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Archive for the ‘Media Mishaps’ Category

The Spin View: Hillary dances the Congo line

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Like the Lone Ranger racing on the plains busting Silver and her “High Hos,” former president Bill Clinton galloped on some North Korean tarmac, met with Kim Jong Il and traded two captured U.S. reporters for two sweet Cuban cigars and a stained dress.

Evidently, while Hilary was showing off the latest U.S. fashions in pant suits, yet another version of the Jerry Springer show broke out during her presser in the Congo, as seen here:

Nevermind all the kitschy “Lost in Translation” headlines (originated by the great Jake Tapper) seen internationally, Hillary popped her neck, snapped those fingers and told the Congo dude asking about President Obama what’s up.

Gurl, no, you di’nt!

Don’t believe me? Rewind the video and watch her get that gangsta lean on. The way she flops back in the chair after she gesticulates all over the front row because she thought someone had the nerve to ask Hillary about her hubby and his jet setting trip.

“You want me to tell you what my husband thinks?”

That was the beginning of the end. That one blue vein pulsing in her forehead and what little of a smile she quickly was erased by her fangs. As. If?!

“My husband is not secretary of state, I am,” she replied. “If you want my opinion I will tell you my opinion. I am not going to be channeling my husband.”

Keep it classy there, Madame Secretary.

Does that shadow darken more than the sun always shining on your broad shoulder pads? Looks like it may be your legacy in politics unless there is a PR campaign revving up soon to correct this angst and envy of Captain Charisma.

During his sinful ways and non-sexual-relations-with-that-woman, Hillary kept her cool. While he was being probed by every national network in the U.S., she was steadfast by his side.

But now that she’s got the title and he’s some washed-up has-been, his shadow still looms and now she would like to get it all out. The real problem is if some student with a haphazard translator can make her square off that easy, what happens when some starched-shirt GOP acolyte confronts her when she is back stateside?

She going to shank him? Scratch his eyes out. Man up, Hillary. Come on. Who’s the good secretary of state?

Remember what they say, “Smile, and the world smiles with you. Fart… and, well, watch the video.”

Bruno Punks PR

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O.J. was so innocent in his youth, huh?

O.J. was so innocent in his youth, huh?

Anyone see Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest spoof, “Bruno”?

Meh?

It’s the same shtick of stereotypical chicanery and pushing that envelope until everyone in the theatre gets paper cuts. With the exception of one thing, he punks some publicist hacks in Los Angeles.

Meet Duet PR and its founders – the self-dubbed “hot identical twins” Nicole and Suzie DeFosset, if you need them. (Again, meh?)

So, here’s Bruno gallivanting in their LA-based studio looking for insight on how to rock it Hollywood and get involved with charities.

The conversation that transpired was a microcosm of why some folks lump flacks into the same gene pool as used car salesmen and those guys who go door-to-door with lawnmower in-tow looking to make a few bucks.

Thanks to this Ecorazzi story, we have an excerpt from a Bloomberg review:

In America, Bruno has encounters with B-list entertainers, redneck hunters, bloodthirsty fight fans and a couple of airhead PR consultants who advise celebrities on how to boost their public images by supporting charities. (One of the flacks mispronounces Darfur and indicates that global warming is no longer buzz-worthy.)

Keeping it sooooo classy in So-Cal. Nice.

Aside from that, they couldn’t even find the Sudanese area on a map.

Well, since this wasn’t the most flattering appearance in Hollywood – their backyard to make a dime – the “blunder twins” put out this statement to continue their 15 minutes:

We just saw the movie and thought it was hilarious and Bruno is a comedic genius. We were directed on playing up the blonde roll (sic) and they definitely captured those parts! Like all reality shows it was cleverly edited and we are excited to be apart (sic) of a successful film.

Uh, yeah.

Well, true to form, the girls continued to play the “blonde roll” when they hit enter by misspelling a couple of words, misplacing a few commas and misrepresenting an entire industry.

There’s never a good media alert – or an AP style guide – around when you need one.

The Spin View: Where’s Michael?

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For weeks, the world has reeled with the death of Michael Jackson.

And while people have been buying his albums “off the Wall,” (Sorry, it was just there) the one thing people can’t seem to grasp is when will the friggin’ stories stop!

He’s dead. He revolutionized the business. He will always be remembered… namely if the media won’t shut up about the fact that… oh yeah… he’s dead!

I’ve often wondered if I had the power of a digital editing suite at my desk, how I would be able to masterfully maneuver around all the gesticulating banter on the Michael Jackson story… and inevitably, stick a log in the spoked wheel spinning out of control.

Now thanks to the genius writers at “The Daily Show,” I no longer have to dream. Enjoy!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The Spin View: Where’s Michael?“, posted with vodpod

New publishing efforts are all Greek to me

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Magazines are vanishing from the public almost as fast as Jon & Kate’s relevance. And to keep the printing presses as hot as the aforementioned couple’s divorce proceedings, publishers are looking under their pillows for that one wadded-up idea hiding in the pillows.

The Meredith Corporation, home of many magazines routinely seen in my mailbox (Hi baby), has found one such idea that dates back to antiquity. No, really. Like Ancient Greece.

New cheesy pick-up line: "Whew. Look at those Gammas."

New cheesy pick-up line: "Whew. Look at those Gammas."

Recently, the world was introduced to a new kind of radioactive woman – the Gamma Women, who are influential and well-connected women who love to network.

More than 55 million of them evidently read their gaggle of magazines, so why not create a report about the third letter in the Greek alphabet?

Thanks to this story from PR Newser, we have a quote from Nancy Weber, Meredith’s CMO:

Since we released the Gamma report last year, we’ve received an overwhelming response from marketers and advertisers. The current economic environment has caused brands to reevaluate where they spend their marketing and advertising dollars and seek opportunities that reach highly engaged consumers at great scale.”

So, Gamma women buy wisely, as opposed to Alpha males who just walk into a local Border’s and duke it out or pee all over the magazine rack to mark their territory. You learn something new every day.

Only one thought from the married section of the cheap seats: whatever you do Meredith Corp., please – for the love of God – don’t use the Gamma in its lowercase form.

Originally, this formation of the symbol was used in engineering mechanics and refers to specific weight.

I don’t know about most women, but the ladies in my life wouldn’t be that crazy about having their weight published across the country in the interest of a quick buck. Just sayin’.

Written by theflak

July 26, 2009 at 8:00 am

Hey reporters, call me. Please?

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If you consider what flacks like me do for a living, it’s a viable question.

We spend hours noodling on that finely crafted pitch, attempting to personalize it with a back story and customize it with our own sense of dazzling wit. And then, as we hold our breath and squint out of one eye, we hit “send” and off it goes… will it return, who really knows?

I know odds are not good we get that return call, but what’s a flack to do? Quit? Stop trying? Anything?

Plenty, based on this brilliant read from “The Bad Pitch Blog.” It seems I’m not alone with my discombobulated woes.

Probably my former GM. His other car said "Move the Needle".

Probably my former GM. His other car said "SYNERGY".

According to the sage authors here, the reason media types don’t call us back is because most of “us” aren’t answering the effin’ phone. And why?

Too much of a good thing, in this PR practitioner’s opinion?

Think about it. We have a voice mail at work and on the cell. Some have an e-leash… sorry, a Blackberry. And now, there’s our LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.

All those meetings. All those clients. And then, some adoring member of the media has the nerve to return your message.

Sure, you screen your calls. Who doesn’t? But if you aren’t holding true to a 24-hour return call policy, you need to consider a new line of work. I don’t know, like Toll Booth Operator.

You see, most spin doctors I know who don’t return calls are the type to pitch at 6:00 p.m. and file the report, “Called but no return message.”

It’s the personal interaction that scares the bejesus out of some in this vocation. To which, I say get over it. It’s in the job description.

Sure after-hour calls, e-mails, tweets and an impersonal LinkedIn message is contact, but all hail the days when all we had were phones and those antiquated answering machines.

These days, hitting “7” ad-nauseum is so much easier to clear your calendar for that new business tee time, isn’t it?

Listen, if you are one of these media habitues who live on Caller ID, consider the economy, answer the phone and who knows… you may enjoy the interaction. Just a thought.

Glenn Beck thinks ACORN is nuts

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ACORNAmerica has been on a tilt-a-whirl of historic presidential elections lately. We have gone from a hanging chad to the least popular guy getting the gig and most recently, massive voter registeration fraud to get their guy in the White House.

Recently, said insolvent ne’er-do-well spokesperson Scott Levenson from ACORN was a guest on the Glenn Beck show where they candidly and energetically discussed the dead people registered to vote, identity thieves hired to do to the registering and the maladroit fumblings of “partiality” ACORN exercises.

I mean it is voting after all. You would think some of that should be unbiased. Just a skosh?

Although Beck took Levenson for a trip around the block with his obtuse analogies, Levenson left the FOX studios knowing one salient truth – fire his crisis communications trainer.

Talk about a complete dolt. From fighting the caloric intake of gas Levenson injested trying to block the crap hurled in his direction to his hyper mumbling about the 2008 election and harangue of non-answers, this guy looked like a fool.

Beck lights him up with, “You sir, and your organization, are bad for America.”

Suddenly, stumbling and bumbling mouth retorts:

“You’re just afraid of black people.”

Yeah, because that’s about as classic as “I know you are but what am I” and “Your mama.”

And then, in sweet fashion, Glenn Beck gets to gloat by chunking Levenson out of studio. If you are so inclined, the entertaining reparte is here, and Beck’s bragedocio is below. Watch this peacock strut. Good for a giggle.

Newspapers only wish they could print cash too

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So, eh, breaking news? Newspapers are closing their printing presses everywhere.

It’s not they are running out of ink or stories, just money. And so, publishers have been hurling their heads into their desks trying to figure a way out of this Internet mess.

Online NewsThen, without fail, faster than a speeding IRS agent, more powerful than a local blog and able to leap tall requests with a single check… here comes the U.S. Government, thanks to HuffPo.

Yeah, yeah. Get your barf bags ready and let’s say those two magical words together, “Bail. Out.”

Hosted by Sen. John Kerry, some of this country’s most influential publishers caucused on Capitol Hill with shades, a cane and a dirty coffee mug in-hand awaiting a hand out.

Among the blinder, publishing magnates were  James Moroney from the beleaguered Dallas Morning News, who claimed a “quasi property right” over facts that were being used for “commercial gain,” not by readers but by “someone else.”

Yeah, that’s called public information once it’s online, so I’m fairly sure that “someone else” would be every person who regretfully isn’t interested in buying a paper to see the advertisinguh, read the stories first-hand.

Why Kerry? Among the near-dearly-departed who be his beloved Boston Globe. So his impartial and unbiased interest in saving that paper is about as transparent as Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan being interested in the goings on of the automotive industry.

Ah, politics.

Now, Kerry and the gaggle of civil servants who gathered are looking into a proposal to steer around labeling it as a bailout – allowing papers become non-profit entities.

I wonder which of those former-writers-gone-publishers was responsible for that ironic twist. Hrm.