PulsePoint Group
April 29, 2009

This swine flu stuff is seriously getting out of control. Yes, it’s gone viral.

On Twitter and Google that is. Everywhere you look online, there’s something about the swine flu. And every American with any semblance of a cold is now at home worried about having something far worse, spending all their time online…

Which leads me to today’s big Texas story. University Interscholastic League, UIL, which governs high school sports in the state, has officially postponed baseball, softball, track and other spring sports events until May 11. And here are some of the top search terms on Google Trends:

#2 – swine flu maine

#10 – texas uil

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Andrew Walker, VP of Communications for the Women's Tennis Association, talks about how communications is effectively utilized in the sporting industry.

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It’s that time of year when many publicly held companies are getting out their proxy statements.

This year, the springtime ritual is complicated by last year’s sickening plunge in stock prices. Many companies find themselves sending proxies to anguished investors who lost retirement savings, employees who lost 401k plans and maybe even their jobs, and skeptical media people eager to find the next AIG-like bonus scandal.

Are you ready to explain to these people why the CEO is getting his multimillion dollar compensation package?

If you’re in corporate communications or investor relations for those firms, your task may be further complicated by the fact that the boss’s compensation probably isn’t primarily in the form of salary. Valuing restricted stock and stock options is governed by arcane SEC and FASB accounting rules that may result in proxy disclosures that bear little resemblance to current market values.

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PulsePoint Group
April 20, 2009

Michael Watras, Chairman and CEO of New York branding consultancy Straightline, on major trends in branding.

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Angela A. Buonocore, SVP & CCO at ITT Corporation, on how ITT's communications function is structured to operate globally but exist close to and provide value to individual business units.

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It may be the most embarrassing branding error since GM found out that the Chevy Nova meant “no go” in Latin America.

And it’s a reminder of what happens when clueless people try to use Web 2.0 language because they think it’s cool but have no idea what it means.

Last week, the National Organization for Marriage, a conservative organization opposed to gay marriage, launched a new $1.5 million “Two Million for Marriage” initiative that it dubbed “2M4M,” evidently in an effort to appeal to younger, web-savvy people. (For those of you who are interested, PR Place has the scoop on activist Maggie Gallagher, who is behind this group and a related “Institute.”)

NOM also launched Facebook, MySpace and Twitter accounts, urging supporters to “use those networks and invite your friends.”

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PulsePoint Group
April 13, 2009


In early September 2005, just days after Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans and enacted similar damage on FEMA’s reputation, I moved from Austin to D.C. to heed a call from the White House to serve as the chief speechwriter for FEMA’s newly-appointed director.

Back then, social media was the last thing FEMA was prepared to handle. Today, FEMA is one of many federal agencies using Twitter and other social media channels to reach their customers: taxpayers.

Network World recently reported, “From NASA to the General Services Administration, more federal agencies are embracing Twitter as another Web-based channel to communicate news and engage in conversations with U.S. citizens.” The site also provided 10 tips for early-adopting federal staffers ranging

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A few years ago, I was sitting in the regional office of a senior regulatory official with the FDA. At the time, I was the publisher of Food Chemical News, a regulatory information service that she and many other FDA and USDA officials subscribed to – and, I’m pretty sure, still do.

It wasn’t a sales call, exactly. About 1,000 miles from our home base in Washington, D.C., it was more one of those show-the-flag tours to solidify and, perhaps, expand our relationship with some of our biggest customers. So I asked her why she spent hundreds of dollars a year to subscribe.

“It’s the only way I can find out what’s really going on back at headquarters,” she said.

I was reminded of that conversation when I read media writer Howie Kurz’s recent column in the Washington Post on the

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PulsePoint Group
April 7, 2009

Jon Iwata, SVP Marketing & Communications at IBM, discusses the fundamental difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 and why communications pros are aptly suited for the Web 2.0 environment.

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Originally Published PR Week

Any CCO whose company retains multiple PR firms and is not considering some form of roster consolidation is outside the norm right now. 


This urgent desire to gain stronger control of external business partners does not necessarily mean consolidation to just one global agency. That remains a rarity. 


Why are companies looking at consolidation right now? Well, the problems with the status quo are plentiful: an absence of global integration at a time when many corporate issues are uniquely global; message inconsistency; greater risk to the corporation; too much client time spent on firm management; diffused accountability; an absence of efficiency in idea creation and execution; reduced quality control; potentially reduced market impact; and the total absence of leveraging scale for better pricing.

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