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Why You Should Care About the Emerging ‘PR Tech’ Market

pr techYou’ve probably heard of AirPR. The company has earned a good bit of attention for emphasizing the importance of measurement in the industry, and its CSO Rebekah Iliff and PR Engineer Leta Soza have written guest posts on ROI tools and optimization technology; Iliff also talked to us about whether the future of measurement is already here.

This week, however, the company launched, a site dedicated to “showcasing the companies and individuals driving the emerging PRTech ecosystem” as well as providing related services. The idea is that the emerging “PR tech” industry will soon be large enough to rival ad tech — and this site will help you navigate it.

Various industry pubs ran the accompanying infographic, but we liked it so much that we reposted it here and asked Rebekah to tell us why the industry needs to pay close attention to what happens next.

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The Wall Street Journal Perfectly Illustrates the Challenges Faced by Women in Tech/Finance

We like The Wall Street Journal Digits blog. We know that the journalists who work there are consummate professionals, and we don’t think the editorial team made a decision to cut “the woman” out of a business team’s glamour shot.

But this comparison of images on rival blogs illustrates the struggles faced by female managers/executives in the tech and finance worlds very well:

FWIW, the WSJ quickly responded to that tweet from Google vet/venture capital celebrity Chris Sacca, fixing the image and explaining its mistake:

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Former Google+ Designer: ‘We F*cked Up!’


Meet Chris Messina. 

He’s a guy whose palatial estate may be large enough to contain his ego: he was a lead designer at this start-up called Google. In fact, he was one of the user experience masterminds behind Google+.

(Not for nothing, but dude is credited by many with creating the hashtag.)

No matter how much Google tries to force us to use its own network, the project has been a failure by any real measure. Now Messina is blogging about its demise in very unflattering (and profane) terms.

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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.

Startup Exec Accidentally Proves the Value of Tech PR

There’s some “debate” — if you can call it that — within the tech community as to whether PR is a necessary evil or a crucial tool in taking startups from obscurity to world domination. Some recent examples: an Uber GM got attention for claiming that such services are “a waste of money” and an anonymous “tech exec” told an NYT reporter that he only hates journalists a little bit more than he hates his own PR team.

Last week, however, technologist Robert Adams of the “sharing without an internet footprint” network gave us the definitive case study in the Why Startups DEFINITELY Need PR file by sending his own mass pitch to almost every major tech journalist on the planet.

Much of that “frenzy” involved mocking him.

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Blackberry Thinks Your iPhone is Worth $550


Quick Quiz: How many people in your office use a Blackberry?

The answer to that question illustrates the problem the brand has experienced for the better part of a decade.

Blackberry has struggled to maintain its market share while both Android and Apple technology get to enjoy the spoils of their own success. Enter CEO John S. Chen, who thinks his marketing budget would be best spent paying for your existing phone.


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Twitter CFO Doesn’t Understand How Twitter Works

Anthony Soto

(Source: Brian Ach/Getty Images) 

In most cases, the surest sign of excellent internal communications is a team’s ability to fully advocate for and support the brand in any situation.

Do people from Disney have a hard time discussing magic? Do employees of any sports team hesitate to talk up their players? No, because they are acolytes, brand champions and, perhaps, consumers of the Kool-Aid.

You’d think a company like Twitter — which is all about communications — would be on top of its own messaging efforts. But company CFO Anthony Noto made national news yesterday thanks to his seeming inability to figure out how the service’s direct messaging feature works.

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When Geeks Attack: Mattel Apologizes for ‘Barbie Can’t Code’ Book

barbie computer designer

Graphic artist? Maybe. Engineer? Not so much. 

According to Mattel (, Barbie has held more than 150 different jobs “spanning from registered nurse to rock star, veterinarian to aerobics instructor, pilot to police officer.”

Maybe a temp pool is next for the former bikini model?

Her latest career turn had many people in the tech world irate because of a seemingly sexist approach: seems Barbie can’t do much with a computer beyond plugging it in.

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How Bad Was Uber’s ‘Apology?’

You all saw Uber CEO Travis Kalinick‘s version of an “apology” earlier this week. We gave the company’s official response to its SVP of business’s “we will DESTROY you and your family” threat to Pando’s Sarah Lacy a D+ for minimal effort, and Lacy herself agreed, telling CNN that the company needs “accountability.” We take that to mean actions rather than empty words, but today a Bloomberg report covered by Mashable strongly indicated that the guilty party, Emil Michael, won’t be going anywhere.

Today our friends at Fast Company gave us their hot take on the story, and it’s quite amusing. Take it away, Jason Feifer:

Have to agree with him here: an apology made via a series of tweets reads, “do I REALLY have to do this?”

We have no idea what additional steps the company will take since Kalanick has been silent over the past couple of days. In the meantime, we’ll make a point of NOT waiting for more expert commentary from one Ashton Kutcher.

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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