Flak Attack

If it’s in the news, the Flak attacks!

Posts Tagged ‘journalism

The Spin View: Where’s Michael?

leave a comment »

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

Advertisements

Hey reporters, call me. Please?

leave a comment »

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.

Warren Buffett and his nail for the newspapers’ coffin

leave a comment »

Warren Buffett – he’s one of the most beloved philanthropists and investors, one of the richest dudes on the planet and a guy who knows a thing or two about newspapers.

The only place in America where the paper is still read

The only place in America where the paper is still read

Much to the latter, Buffett was quoted at the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting discussing the recent plight of dwindling newspaper circulations and the fact America doesn’t fancy itself as a reading nation any longer.

β€œFor most newspapers in the United states, [his company that dabbles in publications] would not buy them at any price,” he said in response to a question about whether he would consider investing in newspapers. β€œThey have the possibility of going to just unending losses.”

Talk about kicking the crap out of an industry while it’s down. Publishing magnates everywhere collectively inhaled and choked on their stogies when this quote went transcontinental.

So, how so, O’ Sage of Omaha? Well, to paraphrase Buffett’s street savvy, “It’s all about the Benjamins.”

As long as newspapers were essential to readers, they were essential to advertisers. But news is available in many other venues, such as the Internet, which means a dramatic drop in advertising revenue.

So, is this pandemic Google’s fault? Nah. It’s ours. Folk enjoy anything that can chucked into a microwave and bought at a drive-thru. Our quest of diversify our calendars has been the driving force to plunder newspapers everywhere.

We enjoy the Cliff’s Notes versions found online rather than sifting through countless headlines and ads to find just exactly where was the last place Brangelina or TomKat was seen in public.

Why look for the story when we can hunt for the Google images and copy that in our Facebook page? Who knows.

Written by theflak

May 20, 2009 at 10:00 am

Imagine paying rent at a homeless shelter

with 4 comments

Signs of the Times?

Signs of the Times?

Ever been to New York City? If you work in public relations, the answer is probably, “Yes.”

It’s the media mecca. It’s the holy ground of journalism. And it’s the… most friggin’ expensive place on earth!

My God, man. A brother can go broke there without ordering room service.

I mean, has anyone bothered checking out the home prices in that city?

$1.5 million for a 660 square-foot tin shanty, but hey, it’s got a view… if you look waaaaaaaaaay in the corner of that rear window in your bathroom, you can see a tree past those gutters. Sweet.

Well, the economy is evidently still putting the squeeze on real estate in the city that never sleeps.

According to this alarming story from Newsday, city officials have begun charging rent to families living in… wait for it… homeless shelters. Classy.

The spin:

The policy applies only to shelter residents who have income from jobs.

Sure. Never mind those jobs are typically dishwasher, asbestos cleaner, sewage drainer and pooper scoopers, but hey, it’s a gig. Right?

The catch:

They could be expected to pay up to half their earnings.

Because when you are living in a homeless shelter (oxymoron, eh?), you can easily afford that kind of scratch on three hots and a cot… for you and your family.

Pathetic. In a world where the economy is public enemy #1 and charity is sorely floundering amidst public panic, New York City shows up in a sterling fashion.

I understand every city has to get their cut, but to get “stimulated” on the backs of the disenfranchised, impoverished and destitute? Hrm.

The Big Apple looks like it has sour grapes to me. Poetic. And nutritious too.

Written by theflak

May 14, 2009 at 4:48 am