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Posts Tagged ‘Mashable’

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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Is ‘Brand Journalism’ the New PR?

PR professionals: Do you consider yourself content providers? How about reporters? Bloggers? Are we getting close? OK, here’s the question of the day: Instead of struggling with media gatekeepers to win coverage and attract wandering eyes to your brand, should you simply become the media? Instead of providing access to key personalities and emailing quotes for a big story, why not just tell the story yourself?

According to Blue Fountain Media strategist Tim Gray, the best way to promote your brand through content is to create it—he sees the PR industry moving quickly in that direction, and Bazaar Voice’s 2012 “social trends report” backs him up.

Of course you’ve heard about the ways in which an increasingly interconnected media world makes traditional advertising less effective than ever; most viewers/readers will skip those pesky sponsored messages when given the choice. The appeal of creating your own content delivery system is obvious–and more than a few brands have started doing just that.

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Startup Wants to Help You Publicize Your Own Death

No, that headline is not a typo: The always-reliable Mashable reported today on a new Facebook app called If I Die that lets users set up postmortem messages or videos to the world–statements that will be issued to friends after members themselves have passed. We guess we might see the appeal, especially after reading stories about very bored people who troll the profiles of the recently deceased and loved ones who can’t get the pages of late family members removed.

But the product itself isn’t the strangest part of this story: In order to publicize the app, its Israel-based creators have hyped a contest called “If I Die 1st.” The details? Whichever new user of the app becomes the first to die will have his or her postmortem video or text message broadcast to the rest of the app’s community members and unnamed “media outlets”–and the community supposedly has more than 200,000 members. Here’s the video:


Is this a new way to perpetuate your personal “brand,” or a really sick PR stunt? We think the whole concept is more than a little creepy, and the conditions of the contest are the icing on the cake: The winner’s passing “cannot be an act of suicide or otherwise sanctioned death.” Yeah, that’s very weird.

Rest in Peace, McKayla Maroney Meme

That's the one. Today in The Serpent Eats Its Tail news: I think we can all express some relief that McKayla Maroney has a sense of humor and hope that the “McKayla Is Not Impressed” meme will quietly resign itself to eternal rest after a very short and fitfully amusing life.

 

Bonus question for theater majors: We can’t be sure about this, but we think Maroney may have just broken the fifth wall. Thoughts?

Pitching Pointers from Mobile Media Mavens

As mobile’s momentum continues, the pace of articles, conferences and new apps has intensified. At PCNY’s event on Tuesday, panelists discussed the maze of mobile options. Editors and reporters covering the mobile beat at GigaOM, Mashable, TechCrunch, SAI Tools (Silicon Valley Insider), and Ad Age offered pitching guidance and brand overviews, since most have undergone major changes recently.

Company size, funding, marketing budgets, Silicon Valley vs. Alley location, and product uniqueness all matter for mobile stories. Startups often don’t make the cut unless they’re well funded, and it’s a tough sell if you’re just another app.

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Revolving Door: CNN/Mashable Rumors, ‘Game Change’ Premiere Photos, and More

As we mentioned on the Ticker, CNN could be preparing for a $200 million purchase of Mashable. Reuters blogger Felix Salmon got the news from an “unnamed” source. The New York Times seconded the tip, saying there are “advanced talks” happening. TechCrunch adds that the move would vastly extend CNN’s reach. PR Daily points out that the reporting of rumors such as this show the turn that traditional media is making, which could ultimately have an impact on the way media pros do their jobs.

Following the premiere of the HBO film Game Change about the 2008 McCain/Palin campaign for the presidency, the media has been questioning elements of the story. You can check out photos from the event here.

Billboard magazine has lost a number of its top staffers including EIC Danyel Smith and publisher Lisa Ryan. TheWrap says cost-cutting and low morale are to blame for the high-level departures.

Janet Robinson, the former CEO of The New York Times, got a $24 million compensation package when she left the company. She’s now a member of Fleishman-Hillard‘s International Advisory Board.

ImpreMedia, publishers of La Opinión, El Diario, and other outlets for the Hispanic community, has announced that US Hispanic Media Inc has become the company’s controlling shareholder. Staff and editorial coverage will remain the same. US Hispanic Media Inc is a subsidiary of Argentina’s S.A. La Nación, publisher of La Nación.

The Boston Globe‘s Boston Globe Magazine has unveiled a redesign that focuses more attention on local coverage of events, nightlife, and relationship issues. [via]

NY1 newscaster Pat Kiernan spoke with FishbowlNY about his on-air test run as co-host of Live with Kelly Ripa.

Click through for more media moves.

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Social Media Week Goes ‘Beyond Facebook and Twitter’

Tapping into the excitement over digital platforms not named Facebook or Twitter, Fenton hosted the Social Media Week panel titled “Communicating with Customers Beyond Facebook and Twitter: How Brands Are Accessing Start-ups to Collaborate and Communicate.

Certainly, the number of social platforms has extended far beyond these two behemoths. Beyoncé and Jay-Z, for instance, opted for a Tumblr page to reveal the first pics of little Blue Ivy (awww!) rather than selling them or posting them elsewhere. Instagram links pop up on our Twitter feed all day.

And, of course, Pinterest is of interest. The “Pinterest” name was dropped a few times at last night’s event.

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