PR/Media Week in Review 12-27-2008

Mark Rose, Editor, PRBlogNews, PR/Media Week in ReviewGood riddance to the holiday season. Soon it will be good riddance to 2008, a bad year ending with the promise of a worse economy to come. First in a series of reflections & predictions.

44th President of the United States Barack ObamaIs this guy really President? How did this happen? He’s young, has a big smile and a thoughful demeanor. A steady hand on the wheel in a choppy sea. Even the most venal right-wing Republican pundits are keeping their powder dry and cautiously adhering to a tacit cease-fire. Rush Limbaugh says that the choice of Hillary for State is “brilliant” and he wholly supports it? Be wary when your enemies praise you, but be thankful. Camelot may be sweeter as a sequel. Will we be let down six months into the new administration because all our problems will not magically disappear? Hope takes self-renewal, the basis of America’s experiment in democracy. Can he inspire us after the election as much as he did during the campaign?

Waltz With BashirCaroline Kennedy won’t be NY’s next senator:  She doesn’t impress me, she has no experience in politics or government. If she woke up one day and decided she really wants this then let her run in 2010 and prove it. There are are plenty of other heavyweights who can tag team with Schumer and approximate the gravitas of Hillary. To be New York’s Senator she has to pay her dues.

Waltz With BashirNew York will resemble Blade Runner: The city won’t be run by replicants, or maybe it already is and we don’t know it. Residential and commercial real estate still has a ways to drop, the MTA is a disaster, schools and essential services are being slashed, the city is begging to the state which is begging to the Feds, which is bailing out industries and perhaps soon municipalities. We will never re-visit Summer of Sam but New York on the skids can be dirty, dangerous and borderline overwhelming, separating the survivors from the realists. 

Waltz With BashirPR Blunder of the Week: You Know Chrysler is Toast Because Mark Cuban flames the company on his blog and generates a windstorm of bad publicity for the beleaguered U.S. auto maker. Chrysler was so ecstatic that the government is throwing it a couple billion that it took out full-page thank you ads in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and USA Today.

On his personal blog, Cuban called the move “idiotic” and asked, “How does it make the next unemployed Chrysler worker feel that their entire year’s salary just went for a single, ridiculous ad?”

Chrysler’s statement on the Cuban maverick post: ”With the recent announcement by the White House, Chrysler LLC has the initial injection of working capital necessary to help bridge the liquidity crisis the industry is facing and help return the Company to profitability. The ad thanks America for this investment in Chrysler. As the process evolves, many individuals will have opinions. The Company has no higher priority than to satisfy the loan conditions laid out last Friday by the Government. As a result, Chrysler will not comment on individual opinion.” 

You have to pay those internal PR people to say something.

Images this week thanks to Waltz with Bashir, an Ari Folman film perhaps even more relevant this week due to the escalated conflict between the Israelis and Hamas.

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Wild Wild Wiki World

Wikipedia is enormously powerful in shaping perceptions, influencing decisions, SEOWikipedia is the antithesis of PR. Wikipedia is an enormously powerful force on the Internet and bedevils PR, even when it is scrupulously professional and fair and beneficial to the general good of the public – fulfilling the evolving credo of the Wiki Media Project.

Wikipedia is often in the first tier of responses in a search. Wikipedia influences perceptions, decisions, SEO, and other online and offline content that relies on Wikipedia for background. Wikipedia does not claim to be ‘fact’ – rather verifiable information that comes from credible ‘independent’ sources. So, if you are connected to the story in any way – PR rep for a client – you are a conflict of interest and cannot contribute to Wikipedia about that client.

To understand the Wiki world I created a Wikipedia user page and developed ‘test’ content that adheres to Wikipedia’s stringent Neutral Point of View criteria. Wikipedia has a ruthless band of roving volunteer editors who remove anything they feel is posted by an un-objective source or is in any way tainted.

To the uninitiated, the Wikipedia world can be confusing, time intensive, and lead to questionable or no result. It is a world where the wisdom of the masses’ predominates and traditional PR methods of influencing editorial do not apply. 


  • You cannot manipulate Wikipedia or you will get slammed and perhaps marked for life (all edits are recorded – no wrong deed goes unpunished).
  • Contributing to Wikipedia projects, like WikiProject Investment, can help you learn the Wiki way and establish relationships with other editors.
  • Change to a Wikipedia page, unless it is on someone well know, can take months or even years.
  • You cannot control content on a client. Anyone can change Wikipedia content, even anonymously.

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PR/Media Week in Review 12-21-2008

Mark Rose, Editor, PRBlogNews, PR/Media Week in ReviewIs Mark Stevens, CEO of MSCO (a self-described “high-powered global marketing firm”), a “fool, a tool, a threat to decency, a dumb and irresponsible excuse for a human being, an idiot, incompetent, and myopic.” Maybe - not that he cares, as long as we spell his name right.

In his 12/16/08 blog post  Mark laments that his appearance on FOX TV’s “Cavuto” may have caused extreme consternation among the blogerati but hey, that’s PR.

[Read more...]

PR Drama Runs Through Monday

WHITE NOISE – the saga of Melanie and Joe, stressed out New York marketing and PR execs, closes Monday, December 22, after eight performances at H-B Playwrights Theatre, 124 Bank Street, New York. Performances have been selling out, so call now to reserve. See The Drama of Public Relations for details. Performances Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. Some comments:

I saw the plays and they were GREAT. A good range of actors and subject matter. It was done well. I brought visitors from Australia. There was an actor Gary Corbin who played a disabled actor in a casting office and was offstage in a second play. He was FANTASTIC! Blew all three of us away. There were many other good performers as well.

The HB Studios “waiting room series” is really great! Yours is hilarious, Mark! Can’t wait to see it develop into a full-length production!

PR and cruising on the traitorous sea meet in a therapist’s office…
PERFECT! Break a leg & Enjoy

Don’t Cry for Me Costa Rica

Patti LuPone as Evita Peron in EvitaCosta Rica has a problem. It’s not “rising crime and a souring economy,” as the Tico Times reports today. It’s public relations and the falling popularity of President Oscar Arias. To counter this problem of perception Arias has created a new ministerial post to manage public relations for his administration.

Says the news story:

Mayí Antillón, a National Liberation Party (PLN) lawmaker and business leader, will become communications minister in mid-January.

“2009 will be a complicated year,” she said. “The government will take measures to soften the effects of the (financial crisis), and we need to communicate those measures effectively to the press and to Costa Ricans. ”

Arias, who enjoyed a honeymoon with the national press early in his presidency, has expressed frustration with negative coverage this year. “Hiding good news or questioning it to the point of making it look like bad news is not just unethical, it is one of the worst traps the media can fall into, ” (Arias) wrote in a February editorial in the daily La Nación.

In non-related news:

Gypsy is closing on Broadway, another victim of the recession. Patti LuPone, who soared to fame and won a Tony as Evita, also won a Tony last year as Mama Rose, the lead in Gypsy.  Argentina has nothing to do with Costa Rica, except that they sound alike and both had PR problems. Has Mama Rose ever been to Costa Rica?