Monday, April 30, 2012

The reality of women's issues

Posted by Robyn Ungar
BABY ON THE WAY: Rancic has become
a spokeswoman for women's issues
Today's topic on GThink: "Giuliana Rancic: Baby On The Way Via Surrogate For E! Host, Husband," covered by The Huffington Post.

Abstract: Giuliana Rancic, host of E! News and reality TV star, and her husband announced that they're having a baby via a gestational carrier on Monday. Rancic was diagnosed with breast cancer after undergoing two unsuccessful rounds of IVF in an attempt to get pregnant, and chose to have a double mastectomy after receiving the cancer diagnosis. The Rancics have chosen to live their lives in the public eye, and this news comes as a big and happy surprise to their supporters.

The takeaway: Companies' traditional approach of using celebrity endorsements to create a face for their brand is being turned on its head. Strong women journalists are increasingly sharing their personal stories on air, and as a result, raising awareness for issues and causes close to them. This is creating new opportunities for companies to save their pay-for-play dollars and instead form marketing partnerships with journalists and other media personalities who are organically aligning themselves with companies' narratives.

That's what G thinks. What do you think?

Monday, April 23, 2012

On races run long ago and lessons learned at Penn

Posted by Greg Matusky
RACES REMEMBERED: Penn Relays
of the past come into view this week
I don't often wander off the topic of public relations and communications on Gregarious. But hey, it's been a long winter, and here in Philadelphia it's a special week. Penn Relay week, a time when the track nation comes together to renew old acquaintances, lie about times long since run, and celebrate the magic of young muscles still supple and twitching with speed.

In high school, I ran Penn every year, among seas of young kids, all anxious and eager, naive in our belief that our race held some greater meaning than that of the 20,000 other contestants. We readied ourselves in long lines that stretched out marathon doors onto Philly's busy city streets. Stressing, hoping, praying that our run would end quickly and the pain would be lessened by the eyes upon us. It never was.

I ran just fast enough that the school itself took pity on me. Penn recruited me to run against the ancient brick walls of Franklin Field. And while I never competed as strongly or valiantly as I could or should have, I never forgot those races. And I trail back every April to reconvene. At the relays. On sun-drenched, brilliant days. Along with some 45,000 frothy track fans who obsess over the simplest of sports, where victory comes to someone whose only talent is placing one foot in front of the other.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

On fake indignation and how the media fall prey

Posted by Greg Matusky
Or how to funnel indignation for the good of a company, crisis, or cause

BAITED: Media are hooked by Nugent
and Rosen's political polo play
The Secret Service needs to visit Ted Nugent, file charges, and lock him up for suggesting that a second term Obama Administration will either get him killed or put him in jail. Hilary Rosen has defamed every woman in America by saying that Ann Romney “never worked a day in her life” for choosing to be a stay-at-home mom.

The season of indignation is upon us, and the media are once again falling prey to the feigned outrage and hyperbolic horse hockey bred during the political season. Let’s face it. Nothing that Ted Nugent has ever said or done has ever deserved a download on Spotify, let alone front page coverage in The Washington Post. But Wango Tango, he spouts off his big mouth at the NRA convention and suddenly Ted becomes a dangerous man and symbol of right wing ignorance.

Let me share a little secret. Ted has always been a symbol of ignorance. I mean, it’s not like “Yank Me, Crank Me” or “Cat Scratch Fever” was “Blood on the Tracks.” Ted was a joke in the 70s, a joke when he fronted Damn Yankees, and a joke on every one of his cancelled TV reality shows, all based on Ted’s love for fresh kills.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

JOBS Act leads the way for hedge fund managers to speak out on strategy and structure

Posted by Joe Anthony
Today's topic on GThink: "Sidebar Measure in JOBS Act Opens Door for Hedge Funds to Tell Their Story to the Masses," covered by Reuters.

Abstract: On Thursday of last week, President Obama signed into law the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, a measure largely touted as a sign of support for small businesses and innovative companies. Tucked into the legislation is a change in the law governing how hedge funds can advertise and promote themselves. The Securities Act of 1933 made it impermissible for hedge funds to advertise, and now, nearly 80 years later, that barrier has been lifted.

HEDGE FUNDS: Coming to an ad near you
The takeaway: The JOBS Act opens the door for hedge fund firms to explicitly publicize their funds. As a result, we expect to see more managers capitalize on this opportunity and engage the press. Household names like David Einhorn, Steven A. Cohen, and John Paulson will see more of their peers competing for face time with CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and The Wall Street Journal. Managers will be communicating their value and articulating their strategies, which can help hedge funds overcome the stigma of operating in the shadows of the investment business.

That's what G thinks. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

JOBS Act raises money, raises risk for IR pros

Posted by Joe Hassett
THE JOBS ACT: Good for crooks or good for you?
Today's topic on GThink: "JOBS Act Jeopardizes Safety Net for Investors," covered by The New York Times.

Abstract: On Thursday, President Obama will sign into law the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act that is intended to help startups raise money and go public. However, Andrew Sorkin at The New York Times thinks the legislation does not go far enough to protect would-be investors from fraudulent startups. He points to Groupon's recent IPO, which saw success on its opening day, but has since slumped as the company revised its revenue numbers and failed to prove how they create value.

The takeaway: Over the past two decades, we’ve seen a fragmentation of the traditional investor market for startups. This ranges from large, professional investment firms to angel investor groups, and now to the man-on-the-street investor, as proposed in the JOBS Act. This is both good and bad for investor relations professionals. We find ourselves faced with a tremendous new audience looking for interesting investment stories, but who might have limited investment experience. As IR professionals, it’s our job to find ways to communicate with these individuals. Done with full disclosure and transparency, you’ll establish trust and credibility, which would provide some of the protection Mr. Sorkin rails about. The challenge: How do we do that? It’s a question that IR continues to wrestle with in this age of social media and, now, crowd funding investments and investors.

That's what G thinks. What do you think?
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