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International

STUDY: Is PR’s Focus on Digital Media Detrimental to Brand Storytelling?

BPR Infographic V5 - Stories-without-borders-infographic.pdfTurns out, while managing to cram powerful, sharable, effective brand messages into 140 characters is an undeniably valuable skill, PR’s focus on digital media might be drawing vital attention away from effective storytelling.

This is according to a recent report by Berkeley 360, titled Stories Without Borders—International PR in an Evolving Media World, which explores current research and trends to discover how the global media landscape is shifting, and what that means for PR. The report states that, “the media in most countries has been transformed by digital technology, but success lies in the story, not the delivery.”

As a press release about the study explains that while boundaries are disappearing between print and digital media, between online, social and mobile channels, and between brands and their customers, the world remains a culturally, linguistically and geographically heterogeneous place—and brands and PR professionals forget this at their peril.

While social media networks remain a great way to build and engage local communities and are essential ingredients for successful PR, research shows that over half of the world’s population reads a daily newspaper, and trade publications remain the best way to influence senior decision makers. In other words: the press release is not dead, and people still want to hear a meaningful, engaging, and full-length story about the brands and companies they interact with. Read more

The Multifaceted Asian Consumer Market

Uniqlo Store SoHo Mannequins1 Cropped“Overall Asia is a market in flux, with radical changes and an influx of tech and global brands. It creates a society where consumers are being pulled in different directions”, said Bernd Schmitt. Not only are there distinctions between developed and emerging Asian countries, but he noted it’s also important not to generalize or stereotype Asian consumer and cultural trends.

Schmitt’s perspective is based on extensive experience living, working and traveling throughout Asia. He’s a visiting professor at Singapore’s Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI) and professor at New York’s Columbia Business School. He recently spoke at an event in New York about his latest book, The Changing Face of the Asian Consumer. Joining him were panelists Colin Mitchell, Ogilvy & Mather’s worldwide head of planning, and Brian Buchwald, CEO/co-founder of Bomoda, a marketplace for Chinese consumers to purchase premium global brands.

The main takeaways focus on the interplay of economic, cultural, brand and market factors.

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Joss Whedon Preemptively Apologizes for Making a ‘Mess’ of Seoul During Avengers Filming

Why Joss Whedon Is Already Apologizing for The Avengers_ Age of UltronLike we needed another reason to consider Joss Whedon a class act.

If you’ve ever lived in a city that was taken over by a film crew, you’re well aware of the headaches involved — celebrity sightings never seem worth the extra-long commute, the complete lack of access to your favorite coffee shop, or being treated as though you’re the outsider and the one in the way.

Even just an acknowledgement or a thank-you from someone involved in the filming might make up for it, but when does that ever happen?

It just did.

Filming for the new Avengers flick is set to begin in Seoul, Korea on March 30, and before his cast and crew swoop in and disrupt the goings-on of the city’s residents, director Joss Whedon released this preemptive video apologizing for the “mess” the process will inevitably make of the city. The tone of the video comes across as genuinely gracious, grateful, and appreciative of not only the city’s cooperation with the filming, but appreciative of the city itself, which Whedon seems excited to portray to an American and world-wide audience. Read more

Japan Chooses Pikachu to be Mascot of 2014 World Cup

Pikachu Named Mascot of the 2014 World Cup - IGNPlease, please tell us that when this decision was made, someone stood up and cried out with epic emotion, “Pikachu, I choose you!”

The Japan National Football team (or the “Samurai Blue”) will have some serious power in its pocket come the 2014 World Cup; Adidas, which designs the team’s uniforms, announced a partnership agreement with Nintendo that will make the adorably electric Pikachu the official face of this year’s team. Along with some of his fellow Pokemon like Charmander, Squirtle and others that appear in the recently released games Pokemon X and Pokemon Y, the globally-recognizable Pikachu will be tasked with sharing his “electrifying boost” with Japan’s best soccer players.

To make this branding partnership and cross-promotion complete, the team should totally take the field to this song, no?

Ukrainian Comms Pros Launch ‘Crisis Media Center’ as Russian Offensive Proceeds

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On a compelling but somber note, a volunteer team of professionals from at least ten different firms has banded together in the form of the Ukraine Crisis Media Center in order to distribute messages from leaders friendly with protest movement Maidan, which sees itself as the legitimate government of Ukraine. This move comes as Russia continues its campaign to forcibly separate the Crimea region from the rest of the country in the wake of deposed president Viktor Yanukovych’s retreat.

Last weekend we posted on the social media battle for legitimacy currently raging between Putin’s Russia and post-Yanukovych Ukraine—and that messaging conflict will only intensify both leading up to and following the scheduled March 16 secession vote.

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Pope Francis Gets His Own Weekly Magazine, Complete with Centerfold

POPE-master495Since his election to the highest post in Catholicism about a year ago, Pope Francis has captured both the hearts of his followers and plenty of worldwide attention for his progressive ways and social savvy. So, like those of any self-respecting international celebrity, his fans hunger for regular inspiration and inside access to the life of their favorite star.

Now, here to satiate that need is Mio Papa (My Pope), the pope’s very own magazine, which hit Italian newsstands on Ash Wednesday.

The magazine’s editor, Aldo Vitali, told The New York Times, “It’s a sort of fanzine, but of course it can’t be like something you’d do for One Direction…We aim to be more respectful, more noble.”

But with 68 glossy pages boasting photos, papal pronouncements, sneak peeks into his holiness’ personal life, and a pullout centerfold, it’s pretty much exactly like what you’d do for One Direction. Read more

STUDY: Living on Embarrassingly-Named Streets Can Save UK Homebuyers Thousands

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What’s in a name?

Well, when it comes to buying a home on British streets with names like Crotch Crescent, Cock A-Dobby and Cumming Street, the answer is roughly 84,000 pounds ($140,000).

According to a study by NeedaProperty.com., which spent two months researching the impact of giggle-worthy street names on house prices, embracing (or at least enduring) the idea of living on a questionably-named avenue can save homebuyers a hefty sum of money. Researchers asked 2,000 people to vote for the streets they would be most ashamed to call home, and the top 15 were used for the study. As it turns out, homes on those streets cost an average of 84,000 pounds less than comparable accommodations on other, less innuendo-ridden streets. Read more

Desigual Clothing Brand Reflects Barcelona’s Sunny Spirit

desigual-logo-3“Our runway models are dancing and they’re not serious like they’re at a funeral, as are many models from other fashion brands”, said Borja Castresana, director of global marketing and communications at Desigual, a casual clothing line from Spain. His comment cut to the core of the brand’s positioning statement, “La vida es chula”, translated as “Life is cool.”

Castresana spoke during a Museum at FIT/Fashion Institute of Technology panel on Tuesday about Desigual and how the brand serves as an emblem for Barcelona where it’s based. Both the city and the brand convey similarly positive dispositions. As Spanish trends expert and author Gema Requena said, “the city as brand concept is key for competing in global markets.”

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Prince Charles Gets Jealous of Kate Middleton, Steals Her Press Team

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Whatever do you mean, they’re not all here to see me?

According to a Daily Beast report by someone we trust for being British, Prince Charles now wants to control the “media operation” responsible for all that fawning coverage of the more glamorous members of the royal family.

Before you ask, there is a real story here.

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Urban Outfitters Stops Selling ‘Depression’ T-Shirt After Backlash

ht_urban_outfitters_depression_tee_2_sr_140116_16x9_608To Urban Outfitters, it was a t-shirt with a logo on it, but to many livid customers, it was an offensive piece of clothing boasting the name of an oft-misunderstood and stigmatized illness.

The article of attire in question, a white cutoff t-shirt with the word “Depression” plastered all over it, has been pulled from the retailer’s website after numerous outraged people took to social media to complain. Here are a few tweets that were lobbed in Urban Outfitters’ direction:

The company responded to the uproar over the weekend by halting sales of the shirt and taking to social media to both apologize and explain the origin and intention of the top. Some key phrases in the retailer’s tweets were the following: Read more

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