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The 5 Categories of Digital Friends for PR Professionals

digital friendsLast week, I was having a conversation about my peeps on Twitter.

“How did you get them all?” “What did you do to get their attention?” And possibly “Did you buy them a steak dinner?” And it got me thinking about the many reasons people like following others, as well as getting others to follow them.

While the top reason is ego…eh, influence, there are other aspects to offering reasons to get people to like your pictures or posts, or comment on your tweets. So, I began to audit my own Twitter account, which led to me this: PR folk making “digital” friends.

Are they real? Do they exist? Would they care if they met you IRL? Does any of this make sense? For the average PR pro, digital friends fall into five main categories (yes, it’s this week’s #5Things).

Where do you fall? Read more

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Journalists Weigh in on the Ethics of the Sony Hack Stories

We all know how Sony, Aaron Sorkin, Brad Pitt and Rubenstein Communications think the media world should respond to ongoing leaks from the Sony Pictures hack: ignore them.

CNN’s Reliable Sources (hosted by the Brian Stelter, founder of our sister site TVNewser) asked the question on Sunday and got some mixed different answers. In the first part of the interview, Andrew Wallenstein of Variety frames the question as a serious one, saying, “I don’t do that lightly…it was going to get out there anyway, and we have to be part of the conversation.”

Dawn Chmielewski of Re\code was a bit more blunt on New Day:

Well, then. Check out Gawker’s explanation of the issue — which mentions the leak of a clip from The Interview depicting the death of the very Korean dictator at the heart of this story — to Mike Allen of Politico after the jump.

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Seth Rogen: Don’t Blame Me for the Sony Leak

Two people bear absolutely no responsibility for the Sony media hack that looks like the biggest data leak since Snowden: Seth Rogen and James Franco.

In a clip from Good Morning America set to air tomorrow, Rogen insists that his upcoming movie The Interview was never supposed to be controversial — and it definitely wasn’t intended to inspire a leak:

Key quote:

“At this point, it’s too late to have any [second thoughts]. We set out to make a movie that was really entertaining to audiences and I genuinely think we did that. And that’s where my job ends.”

So it’s a perfect storm of publicity for these two and a nightmare for everyone else employed by Sony. Of course, no one can confirm that North Korea was responsible for the hack. Why so quiet, James Franco?

THR ‘Most Powerful Women in Hollywood’ Is a PR Free-for-All

First, here’s Joel McHale and Hoda Kotb “roasting” NBCUniversal chairman Bonnie Hammer at this week’s Power 100 Women in Entertainment Breakfast:

We do appreciate Kathie Lee’s ability to take a joke and E’s insistence that McHale use every opportunity to remind viewers how terrible it really is.

Now here’s Hammer’s winning profile piece and here’s the New York Times article detailing the PR battle that precedes the event.

More inside baseball stuff below.

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Vox Gets New Cash Infusion As Old School Media Herd Thins

Vox Media

The future favors digital media — and the tide is turning even faster than we thought it would.

Vox, the company that just hired PR vet Fay Sliger of VICE and High10 Media to run its comms operations, has some good news on a day that includes plenty of bad news for journalism at large.

First, Vox (which includes The Verge, Eater, Racked and more in addition to the main site run by Ezra Klein) announced today that it raised $45.6 million from New York investment firm General Atlantic and that the new cash infusion brings its estimated value up to $400 million.

Most observers see the success of Vox and competitors like Mashable and BuzzFeed as a definitive sign that the media has almost found its new sustainable model.

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Big Changes in Tech Journalism: ‘Fake Steve Jobs’ Is Your New Valleywag

Dan LyonsYesterday we learned of a couple of big changes in the Silicon Valley tech journalism game: the head of Valleywag is headed to The Verge and her replacement will be the writer/marketer formerly known as “Fake Steve Jobs.”

Nitasha Tiku, a seasoned reporter who has written for many pubs including New York magazine and BetaBeat (where she had the good humor to share her staff’s reactions to our post on “the world’s first Vine press release“), will be senior West Coast writer at the Vox property. Business Insider broke that news Thursday morning, and Re/code followed with a report that Dan Lyons, currently marketing fellow at HubSpot, will be her replacement.

In case you hoped that this move will mean a kinder, gentler Valleywag, think again: here’s what Lyons told us about 9to5Mac’s Apple PR reveal back in September:

“I have no problem with Apple being as manipulative as it possibly can. That is what PR is supposed to do, and Apple is very good at PR. The real culprits are the reporters and bloggers who play along.”

In other words, he does not play along.

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Anna Wintour Basically Admits That Putting Kimye on the Cover of Vogue Was a PR Stunt

anna wintourAnna Wintour sat down with former CNN reporter Alina Cho on Monday at the Metropolitan Museum to talk about a number of fashion-related topics. Among them: that Kimye cover of Vogue

Quoth Wintour:

I see the role of Vogue to reflect what’s going on in the culture. The first celebrity that I put on the cover of Vogue was Madonna, and that was considered completely controversial at the time, too. It’s such a long time ago probably no one remembers, but she was a very controversial figure. Now she’s part of the establishment. I think if we just remain deeply tasteful and just put deeply tasteful people on the cover, it would be a rather boring magazine! Nobody would talk about us. It’s very important that people do talk about us. 

Anna Wintour speaks the truth.

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Angry Tech Exec’s Note to NYT Reporter Must Be Seen to Be Believed

Last night we learned that the stereotypical tech execs featured on HBO’s Silicon Valley were not so far from reality.

You probably noticed that lots of journalists were tweeting/writing bad things about Uber yesterday, especially after reports of easy employee access to the “God View” tool that allows the company to track every one of its riders.

Turns out that a few (allegedly) high-ranking “technologists” have even less respect for “the media” than, say, your average Fox News opinionator.

Last night, New York Times tech writer Mike Isaac shared an anonymous hatemail received from a self-described “tech executive” who thinks the media deserves a bit of comeuppance:

Read the whole thing if you have time — it’s more than slightly insane. Highlights after the jump.

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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

UPDATE: MSNBC Is Ready for a Rebranding

MSNBC Opinions

It was October 2010 when MSNBC pushed all of its chips to the left side of the aisle with the ad campaign “Lean Forward.

Minneapolis ad agency Mono even procured the talents of Spike Lee to direct the commercial spots announcing the change. A big campaign. A big name. A big change for American network news. It was a gamble that network execs believed would pay off. From Rachel Maddow to Chris Matthews, the network was set to become the antithesis to FOX News.

And then the bloodletting of 2014 happened, causing the network’s president Phil Griffin to reconsider its position. Our sister site TVNewser broke the story yesterday via an internal memo.

Read more

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