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Posts Tagged ‘Paula Broadwell’

Oprah Uses Apple iPad to Endorse Microsoft Surface

Oprah WinfreyThe public understands the challenges of brand consistency in the digital age. With so many distractions unfolding so continuously and quickly, it’s easy to go off message or reveal a failure in a brand’s promise or values.

Just as that dangerous mix of human fallibility and technical reliability brought former General David Petraeus and his biographer Paula Broadwell down like the Hindenburg, so online PR campaigns can self-sabotage when technology exposes the contradictory actions of CEOs or employees.

Take Oprah Winfrey, for example, who recently tweeted glowing reviews naming Microsoft’s Surface tablet as one of her Favorite Things 2012, thereby giving the tablet an important and powerful endorsement in an intensely competitive market category.

It’s Oprah, after all, and she’s (still) one of the most important personalities in America. We can only assume that Microsoft was ecstatic about the praise from Ms. Winfrey. The company was also probably just as surprised as everyone else to learn that the tweets were sent from an iPad, the Darth Vader to Microsoft’s young Luke Skywalker.

What was Oprah thinking?

Is this a PR crime on par with BP’s gulf oil spill? Of course not. Is it hilarious? Absolutely. It’s also a PR setback for both Oprah and Microsoft because of the innate “stink test” the public exercises in moments like these.

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Mediabistro Course

Presentation Writing: Design and Delivery

Presentation Writing: Design and DeliveryLearn how to use storytelling techniques and visual content to create and deliver successful pitches and presentations! Starting August 6, Amanda Pacitti, the manager of learning at Time Inc., will teach you the best practices for presentations, from using software like Prezi and Powerpoint, to writing your script, and using images, audio, and video to drive your points. Register now! 

The Petraeus Scandal Just Got a Lot Juicier

General David Petraeus and Paula BroadwellWow, that was fast: the adulterous duo of Gen. David Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, just turned into a love triangle–or is it a pentagon? Whatever shape the scandal eventually takes, its fallout already extends to the top ranks of the US military.

Let’s play catch-up:

The primary reason the whole story came to light was an FBI complaint filed by Tampa resident Jill Kelley. We’re not quite sure what Mrs. Kelley did, but we do know that Mrs. Broadwell (who was having an affair with Petraeus at the time, remember) regarded her as some sort of threat, emailing her repeatedly about her work as a “social liason” to Florida’s MacDill Air Force base in what some classified as an aggressive and accusatory tone.

Kelley was so disturbed by the messages that she reported them to the FBI; things quickly started to unravel. Petraeus appears to have broken up with Broadwell once he heard about these interactions, but the damage had already been done.

After the FBI gained access to Broadwell’s email account, they uncovered the relationship between the biographer and her subject. According to the latest revelations, they also stumbled upon a very large series of email exchanges between Kelley and General John Allen, the top commander of US/NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Seems like quite a few people had more than a casual interest in Mrs. Kelley.

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