|May 16, 2009|
|The Week in PR - Twitter in Space, Mexico's Odd Pitch...|
|By Greg Hazley|
|This week: Twitter hits the cosmos, Mexico's odd PR pitch to counter flu worries,|
the healthcare industry gets some good press, and car dealer closings' fatal blow to newspapers....
DICK, RUSH & COLIN: Former Vice President Dick Cheney got things rolling on Sunday with a newsy performance on "Face the Nation," telling host Bob Schieffer that the brand-less Republican Party should be more like Rush and less like Colin. The talking-head shockwaves continue to reverberate over Cheney's remarks as the party of Lincoln plots its course.
HEALTHY PR: On Monday, the healthcare industry earned some goodwill (and good PR) with an overture to the Obama in the form of a promise to hold down rising costs. Earning praise from the President for an industry used to getting battered on the PR front, drug makers and insurance companies put out an olive branch for healthcare reform with a vow to save $2 trillion over the next decade.
Later in the week, Democrats began brainstorming on a "message" to sell a reform plan and counter inevitable Republican charges that Washington is taking over the healthcare system. [Interesting that the New York Times print edition carried the headline "Democrats to Develop Pitch to Sell Health Plan," while the web version changes "pitch" to "plan."]
ROGER DODGER: Ex-hurler Roger Clemens followed up his widely panned appearance on ESPN radio to counter an unflattering book with a request to answer questions from the public in Houston via Houstonist, a local website. The Daily News suspects he's trying to skip the "filter" of the media and take his case to the people.
BABY BOTTLE BAN: In a blow to chemical industry PR efforts, the Chicago City Council voted on Wednesday to ban the sale of baby bottles made with bisphenol-A, an ingredient in plastics. The vote follows bans by Suffolk County, N.Y., and the entire state of Minnesota.
The American Chemistry Council blasted the Chicago decision as "unwarranted" and "contrary to the global consensus" on the safety of socalled BPA. The FDA has said in February that the chemical does not pose a health risk.
TWITTERING THE COSMOS: Astronaut Mike Massimino channeled his pioneering spirit and delighted millions in Twitterland when he beamed the first tweet from orbit on Thursday. @Astro_Mike noted the "launch was awesome!!" in his 149-character update.
As of Friday, he had 284,320 followers on the social network.
SWINE FLU FREE GUARANTEE: In a head-scratching PR move, several resorts in Mexico are backing a swine "flue free guarantee," promising travelers that they'll receive a free vacation a year for three years if they contract the flu.
"In the highly unlikely case that you do catch H1N1 A, you will need A REPORT FROM A CERTIFIED LAB stating that you contracted flu within 14 DAYS OF YOUR DEPARTURE from your Mexico destination," reads the promotion.
DEALER DOLDRUMS: After watching and reading about a dozen news reports of devastated Chrysler dealers getting the dreaded cardboard envelope that meant the end of the line on Thursday night and Friday morning, I thought about the first newspaper I worked at in college.
A weekly paper that covered southern New York and northern New Jersey, the biggest advertisers we had were car dealerships. While most of the little papers like that one are gone or drying up, the shuttering of nearly 800 dealerships (with 1,200 likely) will be a brutal blow to one of the few legs those papers (and larger dailies) had left to stand on.
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