28 janvier 2005

Payola scandal continues

Two items today:

USA Today
reports that PR spending doubled from Clinton's second term to Bush's first term.

Key parts of the article:
The Bush administration has more than doubled its spending on outside contracts with public relations firms during the past four years, according to an analysis of federal procurement data by congressional Democrats.

The administration spent at least $88 million in fiscal 2004 on contracts with major public relations firms, the analysis found, compared with $37 million in 2001, Bush's first year in office. In all, the administration spent $250 million on public relations contracts during its first term, compared with $128 million spent for President Clinton between 1997 and 2000. The analysis did not examine what the Clinton administration spent during its first term.
Now we already knew that Armstrong Williams was shilling to promote the No Child Left Behind program and that syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher accepted payments while writing several columns in support of the president's marriage initiative.

Also, thanks to Salon, we learn (free Site Pass necessary) that Michael McManus, author of the syndicated column "Ethics & Religion," received $10,000 to promote a marriage initiative.
Salon has confirmed that Michael McManus, a marriage advocate whose syndicated column, "Ethics & Religion," appears in 50 newspapers, was hired as a subcontractor by the Department of Health and Human Services to foster a Bush-approved marriage initiative. McManus championed the plan in his columns without disclosing to readers he was being paid to help it succeed.
This whole thing is sullying both the PR and media industries. We have to keep looking into this.

27 janvier 2005

Les Bloggies 2005

Les nominations pour les Bloggies 2005 ont été rendues publiques hier.

Bacon and Eh's, photojunkie, marmalade.ca, The Adventures of Accorion Guy in the 21st Century et chromewaves.net sont les nominés dans la catégorie Best Canadian Blogs.

26 janvier 2005

Loïc Le Meur blogs and wikis (!) about Davos

SixApart's Loïc Le Meur set up a wiki listing bloggers blogging both from Davos and Porto Allegre.

The Davos official blog is here. Porto Alegre's site is here.

The Internet as a tool for terrorism and/or democracy

Octavio Isaac Rojas Orduña tells us about a conference covering Terrorism, Democracy and the Internet in his latest post (translated to English by Google's translation tool here)

Sounds interesting.

24 janvier 2005

Randy's Blog

Open letter to Randy Baseler, VP of Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, who has started something called Randy's Blog

That thing you're publishing isn't a blog. In addition to what Matt Rosenberg (and his commentors) write, may I mention RSS?

You see Randy, I won't be getting to read your prose since I won't be checking out your site every day. I need a way to subscribe to your thing.

If you had comments on your site, I'd have left my suggestion there. If you put up your email address, I could have contacted you that way. Even a phone number would have worked.

Anyways, if you want to add to this discussion, go to my comments or call me at (514) 244-5228 (that's my cell) or email me at msnyder@total.net.


Thanks to Steve Rubel writing for WebProNews.

21 janvier 2005

Jay Rosen versus PR Bloggers

NYU's Jay Rosen accuses "PR bloggers" for what he calls "missing in action" in the Armstrong Williams/Ketchum/Department of Education (DoE) scandal.
Julia Hood, editor in chief of PR Week, a trade journal that exploded with Ketchum news this week, wrote on Monday that the Ketchum case "reinforces many of the worst perceptions of the industry and has potential to permanently link the specter of propaganda with the communications profession in the minds of the public." She added, "This is an extraordinarily dismal situation."

Dismal, yes--also incredible--but somehow nearly invisible to PR bloggers, who, aside from a few mentions here and there, have neglected this juicy and far-reaching story. The one exception was Jeremy Pepper's blog, with three posts that counted. He showed up, along with one blogger who is also a player in the industry.
In that last sentence, Rosen is refering to Richard Edelman, who did condemn the whole situation, twice.

Here's my take on it: Rosen should have called out our associations, not the bloggers.

Here's why:
And there may be others.

So. What's the takeaway for PR bloggers?
  1. Some of us should have reacted to this issue. Myself included.
  2. Our associations have been silent/obtuse on this issue.
What's the takeaway for Mr. Rosen?
  1. A Technorati search is not sufficient research.
  2. Maybe an update/correction to that first post is in order?
Update: I also missed News Blog / iPressroom. Sorry, no permalinks. Check the January 17th story.

Update 2: I also missed Mediopolis's post on this subject.

20 janvier 2005

Some tips from B.L. Ochman

B.L. sometimes gets on my nerves. Her post yesterday on How to Write Killer Blog Posts and More Compelling Comments is right on the money.


13 janvier 2005

The "Dave Winer/Yahoo problem"

Dave Winer proposes a "single way to subscribe to (RSS) feeds that's vendor-neutral." He doesn't like the multiple "subscribe to this" buttons and the fact that Yahoo! is taking the lead on this.

In his answer to Susan Mernit's comment, Dave says:

Yahoo is trying to be that (the central feed vendor), and if successful, (will) lock all other vendors out.

Dave, since when could anyone "lock all other vendors out" on the Net?

Dave's proposal is here. You can imagine that Jeremy Zawodny, Yahoo's blogging evangelist, doesn't agree.

11 janvier 2005

Nortel Finally Files Updated Financial Statements

I wrote about this in November: Nortel hadn't refiled their financials statements but were launching a "branding initiative."

Well, that situation has finally been updated by this morning filing of their 2003 financial statements.

One interesting tidbit:
twelve senior executives of Nortel’s core executive leadership team have voluntarily undertaken to pay to the Company over a three year period the amount of their Return to Profitability bonuses awarded in 2003 (net of tax withheld at source)
The webcast is here as well a whole bunch of other info.