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Media Beat

Matt Damon Does Ice Bucket Challenge with Toilet Water to Send a Message

To date, so many people have dumped water over their heads for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that the effort has raised over $88 million for the ALS Association, and while that’s a whole lot of money for a very worthy cause, it also means a whole lot of fresh, clean water — a rare commodity for millions of people — being wasted.

This is why actor Matt Damon, co-founder of charity Water.org, had mixed feelings about accepting the challenge sent his way by friends Jimmy Kimmel and Ben Affleck.

“It posed kind of a problem for me, not only because there’s a drought here in California,” Damon explained in a video uploaded to the his organization’s YouTube channel, “But because I co-founded Water.org, and we envision the day when everybody has access to a clean drink of water — and there are about 800 million people in the world who don’t — and so dumping a clean bucket of water on my head seemed a little crazy.” Read more

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt Wins Positive Press for His Perfect Definition of Feminism

proxyThe word “feminism” can be a touchy one, especially given the wildly-varying definitions out there, and celebrities often seem particularly wary of stating their allegiance (or lack-thereof) to the concept. Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, however, has no such qualms.

In a recent interview with the Daily Beast that’s now gone viral, the star explained why he considers himself a feminist, and then went on to give the word one of the most clear, simple, and positive definitions we ever remember hearing.

Gordon-Levitt was asked:

I read that you consider yourself a “male feminist,” and you credit your parents who are educators and really taught you about the history of feminism. But nowadays, you have a lot of young stars coming out against being labeled a feminist.

His response (below) has both women and men singing his praises in multiple publications and all over social media: Read more

Former WH Chief Defends Powerful Women Appearing in ‘Women’s Magazines’

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You may have noticed a not-so-recent trend: powerful women in politics, technology and other fields appearing on the covers of magazines like Vogue and Cosmopolitan as they make major career transitions.

Unfortunately, these very women often receive a steady drumbeat of criticism after making such appearances. This doesn’t just apply to politics, either–remember Marissa Mayer‘s 2013 cover shoot?

Last week, Marie Claire’s newest contributing editor Alyssa Mastromonaco finally stood up to defend the practice in The Washington Post with the simple headline “Being informed and fashionable is natural for women.

Mastromonaco is more qualified than most to comment on this topic: she spent six years as President Obama’s White House Deputy Chief of Staff.

We’ll review what she wrote after the jump.

Read more

Coldwell Banker, BuzzFeed Pair Up for Sponsored Content Series

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A couple of weeks ago, a BuzzFeed listicle that looked a whole lot like a paid placement for Target inspired a bunch of journalists on Twitter to ask for some clarity as to what is and isn’t sponsored content.

We’ll soon have another example of the strategy in action: today real estate brand Coldwell Banker announced a partnership with everyone’s favorite kitty-pic-factory-turned-real-news-source.

What will this partnership entail?

Read more

THR ‘Most Powerful’ List Reflects New Media’s Influence

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The Hollywood Reporter just released its annual “most powerful people in New York media” list, and the most surprising thing about it is how unsurprising the new listings are.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg provides the story’s lede–and while the piece mentions the expansion of Bloomberg TV and Businessweek, everyone knows that it’s still all about those terminals.

The big news, though, is the addition of the names you’ve come to know from the digital side.

Read more

STUDY: Readers Less Engaged with Content Found via Search or Social

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In one of the week’s most interesting studies, the invaluable Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project found that readers who visit news sites directly are more engaged with the content they encounter than those who come across the same stuff on social.

This finding applies to search engines, too:

  • The average direct visit to any given news site lasts 4 minutes, 36 seconds
  • The average visit to the same site via a link on social or a web search lasts only 100-102 seconds

Unsurprisingly, the regular reader is more dedicated. There’s more…

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Time Out New York Wants Your Best Food Porn Pics

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Today in Crowdsourcing Content news, Time Out New York managed to combine editorial, social media and friendly competition in a clever promo campaign.

To be specific, the image on the cover of the mag’s upcoming, always-popular Food & Drink Awards issue will come from a certain Instagram user with a gift for picking a great spot and composing a great shot.

The rules are almost painfully simple: post a pic taken at one of the many New York bars/restaurants on the Readers’ Choice nominees list (no selfies), add the tag #TimeOutFoodAwards…then sit back and wait for the instant gratification that will almost certainly never arrive.

Read more

Inside The Wall Street Journal: A Newsroom Tour and Pitching Guide

WSJ News Hub Intro FinalSince landing a story or mention in The Wall Street Journal qualifies as the major leagues, it requires a pitching approach similar to that used by New York Yankees’ ace reliever Mariano (Mo) Rivera: a combination of tenacity, resourcefulness, integrity and precision. That was our takeaway from a recent panel discussion with a team of seasoned WSJ editors, organized by PRSA NY.

Gabriella Stern, the WSJ’s deputy digital editor, moderated and hosted a behind-the-scenes group tour of WSJ’s state-of-the-art midtown newsroom. She described The Hub as “the nerve center and the heart of the New York news operation”. That’s where print, online and wire editors coordinate their efforts. The Opinion Page functions separately from the news operation.

“We have a sprawling digital operation, and our digital strategy is increasingly mobile”, Stern added. She pointed out areas devoted to social media, mobile, Infographics, design, video, and an on-air digital control room. WSJ hosts about seven live video shows per day.

“As PR professionals, you’re often the keys to information and thought leaders we need to talk to for our stories”, Stern told the group. She offered a wealth of pitching tips, along with her editorial colleagues:

  • Jim Pensiero, deputy managing editor (focuses on talent, training, newsroom projects)
  • Noelle Knox, editor, CFO Journal (addresses CFO suite)
  • Geoff Rogow, editor, Real-Time Finance News (area includes markets and finance)
  • George Stahl, corporate news editor, Real-Time Corporate News (handles news put out by companies)
  • Kevin Noblet, editor, Wealth Management (covers financial advisors and how they manage their practices and help clients)

We’ve organized the range of pointers like a baseball pitcher, with an outline for pitch selection, windup, delivery and mechanics.

Read more

Fast Company Wants to Know How You Manage Your Insane PR Lifestyle

The obvious answer to the question “How do you get it all done?” is “I work my f*cking ass off”, but Fast Company turned it into a bit of a game this week by encouraging readers who work in the always-insane media/communications world to demonstrate, via six second Vine clip, how they manage to manage it.

Here’s a good one from Finn Partners:

What do we think? Has your firm submitted a Vine?

Media Beat: Brian Stelter’s Choice, Work in TV News or Cover It

How did an 18-year-old college student in Maryland gain the trust of and get access to TV executives and anchors in New York? “By posting 10 or 15 posts a day meant that the industry knew it was a reliable consistent source,” says Brian Stelter, creator of our sister site TVNewser and now a media reporter for the New York Times and author of the just released book “Top of the Morning.”

As he neared graduation, Stelter had to make a choice: work in TV news, or cover it.

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