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Posts Tagged ‘Associated Press’

Will Robots Write Your Client’s Next Press Release?

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Did you take our headline too literally? Our apologies. Robots will almost certainly not write your next press release…or the one after that, or the one after that.

The Associated Press did, however, just announce a very real “robotic content production deal” with a company called Automation Insights. In fact, the AP even published a Q&A on the matter which very closely resembles…a traditional press release!

Of course there’s more.

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AP Insists That You Remember All Four S’s in ‘Mississippi’

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M, I, crooked letter, crooked letter, I…

Oh, Associated Press. We love you so, but you insist on hurting us!

Last month you tried to tell us that “over” and “more than” are interchangeable when describing quantities, and we almost fell into conniptions. Now you tell us that we can no longer use any abbreviations for proper state names!

“Effective May 1, the AP will spell out state names in the body of stories. Datelines will continue to use abbreviations.”

And why might that be?

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Former Associated Press Editor to Head PR for BP

Bp_1385932cIt’s a tough job, but someone with a solid journalistic background’s gotta do it.

Yesterday we learned that Liz Sidoti, most recently the national politics editor for the Associated Press, will now work as one of the top PR names at BP (that’s “beyond petroleum” to you).

In an email acquired by the Huffington Post, Sidoti told family and friends that she will be “managing a great group of professionals in the press shop, internal communications, speech writing and social/digital media sectors.”

True, but the most interesting part of this story will, of course, be her attempts to help BP shrug off its status as one of the world’s most hated brands.

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AP Apologizes for Using Fake Vin Diesel Quote in Paul Walker Obit

These are the challenges of modern-day PR. The Associated Press issued an apology and a correction today after Vin Diesel‘s publicist called to let them know that a quote about Paul Walker that supposedly appeared on his Instagram account was, in fact, not a real quote at all. Here’s the source:

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We can see how they got confused—the username does read “theREALvindiesel”, doesn’t it?

Well, we should say did read. Both the Instagram account and the related “REAL” Twitter feed have been suspended for, you know, impersonating a famous person. As annoying as the task of correcting such mistakes must be, we have a feeling it will only grow more common for celebrity publicists in the years to come.

Question, because we’re a little naive: why would anyone do this?

White House Press Team to Angry Photojournalists: ‘Here’s Your Damn Picture’

Some journalists with cameras are mad at the White House for over-managing the message by prohibiting them from attending “private” events like the signing of new laws and releasing its own pics via its own streams instead.

Yesterday the Associated Press and other major news organizations delivered a letter to press secretary Jay Carney asking for greater transparency and writing:

Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the President while he is performing his official duties…officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government.

They even used the term “visual press releases” to describe the images carefully curated and released by official White House accounts.

POTUS photographer Pete Souza responded last night with a twitpic that effectively said: “O RLY?”

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Roll Call: Ogilvy, The Associated Press, and More

Ogilvy Public Relations announced that Dr. Jennifer Scott, global managing director, strategy+planning, will  now serve as the agency’s New York office gead, effective immediately. In Dr. Scott’s new position, she will work closely with the New York office’s practice group heads on overseeing client accounts, business development, talent and office operations. Dr. Scott previously served as global MD, strategy+planning, in which she led a cross-disciplinary team of senior practitioners who consult with clients to elevate strategy, creativity and campaign excellence. Dr. Scott joined the agency in 2006 as managing director, insights & research. In this role, she worked across a spectrum of industries and geographies providing counsel to clients on using research to inform reputation management and crisis response, strengthen new and established brands, advocate for public policy initiatives, inspire behavior change and measure the effectiveness of campaigns. Prior to joining Ogilvy PR, Dr. Scott was president of StrategyOne, Edelman’s specialist research company.(Release)

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The World’s ‘Most Quoted Man’ Isn’t Much of an Expert on Anything

Quotes are valuable, right? Everyone wants a client to be quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or a major tech blog. Well, in case you thought that scoring quotes is all about being a legitimate expert on the topic at hand with something valuable to add to the conversation, The New Yorker gives us this video profile of Greg Packer. He has amazingly been quoted nearly a thousand times on everything from the new iPhone to the local football game and the war in Iraq despite being the least qualified expert around.

This interview quickly establishes the fact that Packer, a retired highway maintenance worker, doesn’t have any particular insight on, well, much of anything. And yet, he’s been so successful in getting his quotes published that the Associated Press had to issue an effective ban on him way back in 2003. How did he do it? He simply showed up and let everyone know that he was eager to offer a few words.

The lesson here is to keep pitching quotes to reporters and bloggers (especially bloggers). Our standards apparently aren’t as high as you might think.

(Ed. note: this video’s being a little wonky on Safari, so if you can’t watch it you might want to try another browser.)

Dunkin’ Donuts Didn’t Look So Great in Blackface

Well, then: welcome back to the grind. We hope your hangover isn’t too harsh—and if it is you can just chug some Pedialyte.

So what happened over the long weekend? To start it all off, Dunkin’ Donuts hung its head and apologized for August’s biggest facepalm moment, a “bizarre and racist” ad starring an actress in blackface. This story makes a little more sense when you consider the fact that the spot ran in Thaliand, where CEOs and creative departments are all apparently a little loopy (and racist).

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Will the Steve Jobs Movies Be Good PR for Apple?

Today we stopped thinking of Ashton Kutcher as “Kelso from That 70’s Show” long enough to wonder: will the two upcoming films about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs create good press for a company that could use some?

Much of this week’s news concerns a bit of indirect back-and-forth between jOBS star Kutcher and Steve Wozniack, the company’s other co-founder. “Woz” pointed out inaccuracies in the movie while Kutcher told the Associated Press that filmmakers never had the chance to get Steve #2′s side of the story in the first place. Why? Because he’s “being paid” to promote Sony’s as-yet-untitled Aaron Sorkin film on the same topic—and he chose to make himself “extremely unavailable” during the production process.

Our question, though, is more about the company at large: could these movies help Apple overcome the common perception that its peak has passed?

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Edelman’s Content Strategist Explains the New ‘Content Marketing’ Model

Steve RubelThis week we posted on Weber Shandwick‘s decision to publicize its new content-creation wing, Mediaco, and what that means for the future of PR. This morning we had the opportunity to speak with Steve Rubel, chief content strategist at Edelman PR, to go over how his firm is addressing this newest chapter in the ongoing “PR vs. marketing vs. advertising” debate.

How does the Weber Shandwick announcement relate to recent “creative” moves by Edelman?

There’s a lot of hype in the never-ending hunt for shiny objects in marketing, but the bigger picture here is that the economics of the industry have changed – demand side platforms (ad exchanges) have made advertising more efficient, which caused the price of CPM (cost per impression) and ads themselves to plummet. This is good for the industry but bad for publishers, because media outlets squeezed by tech developments can’t make the leap to other revenue streams like subscription, video, etc.

This has led to a greater willingness to open their platforms to branded/sponsored content, thereby empowering marketers to make good on their longtime desire tell their stories their own way on some of world’s largest websites (Ed. note: see The Washington Post). That is the big change here.

Some people say this is all old news. How do you respond to that point?

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