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Archives: September 2008

MultiVu and SpotRunner Announce Partnership

PR Newswire’s multimedia and broadcast PR company, MultiVu, and Spot Runner, a company that helps small businesses advertise on TV, announced a partnership today around the launch of the “MultiVu Spot Runner MNR, a more affordable, all-in-one solution for planning, producing and distributing videos via multimedia news releases (MNR) and direct online video postings.”

With the deal, MultiVu receives access to the Spot Runner Production Network, “a global network of thousands of filmmakers and video journalists,” while Spotrunner receives MultiVu’s “multimedia development and distribution.”

Although we’re still a bit puzzled by vendors that claim YouTube as part of their “global distribution network,” we can see how this deal makes sense for both parties. “The combined forces of PR Newswire, MultiVu and Spot Runner have made it easier and more affordable than ever before for a company to add online video to its communications arsenal,” said Rosabel Tao, vice president of Corporate Communications at Spot Runner in a statement.

SpotRunner recently lost one of their top executives, Joanne Bradford to Yahoo! after just a six month stint. Bradford previously ran ad sales for Microsoft’s MSN portal.

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Social Media Overload: Thinking Through Facebook Friend Requests

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It has certainly been written about before, but lately I can’t help but feeling a little bit of social media overload myself.

My “overload” was sparked by another Facebook “friend” request from a PR pro last night, which said “I look forward to seeing you at the event at my office tonight,” or something along those lines.

Now, I had RSVP’d for this event (but unfortunately was unable to attend) and I’m sure if we’d met in person, chances are we’d have gotten along just fine. However, even after meeting someone at just one event, does that qualify for automatic Facebook friending? I’ve debated this point with many people. Some, like Peter Shankman, want to grow their network as much as possible, and will friend everyone. Others like to keep Facebook somewhat personal and will send acquaintances or business contacts to LinkedIn.

Really, it’s up to you, and we’re all learning more and more about this new media world as we go, but all I could think of last night was that this event organizer sent a blind Facebook friend request to everyone on the RSVP list for his event, which to me was an immediate turn off.

What is your Facebook friend policy? Do you friend after the first date, or is there some sort of courtship involved?

RELATED: Pitching Reporters on Facebook [Not a Good Idea]

The Ticker: Twitteriocy; AP News Exchange, BuinessWeek’s Best of Web

Private Eyes Snoop on Gawker Blogger


Apparently Crockett, Tubbs, and not even Spencer were for hire in the case of pesky blogger Hamilton Nolan from Gawker. Two private investigators have been snooping around his home town in Florida seeking information, saying it’s a background check for a potential job.

The former PRWeek reporter joined Gawker in January of this year to cover advertising, media, and PR.

I checked with Nolan and he said “I have no idea who it is,” but did confirm that about 10% of his posts are about the public relations industry.

What is clear though, is the PIs, or “dicks” involved, Steven Brown and Rachel Singleton don’t investigate many people who have the ability to publish their email addresses and cell phone numbers for the entire Manhattan media scene to see.

Feel free to send information on this incident to us here, or use the Anonymous Tips window on the main page. Discretion guaranteed.

Robert Gibbs on Fox & Friends, “You’re Making Stuff Up”

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Robert Gibbs, communications director, head of positioning (and media “enforcer“) on the Barack Obama campaign has been much more visible this Fall, making the rounds a number of talk shows including Fox & Friends this morning.

Gibbs defended Obama’s decision to defuse John McCain’s misty eyed remember-the-troops bracelet-wearing moment by showing his own bracelet during the debate last week.

Gibbs once said of Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, “I think the best way to go about a bully is to go directly at him,” made the most of this particular morning spat. He kept smiling and offered to email co-host Brian Kilmeade an AP article about the issue while Kilmeade looked as if his pants were indeed, on fire.

[via Oliver Willis]

Business 2.0: Where Are They Now?


It’s been one year since Time Inc.’s magazine on startups and technology companies, Business 2.0, folded. Despite a Facebook group and other efforts to keep the publication going, in inevitabley went to the chopping block after a quick decline in ad pages.

So, one year later, where did all the writers and editors end up? Sebastien Provencher, who helped start the “Save Business 2.0″ group, put together a handy list, available at his blog, or after the jump.

Read more

AARP: Anger Won’t Fix the Economy

The AARP,the giant lobby for retired people, is calling for decisive action in Washington on the economy, and less anger. The carefully worded press release issued Friday night appears to be a criticism of John McCain’s campaign and performance in the first Presidential debate last week.

The CEO of the AARP happens to be Bill Novelli, who founded Porter Novelli in the early 70s with fellow ad man Jack Porter.

Novelli’s video statement on the bailout can be found here.

The AARP is also behind Divided We Fail, the celebrity-laden call for non-partisan solutions to the America’s biggest problems. Though they’re not saying how expensive the media buy is for the PSAs, it’s probably somewhere north of huge, and south of Pickens Plan massive. According to Nielsen (via AdWeek), the AARP spends more than $100 million annually on measured media.

Look for Bill Novelli’s name to be in the papers more and more heading in to the election to support the buy.

Related: Jamie Lee Curtis Topless for AARP Magazine

Survey: 93% of Americans Expect Companies to Have Social Media Presence

Omicom Group agency Cone LLC has released a survey outlining conumer sentiement to interacting with companies via social media channels. While the survey found 93 percent of Americans believe a company “should have a presence in social media,” 85 percent say having a presence is not enough, and that companies “should also interact with consumers via social media.”

There is also a gender gap, as men are twice as likely (33%) as women (17%) to interact frequently (one or more times per week) with companies via social media. Mike Hollywood, director of new media for Cone, believes the survey results show that interacting with consumers via social media, “isn’t an intrusion into their lives, but rather a welcome channel for discussion.”

View the complete survey results here.

From “Bailout” to “Protect the Tax Payers”

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As we await to see exactly what form of the finacial “bailout” legislation will be passed in congress, and what specific provisions it will include, there has already been a noticeable change in the terms being used to describe it.

The Hill‘s Bob Cusack writes:

That public relations strategy started hours before the final deal was in place when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) addressed the media. In her short remarks, Pelosi mentioned the word ‘taxpayer’ at least 13 times, saying the package must “protect the taxpayer” and “should not cost the taxpayer anything.”

Clearly a marked shift in language, in an attempt to quell the rage from many Americans reluctant to fund Wall Street’s mishaps while they are left to fend for themselves.

Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) went even further, asking on the House Floor, “Is the United States Congress, or the board of directors of Goldman Sachs?”

Meanwhile, someone who has a bit more of a financial background then ourselves, Henry Blodget over at Silicon Alley Insider read through the entire 110-page plan put before congress and came up with this “key points” document.

UPDATE: From Brian Stelter at the NYTimes: In a stark example of the way language is used as a public relations tactic, Mr. Bush and other government officials have characterized the measure in positive terms – “rescue plan” and “asset relief program” – thereby carefully avoiding more loaded words like “bailout.” The media, by and large, did not follow Mr. Bush’s lead. On Sunday, a Google News search conjured more than 157,000 results for “bailout,” and only 42,000 for “rescue plan.”

Have You Tried PitchEngine?


We’ve been hearing a lot about a new service called PitchEngine, which we view as a “freemium” (offer basic services for free, while charge a premium for advanced or special features) social media release service which provides pretty much everything except distribution.

The service enables users to create social media releases, or something even like a micro-site for a certain pitch, campaign, or announcement for free. However, the catch here is that SMRs “are active for 30-days once created,” but the subscription fee to keep them alive and integrated with a PitchEngine hosted, but completely customizable online newsroom “will start out at $600/yr per brand.”

Nonetheless, the service has an impressive network of supporters, including “Peter Shankman, Brian Solis, Kevin Dugan, in-house pros from Ford, Dell, Yahoo and CNN, Edelman, Ogilvy, BusinessWire and PRNewswire among others.”

Founder Jason Kintzler doesn’t view the news wire services as competitors. “While those services offer varying forms of social media integration, our goal is to be more of a tool for PR firms and brands. The social aspects are superior already – direct tweets from within the SMRs, and the ability to “follow” a brand on Twitter from the release is pretty innovative,” he told ZDNet’s Jennifer Leggio.

Read Leggio’s full interview with Kintzler here.