‘The week in PR’ is a look at all the top stories in public relations as reported by the media. Leading the news this week is the PR activity surrounding the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, silly (and cringe-worthy) Valentine’s Day press releases, a massive PR fail by fashion house Valentino, as well as the latest movements, account wins and commentary from the world of PR.
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Leading the news
Sochi PR extravaganza via The Daily Star
The opening of the Sochi Winter Olympics on Friday was a predictably extravagant affair, launching the most expensive event in sports history, at a cost of $50 billion.
Channel 4 rebrands to back gay rights by Mark Sweney via The Guardian
Channel 4 has rebranded its on-screen logo with rainbow colours of the gay pride flag – and launched a TV ad campaign called “Gay Mountain” – joining the rising wave of protests about Russia’s anti-gay laws.
Silly Valentine’s Day press releases via Telegraph Travel
The lengths to which travel companies will go to use Valentine’s Day to sell their wares and services. The article lists some of the weirdest, most cringe-worthy – and inventive – press releases sent to Telegraph Travel.
Police union sacks PR chief who challenged culture of ‘bullying and expenses abuse’ by Chris Greenwood via The Daily Mail
A whistleblower has been sacked after challenging the rampant spending culture within the Police Federation.
Fiona McElroy said she fell foul of a vocal minority after asking ‘difficult questions’ over ‘acts of bullying, inappropriate behaviours and attitudes’.
The former senior Whitehall civil servant was brought in to help modernise the press office of the ‘police union’, but was sacked by officials just three months into her role.
Valentino apologizes for insensitive PR release about Amy Adams’ handbag as she attended Philip Seymour Hoffman’s wake by The Associated Press and Alex Greig via The Daily Mail
The fashion house Valentino has apologized for touting in an email blast to journalists that one of their pricey bags was carried by Amy Adams as she stepped from a car at the wake of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Much was made of the promotional email sent Friday, complete with two photos of Adams outside the Thursday wake.
America the Beautiful in Arabic? Coca-Cola takes a chance with its Superbowl ad by Noel Young via The Drum
You wouldn’t think that you could get into trouble with an ad in which youngsters sing America the Beautiful. But Coke has with its Superbowl ad — “America the Beautiful” sung in seven languages —including Arabic, Hindi and Mandarin.
It has stirred “serious anger among conservative pundits and viewers,” AdAge records, generating reactions including the hashtag #BoycottCoke, which trended on Twitter immediately after the game.
Pitch wins and movements
Blue Rubicon acquires UK public affairs firm Open Road by Arun Sudhaman via The Holmes Report
Blue Rubicon is to acquire UK public affairs firm Open Road, as it looks to broaden its policy capabilities across international markets.
The deal sees Blue Rubicon acquire 100% of Open Road, which was founded in 2007 and had grown to a fee income of $3.7m by 2012. That number has since increased by a further 15% to more than $4m for its current financial year.
In his role at Edelman, Grégoire will be responsible for developing international brands and positioning digital as a core consumer engagement driver among clients. He will also be responsible for developing and leading the digital teams across the European and computer information systems (CIS) network. He will report in to Michael Stewart, CEO, Europe and CIS.
Aspectus PR appoints new senior account executive by Priyanka Dayal via Cision UK
Aspectus PR has appointed Rosie Williams to the role of senior account executive within its energy and events PR practices.
Based in the agency’s London office, Rosie is expected to play a key role in supporting and developing the team’s client base.
Stephen Waddington: ‘It’s time for PRs to be taken seriously’ by Priyanka Dayal via Cision UK
In a two part interview with Cision, Stephen Waddington, digital and social media director for Ketchum’s European operations and president of the CIPR, explains how a Chartered status holds the key to a PR’s place in the boardroom and reveals some of the hottest PR trends for 2014.
Traditional PR hasn’t changed; It has competition from social media by David Libby via Business2Community.com
‘As all communications firms are trying to sell social media marketing and public relations services, neither is mutually exclusive nor has changed the other. Social media, put simply, has opened new doors of communications for public relations and marketing professionals. Traditional PR hasn’t changed. It has competition.’
Police PR drama Babylon: the verdict from a real police comms chief via by Amanda Coleman via PR Week
Amanda Coleman, director of corporate communications at Greater Manchester Police, reviews the pilot episode of Babylon, the latest TV show to portray the inside workings of a high-pressure comms operation.