All the top news reporters and newsmakers are on vacation, including the president. It’s the slow time of the year for news, where “bullsh** stories blossom like gladiolas,” as Gawker’s John Cook put it.
Might be a good time to contact the newsroom with that pitch you’ve been crafting, especially since many of the A-team reporters are on vacation and the stand-ins are looking for a hot scoop.
Of course I’m exaggerating. I’m not saying the president reads Ragan.com every day, but he must check it a couple times a week—or maybe Rahm does.
The president discussed healthcare with religious leaders Wednesday night on BlogTalkRadio, an Internet radio service. A couple years ago, former Ragan video producer Justin Allen and I did a three-minute video report on BlogTalkRadio and how organizations could use it.
I’m assuming the president saw that and tucked the information away.
I'm sure you haven't forgotten about Dave Carroll, the Canadian musician who turned his year-long struggle with United Airlines over their alleged breaking of his guitar into a YouTube sensation called, "United Breaks Guitars."
Well, he's back with a second song. Ahem. Fifteen minutes of fame. Cough, cough. Over. Ahem.
Oh, sorry, must've been something in my throat. Here's the video.
Have you seen the latest video touting social media?
You might see this video at the next industry conference you attend—but I sure hope you don't.
Because this kind of video, titled "Social Media Revolution," is bait for hackneyed social media consultants. It’s about four minutes long and it’s packed with stats about the reach and power of social media. Oh, and the soundtrack is provided by Fatboy Slim. Moby or the Chemical Brothers would have also worked.
I think you’re supposed to walk away from this video with a strong recollection of The Matrix, muttering something about blue pills and red pills and that now that you’ve seen the power of social media you can’t close your eyes ever again.
Makes me want to puke.
Sure, some of these statistics are interesting (maybe even useful), but can we put a moratorium on the Web videos that feature late 19th, early 21st century dance music set over conflated stats about social media?
They’ve been done before, much better than this one, as part of the “Did you know” series of Web videos. The last of these videos, which is about a year old, has notched more than 6 million views.
Social Media Revolution has about 45,000 views. It’s two weeks old.
Maybe the worst part of this video is the message. It's stale. "Social media is not a fad," the video proclaims. Yeah, we get it. I don’t think anyone is arguing with you.
Now I wish I could take the blue pill and forget I ever watched it.
Sorry for exposing it to you. Let's hope it doesn't turn up in any conference presentations.
Why is this brutal dictator so mad about the Facebook-FriendFeed deal?
Need some perspective on Facebook buying FriendFeed? AdvertisingAge.combreaks down the deal’s implications for marketers.
Or you could watch this video of Hitler—well, an actor playing Hitler—responding to the news of the Facebook-FriendFeed deal. The video is actually a scene from the movie Downfall, with new subtitles. Beware the insider references meant for the early adopters of FriendFeed. For instance, there's mention of FFundercats, which is a podcast dedicated to FriendFeed.
Commercial spotlights work of Milwaukee cops by not showing them
The Ad of the Day at Adweek.com is this spot from the Milwaukee Police Department.
Subtle and effective.
Not sure I’d walk down an alley like that at night in any city, but the idea of doing it safely sure sounds nice. If the City of Chicago, home of Ragan Communications, aired an ad like that—encouraging residents to walk down dark, foreboding alleys at night—it would be negligent.
(Although to be fair, Chicago has reported a drop in crime so far this year.)
Adweek's Mark Dolliver thinks the ad will prove ineffective at drawing new recruits to the Milwaukee Police Department.
"One can easily draw the conclusion that being a police officer is a thankless task, since the woman isn't going to thank a cop for the fact she didn't get mugged in this alley," he wrote. "The spot leads one to the quite accurate thought that good policing is something people will take for granted."
A new book by former Bush administration speechwriter Matthew Latimer has ex-White House officials, Pentagon staff and some senators sweating, according to The Washington Post’s Al Kamen.
Latimer wrote speeches for President George W. Bush, defense secretaries Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates, and GOP Senators Jon Kyl, of Arizona, and Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky.
Kamen said officials are trying to get their hands on an advanced copy of the book, which is titled Speech-less, so they can devise a PR scheme to thwart negative press.
According to Kamen, officials named in the book—and apparently Latimer does name names—shouldn’t worry, too much.
“But, from what we understand, Latimer's often laugh-out-loud recollections of the chaos around him—and he apparently took great notes—don't reflect betrayal or bitterness but are more a memoir of how the sausage is made during times of electoral, economic and foreign-policy collapse,” Kamen wrote.
Here’s how Random House describes the book: “Less like Aaron Sorkin’s ‘The West Wing’ and more like NBC’s ‘The Office,’ D.C.’s most prestigious address turned out to be a bizarro world in which the major players were in some ways mirror opposites of their public images.”
“Bizarro world”? I can see why administration officials are sweating.
Was there ever a time when speechwriters didn’t publish tell-all books?
Tell us how you manage unrealistic expectations, meet reporter needs, churn out news when there is none, deal with a client you can't stand, and what you say to people that slam PR. Or anything else that's on your mind.