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Joe Ciarallo

Michael Wolff on New ‘Adweek’: ‘We’re Not Re-Writing Press Releases Anymore’

Today is the big day. Say good-bye to Mediaweek and Brandweek. Those publications have been rolled up into Adweek, which today released its re-designed print and digital formats. For those PR professionals that are looking for a “friendly” trade publication relationship, be sure to proceed with caution.

Adweek Media editorial director Michael Wolff told PaidContent:

Let’s put it this way, we’re not re-writing press releases anymore…We’re not a mouthpiece for the industry any longer…The trade industry model is no longer relevant. If we are anything, we are a ‘business vertical.’ For us, value and relevance means insight and good storytelling.

The comments should come as no surprise to those who have kept up with Adweek recently. Read more

In Third Year, Shorty Awards Get Longer

Aasif Mandvi, host of this year's Shorty Awards

What a difference a year makes. Last year the Shorty Awards — dedicated to honoring the best producers of short, real-time content — had CNN anchor Rick Sanchez as host. This year, Sanchez is long gone from CNN, and in his place was Aasif Mandvi of the Daily Show.

The significance wasn’t lost on Mandvi, as the Daily Show was right in the middle of things when Sanchez was dismissed from CNN last fall. “You all must really hate Rick Sanchez,” Mandvi joked, insinuating it was a slap in the face for Sanchez to have someone  from the Daily Show hosting.

Mandvi also poked a bit of fun at the awards themselves, as he joked that they are “the most relevant awards show ever,” and said, “Let me be honest. I’m only here to increase my Twitter followers.”

That being said, in their third year, the Shorty Awards have only gotten bigger (and longer).

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Julia Allison Hires Her First PR Agency

[Photo courtesy Nick McGlynn]

Julia Allison, the ubiquitous Web personality and columnist, has hired her first PR agency. One South By Southwest (SXSW) attendee who was present at an event with Allison at the Fast Company Grill yesterday tells PRNewser she announced a new relationship with Susan Blond‘s agency.

Allison is not working with the legendary Blond herself, but rather another publicist at the agency.

Did That Reporter Just Lift Copy from a Press Release? Churnalism Website Helps You Find Out

Every day thousands of press releases and pitches are sent out across the globe by PR professionals to journalists, all in the hope that the journalists “pick up” the information and use it in a story. Of course, this being PRNewser, one may wonder why we’re even briefly outlining this standard PR practice.

Here’s why: a new website, “Churnalism,” seeks to expose when news outlets lift copy straight from press releases into their stories. Created by the Media Standards Trust, Churnalism will scan content from the UK national press, the BBC and Sky News online. It’s an interesting service and one can but help wonder if it will be rolled out more widely. Read more

IFC Nabs BajillionHits.Biz Host Alex Blagg As SXSW Host

Is your company or CEO willing to poke a bit of fun at themselves at SXSW? Go on camera with Alex Blagg, founder of the satiric social media strategist site Abajillionhits.biz and IFC’s host for South by Southwest Interactive. For a bit of what to expect, check out Blagg’s “How To Be South By South Best” intro video.

His pre-conference tips include, “make sure your social nets are all plugged into each other so your Instagram’s go into your Facebook into your Foursquare into your Twitter into your Tumblr into whatever new social network you discover and early adopt while you’re down there.” Solid advice.

PRNewser will be on the ground at SXSW. Send us your news, event info and other fun stuff.

SXSW: To Launch or Not to Launch?


Edwyn Collins, one of this year’s SXSW acts.

If you’re involved in any way with music, film or digital media, you’re likely already beginning to get invites for events and read pre-event coverage of South By Southwest, the growing annual conference which kicks off on March 11th in Austin, TX.

One of the most popular questions asked in relation to the interactive portion of the conference is, “Which company will take off this year at SXSW?” The music equivalent is of course, “Which band will take off this year at SXSW?”

Many past conference goers talk about how 2007 was the year of Twitter, 2009 of Foursquare, etc. Both of these services had launched way in advance of SXSW, but the gathering served as an incubator to help them grow to a wider audience and take hold. As Twitter co-founder Evan Williams said, “We didn’t actually launch Twitter at SXSW — SXSW just chose to blow it up.”

This bears revisiting the question that has been asked in many a startup team meeting over the years: Should we launch at SXSW?

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‘Adweek’ Digital Editor Brian Morrissey on Moving to Digiday: ‘I Wouldn’t Have Left ‘Adweek’ to do the Same Thing in a Different Place’

Brian Morrissey, digital editor for Adweek, made waves last week when it was announced he’d be leaving the trade publication after more than six years to join Digiday, an upstart trade media and events company as editor-in-chief.

In some ways, the move is a trade media equivalent of what we’ve seen in the last year with well-known journalists such as the Washington Post‘s Howard Kurtz, who left the newspaper to join Tina Brown at the Daily Beast.

PRNewser spoke with Morrissey this week for his first interview since the announcement.

We’ll start with the question many folks are probably interested in: why did you make the move?

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The Most Romantic City On Yelp Is Tacoma, WA

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and we at PRNewser – in addition to hosting our annual “I Heart PRNewser” party – are always looking for interesting V-day related pitches and announcements. Here’s one from Yelp: the reviews site crunched the numbers and came up with “the most romantic cities on Yelp.”

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‘New Yorker’ Darrell Issa Profile Damaging For Congressman and PR Chief

The New Yorker‘s anticipated, head-turning profile of Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), the recently elected chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is out. While the profile focuses much on Issa’s past — “among other things, been indicted for stealing a car, arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, and accused by former associates of burning down a building” — it also includes interesting background from his PR chief, Kurt Bardella:

Issa has set up what his aides call Issa Enterprises, a highly organized effort to manage his image. Kurt Bardella, the spokesman, who is twenty-seven, and whom Issa calls “my secret weapon,” fiercely screens all interviews. Bardella has a reputation as one of the savviest young spokesmen on Capitol Hill, someone who understands the complicated new media environment.

Over lunch at Bistro Bis, a French restaurant near the Capitol, Bardella was surprisingly open in his disparagement of the media. He said, “Some people in the press, I think, are just lazy as hell. There are times when I pitch a story and they do it word for word. That’s just embarrassing. They’re adjusting to a time that demands less quality and more quantity. And it works to my advantage most of the time, because I think most reporters have liked me packaging things for them. Most people will opt for what’s easier, so they can move on to the next thing. Reporters are measured by how often their stuff gets on Drudge. It’s a bad way to be, but it’s reality.”

Rarely do you hear such a “how the sausage is made,” on the record quote, let alone by the communications chief of a powerful congressmen to a major publication. The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza adds more: Read more

CES PR Executive: 80 New Tablets Launched This Year

Managing communications for one of the most buzzed about conferences of the year with more than 100,000 attendees is no simple task. Now that this year’s Consumer Electronics Show has come to a close, PRNewser spoke with Laurie Ann Phillips, senior director of communications, for the Consumer Electronics Association, the trade group that puts on the annual industry mega-conference.

Indeed, tablets were a big trend this year; Phillips told us 80 new tablets launched at this conference. Another interesting factoid: more than 75 percent of the Fortune 100 attend CES, according Phillips. Read on for the full interview.

What does the CES PR team look like? How many people do you have working on the team during the conference?

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