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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Biden’

Cory Booker: Elected Officials Should Act More Like PR Pros

Newark Mayor/oversized political personality Cory Booker has a suggestion for politicians and government officials who want to engage their constituents and build their public profiles: be more like Ashton Kutcher.

No, really: Booker, who remains one of the world’s most popular politicians on Twitter, wasn’t suggesting that the South by Southwest attendees who gathered to hear him speak should produce reality TV shows or promote smartphones. But he did credit Kutcher with bringing him into the social media fold by introducing him to the land of 140 characters–and he implied that the most successful political leaders of the future will be those who follow him headfirst into the digital maelstrom by interacting with real-life people rather than just posting press statements and linking to complimentary op-eds.

See, it’s one thing for an elected representative to have an official account–they pretty much all do at this point. But Booker’s social voice is closer to that of, say, an “influencer” like Richard Branson than Vice President Joe Biden, whose feed consists of fairly rote announcements created by administration communications staffers.

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Major Media Companies to Launch ‘Educational Campaign’ on Violent Content

Joe Biden In the wake of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook, quite a few national personalities and organizations like the NRA tried to place blame on the nebulous “media”, which supposedly encourages such horrific acts through its glorification of a “culture of violence” in movies, TV shows and video games.

Now representatives and lobbying groups representing major media companies have vowed to take initiative, creating a “nationwide educational campaign” designed to reassure skeptical parents and fulfill a promise made to VP Joe Biden that they would “be part of the solution to curb gun violence.”

Details of the campaign are scarce at the moment, but it will include TV PSA spots, social media initiatives and a relaunch of the sites TVBoss and FilmRatings. The larger point is to remind parents that ratings systems are there to give them a choice regarding their children’s media exposure and that they can use tools provided by the industry to assert greater control over what their kids watch. Participants include the Motion Picture Association of America, the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the National Association of Theatre Owners, the American Cable Association (ACA) and member companies.

Will this campaign affect the public debate? Will it make use of related research? We don’t know–but it should be interesting. We’ll follow closely.

Are We All ‘Bullies’ Now?

Google the words “Biden bully” today and you’ll see a surfeit of defensive responses to last night’s debate, which most polls found to be a moderate win for the current Vice President. (We’re not sure how we’d come down on that issue, but it was certainly more entertaining than last week’s snooze-fest.)

But is this really the appropriate response to a debate between political candidates? Has anyone seen how they do things overseas? Check out Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s bombastic rant labeling opposition leader Tony Abbot a misogynist and a hypocrite if you really want to see a politician on the receiving end of an epic beat down.

Even The Wall Street Journal op-ed page ran an article titled “The Bully vs. The Wonk.” We get it—your editorial team doesn’t much care for the Democratic Party. In other shocking revelations, we hear that fire is hot and water is wet. We’re not saying Biden didn’t show obvious contempt for his opponent, but is The Wall Street Journal seriously arguing that debates should be more respectful? Of course not–they’re just making up for the fact that their guy got pummeled, and this is the best line they could come up with. But wait, don’t both sides do it? Of course they do. In fact, we’re a little surprised we didn’t notice anyone calling Mitt Romney a “bully” last week.

So let’s consider: Has the word lost all meaning?

Here’s another example: We all cheered for newscaster Jennifer Livingston when she called out the man who had the audacity to fatshame her, but was “bully” really the right word for him?

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Media Training Tips and Cautionary Tales

In the high-risk, high-reward world of media training, major stumbles during television interviews are seared indefinitely in the public’s memory. Nailing an interview is not so easy, even for well-known public figures and corporate executives.

Media relies on basic principles and varied techniques. Today we’re focusing on seven tips–and what can happen when interviewees ignore them. As noted below, not everyone is as well-versed in handling the media as Joe Torre, (left) a former Major League Baseball manager.

Preparation is key since winging it is never a good idea. Interviewees need to wrap their heads around not only the core topics, but also the show, the interviewer and his or her questioning style. An example of what not to do? Herman Cain appeared completely clueless when asked about Libya during a video interview in Milwaukee last November, leaving several seconds of awkward, empty air time.

Keep answers brief, limited to quick sound bites. While Vice President Joe Biden is well known for his rambling remarks, the communicator in chief may need to heed this tip as well: During NYU’s Hospitality Investment Conference in June, NBC’s Chuck Todd predicted that President Obama may not win the first debate this fall, because [almost] no one has cut his remarks short during his term in office–and debates have strict time limits.

Beware softball questions. “What newspapers and magazines do you read?” is not a technically difficult question. Still, it was enough to trip up Sarah Palin during her now-infamous interview with Katie Couric during the 2008 Presidential election that was later parodied on SNL.

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Circle of 6 App Aims to Prevent Sexual Violence

Here is a mobile phone app parents and law enforcement can really support.

Circle of 6 is a safety app that won the White House “Apps Against Abuse” Technology challenge. The challenge was launched by Vice President Joe Biden and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Users identify six contacts they want in their close circle and, with the touch of a button, they are able to give their location and ask for help from that trusted six. The app, co-created by women’s rights activist Nancy Schwartzman, was designed to prevent sexual assault. App functions include the ability to ask for a ride home, ask for an interruption, or get advice on healthy relationships.

The app is marketed toward young adults and has received coverage on MTV, in Marie Claire, Wired, Cosmopolitan, The Frisky, and more. It has a Facebook campaign as well.

Dating violence and sexual assault are widespread problems among young women, with nearly one in five reporting assault while in college.

President Obama Comes Out Strong Following Debt-Ceiling Negotiations

President Obama and Congressional leaders at the White House last month. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Finally — finally — it looks like the government is coming to some sort of resolution to the debt-ceiling standoff. The wrangling continues right to the last minute (the deadline is tomorrow people!), but reporters are already looking at the impact that discussions will have on the reputations of the parties and individual politicians.

“…[E]ven as a compromise was announced on Sunday evening, both parties were prepared to try to define the deal as staying true to their respective principles,” The New York Times writes. “How well each of them does in shaping perceptions of the outcome could have a substantial effect on the 2012 presidential race and the balance of power in Washington as the ideological fight over the size and role of government grinds on.”

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‘WaPo’ Reporter Joins VP Biden’s Staff as Comms Director

Shailagh Murray, a political reporter for The Washington Post, is joining Vice President Joe Biden‘s staff as communications director, the position vacated by Jay Carney when he became the White House Press Secretary.

Murray has covered Congress and political campaigns for the paper for six years. She worked for the Wall Street Journal from 1999 to 2005.

Carney is also a former reporter; he was a political reporter for Time magazine before joining the Obama administration.

Yahoo’s The Cutline has the memo.

Roll Call: CBS, NBC, Glover Park, Starbucks, and More

Sonya McNair

Jim Lanzone has been named president of CBS Interactive as part of CBS Corp.’s acquisition of Clicker.com, the company Lanzone co-founded. Lanzone, who was CEO of Clicker Media, will now oversee global CBS Interactive operations. Clicker.com will join a CBS roster of sites that includes CNET.com, TV.com, and Gamespot.com.

Also in CBS news, Sonya McNair has been named head of comms for CBS News. She will oversee media and talent relations, as well as day-to-day PR and internal comms for CBS News, CBS Radio News, CBSNews.com, and the CBS News Polling & Survey Unit.

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Jay Carney Will Be the New WH Press Secretary

Jay Carney, comms director for Vice President Joe Biden, has been selected to replace Robert Gibbs as White House Press Secretary. Carney also had a career in journalism, serving as the Washington bureau chief for Time prior to joining Biden’s staff. There was a lot of advanced speculation that he would be appointed to the post.

Here are a few links as a means of introduction.

‘Game Change’ PR Surge Continues

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“Game Change” doesn’t just sizzle, it’s sizzle-mean. Subtitled “Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the race of a lifetime” the book by TIME‘s Mark Halperin and New York‘s John Heilemann is running the table with a roll-out of very damaging, and blog-able anecdotes from the 2008 presidential campaign trail.

Yet the real story is what “Game Change” reveals about the modern Washington press corps, the debate of which should keep the book on the bestseller list for awhile.

HarperCollins farmed out some of the PR work to Kate Pruss Pinnick of the book specialist firm Shreve Williams.

More after the jump.

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