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Joss Whedon Preemptively Apologizes for Making a ‘Mess’ of Seoul During Avengers Filming

Why Joss Whedon Is Already Apologizing for The Avengers_ Age of UltronLike we needed another reason to consider Joss Whedon a class act.

If you’ve ever lived in a city that was taken over by a film crew, you’re well aware of the headaches involved — celebrity sightings never seem worth the extra-long commute, the complete lack of access to your favorite coffee shop, or being treated as though you’re the outsider and the one in the way.

Even just an acknowledgement or a thank-you from someone involved in the filming might make up for it, but when does that ever happen?

It just did.

Filming for the new Avengers flick is set to begin in Seoul, Korea on March 30, and before his cast and crew swoop in and disrupt the goings-on of the city’s residents, director Joss Whedon released this preemptive video apologizing for the “mess” the process will inevitably make of the city. The tone of the video comes across as genuinely gracious, grateful, and appreciative of not only the city’s cooperation with the filming, but appreciative of the city itself, which Whedon seems excited to portray to an American and world-wide audience. Read more

New Wall Street Journal Blog ‘CMO Today’ Has the Marketing Industry Covered

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 2.34.22 PMToday The Wall Street Journal officially launchedCMO Today“, its new site for marketing/advertising news directed at marketing officers.

Suzanna VranicaWSJ’s chief advertising editor, will run the blog with the goal of “[defining] what matters and what doesn’t in the chaos of today’s marketing business.”

With a full-time staff of five, CMO Today (follow them on Twitter) will devote plenty of digital space to the ongoing merger between digital and traditional marketing.

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Lots of PR and Marketing Changes at Time, Inc.

people-instyle-realsimple-mag-hed-2013This week Women’s Wear Daily notified us of some big changes at what is (still) one of the biggest names in media.

As Time Inc. prepares to spin off from parent company Time Warner Inc., its team is shifting accordingly:

  • Marketing exec Susan Parkes will now be SVP of marketing and strategy, reporting to EVP Todd Larsen. This role will include marketing for People and event management for related titles Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, Essence, etc.
  • Special projects director Lisa Simpson will report to Parkes and work with editors of the aforementioned titles
  • VP of strategy and planning Bettina Cisneros will also report to Parks
  • Regina Buckley will be SVP of strategy and operations, reporting to EVP/head of lifestyle titles Evelyn Webster.

On the PR side, SVP of comms operations Nancy Valentino will now report directly to Larsen while running news, sports and entertainment titles.

Beth Mitchell and Jill Davidson will run comms for the lifestyle titles; the two will split responsibilities for the various publications.

The Onion President Talks Content Strategy

Mike-McAvoy-articleThe Onion: you know it and you probably like it. You may also know that the publication’s Onion Labs group creates sponsored content for a variety of clients. (You probably don’t know that the Labs’ home page includes a quote from the blog you’re reading, but we’ll remind you now because we love shameless self-promotion.)

So what sort of strategy underlies the creation of all that content? And why do so many companies want in on it?

Mediabistro’s wickedly talented Valerie Berrios recently talked to Mike McAvoy, president of the organization, to learn more.

On company culture:

“…what’s great about The Onion is everyone here cares about the content; they care about the products, so you have this united front in that everyone wants to see The Onion flourish…Everyone’s really smart, and they have to be in order to get the joke.

There [are] no bylines for the content that we create…it’s very team-oriented.”

Read more

15 Journalistic Clichés That You Should Also Avoid

shutterstock_58447987

We’re sorry to say we missed this Washington Post list of top journalism cliches last month, but it’s a must read.

Writers often lecture PR people about phrases they should studiously avoid in press releases and pitches. But we rarely see such a rundown of easy linguistic standbys that reporters need to ditch along with last year’s BlackBerry.

The best part about this list is that—truth be told—we regularly use many of the suspect phrases ourselves! We used a big one in that last sentence, for example.

So we decided to pick out a few whoppers from the 150(!) to illustrate the fact that journalists are human, too—and sometimes it’s really hard to think of a better way to phrase an idea, especially when you have to write thousands of words a day.

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Savannah Guthrie of TODAY Marries Top DC PR Pro

Today in It’s Not Gossip If It’s True news, this morning Savannah Guthrie of TODAY took the opportunity to tell her co-hosts that she ran off and got married over the weekend…to Glover Park Group PR pro and self-described “recovering political hack” Mike Feldman.

And that’s not all…

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Vanessa Freidman Is Your New York Times Fashion Critic

vanessa-friedman-225The search is over: The New York Times has named Vanessa Freidman, currently chief fashion critic at Financial Times, as its new arbiter of all things style.

This announcement, of course, follows the January resignation of longtime fashion chief Cathy Horyn, who left the paper for personal reasons, and the more recent departure of fellow critic Suzy Menkes, who departed the recently rebranded International New York Times for a a spot at Vogue.

Times executive editor Jill Abramson says:

“I’m thrilled to welcome Vanessa to the Times.  She is the perfect journalist to be our leading voice on global fashion.”

Read more

Social Media Sensation ‘I F*cking Love Science’ to Become TV Show

I Fucking Love Science Is Coming To Televison! | I Fucking Love ScienceHit TV shows often spawn Facebook pages and other social media accounts with followers numbering in the millions, but how often do these things happen in the reverse order?

Elise Andrew, creator of the Facebook page and blog “I Fucking Love Science,” announced at SXSW this past weekend that her insanely popular creation is being turned into an hour-long TV series on the Science Channel, produced by writer/comedian/talk show host Craig Ferguson.

In her blogpost announcing the venture, Andrew marveled at how in just two short years, the “I Fucking Love Science” Facebook page has amassed 10 million followers, and that through its related social media accounts, the platform reaches fifty million people per week. Read more

Will You Be Pitching to Ezra Klein’s Vox?

It’s a worthy question, because despite former Washington Post writer Ezra Klein’s wonky history reporting on economics, his new venture Vox promises to cover “Politics, public policy, world affairs, pop culture, science, business, food, sports, and everything else that matters.”

This promo video also serves as a look into the current state of reporting. When was the last time you saw a trailer for a news organization?

Klein’s challenge is to convince the public to pay attention to factual stories that don’t contain the latest form of visual distraction. As the founder himself puts it, he’s betting the bank that readers will eat their media veggies as long as the material isn’t presented in such an unappealing “this is good for you but we guarantee you will hate it” way.

We’re very interested in seeing where Vox goes with this concept, but for now the launch is a nice reminder of the inherent challenge of getting people to click and, referring to the “understand the news” tagline, truly absorb informative content.

Surely you understand.

NBC News Continues its Hack Attack Form of Checkbook Journalism Because Ratings

interactive newsroom

Ironic what the NBC Interactive Newsroom chose to adorn its wall, huh?

Ratings (n.) — The source of all things monetary in media; The force by which all journalists show their worth the bigwigs in the corner offices; The reason media can suck.

When I was in a newsroom, there was just about nothing I wouldn’t do to get people to listen to what I had to say. Hell, in PR, it’s the same way. I’ll beg, borrow or steal borrow some more to help my clients get what they deserve and help tell their story. However, the people at NBC News, go a skosh past unethical into a whole new realm of paparazzi.

Again…

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