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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Arrington’

Poll: PR People Say Exclusives More Popular Than Embargoes


In a recent PRNewser poll, we asked, “Which Tactic Did You Employ the Last Time You Released Big News?” The results: “Posted on a wire and pitched the release,” and “Exclusive with one publication” both came in dead even at 32% each.

21% said “News embargo” and 15% said “Posted on company blog/website and pitched the link.” Judging from these results, we have to ask: Are embargoes on the decline?

Just last week agency Waggener Edstrom assembled a panel to discuss the topic of emgargoes, and reporters in attendance were split down the middle between those who defended them and those who hate them. The panel came on the heals of another declaration that embargoes are dead, this time from TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington, who has been publicly battling with PR for quite some time.

Skip forward to this week. Waggener Edstrom, the aforementioned agency who set up last week’s panel on embargoes had an embargo broken in regards to one of their clients: Microsoft’s re-design. This led to another uproar and Arrington said he “banned” Waggener from communicating with TechCrunch. What did the agency learn from the experience? “Will we abandon embargos all together: nope. Will we have an even higher bar for use of the tool: you bet,” said Jen Houston, global lead of Wag Ed’s digital division, Studio D, in a blog post today.

Facebook PR “Punks” TechCrunch


It looks like Facebook PR is getting sick of bloggers and reporters who don’t call them to fact check before writing stories, specifically the popular blog TechCrunch. In a post late yesterday, titled “Yeah Ok, So Facebook Punk’d Us,” editor Michael Arrington lays out how TechCrunch reporter Jason Kincaid fell for a Facebook PR prank.

Long story short, Facebook added a fake feature, “Fax This Photo” below all pictures, that only TechCrunch employees could see. Noticing the new feature, Kincaid emailed Facebook for comment. When he didn’t hear back from them after 25-minutes, he posted: “Facebook Now Lets You Fax Your Photos. I Have No Idea Why Anyone Would Want To Do This.”

Of course, about an hour later, Facebook PR confirmed the hoax to Kincaid, which was then followed by the update post by Arrington. Would something like this fly with The New York Times? Definitely not, as The Business Insider’s Nicholas Carlson pointed out (see comments). However, was it a funny way to remind TechCrunch to call sources before posting? Yes.

[image via TechCrunch]

Brooke Hammerling on NYT Story: Reporter Did an “Excellent Job”


The P.R. world – at least the tech P.R. world – is abuzz this morning about a cover story in the Sunday business section of The New York Times by Claire Cain Miller, titled, “Spinning the Web: P.R. in Silicon Valley.” While the story looked at a number of agencies, including OutCast Communications and Spark PR, the feature focuses mainly on 35-year-old Brooke Hammerling, founder of Brew Media Relations. We learned a few things about Hammerling in the story:

She once dated a member of R.E.M.

She left Zeno Group to start Brew after her boss told her, “There are no stars in P.R.” when she requested to spend more time on media relations.

Brew is her childhood nickname.

She can get Oracle CEO Larry Ellison on the phone when even some business reporters can’t.

When asked about her take on the story Hammerling told PRNewser, “I think Claire did an excellent job. My one thing is that this was a case study. Roger’s suggestion was indeed the correct one so I recognized that rather than be stubborn. He was totally right about how to handle the launch of Wordnik. Now that’s not the case for all businesses.” Here Hammerling is referring to a change in media strategy for one of her latest launches, Wordnik, after investor Roger McNamee suggested not pitching “cynical” blogs such as TechCrunch and AllThingsD.

TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington posted his own response in which he said, “I know Brooke well. I guess you could say I’m one of her many thousands of “very close friends.” And I don’t dispute that she is well connected, or that those connections help her get clients. I believe Brooke’s client have been better served if she stood up to McNamee and told him that Wordnik would have had a better launch if they hadn’t ignored the blogs that are interested in covering new startups. Instead she became a ‘yes woman’ and told McNamee exactly what he wanted to hear.”

We’ll say this: changing one’s mind on one piece of strategy at the suggestion of an investor may or may not make someone a “yes woman” or “yes man.” However, we are interested in the premise of the Times story as it seems to also imply that going around traditional media “gatekeepers” and reaching new influencers via “whisper campaigns” and on Twitter is a new phenomenon. Sure, while the medium – Twitter, Facebook – may be new, there is nothing very new about reaching the people that matter for your client, whether they be media, analysts, partners, investors, or remember: the public. Isn’t that what P.R. is supposed to do, after all?

[image cred]