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Posts Tagged ‘NBC’

Twitter Buzz Helps Boost TV Ratings

The biggest PR/marketing story of the week so far involves Coca-Cola‘s surprising announcement that social media “buzz” doesn’t translate to short-term boosts in sales. On the television front, however, research comes to the opposite conclusion: yesterday we learned, via our sister blog Lost Remote, that Nielsen finally released a yearlong study firmly tying Twitter mentions to increased ratings for popular shows.

How does that relationship work? Let’s check out the numbers:

The Twitter effect is least influential on season premieres. an 8.5% increase in buzz (or related tweets by volume) leads to a 1% bounce in viewership among the 18-34 set, while a 14% increase creates the same gains among viewers aged 35-49. For midseason episodes, however, the numbers are more impressive: the amount of buzz required to create a similar 1% ratings bump is almost half the size for episodes airing midway through the season.

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Brian Williams: Doing Comedy ‘Shows That I Have a Personality and a Pulse’

Brian Williams Brian Williams took his trademark blend of levity and gravitas to New York’s 92Y last night. There, exactly an hour after his Nightly News broadcast ended, he provided an in-depth look at the highlights and lowlights of his life. He touched on his connection to the Jersey shore, his early jobs working in a DC college press office and as a broadcast trade association typist and his current post as NBC news anchor.

Williams poked fun at NBC’s pharmaceutical advertisers, vented his anger about the handling of Hurricane Katrina and made poignant comments about the Newtown shooting. However, none of moderator Jonathan Tisch’s queries or the audience’s pre-screened questions addressed his network’s recent ratings decline or the status of Williams’ struggling news magazine show, Rock Center.

Here are selected quotes from Williams on a broad range of topics:

His Early Years:

On food he ate growing up: “For us, mixed greens were something that came out of a mower.”

On his fondness for firefighters: “I still hang out at the firehouse. It’s like I’m their human dalmatian.”

On his education: “I did spectacularly poorly at community college. I’m still only a high school grad; I’m not into that completion thing.”

On his reaction when his mother told him he’d be a good TV reporter: “I’d only been on closed circuit camera at 7-Eleven.”

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Spokeswoman Leaves for CNN

Allison GollustThere’s a new job opening for an ambitious, politically-minded PR professional in the greater New York area: Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s spokeswoman Allison Gollust stepped down from her post today after just four months on the job to return to what would seem to be her first love: broadcast television.

Gollust will now serve as head of communications for CNN. This isn’t an unprecedented move; Gollust previously worked in various communications roles within the NBC organization under newly appointed CNN president Jeff Zucker. Both left the network after its takeover by Comcast.

In her new role as senior vice president, communications, Gollust will serve as official spokeswoman for the brand in additional to managing all PR initiatives and overseeing the 24/7 news channel’s messaging strategy.

Christa Robinson, who served in the senior VP position for 13 years, will leave CNN according to a memo sent to staff by Zucker and reprinted on sister site TVNewser.

Will the newly reunited team be able to turn CNN around? Only time will tell.

Bill Clinton to Betty White: Happy Birthday! Run for President!

Given Betty White‘s devoted fan base (of which we are proud members), we imagine it can’t be too hard to advertise NBC‘s Betty White birthday celebration, set to air tonight at 8 p.m. EST–all you’d have to say to get us to watch is “Hey. It’s Betty White. Tune in”. But in case that isn’t enough to turn the heads of people who don’t own the complete Golden Girls on DVD, this teaser clip might just do the trick.

This past election season proved the power and influence of an endorsement from President Bill Clinton, and now everyone’s favorite Arkansas smooth-talker is throwing his weight behind a new kind of campaign.

In the video, Clinton says of White, “In a time when our nation is still bitterly divided, it’s important to have a leader who’s won the respect and affection of our nation in the way that Betty has”. Plus, Clinton points out, “The position would come naturally to Betty, as she has lived for so long in a place called the White house.” Har har.

We know we just got through election season, but…we have to say we fell for this promo hook, line and sinker. Betty White for president! Where do we pick up the T shirt?

Poll: Do Super Bowl Ad Leaks = Good PR Strategy?

Super-Bowl-Commercials-2013Isn’t it interesting how branding and advertising strategies converge around the Super Bowl? No matter how what kind of products they’re promoting, companies and agencies seem to play copycat in the run-up to the big game. This year it’s all about teaser leaks and hashtags.

The game has changed: two days ago NBC already had a post up ranking the leaked clips, and most marketing execs “don’t see any downside” to releasing ads ahead of time, thereby foregoing “the ‘aha’ moment” when viewers see future classic commercials for the first time. Their theory: all buzz is good buzz, and social sharing could make their ads even bigger. Just because people have seen or heard of them before doesn’t mean the public response will be any less positive.

Not everyone agrees, though: a marketing professor tells the New York Times that leaks only work for particularly “dynamic, innovative or exciting” ads, while “old school” ad execs prefer the “element of surprise” that comes from making the public wait. The Bleacher Report blog even theorizes that the leaks will lead to decreased viewership since so many Americans are more interested in watching the commercials than the game itself.

So let us know, readers. Click through for the poll.

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NBC Uses News Shows to Promote Sitcoms

NBC's 1600 PennVia our sister site TVNewser, we bring you an ethics debate: NBC has now used its “editorial” news shows Rock Center, Today and Meet the Press to promote its upcoming White House sitcom 1600 Penn. (Well, OK, it was the Meet the Press web channel if you want to get all technical, but the clip will still appear on some affiliates.)

We understand the network’s need to go all out to promote its newest property. Now that The Voice is over, NBC is pretty much guaranteed to drop back into its perennial loser status among the big networks.

Still, we have to ask: is the network crossing a line by hyping the show on its supposedly serious editorial programs? Joe Flint at the Los Angeles Times thinks so:

To be sure, the idea of media companies making use of their platforms to advertise their own assets and personalities is nothing new. ABC’s Good Morning America has no qualms about using its valuable time to talk about Dancing With the Stars.

But NBC is becoming the most aggressive in doing this and if it continues it could harm the credibility of its news division.

Crazy idea, but maybe news programming should be kept to news.

What do we think? Does NBC risk harming the credibility of its news division with this kind of everywhere-all-at-once promotion? What’s their marketing team so afraid of, anyway?

Humanitarian Cop Hits The Today Show

The New York City police officer behind this heartwarming viral photo/PR win appeared on NBC‘s Today this morning to flesh out his story.

Jennifer Foster, the tourist who snapped the pic, joined him, describing his now-famous decision to buy shoes and socks for a freezing homeless man as “an act of human kindness…he had no intention of receiving any credit for it”. Officer Lawrence DePrimo downplayed his instant celebrity, calling it “surreal and humbling” and saying that he simply did “what any other officer in this city would do”. One has to admire his modesty.

‘Today’ Show Producer: Leave Matt Lauer Alone!

NBC’s perennial ratings champion “Today” recently made some fairly big changes by pushing old hand Ann Curry out in favor of fresh-faced Savannah Guthrie. Amazingly, the world continued to turn.

But there’s a bit of tension over at 30 Rock these days, because “Good Morning America” has finally started to beat “Today” in the ratings after a nearly unbroken 16-year streak playing runner-up.

Right after the switch, media gossips began to wonder whether “Today’s” biggest star (apologies to mid-day drinking aficionados Kathy and Hoda) was behind the change. Even Al Roker came down on Ann’s side by accusing Matt of “throw[ing] one of us under the bus.” Leave it to the New York Post to come up with a fitting nickname for “Anchor Animal” Lauer and accuse him of being too demanding on set. Juicy!

Well, in an apparent attempt to control the rumors and counter the negative press, executive producer Jim Bell gave interviews to both The Hollywood Reporter and The New York Times “Media Decoder” blog this week.

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Britain Finds Novel Ways to Bond with Global Audience

London’s 2012 Olympic Games may have inspired love at first sight among the viewing public and attendees, but from a marketing communications standpoint it’s been a long, drawn-out courtship.

“We’ve been preparing for the Olympics since 2005. To inspire visitation, our strategy has been to socialize the travel experience and centralize content to support marketing and PR,” says Karen Clarkson, VP North America for VisitBritain. She spoke at the Association for Travel Marketing Executives’ Marketing Issues Forum on Thursday in New York, discussing her company’s Olympics efforts and plans for the next James Bond movie, Skyfall.

Britain has enjoyed extended time in the public spotlight this year, from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration in June to the Olympic Games in July, the Paralympics in August and London’s Fashion Week in September. As Clarkson noted, “It’s been an opportunity to influence information about London and beyond, and not limited to sports related content. For the Olympics, we established digital content partnerships with NBC, Yahoo, The Travel Channel, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Travel & Leisure magazine.” She said that these partnerships helped the company generated $600 million worth of earned media impressions.

While partnership marketing plays a key role in VisitBritain’s operations, “social is at the heart of everything we do,” Clarkson explained. She described a unique pre-Olympics project in which Britain worked with the U.S. Olympic Committee to “engage athletes and have them experience Britain firsthand before the Games.” They selected and sent seven American Olympics athletes to Britain in the fall of 2011 “to showcase the destination from a U.S. perspective and to appeal to a younger demographic.” The athletes generated visual content as they interacted with their fan bases on Facebook and Twitter.

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SNL Can’t Seem to Make Obama Funny

Saturday Night Live” started its new season this week, using omnipresent “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane and musical guest Frank Ocean to boost viewership while showcasing a few new cast members—and a brand new president.

We never really understood where Fred Armisen wanted to take his Obama impressions. He was almost always stiff and uncomfortable in the role, playing the part of straight man while others set up halfhearted jokes around him. We’re glad that media personalities got over their initial aversion to making fun of Obama, but writers and comedians obviously still face a big challenge in trying to make the man funny.

New guy Jay Pharoah has a history of impersonating the president in his stand-up acts, so we’re not surprised to see that he is better when it comes to reproducing Obama’s tics, but on watching his debut we didn’t detect much in the way of, you know, jokes–and Jason Sudeikis’s moronic Mitt Romney is even worse.

Our verdict? It’s still a long way from funny. If Obama does manage to get re-elected, we look forward to four more years of avoiding SNL’s consistently lame impersonations. Agreed?

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