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Posts Tagged ‘Fast Company’

PR Is Essential for Startups…or Is It?!


These guys (don’t) get it…

Many professional communicators will argue that every single worthwhile startup needs some public relations assistance by default–but some ambitious tech entrepreneurs disagree!

Shocking, we know. A recent point/counterpoint in the digital pages of Fast Company makes clear that this debate will continue for some time.

Earlier this month, entrepreneur Stephen Robert Morse wrote a piece titled “Why Your Startup Shouldn’t Hire a PR Firm.

The article understandably sparked a bit of controversy; some key points–and today’s rebuttal–after the jump.

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#NewKlout Helps Users Raise Their Score. Are These Scores Now Useless?

#newkloutMaybe you were one of the people who got an email yesterday introducing you to #NewKlout, which came with a ready-made hashtag and now offers suggestions for how you can raise your Klout score to something you can be proud of.

“Klout helps people who want to be great at social media,” the site announces on its homepage.

It was not so long ago (or maybe it was) when we were reading stories about how people with high Klout scores had become VIPs, scoring sweet rooms at Vegas hotels and seats on flights.

“The people who have high Klout scores tend to stay very engaged with Klout. The people without high scores, there’s nothing for them to do,” Klout CEO Joe Fernandez said in an interview with Fast CompanyAccording to Fast Company, the question Klout gets the most is how to raise your score.

So to help the low-scoring souls who are wandering aimlessly around the Internet, the site identifies user interests and suggests content to share.

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Mattell’s Top Designer Defends Barbie’s ‘Unrealistic’ Body

Here’s one we found fascinating: Mattell has obviously gotten a lot of criticism in recent years for presenting young girls with an unattainable standard via Barbie, “the most popular fashion doll ever produced.”

We were particularly taken with the “this is what Barbie would look like with the average 19-year-old girl’s body” project by artist Nickolay Lamm.

Now, despite the enthusiasm of the press release above, Mattell’s sales have declined.

In a Fast.CoDesign piece published this week, Barbie’s lead designer finally addresses critics.

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Here’s Why We All Hate Conference Calls

You may have caught this Tripp and Tyler video when it went live at the end of January, but we’d like to share it after seeing it for the first time yesterday via Fast Company because it couldn’t be more accurate.

Hell, we don’t even like in-person client meetings, what with the bad jokes and the taking of notes and the guy from accounts who you know has more important things to do.

We wish we could tell you how to avoid this sort of thing, but for now we’re enjoying the shameless self-promotion at the end.

Your ‘Safest Man to Have Sex With in America’ Pitch Can Only Work So Many Times

That “safest man” would be Ramin Bastani, founder of “an STD app” called Hula which helps users find the most convenient place to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. The tagline is “Hula helps you get laid”, so the messaging is anything but subtle.

We get it—and based on the search results for the phrase in our headline, we can safely say the pitch worked.

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Retail Startup Hopes You’re Still Aware of the Cronut Craze

Watching the magic happenFor many, the “what the hell is that” cronut phenomenon has come and gone, wearing out its 12 minutes of fame to make way for other, less “innovative” pastry diversions.

But a certain “online gourmet food and gift curator” hopes a few sweet-toothed individuals remember. Goldbely‘s selling point is an ability to deliver specialty foods from (almost) anywhere in the U.S. to your door. Say you live in Wisconsin but you’ll die if you can’t taste the legendary cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar. Or, on the flip side, you’re a city slicker who would love nothing more than a taste of that famous King’s BBQ from Kinston, North Carolina.

In both cases, Goldbely could theoretically help you scratch that delicious itch.

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Will Alicia Keys/BlackBerry End the Celebrity ‘Creative Director’ Trend?

shutterstock_127907183In the past we’ve commented on the ridiculousness of big brands giving “creative director” titles to celebrities who can’t open a successful movie: Justin Timberlake, Ashton Kutcher, Will.I.Am, etc. But the current “are they or aren’t they” status of Alicia Keys and BlackBerry nicely illustrates how awkward the whole trend really is.

In case you haven’t looked up from your iPhone screen in three years, BlackBerry is about to join Friendster and in the “I knew you once” graveyard. Today the company announced that it will replace its CEO and fire 40% of its staff, but Keys apparently won’t be among that number.

While everyone insisted that Keys would be doing real-life work for the brand when they hired her, they now risk making themselves look even worse by keeping her on.

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Fast Company Wants to Know How You Manage Your Insane PR Lifestyle

The obvious answer to the question “How do you get it all done?” is “I work my f*cking ass off”, but Fast Company turned it into a bit of a game this week by encouraging readers who work in the always-insane media/communications world to demonstrate, via six second Vine clip, how they manage to manage it.

Here’s a good one from Finn Partners:

What do we think? Has your firm submitted a Vine?

Stephen Colbert Forces Bill Clinton to Tweet Like the Rest of Us

You’d think former President Bill Clinton, master of shameless self-promotion, would know all about hyping himself on Twitter, right? Apparently not! In his famous state of perpetual insecurity, Clinton asks Stephen Colbert, “What if you tweet and nobody tweets back?”

Colbert isn’t just a genius when it comes to self-promotion: he knows how to win attention for other people, too. On last night’s show he didn’t just advise Clinton to start tweeting — he had an account ready!

Fast Company calls this a “giant guerilla marketing stunt”. 83,000 followers on the strength of a single tweet? We might just have to agree. Somebody name this man Pope already! (Not really.)

Oh, and the feed’s bio reads: “I am President William Jefferson Billy Jeff Rodham Clinton. Stephen Colbert is my BFF.” We greatly admire Colbert’s unparalleled ability to make everything all about himself, but most importantly we hope that @PrezBillyJeff follows our 7 hashtag strategy tips. If a tweet falls in the forest…

How to Pitch Your Tech Product/Client to FastCompany

If you have tech or startup clients, your dream score would be a feature in Fast Company, the magazine of choice for those obsessed with the tech biz. The mag’s Chris Dannen, editor of the software-focused Co.Labs, recently published a “how to pitch us” article that every tech-oriented PR pro should read, like, yesterday.

In summary, Dannen emphasizes that the magazine strongly prefers pitches framed as stories designed to help others in the field succeed — a sort of “look how we did it and how excited we are about it” model. He writes that email pitches should be extremely short and focus on enthusiasm for the lessons learned during the journey rather than the details (which can and will be fleshed out later, warts and all). He follows by elaborating on the components of a compelling story for those who love the product/initiative but aren’t as clear on the underlying narrative behind it.

In other words, you need to avoid making your story sound like another press release or dull product roll-out announcement — this is not a sales pitch.

We would go into greater detail, but all PR pros (especially those with a tech focus) should really just read the full article.