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Tips and Tools

Journalists Recommend Getting More Strategic with Event Invites

Tony Romm covers tech for Politico, so of course he would get multiple invites to the Consumer Electronics Show Las Vegas, or “the Global Stage for Innovation.

It’s not just him, though: we’ve received several invites ourselves from PRs repping ad agencies and ad tech companies; we even got one from straight from Time, Inc. CES is a big conference that’s been around since 1967, and the fact that it’s not open to the public makes it a prime stage for showing off the work of clients even if they have little or nothing to do with larger trends in technology.

That said, the lead-up to this year’s event has also seen some grumbling from writers receiving a deluge of form pitches. Friend of the site Ed Zitron got a bit of attention earlier this week for collecting all related emails and trolling the hell out of the PR professionals who sent them.

We definitely wouldn’t go that far; we have enough people angry at us on any given day. But we do feel like the event could be a great opportunity to stress the value of strategic targeting. We asked Alan Henry, tech blogger for Gawker property Lifehacker, for his take.

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Mediabistro Course

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!

A Blueprint for Keeping Brands Relevant During Renovations

Cooper Hewitt Museum Orange Scaffolding  SignThe holiday season turned brighter on east 91st Street and Fifth Avenue in New York on Friday, when the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum‘s Carnegie mansion reopened to the public after a 3-year hiatus. The goal was to “provide cutting edge digital experiences,” as director Caroline Baumann said at the official ceremony.

To stay competitive, most museums now are redesigning, but renovating isn’t exclusive to the art world. Many companies, like hotels, banks, stores, and other retailers can look to Cooper Hewitt’s approach if they undergo branding, communications and design changes.

The mission of Cooper Hewitt’s multifaceted program was to “renovate and reinvent” the museum, Baumann noted. That entailed coordinating 13 design firms to refresh the landmark mansion and grounds as well as a concerted PR, marketing and merchandising effort.

Keeping various audiences informed was a key part of the plan. Cooper Hewitt did so through media outreach, member e-newsletters and mailings, a blog highlighting daily objects, social media updates, and clever building signage with messages about the redesign progress.

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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 PRTech.co, 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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50 Publishers Share Their Pitching Pet Peeves

Last month, Fractl‘s VP of marketing Kelsey Libert wrote a guest post detailing the results of research conducted by her company and CRM provider BuzzStream. The topic of that story was tips for writing email pitches that editors will actually see.

Spinning off the same project, the team surveyed members of the editorial teams from the “500 top-tier publishers” included in the previous infographic to help identify their biggest pitching pet peeves.

The resulting flipbook is a great — if sometimes painfully honest — document. Interestingly, some of these quotes address pitches from within the given publication’s editorial team, not from outside PR contacts:

The lessons are the same, though. Some basic takeaways after the jump.
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10 of the Worst Press Headlines Ever: a Learning Opportunity

bad press headlineMentorship is underrated and under-utilized.

With PR executives jetsetting, working remotely, stuck in a marathon of meetings, or hibernating behind an office closed door, there is rarely a chance to hunker down for a learning opportunity.

On that note, one of the most visible flubs for any flack is the press release – specifically the headline.

It’s what you use to grab a reporter’s attention…at your own peril. While most headlines are perfectly functional, some earn a special place on the conference room bulletin board.

Bad headlines do happen…so let’s review a few and try to make sure they happen to someone else in the future.  Read more

F/W/V CEO Offers Tips for Pitching Sports and Celebrity Clients

moves mag

You may have missed the fact that Moves magazine relaunched earlier this month; you may not be familiar with the property at all. But the release tells us that Moves has been “the premier lifestyle magazine for pro athletes” for a decade, and parent company Moves Media Ventures plans bigger things with its relaunch and transformation into “a diversified media company serving athletes, entertainers, managers, moguls, influential tastemakers and the advertisers seeking to reach them.”

Moves also has some serious PR industry connections: French/West/Vaughan founder and CEO Rick French is both a partner and a chairman of the mag’s editorial board.

We spoke to French, a former print and TV journalist, to learn more about what Moves can do for your sports and lifestyle clients.

5 Email Myths, Debunked

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What does the perfect email pitch look like? It’s a question without an answer, really.

Yesware is an email tracking/analytics software provider primarily concerned with serving the sales side of the business equation, but we think PR pros will be able to relate to some of the company’s recent findings a little too well. A 2012 McKinsey study told us that the average office worker spends 13 hours — or 28 percent of his or her week — sending, reading, sorting and deleting emails.

We’re sure the numbers are even higher for some media relations specialists, so after the jump we have five myths allegedly disproven by Yesware’s analysis of 500,000 individual emails.

Let’s see if they apply to the pitching process…

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YouTube Food and Lifestyle Personalities Share Branding Tips

YouTube Truvia Baking Contest Final“Mix, taste, frost, yum and done” – those were among the steps that a contestant used to bake brown sugar cupcakes. She was competing at an event this week to be a baking star sponsored by Truvia, a natural sweetener. Four YouTube food and lifestyle stars judged the desserts and offered insights on how they each rose to video fame.

While the baking techniques were straightforward, the path to becoming a YouTube sensation isn’t as clear cut. As moderator and YouTube beauty channel host Rachel Talbott noted, it takes time. As the judges concurred, it also takes resourcefulness and an ongoing, concerted effort to stand out from the crowd. The panelists included:

Byron Talbott: professionally trained chef, Byron Talbott channel
April Moore: online foodie, mom and lifestyle expert with 3 YouTube channels
Gaby Dalkin: cookbook author, food/lifestyle writer, What’s Gaby Cooking channel
Joanne Ozug: recipe developer behind Fifteen Spatulas channel

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Pinterest Media Partnerships Exec Talks Stats, Updates and Priorities

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Pinterest has captured the fancy not only of skiers, gourmet cooks and brides-to-be, but also media executives thanks to its high referral traffic. Robert Macdonald, an avid skier recently hired to head Pinterest’s media partnerships said the platform’s dynamic reminds him of when he used to find and clip ski images from magazines, then saved them for future reference. In his new role he’s focused on ecommerce and monetization plans for Pinterest.

While those programs are still a work in progress, Macdonald spoke recently at Association of Magazine Media/ MPA’s Audience 2.0 event in New York. There he discussed Pinterest’s mojo, key statistics and analytics, latest and planned features, how it’s different from other social platforms, and future priorities, such as video.

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Eric Schmidt Finally Explains How Google Works

The animated video that Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt shared on (of course) Google+ this morning is really a piece of content marketing promoting his new book How Google Works, written with the help of advisor/former SVP of Products Jonathan Rosenberg and Director of Executive Communications Alan Eagle.

A more appropriate title might be “How Business Works in the Age of Google.” Still, it’s a useful clip that reinforces some lessons crucial to both communications teams and their clients. And it’s short at just over three minutes.

The video confirms a few things we know:

  • Influencers are everywhere
  • Truly “smart creative” ideas win the day
  • Businesses and agencies alike need to facilitate a culture that encourages risk-taking and “innovation”

For PR, the key message is to be nimble: the act of relying on any rigid business plan or the words of a single, big-name advisor will probably not help a given company or agency achieve its goals. Sharing, communication and consensus are key.

What do we think?

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