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Nancy Lazarus

Should PR Pay Attention to Derek Jeter’s ‘The Players’ Tribune?’

Derek Jeter FinalLast Wednesday’s launch of the Derek Jeter-founded The Players’ Tribune, a digital forum for athletes, scored a home run from a media coverage standpoint. Later that day, key editorial and marketing executives involved in the venture –along with Jeter’s agent — appeared on a panel at Advertising Week New York to discuss the platform further.

The Players’ Tribune may be a worthwhile outlet for PR firms with clients whose business is associated with sports, since the site plans to feature branded content in addition to athlete-contributed content. Here’s the inside track:

What The Players’ Tribune is…

  • “It’s like the Go Pro of sports journalism, offering an inside first-person perspective”, said Jason Marks, executive creative director.
  • “We’re giving the athletes that fans know and love a voice. This is longform social, to tell stories with content in a natural way”, added Mark Grande, VP content strategy.
  • “It will be a platform where athletes control their own voice. It’s meant to complement what’s out there and provide opinions, POVs and perspective”, said Jaymee Messer, CMO, Excel Sports Management, Derek Jeter’s agency.

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11 Pointers for Demystifying Celebrity Marketing

Eagles Concert MSG Video Final4Celebrity marketing has become even more complicated since the rise of social media, with new players and platforms at every turn. So it was a hot topic during the opening day of Advertising Week in New York on Monday. Two panels provided not only the vantage point from marketers and agency talent pros, but also the view from a couple celebrities.

Celebrity Storytelling in a Social World: moderated by WhoSay’s CEO Steve Ellis, with panelists Peggy Walter, celebrity services, Leo Burnett, Orlando Jones, comedian and actor, and Anson Mount, actor from AMC’s Hell on Wheels.

The New Science of Celebrity Marketing: moderated by Nina Tsang, editorial director of Celebrity Intelligence, with panelists Jeff Chown, president of celebrity acquisition, The Marketing Arm, Thomas Burkhardt, VP global marketing, Coty Prestige, and Rob Gregory, chief revenue officer, WhoSay.

Their takes on the many facets of celebrity marketing provide a 360 degree perspective, and below are selected takeaways and comments:

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TripAdvisor’s Jetsetter Brand Soars into Hashtag Heaven with #Jetsettering

Jetsetter Image FinalCatchy hashtags aren’t new to Aaron Clossey, social media manager at Jetsetter, the travel arm of Gilt Groupe that TripAdvisor acquired last year. After all, his personal twitter handle is #clossboss. So when he needed an evergreen hashtag for brand users to rally around, he used the simple yet action-oriented #jetsettering. Members of the site have responded in force with tweets and photos of activities ranging from snorkeling to canal rides in Venice.

Clossey presented recently at BDI/Business Development Institute’s Food, Beverage and Hospitality Social Media Marketing Summit in New York about Jetsetter’s efforts to harness visual social media content. The brand’s initiatives have involved contests, partnerships and influencers, all in keeping with its whimsical, irreverent persona.

While Jetsetter got its start with exclusive flash sales in the luxury travel segment for its invitation-only upscale subscriber members, the brand has evolved since then. “We’re a lifestyle brand, not just an OTA”, [online travel agent] Clossey said. Now Jetsetter also does personal travel planning, for trips like honeymoons. In addition, the brand offers a trove of content on its site that’s accessible to more than its current 20 million members.

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10 Pointers for Navigating the Measurement Maze

High Line Punctuation Sculpture FinalSince measurement is such an integral yet complex part of PR and social media, it has merited an entire week of events in New York. Cision Vocus is hosting morning sessions as part of AMEC Measurement Week 2014. PRNewser is following suit with the continuation of a multi-part series on the topic with featured event speakers. Recently we explored measurement’s future with Rebekah Iliff of AirPR and with Peter Himler of Flatiron Communications.

Now we’re reporting on yesterday’s presentation with Mark Schaefer, author and founder of Schaefer Marketing Solutions as well as a panel moderated by Himler that included Heidi Sullivan of Cision Vocus, Shonali Burke of Shonali Burke Consulting, Chris Penn of Shift Communications and Sharam Fouladger-Mercer of AirPR. They had different takes on various aspects of measurement and metrics, as captured in selected comments:

1. Measure or perish:

In response to those who say you don’t need to measure social media: There’s an implied value to everything and you’d better measure it. (Schaefer)

2. Re-focus on dual value:

Much social media value that’s created is qualitative, not quantitative. Intangible business benefits include building worthwhile relationships and increasing brand awareness. We spend too much time on spreadsheets, not on the human pulse of social media. (Schaefer)

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Designer Veggie Couture Spices up the Runway at Project SUBWAY’s Fashion Show

2014 Onion Runway FinalWhen an onion graced the runway at Nolcha Fashion Week in New York on Tuesday, those in the front row weren’t crying. Instead they broke into peals of laughter, since the onion was a novel dress and hat ensemble designed for the second Project SUBWAY contest.

This year ten up-and-coming designers and FIT students were challenged to create unique dresses inspired by vegetables found at SUBWAY® restaurants. Among the healthy fashion creations: spinach, banana pepper, tomato, jalapeno, lettuce, carrot, cucumber and green pepper. At last year’s show, designers created dresses made of non-edible materials from SUBWAY®, like sandwich wrappers, napkins and salad bowls.

Judging the contest was a tall order, and the panel included Oklahoma City Thunder basketball player Russell Westbrook, Olympic gymnastic champion Nastia Liukin, TV personality Bella Thorne and celebrity stylist Johnny Wujek. They critiqued the designs based on creativity, originality, beauty, fit and best representation of the vegetables, and remarked about the green pepper’s ‘aggressive’ shoulders and hourglass shape, the lettuce’s see-through design and the red tomato’s sparkle.

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NYC Celebrity Chefs Hold Court During U.S. Open’s Taste of Tennis Week

Celeb Chef Tennis Players Behind Net FinalThis year Taste of Tennis has grown into a feast, expanding from a one-night culinary party into a week of food experiences leading up to the U.S. Open, which starts today. Indeed, associations between food and tennis have evolved greatly since the Seinfeld episode where George Costanza was caught on camera, face smeared by an ice cream sundae, while eating at the National Tennis Center’s food court during the Grand Slam tournament.

The 15th annual Taste of Tennis gala was the signature offering, featuring small plates prepared by several top local chefs, musical entertainment along with appearances by elite tennis players and celebrities. Among the surrounding events was the Celebrity Chef Tennis Challenge, held at the Midtown Tennis Club. The round-robin style mixed doubles tournament paired chefs and restaurateurs with local players. At another fete, Party with the Pros, guests enjoyed food, signature cocktails and live music, while they mingled with top names in tennis.

We spoke with Penny Lerner, CEO of AYS Sports Marketing, the event management company that organizes Taste of Tennis, about the strategy behind the new weeklong ‘food fusion’ program, while we sampled the Celebrity Chef Tennis Challenge event. Below are takeaways.

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12 Digital Tools to Optimize Your Travel

Travel Tech Paws and Relax Alfie the Pug Courtesy of Nick Morrish British AirwaysSummer is the busiest travel season, so it’s the best time to be equipped with tips to minimize hassles and maximize the experience. But these days sorting through the maze of travel technology can be  nearly as time consuming as circumnavigating the globe.

An Internet Week New York panel of travel industry insiders gave their top picks for websites and mobile apps that assist with flights, lodgings and language translation, and we’ve come across other sources since then. The list below takes business and leisure travelers every step of the way, from planning to booking and beyond.

In-Flight Entertainment

1. “Paws and Relax” Video Channel: British Airways just launched a new channel featuring dogs and cats to help passengers unwind onboard.  It’s available on YouTube for non-BA customers. (Photo above courtesy of Nick Morrish/British Airways)

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16 New York Rooftop Watering Holes That Double as Cool Summer Event Venues

Hotel Americano La Piscine Official PhotoAfter New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ‘Roman Holiday’, it’s time for the rest of us to take a rooftop holiday. An increase in the city’s stylish boutique lodgings has led to a related rise in hotel rooftop bars. What better places to escape street-level construction noise and get together with PR colleagues and clients?

PRNewser compiled a list of rooftop venues across Manhattan where visitors are welcome in small or large groups. Some spots even have swimming pools for hotel guests or for day-use. At the Dream Downtown’s PH-D Rooftop Lounge, you don’t need an advanced degree to use the pool, just pay a steep fee. But be sure to check ahead whether any of these bars are already reserved for private evening events, or you may be lobby-bound.

Our tour of summertime rooftop getaways follows our earlier post about heated rooftop venues. Some lounges listed here serve as retreats and others are for revelry. Either way they beat lower-level summertime options. Among the newer midtown entries are Viceroy Hotel’s roof and Archer Hotel’s Spyglass bar. Since Sonny’s Soda Shoppe at Mondrian SoHo Hotel downtown features an Italian beach theme, it’s an ideal spot for Mayor de Blasio to extend his holiday.

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12 Tips From an Expert on Creating Catchy Content and Products

H & M Jeff Koons Tote Final“Sharing isn’t random, and our intuition about sharing content may be wrong”, said Jonah Berger. The Wharton B-School marketing professor conducted extensive analysis on social influence and types of content and products that go viral. His book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On, offers advice on the psychology of sharing, along with examples.

“You don’t want to be one-hit wonders, you want ongoing shareable content”, Berger said during a recent MPA (Association of Magazine Media) event. He was in New York for the start of a year-long visiting professorship at Cornell Tech. If some of his comments seem familiar, that’s because he also advises media outlets like BuzzFeed and The New York Times.

“Word of mouth is a key factor behind so many purchase decisions since it’s persuasive, trusted and targeted”, Berger said. He reminded the audience of the importance of finding the core brand message that you want others to remember and sticking with it. That’s the first key to producing sticky content. Other principles evolve around social currency, storytelling, and providing practical but appealing information.

Since takeaways from his 2013 book mostly centered on positive vs. negative emotional content, we read the rest of the book and compiled his pointers along with our own related examples from commerce, sports, art, fashion and celebrities. Here are a dozen tips to consider:

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TOMS’ Chief Digital Officer Outlines Brand’s ‘Giving’ Formula

Toms Shoes Periodic TablesArgentina’s loss in the World Cup final may have hit one company personally. A 2006 group trip giving shoes to Argentine children inspired Blake Mycoskie to launch TOMS, or “tomorrow’s shoes”. For the brand’s logo, he borrowed light blue and white stripes from the Argentine flag.

“TOMS is based on giving shoes in a sustainable way, on a one-to-one basis”, said its chief digital officer, Zita Cassizzi. She was referring to their M.O. – for every pair of TOMS shoes a customer buys, the company gives a pair to a child in need. While presenting at ANA’s Digital & Social Media Conference, she also discussed TOMS’ expansion to eyewear and coffee.

Cassizzi outlined TOMS’ omni channel marketing strategy, with 5 online and offline elements:

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