Pr Contract Childrens Tv Show - PDF by rmk44362


More Info
									                                             BOOK OF LISTS 9

                                                          People with the

                                                          toughest jobs in
                                     1 Lisa Marie Bongiovanni, corporate comms VP, Mattel
                                     The upside is millions of kids will be spared harmful holi-
                                     day gifts. But Mattel’s next challenge is regaining the trust
                                     of skeptical, frightened parents. Happy New Year, indeed.

                                     2 Anne Tyrrell, Blackwater spokeswoman
                                     Tyrrell has been defending the company against grisly alle-

of lists
                                     gations with hard-charging PR phrases, like “stringent
                                     accountability.” But even a newly softened logo can’t solve
                                     the image woes of the Iraq war’s most vilified contractor–
                                     though Halliburton was likely glad to pass along the torch.

                                     3 Dana Perino,White House press secretary
                                     With so much attention focused on next year’s presidential
                                     election, the White House had perhaps its easiest year since
                                     the Iraq war started –
                                     though not by much. And
                                     with Scott McClellan’s
                                     upcoming memoir guaran-
                                     teed to stir up old contro-
                                     versies, Perino can expect

                                     to spend 2008 revisiting
                                     some of the administra-
                                     tion’s darkest days.

                                     4 Rick Simon, corporate comms VP, Countrywide
                                     Countrywide’s dubious lending practices came to a
                                     screeching halt this year with the sub-prime market melt-
                                     down. But with government intervention on the way and a
                                     rebound in the company’s stock price, at least the media
                                     coverage has shifted from “whoever thought this would be
                                     a good idea?” to fixing the debacle.

                                     5 Dan Whiting, comms director for Larry Craig
                                     Poor Whiting had to explain the most confusing political
                                     scandal of 2007: lewd allegations, a coy admission of guilt,
                                     followed by an abrupt backpedal. Whiting can take some
                                     solace knowing that Craig will probably not run for re-elec-
                                     tion, though he is tightly hanging on to that Senate seat.

                                     6 Greg Aiello, spokesman, NFL
                                     It’s becoming impossible to play Michael Vick’s criminal
                                     activity as an isolated incident. This year’s shootings and
                                     ongoing arrests point to a larger problem within the league.
                                     Maybe giving those retired players health coverage would
                                     help the NFL with some much-needed positive press.

                                     7 Leslie Sloane Zelnik, partner at BWR and
                                     spokesperson for Lindsay Lohan
                                     Zelnik had her work cut out for her in a year where Lohan
                                     had more than one stint in rehab, an arrest for driving while
                                     intoxicated, and continuing family drama, making her
                                     popular fodder for the tabloids.
  ®In a year filled with recalls     8 Jason Wright, SVP of comms and public affairs,
  and resignations, Beckham and      Merrill Lynch
                                                      Not even the world’s largest brokerage
                                                      firm can protect itself against an eco-
  blockbuster deals, there were                       nomic calamity – the SEC is investigat-
                                                      ing the firm for reasons related to its
  plenty of PR hits and misses.                       holdings of high-risk mortgage debt.
                                                      At least Wright can say the company is
  PRWeek’s editorial team looks at                    cooperating fully.

  the best and worst of the bunch    9 Jonathan Supranowitz,VP of PR, New York Knicks
                                     It’s his second year on the list, and things have gotten worse
                                     for the franchise. From a sexual harassment trial and guilty
                                     verdict for GM Isaiah Thomas to numerous losses, Supra-
                                     nowitz is challenged with winning back disgruntled fans.

                                     10 Monica Orbe,VP of corporate comms, BearStearns
                                     While the Wall Street firm dealt with a monstrous hedge
                                     fund collapse, CEO James Cayne was reportedly off play-
                                     ing bridge and golf in Nashville, with no access to e-mail or
                                     cell phones. We pity the corp comms person who had to
                                     explain that absence to reporters.

                                   • December 24, 2007 • PRWeek

                                     PR backlash eventually led to         league scrambling to maintain its     6 US Attorneyfirings                                    came under
                                     CEO David Neeleman resigning.         integrity. Commissioner David         The alleged politically charged                         fire for work-
                                                                           Stern later altered the league’s      firings of eight US attorneys put                       ing with a ven-
                                     2 Mattel toyrecall                    gambling policy for refs.             Attorney General Alberto Gon-                           dor in India
                                     With more than 20 million toys                                              zales and the White House on the                        who used child
                                     recalled, this was probably the       5 Virginia Tech shooting              defensive. Before the Senate Judi-                      laborers.
                                     longest-running crisis story of       Only six                              ciary Committee though, Gonza-
                                     the year. Regaining the trust of      hours                                 les was unable to recall... any-     9 Pet food industryrecall
Testing events                       parents around the world will         after a                               thing – and eventually resigned      Recalls involving hundreds of
for crisis PR pros                   be an arduous task.                   gunman
                                                                           killed 32
                                                                                                                 from his position.                   products left shelves in the pet
                                                                                                                                                      food aisles barren for weeks. In
1 Jet Blue                           3 Taco Bell rats                      people at                             7 Blackwater shootings               response, the industry created the
Known to many as the Valentine’s     After getting through an E.coli       Virginia                              When a Blackwater security de-       National Pet Food Commission.
Day Massacre, the ice storm that     breakout in the Northeast, a          Tech, the                             tail gunned down 17 Iraqi civil-
crippled the Northeast last Feb-     video surfaced of rats running        world’s                               ians in Baghdad, not only was        10 Don Imus
ruary grounded planes on the         amok in a Manhattan Taco              media                                 CEO Erik Prince called to testify    Though his ratings weren’t what
runway for up to 12 hours. The       Bell/KFC restaurant. While it         landed at                             before Congress but it called into   they used to be, the original
                                     was an isolated incident, the PR      the college. Larry Hincker, AVP       question the practices of the pri-   “shock jock” had to realize peo-
                                     hit was still nasty.                  for university relations, was         vate security company.               ple were listening when he used a
                                                                           forced to create a makeshift com-                                          racially charged term to describe
                                     4 NBA’s gambling referee              munications team from schools         8 GAPchild labor issue               the Rutgers University women’s
                                     Veteran NBA referee Tim Don-          within the college to manage the      This year it was GAP’s turn to       basketball team. Not only did
                                     aghy’s involvement in a betting       more than 600 reporters covering      catch heat for child labor prac-     advertisers pull out, but Imus was
                                     scandal led to his firing and the     the story on site.                    tices. The much-maligned retailer    fired days later.

                                     5                                                                                                                5
 ON THE BEAT                                                                                                     the rest of them get here?’”
                                                                                                                 Former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-
 Public affairs                                                                                                  AK) and long shot presidential
 By Ted McKenna                                                                                                  candidate speaking about his
                                                                                                                 election to the Senate.
 Much that goes on in politics,
 the government, and corporate                                                                                   5 “We will not allowanyone
 America can potentially fall                                                                                    to poke their snottynose into
 under the rubric of “public         Frankly honest                        marijuana use and President           our affairs.”                        Brands
 affairs.” What political scandal,
 product recall, or lobbying
                                     political quotes                      Clinton’s famous excuse.              Russian President Vladimir Putin
                                                                                                                 on US attempts to monitor recent
                                                                                                                                                      that soared
 effort doesn’t have an interest-    1 “Whydon’t you                       3 “Nowmyfriends,I wasn’t              Russian elections.                   1 Apple
 ing public communications           shut up?”                              there.I’m sure it was a cultural                                          Thanks to the hugely successful
 aspect to it?                       Spain’s King Carlos                    and pharmaceutical event.I                                                launch of the iPhone and intro-
   This wealth of potential sto-     to Venezuela Presi-                    was tied up at the time.”                                                 duction of the iPod Touch, Apple
 ries gives a reporter whose         dent Hugo Chavez,                     Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) speak-                                             continued to be a darling of Wall
 beat is public affairs plenty of    who had just in-                             ing about Hillary Clinton’s                                         Street, with its stock prices reach-
 options when it comes to            sulted the former                              plans to support a Wood-                                          ing an all-time company high of
 choosing stories to cover.          prime minister                                 stock museum. McCain                                              $192 a share.
 Certainly, scandals are fun.        of Spain.                                       was a POW in Vietnam
 Interesting, too, are those big                                                     during the 1969 festival.                                        2 TMZ
 bucks contracts that public         2 “I never under-                                                                                                The celebrity Web site separated
 affairs firms sign with foreign     stood that line.                               4 “The first time you                                             itself from the pack this year by
 governments with dubious            The point was to                               get there,you’re all                                              launching a TV show. It also con-
 human rights programs.              inhale.That was                                excited,‘MyGod,how                                                tinued to break a number of sto-
 Certainly, expensive promo-         the point.”                                   did I ever get here?’Then,                                         ries about celebrity breakdowns,
 tional or educational cam-          Sen. Barack Obama                             about sixmonths later,                                             divorces, and deaths.
 paigns merit coverage, but so       (D-IL) on his past                            you say,‘Howthe hell did
 do innovative, viral campaigns                                                                                                                       3 Nintendo
 conceived of and managed by                                                                                                                          The launch of the still

 volunteers. These campaigns                                                                                     standing in the sphere of mili-      hard-to-find Wii
 can involve online media or be                                                                                  taryand defense affairs.”            gaming system at
 of the old-fashioned word-of-                                                                                   Chinese foreign ministry spokes-     the end of 2006 set
 mouth variety, whether the                                                                                      person Qin Gang speaking about       Nintendo up for an
 audience the public affairs                                                                                     the first visit by a Chinese war-    all but can’t miss
 campaigns seek to reach are                                                                                     ship to Tokyo since World            opportunity to
 the American people as a                                                                                        War II.                              have a wonderful 2007.
 whole or the just a few hun-                                                                                                                         It didn’t miss.
 dred key “influentials” in          Honestly absurd                                                             5 “Your foot came toward
 Washington, DC.
   Where then do story ideas
                                     political quotes                                                            mine,mine came towards yours.
                                                                                                                 Was that natural? I don’t know.
                                                                                                                                                      4 Wal-Mart
                                                                                                                                                      Aside from its usual financial
 come from? From just about          1 “As yesterday’s positive report                                           Did we bump? Yes.I think we          dominance, the retail giant also
 anywhere, including conven-         card shows,childrens do learn                                               did.You said so.I don’t disagree     won a slight reprieve from critics
 tional news stories that invari-    when standards are high and                                                 with that.”                          by concentrating on its environ-
 ably have a “communications”        results are measured.”                                                      Disgraced Sen. Larry Craig           mental program to reduce waste
 angle worth exploring, to DoJ       President George W. Bush                                                    (R-ID) during a police inter-        and promote sustainability – one
 filings and other public data-      extolling the benefits of the                                               rogation following his encounter     that has served as a model for the
 bases to – most important –         No Child Left Behind Act.             3 “In Iran,we don’t have homo-        with an undercover police offi-      rest of big industry.
 tips and off-hand comments                                                sexuals,like in your country.In       cer in an airport bathroom in
 from public affairs profession-     2 “We want democracy,we want          Iran we do not have this phenom-      Minnesota.                           5 Facebook
 als who pass along word about       human rights,we want civil liber-     enon.I don’t knowwho has told                                              The social networking site hit its
 the latest RFP, contract win by     ties,but we will do it our way.”      you that we have it.”                                                      stride this year, becoming a must-
 themselves or a competitor, or                          Pakistan Presi-   Iranian President Mahmoud                                                  join among business people. It
 interesting trend they have                             dent Pervez       Ahmadinejad, in a speech at                                                was able to address users’ con-
 noticed. Those tips best flow                           Musharraf         Columbia University.                                                       cerns about privacy swiftly and
 during lunch, coffee breaks,                            on his decla-                                                                                managed to preserve its loyal fol-
 or happy hour. Anyone free?                             ration of mar-    4 “We hope this visit will be                                              lowing, as well as snag a $240 mil-
                                                         tial law.         able to enhance mutual under-                                              lion investment from Microsoft.

PRWeek • December 24, 2007 •
                                                                                                                                           BOOK OF LISTS 11

                                         strategist for the Texas-based                                                after spending three years at          9 Wexler goes to Ogilvy
                                         Public Strategies.                                                            the agency. His LinkedIn page          Nu Wexler traded in his chief
                                                                                                                       says he’s “taking a break from         spokesman post at Wal-Mart
                                         3 Blackstone hires PR help                                                    [his] full-time professional life      Watch for a spot in the public
                                         The historically reticent pri-                                                to focus on what’s important to        affairs practice group of Ogilvy
                                         vate equity firm The Blackstone                                               [him],” which definitely leaves        PR’s DC office.
                                         Group tapped former Goldman                                                   the door open for a plethora
                                         Sachs PR executive Peter Rose                                                 of possibilities.                      10 Hughes leaves DC
Staff moves that                         to serve as its MD of public af-                                                                                     President Bush’s under secret-
made the news                            fairs. The company certainly had
                                         a need for PR help after its $4.7     5 Lark goes to Dell
                                                                                                                       7 Wadler joins MWW
                                                                                                                       Ame Wadler left her chief strate-
                                                                                                                                                              ary of state, Karen Hughes, an-
                                                                                                                                                              nounced her resignation, effec-
1 TonySnowresigns                        billion IPO spurred lawmakers         Former CMO of LogLogic,                 gic officer and global healthcare      tive mid-December. While she’s
The Fox radio/TV pundit turned           to talk about raising taxes on the    Andy Lark decamped for Dell,            lead post at Burson-Marsteller to      credited with making changes
White House press secretary left         private equity industry.              taking the role of VP of global         become EVP, chief management           within the State Department,
the post in September. Despite                                                 marketing and communications.           officer and global healthcare lead     many say her impact on improv-
                   battles with          4 Motorola chief steps down           He has already been part of Dell’s      at MWW Group.                          ing the US’ image in the Muslim
                   colon cancer,         Even though CEO Edward                recent landmark move to create a                                               world has been minimal.
                   Snow cited            Zander was able to come out           standalone agency within WPP            8 Feldman leaves DreamWorks
                   money as              on top in a battle with Carl Icahn,   that will handle all marcomms           Bob Feldman exited his post at
                   the reason.           he couldn’t fulfill his promise       efforts for the company.                the animation company to start
                                         to shareholders to provide a                                                  Feldman & Partners, a manage-
2 Bartlett joins Public Strategies       better follow-up to the mega-         6 Tenderich leaves Bite                 ment consulting firm. It counts
Former White House counselor             successful Razr. In turn, he          Burghardt Tenderich left his GM         among its clients Moody’s, The
Dan Bartlett became a senior             resigned his post.                    position at Bite Communications         Home Depot, and DreamWorks.

5 5
                                                                               instantly is a one-minute video         tion, and the content on the site is    ON THE BEAT
                                                                               describing the agency’s philoso-        updated. But what helps tran-
                                                                               phy, latest blog post, and case         scend Horn Group’s site to one          Technology/BayArea
                                                                               studies.                                that awed is the simplicity of its      By Aarti Shah
                                                                                                                       blog page. The homepage takes
                                                                               2                         you directly to the official Horn       This year tech was all about
                                                                               OK, the site does take a little         Group blog, and you’re able to          the consumer. Web 2.0 hit its
                                                                               longer to load than it should,          immediately transfer to other           peak, morphing everything it
Brands                                   Agency sites                          but it also has a simple landing        Horn employee-written blogs             touched into a social network
that sunk                                that awed*                            point, and does understand that
                                                                               you can have a little bit of a scroll
                                                                                                                       and client-written blogs.               or user-generated site.
                                                                                                                                                                 I’ve noticed how gingerly
1 Sears Holdings                         1                        on a homepage. Information on                                                   agencies are stepping into the
This year, the owner of the                                                    Fleishman-Hillard is in uniform,                                                Web 2.0 sphere, excited about
Sears and Kmart retail stores an-                                              easy-to-digest bites.                                                           innovation yet cautious about
nounced a 99% drop in third-                                                                                                                                   overselling. And of course, cov-
quarter profits from $196 million                                              3                                                                  ering an industry that relies on
to just $2 million year over year. It                                          Many agencies have tried to show                                                both hype and secrecy, this
will certainly have to do better if it                                         its “people.” Capstrat’s ingenious                                              has meant communications
ever hopes to compete again with                                               panoramic view of the office suc-                                               range from effusive to coy.
the likes of Wal-Mart and Target.                                              ceeds where everyone else failed.                                                 In a sector known for novel-
                                                                               Every single employee appears to        5                           ties, several companies made
2 Mattel                                                                       have a bio, declarative proof that      The main image immediately              lasting impact.
While its stock price                    GCI Group is clearly taking great     it’s an agency that cares about all     draws your eyes in, then as you           The iPhone promised a revo-
wasn’t severely dam-                     emphasis on positioning itself as a   of its employees.                       gravitate downward, you get a           lution, and whether it delivered
aged by this year’s                      creative agency. The animation is                                             sense of the thought leadership         depends on how you define the
toy recalls, the hit to                  decent enough, but what is            4                         from Edelman available at the           term. But the device did turn
its reputation is                        breathtaking about the site is its    The homepage is clean, the rotat-       site. The rotating career opportu-      mobile apps into a feasible
inevitable.                              remarkable simplicity. Available      ing image captures your atten-          nities banner is a smart move, too.     reality. Consumers also forgave
                                                                                                                                                               Apple for its early price mis-
3 Ampd Mobile                                                                                                                                                  steps, further intimidating the

One of the worst tech collapses                                                mation that might be relevant                                                   rest of the industry with just
since the dot bomb, the cell                                                   about the firm.                                                                 how loyal its followers are.
phone company filed for bank-                                                                                                                                    The showdown between
ruptcy in June, letting a $360 mil-                                            2                                                              Google and Yahoo intensified,
lion investment go to waste.                                                   You lost us, immediately, with                                                  with Yahoo undergoing a mas-
                                                                               the homepage flash animation                                                    sive upheaval to gain traction.
4 BritneySpears                                                                of falling letters that assemble to                                             Despite some startups, search
Spears made such a mess of her                                                 spell out GS Schwartz & Co.                                                     largely remained a two-, or
life in 2007 that a judge awarded        Agency sites                          Where’s the content to draw in                                                  arguably, a one-engine game.
unemployed ex-husband K-Fed
custody of their kids. Lowlights
                                         that annoyed*                         the reader? But it gets worse. The
                                                                               news releases are PDFs, the site
                                                                                                                       a good SEO firm because from
                                                                                                                       its opening image to a list of cli-
                                                                                                                                                                 Those without Facebook pro-
                                                                                                                                                               files risked being lost in a social
include: numerous panty-less             1                changes fonts at random, and the        ents, it all appears to be locked       network oblivion, as millions
exits from cars, a head shaving,         You may wonder, “When will it         navigation is unnecessary due to        up in Flash prison. That, com-          signed on for the site’s third-
and the infamous dead-in-the-            ever load?” Ah, yes, you had to       the paucity of info on the site.        bined with no thought leader-           party applications and clean
      eyes performance at the            wait for the animated avatar to                                               ship content, is no way to build        interface. Though MySpace still
       MTV Video Music Awards.           get ready to spout bland market-      3                           organic traffic.                        dominates social networking
                                         ing speak. Combined with the          The agency that was first to con-                                               sites, 2007 reminded us how
       5 Citigroup                       huge promotion for CEO Mark           quer Second Life still has not fig-     5                   fickle Web 2.0 users can be.
           Getting caught up in          Penn’s book “Microtrends,” the        ured out how to put RSS feeds on        WE’s inclusion here is unfortu-           Insiders predict an inevitable
             the sub-prime fallout,      site wants to hide whatever infor-    its news section. Combined with         nate, given the site is easy to use     recession in 2008 that will turn
              it not only posted a                                             an image of people doing hand-          and has a lot of information. But       the Valley’s attention from con-
               $6.4 billion loss, but                                          stands, the miniscule navigation        the homepage looks like a poorly        sumer to the enterprise mar-
               CEO Chuck Prince                                                buried on the left-hand side, and       put-together high school paper,         ket. Even so, this year’s con-
               was forced to resign.                                           the undistinguished marketing           and the text randomly changes           sumer pioneers set the stage
               It announced plans                                              copy, this site does not impress.       colors and sizes. A PR firm should      for a Web transformation that
             to lay off more than                                                                                      know about first impressions.           will keep unfolding, no matter
            40,000, and its stock                                              4                                                               how the Valley’s tides turn.
           continues to tumble.                                                Coyne PR must have employed             * Based on sites as of December 3.

                                                                                                                                   • December 24, 2007 • PRWeek
                                                                                                                                       BOOK OF LISTS 13

ONTHE BEAT                                                                  2 Associated Press                      bal elite, but it is                    ONTHE BEAT
                                                                            As more US papers close their           making solid
Media                                                                       foreign bureaus while slashing          inroads in the                          Consumer
By Hamilton Nolan                                                           budgets, the AP is becoming the         US. The title’s                         By Michael Bush
                                                                            country’s authoritative source of       Web site is
The biggest media story of                                                  foreign news reporting. With a          strong, and it                          Covering the consumer beat in
2007 – in fact, the only real                                               world in upheaval, it is now more       even leaks con-                         2007 didn’t leave much time
media story of 2007 – was                                                   indispensable than ever to both         tent to influential bloggers to         for rest. It seemed as if every
the changes being inflicted         Media brands                            papers and readers across the US.       build buzz. Watch for it to grow        other week there was another
on the media by the Internet.
Every other story was an
                                    on the rise                             3 NBC Universal
                                                                                                                    into a full-blown competitor to
                                                                                                                    the top US newsweeklies.
                                                                                                                                                            major RFP being issued or a
                                                                                                                                                            six- to seven-figure assign-
offshoot of this fundamental        1 DowJones                              NBCU captured some of parent                                                    ment being pitched. And get-
dynamic.                            DJ must be happy to be under            company GE’s expensive green            5 NewYork magazine                      ting anyone to talk about
  Rupert Murdoch fulfilled a        News Corp’s welcoming um-               sheen with a huge programming           From its growing Web site capa-         those isn’t easy.
lifelong dream of his by buy-       brella, rather than being run by        push late in the year. And its TV       bilities to the break-out issues of       It was a year of many crisis-
ing up Dow Jones and its real       careless family ownership. The          networks are doing well – Brian         its Look Book feature to picking        and issues-management ef-
prize, The Wall Street Journal.     Wall Street Journal is now poised       Williams is popular, MSNBC is           up a few national magazine              forts, new media campaigns,
Rumors are swirling that he         for a breakout year – but will Ru-      creeping up on CNN, and CNBC            awards, the brand has enjoyed           brand relaunches, brand ex-
will make, the only         pert Murdoch impact the edito-          is poised to fight off a challenge      a successful year all around. It        pansions, partnerships, and,
really successful paid news-        rial quality? Only time to tell.        from Fox Business Network.              even curried some favor with            once again, less AOR and more
paper Web site, free for all,                                                                                       the National Organization for           specialty assignment pitches.
illustrating the increasingly                                               4 The Economist                         Women by finally agreeing to            All the while, brands were look-
clear theory that online money                                              The magazine has long been con-         stop accepting sex ads for the          ing for new avenues of con-
flows from advertising, not                                                 sidered indispensable to the glo-       back of its magazine.                   sumer engagement.
subscriptions.                                                                                                                                                Probably more than any
  Across town, The New York                                                                                                                                 other year before it, 2007 saw

Times geared up for what may                                                post” by news anchor Katie Cou-         motions to help the flailing paper.     consumer oriented brands
become a global newspaper                                                   ric that her staff actually wrote. It   But initial enthusiasm for Tierney      turn to PR for more than just
war with the Journal. The Grey                                              was hoped her arrival would re-         has waned as he tossed out bad          media relations. This could be
Lady poured resources into its                                              vive the network after the debacle      ideas like turning the paper’s          for a number of reasons, in-
own Web site, which is now the                                                                that ended Dan        headquarters into a movie bill-         cluding ad-budget reductions,
class of the news business.                                                                   Rather’s career.      board and allowing a local bank         companies finally starting to
  The business side, however,                                                                 Instead, ratings      to sponsor a news column.               realize that PR agencies are
is another story: continued                                                                   fell further and                                              just as well suited to handle
declines in revenue and an          Media brands                                              the future looks      5 The NewRepublic                       new media and digital assign-
intransigent management
caused large shareholder
                                    that hit the skids                                        bleak.                The refined DC thought maga-
                                                                                                                    zine had an unquestionably bad
                                                                                                                                                            ments as are ad agencies, and
                                                                                                                                                            a greater need for integration
Morgan Stanley to dump its          1 Tribune Company                       3 US News & World Report                year. Business woes forced it to        with other disciplines.
shares in the Times, a terrify-     Supercapitalist Sam Zell scooped        Already a distant third in the          cut its total of yearly issues nearly     One consumer PR pro re-
ing vote of no confidence from      up the troubled entity earlier this     newsweeklies race, it took a hit        in half. And a scandal over wheth-      cently told me that as brands
the financial establishment.        year in a multibillion-dollar deal.     to its reputation this year as well,    er an anonymous soldier writing         begin to reallocate their ad
  While newspapers floun-           But his optimism can’t change its       when a group of colleges chal-          tales from Iraq                         dollars, they’re not looking
dered, online properties con-       harsh financial outlook nor the         lenged its popular annual rank-         was in fact                             to fill those gaps with publicity
tinued to grow. Whether it was      new financial burden placed on          ings system, calling it “mislead-       lying, led many                         or events. Instead brands are
established media companies         its unhappy employees.                  ing” to prospective students.           to question its                         asking PR agencies to make
driving more and more traffic                                                                                       competency in                           the connection with consu-
online, or upstart Web compa-       2 CBS News                              4 The Philadelphia Inquirer             both journal-                           mers they normally would
nies snatching away market          The year was marred by embar-           PR man Brian Tierney promised           ism and com-                            through traditional ad efforts.
share from the old names, it is     rassing missteps like a “blog           snazzy new marketing and pro-           munications.                              This year also saw the level
becoming clear that the read-                                                                                                                               of integration between PR and
ership pie is not infinite.                                                                                                                                 other disciplines increase due

  The quest to build media                                                  purchased 11 million copies in          to spice up business reporting.         to the fact that brands want to
brands, too, has almost fully                                               the first 24 hours. The book also       Several issues in, many are still       provide a 360-degree market-
integrated the online world.                                                went global in 93 countries.            wondering if its editorial content      ing experience for consumers.
The need to have a viable                                                                                           can catch up to its ad sales.           As a result, some firms were
strategy for dealing with the                                               4 Alli                                                                          asked how they work with
Internet as a communications                                                A huge marketing blitz helped           8 A380                                  agency partners before even
medium is now readily appar-                                                drive dieters to pick up the first      The new Airbus took flight with         making their pitch.
ent. Big-name news outlets                                                  and only FDA approved over-             the media when it launched the            A number of consumer PR
that try to coast on their repu-    Product debuts                          the-counter weight-loss pill. Sales     world’s largest commercial pas-         pros also reported that 2007
tations, minimize the impor-
tance of the Web, or are simply
                                    we couldn’t miss                        have surpassed $150 million to
                                                                            date, proving that unpleasant
                                                                                                                    senger jet. For its US debut, there
                                                                                                                    were about 120 news media out-
                                                                                                                                                            brought a lot of RFPs from
                                                                                                                                                            major brands focusing on
not skillful in online communi-     1 Apple iPhone                          side effects won’t deter Amer-          lets at JFK, 40 at O’Hare, and          non-traditional PR assign-
cations, will suffer in ways they   Following a big buzz                         icans from shrinking their         more than                               ments. This more than likely
never thought possible.             around its launch, the                       pant size.                         200 accred-                             has to do with marketers shift-
  PRWeek’s media section tries      iPhone became this                                                              ited media                              ing a bigger share of their
to create a good mix of specif-     year’s hottest new item,                    5 Halo 3                            personnel                               focus to digital efforts.
ic and trend stories. My philos-    selling more than a                         This Microsoft launch set a         at LAX.                                   The past year can also be
ophy is that anything happen-       million units to date.                      new US record for opening-                                                  viewed as one in which mar-
ing structurally in the media is    The sleek, aesthetic                        day sales by an entertainment       9 Microsoft Windows Vista               keters who were serious about
inherently important to PR          design and Web 2.0                          property – $170 million. It         One of Microsoft’s biggest con-         connecting with consumers
pros. Therefore, we don’t con-      capabilities made it an                     made the covers of Time and         sumer launches ever included            realized that digital initiatives
centrate our media coverage         instant techie favorite.                    Rolling Stone, too.                 appearances by Bill Gates on            were no longer just add-ons.
only on how media properties                                                                                        both Today and The Daily Show             And even if they won’t com-
do PR – we cover the media          2 High School Musical 2                 6 Google Android                        with Jon Stewart.                       pletely admit it, it seemed as
as an end in itself.                The sequel to the mega-hit origi-       Google generated buzz for its                                                   if brands were trying to make
  Ongoing macro-trends like         nal film, HSM2 had 17.2 million         new mobile platform, slated to          10 XO Computer                          PR more of a driving force be-
the troubles of the newspaper       fans of all ages glued to the screen.   launch in 2008, by releasing a          Nicholas Negroponte’s nonprofit         hind their marketing mix.
(and now, magazine) industry                                                software developer kit that offers      One Laptop per Child is averag-           When you add all of this up,
and how new delivery plat-          3 HarryPotter and the                   a peek at what it might look like.      ing $2 million a day in donations       what you have is a successful
forms are affecting journalism      DeathlyHallows                                                                  since introducing the first low-        2007 and a 2008 that looks
will continue to be covered         The seventh and last book from          7 Portfolio                             cost, energy efficient computer         promising for the consumer
heavily in the year to come.        the series caused a cycle of book       Condé Nast launched the glossy          designed for children in devel-         PR industry.
                                    parties nationwide. Diehard fans        business mag with the intention         oping nations.

                                                                                                                                • December 24, 2007 • PRWeek

                                      10                                                                             5
 ONTHE BEAT:                                                                  by asking the five major holding                                            social networking, Twittering,
                                                                              companies to create a singular                                              and GPS-tagged texting gives
 Corporate/financial;                                                         agency housing all disciplines.                                             everyone the chance to play
 PR services                                                                  The reward was $4.5 billion in                                              reality star.
 By Tonya Garcia                                                              billings over the next three years.
                                                                              WPP won and is expected to                                                  3 “Pro-social”
 This year has been particularly                                              have a 1,000-staffer firm up and                                            An academic-lexicon staple,
 tumultuous for corporations,                                                 running by March.                                                           this all-purpose adjective has
 financial services companies,        Business events                                                                Terms we didn’t                      now been adopted by networks
 and even the average home-
 owner, creating a need for a
                                      that caused a stir                      6 Thain to head Merrill Lynch
                                                                              For the second time in his career,
                                                                                                                     hear before ’07                      including MTV, TV Land, and
                                                                                                                                                          BET as shorthand for “good
 more free exchange of infor-         1 Microsoft gets a little Facebook      John Thain will look to revive a       1 Sandwich generation                corporate citizen; gives back
 mation than many executives          Microsoft bought a 1.6% stake           troubled company. The former           Baby Boomers juggling the often      to society.”
 are accustomed to.                   in the social networking site for       Goldman Sachs exec and NYSE            conflicting responsibilities of
   I can’t say that many compa-       $240 million, which took the site’s     Euronext head stunned many by                                               4 Churchonomics
 nies or their firms have opened      value to $15 billion. This made         becoming chairman and CEO.                                                  From community sanctuaries
 up and shared their deepest          the 20% stake owned by founder                                                                                      to megachurches, religious lead-
 PR secrets with me. But in           and Harvard dropout Mark                7 Sun reinterprets fair disclosure                                          ers across the US are moonlight-
 speaking to some of the com-         Zuckerberg, 23, worth $3 billion.       Sun Microsystems shook things                                               ing as word-of-mouth marketers
 munications pros in this area,                                               up by issuing earnings results on                                           for faith-friendly movies, books,
 there seems to be a certain                                                  its Web site before pushing the                                             and products.
 acceptance that they must                                                    information out on the wires. The
 open up, at least a little.                                                  difference was only 10 minutes,                                             5 Semantic Web
   Service companies have felt                                                but it has SEC chair Christopher       supporting teenage or adult chil-    Also known as Web 3.0 (or
 the landscape shift beneath                                                  Cox thinking about the Internet’s      dren and aging parents. Call it      the “pedantic Web”), this next-
 their feet, too. In response,                                                role in earnings disclosure.           “grilled stress on rye, heavy on     evolution of the WWW merges
 they have evolved to meet the                                                                                       the pickles.”                        records into a global database,
 needs of changing technolo-                                                  8 Stock market roller coaster                                               allowing for computers to find
 gies and innovations. The            2 Sub-prime meltdown                    The stock market has been jump-        2 Lifecasting                        and integrate information more
 explosion in Web video, for          Rates for sub-prime mortgages           ing and diving all year, but it has    This self-indulgent amalga-          easily. Whoever can explain it
 example, has been met with           jumped, causing economy-wide            held on. The Dow Jones, in fact,       mation of 24/7 streaming video,      gets a prize.
 multimedia offerings, greater        problems, including stalled IPOs        surpassed the 13,000-point mark
 online monitoring, and meas-         and buyouts. Treasury officials         despite the turmoil.

 urement capabilities. Collabo-       and mortgage lenders will work                                                                                      everything
 rations between service com-         together to staunch the bleed.          9 Rupert Murdoch buys WSJ                                                   from alterna-
 panies and PR firms are chang-                                               Murdoch’s News Corp bought                                                  tive light-bulb
 ing how organizations commu-         3 Sallie Mae buyout crumbles            Dow Jones & Co., including the                                              use to wearing
 nicate with their stakeholders.      SLM Corp., parent of Sallie Mae,        venerable WSJ, for $5 billion.                                              hemp-soled
   Nevertheless, change is diffi-     took its potential buyers to court      Journalists wondered aloud how                                              shoes. Taking
 cult. Companies that produce         to save the $25 billion deal. The       his influence will affect the paper.                                        action is critical, but let’s lose
 VNRs are now grappling with          buyers said new federal laws low-                                                                                   the color-coded euphemism.
 the FCC’s interpretation of how      ered Sallie Mae’s value and want-                                              Terms we hope
 organizations should disclose
 this footage. And who says Reg
                                      ed to renegotiate, but Sallie Mae
                                      has rejected alternative offers.
                                                                                                                     not tohear again                     4 Masstige
                                                                                                                                                          Bed Bath & Beyond, H&M,
 FD means you must announce                                                                                          1 Transparent                        Target... of course we still love
 your earnings via a newswire?        4 Dubai buys NASDAQ stake                                                      We know: In this post-Enron          ’em. But pseudo-French pro-
 The Web’s ubiquity means the         Borse Dubai, the government-                                                   world, honesty is key. But let’s     nunciations are so last year.
 SEC and public companies can         controlled exchange for the emi-                                               leave “transparency” for Riedel
 consider online alternatives.        rate, bought a 19.9% stake in the       10 Yahoo CEO steps down                stemware, and just tell the truth.   5 “Don’t tase me bro!”
   Working two beats that have        NASDAQ and the NASDAQ’s                 Terry Semel, a former entertain-                                            College student Andrew Meyer’s
 relatively little common ground      28% stake in the London Stock           ment executive who assumed the         2 Sub-prime loans                    plea to university police during
 admittedly gave me pause in          Exchange. The new entity then           CEO post in 2001, handed the           It seemed like a good idea at the    a John Kerry speech not only
 the beginning. However, the          went on to bid $4.9 billion for the     reigns back to Yahoo cofounder,        time, for lenders to offer these     spread like wildfire online, it
 exclusivity of the two sectors       Swedish stock exchange OMX.             Jerry Yang. Yahoo has struggled        unconventional mortgage loans.       also made its way onto bumper
 and the tiny ways in which they                                              to compete with the likes of           But now? See “foreclosure.”          stickers and T-shirts. Just like
 overlap shine a light on the in-     5 Dell,WPPannounce DaVinci              Google, MySpace, and others,                                                his incessant wailing after get-
 tricacies of the industry.           In 2007, Dell sought to stream-         so there’s no guarantee that           3 “Going green”                      ting zapped, this phrase makes
                                      line its entire marcomms function       Yang will fare any better.             It’s become a catch-all term for     our ears bleed.

5                                                                                                                    5
                                      2 Roger Goodell                         Jobs offered everyone store credit                                          3 John “Pat”Philbin
                                      When Goodell                            to keep his fans happy.                                                     When your agency is facing its
                                      was named as                                                                                                        biggest crisis of the year, do not
                                      Paul Tagliabue’s                        4 Arnold Schwarzenegger                                                     hold an impromptu fake press
                                      successor as                            There aren’t many doubters in                                               conference. Philbin, former head
                                      NFL commis-                             California these days. The Gover-                                           of public affairs at FEMA, did
                                      sioner, his bold                        nator has bounced back again                                                just that when the organization
                                      talking may have been recognized,       and again, showing leadership in                                            tried to set up a last-minute press
Communicators                         but initial skepticism remained at      the midst of the worst disaster in     Communicators                        conference in the midst of the
we liked to hear                      his ability to deal with the league’s
                                      problems. Goodell was unwaver-
                                                                              the state since the Northridge
                                                                              earthquake and by defying his
                                                                                                                     we couldn’t bear                     Southern California wildfires.

1 Al Gore                             ing, though, suspending Pacman          own party on a number of issues.       1 Scott Boras                        4 Hugo Chavez
The former VP won a Nobel             Jones for the entire season and                                                By announcing that his client Alex   Being belligerent in front of the
Prize this fall, capping off a cam-   Michael Vick indefinitely.              5 Rupert Murdoch                       Rodriguez would opt out of his       UN and being told to shut up by
paign that began with the release                                             When his bid for Dow Jones             contract during the World Series,    the King of Spain didn’t help his
of his film An Inconvenient Truth.    3 Steve Jobs                            was first announced, it was            Boras took greed to a new level.     international respectability any.
He’s been a better communicator       For the first time in recent mem-       viewed by many as something
outside of elected office.            ory, there were missteps for Mr.        that would never happen. But           2 Fred Thompson                      5 John Mackey
                                      Apple, yet the CEO seemed to            Murdoch managed to say all the         A campaign that                      Apparently, the CEO of Whole
                                      effortlessly guide the company          right things at the right times –      was supposed to                      Foods never got the transparency
                                      back on track. With the iPhone’s        emphasizing commitment to              light a fire under                   memo. In July, he was caught
                                      launch, he introduced the latest        editorial quality – and in the pro-    the GOP has                           posting to the comments sec-
                                      must-have toy, and when it re-          cess snagged one of the crown          not excited                            tion of the company Web site’s
                                      duced the price only weeks later,       jewels of business media.              anyone.                                 blog using a pseudonym.

PRWeek • December 24, 2007 •
                                                                                                                                       BOOK OF LISTS 17

ON THE BEAT                                                               olina after election officials re-       8 Marc makes                            ON THE BEAT
                                                                          fused him ballot space, but The          his mark
Entertainment/Los Angeles                                                 Colbert Report got more buzz.            Hip-hop fash-                           Healthcare
By Randi Schmelzer                                                                                                 ion mogul                               By Marc Longpre
                                                                          4 Radiohead Robin Hood                   Marc Ecko
Entertainment PR master-                                                  The band made headlines in               bought Barry                            It’s fair to say that health-
minds have relied on the most                                             November by offering the digital         Bonds’ record 756th home run            care hasn’t enjoyed this type
innovative new-media tactics                                              version of their latest album on a       ball and then launched a Web site       of attention in many years.
to connect with consumers.          Stunts that were                      pay-what-you-want basis.                 asking visitors to vote on its fate.    From Michael Moore to Steve
Still, 2007 might ultimately be                                                                                    The majority wanted it branded          Case, just about everyone
remembered as the year PR           Barnum worthy                         5 Simpson circles                        with an asterisk and sent to the        wanted to weigh in on our
looked back.                        1 TonySoprano closes his eyes         The Simpsons Movie made a                Hall of Fame. Bonds called Ecko         beleaguered system.
  Be it a movie or TV-show          A circus-like frenzy for the hit      splash on the other side of the          an “idiot,” which likely earned           In the presidential race, the
remake (3:10 to Yuma, Bionic        show’s finale ended with a thud       pond when marketers carved a             the latter even more street cred.       Democrats raced to say univer-
Woman) or a new twist on an         as nothing seemingly happens ex-      Homer crop circle in the English                                                 sal coverage as quickly as pos-
’80s fave (Transformers, Hair-      cept Tony blinks just after Mead-     countryside. Despite outrage, the        9 The Cartoonabomber                    sible, debated one another’s
spray), entertainment publicity     ow walks into the diner and cre-      film grossed nearly $28 million          In February, Cartoon Network            respective plans, and remi-
got positively retro. Take 20th     ator David Chase decided to roll      on opening weekend in the UK.            marketers planted blinking light        nisced over Hillary Clinton’s
Century Fox’s endeavor on           the credits. You could hear an                                                 installments under bridges and          failure in 1994. In Congress,
behalf of July’s The Simpsons       entire nation screaming “What?!”      6 Kanye and 50 Cent                      overpasses, sparking a security         the State Children’s Health
Movie, in which previously                                                The two hip-hop stars squared            scare. The stunt planners landed        Insurance Program (SCHIP)
peaceful US Springfields bat-       2 Captain gets capped                 off in an album-selling war. 50          in jail, but everyone now knows         has proved to be the defining
tled to be voted the official       This summer’s JFK-style               promised to retire if he was beat.       there’s a network for cartoons.         domestic battle of the Bush
home of Homer. Inventive and        assassination of Captain              Who won? Both. Kanye and 50                                                      years, while also serving as a
attention-grabbing, yes – but it    America drew coverage                 landed on Rolling Stone’s cover.         10 The iMoan                            potential preview to the larger
was all for a series older than     from nearly all major                                                          Steve Jobs caught heat when             battle ahead.
many of its most fervent fans.      media outlets.                         7 David Beckham hits US soil            prices for the Apple iPhone were          Big Pharma also got its fair
  While some stars attracted                                                The frenzy surrounding the             slashed by $200 shortly after it hit    share of the limelight. Merck’s
press more for their time be-       3 Colbert for Prez                      soccer god’s US arrival was so         the shelves. But he offered early-      Gardasil, the HPV vaccine that
hind bars than in them, Disney      Steven Colbert’s                        overwhelming that it almost            adopter rebates, scored head-           had been building positive
was transporting tweens to a        bid for president                       didn’t matter that he only             lines, and got people back into         press since the Food and Drug
more innocent era, particularly     may have ended                          ended up playing five games            the stores to spend their rebates       Administration approved it
via sweet-and-sensitive Hannah      in South Car-                            due to ankle injuries.                on more merchandise.                    back in June of last year, was
Montana and clean-but-cool                                                                                                                                 suddenly the most controver-
High School Musical 2.                                                                                                                                     sial issue out there, following

  Disney wasn’t alone in its                                              when Ray Jordan, VP of public            4                   Gov. Rick Perry’s (R-TX) man-
enlightened approach to good,                                             affairs and corporate communi-           Yes, yes – a picture is worth a         date. Eventually Merck bowed
old-fashioned entertainment.                                              cations, honestly explained why          thousand words. And a blog              to the building pressure and
On July 7, the Live Earth con-                                            the company was engaging in a            that ties closely to Kodak’s goals      dropped all lobbying surround-
certs created a global commu-                                             reputation-threatening lawsuit           is worth a million. Giving staffers     ing the product.
nity around music and climate-                                            against the American Red Cross.          a photo blog – even if they’re            And much was made of the
consciousness. After a teary                                                                                       not the greatest snapshots in the       lightweight pipelines around
send-off to retiring host Bob                                                                                      world – is a simple way to boost        the industry, and the heated
Barker, CBS renewed its com-        Corporate blogs                                                                employee passion and humanize           competition to license drugs
mitment to The Price Is Right,
tapping Drew Carey as its new
                                    that built buzz                                                                the company.                            from smaller biotech compa-
                                                                                                                                                           nies. Of course, one such
star. And Christian community       1                                                          5                    deal ended badly when Pfizer
leaders played media watch-         Dell continues its return from                                                 Zillow’s blog manages to accom-         dropped Nektar’s Exubera and
dog, alerting filmgoers to sacri-   online comms purgatory in the         3                plish great synchronicity between       pundits wondered whether
lege in films like Harry Potter     second year of its Direct2Dell        babybabble                               promoting the Zillow product            Pfizer’s corporate reputation
and the Order of the Phoenix        blog. The posts are a mix of pro-     The StonyField Farm Baby Bab-            and providing valuable informa-         might take a hit and affect its
and The Golden Compass.             motional and troubleshooting          ble blog is a perfect example of         tion. The service that Zillow, a        ability to compete in the mar-
  In LA, morality was an issue      advice, perfect for the customers     company as content producer.             provider of online real-estate          ket. Regardless, communica-
beyond the box office. Several      who love the products, but hated      This blog is solely dedicated to         services, can provide through its       tions efforts between biotech
metro medical centers were          their customer service for so long.   providing information about              blog is very important, consider-       and Big Pharma have taken on
accused of dumping homeless                                               rearing children. As such, visitors      ing the uncertainty and lack of         a new weight recently.
patients on the city’s drug-        2                      will instinctively think of the com-     sensible information in today’s           And, of course, the FDA itself
infested Skid Row. SoCal            J&J’s blog reached a high point       pany as an expert on child health.       real-estate market.                     was the topic on the lips of
burned, prompting questions                                                                                                                                many a communicator, with
about the region’s emergency-                                                                                                                              the agency stuck in the midst

preparedness plans. And then-                                             GE’s “From Edison’s Desk” sci-                                                   of the Avandia mess and busy
married LA mayor Antonio                                                  entist blog. Unfortunately, the 40                                               looking into how it might better
Villaraigosa became romanti-                                              some-odd contributors have only                                                  communicate risk to consu-
cally involved with newswoman                                             found the time to create 29 total                                                mers. FDA reform has been
Mirthala Salinas, prompting                                               posts this year (as of December 1).                                              one of the hot topics in the
inquiries regarding his “devot-                                                                                                                            healthcare beat this year, and
ed family man” image and her                                              3                                                             it’s not likely to disappear
journalistic integrity.                                                   This is sad for such a revolution-                                               despite some movement on
As 2007 ends, much of the           Corporate blogs                       ary, Web 2.0 company. Not only           and apologies for outage issues.        the front.
entertainment industry is over-
shadowed by the ongoing
                                    that bored                            has it not updated the blog since
                                                                          September, the blog was never
                                                                                                                   That’s fine, but the seriousness of
                                                                                                                   those posts have drained the fun
                                                                                                                                                             For PRWeek, I’m excited to
                                                                                                                                                           cover stories from across the
WGA-AMPTP conflict. Unable          1             that interesting when populated.         out of the irreverent initial intent.   spectrum: public affairs in
to agree on new-media resid-        It’s chock full of information,       With all its data and the fact that                                              Washington, product launches
ual payments, writers are lever-    but it’s not very compelling. The     folks were populating        5                          from Big Pharma, and new
aging a decades-old labor tack      straight-laced prose is a bit tedi-   with interesting content, why            At its core essence, the        developments from the world
– striking – to convey their de-    ous – not what you’d expect of        were the posts only about prod-          blog is just another way to use         of biotech. In addition, I’ve also
mands. What this means for          Googlers after reading countless      uct extensions and how-tos?     for searches. Every post        launched The Pulse, a new blog
entertainment PR and the eco-       profiles of how awesome it is to                                               seemed to be either overtly pro-        where I hope to discuss some
nomic well-being of LA is only      work for the search-engine giant.     4                        motional or just a series of links      topics in the field that might
beginning to become appar-                                                The Yahoo Anecdotal blog                 to the result page for obvious          otherwise not get a full airing.
ent. It doesn’t look good.          2                     started out to put forth the vari-       searches, as opposed to a place         If 2007 was a big year for
  But with reruns, TiVo, and        We admit the topic discussions        ous musings of creative Yahoo            to unearth interesting content.         healthcare, expect 2008 to
DVDs, we still have Springfield.    are a bit over our head, but we       staffers, but it devolved, as of late,   Search engines may index blogs,         be even bigger.
                                    can see the built-in audience for     too much into self-promotion             but they don’t seem to get them.

                                                                                                                               • December 24, 2007 • PRWeek

To top