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Category: PR CommentaryReturn to Latest News
Mon., Mar. 17, 2014
The Media of Public Relations: Paid v. Owned v. Earned
By Fraser Seitel
 
In the “old days” – before social media – public relations was aimed, essentially, at one thing; convincing a third party – usually a journalist – to report favorably on your client.
Category: PR Commentary
Tue., Feb. 25, 2014
USA Track & Field Pulls Up Lame in PR Race
By Kevin McCauley
 
GrunewaldUSA Track & Field didn’t exactly cover itself in PR glory with Monday’s decision to reinstate Gabriele Grunewald as 3000-meter indoor champion and Team USA representative at the world championships in Poland next month. It had no choice.
Category: PR Commentary
Sun., Jan. 5, 2014
Income Disparity Will Be Hot PR Topic in 2014
By Jack O'Dwyer
 

deblasioIncome disparity is a political football that will get kicked around plenty in 2014 and it’s a topic that PR students and grads as well as working PR practitioners should follow. PR operates against this economic background.

Category: PR Commentary
Mon., Dec. 30, 2013
Harper's Tells PR Pros, Students How to Please Rich
By Jack O'Dwyer
 
Harper's magazineA behind-the-scenes expose of what it’s like to work for the rich has been written for the January Harper’s by John P. Davidson, novelist who has written for Fortune, Rolling Stone, Elle, Gentleman’s Quarterly and other media.
Category: PR Commentary
Wed., Dec. 18, 2013
Aussie Prof. Questions PR for Tylenol "Crisis"
By Jack O'Dwyer
 
Tony JaquesProf. Tony Jaques of Australia, writing in the December Issues Outcomes, has reiterated his criticisms of Johnson & Johnson’s PR in the wake of the seven Tylenol deaths in 1982.
Category: PR Commentary
Fri., Oct. 11, 2013
A Few Questions Journalists Should Ask the NFL
By Arthur Solomon
 
Fawning coverage of the NFL by media enablers masks many problems associated with America’s most violent sport.
Category: PR Commentary
Mon., Sep. 30, 2013
Who Asked Ya?
By Fraser Seitel
 
BarillaThe winner of September’s  “Shoot Yourself in the Head” award goes to Italy’s legendary pasta maker, Barilla, whose primary product was boycotted after its chairman made anti-gay remarks.
Category: PR Commentary
Thu., Aug. 22, 2013
New PR Head at ProPublica; Will It Look at PR?!
By Jack O'Dwyer
 
Nicole BronzanNicole Bronzan of Freedom to Marry, will join ProPublica Sept. 16 as communications director, replacing five-year veteran Mike Webb, who had the title of VP/communications.
Category: PR Commentary
Mon., Aug. 5, 2013
'PR Day' Flops in U.K. but Need Continues
By Jack O'Dwyer
 
PR National Awareness DaySaturday, July 27 was the first "PR National Awareness Day" in the U.K. in case you missed it.  Almost everyone missed it in the U.K. and there is no evidence anyone at all knew about the effort in the U.S.
Category: PR Commentary
Mon., May 27, 2013
Tight-Lipped Lerner Bounced by IRS
By Jack O'Dwyer
 
It was with some satisfaction that we saw IRS agent Lois Lerner being bounced from her active duties May 23, the day after she took the Fifth Amendment on whether her office improperly targeted conservative groups.
 
Asking questions and not getting them acknowledged or answered is highly annoying and that’s just how the Senators felt who got snubbed by Lerner.

“The silent treatment outraged lawmakers,” said the New York Post.
Category: PR Commentary
Thu., Mar. 14, 2013
A 'Disruptive' Pontiff
By Robert Dilenschneider
 
The attention to and discussion of the new Pope is without precedent. One has to ask, why?
 
Surely one reason is that there are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world, 77 million in the United States. A second reason is that there are so many issues surrounding the Church and the Vatican and associated elements. Above both these reasons there are tens of millions that are looking for directions to a better life.
Category: PR Commentary
Mon., Mar. 11, 2013
Murdoch Gives Spin-Off a Fighting Chance
By Kevin McCauley
 
Rupert MurdochYou have to give newsman Rupert Murdoch credit. Pressured by Wall Street's demands for higher returns, the media titan is spinning off his collection of newspapers with a $2.6B in cash and no debt. 

He’s giving the papers a fighting chance. The Wall Street JournalNew York PostTimes of LondonSun and Australian newspapers will have a fat financial cushion to deal with the rocky transformation of the media world. 

It also puts CEO Robert Thomson, a news hound in the mode of Murdoch, in position to pick up some of the available properties in the Tribune Co. bankruptcy auction.
Category: PR Commentary
Tue., Mar. 5, 2013
Murdoch's Sports Net Should Hire Olbermann
By Kevin McCauley
 
Olberman, MurdochKeith Olbermann, who was bounced from Fox, MSNBC, ESPN and Current TV, wants to return to the sports world, according to the New York Times

He recently dined in New York with ESPN president John Skipper, who felt that Olbermann was "looking to see if there was an entry point to come back.” Skipper didn’t sound too upbeat about the process of hiring loose cannon Keith.

Olbermann should think big. His old sparring buddy, Rupert Murdoch, is launching Fox Sports I to give ESPN a run for its money. He should let bygones be bygones and give Rupert a call.
 
Category: PR Commentary
Fri., Mar. 1, 2013
Move Over Buffett, Here's Sir Martin's Take on the World
By Kevin McCauley
 
All of Wall Street eagerly awaits today’s release of Berkshire-Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders to get a fix on the Oracle of Omaha’s outlook for the year. 

Forget about Buffett, the Oracle of London released his own musings today (PDF)

I feast on the writings of WPP chief Martin Sorrell, who provided his unique take on the world in the ad/PR firm’s 2012 earnings report. Sorrell never disappoints. He’s good for a creative, informative, funny and sometimes baffling read.

Here is why U.S. multinationals, sitting on a combined $2T cash trove, are so-tightfisted when it comes to spending for communications: 
“But while clients were certainly in better shape than pre-Lehman in September 2008, they still lacked the necessary confidences given the ‘grey swans’, or known unknowns. Black swans are the unknown unknowns which by definition we do not know what they are.”

Say, what?
Category: PR Commentary
Thu., Feb. 28, 2013
JC Penney CEO is Stand-Up Guy
By Kevin McCauley
 
It isn’t often that a CEO admits to mistakes, which is why J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson earns my Stand-Up Guy of the Month award. 

Congratulations, Ron. Accept the kudos while you can.

The Plano, Tex.-based department store chain’s sales had been tanking since 2007, but went into free-fall once Johnson, who was Apple’s retail genius, put his “growth” strategy into place on Feb. 1, 2012. Things hit the fan yesterday as Johnson released his report card. 

Penney reported a 28.4 percent plunge in Q4 revenues to $3.9B. To compound matters, the just-concluded quarter had an extra week compared to the year ago period. Penney’s net loss soared to $552M from $87M during the quarter. 

For the year, Johnson mercifully kept Penney under the $1B net loss mark as the company’s deficit hit $985M, up from $152M. Full-year sales collapsed 24.8 percent to $13B.
Category: PR Commentary
Mon., Feb. 25, 2013
Apple's PR Lemon
By Fraser Seitel
 

Note to Tim Cook: Just shut up!

Every time Apple’s no longer new CEO opens his mouth, the stock goes down. (Full disclosure: I own the stinkin’ stock!)

Cook took over the world’s most respected high-tech franchise for the iconic Steve Jobs a year-and-a half ago. After riding a residual crest of post-Jobs approval, the new CEO has presided, shockingly, over the dismantling of the Apple reputation and the crumbling of the Apple stock.

How did this happen?
Category: PR Commentary
Fri., Feb. 22, 2013
Apocalypse LaPierre
By Kevin Foley
 

When former U.S. Representative Bob Barr and I met last week at the Marietta, Georgia Rotary Club luncheon to debate gun safety, we had a polite exchange of views on the issue. I was invited because of the gun safety opinions I’ve expressed in a weekly column I write for the local newspaper.

Barr did take exception to my invoking the National Rifle Association when I observed that the organization has, for years, engaged in a relentlessly bellicose misinformation campaign designed confuse and scare gun owners.
Category: PR Commentary
Thu., Feb. 14, 2013
Huey: A Triumph for PR
By Bill Huey
 

When the Carnival Triumph finally docks in Mobile, the entire cruise-ship industry should have a PR triage team in place to meet them.

The team should be armed with statistics, fact sheets, talking points, B-roll, available spokespeople at the highest levels of the industry, social media toolkits and a video crew to document the whole thing.
Category: PR Commentary
Mon., Feb. 11, 2013
Chomsky Hits Nerve on PR's Irrationality
By Jack O'Dwyer
 
The charge by linguist/philosopher Noam Chomsky that advertising and PR are irrational and emotional rather than informative and that they undermine democracy touched off 20 postings on this website totaling more than 1,700 words.

Noam Chomsky
Chomsky
The alleged irrationality of PR is a matter of concern to thoughtful PR people.

Chomsky considers advertising and PR all of one piece and there is no doubt a close connection between the two.

The 46 commercials on the Super Bowl are good examples of frenetic, nearly mindless activities in support of various products. New York Times ad columnist Stuart Elliott said the “dominant types” were “emotional and humorous.”
Category: PR Commentary
Mon., Feb. 11, 2013
Pebble Beach 'Salutes' Military, Showcases Economic Disparity
By Kevin Foley
 
Over-the-top patriotic demonstrations at sporting events reached a new low this weekend, when servicemen and women were on exhibit at Pebble Beach during the PGA tour stop there.
Category: PR Commentary
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