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Digital

10 Top Firms Promise Not to ‘Sockpuppet’ Clients’ Wikipedia Pages

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One of the PR industry’s longstanding ethical debates appears closer to a resolution: the matter of Wikipedia “sockpuppets“. Today, several of the industry’s top players released a statement promising not to bend the rules of the public database to their own clients’ benefit.

Last year, Wikipedia took a public stand against the practice of hiring administrators to revamp clients’ profiles; it even went so far as to call out Wiki-PR, a firm specializing in the practice, by name. The firms involved in today’s announcement, however, want the organization to know that PR and public content databases can be friends.

The list and the statement after the jump.

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FCC Flooded With Comments After John Oliver Tackles Net Neutrality

FCC Flooded With Comments After John Oliver Tackles Net Neutrality - PRNewserOn Sunday night’s episode of “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver gave an impassioned thirteen-minute speech about the FCC’s controversial net neutrality proposal, which, in case you haven’t been paying attention, would allow internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon and other giants to charge companies and websites for “fast lanes” to the web, which could leave smaller websites, companies, and online publications that can’t afford to pay in the “slow lane,” effectively doing away with the equally accessible level playing field that allows all online data to be treated equally, no matter who creates it.

Oliver said of the proposal:

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Imgur, Reddit and Boing Boing Launch Anti-NSA Campaign

Reset the Net

This coming Thursday, June 5, major websites including Reddit, Imgur, Boing Boing and others plan to take part in a collective effort to push back against government surveillance online.

The “Reset The Net” campaign, coordinated by Fight for the Future, will feature multiple websites showing a splash screen to all visitors, encouraging them to install privacy and encryption tools. Meanwhile, other sites plan to bone up their own privacy by enabling standards like HTTPS, which stops outside parties from “listening in” on what site users are up to.

General Manager of Reddit, Erik Martin, said of his company’s decision to join the campaign, “We can take back control of our personal and private data one website, one device, one internet user at a time. We’re proud to stand up for our users’ rights and help Reset the Net.” Read more

UPDATED: ‘The Oatmeal’ Cartoonist Leverages Love of Tesla Motors to Support Nikola Tesla Museum

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I’m a longtime fan of The Oatmeal, and particularly appreciate how cartoonist Matt Inman exuberantly describes and animates his unbridled passion for the things he loves — his dog, grammar, the fiendishly-terrifying Mantis Shrimp, etc.

As it turns out, Inman also happens to love Tesla — both the legendary inventor and the car company — and is attempting to leverage his love and endorsement of the latter to support a museum honoring the former.

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Impulse Buying Reaches New Level: Now You Can Add Things to Your Amazon Cart from Twitter

#AmazonCart_ Add it Now. Buy it Later. Shop from within Twitter. - YouTube-1As if the “buy with one click” option wasn’t dangerous enough, now Amazon is allowing customers to add items to their shopping carts via Twitter by using hashtags.

“No more switching apps, typing passwords, or trying to remember items you saw on Twitter,” says a female voiceover in an ad explaining the new feature (after the jump), and it’s clear from her exasperated tone that such tasks have obviously been the most inconvenient, exhausting, intolelrable parts of consumers’ lives. Finally, our cries for relief have been heard!

Once you link your Amazon to your Twitter account, whenever you see an Amazon product link in a tweet, you can add it to your cart by replying to the tweet with hashtag #AmazonCart. It’s basically another virtual way to make impulse purchasing even easier than grabbing that candy bar at the Target checkout.

Aside from impulse purchases, though, this just seems to us like one of those “improvements” that might actually be less convenient than the traditional process. Read more

STUDY: Mobile Marketing Isn’t Just for Kids Anymore

gty_smartphone_ll_130104_wmainThink it’s only Millenials clogging up store isles while pausing to check their smartphones for coupons and better deals on the items they’re about to purchase? Think again.

According to a Thrive Analytics study recently released by the Local Search Association, Baby Boomers and seniors are catching up to their younger counterparts when it comes to actively using their mobile devices throughout the local purchasing process. The data suggests that it may be important for businesses to invest in their mobile presence and marketing in order to attract and retain not just younger customers, but those of all ages.

While 97 percent of Gen Y respondents said they use their smartphones at least sometimes when shopping in-store, 69 percent of seniors and Boomers admitted to doing the same; sure, the younger crowd is still ahead, but the majority of the older crowd is taking part in mobile — that’s pretty huge. Read more

Internet Week New York Is Around the Corner

Internet Week New York 2014 Design Within Reach1 Cropped“People ultimately want homes that work, and they don’t want to think about repairs. In the future, with smart homes and the ‘Internet of Things’, your home will take care of you”. Those comments were made by design specialists during a recent Internet Week New York preview panel. Manhattan’s Hudson Yards development, slated to open starting in 2017, serves as an example of high-tech, low- maintenance homes.

While residential projects like these are farther away on the horizon, Internet Week New York is only a month from now. The weeklong citywide festival showcasing the impact of technology on business, entertainment and culture will take place starting May 19. While 250  events will be held around town, Internet Week HQ is Metropolitan Pavilion, a spacious venue conveniently located in Chelsea.

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SheKnows Needs Original, Timely PR Pitches

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SheKnows.com is a no-nonsense, service-driven site that gets 68 million monthly page views. It’s known for its broad range of content that aims to empower women, making it perfect for PR pros hoping to showcase their clients to a female audience on a constant hunt for everyday solutions.

Lauren Swanson, director of editorial operations, advises that publicists pitch original angles that readers can use. Also, be aware of the editorial calendar and make sure seasonal items are pitched one to two months in advance:

[Swanson] says the website gets plenty of last-minute holiday-related stories, but they don’t typically accept them unless it has “social media mojo.” “We generally ignore pitches that are not relevant or clearly skew toward promoting a product,” she says. “Our bloggers generally curate products based on research and testing, so we are not inclined to pass along PR product pushes unless the product is innovative.”

To hear more about the mag, including editors’ contact info, read: How To Pitch: SheKnows.

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.

Creators of ‘SkinneePix’ App That Slims Your Selfies Seem Undeterred by Criticism

600Can incessant positivity and unwavering insistence save a company’s product from rampant, biting criticism? The creators of the new SkinneePix app — which lets you shave 5 to 15 pounds off that selfie you just took  — are doing their damnedest to prove that the answer is “yes.”

The app is the first one released by company Pretty Smart Women, comprised of Phoenix residents Susan Green and Robin J. Phillips. The couple got the idea for the app while on vacation with friends; everyone kept taking selfies, but no one liked how they looked in them.

“It’s not that they hated their body, they just didn’t like how they looked in the picture,” Green told the LA Times. “For as long as anybody can remember, there has always been that thing: the camera adds 10 or 15 pounds to you. That’s why we’re not going over 15 pounds.”

But not everyone is buying the claim that the app has nothing to do with self-hate or the controversial societal norm of digitally manipulating human beings to reach unattainable ideals. Read more

Brand Moves: Audi Snaps Into Action and E*TRADE Scraps the Cheeky Baby

Audi Snapchat Dog Courtesy of HUGEBeing a brand that’s witty, irreverent or challenges convention isn’t so easy, especially since those companies set the bar high and their customers come to expect unique, creative ads and social communications. Two such brands, Audi and E*TRADE, shared their stories at Ad Age’s Digital Conference this week in New York. Audi detailed their use of Snapchat during the Super Bowl game, and E*TRADE discussed their decision to end their popular baby ad campaign.

Audi picks up the pace: “Being a challenger brand gives us an edge”, said Anna Russell, Audi’s general manager of brand marketing. She outlined the car brand’s core messages: they’re “champions of progress”, using LED lighting, they “challenge convention”, particularly with their Quattro system, and they’re a “brand of action” and frequent sports sponsor.

Still, as Aaron Shapiro, CEO of their agency, HUGE, noted, with the Oreo effect, “now every brand is piling on no matter how relevant or not” in real-time marketing during events. He said Audi didn’t want to use a “me-too strategy”. (Plus, they needed to be careful since they were involved in a 2010 Super Bowl campaign controversy).

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