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Interviews

Lessons Learned from the #myNYPD Twitter Disaster

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The New York Police Department’s recent, spectacular social media failure followed a now-familiar formula: organization calls for fan submissions over popular network, receives overwhelming stream of negativity.

In this case, as in the case of JP Morgan’s #AskJPM and other comparable disasters, the headlines surrounding the futile effort at community outreach quickly drowned out any coincidental good will from the public. And yet, despite it all, department commissioner Bill Bratton now claims that he will continue to attempt similar projects moving forward.

This week, we spoke to LEVICK SVP/digital communications chair Peter LaMotte to try and make sense of the resulting mess.

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The 7 Principles of Effective Communications Explained by Bill McGowan

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Last week we brought you a series of tips on pitching and media relations from author, veteran journalist and Clarity Media Group founder Bill McGowan, most recently known as media coach to Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg (among many other celebrities and executives).

Today we bring you an extension of our conversation touching on the seven principles that form the basis of McGowan’s most recent book Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time.

In this piece, Bill explains how these principles apply to both the general art of communicating and the public relations practice–with a little help from one Donald Draper.

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Inside PR at The Guardian in the Edward Snowden Era

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Very few publications have won as much attention or acclaim over the past year as The Guardian.

The British/American paper shared its recent Pulitzer Prize for public service with The Washington Post, but three people are truly responsible: Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and, of course, Edward Snowden.

Since those fateful days in June when the story first broke, nearly every government in the world has faced a moment of reckoning; the revelations gradually revealed by Greenwald and Snowden have shaken the public’s trust in both its elected representatives and the companies producing the technologies it uses every day.

But there’s another side to the story, and it comes from the perspective of the communications team that helped manage what is unquestionably the biggest scoop of the century to date.

We recently spoke to Gennady Kolker, who oversees media relations at The Guardian US, for an insider’s view of the events of the past ten months.

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PR Pro Terrie Williams Explains How Eddie Murphy Became Her First Client

Terrie-Williams-ArticleTerrie Williams has represented everyone from Janet Jackson to Chris Rock at her eponymous public relations and communications firm. This licensed therapist turned PR pro has truly seen it all and has four best-selling books to show for it.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do series, Williams talks leadership, mental health advocacy and, of course, unloads plenty of PR knowledge. Here, she explains how she acquired one of her first high-profile clients, Eddie Murphy:

One day I heard that Eddie was looking for a PR person. He had never had one. I was kind of self-taught. I took two six or eight-week courses, but I didn’t major in it in college or grad school. I knew I was supposed to represent him. I just knew. So I wrote him a letter. I said, ‘You don’t really know me, but I’ve been to parties at your home and we met at Miles’ [Davis] birthday party. And this is who I am. I would love to represent you.’ I got a phone call maybe two weeks later and a voice said, ‘Eddie’s here. He wants to talk to you.’ He got on the phone and just said, ‘I would love to have you represent me.’ Just like that. I was in tears on the other end. I launched my business with him. Because Eddie was on board, Miles wanted me to represent him. So very early on, all eyes were on me like, ‘Who is this person? Who does she think she is?’

For more from Williams, including her keys to an effective agency, read: So What Do You Do, Terrie Williams, Author, Activist and Public Relations Strategist? 

What Will the Successful Campaigns of the Future Look Like?

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Something like this?

The question that plagues most businesses today is the same: how do we truly reach and create a relationship with the customer? How do we ensure that the sentiments surrounding our brand are positive?

We all know that the combined powers of traditional advertising and earned media aren’t quite enough–and even brands with incredibly successful interactive, multimedia campaigns like Dove’s “Real Beauty” encounter blowback on social media and beyond.

So what do the brands of the future need to do to stand out? What will the most successful campaigns look like?

Ryan Aynes, digital trends expert and co-founder of EDGE Collective, gave us his thoughts on the subject.

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

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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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More Tips for Avoiding and Containing Social Media Crises

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It’s only Tuesday, and already this week has seen a year’s worth of headlines regarding major airlines and terrible publicity on social media.

The incidents–whether self-inflicted or not–were severe enough to inspire yet another round of questions regarding a brand’s ability to both stand out and defend itself online.

We spoke to Peter LaMotte, SVP at LEVICK and Chair of the firm’s digital communications practice, for insights on this topic.

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The Future of Content Marketing Is Here, and It Looks a Lot Like Snapchat

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One of the more interesting social campaigns honored at this week’s Shorty Awards was the one promoting Wet Seal on Snapchat–a campaign for which the brand’s agency ICED Media lent the “keys” to its account to a 16-year-old fashion vlogger.

Like many of our readers, we’ve only begun to dip our toes into the Snapchat pool (by drawing various hairstyles on our puppy). We’re still not sure what to make of the network as a promotional tool, yet Wet Seal’s campaign earned the brand more than 9,000 new followers.

Many top agency leaders will tell you that Snapchat and networks like it represent the future of creative content marketing.

We spoke to ICED president Leslie Hall to learn more.

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Museum Hack Will Help Shake Up Your Stuffy Institution

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Do you represent a museum or other notoriously stiff-collared institution? Do you ever wish for something to make your client’s consumer experience a bit more…dynamic?

Meet Museum Hack, a group founded by hardcore museum lovers to help others learn to better appreciate the considerable wonders on offer at New York’s best-known galleries. These hackers don’t just direct tourists and locals alike to pieces they might have missed–they also turn museum trips into corporate team building events for local companies.

As longtime museum-goers, we were curious–so we asked founder Nick Gray a few questions about his passion project.

We think you’ll agree that Museum Hack provides us with a great example of how to do things a little differently.

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National Youth Violence Prevention Week Needs More Champions

stop the violenceThis week is National Youth Violence Prevention Week

As the proud father of two school-age children, I value this awareness more than ever before because it has become personal to me. I suppose that is what it takes to embrace a cause, but why can’t support in the 3Ts – time, talent, treasure – be provided without that direct connection?

Think about all the national causes that go on every day, usually unnoticed by passer-by traffic on the Internet because it’s not personal to many of the surfers. Make it personal and they stop every time, right?

And therein lies the PR component. We should create awareness because it is deserved before it is necessary, don’t you think? Here is some awareness for us all to consider… Read more

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