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So What Do You Do, Alle Fister, Principal at Bollare and Founding Member of Shopbop?

Alle-Fister-Article If the way Alle Fister snagged her career-launching job right out of school is any indication — by boldly pitching her skills through… wait for it… Shopbop’s customer comments section — founding her own public relations agency was pretty much kismet. “I was just really thinking about the ‘other.’ I was thinking about what would benefit the business. I was thinking about what I could bring to the table based upon their goals,” she recalls. That same gumptious spirit took her from Shopbop stylist to the growing company’s first-ever PR director and spokesperson after she noticed the site needed much more media attention.

Fister eventually stepped out on her own to start a public relations agency with Shopbop as her first client and herself as her only employee. Nine years later, Bollare Communications is a full-service lifestyle, beauty and fashion public relations agency that has 65 staff members and more than 150 clients, most of whom are what Fister describes as “cool kid, contemporary brands,” including Vans, Reformation, the shopping app Spring and Lumo BodyTech. “If I wasn’t doing this for a living I’d probably be doing some of these things socially or as a point of passion anyway. I’m a natural connector. If you tell me that you’re going somewhere, I want to tell you what to eat, sleep, drink and do. So it doesn’t feel like ‘work,’” she says.

Here, Fister reflects on how she built her career and her company, and shares some tips on maintaining work-life balance. Read more

10 Lessons in Monetizing Content from Digital Publishers

Gear Patrol Sunglasses Beach TowelGenerating revenues from content is a tricky and even risky business, but it’s also essential for media companies’ long-term viability. While some digital publishers integrated the commerce side from the start, others have been busy catching up. Selected media brands shared their stories from the trenches at the Content to Commerce / C2C Summit in New York on Tuesday, hosted by Skimlinks, a content monetization platform.

Publishers large (Gawker Media) and small (Gear Patrol) dispensed advice ranging from the types of content that drives traffic to different format options and logistics. Interestingly, while Gawker has extended from content to commerce, Gear Patrol has evolved in the opposite direction. (Image above courtesy of Gear Patrol)

Below are 10 key takeaways.

1. Create commercial content that benefits readers:

Gawker’s priority is relevance to readers, and they use various methods to source optimal products, according to Erin Pettigrew, VP of business development. They utilized crowdsourcing and user-generated content when they asked readers for their picks of the best luggage carry-ons. Then they compiled the list and readers voted for the top five. They also feature tech deals on their sites like lifehacker.

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Nanci Ryder Shares ALS Diagnosis, Steps Down at BWR


Today, famed celebrity PR pro Nanci Ryder – co-founder of BWR and frequent “most powerful publicists in Hollywood” honoree — made an important announcement via The Hollywood Reporter: she has ALS and she will be stepping down from her role at the firm to devote herself fully to raising awareness of the condition.

This news is particularly relevant after the ALS and the PR industry itself won widespread acclaim for the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge this summer.

The piece is well worth a read, but here are some of its more inspiring quotes from Ryder herself:

“They haven’t told me that I’m terminal, but the disease is…So you fight. That’s it.”

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Amazon, Sears Sell Swastika Rings as ‘Punk Rock Fashion’


Sears has been knocked down many times and, as the retail world turns, the company has been searching for ways to get in front of its competitors again. In another effort to stand out, it recently decided to sell some “punk rock fashion” to the coveted Goth/Emo demographic because of “upward mobility.”

Sears doesn’t have an “all black” clothing section, so there had to be another way. Inspiration apparently hit the buyers in the room, who recognized that a certain fashion icon named Adolf Hitler wasn’t getting enough exposure.

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The Ticker: HP Merger Off; Snapchat Transparency; Bill Simmons Is Back; And More

Crumbs Is Back, Now with More Than Just Cupcakes

As promised, Crumbs is back. The former cupcake shop that went bust back in July has been resurrected by Dippin’ Dots owner Fischer Enterprises and CNBC host Marcus Lemonis after a $6.5 million deal that closed in August. The relaunch began in New York City today with 25 additional locations set to open in the next month. There are two new cupcake flavors – Sweet Pete’s Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcake and Key West Key Lime Pie Cupcake — along with the Cronut-like Crumbnut, a bagel/croissant called the Baissant, a line of cookies and a chocolate bar and frozen desserts including dessert bars.

Choosing National Dessert Day to reopen its first store is a smart play. But did Crumbs do enough to change the outcome this time around? Read more

Edelman China CEO Returns Home After ‘Disappearance’

edelman-logoIn a disturbing development that could give pause to all international PRs, today AdAge and Edelman confirmed the safe return of Steven Cao, CEO of Edelman China, who had been “missing” for approximately ten weeks. Angela Doland, who covers the Asia beat for AdAge, first noted Cao’s absence in July, noting that he had stopped reporting to work.

The frightening part: the reason Cao didn’t report seems to have had something to do with the Chinese government’s case against former news anchor/agency founder Rui Chenggang, who was arrested this summer and currently awaits trial on unspecified charges.

Rui and Cao have been business partners in the past, and unnamed sources told AdAge in July that Cao was “cooperating with authorities” in their investigation. Rui and Cao co-founded Pegasus Communications, which Edelman acquired in 2007.

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Dr. Nancy Snyderman Apologizes for Violating Ebola Quarantine

With the country on high alert over the Ebola virus outbreak and people wishing we had a Surgeon General to help lead the response, now is not the time for public figures in the healthcare space to fuel fears.

Alas, that’s what NBC’s chief medical editor and correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman did when she violated a quarantine, albeit a voluntary one, to go to a New Jersey restaurant.

She and other NBC crew members told the CDC that they would submit to a quarantine period after traveling to West Africa to cover the outbreak of the virus. An NBC cameraman, Ashoka Mukpo, came back to the US with the disease, tweeting just yesterday that he was starting to feel better.

New Jersey issued a mandatory quarantine for all NBC journalists exposed to Mukpo last Friday, effective through October 22.

With media reports zipping around the internet about Dr. Snyderman’s jaunt to the Peasant Grill, she issued an apology that Brian Williams read on his Nightly News broadcast last night.

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The Real Top 14 PR Twits to Follow in 2014 (Part 3)


There are numerous PR blogs on this World Wide Web, many of which we highly recommend you bookmark today. And although we pride ourselves on being the hottest tourist spot in the Mediabistro nation, we implore all PR professionals to get a bit more familiar with their industry.

Baffling fact: media lists are one thing, but for many PRs the only “who’s who” list that matters concerns people within their own agency.

And yet, there are many incredible people of note in this industry. That’s why we try to shine a light on the real motivators of media, purveyors of PR, and sultans of SEO. And now, after some due diligence (and ignoring our inbox for a few days), we have another list. In fact, it’s Part 3 of a series.

Get your bookmarks ready for the next 14 power players of PR on Twitter.

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The New York Times Makes Front Page News for the Wrong Reasons

Publishers have held countless recent brainstorm sessions in which they clutch a dry erase board and a glass of Scotch while trying to figure out how they can get subscribers back. Ideas on the accessibility front include more responsive design, exclusive member content, better UX, and a friendly suggestion that Mr. Gorbachev tear down that PAYWALL!

To its credit, The New York Times has been leading the industry with recent apps and different ideas to get readers’ attention. However, screwing up what should be “old hat” is not going to help.

Today’s story on the South Dakota Senate race begins in the middle of a thought. Maybe the “Grey Lady” is just getting too old to catch this sort of thing…

It’s all in the tweet from reporter David Gelles: