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Tips on Pitching and Media Relations from Facebook’s Media Coach Bill McGowan

Bill-McGowan

Bill McGowan has held many titles throughout his career: journalist, “A Current Affair” reporter, author, founder and CEO of Clarity Media Group.

His most recent role is media coach for executives, celebrities and artists ranging from Kelly Clarkson and Eli Manning to Thomas Keller and Tim Gunn. He’s also worked with major firms to help PR professionals hone the art of the pitch.

Two of his most recent clients’ names might ring a bell: Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg.

In McGowan’s latest book Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time, he draws on decades of experience working both in front of and behind the camera to offer tips and tools on how to deliver a message efficiently and confidently.

We recently spoke to Bill to learn how that experience applies to PR.

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Facebook’s New Algorithm Is Smarter Than You

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WHERE ARE THE PUPPIEZ?!?

We’ve all seen the fruits of our Facebook labors decline precipitously in recent months–and yesterday the company made clear in an online statement that it will no longer tolerate desperate attempts at increasing reach.

In other words, tone down that CTA or your posts will be deader than last week’s meme.

In particular, the company wants to actively punish the purveyors of three types of posts:

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Dublin Airport to Everyone: ‘It’s St. Paddy’s, NOT St. Patty’s’

tumblr_m4rr0sHhQ81qdscjdo1_1280So today is officially St. Patrick’s Day, or the Western world’s favorite excuse to get a bit toxic (along with New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, Graduation Day, President’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday, etc. etc.).

What a great time for social media engagement, right?! Last week Dublin Airport—which is somehow not among the top Facebook pages in Ireland—took the opportunity to remind everyone that Mac, Dennis and Charlie got it right: the correct nickname for St. Patrick is St. Paddy, NOT St. Patty.

This is not a new debate, BTW.

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STUDY: Which Social Networks Inspire the Greatest Brand Dependence?

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Given the unrelenting flood of new “next big thing” networks, you may be forgiven for answering the headline’s question with “none of ‘em.”

But a study presented at this year’s SXSW says otherwise.

The research, performed by United Talent Agency’s UTA Brand Studio and digital survey provider uSamp, includes some interestingly specific findings.

The first big surprise? Twitter didn’t score in the top five in any age group.

More after the jump.

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Facebook’s Gun Control Move: PR Win?

You may have heard that Facebook responded to pressure from gun control advocacy groups by moving to crack down on illegal gun sales facilitated by its network. Here’s last night’s report from CBS New York:

Whether one see this as a big victory, an insignificant step or a stinging defeat depends—surprise, surprise—on politics.

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Facebook’s New Ad Campaign: ‘We’re Still Relevant!’

Someone at Facebook read all your headlines. The company knows that you’re not as excited by your friends’ political rants as you once were and that you really don’t get the new algorithm (just like you didn’t get the need for a “news feed” back in 2006).

In response to this perceived decline, Facebook released a set of ads created by Weiden + Kennedy and designed to remind you of its own usefulness in terms of that whole “interacting with friends/co-workers/elementary school classmates” thing over the past month or so.

Here’s one:

And a couple more after the jump.

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STUDY: 68% of Social Media Users Ignore the Brands They Follow

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“Connect” is the key word here

Stack another study on the pile questioning Facebook’s promotional value. This one, from content management provider Kentico, reveals that even though users like and continue to follow their favorite brands on the ‘book and other social networks, they generally ignore these brands’ messages.

These findings aren’t particularly surprising—they’re more like the latest in a string of confirmations about measuring success on social as our strategies evolve.

More numbers from the survey of 300 random Americans 18 and older after the jump…

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11 Brands That Got Cheeky on Valentine’s Day

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FACT: Valentine’s Day is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dour New Year for retailers.

Of course it makes sense for relevant brands to develop tailored VDay social campaigns, so today we thought we’d take a look back at some of the cheekier ones we noticed last week.

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Here’s How NOT to Respond to a Copyright Issue: Magazine Sends Photographer Profanity-Laced, Threatening Email

We’ve been following Adweek‘s coverage of a he-said-she-said fiasco too bizarre to be ignored, and now that both parties have provided the news source with conflicting statements, the behavior of the magazine involved seems to have gone far past questionable and has entered the realm of actively self-destructive. In fact, if PR failures were presents, this debacle would be the gift that just keeps on giving.

Kathy Shea Mormino, who runs the popular backyard chicken website The Chicken Chick, says it all started when a fan alerted her that one of her copyrighted photos appeared on Survival Magazine‘s blog and Facebook page. As the magazine had not asked her permission to use her photograph, Mormino says she sent a Facebook message and an email to the publication, explaining the situation and requesting that her image be removed. When the magazine did not respond to her messages or take down the picture, Mormino filed a copyright infringement complaint with Facebook, which led the social network to remove the photo from the magazine’s Facebook page.

The magazine’s response to Mormino’s actions shocked her so much, that she shared it (along with the below screenshot as proof) with her fans on her own Facebook page, saying, “THIS is the email I just received from Survival Magazine. What on earth is WRONG with some people?!”

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Mark Zuckerberg Is the World’s Most Generous Man

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That’s according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, which just released its list of the 50 biggest givers in the world over the past year. This ranking does include a couple of qualifiers: Zuck’s donation came in the form of Facebook stock, and the $992 billion listed only went to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which is a very local organization.

Still, that’s quite a bit of theoretical money, and the listing solidifies Zuckerberg’s reputation as an all-around good guy (while mentioning his work with Startup: Education).

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