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Posts Tagged ‘New York magazine’

Fox News Flack’s Firing Just Got Ugly

Based on last week’s reports regarding top Fox News PR man Brian Lewis‘ abrupt departure from the company, you’d be excused for thinking everything is just peachy keen forever. In his first public statement to our sister site TVNewser, he refused to address any “rampant speculation” and assured everyone that:

…it has been an honor and privilege to work for Roger Ailes the past 20 years and I wish nothing but the best for him and the great people at Fox News.

This quote reads a little odd considering the fact that his now-former employer tied his departure to “issues relating to financial irregularities” and “multiple” breaches of contract, an accusation just vague enough to be frightening. Today, however, the gloves are off. Lewis hired former Donald Trump lawyer Judd Burstein, who gave the following statement to Gawker:

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Do Tech Blogs Give Free PR to Silicon Valley? Valleywag Says Yes.

A couple of months ago New York magazine’s economics writer Kevin Roose asked whether tech journalists are generally afraid to write “objectively” and/or criticize their subjects. In other words, do the sites reporting on Silicon Valley residents—from Google-sized giants to tiny dorm-room startups—simply rework press releases penned by the companies they cover?

Interesting question; for one site, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

In a New York Times interview, blogger Sam Biddle of Gawker Media’s “tech industry gossip dartboard” Valleywag states that his goal is to make light of the digital world’s “lack of self-awareness” in the midst of so much overwhelmingly positive publicity. He specifically says that many other sites “[do] the bidding of the industry” they cover by hyping every single product rollout as the greatest thing since electricity and refusing to cast any related “thought leaders” in a less-than-flattering light.

Sounds a little dramatic, but he may be onto something here…

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Top Fox News PR Man Discusses His Firing

Yesterday we reported that Brian Lewis, top PR man for Fox News head Roger Ailes and his various ventures, had been fired. Today he spoke to our sister site TVNewser to clear a few things up, but the (brief) conversation focused more on what didn’t happen than what did. He didn’t give any word on specifics regarding the “issues relating to financial irregularities” that supposedly led to his firing, and he was quick to praise everyone he worked with, saying:

There has been rampant speculation surrounding my departure from Fox that I am not addressing at this time. I will say it has been an honor and privilege to work for Roger Ailes the past 20 years and I wish nothing but the best for him and the great people at Fox News.

That’s about it beyond a little not-so-subtle reference to New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman, who is currently finishing a book about Fox News and wrote a post yesterday describing Lewis’s departure as a sign of problems within and bigger changes to come. Lewis said:

Some stories are ludicrous, but there is one story that is particularly ludicrous.

So Ailes isn’t “more isolated than ever before” and all reports of internal “tension” are wishful thinking, because things couldn’t be better over at Fox. A true PR professional.

Will the Steve Jobs Movies Be Good PR for Apple?

Today we stopped thinking of Ashton Kutcher as “Kelso from That 70’s Show” long enough to wonder: will the two upcoming films about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs create good press for a company that could use some?

Much of this week’s news concerns a bit of indirect back-and-forth between jOBS star Kutcher and Steve Wozniack, the company’s other co-founder. “Woz” pointed out inaccuracies in the movie while Kutcher told the Associated Press that filmmakers never had the chance to get Steve #2′s side of the story in the first place. Why? Because he’s “being paid” to promote Sony’s as-yet-untitled Aaron Sorkin film on the same topic—and he chose to make himself “extremely unavailable” during the production process.

Our question, though, is more about the company at large: could these movies help Apple overcome the common perception that its peak has passed?

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BuzzFeed Has This ‘Sponsored Content’ Thing Down

The biggest “must read” story making its way around the web this week is New York Magazine’s profile of BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti and his enviably successful approach to paid content.

To sum things up, Peretti, who also helped launch The Huffington Post, was a math student at MIT who grew fascinated with the concept of viral memes and later created BuzzFeed as a tool to identify and facilitate the spread of said memes via algorithm. His goal was to truly capture the magic behind “word of mouth” buzz (the cat GIFs and political reporting came later). Most of the Internet and quite a few of the biggest brands in the world agree that Peretti has uncovered a secret formula for creating native advertising that might just go viral. Here are some revelations from the profile:

  • BuzzFeed editors work directly with marketing specialists from partner brands to create content in a “newsroom”-style environment.
  • The vast majority of traffic for both BuzzFeed originals and paid posts comes from social sharing.
  • The site’s most popular posts don’t go viral after a single big-name personality shares them — they’re simply picked up by several isolated individuals who share them in small groups (average nine Facebook friends) that spawn small “share” groups of their own.
  • There’s a science to this. Peretti has literally devised a formula.

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Anthony Weiner Promises to Keep It in His Pants This Time

Oh my. Disgraced former Representative Anthony “I did not send pictures of my crotch to those women” Weiner has wormed his way into the headlines again this week with talk of a comeback, a return to the public spotlight or a “political rebranding”, if you will. In case you forgot or didn’t pay attention in the first place (lucky you), we have Weiner to thank for some of the best/worst puns in recent memory:

The big reveal is a TL;DR profile in this coming weekend’s New York Times magazine in which Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin review the painful details of the fallout and his plans for a new beginning in which he will rise from the ashes like a triumphant phoenix in boxer-briefs. It seems that Weiner entertains fantasies of running for mayor of New York City next year along with everyone else who lives in the greater metropolitan area.

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Why Yahoo’s Summly Acquisition Was a PR Stunt

Photo via Suzanne Plunkett/REUTERSYou may have heard today that Yahoo, which is in the midst of trying to “sex up” its brand image, just bought Summly, a “news summary” app created by a 17-year-old British kid named Nick D’Aloisio, for a whopping $30 million. But was Yahoo really expanding its product portfolio, or was the company just buying a bunch of good publicity? We’re firmly in the latter camp — and we’ll explain why.

The real value of this app has to be less than the selling price, especially when it faces competitors like Pulse, Flipboard and Pocket. But the move scored the company a first-page New York Times story with the headline “He Has Millions and a New Job at Yahoo. Soon, He’ll Be 18.” Compelling, no? He’s bold, he’s young and he’s a millionaire with his own Wikipedia page. He certainly doesn’t sound like the typical Yahoo user — and that’s the whole point. New York Magazine’s Kevin Roose notes that the last acquisition to get this much media hype was Facebook buying Instagram for a whole lot more money.

So it’s all part of Marissa Mayer‘s carefully planned image makeover.

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How to Get Your Clients Featured in New York

Ever since it started out as an insert in the New York Herald-Tribune, New York magazine has made a name for itself as the trusted confidante of the city’s most knowing readers.

And editorial director Jared Hohlt has some great advice if you’re looking to pitch your clients to the pub. “Publicists should note that we are not restricted to ‘New York area-only’ profiles,” he explained. “If we are doing a profile of someone, we do want to make sure that our competitors aren’t doing the same sort of piece at the same time, but that kind of goes without saying.”  

Get more details and editors’ contact info in How To Pitch: New York. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

Will Facebook’s ‘Graph Search’ Affect PR Campaigns?

Facebook Graph Search Mark ZuckerbergExcuse us for being a little skeptical about the relevance of Facebook‘s new “Graph Search” function, presented to reporters yesterday by the company’s communications staffers on demo stations that New York Magazine’s Kevin Roose calls “PR Borgs.”

Seriously, though: Why would we want to search for “pictures that my friends took in Canada” or “dentists’ offices where my friends have checked in” or “single women in Park Slope who know one of my friends and like Game of Thrones“? (OK, that last one might make sense if we were still single.)

The more we think about it, though, we feel like graph search–which really needs a new name, BTW–could infringe upon the territory of other social networks, primarily LinkedIn, Foursquare, Yelp, dating sites like Match.com and the big one…Google.

What does this mean for the PR world?

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Obama PR Team Recasts Victory as ‘Revenge of the Nerds’

President Barack ObamaIf you’re anything like us, you remember the 2012 election as a long, unpleasant string of joke candidates, gaffes, Twitter fights, terrible debate performances and attack ads. The Obama campaign’s PR team, however, would like the public to see the president’s re-election as a very modern tale of data nerds winning the day.

As Jason Zengerle’s essay in New York Magazine demonstrates, research and tech tools played an outsized role in ensuring that the president’s campaign apparatus raised more money and recruited more volunteers in ‘12 than in ’08—despite the fact that most supporters weren’t quite as enthusiastic as they had been four years ago. Since election day, the press team has worked hard to push this story by staying positive and emphasizing the importance of app makers and number crunchers in the re-election campaign.

So how did these nerds do it?

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