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Posts Tagged ‘Hillary Clinton’

Hillary Clinton’s Publicist Defends Himself for a Change

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Philippe Reines is not easily amused, and he’s definitely not too fond of the jokers at BuzzFeed.

Yet, given the insidious rumor that his boss Hillary Clinton might just run for president in 2016, he could become the best-known publicist in Washington over the next 30-and-change months. Reines’s recent New York magazine profile is well worth a look—if only because he seems to disprove many of the stereotypes that interviewer Reid Cherlin and thousands of others held about him.

Despite being described as the “longtime keeper of Hillary Clinton’s image“, earning the deputy assistant secretary for strategic communications title, and founding his own advisory firm called Beacon Global Strategies, he doesn’t seem to take his job too seriously.

Some takeaways after the jump.

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14 PR and Social Media Winners from Super Bowl XLVIII

superbowl2That was a boring Super Bowl in every way. Not only was the game itself a blowout, but most of the ads were lackluster and no brand recreated Oreo’s breakout success on social.

Still, a few companies and personalities did manage some clever nuggets, which we will now review.

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Hillary Clinton Spokesperson Responds to BuzzFeed’s ‘Inane’ Questions with Poop Jokes

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Is inane really the right word here?

So have you heard about Hillary Clinton recently? Get used to it.

Today the Most Important Story concerns her official spokesman Philippe Reines‘ decision to take a break from his ongoing “whose name is funniest” feud with RNC chairman Reince Priebus and reaffirm the fact that he does not much care for The Buzz Feed or reporters contained therein!

This little aside came about after everyone on Twitter shared the most important revelation to emerge from Clinton’s recent “I may or may not be running for President” tours: she hasn’t driven a car since 1996.

(This is where you express genuine surprise.)

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CNN Cancels Hillary Clinton Biopic

Not impressed.

The minute CNN announced that it would be producing a film version of Hillary Clinton‘s career, critics pounced on the move as evidence of the network spinning its wheels on behalf of the former Secretary of State and all-but-certain presidential candidate. Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus went so far as to cite the doc, along with NBC’s planned miniseries, when calling on his party to boycott both networks in 2016 due to “obvious bias.”

Now they might not have that problem. This morning the film’s would-be director Charles Ferguson, best known for his financial industry doc Inside Job, announced via The Huffington Post that the project is officially kaputt. He cited a lack of cooperation on the part of Clinton’s media team as the main reason for his decision.

Seems HC’s publicist phoned the director the day after he signed the contract to ask some probing questions; “media fixer” Philippe Reines followed by grilling various CNN executives about possible “conflicts of interest” on the for-profit movie before leaking his concerns to Politico. No word on whether he told Wolf Blizter to “f*ck off and have a good life.

In short, the team agreed with Reince’s conclusion and vetoed participation in the project in order to minimize the inevitable “lamestream media carries water for Clinton” critiques. The HuffPo story has more salacious details about Ferguson’s meeting with Bill, whom he calls “a really good actor” (that’s not a compliment).

Don’t worry, though: NBC’s miniseries is still on, meaning The Daily Beast will have plenty of time to figure out whether Diane Lane is “too sexy” for the role.

The Key Ingredients of Well-Crafted Speeches

“Before you ask me who wrote such shrewd prose, let me just say: Speeches are like sausages. It’s better not to see them being made”. Those were comments by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as reported in a recent New York Times article. Years earlier, when a West Wing episode focused on drafting a State of the Union speech, in culinary terms it was like a ten-course gourmet meal. (Photo below: scene from West Wing episode at 2006 Democratic National Convention)

Speechwriting coach and author Joan Detz certainly agrees about the challenges of creating and delivering effective speeches. But instead of keeping her speechmaking sauce secret, she demystified the process and shared some pointers during the IABC World Conference in New York last month.

Worth the effort? “Remember, it’s an invite, not a subpoena,” Detz cautioned the audience. Before covering the specifics of speech content, she emphasized that prospective speakers should weigh whether the speech is even worth the substantial amount of time involved in preparation, revisions, rehearsal and travel. “It’s ok occasionally to decline an invitation to speak”, she said.

Clearly this may run counter to the goals of many corporate presenters and those seeking high-profile, lucrative speaking engagements. Though as Detz noted, “too much value is lost by giving mediocre speeches. Huge egos go out and speak too much when they could be doing other things.”

Deciding factors: What are key variables Detz recommends considering when figuring out which speeches are warranted? Find out about the host organization, target audience, subject matter, which other speakers are slated to appear, the proposed day and time slot. That way you won’t end up delivering a talk to a controversial group or be surprised when you show up and discover you’re scheduled for the dreaded late afternoon session. (And it’s best not to take the stage behind comedian John Oliver, unless you’re Stephen Colbert.)

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Kris Balderston Moves from State Department to Fleishman-Hillard

Fleishman Hillard In another sign of the very close proximity of PR to politics, international communications firm Fleishman-Hillard just announced the appointment of State Department official Kris Balderston to the role of senior partner and general manager of the company’s Washington, D.C. office.

Balderston most recently worked within the office of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; during his time there, he “conceptualized and led” the Global Partnership Initiative, a program designed to “strengthen and deepen U.S. diplomacy and development around the world” and address international humanitarian challenges by pairing government organizations with private businesses and non-profit groups.

Balderston has held a number of roles in government over the past 30+ years; he worked as deputy secretary to the cabinet and deputy assistant to President Bill Clinton and served as legislative director and deputy chief of staff for then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The firm’s release did not elaborate on the specifics of Balderston’s new role beyond president and senior partner Martha Boudreau’s assertion that his experience leaves him “uniquely able to help lead our global public affairs practice in a time of globalization, great change and innovation.”

Scott Brown and The Dangers of Late-Night Tweeting

Scott Brown TwitterScott Brown, the former Massachusetts senator whose recent loss to Elizabeth Warren left his political future uncertain, got some unwanted attention over the weekend after releasing a series of nonsensical late-night tweets that left many questioning his sobriety.

It’s both a silly story and a great illustration of how a series of poorly thought-out messages can lead to PR disaster–especially for public figures on social media.

The timeline is pretty simple:

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Microsoft ‘Comms Guy’ Challenges Google Rep to a Twitter Duel

Frank X. Shaw is Microsoft’s “top comms guy”. He doesn’t think too much of rival Google’s attempts to go highbrow in the PR sphere—and he let thousands of people know about it on Twitter this weekend.

Let’s unravel the roots of this little playground mud fight between two of the biggest PR pros in the business: Microsoft, still desperate to sponsor the Bing vs. Google fight that no one in the world asked for, just hired much-hated political operative Mark Penn as its top messaging man. You may remember Penn as the guy behind Hillary Clinton’s infamous 2008 “3 AM” ad implying that then-Senator Barack Obama was too inexperienced to run the country.

The New York Times ran a story on the hire, casting Mr. Penn as a negative messenger who would help Microsoft attack Google with “scorched earth” spots like this one that criticizes the company for ruining users’ search experiences by clogging results with sponsored ads. The article notes that Microsoft has “long attacked Google from the shadows” but now looks to take the fight to prime-time. A former colleague of Mr. Penn’s warned that Google should prepare to have “everything…thrown at them”—including the kitchen sink.

Sounds like a run-of-the-mill corporate PR battle, right? Well, the Times also contacted top Google spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker for comment. She said that, while Google employs lobbyists and PR firms just like its rivals, “…our focus is on Google and the positive impact our industry has on society, not the competition.”

Of course Frank Shaw did not like this one bit.

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Hillary Clinton Is Such a Tease

Hillary Clinton certainly knows how to play the keep ‘em guessing game, doesn’t she?

The Secretary of State is one of the most popular politicians in the country and the overwhelming favorite for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination. She knows how valuable her brand is, and she’s not afraid to dangle a big carrot in front of reporters’ noses.

She’s long insisted that she plans to step down after the election and repeatedly claimed to have no interest in running for the country’s highest office again (we can hardly blame her). But a recent Wall Street Journal interview (subscribers only, sorry) has the political classes chattering about the possibility of big future moves from a woman with more political capital than anyone else around.

Some choice takeaways from the interview:

  • Hillary calls herself a representative of the “American brand” engaging in “public diplomacy”
  • She loves the fact that her job doesn’t require her to blow dry her hair
  • Regarding a 2016 run, she has officially “ruled it out.”
  • She plans to step down if President Obama wins re-election, but says “A lot of people have talked to me about staying.”

And—here’s the big one—she calls the prospect of her staying with the administration “unlikely.”

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Hillary Clinton Can’t Stand Holden Caulfield

Today in (Fake) Media Scandals: You may have heard of a controversial article published in The Atlantic this summer in which columnist and former State Department director of policy planning Anne-Marie Slaughter lamented the fact that many modern women cannot possibly live up to the superhuman expectations they face as both mothers and professionals.

(We’re sure it was a great piece; please don’t tell our friends we haven’t read it yet.)

Fast forward to this week, when Marie Claire published an extensive “farewell” interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Interviewer Ayelet Waldman asked Clinton about Slaughter’s piece and the SoS seemed to agree with her thesis, noting that while “Some women are not comfortable working at the pace and intensity you have to work at in these jobs”, others can juggle multiple children and demanding careers without “break[ing] a sweat.” Different strokes…

The next paragraph moved into a discussion about “whiners”, a class of people for whom Clinton has little patience. She wasn’t afraid to make a forceful point: “I can’t stand the kind of paralysis that some people fall into…You live in a time when there are endless choices…Do Something!”

Sounds like Hillary might have been referring to the women in Slaughter’s article who find themselves paralyzed by the unreasonable demands of modern life, doesn’t it?

That’s what the scoop-hungry bloggers at Politico, Jezebel and The Huffington Post thought. We can see why—in emails to journalists, Marie Claire’s PR people hyped the story by implying that the quote referred directly to Slaughter’s article. But the subsequent headlines about Hillary knocking on women who whine about “having it all” weren’t quite accurate; the Secretary said so herself. Here’s the missing section of the interview:  Read more

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