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Archives: November 2009

Facebook PR Head Looking for Best Tech PR Agencies, But Not for Facebook

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Brandee Barker, Facebook’s Director of Communications is looking for the best tech/internet PR agencies. The search is not for Facebook, she says. Her second Tweet, “Facebook loves Outcast,” refers to the social network’s agency Outcast Communications.

Barker is looking for a friend, she told PRNewser.

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Chances Are Your Facebook Fan Page Has Fewer Than 10,000 Fans


Ever since Facebook upgraded its fan pages so that brands, celebrities and organizations became equivalent to human beings in the social network — i.e. content from fan pages is displayed in one’s feed, just like with friends — we’ve received a barrage of requests to fan just about anything you can imagine, including about 20 PR agencies.

One social media analytics company, Sysomos, took a look at nearly 600,000 Facebook fan pages and found only 297 — or 0.05% — have more than one million fans. Other interesting findings:

Michael Jackson is the most popular page on Facebook, with 10 million fans; he is followed by actor Vin Diesel (7 million) and U.S. president Barack Obama (6.9 million).

On average, a Facebook Page has 4,596 fans.

Four percent of pages have more than 10,000 fans, 0.76% of pages have more than 100,000 fans, and 0.05% of pages (or 297 in total) have more than a million fans.

95% of pages have more than 10 fans

65% of pages have more than 100 fans

23% of pages have more than 1,000 fans

4% of pages have more than 10,000 fans

0.76% of pages have more than 100,000 fans

0.047% of pages have more than one million fans (297 in total).

Editor’s note: Sysomos sent us a somewhat of a generic pitch, and it looks like they gave TechCrunch the exclusive on the news. However, the data is interesting so we decided to cover it anyway.

PR Firms Lend Support to Climate Initiatives Around UN Climate Change Conference


A number of agencies are throwing support behind next week’s United Nation’s Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen, Denmark. Porter Novelli announced a partnership with the Copenhagen Climate Council today, a think tank not officially part of the event, but one that is aligned in many ways.

All work is being done pro-bono. “Obviously, this is important to us, because we have many clients engaged in climate change solutions,” Stig Albinus, Executive Vice President, Director of Integrated Client Solutions at Porter Novelli told PRNewser today. “We also have many Porter Novelli people engaged in this issue,” he said.

Asked what he expected to come out of next week’s conference, Albinus said PN is hoping for a “binding political agreement” on climate change, but stressed, “what is really important is implementation. This is going to be the key focus of our partnership. We talk a lot about melting icebergs, without practical solutions.” People need to know, “What does this mean in terms of our daily lives,” he said.

In a separate, but related initiative, Ketchum and Ogilvy PR are supporting the “Hopenhagen” campaign, described as a “movement generated by the International Advertising Association,” that is “committed to progress and to achieving a strong deal at COP15.”

Kelly Cutrone Fashion PR Reality Show ‘Kell on Earth’ To Debut Feb. 1

We’ve known it was coming for a while, but now it’s officially here. Fashion PR guru and reality TV personality Kelly Cutrone — known for her frequent appearances on MTV’s “The Hills” — has a reality show, “Kell on Earth,” which will make its debut on Bravo on Feb. 1. The show is sure to provide this blog plenty of fodder over its eight episode season.

PRNewser caught up with Cutrone via phone today, as she was in the middle of a photo shoot for the show. Expect the “Kell on Earth” to be “a cold, hard, honest, exhilarating and terrifying look at fashion industry,” she said. “Part of my job is getting hired, part is succeeding, part is getting fired” said Cutrone, noting that show will be, “a day in the life of a PR company.”

Despite the hype, Cutrone said it’s “business as usual” at her agency, People’s Revolution. Rachelle Savoia, Director of Communications at Bravo told PRNewser that the eight episodes were shot, “around [last fall's] Fashion Week.” Bravo also posted several videos with Cutrone, including the above, on their blog.

RELATED: So What Do You Do, Kelly Cutrone, Owner, People’s Revolution?

Cyber Monday: Press Releases Down; Sales Up


You do know Cyber Monday is fake, right? It’s marketing term created by the National Retail Federation for a day that is supposed to be the biggest online shopping day of the year, except it isn’t. In fact, one of the frequently asked questions on the NRF’s website is, “Was Cyber Monday ‘made up?’” This PRNewser remembers pitching the first Cyber Monday back in his agency days in 2005.

Nevertheless, the promotions continue to increase. Comscore is predicting a sales increase of 6% over last year, reaching $900 million. Amazingly, a quick wire search for “Cyber Monday” shows only about a dozen press releases, compared to 144 last year. Could it be that more retailers are going the social media route and bypassing “formal” communications?

RELATED: GalleyCat reports Cyber Monday drives Amazon stock to record heights.

UPDATE: As a commenter notes, the 144 number listed above is for all of 2008, as opposed to just one day. If you do the same search for 2009, you see only a slight decline to approximately 120, and that still doesn’t factor in the remainder of December. So, as of now, there is only a slight decrease.

Is Tiger Woods In the Weeds? Damage Control Expert Says No


Since the car accident early Friday morning involving Tiger Woods in front of his home in Florida, the facts continue to surface and no one seems to be at the response-helm for the billion dollar golfer.

There’s been talk of affairs, “Kobe special” gifts, and domestic violence. Most damage control experts–including Ken Sunshine on the Early Show this morning–agree that the response from the Woods clubhouse has been too vague, and way too slow.

We interviewed Eric Dezenhall, CEO of crisis shop Dezenhall Resources who explained that Tiger can, and should violate PR 101 by avoiding the press till he’s ready. He believes that damage control experts who flood the airwaves in such cases without knowing the subject validate the situation, creating a “meta-crisis.”

Read more

Will 2010 Bring Fewer RFP Cattle Calls?


It’s a bit early to be making – or asking readers for – 2010 predictions. However, there is one we’ve been thinking about. Namely, will we see fewer RFP “cattle calls” in 2010. By that we mean the widely circulated and publicized, every agency and their brother is in on this RFP.

One agency head recently quipped to PRNewser that they don’t do “beauty contests.” Another said they try to stay away from pitches that are widely publicized, especially if they don’t have a connection. Perhaps the low point in RFP cattle calls came in April of this year, when a RFP hit the front page of PRWeek and many of the big agencies went after it. The budget: a whopping $10,000 a month, something some of them wouldn’t have blinked at a year or two earlier.

Despite the rhetoric from agency heads, and the fact that the economic climate seems to be at least somewhat improving, the indication so far is that the cattle calls will continue. Ketchum CEO and Senior Partner Ray Kotcher recently told PRNewser that United Airlines had, “cast an amazingly wide net” with their PR agency of record RFP. It certainly makes sense from the brand side – the more agencies involved – the more ideas, and more likely they will bid each other down.

We’re curious to hear your take. Will you be changing your new business strategy after the holidays? Or are open pitches always still welcome, and a necessity of the agency business?

New FTC Guidelines Go Into Effect Tomorrow; Social Media Campaigns Continue Unabated


The FTC “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” officially go into effect tomorrow.

That being said, the changes have not slowed down so called “word of mouth” programs, especially by retailers in full holiday sales mode. “Don’t expect the FTC’s new guidelines on product endorsements to put a damper on social-media efforts,” wrote Advertising Age‘s Michael Bush today, citing numerous agency and internal brand marketers.

For example, blogger Melanie Notkin — known as Savvy Auntie — posted numerous Twitter updates from her sponsor JC Penny over the weekend and into today. Not all contained disclosure. Notkin herself admits to the rules being vague. “I don’t know. I try my best to make it clear,” she tweeted, in regards to if she only has to disclose her sponsor once, then is free to tweet and blog away with no disclosure.

Richard Cleland, Assistant Director of the FTC’s Division of Advertising Practices, told our sibling blog AgencySpy last Wednesday, in reference to tweets from tennis star Serena Williams: “When it is clear from the context of a communication that the celebrity is being paid, an additional disclosure is not required.” At this point, it seems the only thing that is clear is that everything is unclear. Marketers and bloggers alike should err on the side of caution, and it could be that “some will get screwed and some won’t” as one source put it to us this morning.

Bulldog Reporter Publisher Leading Attack Against California Newspaper


The Berkeley Daily Planet, a Berkeley, California based newspaper, is under attack by a “small but vociferous group of critics” including Infocom Group publisher Jim Sinkinson, whose properties include the Bulldog Reporter, The New York Times reports. The group alleges that the newspaper’s reader submitted articles contain, “too many letters and other commentary pieces critical of Israel.”

Sinkinson told the Times that the newspaper’s editor, Becky O’Malley, “is addicted to anti-Israel expression just as an alcoholic is to drinking…If she wants to serve and please the East Bay Jewish community, she would be safer avoiding the subject entirely.”

It seems the Jewish community is not united on Sinkinson’s stance. “I don’t think anyone in the organized Jewish community is involved in this in any way,” The Anti-Defamation League’s regional director in San Francisco, Jonathan Bernstein, told the Times. It is worth noting that a reporter for the paper resigned last year, after accusing O’Malley of “shaping articles around her own political views.”

Ken Sunshine On Tiger Woods: ‘His People Mishandled It’

Sunshine and Sachs Founder Ken Sunshine appeared on the CBS “Early Show” this morning to talk Tiger Woods. For those of you who may have missed it, Woods was involved in a car accident on his own property early last Friday morning in which he was injured and taken to a local hospital. Woods refused to speak with local law enforcement, and details around the accident have led to speculation that Woods may have been having an affair and the accident was related to an argument with his wife over the situation.

“If Tiger Woods were to call you today, what advice would you give him?” asked “Early Show” host Harry Smith. “You should have called me a couple of days ago,” joked Sunshine. Getting serious, Sunshine said, “It’s the perfect storm…and his people mishandled it.”

“The whole goal with these things is to make the media go away,” said Sunshine, and Wood’s actions – issuing a statement three days after the accident and “stonewalling” law enforcement – didn’t help his case. Sunshine’s agency has worked with a number of high profile celebrities over the years, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Barbra Streisand, Ben Affleck, Michael Moore, John Mayer and Justin Timberlake.