Party hats, red tops and Labour MPs

Some cutting commentary from sitting and former British MPs on their coverage in the press, including: “The most notable thing is the incapacity of the media, particularly the red tops, to contemplate a woman who is a complex character. She has to be either a mother, or a hard-nosed career girl, or a tart, or […]

Your humble wire: the muse for Alan Greenspan

Some wire reporters get to spend their days sitting in a stifling motel in Crawford, Texas, waiting to be spoon fed the message of the day and the chance to ride on a helicoper. The resulting pool reports are funny, but do they move markets? “In a weird way, there is a handful of people […]

Talk minus action equals nothing: D.O.A

Joey Shithead – there’s a name I haven’t thought of since high school. The lead singer of D.O.A, a timeless and ground-breaking punk band from British Columbia. He’s one of the “counter-cultural” leaders featured in a recent (okay, three month old) article in This Magazine. “[Joey “Shithead”] Keithley knows all about this new generation of […]

There just ain’t no glamour in McJobs

From mydogsighs via circadian shift. “You wanna make fourteen dollars the hard way?”

Harper and his marionettes

The Conservative Party of Canada has released a new set of television ads – on their website. They feature sitting Members of Parliament engaged in stunningly wooden debate about issues of importance to Canadians – like immigration, health care and taxes. The pretense is that they’re in some sort of party war room, spouting pithy […]

How to break an airline union

I’m not saying I would fly NorthWestern while their mechanics’ union is on strike, but it seems that they laid out their strike/crisis contingency plan well in advance: “Over the last 18 months, the airline analyzed every job represented by the mechanics’ union at every airport and calculated the skills required to fix each of […]

Our wedding song: Volvo-Driving Soccer Mom

Watch out Dan Band – really cheap techno geeks have figured out that the average poor wedding singer or “cousin who knows how to spin the wheels of steel” can be replaced by an iPod and a half-decent playlist. NPR: Ipod: the New Wedding DJ JOHN: Pete Bosniak and his wife Eden tied the knot […]

Chinese sweatshop bloggers?

A company that not only provides Chinese outsourcing for blogging, but endeavours to develop the specific “voice” of your target group? “Our initial results have been a little bit below what we expected. To increase our authenticity we are trying to isolate and remedy problem groups. Our design process centers around 3 general groups. They […]

Detailed comms guide for the non-profit world

Cause Communications, in concert with a number of benefactors, has prepared Communications Toolkit—a guide to navigating communications for the nonprofit world. At 134 pages, it’s a hefty pdf file, or you can order one complimentary copy (although it’s so popular they have it on backorder). It’s a trove of communications theory and essential information for […] an IR and PR nightmare

Say you’re the IR director for Your execs and Board are concerned that speculators are shorting the stock and working to undermine the stock price through chat boards, planted stories with friendly reporters and assorted underhanded tactics. A lawsuit may seem a logical strategy to follow – unless you launch the lawsuit with one […]

Comments are fixed

The comments function is fixed, folks. Still sore glitch where the text is apparent sometimes, but just click your mouse over any unusual white spots. I think that’s just one of those irritating IE glitches. Thanks for your patience.


Why must this man-boy continue to desecrate all my cherished adult contemporary memories? First he shoved aside Kasey Kasem and took over the American Top 40, now he’s hijacking Dick Clark’s New Year’s Eve show? Watch out, Carson Daly!

There’s another government flack blogging

I think it’s great that there’s a new blog dedicated to government PR staff and their problems (Deep Background), but I have two problems: – it’s anonymous, and: – it’s hosted on Ragan’s website. I can understand the anonymity, but with the range of blogging options available to anyone, why host your site on a […]

KoolAid Point – when they care enough to really hate you

Thirty years ago, it was the boiling point – that moment in time when your sales projections and customer satisfaction ratings inverted. Instead of calling the CEO, major investors started calling the Chairman. The union leaders at your local plant stopped going to BBQs with the plant manager, and started running for councilman. At its […]

VW’s Moonraker project: who plays “Jaws”?

VW’s muckety-mucks have dispatched a team to dig into American culture and driving habits, in the process identifying vehicle attributes and business strategies that may help the German automaker expand its market share in the country. The team, codenamed Moonraker, is made of 22 Germans and one American travelling across the country to speak to […]

Pharma’s big Jedi Mind Trick

Am I the only one who feels slightly icky when reading that pharma marketers are learning to “position a condition”? That’s right – not a product, not a brand, not a benefit – a condition. “… Pharmacia, for example, developed OAB as a condition, because women found it hard to identify with urinary incontinence. … […]

Lindsay Lohan, hospital gowns and crisis comms

Part of effective crisis communications is preparation: carefully building a level of trust with your audience and stakeholders through honest, transparent and frequent communications. A trusting and responsive dialogue with your audiences is essential if you hope to avoid dissension and confrontation when a crisis eventually erupts. Apparently, teen starlet Lindsay Lohan’s public relations counsellors […]

Visitor’s passes: spot the unwanted

Here’s an idea whose time has come: self adhesive visitor’s passes that invalidate themselves. The underpaid receptionist/security guard simply applies a protective film to the badge when handing it over: after 24 hours, the smiley face will appear. My only complaint? The graphic is counterintuitive. These products have been designed for schools. Someone wandering around […]

Civil servants and manpris: talk about farmer tan

Sometimes, you just have to remind civil servants that the “I got lei’d in Hawaii” t-shirts and manpris are inappropriate wear at Headquarters. At least, that’s what the US Agency for International Development thought when it sent out a “Work Attire Statement” late last month. “But summer is when “a lot of people are back […]

Produce, crisis comms and LePetomaine poisoning

Well, you can pick up the new crisis management manual from the Produce Marketing Association for $100, or you can download this manual from the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph – for free. All this talk of food crises reminded me, for some reason, of Governor LePetomaine from Mel Brooks’ Blazing […]

NASCAR, podcasting and the tipping point

Well, if Michele Rahal is pushing the podcast of Race Day on Fox – even if he can’t quite explain how the process works – then the technology really has hit the mainstream. I mean, a fifty year-old former racecar driver (and experienced marketer), pushing podcasting to an audience of race fans?

Adam Curry on new business directions

Adam Curry’s the subject of a podcast interview on IT Conversation’s Web Talk: “…Curry discusses the rebranding of to, his new PodSafe Music Network website and the goals and mission of Adam also talks extensively about podcasting support in iTunes, music rights, RSS tag standards, distribution bandwidth, peer-to-peer, OPML directories, digital rights […]

Car Whispering: privacy threat or marketing opportunity?

Martin Herfurt discusses how hackers could exploit poor passkey security to beam information or viruses to some Bluetooth-enabled cars. (via Jeremy Wagstaff) Or maybe beam context-specific advertisements from equipment mounted on roadside billboards? Think of the marketing opportunities! All you need now is a marketing agreement with a car company to legitimize the practice! Eric […]

Academic dons and RSS

Here’s a question for you corporate communicators still sending stuff out by fax: if the freakin’ History Workshop Journal can have an RSS feed, why can’t your corporate web site do the same?

Blogs and imminent company shutdown is an interesting case study for e-business, public relations pros and bloggers alike. It looks like Paul Purdue, the president and founder, took steps to launch a blog at the same time that the business, which provided fulfillment and distribution services for a number of online businesses, may have been going into freefall. Instead […]

A song about bloggers …

… over at Casey Kaplan’s ohweeohweeoh. Hum it to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel’s Homeward Bound.

Tar-zhay and Sir Mix-A-Lot?

So. We’ve all heard that Target has rewritten Baby Got Back for their new back-to-school campaign. I blame Shrek: Sir Mix-A-Lot’s 90s classic was sampled during the tail end of the movie (heh heh), introducing the rhythm into the subconscious of many of today’s preteens. Despite the best efforts of Target’s copywriters, the song still […]

Apparent crank or online shill: where do you get your medical info?

Are online users ready to accept medical information from pharma companies – if it’s rich-media and highly targeted? Maybe not, if you use a June survey by MBC as your starting point. “Asked to rate medical information Web sites on trustworthiness, consumers gave top scores to sites run by patient advocacy groups. At the bottom […]

Summer homes, elites and … baboons?

Apparently, it’s not enough to own a large house in the Hamptons … or Nantucket … or the Vineyard. Now, coded bumperstickers tell the world that you don’t spend your Saturdays sweating in a walk-up. The NYT gives us details about the stickers and other subtle signs that help summer residents recognize one another “off-island”, […]

James Lipton: reaching out to suburban kids

James Lipton (Inside the Actor’s Studio) is now appearing in ads for DC shoes, alongside extreme sports stars like Dave Mirra, Danny Way and Travis Pastrana. The NYT notes that Lipton thought the ads may be one way to broaden the demographic appeal of Inside the Actor’s Studio. I think that pony’s left the barn: […]

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