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The Guardian Wonders Whether Twitter Will Grow Up to Be a ‘PR Platform’

twitter handJane Martinson of The Guardian wrote an interesting piece yesterday about the departure of Twitter’s head of news, Vivian Schiller. It’s really yet another attempt to answer the seemingly unanswerable question: can Twitter make money?

We were most taken, however, with the idea that Twitter has to choose between being a service for journalists or one for PR.

Martinson’s point is that most people simply don’t use the network very often — and those who do tend to work in media, politics or communications. She opines that Martinson left once she realized that her only real responsibility was to convince more reporters to tweet regularly, Dean Baquet be damned.

The idea is that, while Twitter is almost always the best source for breaking news in real-time, the eyeballs and ad dollars belong firmly in the Facebook camp.

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Burger King Blasted for Ad That Looks a Lot Like ‘Billy on the Street’

“Man on the street” interviews are popular in advertising. Brands love to take their product to the people to solicit for cheers and raves. But Burger King is getting an earful on Twitter for an ad that looks a little too much like comedian Billy Eichner‘s popular “Billy on the Street” act.
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That’s So Raven: She’s Not Gay or African-American, and She Could Care Less

raven cosbyShe was born Raven-Symoné Christina Pearman, and when she took over on The Cosby Show (arguably after the shark had been jumped), America had a new sweetheart.

Just look at her!

Following her stint with Dr. Cosby, she hung out with Mr. Cooper before leaving TV to focus on her singing career. After that petered out, she returned to the Disney Channel for a variety of things including, of course, ‘That’s So Raven.’

Lately, she has been a little enigmatic about being so Raven…until she appeared on Oprah and refused to be labeled as anything except “human.”

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Taliban Spokesman Reveals His Location via Twitter, Claims Conspiracy

taliban-fighters-300x225You may be shocked to learn on this Monday morning that one of the world’s most visible terrorist organizations has some trouble managing its social media presence.

Nearly two years ago, we noted that the Taliban had inadvertently revealed its entire mailing list thanks to a spokesperson who mistook “cc” for “bcc” when sending a press release to media contacts (and friendly Afghan politicians/warlords). We had a laugh at his rookie error before getting a little upset over the fact that the group A) has a media spokesman, B) distributes press releases and C) included a disturbing number of the United States’ own “allies” within the Afghan government on its distribution list.

Over the weekend, the group proved once again that it isn’t the greatest on social: its spokesperson accidentally showed the world his secret location via Twitter’s geomapping feature.

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British Retailer Posts Internal ‘Sell More’ Message on Window

sainsbury

Every employee receives the occasional rah-rah message from the boss: “Do better, act better, sell better,” et cetera. Everyone knows this happens, but they don’t really don’t want to be reminded of it — especially if they’re customers of said business.

Enter UK retailer Sainsbury’s, which posted one of those messages about making customers spend more than they want…outside its own establishment.

Before you ask: of course Twitter noticed. 

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Bush Press Sec Ari Fleischer Is Tweeting His 9/11 Experience Alongside the President

On this day of 9/11 remembrance, former George W. Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer took to Twitter to share his memories of that horrible day, which he spent by the President’s side.

In a stream of posts that has gone on for hours, Fleischer recounts the moments immediately after the World Trade Center towers were struck and the steps the President, his administration and the military took in those confusing hours after. It’s an amazing story well told, showing what it was like before technology was stepped up to what we know now (so much has changed). And it illustrates the importance of sharing solid information quickly among those internally and with the American people. Reading it today, even after all these years, conveys all of the sadness, fright, frenzy and anger of 13 years ago.

Moreover, we get a usually untold sense of what a press secretary’s role is in an emergency. We have a few tweets after the jump, but you can check it out entirely on Fleischer’s feed.

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10 Brands That Tried to Newsjack the #AppleLive Event

Apple Store 2

Different brands used yesterday’s Apple product launch in different ways: Samsung ran sponsored tweets to try and draw attention away from its competitor while Snapchat took the opportunity to ensure that a very unflattering press release received as little attention as possible.

Quite a few brands, however, saw it as an opportunity for some not-quite-real-time marketing to try and break through the 2.4 million tweets about the event.

They entered the social conversation with varying degrees of success (in no particular order).

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Anatomy of a Twitter Apology: DiGiorno

ICYMI, DiGiorno broke what looked like a long winning streak on Twitter late last night with this one:

DiGiorno

The hashtag marked a collection of statements from women who had been in abusive relationships explaining why they did not leave their significant others. The point of the trend was to counter the unfortunate narrative holding that Ray Rice’s wife was somehow responsible for the incident that got him fired yesterday.

DiGiorno rightfully got a lot of very negative attention for a painfully insensitive message, but the brand’s social media manager also did a very thorough job of apologizing after the jump.

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Durex on Rumored ‘Pumpkin Spice’ Condom: No Comment

Happy Monday! It’s now unofficially Fall, which means you’ll see the word “pumpkin” trotted out even more often than the phrase “Apple product launch” this month.

Brands like Starbucks do not seem to have heeded the “enough with the pumpkin stuff!” warning; as friend of the site Dave Armon of Critical Mention wrote in one of those rare comments worth reading:

“Like it or not, Starbucks is killing it with this story. We spotted 75 airings on U.S. TV and radio stations today, through 5:45 p.m. ET. Personally, I’ll wait until I can see my breath before ordering anything pumpkin flavored.”

This point goes a long way toward explaining why Durex and its PR AOR Virgo Health refused to give Quartz a definitive answer on the most absurd trend to emerge from Twitter this weekend:

If it’s real, the client wins. If it’s fake, the client still wins. Why stop the world from wondering?

For the record, we’re leaning strongly toward fake and 100% unearned.

UPDATE: Yes, everyone was right. Durex’s statement to BuzzFeed:

“We can’t claim this one, but we do love it when people spice it up in the bedroom.”

See why they waited, though?

McDonald’s Still Trying To Figure Out How Twitter Works

Remember the “how chicken nuggets are made” video that McDonald’s Canada released back in February?

We loved it because it demonstrated how much better the chain’s Canadian wing is at the CSR game — and it got more than four million views on YouTube.

Today, however, the company seemed desperate to prove its own unfamiliarity with the clip in response to a tweet from the popular How Things Works account:

No, the GIF isn’t particularly appetizing. But the McDonald’s response is a little…contradictory.

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