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The PR / advertising disconnect

I know I tend to spend all my rant power on broken media models, but I’ve had reason lately to ponder the relationship between PR and advertising.
PR people wonder why there’s sometimes resentment towards them from media folk — I don’t think it is actually because of anything PR professionals do per se, but rather because of the utter disconnect between most businesses public relations and advertising. And I don’t think it is generally front-of-mind for most media companies because of the church-state separation. But as someone who lives in both worlds, I’ve found myself seething lately over repeated scenarios like this: Keep Reading

Stuff Journalists (apparently don't) Like: The Chinese Wall

Note: I’ve recently become a fan of the blog Stuff Journalists Like, a different twist on the style of blog started by Stuff White People Like. I submitted the following piece to them, and after more than a week of complete radio silence (during which they posted several other items), I inquired and got a polite response that they didn’t think it fit their vibe. So, I inflict it on you here:
#66: The Chinese Wall
“The Chinese Wall” is a construct by which journalists have long convinced themselves (and only themselves) that they are immune to the vagaries of advertising and corporate management. Referring to the Great Wall of China, it gives a sense of complete separation with the added bonus of sounding vaguely culturally insensitive when uttered in the patois of a crusty Lou Grant figure. It also avoids the even more problematic and provincial “church and state” analogy also used to describe the same phenomenon. Keep Reading

Required reading: The Wizard of Ads

The Wiz
The Wiz

I’m usually leery when sales managers recommend reading — it’s typically brainless, feel-good plucky crap designed to motivate the unmotivated. So when our last sales manager pointed me at the Monday Morning Memo by Roy H. Williams, a self-styled “Wizard of Ads,” my eyes almost rolled out of my head.
But week in and week out, Williams’ missives are the most consistently insightful thing I read. He’s a master of human psychology and counter-intuitive wisdom. I generally find myself agreeing with him on some concept or other that hadn’t ocurred to me before: Take for example this week’s study of how most marketing is geared towards extraverts while alienating introverts.
If you become a regular reader, don’t miss the “rabbit hole,” which is an Easter Egg hidden in every issue. Click on the lead photo (and each subsequent one that appears) and you’ll be taken down some other, unrelated road. This week’s, for instance, is a series of thoughts, photos and videos on Audrey Hepburn.
I never thought I’d find a truly literate writer focused on sales, but Roy’s the real deal. You’re cheating yourself if your don’t sign up for his weekly email or subscribe to his podcast.

Was Simpsons' genius skewering of Apple an advertising D'oh?

"Look! It's so sterile!"
"Look! It's so sterile!"

Whether you’re an Apple fanboy (like me) or a hater, you had to enjoy the skewering delivered by The Simpsons last night. It was some of the sharper satire we’ve seen out of the show in a while. (See video clips after the jump).
But for all the merriment rampant in Apple’s Mac/PC ad campaigns, Steve Jobs isn’t known for his sense of humor on such matters. Especially when the first ad of the first commercial break was for the MacbookKeep Reading

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