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Posts Tagged ‘Mashable’

Was This the First Time a Customer Purchased a Tweet to Call Out a Brand?

Looks like we already have this week’s biggest PR fail: a traveler was so upset about British Airways losing his luggage that he paid to promote a tweet to all the brand’s followers letting them know how unpleasant his experience had been.

“Don’t fly @BritishAirways. Their customer service is horrendous.”

This is an unprecedented story, so it quickly spread across the web via Mashable and inspired CNN to interview disgruntled customer Hasan Syed, who started getting attention several hours before BA’s customer service reps even responded.

Pretty much every media outlet around has already run this story today because it is amazing, but we have to ask: will it change the way customer service works on social?

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Teens Haven’t Really Abandoned Facebook

Yes, your 13-year-old cousin is totally over Facebook. Yes, she wrote about that fact on Mashable. But that doesn’t mean that you should sell all the stock you bought last year. More importantly, it doesn’t mean that your clients should stop paying you to manage their pages.

Slate offers a counterpoint because that’s what they do, noting that, while none of the author’s friends are on Facebook, she supposedly fears getting in trouble for unflattering pictures that her older acquaintances post on their timelines. And seventh graders never imitate their elders.

For the two hundredth time, Facebook isn’t going anywhere. More than 40% of Americans still check it every single day. Mark Zuckerberg says that the site’s teen membership has held steady over the past couple of years; if you don’t believe him, the latest Pew Research study found that it’s still far and away the most popular social network, no matter how much Yahoo paid for Tumblr.

You already know how this story ends, but we’ll clarify. All this little bit of citizen journalism means is that Facebook is not, and never really was, the be-all-end-all of social media promotions—and you’ll need more than a timeline post to win the attention of the youngest generation.

That’s it. Moving along…

Hollywood’s Wary Embrace of Big Data

In recent years the movie business has used social data to connect with audiences and stepped up its reliance on quantitative data to forecast box office revenues. However, if data represented a person, that individual may get a seat at L.A.’s trendiest restaurant, but would still be seated in the back room. That was the gist of a Tribeca Film Festival Industry Talks panel on Tuesday in New York.

“There are three countervailing forces at play that we need to balance, namely the artistic creative side, technological advances and commercial considerations”, said Jason Kassin, co-founder and CEO of Film Track, a rights management company.

“Navigating the world with data points is different than it was five years ago”, added Eugene Hernandez, Film Society of Lincoln Center‘s director of digital strategy. The biggest change is the use of sentiment analysis to monitor audience reactions, though the benefits appear mixed:

  • Sentiment-based date is broadly used: “Big data has become socialized”, said Bill Livek, vice chairman and CEO of entertainment measurement company Rentrak. Their customers include not only big studios, but also independent studios and distributors across the country.
  • Social media monitoring yields massive, but imprecise data: Sentiment analysis measures movie reviews, ratings and audience comments. As Stacy Spikes, CEO and co-founder of theatrical subscription service MoviePass noted, “Going to the movies now is a communal experience”. Nevertheless, social media data isn’t projectable, the panelists cautioned.
  • Sentiment analysis can point to the right direction, according to Christina Warren, Mashable’s senior tech analyst. “But since monitoring is mostly done by machine, it’s best to use the tool to help target audiences and markets”, she explained. Livek concurred, adding, “A social media database can drive certain activities, but not content creation.”

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Someone Finally Told The New York Times About Sponsored Content

We know it’s something of a stereotype that traditional and especially print media tend to take their time in arriving at/commenting on a hot story. Such is the case with The New York Times, which made waves this weekend by reporting on a phenomenon that PR and marketing folk already know quite well: paid or sponsored content.

We’re not saying that the many talented reporters at the Times have ignored the trend until now; this Media Decoder post regarding The Atlantic‘s Scientology advertorial scandal mentions the fact that BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post and other top web publishers already maintain sponsored content sections. But the weekend’s article does seem to be the first time the Times has deemed such content worthy of comment in print.

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Mashable, Others Run With Dubious Bitcoin Press Release

We love Mashable for giving us up-to-the-minute tech news, but a recent snafu shows us that they are not immune to the “reporting on a less-than-accurate press release” phenomenon.

Here’s the deal: “bitcoin” is a new kind of digital currency that’s popping up all over the news. The appeal behind the product is the ability to deposit, exchange and spend money without going through a bank (ICYMI, people aren’t too keen on banks right now). In Europe, which is still suffering through the aftershocks of the latest economic crisis, more and more people have become interested in the bitcoin concept — and yesterday several sources including Mashable reported on this press release announcing entrepreneur Jeff Berwick‘s plans to open the “world’s first bitcoin ATM machine” in Cyprus, the country hardest hit by the current crisis. (Note: “plans” is the key word in that sentence.)

The problem? The ATM featured in the video below is not the one mentioned in the PRWeb release — and it wasn’t created by Jeff Berwick.

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Happy Friday! Facebook Got Hacked!

According to a lengthy statement posted today on The Social Network’s official press release page “notes”, Facebook‘s systems were”targeted in a sophisticated attack” in January when some of its employees “visited a mobile developer website that was compromised” and installed malware on their computers. The employees realized what had happened and did what any rational person would do: they called the cops. Other companies were apparently targeted as well.

If we didn’t know any better, we’d say that Facebook’s PR team intentionally avoided releasing this statement to larger media outlets by posting it on a news page that no one ever reads! But of course there’s no stopping the boys of Mashable

The most important points from the release:

  • “…we have found no evidence that Facebook user data was compromised”
  •  ”We will continue to work with law enforcement and the other organizations and entities affected by this attack.”

Cool. We get it. Thankfully, Facebook has never had to deal with any significant privacy issues like this one or this one or this one or this one!

The Grammy Awards: Lessons in Social Media Management

The 2012 Grammy Awards were the most-watched in history–but last night’s 2013 event may have been even bigger in terms of influence thanks to a communications team much more engaged in the art of, well, engagement. Seems like they finally got the message: social media buzz is now crucial to running a successful event.

So here are some lessons we learned from the Grammy’s social experiment:

1. Build the buzz: Many of the night’s biggest nominees didn’t tweet about the show beforehand because they didn’t need to: Mashable‘s infographic tells us that they just happened to be the biggest social media influencers as well, so their fans were already well aware of the event.

But of course the Grammy’s account aggressively promoted the ceremony well before it started, live-tweeting Saturday’s entire rehearsal event and making sure to share any relevant content from fans and nominees.

2. Make sure your audience knows how and where to find you: Repeat your handle and hashtags often, especially if you’re representing a big brand or event. This repetition may annoy some obsessive tweeters, but it will make the whole experience more user-friendly.

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What’s ‘Native Advertising’ All About, Anyway?

Native advertising: you’ve heard the term, and you’re going to hear it quite often in the months ahead. We haven’t directly addressed it on this blog yet, so here goes:

First: any web surfer will tell you that banner ads (aka “traditional paid media”) are on the way out. They do provide “impressions” or glances, but very few people actually click them.

A debate on the topic within the PR industry has all but resolved itself at this point: integrated or “native” spots created through “brand journalism” are part of the PR/marketing landscape along with “sponsored” tweets and the like. They’re here to stay, and PR teams need to start creating more of them ASAP or they’ll find themselves replaced by other third-party content creators and media buyers. (Here’s a great post on the issue from our friends at Spin Sucks.)

Right. But what does “native” mean, exactly? Well, this Mashable infographic made our heads hurt, so we’ll give you a better example: Check out The Awl, a sort of literary/culture blog that happens to be one of our favorite web destinations. Scroll down the page a bit and you’ll come across at least one post that looks slightly different than the rest (they’re usually hosted on a grey background and filed under the “sponsored stories” heading).

These are stories commissioned and created by brands like Pillsbury, HBO, Samsung, and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. These brands (and the firms that represent them) want to court members of The Awl’s audience, and they came up with a good way to do so: create original content that complements the site’s existing stories.

It’s fairly simple, really:

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Crack the Code: Pitching Tech and Startup Stories

With the media echo chamber focusing on the same top tier tech companies, startups have a harder time getting noticed. But at least now your client’s company doesn’t have to be from Silicon Valley to gain media traction. New York’s own Silicon Alley has attracted increased attention from tech reporters, due in part to the success of startups such as foursquare and Fab.com. As Devindra Hardawar, national editor for VentureBeat, said, “Now what’s happening in New York has become fascinating.”

Hardawar appeared on a panel at a PCNY event on Tuesday that also included NYC-based editors and reporters covering the tech and startups beat from GigaOM, Mashable, Business Insider and WNYC’s New Tech City morning radio show. The event was a follow-up to a June PCNY panel centered on mobile–and this time the topic was breaking through in the complex tech and startups space.

Recent stories the panelists wrote or produced should give PR pros some hints about the angles that hook them. Ki Mae Heussner, staff writer for GigaOM, focused on content hackathons as the future of textbooks. Alyson Shontell, an SAI editor for Business Insider, wrote about the size of startup companies’ user bases and whether ten million is the new one million when it comes to users. WNYC’s New Tech City radio host Manoush Zomorodi produced a segment featuring reporters learning to code. As Zomoradi observed, “their visits to different code training venues added texture and flavor” to reflect the reporters’ experiences.

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More Poorly Executed Hurricane Sandy PR

Add Gap to the list of brands criticized for releasing Sandy-themed marketing messages during the storm. First there was American Apparel‘s “Sandy Sale“; then there was the Urban Outfitters email blast reading: “This storm blows (but you know what doesn’t?)” Yeah, that would be free shipping on all orders.

On Monday, Gap’s official Twitter feed earned negative feedback (and a full Mashable post) for trying to do the impossible: making statements of support for hurricane victims while simultaneously performing its primary purpose and promoting the Gap brand. Here’s the offending message:

OK, is this message insensitive? It could be seen that way, considering the fact that many who live in the affected area are currently without power and others suffered damage to their homes during the storm. Is it dumb? Certainly, because we can’t imagine too many people counting the hurricane lockdown period as a perfect time to buy chinos online. Was it “on brand”? Absolutely. Again, the purpose of the feed is, above all else, to promote the Gap.

Should we be offended by it? Come on.

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