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Posts Tagged ‘Peter Himler’

PR Stands To Make a Ton of Money From Gulf Oil Spill

It’s not something the industry should, or ever would tout, in light of the oil spill in the Gulf Coast, however the PR industry stands to make a lot of money from companies and organizations related to the spill.

Already, at least one prominent tourism executive in Florida is asking BP to pay for a $75 million PR campaign to let people know beaches in Florida haven’t been affected by the spill.

PRNewser has also been hearing that other organizations have approached PR firms in search of counsel.

“There are many dimensions to this tragedy in which PR can plan seminal roles – the corporate perpetrators, government legislators and regulators, NGO’s and the local tourism industry, which will certainly take a hit. So yes, a boon for PR,” noted Peter Himler, principal, Flatiron Communications LLC.

Executives from the three companies responsible for the spill, BP, Transocean and Halliburton, spent yesterday at a Senate hearing blaming each other for the mess.

Ken Medlock, an energy fellow at Rice University, told CNN that finding a specific cause for the spill is “impossible at this point.”

“That’s why you have these guys just throwing blame around, because frankly they don’t know either,” he said.

RELATED: For BP, It’s More Than Just a Branding Campaign

N.Y. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo ‘Is His Own Image Shaper’

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So says The New York TimesJeremy W. Peters in a story today, titled, “Behind the Curtain, Cuomo Runs His P.R. Machine.”

Peters explains:

In a way that is rare in an age of publicists, communications staff members and strategists, Mr. Cuomo is his own image shaper, relentlessly working the news media in a way that is unseen by the public and that is challenging for those trying to pin him down on any issue.

The Flack’s Peter Himler has some interesting thoughts on Mr. Cuomo’s strategy as well.

‘Today Show’ Booker: We’re Looking for Chefs With Personality

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[Left to right: New York "Grub Street" blog editor Daniel Maurer, Wine Spectator/Cigar Aficionado's Jack Bettridge, Carla Spartos, Food Writer, New York Post, "Today Show" Producer and Chef Booker Deb Kosofsky, "Good Day New York" Segment Producer Linda Simidian. Picture courtesy Peter Himler.]

This post was written by Nancy Lazarus, consultant and new contributor to PRNewser.

At the Publicity Club of New York’s ‘Food Beat’ panel lunch on Thursday, the producers of the ‘Today Show’ and ‘Good Day New York’ both agreed that chefs with charismatic personalities are the most sought after talent to appear on their shows’ food segments.

Deb Kosovsky, Producer and Chief Booker on the ‘Today Show,’ said:

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On the Podcast: Healthcare reform, Mark Cuban, Tiger & Fleischer

On this week’s PRNewser Podcast, we discussed healthcare reform, the media, and its surrogates with Flatiron Communications owner and The Flack blogger Peter Himler.

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Himler likes Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and Alan Grayson, (D-FL), while I like Sherrod Brown (D-OH). Himler believes Nancy Pelosi needs to adopt more of a “Hillary Clinton scowl” and lose the smile.


We also covered Mark Cuban‘s beef with his PR firm, Tiger Woods parting ways with Ari Fleischer, and the benefits of small firms and big firms.

Legendary Publicist Bobby Zarem: ‘I’m Basically An Artist’

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Bobby Zarem, a legendary New York publicist that many PRNewser readers may not recognize by name, but who has represented such bold faced names as Sylvester Stallone, Cher, Dustin Hoffman, Sophia Loren and movies like Saturday Night Fever, is leaving town.

Zarem, who also likes to take credit for the famous “I Love New York” campaign, is headed back to his hometown of Savannah, GA. Many a power publicist have toiled under Zarem, including Madonna’s publicist Liz Rosenberg, well-known event PR specialist Peggy Siegal and Publicity Club of New York president Peter Himler.

This comment in his “exit interview” with New York magazine is one to note:

You’re one of the most famous publicists of all time, even though you’ve said repeatedly that no one knows what you do.

They don’t and that’s because I’m not a bragger. If you’re a press agent and you’re smart, you don’t tell people what you do because if it doesn’t pan out you end up looking like an asshole. I never told my clients what I was doing in case it never materialized, and they never questioned it. They just knew I would get the job done and I always did, which is the difference between me and everyone else in my profession. I’m basically an artist.

Read the full interview here.

Steve Jobs Speaks! To Walt Mossberg And No One Else, Thank You

We’ve been talking with many digital PR executives this week, about how the Apple company mantra of secrecy and anti-transparency goes against so much of what we hear from the likes of digital communicaitons agencies, publications such as Mashable, companies such as Zappos and the latest Edelman Trust Barometer which said, “trust and transparency are as important to corporate reputation as the quality of products and services.”

And yet the company seems to suffer no consequences.

Flatiron Communications founder Peter Himler wonders the same in a post today.

As one VP of digital at a large agency told us this week, “Their formula: Steve Jobs, big events with new products, a few coordinated press leaks, works for them. Not every brand can do that.”

PRNewser was intrigued this morning when we saw what seemed like an impromptu video interview between Steve Jobs and The Wall Street Journal‘s Walt Mossberg at the iPad launch event. (Video posted above – skip to 2:50 for the Jobs interview.)

While the interview did seem “impromptu,” as with most interviews with someone of Jobs’ stature, it was highly coordinated.

Reuters gives a first hand account of the scene:

Most of the people gathered around Jobs and Mossberg were not fellow reporters hunting for a quote, but a squad of no-nonsense, plain-clothed Apple staffers who had formed a human cordon around their leader. The only other person allowed within the safe zone was Mossberg, and any reporters who attempted to get near were physically blocked and pushed back.

Conversations with Apple staff about the iPad itself proved equally trying, with the mere act of getting a company spokesperson to confirm or clarify a fact feeling like an exercise in the theatre of the absurd.

“How do I spell your name?” this reporter asked an Apple staffer following a short conversation to confirm certain basic features of the iPad.

“That’s not available for you,” the staffer replied, in an eerily robotic tone.

So there you have it.

Apple Launches iPad To Deafening Hype

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Apple officially launched its long awaited tablet device today, the iPad. As with most Apple product launches in recent memory, the media coverage and hype has reached a deafening level.

The notoriously secretive Apple PR department managed the launch with no major leaks — except for one to The Wall Street Journal — which was rumored to be intentional.

We’ll wait and see as the official product reviews come in, but as of now, Apple is stealing attention from President Barack Obama himself, as he prepares for tonight’s State of the Union address.

Our sibling blog eBookNewser has been chronicling the launch event, which notably did not include a live video stream. “Doesn’t Apple’s vaunted PR team recognize the immeasurable value of feeding video of the launch of its new iPad directly to the rest of us?” asked Flatiron Communications Founder Peter Himler.

Whatever the company’s reasons for not streaming the launch event live, the decision reinforces one of the great paradoxes in terms of beloved brands and transparency.

For all the talk how important it is for companies to be more open and transparent in this new media world we live in, Apple is one of the most secretive companies, especially when it comes to PR and marketing, yet it is also one of the most loved brands.

RELATED: How Apple Leaks News

PR Takeaways From The Google Nexus One Launch

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In the biggest product launch of this short year, Google yesterday afternoon launched their first ever smart phone, the Nexus One. So how did the launch go?

The reviews

Walt Mossberg of the The Wall Street Journal was mostly positive. The New York TimesDavid Pogue was more negative. “Google Phone Is Not Revolutionary,” read his headline. Engadget’s Joshua Toplosky said the launch generated, “legitimate excitement.” CNET’s Rafe Needleman said, “it’s a solid step in Google’s continuing assault on new markets in general and on Apple in particular, but it’s not revolutionary the way the iPhone was…”

“It’s like the Obama of phones. Whether or not he’s really a great president, he can’t possibly live up to expectations he originally set,” said David Berkowitz, Senior Director of Emerging Media & Innovation at agency 360i.

Why No Video?

Flatiron Communications founder Peter Himler wondered why “Google’s PR peeps didn’t go through the trouble of web-streaming their own news conference, while arranging for on-site attendees to record wirelessly, to ensure optimal site lines and audio.” Instead thousands watched a stream set up by blogger Robert Scoble.

“They did the video feed for arguably less meaningful launches like Google Wave,” said Berkowitz.

Courting “influencers”

The list of people receiving Google’s phone in advance wasn’t at all limited to journalists. For example, venture capitalist Fred Wilson received the phone several weeks ago.

Google PR guaranteed feels more “comfortable” giving the phone to Wilson than say Engadget or the Times, as his review is much more likely to be positive. It was.

Wilson does not regularly review tech products and receiving such a high profile gadget in advance surely leads to excitement that could perhaps skew a review. Also, as a tech investor and not a journalist, he is less likely to be critical of the product.

The relatively new concept of “influencers” – some hate the term – means more and more people from different professions getting “pitched” by PR firms than ever before. Even PR people with popular blogs, like Edelman’s Steve Rubel or FutureWork’s Brian Solis get pitched. Robert Scoble, who was invited to the press conference, is a paid adviser to hosting company Rackspace.

Apple crowding

Per usual, Apple made it’s best attempts to crowd the news-cycle as we reported. “I think Apple got themselves in to the news with the tablet, and while iPhone would have been in the articles, it got Apple top of mind as usual,” said POP! PR Jots blogger and tech PR executive Jeremy Pepper. Edelman’s Steve Rubel saw things more positively. “Google plus phone is a surefire for press coverage as Godzilla plus city,” he told us.

2009 Predictions: Who Got ‘Em Right and Who Got ‘Em Wrong

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As we roll out 2010 predictions for the PR industry, lets look back at some of last year’s predictions to see who got things right and who didn’t.

Check out the breakdown after the jump.

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Note To Techies: ‘PR is a never ending process’

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We already know that Google’s founders disdain marketing and PR, and it’s no secret that many tech entrepreneurs feel the same. Those used to viewing their company from an engineer’s perspective sometimes find it difficult to understand the schmoozy world of PR.

TechCrunch freelancer Vivek Wadhwa writes:

There is no linear ROI in PR, which can be hard for techies to understand. It’s all about relationships and patience. Once you are mentioned in one publication, then it becomes much easier to leverage that into other coverage because you have a stamp of approval. But make no mistake, PR is a never ending process.

This is perhaps the most “pro PR/marketing” commentary we’ve seen from TechCrunch, who often likes to lambaste the PR industry. As The Flack’s Peter Himler notes, “Today, with an atomized media vying for an even more fragmented consumer mindshare, a TechCrunch story, while influential, will only take a start-up so far.”

[h/t Dave Fleet]

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