February 11, 2013

CASE STUDY: Be careful with social media

Twitter (wink)The spokesman for Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) was fired for tweeting a message under what he thought was his own Twitter account when in fact he was using the Congressman's account.

Even though he deleted it after 14 seconds, it was archived.

Full story.

August 12, 2012

Top 10 PR Blunders of 2012 (so far)

2012magnifiedBill Miltenberg of PR News lists, in chronological, the top 10 PR blunders of 2012.  Among the low points: Costa Cruises, Komen, Olympics and much more.

For the full list: click here.  (PR News)

November 21, 2011

TRICKS OF THE TRADE: PR Newser offers Six Tips for Making your Press Release Twitter Friendly

Twitter v FacebookMediabistro blog PR Newser offers “Six tips for making your press release Twitter friendly” in light of a recent study from PR Newswire & Crowd Factory that found that Twitter drives more traffic to press releases than Facebook. 

The six tips?

1)      It Starts with the Headline – Leave room for comment & retweets, make headline eye catching & newsworthy, tweet “facts and stats”

2)     Numbers, Numbers, Numbers – If you have data within a press release, put it in the headline

3)     Make Sub-stories Tweetable – Make the press release “scanable” by highlighting secondary areas, so one press release can be a few different tweets

4)     Hashtag Properly – Keywords and search terms make it easier to find; tweet should be “more social but less deep”

5)     Make Quotes Tweetable – Make quotes “interesting and substantive”

6)     Increase Multimedia – Audio, video and other multimedia add value and “further draw your audience in”

Summary: "In other words, consider the social media platform and create your strategy — and your press release — accordingly."

Full item here. (PR Newser)

June 26, 2011

CASE STUDY: Politico on Doug Heye's Unique, But Effective Communication Tactic

Doug Heye Politico’s Patrick Gavin (@PWGavin) writes for Politico on Republican strategist and former RNC Communications Director Doug Heye, specifically on his unique use of pop culture references in his on air and written political analysis.

Read the full piece here.

Heye also often refers to his home state of North Carolina, in addition to common references to Frank Sinatra, wrestler Ric Flair, classic film The Godfather and other real life anecdotes.

It’s a good lesson for all flacks on both sides of the aisle – middle America easily gets lost in our Beltway vocabularies.  (Politico)

May 12, 2011

CASE STUDY: Swirling PR Scandal Engulfing PR Firm Burson-Marsteller regarding Google and Facebook

Burson Marsteller logo The world of corporate public relations is not just pitching reporters with positive stories.  In today’s hyper-competitive world of global commerce, it is also sometimes necessary to engage in the world of dark arts to undermine your competitors.

Usually, these efforts remain confidential.

Facebook logo But today, the Daily Beast broke the news that worldwide PR firm Burson Marsteller (BM) was retained by Facebook to lead a negative PR campaign against Google.  Before today, it was not publicly known who retained BM on this project, although Apple and Microsoft were falsely suspected.

Google logo The USA Today reported later Thursday that BM confirmed they had been retained by Facebook to bring “publicly available information to light” against Google and that Facebook’s name “be withheld on these grounds.

BM admitted, in a rather extraordinary statement that belies the brand threat the PR firm was facing, “this was not at all standard operating procedure and is against our policies, and the assignment on those terms should have been declined. When talking to the media, we need to adhere to strict standards of transparency about clients, and this incident underscores the absolute importance of that principle.”

How did this become public?

According to the Daily Beast, “the story gained wider attention when USA Today reported that two PR flacks from Burson—former CNBC tech reporter Jim Goldman, and John Mercurio, a former politcal reporter—had been pushing reporters at USA Today and other outlets to write stories and editorials claiming Google was violating people’s privacy with Social Circle.

This story is still developing, and threatens both Facebook and BM – in terms of their reputations.

Does PR firm Burson Marsteller need a PR firm?  (PF reporting, Daily Beast, USA Today)

April 16, 2011

NYT: From “Press Agent” to “Supress Agent”

Entourage - Publicist The New York Times recently reported on a growing problem in the world of celebrity publicity: the thoughtless use of social media can “undo years of careful image crafting.”

Citing recent controversies with rapper Chris Brown, comedian Gilbert Gottfried, and actor Charlie Sheen, publicists today spend time not just promoting the new projects of their clients, but also cleaning up messes that stars create themselves on sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

One publicist said, the new social media world “gives our clients many new opportunities to screw up.”

Another said, “The margin of error is slim when you go directly to the public.  One comment can become a fiasco in 10 seconds.”

To read the full story, click here.  (The New York Times)

March 19, 2011

EXCLUSIVE: Bardella Grants First Interview to Hometown California Newspaper

Kurt Bardella with Issa Kurt Bardella, the well-known 27-year old Capitol Hill flack for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) who was publicly fired on March 1 for revealing reporter emails to a New York Times reporter who was writing a book on Washington, has broken his silence. 

Bardella agreed to be exclusively interviewed by his hometown newspaper, the Escondido, CA-based North County Times, where he discussed how he feels today, what he’s learned and what he wants to do in the future. 

In the article, Bardella admitted, “I did lose my way a little bit.  Certainly, in this case, what I did left people in the reporting community uncomfortable.” 

The story has some interesting personal details, reveals Issa’s recent phone call and Bardella talks about his future. 

Read the full article here.  (PF reporting)

February 07, 2011

CASE STUDY: Creators of Palin "Mama Grizzlies" Ad, Passcode Creative, Receive Critical Praise

Passcode Creative Nashville-based production company Passcode Creative, which developed the famous “Mama Grizzlies” ad for former Gov. Sarah Palin's (R-AK) political action committee, SarahPAC, has compiled public and industry response to their groundbreaking ad. 

The Tennessean (Nashville, TN) reported on how the ad’s success catapulted the company. 

Passcode co-founder Eric Welch attributes the ad’s success to its use of “real people” expressing their authentic emotions for Governor Palin.

Passcode Founders Welch and Josh Gatlin plan to attend the CPAC convention in Washington, D.C. this weekend.  (PF tipster)

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  • Matt Mackowiak - Site Manager
    Matt Mackowiak is a Washington, D.C. and Austin,TX-based Republican strategist and communications consultant and President of Potomac Strategy Group, LLC. In his career he has managed a winning Congressional campaign and worked in the U.S. Senate, at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, at a leading international PR firm, on a presidential campaign in Iowa and in White House presidential advance. Follow him on Twitter - @MattMackowiak

    Laura Gross - Contributor
    Laura Gross is currently president of Scott Circle Communications. She has served as deputy director of communications at the DNC, was Gov. Howard Dean's Communications Director and she worked in the press office at USAID during the Clinton administration. Her experience also includes time in the PR department of National Public Radio and she was part of Vice President Gore's advance team when he was in The White House.
    Follow her on Twitter: @ScottCircle

    Blain K. Rethmeier - Contributor
    Blain K. Rethmeier is currently the Senior Vice President for Public Affairs for the American Insurance Association (AIA). Rethmeier joined AIA from the White House where he served as Special Assistant to the President for Communications and directed communications for the National Economic Council and Homeland Security Council. Prior to joining the White House, Rethmeier served as Press Secretary for the Senate Judiciary Committee.
    Follow him on Twitter: @BlainR

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