This post originally appeared on PR Breakfast Club on July 12th, 2012.
I’ll admit upfront that the headline here is a bit of a , and that you are probably furious at me right now for having the gall to type such a sentence in light of the Freeh report that was released Thursday morning. We all know the horrific details of the Jerry Sandusky case, and I don’t really have the stomach to list out the rape of each child again. Besides, you’re still pissed at me for writing a headline suggesting Penn State shouldn’t be punished. Consider this for a moment.
Pennsylvania State University didn’t rape those kids, nor did it cover anything up.
Did Penn State President Graham Spanier, Senior VP of Finance and Business Gary Schultz, Athletic Director Tim Curley, and Coach Joe Paterno (along with that monster, Sandusky himself), cover things up? Apply pressure to ensure the institution was protected? Absolutely. Joe Paterno has lost the respect of pretty much everyone in America, and his legacy isn’t tarnished. It is destroyed. These men are complicit in the destruction of the lives of each of Sandusky’s victims. They should all spend a long, long, long, time in prison.
The instant reaction I saw was fairly predictable. It ranged somewhere between burning Penn State to the ground and destroy all known records of its existence and nuking the institution and destroying all known records of its existence. That’s simply not acceptable. And I include the football program in this argument.
We’re talking about of five men that have defiled one of our country’s greatest institutions. Forget about athletics, PSU is one of the leading academic universities in America. Many people want to destroy what millions of people have helped build over the actions of FIVE people. There must be a strong response, but it MUST be targeted. Kill ‘em all is simply a response of anger. Here’s what should happen:
- Penn State will have many lawsuits filed against it, as it should. It will attempt to pay for these with revenues derived from the athletic department. It should not be allowed to do that. Pay out of the endowment or whatever other streams of revenue PSU has access.
- Anyone with a role in the Sandusky scandal should be fired immediately and turned over to authorities. Period. Again, PEOPLE did this. NOT an institution.
- 30-40% of all revenue brought in by Penn State football should be given to charities that deal with sexual abuse/assault of children for the next 15 years. Some will see my opinion as letting PSU off the hook, this helps solve that issue.
As my friend Shelly Kramer points out, it’s likely that more than 5 people covered this up. That’s a very good possibility. To that, I would say each and every one of them need to be prosecuted. The fact that there are still thousands of people at Penn State who had zero part in this cover up lead me to believe that severe sanctions should be placed on PSU, but none that can absolutely cripple it. At that point, we’re punishing Penn State to make ourselves feel better as a society rather than targeting the punishment to where it is deserved. A message must be sent to all institutions of higher learning that they are ultimately responsible to the people they serve. Not to themselves.
There are sexual assault scandals at every university in America. I guarantee it. If we target punishment to individuals, anyone complicit in covering up other scandals at universities receives a much more important message. Your institution will be punished, but you will suffer. You will have your life ripped away from you the same way you’ve ripped away the lives of others. I agree that we need to send a strong message. Just make sure it’s being sent to the right people.
This post originally appeared on PR Breakfast Club on June 21st, 2012.
I’ll warn you now. This is a rant. There’s been a whole batch of stupidity that’s been…upsetting…me lately. I won’t bore you with the entire list, but I finally found an outlet I could unleash this…upsetness (is that a word? I don’t care.) on. Enter CBS Television. Don’t worry. If they somehow came to their senses and took that down, I downloaded it and saved it here.
I know there’s a VERY good chance this is some kind of hoax, but I don’t think that’s the case. I really think CBS is being petty enough to release something that sounds like it was written by a classroom of angry Justin Beiber fans. First of all, the chutzpah they have for being pissed about ABC ripping off a show THEY THEMSELVES RIPPED OFF is amazing. Secondly, it’s reality TV. This is like claiming that someone has stolen your unique blue ink pen. Beyond that, does CBS really think this will win them ANY kind of public sympathy? Apparently. With apologies to Ken Tremendous, let’s break this whole pièce de résistance down Fire Joe Morgan style. My thoughts are in italics.
CBS ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT OF “DANCING ON THE STARS,” AN EXCITING AND COMPLETELY ORIGINAL REALITY PROGRAM THAT OWES ITS CONCEPT AND EXECUTION TO NOBODY AT ALL
In CBS’ world “nobody at all” refers to everyone with good taste in television entertainment.
Los Angeles, June 20, 2012 – Subsequent to recent developments in the creative and legal community, CBS Television today felt it was appropriate to reveal the upcoming launch of an exciting, groundbreaking and completely original new reality program for the CBS Television Network.
For the record, “original” “new” and “reality” should never be mixed together in the same sentence when discussing reality television. It’s kind of like mixing fire and gasoline. Only bad things could happen.
The dazzling new show, DANCING ON THE STARS, will be broadcast live from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, and will feature moderately famous and sort of well-known people you almost recognize competing for big prizes by dancing on the graves of some of Hollywood’s most iconic and well-beloved stars of stage and screen.
So, insulting the memories of some of the must beloved names in entertainment in your petty news release is your way of striking back at ABC? Tell me more of how you spent hours doing Franklin & Bash-esque celebrations after coming up with this idea.
The cemetery, the first in Hollywood, was founded in 1899 and now houses the remains of Andrew “Fatty” Arbuckle, producer Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Paul Muni, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, George Harrison of the Beatles and Dee Dee Ramone of the Ramones, among many other great stars of stage, screen and the music business. The company noted that permission to broadcast from the location is pending, and that if efforts in that regard are unsuccessful, approaches will be made to Westwood Village Memorial Park, where equally scintillating luminaries are interred.
I assume you’ve contacted all the estates of these famous people to ensure you aren’t encroaching on any of their protected names for your new show that only donkeys with an IQ level of negative three billion would consider viewing? Because that would be RIPPING SOMEBODY OFF. Something CBS has NEVER done. Ever. In the history of ever.
“This very creative enterprise will bring a new sense of energy and fun that’s totally unlike anything anywhere else, honest,” said a CBS spokesperson, who also revealed that the Company has been working with a secret team for several months on the creation of the series, which was completely developed by the people at CBS independent of any other programming on the air.
I see we graduated from the University of Run On Sentences. Well played CBS. Well played.
“Given the current creative and legal environment in the reality programming business, we’re sure nobody will have any problem with this title or our upcoming half-hour comedy for primetime, POSTMODERN FAMILY.”
What you did there. I see it. And it is dumb. You’re sounding more and more like the Twitter rabbit hole that is a “Justin Bieber” search.
“After all,” the spokesperson added, “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”
Much in the same manner that people associated with the Columbia Broadcasting System shouldn’t make TV shows or issue fake news releases.
To conclude, I understand this is CBS trying to be funny or clever in response to a legal defeat. The problem is that they put out crappy television and have ripped off about every cop show in the history of the world to build their offerings. It’s the sense of self-righteousness and entitlement that led to this rant. Seriously. When Entertainment Weekly makes fun of your dumb release, you should rethink your decision.
This post first appeared on PR Breakfast Club on June 5th, 2012.
You are a PR firm in Hoboken, New Jersey. You have a snazzy idea to cover “Call Me Maybe” as a recruitment ad for the boon of new college grads in the workforce. At the end of the video, you then insist that they visit your website rather than call your office. And then you disable the comments on the video on YouTube. Methinks you did not think this one through.
We can’t embed the video here due to playback restrictions on YouTube, but you can check it out here.
This post originally appeared on PR Breakfast Club on May 23rd, 2012.
Ever since Howdy Doody showed up in the 1950′s, PR and marketing folks have wanted to know how many people are watching a particular TV show. This sets advertising rates, actor salaries, and a million other things. Most of this is based on the Nielsen ratings, which is possibly the most laughable measurement tool in the history of everything. Nielsen selects a certain amount of people to wire a box to their TV that sends data OVER A PHONE LINE or to keep a journal about what they’ve been watching. Seriously. Starting to understand why CBS cleans up in the ratings? They target older demographics since older demographics are the ones most likely to use a systems like Nielsen. Enter Viggle.
Viggle is an app for iPhone that is a combination of Get Glue and Shazam (or Soundhound). Essentially, Viggle listens to whatever show you’re watching live (or within 24 hours of broadcast), and then rewards you with points after checking in. You get one point for each minute of the show you watch plus any bonus points being awarded for that particular show. Those points can then be redeemed for Amazon gift cards, iTunes gift cards, a Kindle Fire, a MacBook Air, Gap and Old Navy gift cards…the list goes on.
I find this service a far more accurate depiction of television viewership. This is ratings by anyone with this app, not a pre-selected group of people that probably don’t accurate reflect the diversity of the viewing public. It’s really democracy at work in television ratings.
Full disclosure: Viggle did not ask me to write this, nor have I received any compensation for this article. If Viggle approaches me and asks me to use this article to help promote their service, I will sell out in a heartbeat. I have purchased some items through the Viggle rewards program and those transactions have gone very smoothly.
This post originally appeared on PR Breakfast Club on April 2, 2012.
Google announced a new partnership last week with Pandora, the New York Daily News, and several other media companies that could be the death of the model. “Google Consumer Surveys” is a stunningly simple idea. Say you’re surfing the web, and click on a link to a story that would typically be behind a paywall. Rather than pay, you answer a simple marketing question, and as a result are granted access to the article. Google pays the entity five cents for each question answered, which is about $15 per 1,000 pageviews.
I’ve long maintained that sustainable for a magazine or newspaper. Why would that change simply because we’ve moved to a digital model? Take a moment and think about who is clamoring for . Wall Street Journal. New York Times. Essentially, NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES. I bet if you ask Pete Cashmore about putting Mashable content behind a paywall he’ll laugh you out of the building.are a terrible idea and do nothing but drive potential readers elsewhere. The ROI of putting your content behind a paywall is far less than charging appropriate advertising rates on your site, or other inventive ideas. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself why newspapers and magazines have sold ads since time began. It’s not because they’re looking for filler. The subscription price has never been
In the new economy, I believe personal information that a company can use to market to a person is far more valuable than the $50 a year you can squeeze out of them for a subscription. A small tidbit about a person may be able to sell them hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars worth of product rather than getting $50. Google’s “Consumer Survey” is a creative way to both be paid for each visit and to collect valuable information to sell to readership. This is the beginning of the end for .
P.S. For a really fun laugh as to why flickr stream and look at the first comment.are ridiculous, visit that