Monday, September 14, 2009, 9:55 AM

Monday's quick reads: Wal Mart, Obama, and bad PR pitches

1.) "People of Walmart" blog can't, and shouldn't, be stopped by Walmart (Ad Age) -- People of Walmart is a new blog that lets people upload, rate and comment on photos of oddly dressed people seen shopping at Walmart. And it would seem there's not a thing Walmart can -- or should -- do about it.

2.) Media pitching cardinal sins to avoid (The Bulldog) -- "Great PR people turn themselves into sources, rather than gatekeepers," says Josef Adalian, television editor for TheWrap.com, a news site focused on the business of entertainment and media. "If a PR person is a possible source for a scoop, rather than someone who is there to confirm or deny information, then that PR person is suddenly a lot more important in our world."

3.) What Obama is learning from Facebook, Google, and Ideo (Wired) -- When Barack Obama hired John Berry to head his Office of Personnel Management earlier this year, the president did not mince words. “John, we’ve got to make it cool again,” Obama said to his new hire. Many of the nation’s brightest graduates are snapped up by tech startups claiming to offer not only high compensation but the feeling of being part of something exciting — not to mention such perks as meals by gourmet chefs, exercise and laundry facilities, haircuts, massages and other amenities designed to smooth the transition from college to adulthood while instilling a sense of loyalty.

4.) PR firm hired to amplify anger over rate hikes (The Columbus Dispatch) -- Officials from seven Franklin County townships are so burned by a private water company's plan to hike rates by 55 percent that they've hired a public-relations firm to shame the company. It worked in Tennessee. "If this increase goes through, it will devastate these communities," Prairie Township Trustee Steve Kennedy said. "Our best bet is to bring in professional help."

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