Bad Creative: Are you really putting your heart into it?

While McSweeney’s may have the Create Your Own Thomas Friedman Op-Ed Column, it seems this proposed Friedman formula would equally apply to a lot of “on the scene” or investigative reporting and analysis, which seems to have become formulaic and predictable. As readers, we expect “good” investigative journalism to establish a rhythm: open the story […]

Does your pet like Queer Eye or Junkyard Wars?

The BBC is drawing deep into the cultural psyche to find inspiration for their new digital services. In fact, someone at the Beeb must have watched 1988’s Scrooged, because they are about to launch Pet TV, a digital channel aimed at providing entertainment for your housebound pets. As the Guardian reports (reg. req.): The interactive […]

Wisdom from The Jerk

Over at CommonCraft, Lee’s resurrected a great scene in the Jerk, where Navin R. Johnson reacts wildly to the arrival of the new phone books: The new phone book’s here! The new phone book’s here! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity I need. My name in print. That really makes somebody. Things are going […]

Google IPO, leaking and your neighbourhood banker

We are all just waiting for the other shoe to drop in Googledom – an actual date for their expected blockbuster IPO. Paul Kedrosky has made a wry observation about the building wave of rumours: “People familiar with the situation” are almost always, at least when it comes to deal-making, investment bankers. Anyone who has […]

Now that’s gonna need a correction

Quite a doozy of a slip-up for the NYT, who ran this story (second item) earlier this week. As the Rocky Mountain News pointed out: Thursday’s New York Times misidentified GOP Senate candidate Pete Coors as a Ku Klux Klan member who murdered a black sharecropper. The Coors campaign found the error “so outrageous it’s […]

Testifying before a Committee

As you may know, the Canadian Parliament continues to look into allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the administration of the government’s sponsorship program over the past ten years. Chuck Guite, the former head of the sponsorship program, began his testimony yesterday, and the National Post has corralled several lawyers to dissect the tactics and […]

Now THAT’s a magic eight ball

Two Democratic political consultants and a UCLA psychiatry prof have joined forces to fund a project exploring how the brain reacts to the stimuli from political ads. (NYT, Reg. req.) How have they measured the reactions of their eleven test subjects so far? With an M.R.I. machine! In the experiment … , researchers exposed [a […]

Taking car dealer competition to new heights

AdRants points to this story about the downing of a defenseless remote-control blimp advertising Cloninger Ford-Toyota – a North Carolina dealership. Problem was, the blimp was flying beside the Team Chevrolet dealer lot. Witnesses at a nearby car wash report seeing a black Chevy pickup with Team Chevrolet dealer tags pull up, a man get […]

Just when you figure out your audience …. their boss gets in the way

Recent research showed the Alton Towers amusement park in Staffordshire that a third of their adult visitors had freed up time to visit by skipping work or calling in sick. The marketing solution? A targeted website aimed at this demographic. As Revolution magazine notes: Alton Towers said its skivers claimed they were throwing sickies because […]

Does your corporation work like the Borg or a holistic therapist?

Ideally, there should be an element of central control and empathic communication in every organization, says HBR Working Knowledge’s summary of Changing Minds. This new book reminds us that there are intangible forces at play when communicating, especially in an environment as stress-laden as a company undergoing structural change. These can include cultural differences across […]

Teens want bullet points and tidbits with their newspapers

When USA Today launched back in 1982, Al Neuharth’s baby weathered a lot of criticism for being too lite, too chipper, too optimistic and not sufficiently sophisticated. Turns out that may be what teens are looking for in a newspaper. Tomorrow, the Newspaper Association of America will release details from their study of students from […]

Bacteria Cafeteria: like a wetnap with your lunch?

Ah. The office cubicle. Those precious 96 square feet of semi-autonomous privacy! The cartoons, the art class pottery, and the cat pictures. And the germs. Billions of them, as WSJ’s Cubicle Culture tells us today: … the desktop surrounding you has 400 times as much bacteria per skuzzy square inch as the toilet seat; the […]

Posh and Becks – riding out the wave of celebrity shame

Richard Bailey’s got a couple of good links to possible PR tactics for David Beckham and Posh Spice, who are facing claims of marital infidelity. Excerpts from two separate articles jump out: Just think: if you or I were facing such a crisis in our marriage, whether anyone had ever heard of us or not, […]

Managing e-loyalty through experience design

Check out managing e-loyalty through experience design, a three-year project to test theory, review current literature and conduct research in three areas: trust development in e-business culturally sensitive interface design adaptive designs for mobility Their latest work is on the localization of interface design, drawing upon limited experiments and surveys in Boston, Munich, Tokyo and […]

Follow AP Style – and make sure to source

Amid all the handwringing about the state of the media in North America, Britain and elsewhere, Wired’s got an interview with the editor of the Onion – whose outrageous stories have been picked up several times as breaking news: [Editor Carol] Kolb, of course, chuckles at the notion that anyone took [a recent story about […]

Just who writes for your local alt-weekly?

The Association of Alternative Newspapers has a quick look at the range of talents drawn upon by local alt-weeklies to fill their pages: Freelancers fill anywhere from 15 to 75 percent of a particular paper or one of its sections (usually the arts) each week. “They contribute to every single section in the paper, and […]

Working on the details of a speech

We all make mistakes. Unfortunately, sometimes they make it into the paper. Last week, “an underling” from the Ontario Securities Commission called a reporter at the National Post: “to know whether the reporter had noted the exact times when [OSC Chair David] Brown started and stopped reading his speech. The caller was asked why the […]

Would you like discount shoes with that tire change?

Over in Wisconsin, the Triple A has gotten some heat from customers who, when calling for roadside assistance, were pitched the benefits of the Show Your Card & Save marketing program. … “It’s extremely tacky to pitch someone stuck in a ditch,” said Jonathan Bernstein, principal of Bernstein Crisis Management in Monrovia, Calif. … Only […]

Pat Kingsley: Just Say NO!

Interested in the latest Tom Cruise breakup? He’s just split with Pat Kingsley, the high-powered Hollywood publicist, and Slate’s got all the details. Kingsley elevated the flack from media caddie to professional storyteller—she was, in effect, narrating the story of Tom Cruise, highlighting certain plot lines while burying unflattering details. But flacks can no longer […]

Picking the write … word

As PR people, we’ve all agonized over paper or keyboard, trying to conjure up the appropriate words for a news release, bylined article or pitch letter. Faced with a pile of reference material, some scribbled notes from the client and the insistent passage of time at the lower right hand corner of the monitor, we […]

I hear voices … over by the canned peas

A SoCal company is developing technology that can deliver highly focused beams of sound at shoppers, browsers and passers-by, enticing them to look at displays, sample products and maybe even eat McDonald’s. As the WSJ tells us: … Donna Now was caught off-guard by a subtle voice above the corned beef. Glancing up, she saw […]

SEO – some good advice

Dana points to a good CatalogAge piece on beating your competitors at search engine optimisation – by thoroughly reverse-engineering how they have succeeded. Still interested? Here’s another article on SEO – “How to prosper in the new Google.“

Reality show cherry …

Mark Cuban, as you may know, is casting for his reality show, the Benefactor. He was sweet on one candidate … until he found out Chris McKeever was a repeat reality renegade. Here’s what he said: Turns out you are just a reality show groupie and you just wanted to make me your first conquest. […]

Greatest Sales Letters of all time

Duct Tape Marketing has a free download that features the 5 greatest sales letters of all time. Looking for some more help? Try the 12 most common direct mail mistakes … and how to avoid them.

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