Tag Archives: 5WPR

Why are iPad Sales Falling

falling ipad sales

Remember when the iPad was the undisputed Future of Computing? Not that long ago, really, but since the summer of 2013, Apple has been on the defensive, trying to explain away plummeting sales and a shifting place in the consumer mind. Even the competition got caught up in mobile madness. Tablets were being advertised toe-to-toe with laptops and notebook computers, daring the larger “bulkier” machines to strike back. Well, apparently the honeymoon is over. At least for the iPad.

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The Need To Be Responsive

responsive

You may have heard the word “responsive” when it comes to the internet and the public relations industry. But what does it really mean to be responsive? Catering to the needs and demands of your customers by creating a customized experience through your products and services is what it’s all about. Because of the wide range of devices and technology that is available today, it is more important than ever to make sure that your company website and digital media is user friendly across many different platforms.

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Filed under Education, Juda Engelmayer, Public Relations

Nike Negates Infringement Claim

nike infringement juda engelmayer

The eponymous Nike “Jumpman” logo is arguably even more famous and revered than the omnipresent swoosh. The image adorned Michael Jordan, basketball royalty and one of the richest athletes – from royalties – to ever play any game. Of course, Nike also made untold billions thanks to the “Jordan-Jumpman” brand, a fact that has them back in court defending every nickel of those millions from an artist who says Nike stole his work.

Jacobus Rentmeester sued Nike in federal court claiming copyright infringement. His suit demands profits associated with some $3.2 billion in retail sales (from 2014 alone), but Rentmeester did not stop there. The aggrieved photographer also wants Nike to halt current sales of any products featuring the Jordan brand.

At the heart of the complaint is a photo session Rentmeester says he shot while Jordan was warming up for the 1984 Olympics. Life Magazine had commissioned the work, but Rentmeester says the rights to the images remained his own. After the images had been published, reports indicated that Nike’s Jordan brand designer, Peter Moore, paid less than two hundred bucks for “temporary use of the photo slides.”

According to the suit, Rentmeester argues Nike used his photo to recreate the shot with Jordan wearing his NBA Chicago Bulls gear. The Chicago skyline was added to the shots Nike used, but Rentmeester claims the work is still fundamentally his own. According to media reports related to the suit, the claim states: “Mr. Rentmeester created the pose, inspired by a ballet technique known as a grand jete, a long horizontal jump…”

Subsequent to that initial use, Nike used the image additional times, how many depends on who you ask, as does the amount and reasons why Rentmeester was compensated on those occasions.

This case is an example of how a legal dispute can – and often will – spill over into the court of public opinion. While the case itself will be decided in the court system, the culpability and credibility of each party will have long since been decided by the fans watching this case.

Plus, public opinion will not be limited to perspectives on Nike and the photographer. Opinion and perspective will spill over onto any other athlete who is paid to sport the Jordan brand. This presents a multi-faceted branding and PR scenario requiring both a winning narrative in court and a strong positive message to offer to the court of public opinion.

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Commenting on Rolling Stone’s Cover of Terrorist bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

I had the chance to comment for Fox-5 News in New York on Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appearing on Rolling Stone’s cover in August

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Filed under Branding, Career and choices, Cutting Edge News, Juda Engelmayer, Public Relations

Jews Must Pass Over their Search for World Approval

Edge of Reality

Tom Lehrer
Tom Lehrer

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics, And the Catholics hate the Protestants,

And the Hindus hate the Moslems,

And everybody hates the Jews.

More apt lyrics have yet to be found on the matter than these which comedian, mathematician and lecturer Tom Lehrer wrote in his satirical “National Brotherhood Week” in 1965.

That was before the Six Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973, before Israel was attacked from all sides by its peace-seeking neighbors, and before Israel seized the land near its borders to protect its population and keep her enemies even further away from its larger cities.

Even though Lehrer was being sardonic, his “joke” is only funny because it rings with some truth. Comedy is often inspired by the truths that we have a harder time coping with on a serious level.  Lehrer knew something back then that so many fail to recognize today, and it is that intentional disregard for the facts that help some Jews cope with their guilt for being who they are; it helps the cause of those who would see Israel fall. Read more ..

Juda Engelmayer is an executive at the NY PR Firm, 5W Public Relations

A version of this article also appeared in the Jewish Star

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Filed under anti-Semitism, BDS, News and Views, Politics, Uncategorized, War against Israel

Syria: A Watched Pot Boiling Over

Mid-East Turmoil

Juda Engelmayer

Disturbing video images from Syria show civilians being used as shields for Syrian troops. They are first seen standing, then lying in front, serving the purpose of the advancing Syrian guards. This, as documents leaked from President Bashar Al-Assad’s office reveal that Iran has been helping Syria circumvent sanctions by handing over $1 billion to continue slaughtering its civilians.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the ferocity of the Syrian assault, saying “I fear that the appalling brutality we are witnessing in Homs, with heavy weapons firing into civilian neighborhoods, is a grim harbinger of things to come.” He sees the inevitable end to this too.

The U.N. is frozen, unable to do anything about the slaughter of some 6000 people. Security Council mainstays like China and Russia have vetoed any attempts at intervention. Notwithstanding how easy it is for both to act fast when condemning the State of Israel for defending itself – even when it first drops leaflets warning civilians of its intent to strike, the Syrian government has little to worry about from the world body.

While the war against the Syrian people rages on, Iran’s fingerprints were found in some failed attempts to kill Israeli diplomats around the world; in India, Thailand and Georgia. Although they deny it, the Iranian plot was exposed when the terrorists were caught in Thailand with Iranian passports in hand. That one blew his leg off trying to lob a grenade at Thai police only proves incompetence, not detachment.

Now there are heightened threats of Iranian attacks on Jewish and Israeli interests in the U.S. It would seem that Iran is provoking Israeli or American action to create a worldwide calamity. Controlled by the promise of power, oil and financial interests and not the mandate of actually bridging the world of nations, the U.N. remains powerless.

Once again, Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz to block a passageway for a fifth of the world’s oil supply. If Iran does this, it would also make countries that are holding up action in the U.N. against Syria more dependent on Iran’s oil and more prone to do its bidding.

Oil plays a critical role in setting policy and policing human rights or abuses around the world, and it begs the question as to why the United States does not act faster to develop better alternative energy solutions, or why we allow politics to interfere with matters like the Keystone pipeline that could replace a significant quantity of Middle East oil with Canadian crude. We allow issues like electioneering and foreign threats to oppose one another and defeat rational thinking.

The Iranian threat has been brewing for a long time. As it is a very dangerous and difficult situation to manage, leaders of rational countries quietly hope that someone else will strike at the problem first and remove their burden. Some are actually being less quiet while trying to play down their encouragement of a preemptive strike.

Leon Panetta, the U.S. Defense Secretary made no secret in his declaration that he believed Israel would strike Iran. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius wrote on February 2, “Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June – before Iran enters what Israelis described as a ‘zone of immunity’ to commence building a nuclear bomb.” This week, however, Panetta backed off and refused to confirm that he said it at all.

Then on February 9th, after Iranian state television reported on evidence that the U.S. was behind the assassinations of its scientists, NBC News cited Obama administration insiders suggesting that Israel’s Mossad had trained the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) to assassinate Iran’s nuclear scientists.

If true, why would it benefit the U.S. to reveal this and possibly provoke Iranian action, which it may have done with the attempts on the lives of Israel’s diplomats this week?

For a nation like the U.S. to pawn off the responsibility of Iran to Israel, through implied acceptance of an inevitable action as Panetta did, or through actual provocation, as the unnamed White House sources did, is confrontational. Yet, it creates enough mayhem should an Israeli first strike occur, and enables U.S. actions under the guise of protecting an ally or an interest rather than the more frowned upon act of actually launching a first strike.

This is a public relations strategy for America to insulate itself from blame of a strike on Iran. Partly for the sake of ultimate anemic approval from the inept U.N., but more to quell the opposition stemming from the American left who does not support military activity.

Syria’s boiling over with Iran’s money, and Iran itself is reaching a standoff with Israel and the west – which is facing a global economic crisis that cannot withstand any oil flow interruptions – something’s got to give. The groundwork is being laid for action. Whether or not the U.S. is making Israel a scapegoat for preemptive action is more about domestic policy and electioneering than real objection to that action.

As President Obama has been buttressing Israel’s military arsenal lately, we would be naïve to assume that Israel and United States are not lockstep on the final course. The posturing is for constituency consumption and not critically indicative of true foreign policy.

Juda Engelmayer is an executive with the NY PR Agency, 5W Public Relations. This article first appeared in the Jewish Star.

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Filed under Alternative Energy, anti-Semitism, News and Views, Obama, Politics, War against Israel

New World Order & New Media Order: how social media changed our world, again

By: Ronn Torossian

The 1970’s counter-cultural poem “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” may have seemed reasonable back then, but that was before media and even social media took over the world as it has done toward the end of the Century and well into the 21st. Today, Gil Scott-Heron would be sorely disappointed to learn how far from the truth he is, as we see governments today shutting down social media when they need to silence a rebellion.

“The Great Lie” is harder to maintain than ever before, as self-created content via social media has spread to the Middle East and worldwide.  While President Mubarak and many throughout the Arab world have ruled with iron fists, they never conceived that with all the guns and ammunition they posses, the biggest threat to despotic rule-would come through a simple technology that people use for entertainment; a mere 140-character message has more power than an army of loyal fighters. Jan 25, 2011 is likely to be remembered as the day commemorating the start of the modern Egyptian revolt, fed greatly, if not led by the Internet.  It is no surprise that Egyptian leaders decided to disable both the internet and the wireless telephone services as early measures against the current unrest.  The implication that is that this is this era’s form of silencing the opposition is altering basic freedoms of expression in Egypt. Social media was also found in Tunisia to be the main media for anti-government forces to mobilize, inform, and communicate with one another.

State run media in countries similar to Egypt could previously use its resources to spew propaganda; today social media is a mass communications tool whereby each citizen is a journalist, giving true rise to the title and concept of citizen journalism, and taking the power back from the despots.  This of course comes on the heels of the Wikileaks’ revelations that put entire countries in states of sheer anxiety prior to the releases. The unprecedented phenomenon causing undisclosed records to reach the public amass raised diplomatic chaos worldwide.

Political philosophers such as Immanuel Kant and John Locke addressed the issue of a government’s responsibility towards its people, and social media allows people to force government to face and defend their versions of truth and morality, whether they like it or not.  New media today is causing the world to open faster than some “leaders” would expect. We see images today of protestors with hand held cameras surely for Youtube, and we remember the images a few months ago of the protests in Iran.  How much would have changed sooner if instant pictures and cries for help were heard around the world during China’s Tiananmen Square massacre more than twenty years ago.

The ‘truth’ is now in the open; exposed and accessible to people instantly and vertically across most of the world. The impact – is something we are witnessing right now. Lies and manipulations must be handled differently by dictators with this degree of transparency. It takes one person with a mobile phone to start a revolution, one network of friends on Facebook to mobilize thousands and then millions around a cause; only 140 characters to begin the once insufferable idea of expelling a dictator, as we saw in Tunisia.

Social media has shown its potential with the simplicity of online and wireless access by individuals with passion, energy, a just cause, and now an unbridled newfound power. While it is still uncertain whether Egyptian youngsters will achieve their end goals, the young have not disappointed as they have moved quickly and unhesitatingly to form nothing less than a ‘New World Order’. Egypt’s coerced president has installed a new cabinet and a vice president – something he had resisted until now. Perhaps state run media in many countries will also follow the lead of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez who joined Twitter a few months ago, and invited Cuban head Fidel Castro to join him in Tweeting their messages.  He had previously called Twitter a potential “tool of terror” – and now has realized that it can be used as his tool of terror. China, Syria, Iran and other South American countries are wasting effort in limiting the access people have to social media. I’d strongly suggest that if they really want to protect their power base and maintain their form of order, that they keep and learn to harness its power before their subjects begin to use it.  Perhaps they should take classes in social media themselves.

Ronn Torossian is president and CEO of 5WPR, one of the 20 largest independent PR agencies in the U.S. Named to the “40 under 40” list of PR Week & Advertising Age, Ronn Torossian was a semi-finalist for the Ernst & Young 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and may be reached at Rtorossian@5wpr.com and followed on twitter @rtorossian5wpr


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