose to use the Mitt Romney hook as its own, though we hear the current client base is fully diversified to extend beyond the original politics-and-celebrities two-step.

And as is tradition, every member of the staff gets to invite who they want–and receives a mention on the invitation. Some quick math tells us the firm is indeed still growing. This year they’ve added 14% to the headcount. Not bad considering the invite showed 50 percent and 29 percent growth in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

Obama PR Team Recasts Victory as ‘Revenge of the Nerds’

President Barack ObamaIf you’re anything like us, you remember the 2012 election as a long, unpleasant string of joke candidates, gaffes, Twitter fights, terrible debate performances and attack ads. The Obama campaign’s PR team, however, would like the public to see the president’s re-election as a very modern tale of data nerds winning the day.

As Jason Zengerle’s essay in New York Magazine demonstrates, research and tech tools played an outsized role in ensuring that the president’s campaign apparatus raised more money and recruited more volunteers in ‘12 than in ’08—despite the fact that most supporters weren’t quite as enthusiastic as they had been four years ago. Since election day, the press team has worked hard to push this story by staying positive and emphasizing the importance of app makers and number crunchers in the re-election campaign.

So how did these nerds do it?

Read more

Spin the Agencies of Record

Friendly’s Ice Cream selected Regan Communications Group Inc. as its public relations agency of record. The Boston-based restaurant chain emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January after closing 100 shops and laying off thousands of workers.

Sun Capital Partners, a Florida-based private-equity firm co-run by Marc Leder (who hosted the fund-raiser where Mitt Romney made his infamous “47 percent” comment) took the 76-year-old ice cream chain into bankruptcy in October 2011, shed its pensions and downsized and then repurchased the chain through an affiliate.

ShopPR has been chosen as AOR for Keds, the American lifestyle brand established in 1916. ShopPR will be responsible for social/digital marketing and public relations; for its first assignment this October, the agency helped Keds introduce its multi-year partnership with six-time Grammy winning singer-songwriter and style icon Taylor Swift.

“We’re so thrilled and proud to be working with Keds”, said Vanessa Pesce, Managing Director of ShopPR. “We’re inspired by the way Keds is encouraging girls to reach their full potential, and we also look forward to promoting the brand’s iconic styles.”

Read more

Execs’ Anti-Obama Rants Hurt Restaurant Brands

Papa John's CEO Several men who work as managers and CEOs of chain restaurants don’t much care for President Obama’s signature health insurance law—and they haven’t been shy about letting everyone know it via their respective media megaphones.

Their outrage may have something to do with the fact that chain restaurants, despite employing millions of Americans, very often do not provide health insurance for their workers. While these men have every right to voice their outrage, a recent YouGov BrandIndex report implies that their opinions may be hurting their brands.

Examples from the past month:

  • An owner of several Applebee’s branches claimed that “…we won’t build more restaurants. We won’t hire more people” due to the additional costs of insuring employees via “Obamacare.”
  • A south Florida man who runs several Denny’s and Dairy Queen locations discussed his plans to add a 5% surcharge to all orders in order to cover the anticipated cost of the legislation, telling customers that “if they really feel so inclined, they can reduce the amount of tip they give to the server, who is the primary beneficiary of Obamacare.”
  • After reports led some to believe that Obamacare would force him to close stores, fire workers and raise prices, Papa John’s CEO (and major Mitt Romney fundraiser) John Schnatter recently took to The Huffington Post to clarify his statements on the matter, writing that everybody just needs to calm down because all of his restaurants plan to “honor the law.”

There’s little doubt that these statements paint the men who made them as jackasses, yet the YouGov brand report hints that the damage runs deeper: these execs’ anti-Obamacare rants have led the public to lose respect for their brands.

Read more

Will The White House’s New Social Media Strategy Work?

The White House Twitter Feed ImageThere’s no question that The White House knows its way around social media—President Obama’s “four more years” Instagram tweet quickly became the most liked and shared message in history.

Of course, officials like the President don’t just use Twitter and Facebook to post adorable pictures of themselves and their families—they also use it to drive strategy and influence policy. And yet, as we’ve seen in the past, social media is an unwieldy animal that many political groups struggle to master.

Exactly one year ago, The White House used Twitter to push an effort to extend a “payroll tax cut” that affected millions of Americans. That effort ultimately proved successful, but now Obama faces a new and potentially bigger challenge involving the much-discussed “fiscal cliff” that would result in massive spending cuts and the elimination of George W. Bush-era tax cuts if not addressed by congress before the New Year.

Obama recently debuted the hashtag #My2K, named for the approximately $2000 in yearly tax increases that would theoretically affect millions of middle-class Americans if congress doesn’t act. He tweeted his millions of followers encouraging them to offer personal stories of what that $2K might mean to them and their families—and to direct those messages to their representatives.

Sounds like a well-planned PR strategy—but will it work?

Read more

‘Loser’ Tesla Wins Car of the Year, Mocks Mitt Romney

Photo via Stephen Lam/ReutersApologies for bringing your attention back to the 2012 election, but you may recall this Mitt Romney quote from the first presidential debate in which he criticized President Obama’s focus on “clean” energy:

“But don’t forget, you put $90 billion, like 50 years’ worth of breaks, into—into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and Ener1. I mean, I had a friend who said you don’t just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers, all right? So this—this is not—this is not the kind of policy you want to have if you want to get America energy secure.”

Turns out that Tesla, at least, has the last laugh: the company’s Model S all-electric sedan just won Motor Trend‘s Car of the Year award by unanimous 12-0 vote. The Model S is the first electric car to win in the 64-year history of the award, and its victory signals an industry-wide shift toward hybrid and electric models–if not on the road, then definitely in the design studio.

Lest we think Motor Trend simply followed the flock in making this decision, editor in chief Ed Loh stated that the magazine’s editorial board didn’t choose the Model S simply because it lacks a combustion engine; it also happens to the be the fastest and one of the quietest, best-handling American sedans on the market.

And about that Mitt Romney “loser” quote: No one at Tesla commented on the matter before the election, but designer Elon Musk, the mind behind the Model S, managed to get a final dig in after his Motor Trend victory, stating:

“In retrospect he was right about the object of that statement, but not the subject.”

Mee-oww.

Mr. Burns Endorses Mitt Romney

Today in Yes, It’s Still Election Day News: we bring you another attempt to add some levity to the political process. While director Joss Whedon endorses Obama because “a vote for Romney is a vote for the zombie apocalypse”, Springfield’s most famous villainous rich guy, Montgomery Burns, sits firmly in the Mitt camp.

Like all things related to The Simpsons, this video isn’t quite as funny as it would have been in, say, 1996. Why? Well, the spot’s writers make their political sensibilities quite obvious throughout, and most of the jokes revolve around the election season’s big, worn-out memes. Enough with the Seamus story already! Still, we respect even half-hearted attempts to bring humor into the joyless world of politics.

Speaking of which, we haven’t seen many genuinely funny anti-Obama spots this year. Anybody?

Chrysler CEO Contradicts Romney Outsourcing Ad

We’re all a little obsessed with the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy right now, but our last post reminded us that there will be an election one week from today—and that its winner will be the nation’s next president.

The latest election-related PR news centers on Ohio, a land forever competing with Florida for “most important state in the nation” status. Here’s our (very quick) summary of the moment’s hottest topic:

The 2009 government bailout of the auto industry affected an estimated 1 in 8 Ohio natives’ jobs, and Mitt Romney understandably wants to convince these voters that President Obama didn’t help them out at all (and encourage them to forget that he wrote an op-ed arguing against government intervention on the auto industry’s behalf).

In an effort to turn the issue to its advantage, the Romney campaign created an ad playing off Chrysler/Fiat’s plans to begin manufacturing more of its iconic Jeeps in China, which happens to be the world’s fastest-growing automobile market.

The ad implies that these new overseas manufacturing operations will come at the expense of American jobs and vaguely pins responsibility for the supposed job loss on President Obama. The general response within Ohio has been swift and decisive—nearly every significant local paper (even those papers whose editors endorsed Mr. Romney) questioned the ad’s accuracy  this week. Some pundits now speculate that the campaign’s bold move could amount to a PR fail.

Today brought the most decisive statement on the issue to date:

Read more

NEXT PAGE >>