The Wall Street Journal

Good PR Can Guarantee High Job Approval Ratings and High Stock Prices What government and the private sector can learn from one another
June 8, 2006

The Bush Administration is being terribly hurt by the media. The Government Accountability Office issued a report in January 2006 stating that the current administration in Washington spent $1.6 billion on public relations over 2-1/2 years. Of that, $1.1 billion was for military recruitment. That leaves $500 million for image building. Yet the president’s job approval rating is in the mid- to low 30s. What’s gone wrong? Dwight Eisenhower, Master of PR If you saw George C. Scott in “Patton,” you will recall the slapping scene. Patton, visiting grievously wounded and dying soldiers in a field hospital in Sicily, came upon Pvt. Charles H. Kuhl of the 26th Infantry

Making a Complex Business Consumer Friendly
May 25, 2006

Looking at the New Breed of Bankers May 25, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 41 IN THE NEWS Internet banks draw raves Many like the convenience and higher interest rates, but it's not for everyone. NEW YORK--Higher interest rates initially drove Nick Sayers to the Bank of Internet. But he soon realized it's more convenient, too. Sayers, 26, a private-equity investor in Chicago, is one of a growing number of Americans ditching their neighborhood brick-and-mortar accounts. Others are moving the bulk of their money to virtual banks like Bank of Internet, which can offer better rates because they don't have to

Pecking "The Da Vinci Code" to Death
May 23, 2006

Movie critics operate above their pay grade May 23, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 40 IN THE NEWS Has The Da Vinci Code had any good reviews? Stodgy, grim, ponderous. Dreary, droning, dull-witted. Hammy, stilted, solemn, talky, wooden, bloated, plodding, deathly dull, dreary. Or did I do "dreary" already? Forget the Christian right—it's that shadowy global organisation, the Critical Establishment, that has lifted its cassock and dumped unceremoniously on Ron Howard's adaptation of The Da Vinci Code. — Jonathan Gibbs, The Guardian (UK), May 19, 2006 At a direct marketing conference in Orlando I was having lunch with my Norwegian clients and

Bauschwhacked! The Anatomy of a Recall
May 18, 2006

Why consumers are wary of 'we,' 'us' and 'our' May 18, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 39 IN THE NEWS Health Concerns Prompt Recall of Contact Cleaner ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Bausch & Lomb Inc. has permanently withdrawn a new-formula contact lens cleaner viewed as the "potential root cause" of an outbreak of fungal eye infections. Its stock, hit hard recently, rose Monday nearly 13 percent. —Ben Dobbin, The Associated Press, May 16, 2006 Americans love to tinker with their God-given flesh cases. Facelifts, hair transplants, electrolysis, liposuction and tattoos are some of the procedures that are undergone by those who want to look

Trashing a Brand?Smart or Dumb?
May 4, 2006

Cingular to bite the dust, joining Marshall Field's and NDL May 4, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 35 IN THE NEWS AT&T Plans to Kill Cingular Brand But Analysts See Change of 'Cingular' to 'AT&T Wireless' as Mistake SAN FRANCISCO ( -- It cost $4 billion to turn it into one of the best known names in the country, a future-forward, dynamic brand with a strong connection to young consumers and a share lead in the wireless marketplace. Yet, in 2007, Cingular will be tossed aside like an old sock. —Alice Z. Cuneo,, May 2, 2006 Reviving the past Famous

Do Not Ignore Snail Mail?Or the Telephone
April 13, 2006

E-mail is handy, but it cuts both ways April 13, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 29 IN THE NEWS E-mail to Denny Hatch Your membership dues in the [City] Direct Marketing Club for 2006 remain unpaid.  The bylaws of the organization clearly state that unpaid accounts are to be canceled.  I'd hate to see that happen if you don't want it to. We have made several attempts to move you to action over the past 5 months. Now the 2006 Membership Directory is entering production and your name and company will not appear in it unless I receive your $125 membership dues

When Entrepreneurs Foul Their Nests
March 30, 2006

When Your Name Is on Everything, You Can't Be Too Careful March 30, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 25 IN THE NEWS Dark clouds gather over 'Painter of Light' Entrepreneur artist who hangs in one in 20 US homes accused of fraud and drunken antics Art critics have long dismissed [Thomas Kinkade's] work as a kitsch crime against aesthetics. But now the world has grown even more "unsympathetic and complex" for the artist, who describes himself as a devout Christian and has trademarked his "Painter of Light" sobriquet. In court documents and other testimony, he has been accused of sexual harassment,

Cashing in on a Presidential Nod
February 23, 2006

Can George Bush Do for Curling What JFK Did for Sean Connery? Feb. 23, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 15 IN THE NEWS Bush Tries His Hand at Winter Sports President Bush tried his own version of winter sports this weekend—two bike rides in subfreezing temperatures—after watching some of the Winter Olympics on Air Force One on Friday. While flying back from Florida, Bush watched part of the U.S. men's curling competition broadcast from the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. "We were watching some curling—cheering the U.S. on," White House spokesman Trent Duffy said, recalling the match the U.S. team won by

Ticking Off Your Customers
February 21, 2006

Are bean counters, lawyers and newbies making marketing decisions? Feb. 21, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 14 IN THE NEWS Bank Gift Cards Come Wrapped With Limits Consumers Rankled By Obscure Charges, Rules Visa likes to say that "finding the perfect gift just got easier" with its gift card. But recipients of those cards—or similar ones issued by MasterCard or American Express—are discovering that using them presents unexpected difficulties. —Caroline E. Mayer, The Washington Post, Feb. 17, 2006 Rental Car Customers Chafe at Tougher Rules It is not difficult to find a business traveler who is hopping mad at Hertz these days. Krishna Kumar,

Monkeying Around With Distribution
February 2, 2006

Think Before You Act Feb. 2, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 9 IN THE NEWS Multimedia Launch of 'Bubble' Gets Mixed Response An experiment in launching a movie almost simultaneously in the cinema, on cable television and on DVD attracted few theater-goers, although the film has done well in DVD orders, according to its makers. —Sarah McBride, The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 30, 2006 In the film world, the time-honored sequence for release of a new movie is theater distribution first, followed by DVDs for purchase and rental, and finally presentation on cable or network TV. "Bubble" is a low-budget thriller directed by