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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Zuckerberg’

Sheryl Sandberg’s PR Team Doesn’t Handle Criticism Well

Today in Classic PR Infighting news: we’ve all heard of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg‘s book Lean In, which is all about how women need to assert themselves more aggressively in the workplace.

Of course Sandberg’s been making the media rounds to promote the book. This week Kate Losse, an early Facebook employee who once wrote speeches for Mark Zuckerberg and published a memoir about her experience there, posted a critical review of the book in Dissent magazine.

Here’s how current Sandberg rep and former Facebook PR chief/Losse coworker Brandee Barker responded:

Alright then!

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What Does The New Facebook Feed Mean for Brands? 5 Takeaways

In case you spent all day yesterday hiding under a rock, Facebook unveiled its brand new revamped news feed model. During the press conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he wants the network to double as the world’s best “personalized newspaper”. We think we just heard the entire Internet issue a collective groan.

And now for the inevitable follow-up question: where’s the outrage? The public has yet to render a judgment, but so far the word on the changes from the brand/advertiser side appears to be cautiously positive! In fact, the new setup might be better for brands and advertisers. How so?

Well, the biggest change for the new feed is more, bigger pictures. This is in keeping with the PR/marketing industry’s increasing focus on visuals over text when driving audience engagement.

Our conclusions on what this change will mean for brands, marketers and PR teams:

1. More pictures and video: This is a bit of a no-brainer: we’ve been moving in this direction for some time. This larger shift means that ambitious PR pros should work on developing their design skills and portfolios.

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Facebook Not Too Comfortable with Democracy

Facebook Governance LogoYou can’t please everybody all the time—especially when that “everybody” includes nearly a billion people. But Facebook’s not even trying any more: As much as Mark Zuckerberg claims to love transparency in messaging, decision-making and management, his company’s troubled flirtation with “democracy” appears to be on the wane.

Last week brought the announcement of what seems like the millionth round of changes to Facebook’s official privacy and “governance” policies. The changes concern “the integration of Instagram data” and revisions to “the filters for managing incoming messages”, and they’ll make it easier for Facebook to share its coveted data with partner organizations. While Facebook calls these changes “minor and beneficial to users”, many predictably disagreed and shared their opinions online. You’ve probably seen this status update at some point over the past week:

“I DO NOT AUTHORIZE the use of my personal data (text, photos, images, videos, comments or any content contained on my page now or in the past), under any pretext, for commercial or non-commercial purposes without my written and signed approval. Also, I REJECT AND DO NOT CONCEDE that Facebook stores messages, comments, images, videos or any other data I choose or chose to delete.”

The most interesting aspect of this story? Facebook has decided to abandon its attempts to imitate a “direct democracy” by allowing users to vote on proposed changes. As of this afternoon, you and the other 999 million people on the network will no longer have a direct say in this matter–or any other.

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Facebook Couples Pages: Dumb Idea or The Dumbest Idea?

Facebook Couples Pages DebutToday BostonInno asks a crucial question: “Are Facebook’s New ‘Couples Pages’ the Dumbest Thing the Internet Has Ever Given Us?” We’d say n0–that would be a three-way tie between “YOLO“, “Bronies” and Rebecca Black–but the public response to Zuckerberg’s latest awesome idea seems to be overwhelmingly negative.

Come to think of it, we can’t remember a single Facebook tweak inspiring anything but ridicule. Maybe the company needs to re-think its product rollout strategy…

Also: breakups will be a whole lot more public now, won’t they?

P.S. We do feel a little bad for Mr. and Mrs. Stephanie Holson above. We don’t even know them, but they already annoy us (and we’re married)!

Will Instagram Profiles Change the Visual Branding Game?

You may not have noticed, but Instagram (undisputed king of online “food porn“) made a big announcement this week: the service has begun moving away from its status as a purely mobile application to establish a major web presence with Instagram “profiles.”

These new web pages very closely resemble Facebook profiles, which should surprise no one considering Mark Zuckerberg‘s recent acquisition of the nascent imaging service. In place of the Facebook “cover photo”, visitors will see a rotating lineup of recent images posted by the Instagram user in question.

Instagram on the web is, for all intents and purposes, a purely visual version of Facebook.

One potential problem has emerged, and it will be familiar to many Facebook users: Within a week or so, everyone with an Instagram account will also have a page with a default “public” setting, which means that anyone online can visit a given user’s profile and view his or her images. Does this amount to an invasion of privacy? The service will almost certainly need to address the issue in the days ahead.

But we expected Instagram to encounter a few bumps in the road as it expands. The big question: what does this new feature mean for brands?

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Is the Lightt App an ‘Instagram Killer’?

Mark Zuckerberg clearly made a wise move in acquiring Instagram. The social media reaction to yesterday’s story about a Manhattan restaurant’s brilliant new “Instagram menu” proves that the app is hugely popular—and we also recently learned that Instagram beats Twitter when it comes to mobile engagement.

But can a new social media photo app climb to the top of the heap? As Social Times reported this afternoon, tech guru Robert Scoble seems to think so.

This new entry on the pic-sharing scene is Lightt, an app that creates silent photo sequences resembling gifs, those classic visual loops that ruled the Internet a few short years ago. The key catch is that users can share these images with friends, and the app grants us the power to create crazy pseudo-videos from the photos taken by, say, a group of friends attending the same concert from different angles. Sound cool? This video is a little slow, but it does demonstrate how Lightt works if you have a minute:

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‘Facebook Gifts’ Just Might Work

You’ve probably heard that Facebook just hit the one billion user milestone. The company celebrated the announcement with a teary-eyed commercial and a typically understated blog post by the Zuck complete with a “one billion fact sheet.”

While the stats on the sheet are fascinating, they also bring attention back to Facebook’s biggest challenge: How can they turn that unbelievably huge data pool into real-world revenue?

Over the past two weeks, the company rolled out two new answers to that question in the form of “promoted ads” and “Facebook Gifts”, its new entry into the rapidly expanding world of digital retail after acquiring the social gifting app Karma. Now users can send their friends a lot more than hearts or Farmland invitations. It’s a bit of a twist on the DOA Facebook Deals plan: interested parties can choose from a list of products to send their friends and, in the most important update, the recipient can specify size, style, color, etc. so the gift best fits his or her individual tastes.

The big unknown right now is exactly what sort of gift selection the new feature will include.

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Forbes ‘Richest’ List: No More Social Media Moguls?

This week Forbes released the 30th anniversary edition of its “Forbes 400: The Richest People in America” issue, and the list’s top ten is only surprising for being so boring. Bill Gates? Check? Warren Buffett, The Koch brothers, and the Waltons? Check, check, check.

The only change to the top ten is the addition of Michael Bloomberg, who somehow made lots of money last year while giving New Yorkers an extended “this is why you’re fat” lecture. We are not shocked.

In fact, there’s only one real “richest people” development that interests us: a big decline in the rankings for social media executives. The biggest individual drop, of course, belongs to Mark Zuckerberg, who has probably been grinding the hell out of his teeth every night for the past six months despite his public displays of confidence.

But does this development signal the beginning of the end of the “social media mogul?”

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Facebook Has Nowhere to Go But Down

General impressions of Mark Zuckerberg’s speech at yesterday’s TechCrunch TC Disrupt conference have been mixed with good reason: The Zuck called his company’s post-IPO performance “disappointing” and hinted vaguely at the profit potential of mobile ventures that the public is obviously way too dumb to understand while acknowledging that Facebook’s mobile apps aren’t as good as they should be; still, investors have confidence in his ability to stay atop the social flock, and stock prices rose nearly 5% after his speech.

The Zuck tried very hard to convince all interested parties that he knows exactly what he’s doing. The key quote: “For me it’s not about fun, it’s about mission. I’d rather be in the cycle when people underestimate us.”

While considering whether smartphones like the brand new iPhone 5 will save Facebook, we figured that now is a perfect time to re-pose the perennial question: Has the social network already reached its peak capacity and influence?

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Media Training Tips and Cautionary Tales

In the high-risk, high-reward world of media training, major stumbles during television interviews are seared indefinitely in the public’s memory. Nailing an interview is not so easy, even for well-known public figures and corporate executives.

Media relies on basic principles and varied techniques. Today we’re focusing on seven tips–and what can happen when interviewees ignore them. As noted below, not everyone is as well-versed in handling the media as Joe Torre, (left) a former Major League Baseball manager.

Preparation is key since winging it is never a good idea. Interviewees need to wrap their heads around not only the core topics, but also the show, the interviewer and his or her questioning style. An example of what not to do? Herman Cain appeared completely clueless when asked about Libya during a video interview in Milwaukee last November, leaving several seconds of awkward, empty air time.

Keep answers brief, limited to quick sound bites. While Vice President Joe Biden is well known for his rambling remarks, the communicator in chief may need to heed this tip as well: During NYU’s Hospitality Investment Conference in June, NBC’s Chuck Todd predicted that President Obama may not win the first debate this fall, because [almost] no one has cut his remarks short during his term in office–and debates have strict time limits.

Beware softball questions. “What newspapers and magazines do you read?” is not a technically difficult question. Still, it was enough to trip up Sarah Palin during her now-infamous interview with Katie Couric during the 2008 Presidential election that was later parodied on SNL.

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