Posted by Amanda Chapel
We'd like to address an incident that happened yesterday. We may have been slightly less than patient with the PR Blogger BL Ochman. In a moment of frustration, one of our junior members responded to her in kind and in a less than professional manner. She called her a vulgarism referring to a female body part. Also, apparently, now that we have gathered all the facts, that body part was characterized as being... well... stupid.
First, I fake 100 percent responsibility. Second, I'd like to strongly emphasize that there are NO stupid female body parts.
I also want to share some of the specific steps that I have already initiated to ensure all Strumpette associates are familiar with, and are applying, best practices for interacting with all forms of ego inflated, slow and variously challenged PRs.
1. We are undertaking a thorough audit around the world to ensure we apply best practice guidelines to every program in every market and specialty area.
Do know that this is a priority for us. This has been a learning process and this is just the beginning. We recognize we may have to go further until this all dies down. You can and should help us. I appreciate all the invaluable feedback you have provided during this situation. If there any other actions that you would advise that we consider, I welcome them.
- Amanda ChapelNote: The above is based on a short story by R. Edelman.
Posted by Kailey Astor
Specters Shun Rendell Over Horrendous PR-Spending Orgy
As Halloween approaches, news from Pennsylvania is that its governor, Edward J. Rendell, is being stalked by an angry ghost! More frightening is that the angry specter is none other than William Penn, the founder of the Quaker State.
Word around the Harrisburg statehouse is that Rendell sleeps with one eye open, out of fear that Penn is going to creep into his bedroom and... force him to surrender his $12.5 million PR budget! To Rendell, nothing could be more terrifying than being forced to govern without the 132-person public-relations staff he uses to bolster his image and keep the media at bay.
You see, Penn was an early member of the Religious Society of Friends, a sect known for its adherence to the Testimony of Simplicity. The Friends deplored "personal pride" because it "leads people to a fond value of their persons, especially if they have any pretence to shape or beauty. What aggravates the evil is that the pride of one might comfortably supply the needs of ten."
An irate Penn haunts Rendell’s dreams nightly, conjuring terrible images of the police officers that could have been deployed, the students that could have been educated, the emergency rooms that could have been funded, all the real needs that could have been met with $12.5 million of taxpayer money. Rendell’s bodyguards have become accustomed to hearing a low moan rumbling from his official quarters at midnight: FOOOOORRRRR SHAAAAMMMME, followed by a blood-curdling scream reputed to be that of Rendell.
In a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review story yesterday, various flacks from former administrations whistled past the graveyard, declaring that Rendell’s bloated budget, up a chilling 34 percent since he took office in 2003, was appropriate. Tony May, one time head of the press office for governors Shapp and Casey, and now on the dole as a state PR contractor, defended Pennsylvania’s PR horde saying, "They spend most of their time doing things that appear on page 5 to 27 of the newspaper."
Yesterday, a maid working in the governor's mansion, a Mrs. Helen Vinovich, reported seeing "a green presence smelling vaguely of oatmeal" open the paper to page 27. And there was a story based on a state press release commemorating the 124th birthday of con man Charles Ponzi, father of the so-called Ponzi Scheme, quote, "to remind consumers of the dangers of suspicious investment opportunities." Then, according to Vinovich, the ghost levitated a knife, and carved the word, “BUSYWORK” into the governor's bedroom wall before flying out the window.
Despite having enough time to craft and distribute the Ponzi release, the governor’s communications director Ron Jury refused to talk to the Tribune-Review’s reporters. In an e-mail, Rendell’s press secretary Kate Phillips told the reporters that news media requests "are time consuming and require extensive research." It was not completely clear if this statement was meant to be a defense of her budget, or an alibi for stiffing reporters.
This story has a most hideous ending that will forever put it into the annals of Halloween folklore. One might have expected Penn and his fellow phantoms to be brainstorming gruesome scenarios to avenge the plunder of the state’s treasury; but no. Quakers are non-violent. The fate of Rendell is far far worse. It is expected that the Quakers will engage in their traditional of "shunning." And as PR practitioners are being shunned with increasing regularity everywhere, it is evident that Penn and his followers have been quite busy and successful in their dreadful revenge.
Posted by Amanda Chapel
Taaffe Takes Strumpette for a Spin
This just into the newsroom...
Word has it that Hill and Knowlton's CEO Paul "Fancy Feet" Taaffe is planning to enter the 1st Annual World Salsa Championships later this year. The championships are scheduled to be held in Las Vegas, December 14 thru 17. Taaffe will join thousands of dancers from over 100 nations have entered to compete in this history-making competition. It will be broadcast live in multiple languages and on several international TV broadcast feeds, including ESPN International and ESPN Deportes.
By way of a little background, there are no strict rules of how salsa is danced, but there are basic moves: Forward Basic Movement and the Back Basic Movement. Variously coupled or combined and often with small variations in body position, these two movements create the "Salsa Moves." More elaborate combinations include: Splitting Hairs; Courtesy Walk; Twist and Turn; Switch Back and Stop and Turn.
According to his biography, Taaffe has been a professional sidestepper for more that 30 years. Taaffe currently teaches clients such as Kelloggs, American Express and GE Capital how to dance with the media. Paul most recently was in the news for teaching HP a few salsa moves amidst the board hacking scandal. Taaffe told H-P it had to "show that the board was not aware of the specifics of the investigation." Paul emphasized the need for the lack of awareness (Note: Switch Back move).
A week ago, I had a chance to take a spin with Paul. I had written him and asked simply for clarification on a point he made recently. Despite my cool demeanor, Paul, in tight black trousers dripping with PR mendacity, almost immediately turned up the heat. What a pro?! Frankly, the experience left me absolutely breathless.
Posted by Amanda Chapel
Public Relation Demonstrates Commitment to Humanitarian Efforts
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK (BUSINESS WIRE) - The Public Relations Industry is celebrating its 100th Birthday with a cake as spectacular and over the top as the business itself. With more than 150,000 pounds of decadence, the cake is set to capture its place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Largest Birthday Cake ever.
Jointly funded by the Greater New York PR Council (GNYPR) and Warehouse Sam's Party Supplies, the monstrosity will be on display for the next two weeks at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. It will then go on tour visiting 14 cities throughout the U.S. It is scheduled to return to New York early February to be carted and shipped to Darfur, Africa. The cake's final destination is aid to the victims of the humanitarian crisis there.
"PR is larger than life and we don't do anything on a small scale," said Aimee Goodman, acting president of GNYPR. "The best part is that not only will this gigantic cake be enjoyed by thousands throughout the country, this gives us an extraordinary opportunity to spread the word and empower individuals to help address the horrors in Darfur."
According to a report published last Friday by the UN Commission for Human Rights, Darfur refugees are systematically being starved. One aid worker in Kailek described what happened there as the "politics of starvation." Studies estimate at least 200,000 people have died during the conflict. Nine children are reported to die from malnutrition every day.
In order to qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records, the World's Largest Birthday Cake had to meet specific requirements set forth by the organization. The cake must contain standard ingredients in the correct proportions, and be prepared in the same manner as a normal-sized cake. The final product must be a single cake and look like a traditional birthday cake.
Ready to claim a page in the Guinness Book of World Records, PR's whopping 150,000 pound pastry is made of 36,282 individual half-sheet cakes. Ingredients include 2,957,400 cups of white sugar, 562,320 1/2 cups of butter (unsalted), 18,300 eggs, 2,931,045 cups of all purpose flour, 500 cups of baking powder, 129 gallons of vanilla extract, 2 gallons of buttermilk, 1 cup chopped nuts (walnut) and a pinch of cinnamon to taste. The finished cake, measuring 183 feet long, 79 feet wide and 32 inches high, contains nearly 63 million calories!
The unveiling of the World's Largest Birthday Cake will kick off a birthday celebration that will include a drop in by a Flying Elvis, a free concert by Boogie Nights and Kool & The Gang, and a fireworks extravaganza.
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