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Big Questions

One Man Wants to Show You How to ‘Get It Right’ with Wikipedia

wikipedia1Have you ever had a client ask you to “look into” or “take care of” their Wikipedia page? Most likely the answer is “yes.”

For PR professionals and the clients they serve, Wikipedia matters. It is the planet’s fifth-most visited domain, and 53% of American adults consult it on a regular basis.

Take a look at your client or brand’s page on Wikipedia now — is it up to date? Is all the information correct? Are all associated images optimized?

Wikipedia’s volunteer community has created an incredible resource, but it does contain some major blind spots.

So what’s a PRNewser to do? Editing a Wikipedia page can be difficult on one’s own—the rules for writing and editing are constantly changing, and they’re governed by a community that is resistant to outside assistance.

They have their reasons: we’re all aware of the fact that certain firms specialize in Wikipedia “sockpuppeting”, and while a coalition of the industry’s top names did come to an “agreement” with the site’s community this year, problems remain.

(For a refresher, we spoke to seven experts on the ramifications of the agreement earlier this Summer.)

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Mobile Content Strategy

Mobile Content StrategyStarting September 24, learn how to write content for smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices! In this online course, students will learn how to publish across multiple channels and manage the workflow, optimize content for mobile devices, and  engage with their audience across screens. Register now!

What’s the Difference Between ‘Strategy’ and ‘Tactic?’

strategy-vs-tacticsTwo of the most common words in the flack’s vernacular (next to coffeeare strategy and tactic. 

According to Michael Porter, strategy leader and author of Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance, “Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value.”

The conundrum in this industry is that, although you have to think (strategy) before you do (tactic) anything, these two terms are often used interchangeably. It seems “being different” is understanding the difference in the first place.

This should help…

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#GoodellMustGo: NFL Sponsor CoverGirl Caught Up in Bad Press Tsunami

This weekend brought another wave of bad PR for the NFL in the former of #Goodellmustgo—and it’s threatening to take down one of its key sponsors.

The photoshopped image below was taken and modified from CoverGirl’s “Get Your Game Face On” campaign, which sought to create a series of “official team makeup looks,” and paired with the trending hashtag #Goodellmustgo.

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As documented by Jezebel

The company pimped it on its Facebook page, on Instagram, on Twitter, and even made an entire board of NFL makeup looks on Pinterest. Every team. Including Ray Rice’s team, the Baltimore Ravens. Fans excited about Girling the hell out while cheering on their team could find all of the looks on Cover Girl’s special NFL Game Face website.

But today the website is gone and we’re left to wonder: is CoverGirl’s NFL partnership gone as well?

Almost certainly not.

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How Has the Media Changed Since 9/11?

9-11-gallerySeptember 11, 2001 started off like any other day in the news. Morning shows were shutting it down for the day; assignment desk editors were changing shifts; general assignment reporters were preparing for news meetings.

And then the clock struck 8:46 a.m. eastern time. 

From that second on, we know the horrifying details and remember the chilling visuals. Everyone in the world has a “Where were you then” story etched in his/her mind forever.

One other thing changed on that day: the media itself.

For the PRNewsers out there, here are a few ways that media — the way the news is reported, disseminated, and consumed — changed thirteen years ago.

(H/T: Newseum for the collage)

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Should Agencies Post About 9/11?

Hi, readers: I’m writing in the midst of what is looking to be a very slow day on the pitching front for both PR and ad agencies. This is a good thing.

Why? Because, despite the fact that we all have work to do, most comms people have wisely realized that today is not necessarily the best one on which to promote consumer brands when a majority of news stories concern the terrible thing that happened thirteen years ago.

Here’s a bit of sage advice from some guy who co-founded a blog:

He’s totally right. Thankfully, I’ve seen few brazen promos linked to the anniversary.

I have seen some agencies sending related messages, though, and without naming them I’d like to ask an earnest question: is that appropriate?

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Banning Ketchup: Chef Knows Best or Bad Foodie PR?

keep-calm-and-hate-ketchupIt was just another day at Mad Fresh Bistro in Fort Myers, Fla., when a nine-year-old kid decided to ask for ketchup on a burger. Suddenly, skillets went flying out of the kitchen — along with an impressive array of expletives.

You may ask: why all this hullabaloo over ketchup (aka catsup, ketsup, catchup, or however the hell they are spelling it these days)?

For some inexplicable reason, this story about a chef refusing to offer the fruit/vegetable to kids has sparked a national debate over the number two condiment in America. And Chef Owner Xavier Duclos is just fine with that because press.

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Does Social Media Make Crisis Communications More Difficult to Manage?

Crisis-magnifiedMuch like the Internet changed the way people read the news, social media drastically altered the way PR pros develop our strategies.

Every aspect of media relations, public affairs, and client outreach has been influenced because every person has a voice on whatever online network he/she chooses. However, the one area in which most of us are just beginning to understand social’s influence is crisis communications.

All crisis communications plans are being rectified, teams are being reconstructed, and ideas are being changed because the information vacuum of social media can suck a little if you don’t prepare accordingly.

The question is: When it comes to social media and crisis communications, is “preparation” even possible? An answer may be in a story involving a canine hater and former CEO of Centerplate named Desmond HagueRead more

Phil Roberston Ensures That Duck Dynasty Continues to Make Headlines

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Phil Robertson, the well-coiffed patriarch of the Duck Dynasty empire, has made quite the name for himself when it comes to bellowing his opinions about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. His latest opinions, shared with Sean Hannity on FOX News, may be his greatest hit yet.

Hannity’s discussion strayed from duck-calling accouterments to American foreign policy, because when you need a source for a nonsensical political diatribe, who better than a famously outspoken reality star? That’s when Robertson said this:

“In this case, you either have to convert them, which I think would be next to impossible,” Robertson explained to Hannity. “I’m just saying convert them or kill them — one or the other.”

And the Church said “Amen”?

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Is Social Media Really Social?

Is Social Media Social-09

Today we bring you a guest post by Paul Bernardini, Senior Associate at Eastwick.

Call me old school, but no, social media isn’t social.

To be social or to socialize means having one-on-one conversations and contributing to the rumble of small talk at gatherings. It demands that one be physically present. Speaking out loud, understanding body language, learning how to listen, respond, retain and relate are the constructs of socializing and foundational skills that deserve time and attention.

However, it’s not lost on me that social media is redefining the term “social” and the lens through which corporate America views it. The number of followers or connections that reporters, job prospects or companies have is becoming primary criteria in earning clout. Social media has built a world in which Twitter dominates the news cycle, LinkedIn can build careers and Facebook does the impossible by interlinking the world.

It’s a big deal.

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Is Sponsored Content Really More ‘Transparent’ Than PR?

To be honest with you, readers, many conversations about “content” alternately lull us to sleep and make us want to tear our hair out. Like most in the media, we have mixed feelings about the move toward a universal adoption of sponsored stories as a source of revenue for news outlets.

We have friends in the journalistic community who now write such stories for clients. They tell us that they see their role as supporting the work performed by their employer’s editorial team while managing to create content aligned with causes they support. (This is an ideal scenario, really.)

Still, we’ve noticed several people this week debating whether sponsored material is somehow preferable to “traditional” stories that involve a bigger role for PR. One anonymous “native” journalist interview by Digiday even went so far as to ask how PR-driven stories are “any different from native advertising, at the end of the day.”

The question begs for an answer.

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