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Media Audit

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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Mediabistro Course

Presentation Writing: Design and Delivery

Presentation Writing: Design and DeliveryLearn how to use storytelling techniques and visual content to create and deliver successful pitches and presentations! Starting August 6, Amanda Pacitti, the manager of learning at Time Inc., will teach you the best practices for presentations, from using software like Prezi and Powerpoint, to writing your script, and using images, audio, and video to drive your points. Register now! 

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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Yikes… Will the Kimye Cover Vanquish Vogue?! (Answer: No.)

kimye coverSo that escalated quickly. One minute we were all gasping at Anna Wintour‘s decision to put Kanye West and Kim Kardashian on the cover of the April edition of Vogue. The next, we’ve got bilious backlash, musings about the downfall of Vogue magazine and Billy Bush asking whether this is going to mean the ouster of Wintour.

Upon closer reflection, while it’s not the ideal public response, the duo are living up to the #WorldsMostTalkedAboutCouple hashtag written at the bottom of the page. This situation, in many ways, is good for Vogue. And in some other ways, will mean nothing much in a few weeks.

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The Dodo, A New Site Focused on Animals, Taps Into Our Love For Our Fuzzy Friends

the dodo tweetThe Dodo is back from extinction. At least in digital form.

The new site, The Dodo has launched, “a community-driven destination that’s committed to understanding, celebrating and helping animals.” For this site, “anyone can be a contributor,” though there is also an editorial staff. According to the press release we received, contributors will have the power to create content, pull things from social media, and add items with the hashtag #thedodo.

And based on a glance at the site’s homepage, we’re talking about more than just cat videos and baby animal webcam footage. Topics covered include SeaWorld’s non-reaction to a dolphin hunt in Japan, issues with an Animal Planet program, and an oil spill in Trinidad.

OK, there is one cat video. But it’s a white tiger, so slightly different.

The site has got some big name backers, including Lerer Ventures and Sterling Equities, and counts among its contributors Arianna Huffington and the Dog Whisperer himself Cesar Millan.

But the question is whether there’s enough passion out there to sustain a site with an animal focus. We’ve seen fervor over animal rights wax and wane over the years. Dodo EIC and CEO Kerry Lauerman addressed that issue in an email to us.

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Conde Nast Traveler Is ‘Redefining’ Its Motto ‘Truth In Travel’

conde nast travelerDetails are still TBD, but Conde Nast Traveler is reportedly in the midst of a tagline revamp, going from “Truth In Travel” to perhaps “Taste In Travel.” The former has been the mag’s tagline for 26 years, since its beginnings.

“I can tell you that Truth in Travel will always be an essential part of our DNA,” a spokesperson told CapitalNewYork. “We will just be redefining what it means.”

Dangerous proposition to try and redefine “truth.” Either it’s a fact or it’s not, and anything else verges into that old Stephen Colbert idea of truthiness. For Traveler, the tagline change might have something to do with cost-cutting measures. Where the magazine previously didn’t accept discounts or special treatment at the destinations they were headed to, now it could start accepting “media rates.”

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STUDY: Digital Media to Average 15.5 Hours Daily by 2015

rise-of-social-mediaSo, is this awareness…or addiction?

As you see from the headline, and we read from the Los Angeles Times, Americans are getting more and more attached to our smartphones, tablets and computers. Call it voyeurism, narcissism or get-a-damn-job-ism, but this study shows that the average American will soon spend 15.5 hours on digital media each day.

The study, “How Much Media? 2013 Report on American Consumers,” was produced by the Institute for Communication Technology Management at the USC Marshall School of Business.

By 2015, data indicate that Americans will consume media for more than 1.7 trillion hours, an average of 15.5 hours per person per day. Mobile messaging hours, which last year accounted for about 9% of voice call hours, will double to more than 18% of voice hours, a year-over-year growth rate of more than 27%, the report said.

A bulk of this online staring into nothingness is viewing video via the Internet. In 2008, that viewing was three hours each month. In 2011, it increased to six hours each month. By 2015, that number will skyrocket to 11 hours each month for the average American.

In case you are missing the high-tech speak, how about this excerpt from ScienceDaily.com after the jump (take that, intellectuals):

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Happy Birthday to The Onion

Happy 25th birthday, America’s Finest News Source. Now get a job and move out of your parents’ basement.

To the delight of Area Men everywhere, the weekly newspaper-turned Internet phenomenon has survived and flourished by speaking truth to bullshit since 1988.

Modeled on the classic daily paper, The Onion‘s mastery of reporting, opinion, factoids, news-you-can-use, sourcing, quotes, and photography makes it a must-read for PR pros. Why?  Because we all need to level our judgement with a bit of satire from time to time, the tone is always perfect, and it makes for a highly entertaining teaching aid for new executives looking to tighten their writing.

Here are a few of my favorites:

It’s also with pride that the Onion’s content marketing arm Onion Labs uses a PRNewser quote on its site for promotion. Hat tip to my colleague Patrick Coffee for writing it.

Peel back the layers further and listen to NPR’s interview this morning with Onion Editor-In-Chief Will Tracy:

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