September 25, 2022

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

Radio Roundtable: SOPA, Politico/FB partner for analysis, and Gawker’s PR Dummies

Radio Roundtable: SOPA, Politico/FB partner for analysis, and Gawker’s PR Dummies

This week, Sarah Santucci and I discuss the PR and communications strategies and tactics surrounding the SOPA/PIPA blackout effort, Politico has teamed up with Facebook for campaign analysis, and Gawker highlights some bad PR pitches–will they ever run out of material?


This week’s show is 29 minutes long.

  • First, we discuss the PR and communications lessons from the online “blackout” protest opposing the SOPA/PIPA bills. Sarah agrees with Neville’s headline that “Hollywood had Chris Dodd and a press release, Silicon Valley had Facebook.” The interests supporting the bills had a long history of lobbying efforts and a simple message on their side. The uphill battle on this issue was clearly on the part of the web companies that opposed the legislation. By using a combination of humor and a very attention-getting tactic of blacking out some popular sites, Silicon Valley was successful–extremely successful–in channeling opposition to the bills directly to Congress. I wonder if it’s a once-in-a-lifetime tactic. Clearly, coordinating the effort across multiple sites isn’t something that can happen often, but typically when one meets with this kind of success the desire to replicate it is strong.
  • Next, we talk about Politico’s decision to team up with Facebook to provide analysis for the 2012 election cycle. We both agree that this is an interesting way to examine opinion data, but also agree that sentiment analysis of Facebook status updates probably isn’t going to yield much good information–there’s just too much sarcasm and irony present. Additionally, supporters of President Obama rooting for whomever they believe is the weakest candidate would be counted as positives–which is hardly accurate. Still, with opinion polling changing, it will be fascinating to watch and see what data this type of analysis will yield.
  • Finally, we talk about Gawker’s post titled “Let us all come together to improve the PR industry through ridicule.” Sarah notes that bad pitches are hardly something new, after all the Bad Pitch blog has been around for…around six years or so? (Wow!) Still, the bad pitches, they keep on coming. The Gawker entry is barely a pitch at all, it really seems to be thrown together without much technique. Basically, Gawker was right to call out this bad pitch, but it’s notable that it certainly received far more play this way. Sarah wonders if the whole thing was staged. She’s a net-cynic like that.
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About The Author

Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the Director of Marketing Communications for CARMA. She is also the founder of 4L Strategies, and has worked in communications and public affairs for more than 20 years. Her background includes work in politics, government, lobbying, public affairs PR, content creation, and digital and social communications and media analysis.

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