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Archives: January 2009

Wal-Mart CEO: “It Wasn’t a Matter of Telling Our Story Better, We Had to Create a Better Story”


When you’re the biggest retailer in America, naturally scrutiny will be cast upon you. It has been well documented that Wal-Mart, the subject of endless scrutiny from myraid of watchdog groups, has not been immune from this scenario.

A feature story in this Sunday’s NYTimes, sheds light on some of the sustainablity practices at Wal-Mart that actually do seem to be making a difference, even if not everyone is completely satisfied.

The noteworthy quote from chief executive H. Lee Scott Jr., “It wasn’t a matter of telling our story better, we had to create a better story,” is in reference to the company’s reaction to intense outside pressure to change key environmental and labor related business practices.

The company has seen sales of energy saving fluorescent light bulbs more than double over two years. It’s sales of only concentrated liquid laundry detergent will allow customers to save “more than 400 million gallons of water, 95 million pounds of plastic resin, 125 million pounds of cardboard and 520,000 gallons of diesel fuel over three years.”

So, PRNewser readers, we ask you: Have your perceptions of Wal-Mart changed?

Spin the Agencies of Record


This edition of Spin the Agencies of Record doesn’t look too bleak, with account wins in legal, reusable shopping bags, a new eco-city, a wiki for apartment hunters, and Lance’s global cancer campaign:

Adam Kluger wins law firm Subin Associated for personal injury work

Rubenstein PR meets its Destiny. Destiny is an eco-sustainable city being built an hour south of Orlando.

Resound Marketing bags Envi Reusable Bags

RentWiki leases its PR to MSR Communications

Ogilvy wins the race for the Lance Armstrong Foundation

M Booth Vet Launches Firm

M Booth & Associates SVP Dennis Tartaglia has formed Tartaglia Communications, which will specialize in health, science and nonprofit public relations and communications. At M Booth, Tartaglia managed campaigns for clients including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Columbia University Medical Center and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

“I established Tartaglia Communications to provide the personalized service, high-level strategic insight, and results-oriented approach that health, science and nonprofit organizations need to achieve their communications objectives,” said Tartaglia in a statement.

According to PRWeek the agency has three clients but declined to disclose names.

The Ticker: Facebook’s Growth, Twitter’s Value, Liberal Media Elites…

Despite Layoffs, Digg Still Searching for PR

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Social news site announced yesterday that it would cut 10% of it’s 75 person staff. “We need to start investing in areas that could counteract what looks to be a pretty bad economic climate this year,” chief executive Jay Adelson told the NYTimes.

Apparently one of those areas could be PR, as the company is continuing its search for an agency of record.

According to PRWeek, the search is down to four firms, but not surprisingly, no one is talking. At least not on the record. Writes PRWeek SF Bureau Chief Aarti Shah, “Digg PR director Kiersten Hollars declined comment. Karbo/Fonkalsrud Communications has previously worked with Digg and currently lists them as a client on its Web site. When contacted, the agency declined to comment.”

A “few little birdies” recently told PRNewser that it’s basically a foregone conclusion the account will go to one firm. Who do you think it is?

RELATED: Digg Looking for PR?

A Guide To Twitter Media Lists


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Maybe we’ll stop blogging about Twitter some day. However, today is not that day.

Here a few handy resources in terms of “media on Twitter” lists. Now, no one likes a creepy PR person intruding into their personal space on yet another social media platform. So, use this info properly and with care!

-60 NY Times people on Twitter

-UK journalists on Twitter

-US Media on Twitter

-More US Media on Twitter

-Twittering Jouralists Wiki

-Public Media on Twitter

-Baltimore media on Twitter

-BusinessWeek writers on Twitter

Have more? Add them in the comments.

Did Your Company’s Online Newsroom Kill a Story?

We all know (or should know) that the web is where journalists go first to research companies. However, not all of us are making it easy for the media to find the information they need. Jakob Nielsen, “the guru of Web page usability” according to the NY Times, reviews corporate newsrooms, and the findings aren’t pretty.

For example, said one journalist to Nielsen after having a difficult time using a site:

“I would be reluctant to go back to the site. If I had a choice to write about something else, then I would write about something else.”

According to Nielsen’s research, the top-5 reasons journalists gave for visiting a company’s website are:

1) Locate a PR contact (name and telephone number)
2) Find basic facts about the company (spelling of an executive’s name, his/her age, headquarters location, and so on)
3) Discern the company’s spin on events
4) Check financial information
5) Download images to use as illustrations in stories

Read the complete report here. Hat tip Steve Rubel.

PRNewser Interview: PRWeek SF Bureau Chief Aarti Shah


We have questions, people have answers. In this interview, PRWeek SF Bureau Chief Aarti Shah discusses, among other topics, how to pitch PRWeek (“If you want to be in our news section, pitch a campaign right when it launches – or even better — before.”), the changing industry landscape (“The rock star PR CEOs of the bubble era are – for the most part – no longer major industry players.”) and social media press releases (“I’m mixed on this.”)

Read on for the full interview.

Read more

First White House Press Briefing, Today at 12:45

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The first official White House press briefing hosted by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is scheduled to start at 12:45 today.

We’ll keep looking for a live embed feed. If none is available, we’ll post taped video when it becomes available.

I just caught Bill Clinton’s former press secretary Joe Lockhart on MSNBC with David Shuster who gave his analysis of what Gibbs must be feeling.

Lockhart explained to Shuster that Gibbs is facing a situation more akin to Jimmy Carter’s press secretary Jody Powell than to his. Lockhart landed in the job just as Monica Lewinsky became a household name. He went on to explain that Gibbs’s hardscrabble experience on the campaign trail is training enough, for politics and policy are often indistinguishable.

Children & Families Agency Spokesman Pleads Guilty to Sex Crime


Al Zimmerman, the former TV reporter-turned spokesman for the Florida Department of Children and Families plead guilty to the production of child pornography yesterday. Just slightly less disgusting than the headlines would imply, the news stories point to him not using State databases to meet the teen boys he paid to film each other, apparently to sell the materials overseas.

Zimmerman faces 15 to 30 in prison unless he convinces the court that he can help make cases against other defendants.

The story blew up last winter when Zimmerman–who listed Governor Charlie Christ as a reference to get the job–was arrested.

Apparently it’s a routine matter for a Governor to give references for people they don’t know. However, the Raw Story reported that Zimmerman was busted for drunk driving, hanging paper (writing bad checks) and considered becoming a porntrepreneur with his brother, all after producing a highly controversial report that aired on a Texas TV station about restroom cruising titled “Perverts in the Park”. Zimmerman “forgot” pixelize the naughty bits when it aired.

The kerfuffle prompted Florida to review its background check practices revealing 8 percent of recent hires not been fingerprinted, nearly 10 percent of the personnel files were missing appropriate reference checks and 1.4 percent of the employees were missing a job application.