5 Things To Know In PR This Week: July 22-26

Highlights from The Pope, the Royal Baby and more public relations top stories

By Peter Cross  |  July 23, 2013

Sergeant Sean P. Murphy/Massachusetts State Police via Boston magazine

One of the dramatic photos of the Boston Bomber which Sergeant Sean P. Murphy of Massachusetts State Police released last week. Murphy is currently under investigation.

1. Facebook Users Rally Around Officer After Releasing Tsarnaev Photos

A Facebook group started to support Sgt. Sean Murphy after he was relieved of duty from the Massachusetts State Police after releasing unauthorized pictures of the Boston Bombing suspect. The Facebook group has gained over 58,000 “likes” since last week. In an e-mail to Boston magazine, Murphy defended his actions saying, “As a professional law-enforcement officer of 25 years, I believe that the image that was portrayed by Rolling Stone magazine was an insult to any person who has ever worn a uniform of any color or any police organization or military branch, and the family members who have ever lost a loved one serving in the line of duty.” Facebook users seem to agree with Murphy’s actions with some saying he should be commended for his actions with the slogan “Murphy Strong!” A closed hearing to discuss Murphy’s future with the Massachusetts State Police is scheduled for Tuesday July 23. <Yahoo!>


 2. PR Giant Calls For Ethics in Sponsored Content

Edelman, the largest PR firm in the world, published what it refers to as an “ethical framework” for how to promote paid content. Authored by Steve Rubel, Edelman CEO, the publication comes from more than 30 interviews with executives at media companies. The framework highlights six “ideals” to follow when promoting sponsored content: disclosure, opportunity for audience feedback, continued commitment to “earned media,” consistent updates, no quid pro quo agreements, and a clear separation between those who create paid content and those who work with journalists. The report also predicts that sponsored content, along with native advertising, will continue to grow in popularity as people continue to rely more on their mobile devices.  <Forbes>


 3. KFC Discharges the Colonel and Gets Healthy

KFC has decided to retire the image of its founder, Colonel Sanders, as their mascot. Competition with healthier fast food options such as Panera Bread, Chipotle Mexican Grill and others have forced KFC to rethink it’s own image. Over the past few years, other major fast food chains McDonalds, Burger King, and Taco Bell have also been discarding old brand mascots. In response to these changing consumer preferences, KFC is experimenting with a new restaurant format in its hometown of Louisville, KY. “KFC eleven,” which is set to open in August, will be offering flatbread sandwiches, rice bowls, and only boneless chicken. KFC also hopes to better appeal to women and to change the idea that its food is strictly a dinner option. <PR News>


 4. The Pope to Use Twitter for Pardons

In an effort to connect with Catholics worldwide, the Pope announced his plan to relieve punishment for his “followers” sins through Twitter. According to the Vatican, Pope Francis will use Twitter to give out “plenary indulgences” — a special pardon by the Pope to reduce time in purgatory — to his Twitter followers. In the past, the Pope has typically offered his indulgences to those who see him in person, but for the first time, the Pope will now extend his blessings to virtual visits, too. Catholics who listen to World Youth Day on the radio or television can also gain indulgence from the Pope. <HuffingtonPost>


5. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Have A Baby Boy

Social media around the world exploded with joy as the new royal baby was born. Kate Middleton and husband Prince William welcomed the birth of their first child Monday, a boy, amidst intense speculation and attention throughout her pregnancy. Over the past week, the world waited in anticipation over when the new royal baby was going to be born. Many even made bets as to what gender the baby would be Prince William released a statement saying they could not be happier. The first public appearance of the new royal family sometime Tuesday, while the new Prince’s name will be announced at some point this week. <MediaBistro>

peterPeter Cross Senior PR Intern 

Peter Cross is a Senior Public Relations Intern at The Castle Group.

These are his own thoughts.


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