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Technology

Someone Forgot to Cancel Joan Rivers’ Instagram iPhone Promo

Question: when did TMZ become a legitimate news source?

Early this morning, the site best known for sex tapes and whatever deep dirt they have on Justin Bieber told us that someone forgot to cancel Joan Rivers’ pending Instagram iPhone promotion after she passed on to a better place.

Here’s the image, which a super-sleuth at TMZ managed to capture moments before it disappeared forever:

joan-rivers-iphone6-facebook-5

We’d like to point out the very sloppy copywriting on this paid placement: no way Rivers would have droned on about “achievement in design” for five whole sentences without making fun of “the most arrogant company in the world.

We do, however, feel like Rivers (who could teach a few lessons to PR pros, by the way) would have appreciated TMZ’s sense of humor:

“Steve Jobs could not be reached for comment.”

Of course, they still went with the “Promotes iPhone 6 Feet Under” headline. Touche. 

[Pic via TMZ]

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STUDY: Readers Remember Print Placements Better Than Digital

like ugh right

A common challenge we’ve heard discussed among our PR contacts with “old-school” clients involves convincing them that placements on specialty blogs can be just as valuable (in terms of dollars and cents) as a mention in the Wall Street Journal.

No, you can’t hang them on your wall — but they can be even more important in terms of raising awareness of the client’s business.

A new study from the University of Houston does sort of throw a wrench into that line of thinking, though: it found that readers are more likely to remember things like, say, your client’s name and the products they sell when this information appears in print.

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Forget Phones! BlackBerry Is Working on a Smartwatch

BlackBerry is the butt of many a tech joke. Once the pinnacle of personal mobile technology, it became the phone that some people say they don’t want to be seen using. But the company isn’t giving up. It reported some surprisingly good numbers earlier in the summer. And now CEO John Chen is talking about taking a leap with the big players into wearables.

Speaking at the Super Mobility Conference in Las Vegas this week, Chen said the company was doing some research into the possibilities for things like smartwatches and smart glasses.

Of course, some people have jokes.

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15 People Business Insider Left Off Its ‘Top 50 Tech PR’ List

business-insider-logo

ICYMI, yesterday Business Insider posted another of its famous clickbait listicles (not that we would ever do anything like that, cough cough). This one was of particular interest to the people in PR.

It’s true that “The 50 Best Public Relations People in the Tech Industry in 2014” was — as one of our industry friends put it — “so arbitrary.” At the same time, it’s always good to see journalists highlighting the real, valuable work done by PR rather than denigrating the entire industry.

It was also nice to see friends of the site Ed Zitron of EZPR and Barbara Bates of Eastwick get some respect.

A couple of things we noticed: someone really likes working with Waggener Edstrom and Brew PR and there weren’t a whole lot of names on the list from the usual suspects. Check out the O’Dwyer’s top tech firms list and notice how many of them didn’t appear in the BI post.

After the jump, we listed some people — both abstract and specific — whose absence we noted.

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Snapchat Makes Bad News Disappear in Six Seconds

snapchat

So did you hear Snapchat‘s big announcement yesterday? No? You’re not the only one — and there’s a good reason for that.

History’s frattiest startup confirmed yesterday that its third founding partner did, in fact, play a significant role in creating its app. By settling with “Reggie” Brown for what we can only assume was a multi-million dollar sum, the company effectively admitted that it had cut him out of the loop before hitting the big time and dissing Mark Zuckerberg.

The official statement from CEO Evan Spiegel goes against Snapchat’s years of official denials, in which it claimed that Brown had little to do with the company’s creation, launch and subsequent success:

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#AppleLive Event Encountering Some Technical Difficulties

Apple may aspire to “control” journalists in some ways, but it’s tough to prevent viewers from commenting when the world’s most-watched live stream keeps crashing, broadcasting Chinese translations over Tim Cook’s voice and creating some trippy visuals:

More fun after the jump.

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Apple Insider Spills Secrets: ‘This Isn’t PR. This Is Something Else.’

Apple cube

We recently posted on the biggest takeaways from 9to5Mac’s extensive inside look at Apple’s media relations strategy.

The piece provided a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into the company’s one-of-a-kind culture, and as a follow-up we were fortunate enough to speak with a source close to Apple’s international PR team for an insider’s take on the story…and more.

What did you think of the 9to5Mac piece?

Nothing surprised me; the only thing I would object to is the part about shredding the strategic “white books” before events.  They were referring to “At a glance” docs, which are simply printouts. PR receives them a few days before each event and hands them back to management when it’s over.

And the part about PR doubling as bodyguards?

Yes, I did see a PR blocking a couple of photographers who were trying to take pictures of Steve Jobs at one event.

How did the Jobs-to-Cook transition affect internal strategy?

At the beginning it was not noticeable at all, but people saw that Cook seemed far more proactive on sustainability, CSR, workers’ rights in China, etc. In terms of general strategy, though, nothing changed.

How closely does the international organization work with the American PR team? Read more

PR Veterans Weigh in on Apple Expose

apple-logo-pngPardon us for being all Apple today, readers, but it’s hard to look away when the world’s most influential company makes waves (especially since we had a revealing conversation with someone close to its international communications team yesterday).

Earlier this week we reviewed takeaways from the extensive 9t05Mac piece on the company’s comms operations, and today three industry influencers gave us their impressions.

Dan Lyons, journalist-turned marketing fellow at HubSpot and creator of The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs:

I think it was a great series. Very insightful. There is still more work to be done in exposing the collusion and coziness between Apple and certain bloggers and members of the mainstream media.

In fact, 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.

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14 Takeaways from the Epic Apple PR Expose

Apple Store

ICYMI, the Apple-obsessive blog 9to5Mac posted a truly epic 9-part story last Friday titled “Seeing Through the Illusion: Understanding Apple’s Mastery of the Media”. The piece served as a long weekend must-read for anyone with an interest in the communications or technology industries.

The work was so deep that it almost demanded episodic recaps a la Orange Is the New Black. We didn’t finish it until last night because we spent much of the long weekend competing with ourselves to see how many IPAs we could drink in a 24-hour period (not really), but we thoroughly recommend it.

Senior Editor Mark Gurman sought to answer the questions: What sort of strategic advantage has allowed the company to play the media like a well-worn string instrument for the past decade?

Here, then, are 14 things we learned from the piece.

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Apple Reveals Very Little About iCloud Glitch Linked to Celebrity Photo Leak

Icloud

In a quick move that should surprise no one who read any of 9to5Mac’s exhaustive look into Apple’s PR department, the tech giant very quickly addressed concerns stemming from the weekend incident in which intimate photos of several media personalities leaked online.

The Next Web honed in on iCloud as a possible source for the leak soon after news broke, reporting that a glitch in the “Find My iPhone” service “appears to have allowed malicious users to ‘brute force’ a target account’s password on Apple’s iCloud”

Yesterday a company rep told Re\code:

“We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report.”

As soon as that story went live, multiple headlines claimed that Appleappears to have fixed” the problem. Read more

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