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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Laermer’

Former HARO PR Agency Filing Lawsuit Against Company

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PRNewser has learned that Propheta Communications, former agency for Peter Shankman‘s popular connect journalists with sources service, Help A Reporter Out (HARO), is in the process of filing suit against HARO’s parent company, Two Cats and a Cup of Coffee, LLC, owned by Shankman.

Propheta founder Kevin Mercuri tells PRNewser HARO is, “employing the age-old trick of trying to get out of a legally binding agreement. When less-than honorable folks don’t want to pay their bills, they disparage the vendor, saying that the vendor’s product or service is sub-par.”

Mercuri say he’s “disappointed” that HARO feels that “it’s somehow right to bash a company merely because they do not want to honor their contract.”

HARO denies any wrong doing. Shankman tells PRNewser, “HARO engaged Propheta Communications to handle public relations duties during the summer of 2009. After working with Propheta for several weeks, we decided to shift the direction of our communications strategy.”

Shankman says his firm discussed the change with Mercuri, with both sides agreeing “on a mutual release from our contract.” He adds, “[W]e believe Propheta’s allegations are without merit, and don’t believe this to be an issue.”

PRNewser first reported last Wednesday that HARO had parted ways with Propheta. The following day, a story appeared on Ragan.com that stated HARO had “quietly named” RLM PR as its “agency of record.”

In response to the Ragan.com post, PRNewser heard from RLM PR CEO Richard Laermer, who said HARO had concerns that Propheta, specifically that Mercuri, “would screw up the story for them.” Laermer says Mercuri, “did not understand HARO. Not one bit.”

If anything, there appears to be bad blood between RLM and Propheta. The background: Laermer once employed Mercuri, who left RLM to lead the Online and Technology division at 5W Public Relations as a Senior Vice President.

HARO Hires RLM PR

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Five weeks ago, Peter Shankman‘s connect journalists with sources service, HARO, announced they had hired Propheta Communications for PR support. On Wednesday, PRNewser first reported that the agency and HARO had parted ways.

In place of Propheta, HARO has hired RLM PR, headed by CEO Richard Laermer. RLM was behind the Forbes feature story on HARO that was published this Tuesday.

Regarding the split from Propheta, HARO COO Thom Brodeur told Ragan.com, “They are very good at what they do; it just happened to be a different skill set from what we required at the time.” Propheta founder Kevin Mercuri seemed to think it was more than just a skill set difference, telling Ragan, “We wanted to move forward aggressively and [Brodeur] wanted to take things slow and steady.”

Bad Pitchers Teach Crappy PR School

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Kevin Dugan and Richard Laermer, the PR execs behind the Bad Pitch Blog are going beyond writing about the bad, and getting in to teaching the good by way of a webinar next Wednesday. The Crappy PR URL is to get your attention.

What caught our eye is the focus on pitching, rather than on things like how understand metrics, or build a Facebook page, or managing your Twitter feeds.

Much of what’s lost lately among the many Tips & Tools blog posts (including within our own category), whitepapers, and vitural conferences is getting to the Why. As Dugan explained in a recent post, understanding Why over What–or “tell me why I give a sh&#” as I sometimes say–is an important exercise.

For 50 bucks you get to tune in and interact with the bloggers, and you get an e-copy of Laermer’s Full Frontal PR book as well. Plus there are ten scholarships, or freebies, available: five for students, and five for the unemployed. Chosen scholars will get a chance to pitch Bad Pitch Blog’s readers sometime after the webinar. I guess for jobs.

Wired Editor Chris Anderson Apologizes for Plagiarism, (Some) PR People Try To Hide Delight

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Wired magazine Editor Chris Anderson – known in PR circles not only for his role at the magazine – but also for his infamous PR “blacklist,” admitted this week to lifting many passages of his soon to be released book “Free” from Wikipedia. Virginia Quarterly Review first noticed the similarities, some of which were copied word for word.

Anderson’s explanation hinged mostly on a gray area involving the citation process for Wikipedia and he admitted that several passages were not cited. “That’s my screw-up and I totally take the blame for that,” he told The New York Times.

Jeremy Pepper, POP! PR Jots blogger and Manager, Public Relations at Boingo Wireless said Anderson did the “stand-up PR move – even if he black lists us. He took full responsibility for his actions, and did not pass the buck to anyone else. That speaks volumes, and while I think he should have won the fight with his editor (he’s write on the citations), he took the responsibility of his actions. It’s a rare trait in today’s world.”

Not everyone completely agrees. RLM PR CEO Richard Laermer told PRNewser, “…this mistake is, in my not humble opinion, fairly colossal-and common. Found research does not make a point. And I’m sure if we went further into the points Mr. Anderson made in his book we’d find a lot of other stuff that came from sources that were, yep, cut and pasted.”

We’re curious to hear your take on things. From a PR perspective, did Anderson handle this in the best manner?

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