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Posts Tagged ‘Salon’

Christie Project Criticized for Last-Minute Press Release Edit

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Yes, we know you’ve heard more than enough about Chris Christie lately.

This mention of the embattled Jersey governor is relevant, though, because it concerns a small but potentially important edit to a press release.

The story revolves around a senior center built in Jersey’s Essex County in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. According to a report published last week by the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Christie diverted $6M in federal recovery funds to the project despite the fact that the surrounding area “was not particularly hard hit”. The key justification for this funding was that the project would house seniors from nearby towns who had been displaced by the storm.

And that’s where the press release comes in.

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Beyoncé and the New Face of Music Promotion

Last night’s Grammy Awards left one thing more exposed than Beyoncé‘s backside: the fact that the pop music promo game has changed. Queen B makes the rules and everyone else follows along, basking in her shadow.

It’s not really all that simple, of course: plenty of successful acts move through the usual channels when it comes to marketing and earned media. But when one reaches the heights occupied by the top of the pops, rules no longer apply.

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MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Challenges Firm Posing As ‘Independent Research Institute’

A couple of days ago we went off on the Employment Policies Institute, an “independent research institute” run by PR firm Berman and Company that lobbies against minimum wage increases and other policies that the fast food industry doesn’t like. Last night MSNBC host Chris Hayes and guest David Sirota of Salon took time to grill Mike Saltsman, the EPI’s only employee.

In cable news speak, “grill” means “yell louder than everyone else in the room.”

Saltsman has a point in saying that labor groups fund studies conducted by groups like The Economic Policy Institute. The problem is that EPI and Berman and Company are the same organization. As we noted in the original post, this kind of work is the very reason people assume that the phrase “public relations professional” means “dishonest corporate shill.”

We do love Saltsman’s claim to speak for “entry-level workers” and his explanation for confusing the public by naming the “institute” after the other EPI: “There are only so many letters in the alphabet, Chris”. Ha ha, very funny.

While it’s nice to see Hayes challenge the EPI, this clip just reminded us why we never watch cable news. How do people sit through this stuff?

Prada’s Suit Against ‘Too Ugly’ Whistleblower Proceeds

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Rina Bovrisse has been a thorn in Prada‘s side for some time—four years, to be exact. In 2009 the former employee of Prada Tokyo filed suit alleging sexual harassment and discrimination, and the United Nations backed her up earlier this year. Her allegations reveal some serious problems with gender relations in the workplace in Japan:

“Prada Japan CEO David Sesia reportedly demoted or dismissed female staff members who he deemed were ‘old, fat, ugly, disgusting, or did not have the Prada look’”

Bovrisse also told stories about employees being forced to buy expensive Prada products and pressured into sex by their superiors. But when she finally decided to make some noise on the topic, she got a visit from someone in HR who told her:

“You will have to change your hairstyle. And you will have to lose weight. The CEO is so ashamed of your ugliness that he won’t introduce you to any visitors from Milan.”

It gets worse after the jump:

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America’s National Parks and Cities Look Great on Instagram

This week’s government shutdown/crybaby conference provides us with an opportunity to remind everyone that Instagram is a perfect forum for promoting our national parks, which are really quite amazing.

This image is the exception:

Apparently we are late to the party. The U.S. Department of the Interior‘s account has been posting for more than a year, beats the hell out of Shutterstock for landscapes and already boasts more than 150K followers thanks, in part, to no-brainer posts like this one on BuzzFeedthis one on Mashable and this one on Salon.

Here’s another shot ready to become your wallpaper:

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Here’s a More Accurate Version of Chipotle’s ‘Scarecrow’ Campaign

When posting on Chipotle‘s impressive new campaign last week, we noted a few contradictions. The company wants to define itself as the anti-”Big Food” brand, but it’s a fast food chain once partially owned by McDonald’s. And while the chickens in your burrito may be “food with integrity (TM)”, they most certainly did not live idyllic lives just hanging out on the farm before they generously decided to become your dinner.

All this conversation inspired Funny or Die to make a parody video, and it might be the best clip we’ve seen from them so far.

Seems like someone wasn’t too impressed with the original.

The campaign is brilliant, but it also implies that Chipotle is a humane or even “vegetarian” organization. That’s not an outright lie, because the team that created it wouldn’t be so careless, but its purpose is to tie the brand to a lifestyle that doesn’t quite match by softening the audience’s perception of the meat production process.

This isn’t to say that Chipotle is evil. We ate one of their burritos last night, and it was delicious. But the parody is a clever reminder, in case you needed one, that content marketing is still marketing and that the end goal is still sales, no matter how nice it might make you feel.

ANTM’s Nigel Barker Thinks Designers Should Cater to Real Women

Former model and TV personality Nigel Barker also happens to be a photojournalist, which is why he spent much of his recent Salon.com interview discussing his website and his new venture selling prints of his photographs through Art.com.

But we were more interested in his constructive criticism of the industry that helped make him rich: fashion.

It’s ironic to watch a dress on a mannequin or a model on a catwalk who’s not anything like the person that’s gonna buy it. And we buy into that. I think the true test for a designer is to send a collection of women down a catwalk, of all different sizes and shapes and colors, and say, “Look, I’m as good as I say, because look how wonderful my dresses look on you and the women who are gonna buy them.” And I’m afraid it’s never really been done.

It’s true: industry pros have discussed “plus size models” for some time, top designers occasionally include them in runway shows, and some of the world’s biggest agencies now include entire plus size divisions. But a show like the one Barker describes would get quite a bit of attention in both fashion-focused and mainstream media outlets, no? What journalist wouldn’t take that pitch?

A question for fashion publicists: what do we think of Barker’s suggestion? Would such a show amount to blockbuster PR for a major house, or would competitors call it a stunt and laugh the brand out of the club?

*Photo via Oxygen/Lorenzo Bevilaqua

Revolving Door: MSNBC, Salon, and More from the News Corp Hacking Scandal

MSNBC’s top spokesperson Jeremy Gaines is heading to the Gannett Company to lead the corporate comms division as VP, effective May 21. Gannett owns USA Today, a number of broadcast stations, and tons of other media properties. NBC News’ lead spokesperson Lauren Kapp is heading to The Huffington Post as of April 30. NBC has not announced replacements for either position. [via]

Speaking of USA Today, two of the papers journalists say they’ve become the target of a “smear campaign” after reporting on “government propaganda contractors.” We tweeted the PRSA response; here it is as well. [via]

Salon has a new look. Thoughts? Separately, the site’s press release for the redesign says the number of monthly unique visitors has grown 30 percent to 7.7 million since 2011. [via]

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Salon Finds Another PR Tie to Bahrain

Bahraini protests last week over the death of a teen protester.

Salon reports that Joe Trippi, PR adviser to Howard Dean during his presidential run, and Sanitas International, a D.C.-based public affairs firm, are doing reputation work for the government of Bahrain.

Salon previously reported on the work Qorvis is doing with the government of Bahrain, with Qorvis partner Matt Lauer later telling PRNewser that the work is highlighting reforms currently underway.

Trippi says he has a vast experience in the region and calls Bahrain “one of the progressive countries in the Middle Eastern Gulf.”

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Qorvis Working to ‘Make Note of the Reforms’ in Bahrain

A protest in Bahrain in February. Photo: Reuters

In an email to PRNewser, Matt Lauer, partner at Qorvis, said the work the firm is doing with the government of Bahrain is meant to highlight the changes that are happening in the country.

In a recent article, Salon notes that Qorvis has submitted a Foreign Agents Registration Act filing stating that it’s being paid $40,000 per month for reputation work on behalf of the government of Bahrain.

Lauer notes in an email to us that the firm has worked with the Bahraini government (“a long-term American ally”) on a variety of projects for more than a year. “We are actively working to make note of the reforms and progress currently underway in the country,” Lauer added.

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