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Posts Tagged ‘Buzzfeed’

BuzzFeed Signs Facebook Vet as PR Chief

buzzfeed-logo

This week, Capital New York broke the news that BuzzFeed had named Facebook vet Liz Wasden as its new head of PR. She replaces Ashley McCollum, who was promoted in October to the position of chief of staff/personal advisor to founder and publisher Jonah Peretti.

Wasden brings more than 15 years of comms experience to the new role. She formerly worked within the CBS organization and served as communications director for Katie Couric, promoting both CBS News and Couric’s syndicated talk show Katie (which she helped launch along with executive producer/current CNN president Jeff Zucker). Prior to joining CBS, she held PR roles at such prominent media outlets as Forbes, Good Housekeeping and Money; the Savannah, Georgia native also spent time at Porter Novelli.

As our sister site AllFacebook reported, Wasden joined Zuckerberg’s team in early 2013, working on consumer communications for both Facebook and the still-new Instagram.

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Vox Gets New Cash Infusion As Old School Media Herd Thins

Vox Media

The future favors digital media — and the tide is turning even faster than we thought it would.

Vox, the company that just hired PR vet Fay Sliger of VICE and High10 Media to run its comms operations, has some good news on a day that includes plenty of bad news for journalism at large.

First, Vox (which includes The Verge, Eater, Racked and more in addition to the main site run by Ezra Klein) announced today that it raised $45.6 million from New York investment firm General Atlantic and that the new cash infusion brings its estimated value up to $400 million.

Most observers see the success of Vox and competitors like Mashable and BuzzFeed as a definitive sign that the media has almost found its new sustainable model.

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Is BuzzFeed Really America’s ‘Least Trusted’ News Source?

The study that has everyone’s attention in the media world today concerns trust and political ideology.

Depending on your affiliation and your favorite outlets, the extensive Pew Research Journalism Project survey could be seen as either a good or bad thing: more American readers of various political persuasions trust The Wall Street Journal than any other publication, and CNN/Fox remain the biggest/most trusted sources of TV news (which is great for Brian Stelter).

We’re not too concerned with party politics, though. We’re most interested in the fact that the pubs with the smallest divide between “trust” and “distrust” were PBS and WSJ, while the pub with the largest difference between those numbers was…BuzzFeed. Here’s the chart:

mediaPolarization-10

So does this survey encourage doubts about the value of placements on BuzzFeed?

We have to say no.

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BuzzFeed Promotes PR Lead to Chief of Staff/Advisory Role

Ashley McCollumWant to know what it’s like to work for BuzzFeed? Today, the media company promoted Ashley McCollum (follow her on Twitter) from head of PR to a chief staffing and “advisor to the executive team” role while also naming Dao Nguyen to the new position of “Publisher.” More specifically, McCollum’s official title changed from “VP, Communications and Business Development” to “Chief of Staff.” She will also serve as a personal advisor to founder/CEO Jonah Peretti.

Some quick facts about McCollum: she has spent nearly three years in comms role at BuzzFeed after working in NBC’s communications and marketing department; she is a Carolina girl who loves Charleston even more than we do but is not, as she clarified on Twitter this afternoon, a Gamecocks fan. (The Clemson/USC division runs in deep in Palmetto Country.)

We also got an update of sorts on the general BuzzFeed PR structure: Ashley still officially runs communications at the company, though they are currently looking for a senior executive to work with her and Peretti on the strategic front. Senior comms manager Christina DiRusso (follow her on Twitter, OBV) handles PR on the biz/tech side while Cat Bartosevich (follow her too) handles things for editorial.

All parties recommend that PRs continue pitching BuzzFeed writers directly with story ideas. Their contact info is easy to find.

The memo from Peretti, which went out this morning, after the jump.

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New School Media Lightly Disses Old School Media at Vanity Fair Event

Here’s a fun one: at today’s Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit, three leaders of the “new school” media had some things to say about the old folks:

How wrong are Kara Swisher and Shane Smith, though? David Carr knows because he covers this sort of thing for a living.

BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti outlines the growth model in the accompanying post: start with the kitty pic-sticles, move into producing real-world journalism, and get bought by the old guys waving around their legacy money.

Swisher attributes this shift to the newfound power of the Wi-Fi enabled consumer who, as Peretti noted, would just as soon spend an evening diving into the YouTube rabbit hole as checking out a “piece of highly produced media behind a paywall.”

Hard to imagine a starker portrait of the old school asking the new school what the kids are watching. The meta McConaughey pre-roll ad is just icing on the cake.

Don’t Buzz Me, Bro: Another Major Plagiarist Bites the Dust

buzzfeed

Why yes. He did go too far.

In what has to be one of the worst trends in journalism today, another national reporter has been fired for plagiarism. This time, it was BuzzFeed’s “Viral Politics” guy Benny Johnson.

This blow to the chronicles of credible reporting is particularly relevant because BuzzFeed also talks a big game regarding the benefits of its native advertising services. Yet here we are, discussing the copying and non-sourcing prowess of a once-respected reporter. Again.

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Urban Outfitters (Again) Pulls Ganesh Products After Offending Hindus

Ganesh

Another day, another retailer offending members of a major religion by co-opting one of its most revered symbols.

Unlike the recent case of designer Roberto Cavalli and a design that just happened to very closely resemble the symbol used by Sufi Muslims to denote God, this one involving Urban Outfitters‘ pillow covers can’t quite be addressed with a completely unbelievable “but we didn’t know!” statement or the “third party vendors!” explanation used to dismiss stories about Amazon, Sears and Walmart selling posters of a concentration camp.

The issue here, as reported by BuzzFeed, is that Urban Outfitters carried pillows bearing the clear image of Lord Ganesh as part of a series created by an artist who does not seem to belong to the Hindu faith.

This isn’t the first time UO has stepped in the (metaphorical!!) elephant dung, either…

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Coldwell Banker, BuzzFeed Pair Up for Sponsored Content Series

Coldwell Banker

A couple of weeks ago, a BuzzFeed listicle that looked a whole lot like a paid placement for Target inspired a bunch of journalists on Twitter to ask for some clarity as to what is and isn’t sponsored content.

We’ll soon have another example of the strategy in action: today real estate brand Coldwell Banker announced a partnership with everyone’s favorite kitty-pic-factory-turned-real-news-source.

What will this partnership entail?

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Welcome Back, Justine Sacco

SaccoDating app Hot or Not received a lukewarm mention on BuzzFeed this morning, with writer Peter Lauria describing the product as “once massively popular, cruel, and addictive”; his very headline had the company returning to “an overheated online dating market.”

As marrieds with dogs, we’re far less interested in the fortunes of said app than the little nugget buried at the bottom of the post:

“To help with the marketing and promotion of Hot or Not’s relaunch, Andreev has hired Justine Sacco, the former communications director for Diller’s IAC”

That was quick, wasn’t it?

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Buzzfeed + Cats = Perfect Recipe for a Viral Video

Cat food brand Friskies has figured out the perfect, deliciously simple formula for a viral video: Buzzfeed + cats, proving once and for all that the internet was, in fact, created for the sole purpose of sharing adorable/hilarious videos of our feline friends.  

The below ad for Purina’s Friskies brand, which depicts an older and wiser cat grudgingly bestowing sage advice unto a kitten, was published by Buzzfeed on June 5 (less than two weeks ago), and has already been viewed well over 10 million times. The spot has even spawned a popular Twitter hashtag #DearKitten, without either the brand or Buzfeed attempting to spread it.

Ah, to be a promoter of cat products and have the whole of the interwebs just waiting to do the heavy lifting for you. Sometimes all it takes is a fuzzy face, a couple of tugs at the heartstrings, a few laughs, and some seriously smart advice about the dreaded monster they call “Vacuum.”

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