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Upworthy: Paid Content Brings More Clicks Than Editorial

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…even if it’s sponsored

Yesterday we posted on a Contently survey finding that sponsored content (NOT general “content marketing”) usually elicits groans, irritation and a feeling of being “deceived” among average readers. The survey even found that such material often damages the credibility of the pubs in which it appears.

And yet, one of the hottest viral content sites on the Internet now claims that its sponsored posts drive more traffic than editorial.

You won’t BELIEVE what happens after the jump…

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‘At The End of The Day,’ Even The New York Times Does This

likeThe catchphrase for an epidemic that ruins most new business pitches and PR interviews is “vocal crutch.”

It is that drastic moment when a flack runs out of something interesting to say, and needs a second to think. Instead of a well-placed pause to show consideration for using a brain, the audience — be it a prospective client, a member of the media, or even a PR director considering your future career — gets pelted with a deluge of “ums,” “uhs,” and “likes.”

Much to the chagrin of anyone having to sit through a conversation with anyone who hurls buzzwords or vocal crutches at anyone in their path, it seems America has found your leader: The New York Times. 

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J.Crew Is Selling Clothes In Size 000 Because of Asia

jcrewJ. Crew, purveyor of the $250 Collection Jeweled Paillette Boy Shirt (pictured right), has added a new size to its spectrum: 000. Because 00 wasn’t small enough? Because we’re all dieting so much that we need something to wear before we disappear? Because obesity is a myth?

Actually the retailer says it’s responding to feedback from Asia.

“We are simply addressing the demand coming from Asia for smaller sizes than what we had carried. Our sizes typically run big and the Asia market tends to run small,” a company spokesperson told CNBC. “To further put into perspective, these sizes add up to the smallest possible percentage of our overall sizing assortment.”

But others say that it’s “vanity sizing,” a manipulation of the sizing chart to make customers feel better. But seriously, does anyone feel better saying, “I’m a triple zero?”

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#PRWin for Frontier Airlines: Free Pizza for Stranded Passengers

frontier airlinesI know, right?

How many of you in PR land wish you were stranded on that plane? Most of us has been leave-in’ on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again … because of a client. And then, it happens. The engine bustles. The flight attendants gristle. And the plane stops for hours!

As we know, this is some of the most uncomfortable time you will ever spend anywhere. It is one of the very reasons some people abhor air travel, and following the recession, that is not a sentiment airlines can afford to have.

And then Frontier Airlines Captain Gerhard Bradner (seen pictured above) put an end to all that bickering because pizza heals all wounds.

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PR for the Recently Departed?

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Here’s an amusing piece that our friends at PR Doctor Chicago shared this morning involving public relations for the recently deceased.

In short: “best-selling Southern author and syndicated columnist Ronda Rich“, who also spent a good part of her career in PR/marketing, theorizes that the family of a certain wealthy but disagreeable someone “hired a P.R. firm to write his obituary like a star-gone-bad hires a firm to remake her image.”

Not so sure about that…

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Kelly Cutrone Shutters L.A. Office

Kelly CutroneToday brings news that Kelly Cutrone, fashion/reality TV PR Star, author and America’s Next Top Model judge, has closed the Los Angeles office of her firm People’s Revolution, which the general public got to know via long-running dramatic masterpiece The Hills. The firm’s New York offices are, of course, still going strong.

Cutrone’s note to her press contacts (which sadly do not include us):

“In 1996 I opened People’s Revolution in Los Angeles, California. Over the last 18 years People’s has had quite a run! LA was our birthplace. With all of the changes in technology and our main focus in New York, I have decided not to renew our lease on 7005 Melrose. We are very interested in renting a house with a swimming pool as a possible option going forward so please do let us know if you know of anything.”

This news also recalls the heady days of 2010, when Bravo and MTV seemed determined to create a reality show centered around a PR firm. They did not succeed, though we do now have at least one PR sitcom to look forward to (or not).

Click through for a Throwback Thursday clip in which Cutrone tells our own co-founder Joe Ciarallo about how those who want to do fashion PR “have to be willing to pay their dues.

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Journalism Groups to President Obama: ‘Let Us Do Our Jobs!’

obamawatching

Led by the Society of Professional Journalists, 38 of the most prominent journalism groups in the country made a legitimate and official gripe about the Obama Administration. Ironically, the gripe was about news–or the lack thereof.

They called it “politically driven suppression of the news.”

The report was authored by Leonard Downie, Jr., formerly the executive editor of the Washington Post, and titled ”The Obama Administration and the Press.”  It accuses the president of coming into office with the promise of transparency but asserts that he has “fallen short of his promise.”

The report also compares Obama to Nixon and the Watergate scandal. Yes, that really happened.

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The Ticker: Most-Followed Journalists; Katie Rosman to NYT; Google Euro Startup Fund; And More

PR vs. Advertising: Still the Same Competition?

shutterstock_166919984Forbes just published a piece discussing, in some detail, “the real difference between PR and advertising.”

This realness in difference begins with an old saying: “Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.” Or, boiled down even further, advertising is paid media, public relations is earned media.

A simple maxim from a simpler time. But does it hold up today?

Author Robert Wynne believes that it does. Not only is PR still different from advertising — it’s still better.

“With advertising, you tell people how great you are. With publicity, others sing your praises. Which do you think is more effective?” asks Wynne.

The unspoken answer is supported by a 2014 Nielsen study on the role of content in the consumer decision-making process, which concluded that PR is almost 90% more effective than advertising: “On average, expert content lifted familiarity 88 percent more than branded content…”

Expert sources also agree.

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Target Is Using Philanthropy to Make Back-To-School Better Than the Holiday Season

targetThe holiday shopping season certainly wasn’t good to Target. Perhaps a little too eager to put that in the past, the retailer is already focusing on the back-to-school season. Not even a week after the 4th of July.

To get its mojo back post-data breach, Target is launching a campaign focused on social responsibility — Buy One, Give One — that will give one of Target’s brand of up & up school supply items to a student in need for every purchase made between July 13 and August 2. Items like crayons and paper will be included, more than 300 products in total. The goal is to donate $25 million worth of things to Kids in Need.

“If we reach that goal, this will be the largest cause campaign donation Target has ever made to a single organization; an important milestone on our way to giving $1 billion for education by the end of 2015,” reads the press release about the program.

This is great. The company points out that parents are spending an average of $600 on back-to-school shopping each year, a steep price for many people. But it doesn’t really address the whole data-breach, digital-security thing. Read more

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