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Spin the Agencies of Record

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  • Mosi Bicycles chose DRIVEN PR as its agency of record. The California firm’s primary responsibility will be promoting the company’s new “vintage European-style” bike line. The release says the designs “are far from sacrificing beauty for quality”; unlike New York Citibike members, riders will know exactly who’s been sitting on their seat.

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Public Relations: Build Your Portfolio

Public Relations: Build Your PortfolioIn this intensive workshop, you'll get feedback from your instructor on how you can refine and tighten your prose, structure your work, and build a body of work. Whether you are looking to create materials for a PR portfolio or wanting to polish your work, you'll leave this class with a professional portfolio and the skills to build it throughout your career. Register now! 

Win a Training Session with Sheryl Sandberg’s Media Coach

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Over the past two weeks, we’ve shared the insights gained from our recent conversations with media coach to the stars Bill McGowan, who gave us tips on pitching and explained how the principles outlined in his latest book apply to the PR discipline.

Would you like to score a two-hour training session with Bill?

If you answered “yes”, then just tell us about the most challenging pitch you’ve ever made in the comments. The first winner (who will be chosen at random) will get a private two-hour coaching session with Bill, and the second and third winners will get an invitation to come into the Mediabistro office to record their own shorter sessions with him.

Again, all winners will be chosen at random.

Don’t be shy; share your toughest pitches below. (Sorry, but you do have to use your real name.)

Legal guidelines, disclaimers, etc. after the jump.

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Are You So Fit You Can’t Wear Regular Jeans? A Group of Athletes Have Created Barbell Jeans With You In Mind

barbell jeansA group of very fit and very ripped athletes are sick and tired of not being able to find jeans that will comfortably cover their fine muscular bodies. So they’ve created Barbell Apparel jeans that are designed with small waists and “meaty” thighs in mind.

According to the brand’s Kickstarter page, the makers of Barbell jeans spend a minimum of 20 hours per week in the gym and do things like mountain biking and snowboarding in their downtime. So they know the problem first-hand. We do not, but all of that sounds pretty bad.

The brand’s crowdfunding efforts have certainly benefited from the media attention they’ve been getting from Fast Company, The Huffington Post, Business Insider and other outlets. The jeans promise more flexibility, “custom stamped rivets,” “hand finished brass buttons,” and many more features. And they’ve had the platform to talk that up.

But more than that, the co-owner of Barbell is using some very trendy language to generate interest in their special jeans for juicy thighs.

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The 7 Principles of Effective Communications Explained by Bill McGowan

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Last week we brought you a series of tips on pitching and media relations from author, veteran journalist and Clarity Media Group founder Bill McGowan, most recently known as media coach to Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg (among many other celebrities and executives).

Today we bring you an extension of our conversation touching on the seven principles that form the basis of McGowan’s most recent book Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time.

In this piece, Bill explains how these principles apply to both the general art of communicating and the public relations practice–with a little help from one Donald Draper.

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How to Be Your Own Publicist: Creating Your Brand, Perfecting Your Message

Be-Your-Own-Publicist-ArticIn this day and age, we’re basically all our own publicists. Sharing our witty words on Twitter, our perfect pictures on Instagram and our professional achievements on LinkedIn. It’s almost become second nature to promote yourself via social media.

But there are myriad ways to get your name out there, both on and offline. We recently spoke with several branding experts who revealed five key ways to market yourself. The first thing to do is develop your brand and messaging:

Jeffrey Hayzlett, host of The C-Suite on Bloomberg, explains, “Every person is [his] own brand and you have your own promise to deliver. Do you want somebody else telling that story or do you want to tell it?” The author and speaker adds: “If you don’t represent yourself, someone else will do it for you. I would much rather control what’s said of me and how it’s said than having other people do it. And I’d like to react to that as well.”

[Beth Feldman, co-founder of BeyondPR Group] suggests reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, especially the part about the “10,000 hours” rule. The gist is if you can determine in your life where you’ve spent 10,000 hours doing something, then you will feel the most comfortable talking about it and becoming an expert. “The more experience you have, the more comfortable you will feel and the more people will take you seriously,” she says.

For more advice, including how to choose the right partners when cross-promoting, read: How to Be Your Own Publicist.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

The Four Seasons Will Have Its Own Planes To Go Along With Those Extravagant Round-The-World Trips

four season jetThe Four Seasons is taking its branding experience aloft, launching its own airplanes to go along with the $119,000 round-the-world tours the company offers.

The plane offers flatbed seats, carpeting and fancy toilets. Ooh la la. Wifi, chef service, spa treatments and tee times will also be available. The plane holds 233 passengers and will take off from Los Angeles starting in February 2015, heading to Bora Bora, Thailand, India, Turkey and London, making stops at Four Seasons hotels on the ground along the way. There will be accommodations for skis as well. Because, of course.

In April, the trip will go across six cities including Milan and Prague, taking tours of 16 museums and theaters. This will cost about half of the winter trip ($69,000).

And in August, the 24-day trip will visit cities including Seattle, Tokyo, the Maldives and the Serengeti (a region rather than a city, but you get it), with a stay at the company’s first safari lodge included. The price for that jumps back up to $119K.

BTW, if you’re traveling alone, that $119,000 price tag grows to $130K. Or you can have the whole plane chartered for $110,000.  Per day.

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AP Insists That You Remember All Four S’s in ‘Mississippi’

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M, I, crooked letter, crooked letter, I…

Oh, Associated Press. We love you so, but you insist on hurting us!

Last month you tried to tell us that “over” and “more than” are interchangeable when describing quantities, and we almost fell into conniptions. Now you tell us that we can no longer use any abbreviations for proper state names!

“Effective May 1, the AP will spell out state names in the body of stories. Datelines will continue to use abbreviations.”

And why might that be?

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STUDY: No One Cares About Your Celebrity Endorsements

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We have consciously uncoupled ourselves from your opinion

Today in That’s Encouraging news: despite what might seem like evidence to the contrary, the public at large cares not a whit for the opinions of whatever celebrity might happen to endorse your client’s products.

According to a survey conducted by “industrial-strength Word Press hosting platform” WP Engine that involved 1,000 Americans “indicative of the entire nation”(?), consumers want content straight from the client–not the client’s big-name spokesperson.

The most important number:

  • 96% of participants don’t want to read celebrities blogging about products

The other findings, however, are a bit more surprising…

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Florida School Stops Providing Mountain Dew Shots Before Standardized Tests

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Bottoms up, kid! Your grades count on it.

Next up in “Jacked-up Standardized Testing” News, we go to Melbourne, Fla. HELLO!

According to a story broken by Brevard County’s News 13 and later covered by NPR, some parents questioned officials at Dr. W.J. Creel Elementary School after they found out that teachers made Mountain Dew “available to the students” before they took part in the Florida Comprehensive Assessments Test (FCAT).

Oh, and this practice to get elementary school children amped up for the big test has been happening for the past 10 years. 

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Avril Lavigne Responds to ‘Hello Kitty’ Critics and Cries of ‘Racism’

Avril Lavigne (who apparently still exists) is taking some serious flack for her new video “Hello Kitty.”

Since the video first appeared on YouTube this past Tuesday (it has since been taken down and re-posted), shaming, angry tweets have abounded, and even the experts haven’t been sure what to make of it — the general consensus seems to be that it might be racist (pandering at best), and it’s definitely terrible.

Billboard magazine’s Jason Lipshutz called the video “an embarrassment in any language,” and Entertainment Weekly‘s Darren Frenich said, “There are serious questions about whether it’s offensive (expressionless Asian dancers, Tokyo-as-prop) or offensively obvious (this one’s for you, large Japanese fanbase!).” Read more

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