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Media Audit

Podcasts Are Having Another Moment Thanks to ‘Serial’


A long time ago, like a few years, everybody was doing a podcast. It was like radio, but on the computer! And for every host doing the talking, there was a different topic being covered.

Then photos and video seemed to take over. Nowadays, there’s Instagram and Snapchat, countless images and clips posted daily on Facebook, YouTube, blogs, news sites and Twitter. Podcasts didn’t go away but they seemed to lose some steam.

But now podcasts are having another moment. And the wildly popular Serial podcast, brought to us from the folks behind “This American Life,” has something to do with that. The woman at the center of what The Guardian calls “the greatest podcast ever made” is Sarah Koenig, who, in case you haven’t yet become addicted, decided to dig into the details of the 1999 killing of a Maryland high school student, Hae Min Lee. A fellow classmate, Adnan Syed was convicted of the crime and has spent the past 15 years in jail. I binge-listened the week before last and was absolutely riveted.

The popularity of the podcast is having some far-reaching effects, and could open another digital door for PRs looking for an outreach opportunity.

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Now That Paper Broke The Internet, Where Does It Go From Here?

kim-kardashian-paper-magazine1Paper magazine set out to #BreaktheInternet with their racy cover of Kim Karashian (and the fully nude photos that were later revealed).

It was certainly a publicity win for Kim Kardashian. She was all over the internet, the hashtag was trending for days, and experts say her brand will not be tarnished in the least by any ensuing controversy.

And for Paper – which normally doesn’t get this sort of mass play — this cover put the arts and culture magazine’s name on everyone’s screens. The key will be taking this buzz and making it last longer than 15 minutes.

We got in touch with the outlet to find out what sort of impact this cover had and what they’re going to do to build on their newfound notoriety. Read more

Communications Week Panel’s Recipes for Pitching Digital, Video and Local Media Outlets

The Better Show Candy Corn CupcakesMaking a splash in social media, having a local hook or access to experts with interesting back stories will gain the attention of digital, video or local media outlets. But don’t bother sending another pumpkin spice recipe or it will end up in a pile with all the other Halloween pitches. Those were a few of the tips producers mentioned at a PRSA NY-hosted panel on Tuesday, during the inaugural Communications Week in New York.

Four media outlets and panelists participated:
•  WABC-TV’s Eyewitness News show and 7online site – Bob Monek, executive producer, digital and social media
•  Meredith Corporation’s The Better ShowWillow Hacket, senior associate producer
•  HuffPost LiveCindy Vanegas, executive producer
•  TheStreet‘s OptionsProfits site – Jill Malandrino, product development manager

Aside from their individual takes on pitching prospects, they also gave detailed rundowns of their outlets, including content, types of guests who appear and their social media approach.

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Should PR Pay Attention to Derek Jeter’s ‘The Players’ Tribune?’

Derek Jeter FinalLast Wednesday’s launch of the Derek Jeter-founded The Players’ Tribune, a digital forum for athletes, scored a home run from a media coverage standpoint. Later that day, key editorial and marketing executives involved in the venture –along with Jeter’s agent — appeared on a panel at Advertising Week New York to discuss the platform further.

The Players’ Tribune may be a worthwhile outlet for PR firms with clients whose business is associated with sports, since the site plans to feature branded content in addition to athlete-contributed content. Here’s the inside track:

What The Players’ Tribune is…

  • “It’s like the Go Pro of sports journalism, offering an inside first-person perspective”, said Jason Marks, executive creative director.
  • “We’re giving the athletes that fans know and love a voice. This is longform social, to tell stories with content in a natural way”, added Mark Grande, VP content strategy.
  • “It will be a platform where athletes control their own voice. It’s meant to complement what’s out there and provide opinions, POVs and perspective”, said Jaymee Messer, CMO, Excel Sports Management, Derek Jeter’s agency.

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Vogue Continues Its Social Media Quest with September #Instagirls

vogue sept coverVogue is really working hard to pick up its social media game. The magazine has actually turned over its all-important September issue to — GASP! Dun dun dun… — models.

The trend over past years has turned to putting Hollywood actresses, even reality stars, on the covers of magazines. So for Vogue to turn over not just any cover, but the monster Fall issue cover to a group of models is a big deal.

But these aren’t just any models. These are #instagirls. Back in the 90s, we had supermodels: Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford among them. Basically, the cast of George Michael’s “Freedom” video. Nowadays, models have not risen to that pop culture level so that we’re all on a first name basis with them. Instead, they have a powerful presence on social media.

Vogue is hoping to capitalize on that by turning over its biggest cover to these tweeting, Instagramming digital fashion celebrities.

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George Clooney Uses the Media to Respond to the Lies in the Media

george clooneyWe’ve written recently about how much entertainment PR has changed because of the Internet. But it’s not just digital channels prompting these dramatic changes.

George Clooney, his fiancée and her family became the center of a tabloid story published in The Daily Mail that alleged the mother of Amal Alamuddin was so unhappy with her daughter’s choice for a husband that she’s joking about traditions in the Druze religion that would result in the death of the bride.

These days, when a celebrity wants to refute a rumor, they tend to take to a Facebook page or a Twitter account. In this case, Clooney went straight to traditional media with a full column. USA Today is online, but it’s the colorful newspaper that appears at your hotel room door that we probably most associate with the title.

That Clooney chose that paper to publish his column is certainly a big get for them. But it also speaks to the ways in which the relationship between celebrities and the media continues to change.

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Seems Crazy, But Taylor Swift Was Actually a Good Choice for a WSJ Op-Ed

taylor swiftWhen I first saw a tweet expressing disbelief that Taylor Swift had written an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, I ignored it, thinking it was a mistake. But it turns out that yes, indeed, this story does exist.

As part of its 125th anniversary celebration, The WSJ included a column by singer/songwriter/everyone’s bestie during a break up, Taylor Swift. On its face, this is a stunt. The WSJ is considered stuffy and serious, usually not the place where you would see much about a country-pop music star, let alone a byline by one. But actually, it’s an inspired move that shines a light on the creative ways that you can present a brand to the world.

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Facebook Exec Rants About The Media, Says Things We’ve Heard Before

haduckMike Haduck, a product manager for ads at Facebook, vented all kinds of frustrations about the media in a mega rant — where else — on Facebook.

He goes off on everything from A to Z: CNN is “the network of kidnapped white girls”; newspapers are “are ghosts in a shell”; the three big papers – The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post – “seem incapable of breaking real, meaningful news at Internet speed”; “[e]vening newscasts are jokes” as is Meet the Press. Most media is terrible according to Haduck.

Once he’s vomited all of his complaints and his gut is empty, he ends with this: “It’s hard to tell who’s to blame. But someone should fix this shit.”

Nothing that Haduck says here hasn’t been said before, either specifically or in general. What’s interesting, however, is that he doesn’t seem to see (or at least to highlight) the ways in which media has benefited from social media sites. Like the one he works for.

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Did the ‘NY Post’ Go Too Far With Its Kimye Wedding Announcement?

NYP kimyeAs everyone knows at this point, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were married this past weekend in an opulent wedding ceremony in Florence, Italy. A lot of people care about this. A lot of people do not. A lot of people will talk about it even if they have mixed-to-negative feelings about either of these celebrities or the two of them as a couple.

Less ambiguous are the feelings of The New York Post, who went full snark with their wedding announcement, seen at right. The Post is known for its over-the-top coverage of even the most serious of subjects. But this seems a little too much, even for a well-known tabloid.

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If You’re CNN, Which Do You Choose? The Brand or Ratings?

CNN MH370 coverageCNN‘s ratings got a boost from coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight that has been called both “breathless” and “speculative.” In the process, its reputation has taken a hit.

The AP noted in mid-May — the point when CNN’s round-the-clock reporting of MH370 was hitting a fever pitch — that various shows on the news network had seen a spike in viewership. One Thursday, programming reached 588,000 viewers where they usually reach 320,000. And Anderson Cooper, who would usually have 444,000 people watching his program, was reaching numbers closer to one million.

However, YouGov BrandIndex data shows that perception of the network (and HLN) had dropped in the first three months of this year after reaching near highs at the end of 2013.

So to get those bumps in eyeballs, the network had to sacrifice a piece of the brand’s perceived quality. The question is whether it’s worth it.

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