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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Brokaw’

Even Tom Brokaw Has Cell Phone Issues (on Live TV)

brokaw news centerJournalists and PR practitioners alike should be able to name a “Mount Rushmore” of TV anchors.

Names that would adorn the rocks above could include the likes of Murrow, Jennings, Cronkite, Brinkley, Schieffer. One of the heads being engraved would almost certainly be that of Tom Brokaw.

The man epitomizes what it means to not get caught up in the pomp and circumstance of holograms, 36-headed pundit desks, 140-inch monitors, and sweet pyrotechnics.

(In other words, CNN would never hire the guy.)

Yet, the iconic anchorman may need a refresher course on how those newfangled cell phones work. In the below clip from MSNBC’s election coverage, the alarm going off is Mr. Brokaw’s grocery store alert.

#PRFails even happen to the great ones. Buck up, folks who forget to silence that stupid phone during new business pitches…you’re in good company!

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5 Tips for Keeping Your Message Clear and On-Point

“If you have to backtrack, you need to ask yourself, why did you put it out there in the first place?” That’s what Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show, would like to know. She was speaking about being funny on Twitter at an event last month, but her question addresses a broader issue: more celebrities and brands have had to backtrack recently after making controversial comments on various media platforms.

We’re referring to statements or tweets that veer off message, not major blunders that require full-scale apology tours. These foot-in-mouth comments and retractions occur so frequently that the Plain English Campaign established a Foot in Mouth award to highlight “a baffling comment by a public figure”. Mitt Romney lost his presidential bid, but he won the award last year.

With so much material to choose from, we took a closer look to better understand the dynamics. The selected faux pas highlighted below serve as cautionary tales of how easy it is for messages to go awry and reminders to avoid that happening.

1. Being too authentic can cause real trouble. Former Boston Red Sox player Kevin Youkilis, acquired by the Yankees during the off-season, said “I’ll always be a Red Sock” during an early spring training interview. It’s clear that he meant what he said, since he has strong Boston ties. (New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is his brother-in-law). Youkilis’ problem was speaking his true feelings without first hitting the pause button to consider his new team’s reaction.

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Revolving Door: ‘NYT’ news, WHCD criticism, ABC & Univision

The New York Times started a new biweekly video series today, all about street style. The premiere episode profiles Fort Greene, Brooklyn. [h/t]

Separately, the Times has debuted ads to up its thriving digital subscriber numbers. And some of its reporters appear in a video urging the paper to settle a contract dispute with staffers.

Tom Brokaw thinks the White House Correspondents Dinner is too much of a “glittering event.” Fox News’ Ed Henry, who is also the president of the White House Correspondents Association isn’t opposed to change.

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Stars and Stripes Wins Polk Award for Series on the Pentagon’s PR Firm Controversy


A team of reporters at the independent military newspaper Stars and Stripes snagged a 2009 George Polk Award for a series of stories about the Rendon Group’s profiling of journalists covering the war in Afghanistan. Reporters Charlie Reed, Kevin Baron and Leo Shane III wrote a number of scoops about how the agency profiled and evaluated journalists in attempt to steer coverage on behalf of the Pentagon.

The lucrative contract went to S4 Inc. six weeks after the DoD canceled with Rendon.

The Polks honor the best in investigative reporting in all its forms, and has flexible criteria for inclusion. The panel of judges acknowledged the anonymous person reponsible for videotaping and uploading the young woman dying from a gunshot wound during a protest in Iran.

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Changes at ABC ‘Played Without Publicity’

ABC is in the midst of a game of musical anchor chairs. Diane Sawyer is moving into the “World News” anchor chair starting Dec. 21, George Stephanopoulos has all but been announced to join “Good Morning America” next Monday and GMA host Chris Cuomo is leaving and possibly headed to “20/20.”

The Chicago Tribune‘s Phil Rosenthal reports, “there has been no major marketing campaign to speak of, no blitz of media interviews by either Sawyer, who is scheduled to take over on Dec. 21, the day before her 64th birthday, or Gibson, 66.” That’s not completely true. As TVNewser reports, ABC’s marketing team put together a video promo of Sawyer’s ten years with “Good Morning America.”

However, why would ABC go light on marketing and PR? Perhaps they have learned from CBS, which went all-out marketing Katie Couric‘s move to the Evening News, only to see a big ratings jump followed by a sharp fall. Many view Brian William‘s succeeding Tom Brokaw‘s as anchor of NBC Nightly News desk as a textbook example on how to manage this kind of story. NBC announced the news a full year in advance of the move, in order to help squash rumors and speculation.