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Posts Tagged ‘Jeremy Pepper’

Celebrity Endorsements Are Basically Worthless

Never heard of her

Last week TechCrunch ran a story that bears repeating for everyone in PR. As our friend Jeremy Pepper put it:

Let’s explain…

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In Which We Consider Business Insider’s ‘Top 50 Tech PR Pros’ List

It’s safe to say that this week’s story about the Business Insider CTO with a penchant for offending everyone in sight on Twitter didn’t help raise the company’s public profile.

Yesterday, however, brought the publication of BI’s “50 best PR people in the tech industry” listicle, which is a different sort of animal altogether. Rather than mock the PR discipline at large, BI took the opportunity to credit to 50 people doing it the right way in the tech field.

Of course any such list is inherently arbitrary, and we’re not familiar with most of the names on this one, though we can personally vouch for Brian S. Gross, John McCartney of WISE PR and Krista Canfield of LinkedIn. That said, here’s what we like about the post: every member of this crowd of 50 is doing his or her part to promote not just a client brand but the PR practice in general—and we could always use a little more good press.

We reached out to some of our contacts for comment on the list and encountered a common theme.

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PR Pros To Facebook: Washington Post Good Choice For CEO Op-Ed

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made perhaps his most public of statements today regarding recent concerns about the social network’s privacy settings: an op-ed in the Washington Post.

In the op-ed, Zuckerberg said the company “missed the mark,” regarding privacy controls, while adding, “We have heard the feedback. There needs to be a simpler way to control your information. In the coming weeks, we will add privacy controls that are much simpler to use.”

We asked several PR executives what they thought of the op-ed.

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PR Takeaways From The Google Nexus One Launch

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In the biggest product launch of this short year, Google yesterday afternoon launched their first ever smart phone, the Nexus One. So how did the launch go?

The reviews

Walt Mossberg of the The Wall Street Journal was mostly positive. The New York TimesDavid Pogue was more negative. “Google Phone Is Not Revolutionary,” read his headline. Engadget’s Joshua Toplosky said the launch generated, “legitimate excitement.” CNET’s Rafe Needleman said, “it’s a solid step in Google’s continuing assault on new markets in general and on Apple in particular, but it’s not revolutionary the way the iPhone was…”

“It’s like the Obama of phones. Whether or not he’s really a great president, he can’t possibly live up to expectations he originally set,” said David Berkowitz, Senior Director of Emerging Media & Innovation at agency 360i.

Why No Video?

Flatiron Communications founder Peter Himler wondered why “Google’s PR peeps didn’t go through the trouble of web-streaming their own news conference, while arranging for on-site attendees to record wirelessly, to ensure optimal site lines and audio.” Instead thousands watched a stream set up by blogger Robert Scoble.

“They did the video feed for arguably less meaningful launches like Google Wave,” said Berkowitz.

Courting “influencers”

The list of people receiving Google’s phone in advance wasn’t at all limited to journalists. For example, venture capitalist Fred Wilson received the phone several weeks ago.

Google PR guaranteed feels more “comfortable” giving the phone to Wilson than say Engadget or the Times, as his review is much more likely to be positive. It was.

Wilson does not regularly review tech products and receiving such a high profile gadget in advance surely leads to excitement that could perhaps skew a review. Also, as a tech investor and not a journalist, he is less likely to be critical of the product.

The relatively new concept of “influencers” – some hate the term – means more and more people from different professions getting “pitched” by PR firms than ever before. Even PR people with popular blogs, like Edelman’s Steve Rubel or FutureWork’s Brian Solis get pitched. Robert Scoble, who was invited to the press conference, is a paid adviser to hosting company Rackspace.

Apple crowding

Per usual, Apple made it’s best attempts to crowd the news-cycle as we reported. “I think Apple got themselves in to the news with the tablet, and while iPhone would have been in the articles, it got Apple top of mind as usual,” said POP! PR Jots blogger and tech PR executive Jeremy Pepper. Edelman’s Steve Rubel saw things more positively. “Google plus phone is a surefire for press coverage as Godzilla plus city,” he told us.

Do PR Agency CEOs Need To Be Twittering?

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[Image: Gary Stockman, Porter Novelli's Twittering CEO]

Many in the PR world have come to the conclusion that you have to practice what you preach, and hence are scrambling to ramp up social media efforts for their own agency or brand to stay one step ahead of clients who may rightfully ask, “If you don’t have a blog, why do I need one?”

The same thing goes with Twitter. Many of the big PR agency CEOs aren’t active on Twitter. Should they be? Phil Butler at EverythingPR says no. “These people have hundreds, sometimes thousands of people depending on their decisions for their very livelihood. Just who can expect Richard Edelman to waste time typing away on Twitter? Twitter is a fad. No self respecting corporate leader is going to prioritize his or her life, the lives of their employees and clients, just to gain 12,000 followers, they would be idiots,” he said in a post.

Can CEOs use Twitter with success? Sure. BusinessWeek recently ran a list of Twittering CEOs, although most came from tech start-ups and established companies. We asked a few PR pros for their take on the issue.

Kristin Maverick, Director of Communications at Carrot Creative, acknowledged that executives may not have the extra time but stated, “I’m not saying they need to be tweeting about going to Starbucks, but why can’t they provide high level thoughts? Even if it’s once a week (which I’m sure can be fit into their schedule) the thought can go a long way.”

Brian Solis, Principal of FutureWorks and PR 2.0 blogger said it’s all about value, and PR execs shouldn’t be on Twitter, “if they have nothing interesting or valuable to contribute.”

On the other hand, Jeremy Pepper, Pop-PR Jots blogger and former PR manager for Boingo Wireless said that with Blackberries and iPhones, “it shouldn’t be hard at all,” and that, “Part of the job is to showcase the agency and how much they are invested in new technologies – and, yes, there are specialists out there, but as someone that has been on both the agency and client-side, I like to see that the CEO believes what he is touting.” Sound off in the comments with your take.

Wired Editor Chris Anderson Apologizes for Plagiarism, (Some) PR People Try To Hide Delight

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Wired magazine Editor Chris Anderson – known in PR circles not only for his role at the magazine – but also for his infamous PR “blacklist,” admitted this week to lifting many passages of his soon to be released book “Free” from Wikipedia. Virginia Quarterly Review first noticed the similarities, some of which were copied word for word.

Anderson’s explanation hinged mostly on a gray area involving the citation process for Wikipedia and he admitted that several passages were not cited. “That’s my screw-up and I totally take the blame for that,” he told The New York Times.

Jeremy Pepper, POP! PR Jots blogger and Manager, Public Relations at Boingo Wireless said Anderson did the “stand-up PR move – even if he black lists us. He took full responsibility for his actions, and did not pass the buck to anyone else. That speaks volumes, and while I think he should have won the fight with his editor (he’s write on the citations), he took the responsibility of his actions. It’s a rare trait in today’s world.”

Not everyone completely agrees. RLM PR CEO Richard Laermer told PRNewser, “…this mistake is, in my not humble opinion, fairly colossal-and common. Found research does not make a point. And I’m sure if we went further into the points Mr. Anderson made in his book we’d find a lot of other stuff that came from sources that were, yep, cut and pasted.”

We’re curious to hear your take on things. From a PR perspective, did Anderson handle this in the best manner?

TVNewser Knocks Out Jeremy Pepper in Blog-Off

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NBC is pitting blogger vs blogger for a chance to join the cast and crew of “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here” in Costa Rica for a chance to…err, work for NBC for free and blog the behind the scenes happenings.

So far blogger trumps PR pro, as mediabistro’s own Steve Krakauer survives round one with a post about shrieking bullet ants and parasitic botflys (they lay eggs under your skin!), while Boingo Wireless’ PR guy Jeremy Pepper went with an inside look at his beauty products.

Despite the obvious attraction of the stingiest ants on earth vs. what’s inside Jack Black moisturizer, we expected Pepper to put up a hard fight given the savage nature of PR people when faced with a contest they can game.

“I’m a Blogger…Get Me Out of Here!” heads to round two, with eight bloggers remaining.