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Events

New Media Influencers on Rebranding, Expansion and ‘Obsessions’

Mic.com Logo“Voice, perspective and messages framed so they resonate with younger readers have all become more important in media now. That means having our ears to the ground in politics and entertainment, then packaging topics accordingly”, said Jake Horowitz, founder and editor of Mic (formerly PolicyMic).

Mic is among a growing number of media brands that launched or renamed recently, like re/code (formerly AllThingsD), Vox.com and Quartz. Editors from these outlets appeared on a PCNY panel on Thursday to discuss their latest moves.

While these sites generally don’t use PR-related pitches, that may change over time. Given their global focus, one could equate landing a story in these outlets to the U.S. soccer team’s World Cup game vs. Ghana: challenging but not impossible.

Here’s a brief rundown on each outlet and their approach.

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More PR Quotes from Cannes

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And we’re back with more insights from seaside France for those readers who, like us, weren’t fortunate enough to score tickets. Feel free to email us your own greatest insights from attendees…as long as they aren’t Kanye.

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PRTech Awards to Honor Leading Marketers, Innovators, PR Professionals

PRTech Awards

Today we bring you a guest post from Rebekah Iliff, CSO at AirPR.

As technology continues to shake up everything in the media realm, and marketing undergoes shifts driven by the digital landscape, PR is likewise making a move to embrace a more programmatic, data-focused approach to optimization and outcomes. The result is an industry that is evolving into an “ecosystem” model, much like Advertising did with the explosion of the Internet and social media.

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Arianna Huffington Pitches The Value Of Sleep To Millennials

ahuff alleyArianna Huffington paid a visit to Alley NYC in Midtown yesterday for a short presentation about the importance of sleeping, logging off your electronic devices and following your passion. She’s got a new book for sale – Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder  — and these are just some of the ideas that she puts forward.

And her audience, a very receptive one, were largely millennials, who seemed to genuinely appreciate being told that, at some point, they can stop working and just go to bed.

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Gamification Livens Up Events

LiveCube LogoGamification has cast a wide net and has been applied to many parts of our personal and business lives. We tuned in remotely to the GSummit in San Francisco this week–and while we didn’t see anyone tackled on the conference stage as in a recent episode of HBO’s “Silicon Valley”, we did hear about the broad inroads gamification has made and the ways in which it’s used for events.

Gamification now enables motivation to be delivered digitally, said analyst Brian Burke of Gartner Group. “All the elements of gamification have been around for years”, he added, like sponsors, contests, points and prizes. The difference now is digital, which offers an improved model to incentivize people. Now with greater connectivity you can scale to an audience of any size, at any location and it takes far less time to reach one’s business or personal goals.

Events are an area where gamification comes in quite handy, especially with event hashtags. Aaron Price, co-founder of LiveCube, acknowledged what those in attendance are familiar with – there are so many distractions that event organizers need to keep the crowd focused. Price’s solution is LiveCube, accessible via website or app, that clients like TEDx have used.

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Naming Names in the Growing Ranks of Hotel Brands

Epiphany HotelWhile there’s no magic formula for launching new hotel brands, E = mc2 best suits some recent hotel concepts. That’s because the famous physics energy equation reflects new or planned properties and brands, namely Epiphany from Joie de Vivre Hospitality, Moxy from Marriott International and Curio collection from Hilton Worldwide.

Branding was a hot topic at NYU’s International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference this week in New York, where panelists weighed in on the degree-of-difficulty factor, the rationale for launching new offerings and repositioning legacy brands. Names do matter, but they’re only part of the picture. Below are key takeaways.

Creating new brands for the long-haul: “Brand building isn’t for wimps; it’s for the persistent and patient. Most brands grow slowly, and you need to think several years out, since you’re often signing 20-year licensing agreements”, said James Anhut, SVP of design and quality at IHG/InterContinental Hotels Group.

Big hotel companies still have an edge, noted David Kong, president and CEO of Best Western International. “It’s immensely difficult to start from scratch. But it’s easier for larger scale hotel companies to create smart brands that will appeal in the long run.”

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At Internet Week, Mayor Bill de Blasio Outlined NYC’s Plans for ‘World-Class’ Tech Sector

Internet Week NY Bill de Blasio Courtesy of Jenny ChangNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered a resounding endorsement of the tech industry and the city’s role in further encouraging the sector’s growth during the opening keynote of Internet Week New York this morning. Perhaps the first indication of his enthusiasm was his punctual arrival at IWNY, which was packed with media and tech industry workers.

As the mayor reminded the crowd, “if a similar event was happening in Silicon Valley, the attendees would have to drive back to work, but here you can walk or bike back. That’s part of the glory of New York’s tech community. I’m proud to say that New York has the second largest tech sector. We’re growing, with 291,000 jobs that already exist in the tech system. We’re committed to a 5-borough approach, since there are start-ups in every borough”, he added.

De Blasio emphasized his hope that governmental efforts will help make the tech industry’s work experience better, especially since technology’s rise has fueled other parts of the local economy. He also acknowledged the prior mayor’s tech initiatives. “Bloomberg‘s administration did a fine job of setting the table, and we want to continue that effort.”

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Hollywood, Marketing Execs Talk Trends in Branded Entertainment

Madison & Vine BookBrands partnering with entertainment outlets to produce content represent an effective, though selective phenomenon, according to entertainment executives at a recent Creative Week panel in New York. They were there to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Scott Donaton‘s book, Madison & Vine that spotlighted the trend.

“It was about marketing in an end-user controlled world. It was initially fear-based, that TV viewers would skip ads because of the introduction of TIVO. The thought was that brands could say worthy things that are story-based”, explained Donaton, former editor of Ad Age, and currently global chief content officer at UM Studio.

Key takeaways revolve around the evolution and dynamics involved:

Defining moments of branded entertainment abound, especially BMW Films (aka the gold standard) and BMW videos featuring Daniel Craig as James Bond. The Restaurant TV show also broke new ground. “The show’s thesis was that restaurants were the new theatre”, said Ben Silverman, founder and chairman of Electus. Of course, it’s easy to see that now, but it was rather novel at the time. Among other notable collaborations are American Idol and Coca-Cola, The Biggest Loser and 24-Hour Fitness, and Transformers movie and Hasbro.

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Did Zac Posen Steal the Spotlight at the Met Gala Last Night?

metmuseum zacThe Met Gala was in full effect last night, which means everyone today is talking about who wore what. Given that this year the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute is featuring the exhibit “Charles James: Beyond Fashion,” ball gowns would be a most appropriate tie-in. James’ own designs included lots of volume, lots of strapless, lots of what you would think if you were to immediately conjure the image of a princess.

So it should be no surprise that Zac Posen was a popular choice. Sarah Silverman, model Arizona Muse and Dita von Teese were among the seven celebs on the red carpet wearing his designs.

“Posen’s gowns tend to be elaborately constructed, often sporting bodices with folds and creases that resemble sartorial origami,” writes The Washington Post. In a world where modern red carpet fashion tends to vacillate between sleek and slouchy, Posen’s heavily tailored and structured pieces are fussy in a way that can seem anachronistic. ”

But when the moment calls for it — and let’s face it, if you’re going to the Met Gala, you’re having a moment — this is when you want to pull out the big guns. (Or big ruffles, if you will.)

For the designer and Project Runway host, this could be just the moment that his label needs.

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Holland Tourism: Masters of Cool

Amsterdam Clipper Ship Sign2 Cropped“I never had such a good backdrop”, said President Obama. During a recent state visit to The Netherlands, he took a side trip to Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, home of Rembrandt’s renowned Nightwatch painting. As his comment indicates, he was duly impressed. Only select destinations worldwide merit presidential visits, and a visit to The Hague prompted Obama’s trip.

The President’s visit may help put The Netherlands front and center for U.S. travelers, who represent the country’s fourth largest source of visitors. The Dutch tourism effort in the U.S. has been quite active lately, as Holland continues to upgrade its star attractions. Many of its famous museums are being renovated, and they’re reopening in stages.

We checked with The Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) about its PR and marketing programs. They partnered with Amsterdam Marketing, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines for a 3-year joint marketing program, “Holland. The Original Cool”. The campaign’s video series has been the most visible joint effort. Launched last year, it features Pim de Koel, the country’s cool brand ambassador, as he teaches an American traveler about unique aspects of Dutch culture. Last year the video received over a million views, and this year it’s a three-part series, with the second episode debuting today.

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