PR/Media Week in Review 04-12-2009

Mark Rose, Editor, PRBlogNews, Week in ReviewSo grateful for the Dead- Brilliant social media play by The New York Times this week, soliciting Grateful Dead photos from readers to celebrate an upcoming tour by the band (sans Jerry Garcia, of course).  The Times is also polling readers on the greatest Dead show ever. Of the 2,350 estimated Dead shows, so far the May 8, 1977, show at Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York is in the lead. That concert coincides with the date many Deadheads agree was the bands’ “peak.”

I was grateful to be there for the ‘peak’ years - I experienced 14 Grateful Dead concerts between 1967 and 1978/1979 - my first in a converted movie theater in Brooklyn ($2 admission, free if you didn’t have it), to the Anderson Ballroom on the lower east side (tickets were $10 – a benefit for the Hells Angels), the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey (see Scarlet Begonias’ 4-27-77 on YouTube w/Keith & Donna), to the arena in SeattleThe Grateful Dead.

One of my favorites was the final show at  Winterland in San Francisco, New Years eve, December 31, 1978. My friend was the San Francisco stringer for Rolling Stone and I got to hang with the Blues Brothers (Belushi & Aykroyd), the New Riders of the Purple Sage, and the late great Bill Graham, who fed us all breakfast at dawn. The Dead rang in the new year at midnight and they didn’t quit until dawn. They often gave more than you could take – until Garcia died in 1995 at 53 years old.

Like many, I am ambivalent about this Dead ‘reunion.’ The Dead simply are not the Dead without Garcia. But I love what the Times is doing.   We’re still a Tribe, no matter how old we are, and all those pictures confirm how important the Dead experience was, and always will be. There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert was the prevalent bumper sticker on VW micro buses in the ‘peak’ years. See a taste at the end of this post.

Bob Pearson, former VP of Communities and Conversations at Dell, is named President of the Blog Council.  blogcouncil, along with gaspedal, sponsors BlogWell, at the Chelsea Piers, NYC, April 29, 2009.  BlogWell is about how big companies use social media. Eight case studies, one afternoon, $250. Nokia, GE, Johnson & Johnson, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Tyson Foods, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and Turner Broadcasting System share case studies on social media.

Jane Fonda is blogging her thoughts, with celeb photos, on starring in ’33 Variations’ on Broadway. Whether she is writing posts herself, or this is a clever PR gig, her blog has received a lot of attention and is definitely helping the show. Who is sending her flowers? What movie did she see on Easter break? Is that the President of Brazil in the audience? Jane Fonda has taken control of her news and distribution – somebody in her circle is thinking smart social media.

Whatever happened to Jakob Nielsen, the web usability pioneer? Thanks to Serena Ehrlich‘s Twitter about Nielsen’s new eyetracking study on how users read web pages. There is a definite ‘way’ to present information on the web that is radically different than the printed page.  Nielsen, through the Nielsen Norman Group, breaks it down: the ‘About us’ section, including PR & IR areas. 

Can the AP Out-Google Google? To compete with what it deems Google’s “misappropriation” of its news, the Associated Press wants to fight back by building its own news aggregator. See BusinessWeek story. (Did I misappropriate this news?)


‘Birdsong’ – the Dead tribute to Janis Joplin


  1. Selerines says:

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
    Selerines world

  2. Whitney Babcock says:

    I come from a generation where The Grateful Dead was a “has-been.” I come from the generations of the boy bands, Britney Spears, etc. So, needless before reading this blog, I had very little experience with anything dealing with The Grateful Dead. The only thing I ever knew about The Grateful Dead was a poster that hung on my older next- door neighbor’s wall. I found the blog very interesting when you wrote about the experiences that you had at all the different concerts. I do agree with what the New York Times is doing. The social media that the New York Times is using by having readers send in pictures from Grateful Dead concerts and participate in a poll to vote for the best Grateful Dead concert is truly genius for the tour that began April 12th.

    With one of the members dead now, I’m sure that a lot people just don’t think that it will be the same group that it was. With all these pictures and the poll, I believe it will get old Grateful Dead fans excited about the tour. It will allow them to think of past times when they lived on that music. I know after looking at the pictures on The New York Times web site, it got me excited for their tour and I was never even a fan.

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