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AVENGERS Disconnect? MARVEL's Identity Crisis
July 22nd, 2014 by Shawn Paul Wood
One of the greatest brands in recent history has a screw loose, if you ask most avid comic book readers and superhero movie watchers. The all-powerful MARVEL appears to be having an identity crisis. The esteemed home of super factions like the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers has recently announced the creation of MARVEL NOW!, which has left most of its fans thinking their Spidey sense never saw...

Perverse PR: Russia Forgets About Empathy
July 22nd, 2014 by Doug Bedell
A couple of the cardinal principles of effective crisis communication are candor and empathy — identifying with the legitimate concerns of people caught up in a disaster. Russia, though, didn't take the course. Vladimir Putin's PR strategy, says an expert observer in a Canadian Broadcasting post, "resembles that of the Soviet era: 'massive propaganda, disinformation and counter-propaganda.'"
Journalism Guidelines Evolving With Digital News
July 21st, 2014 by Doug Bedell
The Society of Professional Journalists is updating its ethics code, for the first time since 1996, to cover and encourage compliance by digital journalists. "Back in 1996, for instance, with essentially one print deadline at the end of the day," notes Karen Peterson of The News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., "we didn’t have to make split-second decisions about what to post online as news was breaking. Likewise, we didn’t have to decide how to handle personal information people post about themselves online."
#PR: The Zen of a Successful Pitch
July 21st, 2014 by Gerard E. Mayers
Len Stein, one of my colleagues here at Talent Zoo, recently authored a very insightful piece on why us flacks should not, I repeat, not use the telephone when pitching to journalists. In his article, titled For Better PR Results, Don't Call, he notes: “Reporters have tough, and underpaid, jobs. They must be creative on tight deadlines. They have to deal with editors as well as manage diverse sources. ..."
PR and and Digital Budgets are Up: Uncork the Champagne!
July 18th, 2014 by Jeannine Wheeler
Great news for PR practitioners: looks like brands are upping their PR spend, with the highest increases since 2012. According to the latest IPA Bellwether Report, PR budgets in the UK were boosted in the second quarter of this year, which followed a sustained trend toward higher marketing costs.
Shadowy Areas of PR Practice — Levick and Goodluck Jonathan
July 18th, 2014 by Doug Bedell
Aren’t there limits to PR services? Shouldn’t there be? Everyone, you’d think, wants to be working in and associated with a worthy craft. But then there’s the Washington-based Levick firm taking on Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan as a client. Sahara Reporters advises that “Levick recently accepted a deal worth $1.2 million to help manage Mr. Jonathan’s image…”
CIA Posting Twitter, Facebook Nuggets
July 17th, 2014 by Doug Bedell
Talk about image polishing, or is it, in this case? The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has been on Twitter and Facebook since June 6 and the question is, Why? PR Week reports that the agency is seeking "to inform and educate the public" through its new social media presence. But does a tweet like it's first one, "We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet," contribute to the accomplishment of any useful mission?
Comcast Fail: Customer Service Drops the Ball
July 17th, 2014 by Mike Bush
In a piece of audio that sounds more like a radio stunt than an actual customer service call, a representative from Comcast added to the already-horrific reputation of the company. It all started when a pretty well-known, somewhat influential blogger tried to call Comcast to cancel his Internet service with them.
College Journalists Targeting PR People
July 16th, 2014 by Doug Bedell
College journalism is bidding to fill some of the void growing with the decline of newspapers as information sources, but is upset over PR roadblocks to its efforts. That can be gathered from a letter thirty-eight journalism groups, including leading collegiate bodies, have sent to President Obama to "end the restraint on communication in federal agencies."
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