Father’s day tribute: Edward Bernays “The Father of Public Relations”

By | Events, PR Tips

By Lauren Barnard

It’s almost Father’s Day, so we figured we should tip our hats in respect to one of the key founding fathers of public relations, Edward Bernays, who has been credited for founding and naming our profession.

In 1923, Bernays authored the first public relation book, titled “Crystallizing Public Opinion.” This book presented the profession as socially valuable and necessary in society.

We found a copy of the book, which reads as a passionate creed and constitution of what high hopes Bernays had for the field of public relations, and although some of the ideas are dated, we found a few snippets that still hold value in the field today.


 “The social value of the public relations counsel lies in the fact that he brings to the public facts and ideas of social utility which would not so readily gain acceptance otherwise.”


2011 Translation: Bernays believed that public relations should be a profession that serves the public ideas and facts that are useful. If we think about the most successful PR pitches we deliver to reporters, they almost always have an angle that provides utility to the publication’s readers, even if it’s something the reader had not previously known about.


The public relations practitioner…

“must be able to generalize, as far as possible, from these points of view in order to strike upon the appeal or group of appeals which will be influential with as many sections of society as possible”


2011 Translation: The best client PR campaigns should carry the ability to pique the interest of any targeted party, so long as the party’s needs are understood first. If a PR person knows what each section of a particular society needs, a PR practitioner can fine-tune client messaging to appeal to everyone.



“Therefore, the public relations counsel must maintain an intense scrutiny of his actions, avoiding propagation of unsocial or otherwise harmful movements or ideas.”


2011 Translation: Basically, public relations shall maintain an ethical profession that does not promote harmful movements or ideas. This makes me think of the film, “Thank You for Smoking.” Unfortunately PR does exist for harmful industries, but I’m sure when Bernays wrote this, no one knew how harmful cigarettes even were.

Bernays concludes “Crystallizing Public Opinion” with this hopeful line: “It is in the creation of a public conscience that the counsel on public relations is destined, I believe, to fulfill his highest usefulness to the society in which he lives.”

I think that for the most part, we would have made our founding father proud.

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After 100 Years celebrating women internationally, are Men and Women Treated Equally in the PR Field?

By | Announcements, Events

By Roberto Araujo

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the International Women’s Day. Our field of public relations is practically filled with great women of all ages, races and sexual orientations. In fact, according to PRSA , 70% of PR professionals are women. Yes, this figure is an excellent indicator of the female dominance, but why is there still a gap between men and women salaries in public relations and other female dominated fields?

In an article “In PR, Women Outnumber Men But Men Still Earn More” posted by Media Bistro, show how there are many inequalities and in fact 80 percent of the top management is male. Meanwhile, the same article points out that “some [women] are making a concerted effort to recruit men.” This is definitely interesting considering female empowerment is still on the rise; however, this shows that there’s still some resistance and it comes from “her” side.

Another recent study posted on shows that the gap increases from a lower level PR position to a more managerial position from 3% – 21% per gap.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics revealed some interesting data on women in the workplace. Here are the highlights:

  • By 2018, the number of women age 65 to 74 in the civilian labor force is projected to increase more than the number of women in any other age group.
  • In 2010, over 66 percent of women in the labor force had either attended some college or graduated with a degree.
  • In 2009, only a few countries (notably Canada and Sweden) had higher labor force participation rates for women than the United States.
  • In 2010, more women were employed in the education and health services industry than in any other industry; in the 1960s, manufacturing employed the most women.
  • Women working as personal financial advisors earn 58 percent of what men earn—lower than the overall ratio of women’s to men’s earnings (81 percent).
  • When they were 23 years old, about 23 percent of young women held a bachelor’s degree (or higher), compared with about 14 percent of young men.
  • Single women spend about 25 percent of their annual expenditures on shelter.

It is still evident that the differences of salaries among men and women are shrinking, yet still not equal. Much more effort and support from feminist groups and non-feminist women will be needed to close this unfair gap. Today, being Women’s Day, we should recognize and appreciate the efforts made by exemplar women in history as Susan B. Anthony, Mother Theresa, or even the women who recently marched at the Egyptian protest, those in the military and our own mothers.

Get Ready for GDC 2011

By | Events, Gaming

What you need to see at this year’s Game Developer’s Conference:

By Matt Sarrel
Just in case you didn’t know, this year’s GDC takes place at the Moscone Center from Monday, March 28 to Friday March 4th, 2011.  This is the most well attended (and useful) conference for game developers every year and this year a few special things are taking place that I’m really looking forward to.  In addition to private play sessions, exhibitor meetings, and parties, there are some great tutorials on the discipline-specific schedule in programming, design, art, audio, business and management, and production.

– In his first-ever major North American appearance, Access Games‘ Hidetaka ‘Swery’ Suehiro will present a talk on his work making the cult console title Deadly Premonition, explaining “his unique method of architecting games” with reference to the open world horror survival game . The in-depth talk, which will be simultaneously translated from Swery’s native Japanese, “touches upon the 7 points to check if your game’s storyline might already be dead”, also focusing on the detail and interactivity which contributed to the Deadly Premonition experience – one which I thought was essentially a cool story and concept that was poorly implemented (poor camera angles and video quality).

Another lecture that sounds good is ‘Prototype through Production: ProGuitar in Rock Band 3′, presented by Harmonix’s Jason Booth and Sylvain Dubrofsky.  The focus of this talk is how to go from concept to product, specifically “how do you go from an insane idea like ‘Lets teach non-guitarists how to play a real guitar in Rock Band 3?’ to a product in 20 months?’  They “will detail the process used to rapidly prototype this concept and evaluate ideas, through initial prototypes to user testing and final production”, revealing how the team “applied traditional game-play metaphors and techniques to the process of teaching” along the way.

Folks from Pixar are giving several talks, including, ‘Story Images and Character Arcs’, from the Bay Area animation company’s Matthew Luhn, who will discuss “how you can unlock forgotten images and memories to inspire new stories and characters”  and “why, or why not, you may need a character arc for your characters, and if so, how to create successful character arcs to compliment your stories”, using the new toys from Pixar’s Toy Story 3 to demonstrate the use of character arcs, and break down the inspiration behind the new toys.

I always find the postmortem lectures really interesting.  These go into deep detail about games that have already come out and what worked and what didn’t work as far as the project was concerned.  As someone who has run his fair share of software development projects, learning how to run a more efficient project is always key for success.  There’s a bunch of AI related lectures that I want to hit also, plus a few lectures about games and health (either health effect or games used to improve health).  That’s always been a fascinating topic for me personally as I started my career doing IT in a medical research setting, and at one point worked with publishers to donate Nintendo GBA and DS games to help kids relax while getting cancer treatment and dialysis.  It’s a great topic because it smacks all the game-haters right in the face to see the good we can do as a community.



By | Events, PR Tips

By Matt Sarrel

RSA 2011 is right around the corner and most, if not all, security companies are in full overdrive preparing for the show.  Despite the fact that I think otherwise, this is the one week a year when security is sexy.  News reporters, bloggers, and analysts flock to beautiful Moscone Center in San Francisco to find out what is new in the wild world of security.  How can you make sure that your efforts to capture eyeballs will bear fruit for your company?

As a journalist (10 years with, 3 with, 2 with CIOUpdate, 1 with GigaOM), I’ve seen just about every attention getting tactic on earth.  And to tell you the truth, the more complex the tactic the less useful the meeting.  The guiding principle should be that journalists are rushed for time and you need to provide them with the information they need fast.

My biggest tip is NEVER hand a journalist a printed press kit.  This will end up right in the garbage can across the aisle from your booth.  I have enough to sift through and carry around that I really don’t want your printed press kit.  Besides, do you think I’m going to throw out some shwag so I can carry your folder?  Not!  Put the press kit on a USB memory key with your logo on it.  Now the journalist gets something of value that’s easy to carry.

An often overlooked resource is the press room and the online press center.  Distribute news through these channels.  Last week there was not a single vendor related press release up on the Virtual Press Center.  Could it be that no one wants to get my attention?

When booking meetings, understand a journalist’s coverage area, what he/she has written about before, how he’s covering the show, and whether the article will be a blurb in a blog or a fully crafted article for print.  Remember, you are there to meet our needs, not vice versa. For example,  I can guarantee you that you’re going to have the shortest meeting of your life if you thank me and PC World (who I have never written for) for meeting with you.

Speaking of meetings, it would be a good idea to prepare.  Have the journalists picture and read some of his relevant articles.  This way when I walk up to your booth you recognize me and we’re ready to go.  Be respectful of a journalist’s time and fatigue.  That should be your guiding principle.  Between pounding the show floor for 8 hours a day for a week and going to all the cocktail hours, dinners, and after parties, the VP of Marketing who pulls up a chair for me and hands me a bottle of water truly separates himself from the others.

During the meeting, pay attention to the journalist.  Don’t just drone on and on and on and on, oh, I got lost there.  Following your powerpoint or reading your press release to me isn’t going to help you get coverage.  You could have emailed those to me before the show.  Pay attention to body language.  Is the journalist taking notes?  If she seems checked out, then maybe suggest a follow up call for the week after the show.

One final bit of advice – don’t stalk journalists.  You know what I’m talking about.  We get a little red ribbon on our badges that says we’re press.  So there’s always some eager beaver PR guy who stands in the main entrance and essentially attacks every red ribbon wearing member of the press as we enter the exhibit floor.  No means no.  I have a strict timetable to adhere to – usually on the order of 60-70 half hour meetings over the course of the week – and you’re not going to get a positive reaction from me if you slow me down.  I once even went so far as to shove an insistent pitcher out of my way (it reminded me of the scene in Airplane where he can’t walk through the airport because the Hari Krishnahs are swarming him).    To be fair, this isn’t always a bad tactic, just be polite about it.

Just remember, in the words of Alexander Graham Bell, “before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

The Current Role of PR at the Super Bowl

By | Events, PR Tips, Social Media

By Lauren Barnard

The Super Bowl game always conjures discussion on the relationship between the leading teams and their players. Who will fumble, who will make a touchdown, and of course, who will be named champion?

But since we’re innately PR-obsessed at LMGPR, we’ve begun to analyze a deeper relationship that occurs on Super Bowl Sunday (and has potential to last through the entire year following the event): the relationship between Super Bowl commercials and public relations.

Can the Super Bowl commercials of large companies effectively stand on their own without the help of PR? The fact is, they probably used to. But social media is changing the playing field.

For instance, Coca Cola is using strategic PR to create anticipation about its 2011 Super Bowl commercial by offering a short sneak preview to its 22,000,000+ fans on Facebook. The caveat (or incentive) is that fans must visit to make a virtual “cheers.” Then the company will donate $1 to the participating fan’s local Boys and Girls club. What Coke will likely get in return is its outrageously large slew of social-networking active fans to create a seemingly viral hype about the commercials. A total win-win.

Snickers is also offering a preview of its 2011 Super Bowl commercial through its Facebook page. The candy bar company is offering fans a sweepstakes-style prize incentive if they watch the preview, in hopes that they will share it through social media outlets and build anticipation among more viewers.

After the Super Bowl is over, social networks serve as a perfect setting for discussion, critiques and laughs about the commercials. Through this, the life of the expensive commercial advertisements gets extended in a measurable way.

Do you think social networks are effective approaches to the PR behind Super Bowl commercials? Which commercials are you most looking forward to on Sunday?

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Leading Influencers Share Thoughts on Video and Social CRM

By | Events

Earlier this week, LMGPR hosted a dinner with clients – ViVu and Lingotek – and two well-known influencers; Tom Foremski of Silicon Valley Watcher and Ryan Lawler, blogger for GigaOm.

We were excited to talk about all of the acquisitions happening in tech today, crowdsourcing and social CRM industries, what’s happening in the world of videoconferencing and, last but not least, Tom’s love for suvee cooking at Ame restaurant in the St. Regis Hotel.

Tom exchanged industry insights with ViVu CEO Sudha Valluru about the potential of video on the iPad. Ryan, who recently re-located from New York, spoke with Lingotek CEO Rob Vandenberg and VP of Product Marketing Calvin Scharffs about Lingotek’s spot in the up and coming crowdsourcing market – and why big enterprises like Novell and Adobe are benefiting from inside language translation solutions. The dinner sparked discussion, new connections, and even friendship as clients ViVu and Lingotek, based in Utah, were able to meet in person for the first time. Lingotek, having used ViVu’s Vu Room for interviews, had the chance to give Sudha first hand feedback from a user perspective.

The night was a success!  It was great to have Tom and Ryan on board to get the deep expertise we need, and we’re looking forward to more events in the future where we can help introduce our clients and influencers in the media.

LMGPR Industry Dinner Event at Streaming Media West

By | Events

The Loughlin/Michaels Group (LMGPR) recently hosted an industry dinner event following Streaming Media West on Tuesday November 17th at Il Fornaio in downtown San Jose. The event consisted of appetizers, wine and beer in the Sainte Claire hotel lobby and followed with a full dinner (including dessert!) in the wine room at Il Fornaio. The guests included various industry experts, analysts and media. Our client Ankeena Networks also attended the event and is exhibiting at Streaming Media West in booth #419. The evening was quite the success; guests enjoyed great food and good conversation. We were happy that everyone had a fabulous time and look forward to planning our next LMGPR event. Check out some pictures from the evening below!

LMGPR Attends FWE&E Annual Achievement Awards Dinner

By | Events

FWE&ELast night LMGPR had the honor of attending the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs & Executives (FWE&E) Annual Awards Dinner honoring Padmasree Warrior, CTO of Cisco as the 2009 Annual Achievement Award Winner. With her many successes, both professionally and personally, Padmasree was selected by FWE&E as this year’s winner because she illustrates the qualities and diversity of women leaders who continue to inspire us on a daily basis.

The theme for the evening was “Pearls of Wisdom” and the event commemorated a year-long campaign for FWE&E to honor the amazing experienced women leaders who make up the organization’s membership. With more than 550 women and men in attendance at the Hotel Sofitel in Redwood Shores, the evening included dinner, a very touching video from Padmasree’s colleagues, family and friends, and a beautiful acceptance speech from Padmasree herself.

A few of the most memorable pearls of the event, besides the beautiful Tiffany’s multi-strand freshwater pearl necklace presented to Padmasree, were the “pearls of wisdom” shared among FWE&E members, including:

Wisdom is garnered at the most unexpected moments in life.” – Padmasree Warrior

Never lose site of your goals, but remember to take time and enjoy the journey!” – Jacqueline Akerblom, Grant Thornton

We are touched by Padmasree’s accomplishments. What struck us most is her incredible warmth and approachability. Congratulations, Padmasree, and we’re glad we were able to join on FWE&E’s celebration!

The Power of the Internet

By | Blog, Events

What if I told you the Internet could fly you to Hawaii… for free? You probably wouldn’t believe me but it’s true. On a daily basis we use the Internet for many different usages including: research, communicating through email and instant messaging, social media, news distribution, and blogging. The Internet can do a lot of things, but can it fly two people on a free vacation to Hawaii? Yes it can.

Back in February of this year, my mother found an online contest being put on by the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau called “A Thousand Reasons to Smile.” She sent me the information about the contest and told me I should enter. Of course I disregarded the contest with what I’m sure most of you would say “no one every wins those things…” but after much convincing I decided to enter the contest and see what would happen. The contest consisted of me submitting a picture of myself smiling (hence the “thousand reasons to smile” part). After submitting my picture and giving some basic information (where I am from, my age, ect.), I had to choose a picture of Hawaii from a list of photos they had on their website and I had to give one sentence on why I liked the picture. Of course being a working PR professional, I thought of the cheesiest thing I could think of and wrote it down. That was it.

A few months later, I received an email stating that I was a finalist in the competition and that my individual picture was featured on the website. I went to the website, and there I was, with about a thousand other pictures of other people who had entered. Immediately I thought there was no chance I would win, look at all of the other contestants, not to mention no one ever wins these things right? Well a few months after that I received an email from the Hawaii Visitors and Conventions Bureau stating that I was in fact the winner of the “A Thousand Reasons to Smile” contest and I had won a trip to Maui, Hawaii. The trip consisted of free airfare for two, free hotel room for two at the Sheraton Maui for five days and four nights and a free helicopter tour around Maui with Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tours.

Needless to say, the Internet flew me and my boyfriend to Maui over Labor Day weekend. It was an absolutely amazing vacation. Never underestimate the Internet; if it can fly me across the Pacific for free, it’s a pretty powerful thing. Where is the Internet taking you?

Enjoy some of our pictures from the trip below:


LMGPR Takes a Trip out to the Ballgame

By | Events

giantsThe importance of teamwork is as significant for a baseball team as it is for any successful business, and here at Loughlin/Michaels Group we are taking the idea of teamwork out to the field, literally. We are treating ourselves to night with the Giants as they take on the Pittsburgh Pirates tomorrow at AT&T Park. In light of the special occasion, the topic of the foundations for what builds a good team has come to the forefront of discussion at the LMGPR office. Baseball or any professional sports team for that matter can be an especially good model for successful inter-office dynamics, which should include a nice blend of hard-work, trust, humor and most importantly going for that big win. Whether it’s in the field diving to make that game winning catch, or in the office winning over an important new client, it’s all about the team that stands behind you and keeps you at the top of your game.

LMPGR understands the importance of building a good team and will cheer on the Giants. We will be posting pictures up from the game so you can take a look at what an award winning team looks like. Go Giants! Go LMGPR!