Political challenges to PR spending ask the wrong questions

You know we’re sitting on four million pounds of fuel, one nuclear weapon and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder. Makes you feel good, doesn’t it?

LAXThese words were uttered by Steve Buscemi’s character in the sci-fi flick, “Armageddon,” as the crew blasted off in a space shuttle in an effort to save humanity from an asteriod hurling through space on a collision course with Earth. The quote surfaced out of the distant recesses of my mind (the movie wasn’t very good, after all) when I read a PRWeek piece about Los Angeles City Councilmen Dennis Zine and Bill Rosendahl questioning $3.8 million in PR contracts… Read More »

Friday Wrap #16: upside of showrooming,Google plays 6 Degrees, small and large businesses go social

Friday Wrap
Image (c) Can Stock Photo
“Thank God it’s Friday,” I hear you shout, since Friday promises another edition of the Friday Wrap. And indeed, here it is! I draw these items from the last seven days of my various feeds. I save the interesting items for consideration in the Wrap (and for Monday’s episode of For Immediate Release) on my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow.

Showrooming could be good for retailers

One of the reasons Best Buy is on the ropes, according to analysts, is that the brick-and-mortar stores have become showrooms for Amazon.com. Visitors can check out the physical products, make their choices, then order them… Read More »

PRSA’s advocacy in face of Senate investigation of PR is a good reason to pay association dues

PRSA's Murray and CorbettBack in 2007, I wrote a post speculating about the future of professional associations. Digital and social media have made it easy for professionals to tap into an abundance of professional development and networking opportunities that don’t require annual dues. Facebook and LinkedIn groups provide a forum for in-depth discussion with professional peers, for example. Both of these channels, along with Twitter and Quora, make it easy to find subject matter experts. Countless agencies and individuals offer free webinars, white papers and ebooks. In-person gatherings like Podcamp, Third Thursday and the like provide opportunities for… Read More »

It’s time for the PR profession to join the opposition to SOPA and PIPA

Reddit WarriorEarlier today, U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor shelved the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), leading many to think the legislation is dead. It can, however, be ressurrected at any time. Meanwhile, its Senate counterpart, PIPA, is still very much alive even as support for it declines.

Despite the fact that the House won’t vote on the bill, Wikipedia and Reddit are among those that plan to go ahead with site blackouts on Wednesday, January 18, designed to raise awareness of the damage SOPA and PIPA could do.

I haven’t heard of a single public relations agency or association planning to join the blackout or even… Read More »

Twitter town hall cynicism is misplaced

Politics breeds cynicism that way email breeds spam. A lot of the cynicism directed at US President Barack Obama’s Twitter Town Hall is misplaced.

To be clear, my opinions would be identical if this had been a Republican president making history as the first President to conduct a Q&A session with citizens via Twitter.

The criticisms fell roughly into three camps:

  • It was just a publicit/marketing stunt/gimmick
  • It allowed the President to avoid tough questions while promoting his talking points
  • It was a clueless use of the technology that failed to leverage Twitter’s strengths as a vehicle for social change

Just a publicity stunt

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Crowdsourcing the truth

Crowdsourcing has become more and more common among businesses for everything from product and service ideas (MyStarbucks Idea, Dell’s IdeaStorm) to populating a stock photo service (iStockphoto) to finding a needle in a haystack (the SETI@Home project, searching satellite photos for the wreckage of Steve Fossett’s experimental plane). GoldCorp is still in business because it crowdsourced its hunt for a new gold vein. In the UK, the Guardian asked its readers to pore over documents to find instances of MPs misusing their expense accounts.

The new crowdsourcing project from NPR’s On the Media (OTM), however, is the first time I’ve seen… Read More »

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