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4 Pitching No-Nos That Drive Journalists Crazy

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Today we bring you a guest post from Lorenzo Grandi.

Lorenzo is the community manager at pr.co, an online PR toolkit that publishes press releases in minutes. His job is to help people get the most out of their PR efforts online. You can find him on Twitter.

How well do PR people and journalists get along? Sometimes it’s easy to avoid common mistakes that will prevent you from getting covered and possibly ruin your relationship with the journalist–and who better than journalists themselves to point us in the right direction?!

With the help of Martin Bryant, Editor-in-Chief at The Next Web, we gathered a list of no-nos that drive journalists crazy. Let’s take a look at the mistakes that PR pros have to avoid (complete with quotes from various unnamed editors).

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Presentation Writing: Design and Delivery

Presentation Writing: Design and DeliveryLearn how to use storytelling techniques and visual content to create and deliver successful pitches and presentations! Starting August 6, Amanda Pacitti, the manager of learning at Time Inc., will teach you the best practices for presentations, from using software like Prezi and Powerpoint, to writing your script, and using images, audio, and video to drive your points. Register now! 

General Mills Holds Its Nose, Leaps into Climate Change

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General Mills, the maker of Cheerios and other such consumer goods, took a bold step into the CSR pool this week by announcing that it would make changes to its agricultural practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously mounting related advocacy efforts designed to affect public policy.

What does this mean? From the company’s post on the matter yesterday:

“Nearly 2/3 of the GHG emissions and 99 percent of water use throughout our value chain occur upstream of our direct operations in agriculture, ingredients and packaging”

So they’re insisting that their suppliers get on board by reducing those emissions and “achiev[ing] zero net deforestation in high-risk supply chains by 2020″…or else. We assume.

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Will Native Advertising on Reddit Be an Opportunity for PR?

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DISCLAIMER: throughout my career as a literary publicist, I’ve tried to “place” a few clients on Reddit via the popular “Ask Me Anything” feature.

Reddit staffers were always accommodating, helping me set up a time in the AMA calendar and sharing best practices to ensure success. Although the results were better than some of my live Q&As on Goodreads, and approximately on par with the various TwitterChats (though with a longer shelf life), my clients were skeptical about the return on investment—will the redditor making fun of my hair actually buy my book?

Still, I knew that Reddit’s 114 million monthly users with their highly-curated threads presented an opportunity. I just didn’t know how best to seize that opportunity for my client, especially if he or she did not have the name recognition that would land a 3PM AMA on the site’s homepage.

I know I’m not alone in recognizing that opportunity: Reddit is moving into the native advertising game.

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Russia Seeks to Ban McDonald’s as Retaliation Against the U.S.

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Another day in downtown Kiev, nyet?

McDonald’s is no stranger to the headlines of PRNewser. In fact, we even dedicated a story tag after the repeat bad news: #McFail. However, bad brand news out of Russia involving the home of the Clown isn’t their fault…this time.

That said, Mr. Gorbachev may want to re-erect that wall, because the Cold War has returned: Russia wants to ban McDonald’s. As in, everywhere in the country.

Can’t we talk a little, Putin? I mean, for the children?

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50 ‘Most Beautiful in D.C.’ List Goes (Hot and) Heavy on PR

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When reading today’s reports on the 1,300 editorial journalists who lost their jobs in 2013, you probably didn’t turn to The Hill’s annual “50 most beautiful people in D.C.” list to defend the craft.

Yet “Washington is Hollywood for ugly people” is one of the oldest and most persistent cliches concerning business in our nation’s capital–one that The Hill seems desperate to disprove each year by highlighting the good-looking folks behind the faces that haunt our nightmares.

In a shocking turn of events, this year’s list includes quite a few young professionals who work on the communications side of the political world.

Let’s review (all pics courtesy of The Hill, so give them some clicks).

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When Foreign Dictators Look for Good PR, They Look to London

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If you wanted to, there’s a lot you could say right now about PR’s influence in the world of foreign affairs: Gaza, Putin, who is winning, who is losing, etc…but the most interesting question may be who is profiting?

“… [I]ncreasingly, governments look to PRs and lobbyists to give their image a scrub. What it is, is reputation laundering. What they are buying is a good image in political centres like Brussels and Washington, in the international and financial media and with investors. Governments and dictators will look overseas for this type of expertise, and London has become the place to go for it.”

London is profiting (to the tune of roughly £7.5 billion per year), and VICE UK’s Jack Gilbert is naming names: Bell Pottinger, Portland Communications, and more.

In a must-read article published today on VICE, Gilbert puts the hard questions to Tamasin Cave, director of Spinwatch (a PR watchdog organization) for an excellent expose.

Highlights after the jump.

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When Did Press Coverage of PR Explode? The New York Times ‘Chronicle’ Has Your Answer

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Two years ago, we first saw this report from the prestigious Nieman Journalism Lab about Chronicle, the latest digital toy from The New York Times:

“Chronicle is a database of articles and story tags from the past 31 years of Times content. The tool makes it possible to see the frequency of use of certain words — but also what people, organizations, or locations are most related to keywords.”

Today, it’s a Web-based application that traces back to the very origins of printing the news, and a divine way for the publishing giant to make some cash on the concept since that paywall thing was such a bad idea.

Logophiles: Suit up! 

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The Ticker: Newspaper Losses; Brand Buzz for 2014; LinkedIn Redesign; And More

Baby Products Company Gives Mom Bloggers Candy in Pill Bottles

Today we learned that a company specializing in baby products tried to promote its name at the recent BlogHer conference by hiding candy in the least acceptable place: pill bottles.

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The bottles weren’t real, of course, but they looked real enough to create something of a stir at the event.

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Sarah Palin Jokes Have Been Trending All Day, But What’s Her Channel Really All About?

 

Sarah Palin launched her subscription channel The Sarah Palin Network yesterday and everyone wants to help her come up with ideas for quality content. Haha. Just kidding. Everyone wants to crack jokes about all the dumb shows that she’d broadcast.

SarahPalinChannel.com will cost $99.95 per year and is meant to give Palin the chance to speak to her audience “unfiltered.” Time argues that she has been given the mike and has used it to speak very openly very often for the past six years.

This new platform sounds like it will afford the same opportunity coupled with the chance for Palin to make a lot of money.

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