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Posts Tagged ‘Dan Lyons’

Big Changes in Tech Journalism: ‘Fake Steve Jobs’ Is Your New Valleywag

Dan LyonsYesterday we learned of a couple of big changes in the Silicon Valley tech journalism game: the head of Valleywag is headed to The Verge and her replacement will be the writer/marketer formerly known as “Fake Steve Jobs.”

Nitasha Tiku, a seasoned reporter who has written for many pubs including New York magazine and BetaBeat (where she had the good humor to share her staff’s reactions to our post on “the world’s first Vine press release“), will be senior West Coast writer at the Vox property. Business Insider broke that news Thursday morning, and Re/code followed with a report that Dan Lyons, currently marketing fellow at HubSpot, will be her replacement.

In case you hoped that this move will mean a kinder, gentler Valleywag, think again: here’s what Lyons told us about 9to5Mac’s Apple PR reveal back in September:

“I have no problem with Apple being as manipulative as it possibly can. That is what PR is supposed to do, and Apple is very good at PR. The real culprits are the reporters and bloggers who play along.”

In other words, he does not play along.

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PR Veterans Weigh in on Apple Expose

apple-logo-pngPardon us for being all Apple today, readers, but it’s hard to look away when the world’s most influential company makes waves (especially since we had a revealing conversation with someone close to its international communications team yesterday).

Earlier this week we reviewed takeaways from the extensive 9t05Mac piece on the company’s comms operations, and today three industry influencers gave us their impressions.

Dan Lyons, journalist-turned marketing fellow at HubSpot and creator of The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs:

I think it was a great series. Very insightful. There is still more work to be done in exposing the collusion and coziness between Apple and certain bloggers and members of the mainstream media.

In fact, I have no problem with Apple being as manipulative as it possibly can. That is what PR is supposed to do, and Apple is very good at PR. The real culprits are the reporters and bloggers who play along.

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‘Fake Steve Jobs’ Takes a Shot at Departing Apple PR Head

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Dan Lyons–one of the most colorful journalists to become a marketer i.e. “hack turned flack“–took one final pop at Katie Cotton, the retiring VP of worldwide corporate communications at Apple, by posting a photo of a female sniper on his Facebook page. He joined HubSpot last year from ReadWrite.

Lyons, the former “Fake Steve Jobs” blogger and longtime tech journalist frequently “dispatched” Cotton to control and punish journalists who didn’t fall in line with his personae’s wishes. Lyons spent considerable time balancing satire with his other work, and managed to blog anonymously for about a year till he was outed by Brad Stone.

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B-M Says Facebook Assignment “Should Have Been Declined”

News broke last night on The Daily Beast that the client behind Burson-Marsteller‘s bungled Google “whisper campaign” was Facebook. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the social network hired B-M;  The Daily Beast writer Dan Lyons says that B-M refused to say until Facebook confirmed the information.

A statement PRNewser received via email from B-M this morning reads:

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On the Podcast: Yelp, MDC Acquires Sloan, and Fake Steve Jobs

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On this week’s PRNewser Podcast we discuss the policy changes at Yelp, the acquisition of Sloane and Company by Canadian holding company MDC Partners, and the tussle between Newsweek tech reporter Dan Lyons (a.k.a Fake Steve Jobs) and Apple.

Waggener Edstrom’s digital consulting director Tac Anderson joined us for the second half to discuss the challenges brands face in using social media, or how to avoid the “zombie media trap,” as he calls it. Anderson also discussed the benefits of having internal experience before attempting to work through these challenges on the agency side. He was at HP prior to joining WE’s Studio D division.

Dan Lyons, Steven Levy and Access To Apple

Newsweek tech reporter Dan Lyons admitted that he misspoke when he said on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” this past Sunday that the head of Apple PR head reached out to Newsweek to complain about him, prior to him being hired by the publication.

Lyons told Business Insider the complaints from Apple PR came after he was hired at Newsweek and not before, as he stated on CNN.

Regardless, one thing is clear: Lyons, who pens the “Fake Steve Jobs” blog at Newsweek, is not on Apple’s preferred media list, while his competitors, such as TIME magazine and Wired‘s Steven Levy are. TIME had full access to Apple pre-iPad launch, including an interview with Mr. Jobs. Lyons didn’t even have an iPad.

In the above interview with Beet.tv from September 2008, Lyons said that penning the Fake Steve Jobs blog has made covering Apple, “uncomfortable.”

The Guardian‘s Jack Schofield writes today, “…if it is favouring Time and excluding Newsweek, Apple isn’t dealing fairly with the press and therefore, ultimately, the public.” Do you agree?

Dan Lyons: Head of Apple PR Told Newsweek Not To Hire Me

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Most PR pros — especially those in tech PR — know that Apple runs a very tight ship when it comes to marketing and communications.

This weekend’s iPad launch was yet another example, as the company received around the clock, mostly positive media coverage of the hype surrounding the new product.

However, an interesting tidbit from the weekend’s iPad coverage comes from Newsweek tech reporter Dan Lyons, who also pens the “Fake Steve Jobs” blog. Lyons said on CNN’s Reliable Sources, hosted by the Washington Post‘s Howard Kurtz, that the head of Apple PR told Newsweek not to hire him. From the transcript:

KURTZ: I just want to follow up on something you said. Apple executives went to “Newsweek” and said don’t hire this guy, Dan Lyons? We don’t like he writes this fake Steve Jobs — they tried to block you from being hired?

LYONS: Their head of PR told my predecessor, Steven Levy, to pass word to the powers that be at “Newsweek” that Apple wasn’t happy with the idea that they were going to hire me. Yes, that happened. And apple plays this game. I mean, notice who got iPads and who didn’t get iPads. Notice who got access and who didn’t.

And the other interesting thing here when you’re talking about the media and Apple is that, you know, the media — “The New York Times” was on stage with Apple, with Steve Jobs, at the announcement of the iPad, right? “TIME” had to have Stephen Frey, an actor, write about the iPad because their tech editor is running their iPad, their iPad development team.

So, the media in this case has really gotten in bed with Apple. And yes, it does raise questions about, how do you cover something when it’s your own business, in a sense, you’re covering?

Read the full transcript here.