Posted by Amanda Chapel
Edelman's Gets Something Right... Well... Ironically
Edelman got something right this week. The firm announced the findings of a survey that were actually meaningful in an ironic kinda way. Apparently, the UK tops the "cynicism league."
By way of background, Edelman, one of the largest PR firms in the world, puts out an annual sales promotion piece – a global “survey” wink wink – with the hokey title, "The Edelman Trust Barometer." It’s a pseudo-scientific study basically that, sales aside, gives Richard Edelman, the firm's CEO, something to sound smart and talk about at Davos. First blush, one has to be impressed with all the numbers in it. In the world of PR, it's very powerful.
Anyway, this is the eighth annual Edelman Trust Barometer. This year they claim that their survey of "opinion leaders" (whatever that means) showed that “the UK’s trust in government, business and non-governmental organizations has dropped dramatically.”
Stuart Smith, CEO Edelman London, said: “This year we have seen significant declines in trust across all sectors: business, NGOs, media and government. When compared with other countries we seem to be a national of skeptics.”
Turns out, THAT’S GOOD!!
Turns out that Edelman’s real motive according to Smith is this: “If companies want to build trust in the UK, they must engage their audiences more effectively than ever before, using a range of traditional and new media.” Translation: buy Edelman’s PR spin to increase your trust factor. Turns out, that's complete crap!
Same day Richard released his flatulence, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., released a real study that says that Wall Street is losing its dominance. The 134-page report is the latest salvo in the debate surrounding the competitiveness of U.S. financial markets. The key to competitiveness above all else, the study finds, is a fair legal and regulatory environment. Apparently, the U.S. government imposed skepticism, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, isn't working. The study says London, with its more amenable regulatory environment, is now Wall Street's biggest competitor.
Bottom line is... well... the bottom line. SHOW ME THE MONEY!! St. Thomas was a former banker. "In God We Trust;" everyone else watch your back.
Posted by Kailey Astor
An Open Challenge to PR
So you’ve fantasized about becoming a PR rep for a movie star, or perhaps some big-shot politician. That's power; think about it. No humiliating yourself. No slinging outright bogus news pitches to egg-on-the-tie reporters. No, instead, the media would be beating a path to your door, pleading for your attention and consideration. “Today Show? Have them hold. Entertainment Weekly? Take a message. Business Week? Marcy, tell ‘em I’ll get back to them after my 2 o’clock facial. Oh, and by the way, tell them the ground rule: absolutely no questions about that nasty little incident in Tijuana. I am serious... or they’re dead to me... DEAD!”
Well, one similarly confident flack in Los Angeles thought he was livin' la vita loca. Matt Szabo is director of communications for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Unfortunately, he recently had his cojones checked.
LA Times columnist, Steve Lopez, wanted to interview Jaime de la Vega, the mayor’s advisor on transportation. Lopez went through Szabo to set up the interview. Matt insisted on one ground rule: Don’t ask de la Vega about his car. So happens, the mayor’s advisor on transportation tools around smog-choaked LA in a major gas-guzzling smog machine. de la Vega drives a Hummer no less, the very car that has come to symbolize indifference to energy conservation and global warming. Anyway, Szabo insisted that de la Vega’s vehicle was “a matter of privacy.” Lopez assuaged his grief, “hey, sure, whatever;” And the interview was set.
Smaller than a Yukon, indeed. Szabo had been gored and could now hit high notes he'd never even dreamt of before.
OPEN CHALLENGE TO PR SZABOS EVERYWHERE
So, a reporter has the audacity to ignore the “ground rules.”
The BIG question is "what would any flack worth his salt do?" Would you freeze out the Los Angeles Times? Stop answering their calls? Ban their reporters from your boss’ press conferences? That’s if you had one functioning testicle. Here, how ‘bout sending the building inspectors over that rat-trap on Spring Street? Ah, surely they’ll find something. Might be time for some street maintenance – right in front of the employee parking lot, too. Hey, your boss has friends in organized labor, say no more.
The PR industry is watching. C'mon Matt, the man has checked your cojones, what are you going to do?
Posted by Amanda Chapel
This just in... Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations firm, and subsidiary of WPP, one of the world’s leading communications services networks, is prepping for an all-out frontal assault on the Web. According to PR industry trade magazine Bulldog Reporter, the firm is ramping up and sending thousands of U.S.-based staffers to a "Digital Boot Camp."
Like most PR agencies, B-M claims to have "experts" in digital media that have quietly set up websites, created blogs and monitored discussions on the Internet in support of client propaganda. But now the firm is marshalling its entire U.S. contingent to embrace the capability overtly. Last week, it sent staffers in offices from Los Angeles to New York through intense training. There they were briefed on an array of technical weaponry from blogs and podcasts to RSS feeds and wikis. Word is that during the hand-to-hand exercises, the hugely controversial SMPR (social media press release) was demonstrated.
Considering that PR on the Web is now by-and-large considered spam and by most accounts has been summarily rejected by the vast majority of Web 2.0/Social Networkers, experts agree that this is a grave development. Martin Turnbull, PR business analyst from the Kepler School of Management, said, "It sure looks like what they cannot get by coercion; they're going to try to take by shock and awe."
B-M claims to provide measurable business results to clients through a full range of consulting and communications disciplines: strategy development, corporate/financial, brand marketing, technology, healthcare, employee relations, media, public affairs, crisis management, advertising, Internet development and integration, and production. Burson-Marsteller companies include Marsteller (advertising, interactive, design and production), Direct Impact (grassroots marketing) and BKSH & Associates (lobbying).
Andrew M. Nibley, CEO of Marsteller, recently told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Our challenge is where do we put our client in this mix."
According to our sources, in the firm's Pittsburgh-area boot camp, a group of recruits was given an hour to find ways to use digital tools to create "buzz" about ultraviolet-blocking lenses made by Transitions Optical Inc.
Turnbull said, "I think they're making a serious tactical error. The Web insurgents fight this stuff asymmetrically. It's going to be a bloodbath."
Posted by Amanda Chapel
In a response to our article yesterday, "Text 100 Demonstrates How to Play Business Today," and our assessment that the agency's foray into the Second Life "virtual reality" platform is self contradictory, frivolous and nothing more than a new business play, CEO Aedhmar Hynes released a statement.
With regard to the contradictory aspect, Hynes said:
With regard to Second Life being a frivolous endeavor of underdetermined business value, Hynes said:
And to it all amounting to nothing more than a new business play, Hynes said:
Oh. Well there you have it.
Note to Aimer: Read this -> Web 2.0: A Community in Denial. Get real!
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