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Posts Tagged ‘Gawker’

Politicians Do a Decent Job Reading Mean Tweets About Themselves

We’re not Jimmy Kimmel‘s biggest fans, but we do like his “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” series for illustrating two facts:

  • Twitter is a massive sh*tshow
  • Actors don’t take themselves as seriously as we think they do (or do they?)

Today NowThisNews decided to apply that great idea to the political realm with mixed results. The first one really is the best.

There’s a reason for this: in case you haven’t noticed, politicians’ feeds* are even more boring than those of, say, major PR firms.

You know it’s true.

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All San Francisco Chronicle Employees Will Learn to Master Social Media (or Else)

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That’s not quite what last night’s Mashable headline read, but we figured we’d dramatize it because clicks.

Speaking of clicks, most of the journalists we read are pretty good on social, but the San Francisco Chronicle apparently plans to begin putting all its reporters through “a startup-style incubator” that will teach them to master the digital world, increase traffic and, hopefully, stall that ongoing revenue slide.

We can feel worlds converging as we type this post…

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Fired Fox Flack Paid $8M to STFU

BrianLewis1Back in August we reported on the problematic firing of Brian Lewis, head of PR for Fox News and longtime confidante of network chief Roger Ailes. While the storied flack initially had only good things to say about his former employer to sister site TVNewser, the picture quickly got ugly. Lewis hired former Donald Trump attorney Judd Burstein, who earned his pay by uttering this classic line:

“Roger Ailes and Newscorp have a lot more to fear from Brian Lewis telling the truth about them than Brian Lewis has to fear from Roger Ailes and his toadies telling lies about Brian Lewis.”

We LOL’ed at the use of the man’s name three times in the same sentence.

General consensus held that Ailes suspected Lewis of leaking information to media sources, and today someone actually did leak some inflammatory news to Gawker: seems that Fox paid its former rep a total of $8 million in “hush money” to avoid a costly lawsuit.

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Don’t Try to Pay Gawker to Place Your Clients’ Links

shutterstock_123477490-1Former PR professional and reigning purveyor of righteous indignation Hamilton Nolan has a message for “stealth” marketing firms: how dumb are you, again?

In short, an agency specializing in SEO sent him a series of emails “bribing” him to insert clients’ links into his totally unrelated Gawker posts in order to push their names up higher in Google search results.

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone, but we are a little shocked by the marketer’s insistence and his willingness to provide links to clients’ content when he should have known right away that Nolan would shame him in public by reprinting all of his emails.

Of course PR would never do such a thing, because it’s strictly the domain of “shady” marketing firms and we have ethics. But this would technically qualify as paid media…

We wonder about the real-world value of links placed in posts like this one, which just happens to be a helpful list of marketing tips that somehow did not include our wise headline.

Was $80 really the best they could do? Nick Denton should take that offer as a personal insult.

PR, Not Traffic, Got Copyranter Fired from BuzzFeed

MarkDuffyBuzzFeedMark Duffy, aka Copyranter aka our favorite advertising curmudgeon, made some waves in the incestuous blog news world last month by announcing his imminent departure from BuzzFeed.

Initially we thought that his cranky critiques just weren’t quite “BuzzFeedy” enough for the audience: too many FAILs and not enough kittens.

Turns out it was less a readership issue and more of a “pissing off potential advertisers” issue. At EOD yesterday Duffy posted a listicle on Gawker detailing the reasons why he got the boot, and angering Unilever with an anti-Axe Body Spray post appears to have been exhibit #1 in the “creative differences” file.

Apparently multiple brand reps called Editor-in-Chief BuzzFeed Ben to complain about posts mocking their ad campaigns, and at a certain point the company decided that Duffy was more liability than asset despite the fact that he “ranked seventh out of about 100 writers for traffic.” As Ben put it:

“I absorb a great deal of heat from targets of stories that we write, from Beyonce’s publicist to politicians to businesses, and I’ve just realized the stuff I am least able to defend is, occasionally, yours.”

The lesson here is that, if you want your big web property to make money via ads or sponsored content or whatever they’ll be calling it in six months, you have to restrain your snark a bit while somehow maintaining the edge that makes you stand out. It’s a tough balance to maintain, and BuzzFeed probably should have known better.

One question, though: who attaches a “CUTE” sticker to a “you’re fired” letter? WTF (no LOL)?

Gossip Writers: Social Media Made Celebrity Image Management Easier Than Ever

i.2.scandal-manual-gossip(George) Rush and (Joanna) Malloy were two of America’s best known old-school gossip columnists, but they decided to call it quits three years ago? Why?

In a complaint that will sound familiar to every journalist everywhere, they say they’d had it with celebs’ newfound ability to manage their images more effectively with social media, thereby reducing the value of the honest-to-goodness journalists who write regular columns in print (even if those columns are all about drug addictions and affairs and other gutter-hugging topics).

Oh, and they wanted to write a book that they then promoted with this Vanity Fair interview.

Some quotes:

“Keeping up with the Kardashians and other reality stars became nauseating. More and more, celebs were able to use social media to sidestep the columns, and most of the traditional media. They could spin their own version of the truth.”

“If I wanted to go into marketing, I would have gone to business school.”

In other words, celebrity news and marketing are now one and the same—right, Kim?

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Here’s Mayor Rob Ford’s ‘Yes, I’ve Smoked Crack’ Press Conference

We don’t know if you guys have been as compelled by the “Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Smoked Crack and We’ve Seen the Tape” story as Gawker wanted you to be, but today’s press conference is well worth three minutes of your time:

In terms of media relations and speechifying, we think you’ll agree that no one would ever tell a client to say:

“Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors…I want everyone in the city to see this tape”

“Some of the stuff…you guys have seen me, the state I’ve been in…it’s a problem”

Mr. Media Training just posted a list of Seven Reasons Rob Ford’s Crack Admission Failed, the first of which could have been “uhh, he smoked crack.”

Our final thoughts on the matter: we like his response to the “Are you on crack right now?” question. And this looks like a job for Gina Rodriguez.

Crisis Alert: Axe Body Spray Sends 8 Teens to the Hospital

0320-axe_full_600Axe has always sold its body odor cover-ups on the dubious premise that their rank industrial odor somehow doubles as Kryptonite for teenage girls. A recent incident in Brooklyn shows us that’s not quite the case: a couple of days ago eight sixth-grade students went to the hospital after some joker sprayed the hell out of a classroom with the “noxious” toxin.

And there was much vomiting.

After EMS took the kids to get treated (and two were taken to the doctor by their parents), the Department of Education confirmed that the Axe was responsible, and in an official statement school officials said that someone is going to be in soooooo much trouble tomorrow!

The perpetrator remains anonymous, but we’d like to think his response will come in the form of a t-shirt:

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The (False) Truth About Viral Content

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Quite a few of us saw this picture last week. Tens of thousands shared it, and many used it as inspiration for a blog post or op-ed. Depending on your political affiliation, it was either a perfect embodiment of the “childish” government shutdown or yet another example of “The Media” manipulating the narrative to make a predetermined point.

Or maybe it was neither. But since millions saw it and drew their own conclusions, does that even matter?

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Study: Millennials With Kids Are No Different Than Their Own Parents

Up to date

Everyone everywhere is trying to tell us how to better target Millennials. Research says that they want to be rewarded and entertained while making the world a better place all at the same time, but now it’s time for the next question: how do they behave as parents? If you guessed “pretty much the same as their parents and every other generation of parents before them” then you win the prize!

Yes, we young folk have begun to reproduce en masse despite all the things weighing against us: crushing student loans, rising healthcare costs, the end of the Harry Potter series, etc. etc. Now brands have to address us as the semi-responsible adults we are.

In order to let us all know what that means, “fiercely independent” Missouri agency Barkley performed a study by examining “exclusive research records” concerning the 10.8 million Millennials who now have kids and conducting one-on-one surveys with 1000 of them. The agency released the full results of its project at its own ”Share Like Buy” forum in Kansas City last month and began making the media rounds to discuss them this week.

Here are some key points from the study and the follow-up to date:

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