You know the PR world is doing something right when clients have the capabilities to take over Times Square in New York City, and offer CLEAN public restrooms to anyone.
Charmin has gone above and beyond this holiday season by offering visitors and residents of New York City, real restrooms which are considered “homey” and clean. The restrooms are cleaned after each use and are equipped with Charmin toilet paper so that users have the opportunity to experience the brand.
So although this may seem out of the ordinary, the amount of publicity this project got is unreal! This event has its own website that features games, songs and celebrity bios that enhance the credibility of the event.
So while some may be reporting on how PR is BS, clearly it’s not. I would guess that the people putting down PR are people who can’t get their client in the news. — Lindsay Brown
An interesting and thought provoking article appeared December 1, 2007 in the L.A. Times. The article explored Tim Rutten’s thoughts regarding CNN and the most recent debate among the Republican Candidates seeking their party’s Presidential nomination. CNN hosted the debate and partnered with YouTube, using questions submitted to the video sharing website. Rutten asserts CNN did its viewers a great disservice in the way they handled the debate and selecting the questions posed to the candidates. You can read the entire article here.
In my view, Rutten makes an odd point. I agree with him CNN cast aside the issues most important to the majority of Americans, instead focusing on less important issues. Where I disagree with Rutten is in the reason he believes this happened. He says CNN “directed the Republicans’ debate to advance its own interests.” In essence, creating a spectacle to increase ratings. I have a different opinion.
I think CNN chose the questions it did to better meet the needs of Republican primary voters trying to decide which candidate to support in the primaries, instead of those issues important to the majority of Americans. It was not about spectacle, or advancing any personal interests, but about educating Republicans about their choices for their presidential candidate in 2008.
Rutten uses spin to persuade others to share his point of view, thus making him correct by consensus. He speculates and surmises, using data carefully picked to illustrate his point. Nowhere in his article does he offer data about the issues important to the majority of Republicans, only to the American people as a whole. He then uses Republican specific responses to these questions. The logic behind his is sketchy at best. This tactic is usually called spinning by omission.
What Rutten should have done was examine the issues most important to republicans, or ask CNN their reasons for conducting the debate in the manner they did. Instead, he calls CNN “corrupt” and questions “whether CNN is ethically or professionally suitable to play the political role the Democratic and Republican parties recently have conceded it.” Taking a look at the bigger picture, who do you think is advancing their own interests? — Morgan Smith
I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Harris Diamond at the annual PRSA Chicago leaders event earlier this week. He was our honoree and spoke for a few minutes about how social media is changing the face of how we deliver information about our client’s products and services.
I won’t get the quote quite right from memory so I’ll paraphrase. He said we’ve lost the filter that reporters used to provide to young public relations professionals. If a young professional is speaking to a reporter about the issue of obesity, for instance, it used to be the reporter would check the facts before running a story. Now a young PR pro can post information about obesity on a blog or Web site and the filter of fact checking no longer is there.
Now why is it a) that an inexperienced PR pro would have the opportunity to post anything about anything without having a filter for checking facts and b) that we’d rely so heavily on reporters to do our jobs for us that we even need to be worried about not having the reporter filter? No wonder reporters think we’re flacks.
Perhaps I’m taking his comments out of context, but it does make me wonder how we train our young professionals and help them gain credibility without the “flack” perception hanging over their heads?
One question I didn’t get to ask…Harris, what do you think is going to happen to the communications fields in light of the development of Dell and WPP creating the Da Vinci marcom agency?
1. Thinks, as PR people, we are flacks?
2. Thinks it’s our job to be biased and provide only select information to reporters about our client’s products or services?
3. Thinks it’s our job to provide the best information with the most transparency?
4. Thinks it’s okay to be called “spin doctors”?
6. Thinks it’s ridiculous that even though Wiki acknowledges PR professionals can provide the most accurate information about clients, products, and services, won’t let us post to their Web site?
7. Would be willing to walk away from money if it meant you didn’t agree your client’s product or service really was the best out out there?
8. Wants to do something about the perception?
9. Is willing to advocate for PR professionals?
10. Wants to join in on doing PR for the PR profession?
In the world of public relations the brand is everything. And in the world of pop culture, your brand is everything times 10.
In public relations we use the brand to boost awareness and further the reputation. And in pop culture you use your brand to further yourself and hopefully boost your reputation.
Most stars do this by endorsements. They receive money to represent a product that also makes them look good. Example: Jennifer Aniston is the face of Smartwater, which works for her reputation. Now if she were to endorse tube socks that really wouldn’t boost her popularity.
But, like in the world of public relations, you can’t represent competing parties. So you can imagine the shock when Teri Hatcher was found breaking her exclusive endorsement deal by using, and allowing photos to be taken of her, with a competitor of her represented product.
In this case they are asking for a refund of $2.4 million. This is enough to put a most boutique PR agencies out of commission.
Lesson learned: If you represent Coke, don’t go on Oprah drinking Pepsi. — Molli Megasko
Don Imus has returned to radio once more. After being fired eight months ago for making comments against a women’s basketball team at Rutgers University, he is back to do what he does best — offend.
From the day he was fired from CBS he has accepted blame, and said he really did not mean to offend these women, who absolutely did not deserve to be made fun of. He is grateful of their forgiveness, and understands that they will never forget what he said, as he never will either.
This radio show, is in fact his job, and three words back in April, cost him his job and the respect he had from many. He is in the business to be vulgar and push the limits. CBS gave him a $40 million contract to do just that. However, he crossed the line, and a big question is, does race have everything to do with it? These
And now he’s back up and running, his show will be simulcast on cable’s RFD-TV which reaches nearly 30 million homes, and they hope to almost double that in the next two years. Along with the new broadcast, Imus has hired two African American comedians to join his cast. Is this to spin the fact that what he said wasn’t racist, he in fact, does not have anything against black people? Or is this to cover his own butt, and they would only hire him back on if he did this gesture?
It’s amazing how much spin can happen when people claim they only tell it the way it is. — Courtney Lawrence
According to a new poll, one in four consumers is willing to pay to speak with a customer service person.
Are you kidding me?
I call customer service when I’m having problems with a product. Last time I checked, it’s the company’s responsibility to make sure their products are usable. Not mine. So if I can’t figure out the directions to put together an IKEA console or my new software won’t load properly, I expect the company who developed the product to make it clear.
Ad Age goes on to report that consumers have high expectations. We’ll speak up about poor service or “walk out of a store even if it offered exactly what they were seeking if treated badly.”
Yeah, pretty much. When I buy a product, I’m supporting the paycheck of the person that sold it to me. Why would I fill the wallet of a jerk or support a company that takes its customers for granted? I’d rather go next door, to a company with customer service reps that are…nice. Courteous. Helpful, even.
Companies can use spin to trick consumers on a lot of fronts, but I thought they couldn’t talk consumers into accepting poor treatment. But apparently the spin is working on the 27 percent of consumers willing to pay for service. — Brigitte Lyons
The problem with irony is that often it is impossible to articulate its magnitude. Trust me, I’ve tried!
“Now that’s ironic!” “This could not be more ironic!” “Can you believe how ironic that is?”
Just in case you skipped your figures of speech class in college, a quick click to dictionary.com reminds us “The essential feature of irony is the indirect presentation of a contradiction between an action or expression and the context in which it occurs. In the figure of speech, emphasis is placed on the opposition between the literal and intended meaning of a statement; one thing is said and its opposite implied, as in the comment, ‘Beautiful weather, isn’t it?’ made when it is raining or nasty.”
Last week, the publisher of Scott McClellan’s still-in-the-works book called “What Happened” released the following excerpt:
“The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in
Isn’t that ironic! Right here at www.spinsucks.com, I had just written a rant proclaiming: “Unfortunately, a bunch of “PR” people in some key government jobs, well-heeled agencies, reputable companies, and elsewhere are making some pretty bonehead decisions about how best to “do” PR.”
I love it when I’m right. And, I’m getting really tired of kiss-and-tell political books!
In the guise of engendering empathy of “How could such a good guy be put in this position?” they generate millions of dollars in royalties and propel fame on the speaking circuit. Why? To set the record straight, of course! Ironic that the former top spokesperson refused to comment after the excerpt was released citing that the book is still being finished.
I’d suggest a new title such as, “What Happened to the Truth?” — Shawn M. Kahle, APR
Most people in the country are now becoming familiar with the story of Drew Peterson, the Bolingbrook,
Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio also left under mysterious circumstances; unfortunately it was to a place impossible to come back from. She was found dead in her bathtub, which the coroner ruled at the time an accidental death. The case has recently been re-opened.
Can’t the poor guy catch a break? And all he’s asking for now is a little piece and quiet.
Just a quick question—why did it take the strange disappearance of his fourth wife to start stirring up a little noise around Drew Peterson?!? Since the news hit a national scale, reports have surfaced that both his 2nd and 3rd wives felt threatened at different times during the marriage. When considering filing reports with police, it seems that Savio, Peterson’s third wife, didn’t think the police would do anything to help her after ending up in emergency rooms from physical abuse. Although this raises larger questions about corruption that I’m not going to attempt to tackle right now, how could some kind of legal action not be taken against him after repeated emergency room visits? How is there not some sort of safe haven for women feeling this way (in some places, there are) and is it her fault for not taking advantage of them?
Now, I believe that every man or woman in this country has right to a fair trial. But let’s face it, in the court of public opinion, Drew Peterson is looking guilty with a life sentence and no hope of parole. As long as he lives, most people will know the story as soon as they recognize the face. It’s sad that young Stacy Peterson had to go missing before Drew’s martial history came under question. How many other Drew Petersons are out there? What’s it going to take to prevent from doing something just like this? — Josh Culver
Get Spin Sucks in Your Email
- A Shel of My Former Self
- Carol Roth
- Communications Conversations
- Conversation Agent
- Convince and Convert
- Danny Brown
- Jim’s Marketing Blog
- Joey Strawn
- Jontus Media
- Media Emerging
- Nitty Griddy
- PR Breakfast Club
- Six Pixels of Separation
- The Fast Growth
- The Sales Lion
- Tim Berry
- V3 Integrated Marketing
- Waxing Unlyrical