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Retainer or hours? Neither.

It appears pay-per-placement shop Publicity Guaranteed placed itself in the Times this morning, in effort to collect on a $43,000 invoice from online gambling client AbsolutePoker.com.

Publicity Guaranteed charges $2,850 for a placement in a 500,000+ circ paper. PRNewser wonders if PG should pay itself, or re-submit the invoice to AbsolutePoker for $45,850. We’ll look in to this further, though the company looks completely different than the oldest-school NAPS, which places cartoony, camera-ready ads in penny saver newspapers and calls them “releases”.

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We solicited a few opinions from PR execs on the value of Michael’s in response to our Gawker series post this morning. Richard Laermer CEO of RLM PR, author of Full Frontal PR, Punk Marketing, and Bad Pitch blogger finds it ‘super important’ for schmoozing with his agent, though the ‘dead tree’ types left a bad taste, despite the bisque:

I actually used to spend a lot of time gazing into the eyes of the anchors who dine there while I did my publishing deals and met my hilarious agent. Nowadays I go to so few places for lunch because, well, I’m freakin busy!

Years ago the content head for AOL asked me to go to Michael’s with her to observe the ridiculousness of the hushed conversations. We had a grand time (old pals) just dissing the mood. Meanwhile, I realized that this was really in many ways like some old tradition where the media elite broke bread (well really not, anti-carb and all, ha!) and spoke about where they hoped their careers were taking them. But…

It was only two years ago and still I caught the irony of a lot of dead-tree types talking about books and broadcast TV and magazines that were about to be redesigned for the millionth time (and uh a few high level newspaper people who were about to head off a cliff with readership drops)… And I thought to myself: “Why aren’t you all tearing off your ties and doing some hard work?

Why is the publisher of Teen People guffawing loudly when it was obvious [to me] that the teens she used to have a hold on are now on networking sites that give them more gossip on (then star) Hartnett than anything they could bother covering with a long lead time?”

Then they brought the lobster bisque and forgot what I was going on about in my head.

Brits know how to ski? While soccer is the sport of choice our friends across the pond are also serious about their winter sports. And not only has Weber Shandwick begun to publicize Snowsport GB ‘s showing in the International Ski Federation World Cup and Europa Cup, they’re even having an effect on the team:

Mark Simmers, chief executive of Snowsport GB, the trading name of the British Ski and Snowboard Federation, said: “The opportunities Weber Shandwick can create for us, not to mention their enthusiasm, have given the team a boost – and can put them at the top of their game.”

Now if that ain’t a perfect quote for the latest round of the agency’s sales materials, we don’t know what is. However, after the postponement of several races last year because of high temperatures and little snow-pack, how long will the snow last in the Alps?

Mile-high city, step up to the plate. From The Denver Egotist:

We admit our list of recommended PR firms and freelancers in the Denver-metro is looking pretty deflated. Alright, it’s flat dead. Got any suggestions for PR wizards we should let the rest of the city know about? Throw ‘em down below.

Here are some that we know about. Madison House (actually in nearby Boulder) is a large music agency representing artists such as Taj Mahal, Los Lobos and String Cheese Incident. Pushkin Public Relations counts YMCA of Metropolitan Denver and the Colorado BioScience Association as clients. Then there is JohnstonWells, who has something on their “Areas of Specialty” section called Cocktail Talk:

Cocktail Talk is a signature program of JohnstonWells that is designed to help members of an organization—whether they’re staff, board members or volunteers—be effective ambassadors for that organization.

We think most agencies call this media training or voice training. Or at least something better than Cocktail Talk. Are we being to harsh?

The PR Inferiority Complex

October 9, 2007

WebProNews posted coverage of the recent TurnPROn event, focusing on the ambitious – and popular conference theme – the future of public relations. Ok, so we’ve seen a gazillion conferences address this topic, however there is one point we completely agreed with.

Rohit Bhargava writes:

PR pros need to shun their inferiority complex. One of the common threads that manifested itself throughout the day was the inferiority complex that many PR professionals have in relation to other marketing pros (especially peers in advertising). Having worked on both sides, I know that the budgets can be mismatched, but that at the smart agencies, PR is starting to stake more ground. This is not about taking orders from clients, it is about more powerfully articulating where a client needs to go and becoming the partner that gets them there. I happen to think this is an obvious and natural place for PR to be … but PR pros need to shed their inferiority complex and take that leap.

Well said, Rohit. Clients don’t need cheerleaders, they need advisers. Which are you?

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Ken Sunshine, PR consultant to celebrities, non-profits, and filmmakers accepted his Golden Boa at mediabistro’s 10-year anniversary last night. Sunshine and his colleague Ja Strell were seen mingling with fellow PR heavies including Stuart Zakim, Showtime’s VP of Corporate PR, Lisa Dallos, Senior EVP at Freud Communications (both Wenner Media alum), and Andy Morris of Morris + King.

PRNewser’s Q&A with Sunshine is available here.

Photo: Sunshine and Jason Chupick, PRNewser

Wide stance PR!

October 3, 2007

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Hats off to Z Communications for their cheeky ad in the current issue of PRWeek. ZComm is a broadcast services boutique based in Bethesda.

If you haven’t seen it yet, go stop what you’re doing and watch the Jon Stewart / Trapped in the Closet duet.  The R. Kelley character muses that Craig’s wide stance is possible, if you’re wearing….Hammer Pants.