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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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Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Facebook Hired a Team to Remind the World That It Is Run by Humans

Poke-App

Poke it to see if it has a pulse

W0rds can be slippery things.

For years, observers have theorized that leading “social network” Facebook actually makes us more antisocial. There are studies about it, Infographics discuss it. Even a short film was made about it.

And now, there’s this: Facebook would like to inform users they care, so they hired a team just to confirm it.

Read more

Ugly Sweaters for a Good Cause: Brands Celebrate UK’s ‘Christmas Jumper Day’

proxyIn the UK, the donning of hideously tacky Christmas sweaters has gone beyond an ironic fashion statement and party theme; today, Friday, December 12, is Christmas Jumper Day, a day dedicated to celebrating all things sequins and yarn while supporting the British charity Save The Children. The idea is for every person who sports a Christmas “jumper” today to consider giving a small donation of £2 by texting WOOLY to 70050.

Curious to see how organizations and brands would take part, we took to Twitter to explore the XmasJumperDay hashtag, and found roughly what we expected: many seriously fabulous sweaters; companies and organizations decking themselves out while ensuring the charitable side of things remains the focus; and, of course, some brands hijacking the hashtag for their own purposes.

Here are some examples of brands and organizations keeping the clickbait classy by supporting Save The Children:

Read more

Rolling Stone Revises Apology as Backlash Against its Handling of Rape Story Grows

A Note to Our Readers | Rolling StoneIn order to change the current culture and systems that allow colleges and universities to systematically fail victims of sexual assault in the name of self-preservation and rosier PR, many things must take place — not the least of which is the spreading of awareness of such egregious failures through deep-digging, responsible journalism. It’s for this reason that Rolling Stone‘s recent article “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA” was so explosive; it’s also the reason that the magazine’s bad-to-worse handling of the story has caused such a massive firestorm.

A few weeks after the magazine published its account of “Jackie’s” brutal assault by seven members of a UVA fraternity, some discrepancies in the details of the student’s story began to surface. In response, Rolling Stone posted a statement on Friday, signed by managing editor Will Dana, which admitted, “there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account,” and then added, “We have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced.”

This “apology” didn’t sit well with many readers, as it seemed, rather than taking responsibility for its own failure to fact-check, the magazine was effectively placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of a possible trauma victim. The backlash was swift, and many took to Twitter, using the hashtag #IStandWithJackie to call out the magazine, pointing out that trauma victims often misremember details, and that this didn’t necessarily mean her story was fundamentally untrue.


Rather than further apologizing for its tone-deaf apology, the magazine responded by quietly deleting its statement and publishing an updated version the next day. The new version explains the editorial choices in greater detail and puts the responsibility of fact-checking and well-rounded research back on its own plate. The statement reads in part: Read more

Mark Zuckerberg Hates Ello, Apple, And Other Things We Already Knew

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Photo Credit: Where else? Facebook because Zuck said so.

Two people you will probably never see at a holiday dinner exchanging gifts and pleasantries would be Facebook grand poobah Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

One heads up the world’s most innovative company and other leads the world’s stalkers all under one cybernetic roof. We bring that up because Time magazine released a lengthy article about ‘Facebook’s World Plan‘ that discusses Zuckerberg’s global domination to get “every single human being online.”

Yeah, that, and he would like to monetize each one of them, according to Cook…and that’s where the food fight begins.  Read more

St. Louis County Police Spokesperson Apologizes For Insensitive Social Media Post

With law enforcement across the country being scrutinized for their enforcement tactics, now is not the time to address the public with jokes, puns, plays on words, or anything other than facts. Moreover, if you’re speaking on behalf of your group on a sensitive topic, run your correspondence up the flagpole to make sure it doesn’t cause offense. Someone at the St. Louis County police department in Fenton didn’t get this message before posting a note this morning on social media referring to the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice at the hands of a police officer.

In a post that has since been removed, someone from this department sought to educate readers about Airsoft pistols and pellet guns, warning that “children should have rules for ‘toy’ guns that mirror the rules of real guns.” But before this person could get to the safety advisory, they opened with the question, “Kids will be Kids?” and then used Rice’s tragic story to illustrate the danger, admitting that they “[did] not know all the details of the story.”

The note goes on to warn parents to make sure that kids know how to behave if the cops are called because a toy gun can be mistaken for a real weapon. “They need to comply with officers [sic] instructions. They may be ordered to lie on the ground…” 

After the post went up, the St. Louis County spokesperson contacted Buzzfeed News with an apology and further statement from the Department Chief Jon Belmar.

Read more

5 Social Media Marketing Trends for 2015

social keyboard

Hard to believe it, but December has arrived yet again — which means lots of year-end lists and predictions for the year to come.

Nothing changes more rapidly than social media, what with the new platforms, new privacy policies, new venues for storytelling (yes, even Snapchat), and the ability to more effectively flag and report your worst trolls.

So what’s next for social media? The social team at Chicago-based marketing comms agency JSH&A has created an infographic for your review.

Read more

How Social Is ‘Social,’ Really?

Because it’s a fairly slow news day and we feel like everyone can relate, here’s a very short video from “spoof startup” Vooza, which is still looking to turn its skill for mocking tech culture into a business “creating a fresh kind of web-based advertisement for startups.

We get it; there’s a reason none of the ad agencies we cover on our other blog include any “startups” on their client rosters. Anyway, here’s Vooza’s newest one, created to promote itself:

Obvious joke, sure, but it’s totally true. If your editor hadn’t been fortunate enough to meet his wife before he began using any networks beyond Facebook, he would SO be that guy.

Remember this one the next time you break out your phone at dinner…unless you have double digit Twitter mentions.

10 Client Delusions About Social Media

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We all know that social media is extremely important and that every PR pro worth his or her digital salt will be up-to-date on the latest changes from the major networks as well as upstarts that may soon become essential tools…or  not (see Ello, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.).

Beyond those basic facts, however, there’s lots of disagreement among both industry veterans and clients: who “owns” social? Which networks are best for which clients/campaigns? How can one satisfy clients demanding ROI?

The founders of Santa Monica-based agency [made to order] recently focused on the client side, asking followers and colleagues to help compile a list of the most stubborn social media myths on Facebook  and Twitter using the tag #SocialDelusions.

Read more

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

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