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Posts Tagged ‘Oprah Winfrey’

New York Magazine Interview Reveals Oprah’s Rebranding Secrets

This week New York Magazine published a revealing interview with Oprah Winfrey, reigning queen of reinvention. It specifically dealt with how she saved her OWN Network, which looked like a big bust as recently as mid-2012.

Oprah’s partnership with Arianna Huffington, which led to “HuffPost OWN”, wasn’t enough to immediately rescue the floundering ship, but OWN finally became profitable this summer as its ratings jumped more than 60%. Well-hyped interviews with Rihanna and Lance Armstrong helped, as did Tyler Perry‘s soap opera The Haves and the Have Nots, but many still wonder how she pulled it all off.

Here are some key revelations from the woman herself.

On dealing with “no”:

Oh, I hear that all the time.

 On the challenges of choosing the right people to manage OWN:

What didn’t feel right from the beginning was, “Who are we going to get to do this? Because I have a full-time job.”

When I first suggested [network presidents] Erik and Sheri, [the idea] was not welcomed with open arms…I’d never done cable, and they’d never done cable.

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Internet to Dr. Phil: It’s Not OK to Ask Whether It’s OK to ‘Have Sex With’ a Drunk Girl

Today in We Blame Oprah news: last night the Twitter account of one “Dr. Phil” McGraw (who had his license to practice psychiatry “retired” back in 1989 and is therefore not a licensed psychiatrist or any other kind of medical professional) asked its 1.2 million followers what we in The Real World(TM) might call “a loaded and incredibly offensive question“:

Now, sensible readers, we can scan such a message and realize how inappropriate and even disturbing it is. Yet someone approved it, and we have to imagine that at least one member of the honorable non-doctor’s PR team will soon find him or herself “escorted from the building.”

Twitter being the digital Ritalin that it is, #DrPhilQuestions responses were quick and brutal:

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How to Pitch Your Clients to O Magazine

The queen of media’s eponymous mag boasts 14 million readers and has numerous accolades to its credit.  After launching in 2000 through a partnership with Hearst, the pub has earned a dozen ASME nods and has become the go-to resource encouraging “confident, intelligent women to reach for their dreams and make choices that will lead to happier and more fulfilling lives.”

We’ve said it before with other mags, and, it remains the same with O: Know thy market. Start by picking up a couple (or 10) past issues to get a feel for the magazine and the types of stories that typically run. According to the editors we spoke with, they do accept PR pitches — but they must be on target.

For editors contact info and more specifics, read How To Pitch: O, The Oprah Magazine. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

Lori Greiner Talks About the Oprah Effect and What Inventors Need to Be Successful

Lori Greiner knows firsthand the power of Oprah Winfrey to sell product.

In part two of our conversation with Greiner, the “Queen of QVC” and regular on ABC’s “Shark Tank” tells SocialTimes editor Devon Glenn what happens when one of your products makes the list of Oprah’s favorite things, how every inventor thinks they have the greatest thing in the world and what they need to do to make sure they’re right.

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

5 Tips for Social Media Event Planning and Activation

Today we bring you a guest post courtesy of Cara Kleinhaut, founder of award-winning event creative, production and design agency Caravents. In the last few weeks alone, Caravents has organized and promoted events ranging from the Essence Black Women of Hollywood pre-Oscar week luncheon to InStyle‘s annual Golden Globes beauty lounge, the Playboy Superbowl party in New Orleans and a D.C. inauguration event sponsored by Target.

Here Cara presents 5 best practices and two case studies in effective social media event promotion and “activation.”

5 Best Practices for Social Media Activation at Big Events

  • Create a short, easy event hashtag. Be fun, relevant and clever when coming up with the hashtag. (Example: #MLKDay2013)
  • Showcase @handles and #hashtags prominently throughout the event on all printed materials, signage, screens, etc. This will make it easy for people to talk about your event on social media.

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Lance Armstrong’s Confession: A PR Win for Oprah?

Lance ArmstrongIn a breaking story that will surprise very few, sources close to Lance Armstrong confirm that he used his exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey (taped yesterday) to admit that he took illegal, performance-enhancing substances throughout his cycling career–and that he plans to testify against officials who “encouraged” the practice.

Even as Armstrong confessed to what pretty much everyone suspected, he also seems to have hedged a bit, using the “everybody was doing it” defense to argue that he was not, in fact, a doping “ringleader”. Given his extremely aggressive PR efforts in denying all relevant accusations for years, we’re not quite sure anyone will buy that line–but he clearly made a strategic decision in the interest of saving what’s left of his multimillion dollar reputation. By testifying against others involved in the scandal, he hopes to overcome his lifelong ban from competitive sports so he can continue to compete in “triathalons and running events” while raising money for his charity.

This is obviously a big story, and some within the industry see it as a major PR win for Oprah, whose influence has been slipping of late as her OWN Network struggles to gain viewers and seeks media attention via moves like a partnership with The Huffington Post. Oprah clearly aims to make the most of the interview–she’s splitting it into two parts, and directly after its conclusion she tweeted:

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Reader Poll: Should Lance Armstrong Fess Up to Oprah?

Lance ArmstrongWe know a few of our readers have probably run out of patience with Lance Armstrong at this point, but he remains one of the best-known names in sports, and the delicate dance he continues to perform in the interest of maintaining his billion-dollar reputation is unquestionably one of the year’s most important PR stories.

This week brought whispers of a major media appearance, and now we can confirm that Armstrong will break his silence to Oprah Winfrey on a special episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter set to air on Thursday, January 17 at 9 PM.

A press release from the network calls the event a 90-minute “no holds barred” discussion to be held at Armstrong’s home in Austin. Various media outlets used the release as an opportunity to wonder whether Lance will follow Marion Jones and shed tears of regret for the public.

One of our new year’s resolutions was to seek more reader input, so in the interest of creating a conversation we’ve written a quick poll. PR pros and others: What should Lance Armstrong do next week? Read more

Oprah Uses Apple iPad to Endorse Microsoft Surface

Oprah WinfreyThe public understands the challenges of brand consistency in the digital age. With so many distractions unfolding so continuously and quickly, it’s easy to go off message or reveal a failure in a brand’s promise or values.

Just as that dangerous mix of human fallibility and technical reliability brought former General David Petraeus and his biographer Paula Broadwell down like the Hindenburg, so online PR campaigns can self-sabotage when technology exposes the contradictory actions of CEOs or employees.

Take Oprah Winfrey, for example, who recently tweeted glowing reviews naming Microsoft’s Surface tablet as one of her Favorite Things 2012, thereby giving the tablet an important and powerful endorsement in an intensely competitive market category.

It’s Oprah, after all, and she’s (still) one of the most important personalities in America. We can only assume that Microsoft was ecstatic about the praise from Ms. Winfrey. The company was also probably just as surprised as everyone else to learn that the tweets were sent from an iPad, the Darth Vader to Microsoft’s young Luke Skywalker.

What was Oprah thinking?

Is this a PR crime on par with BP’s gulf oil spill? Of course not. Is it hilarious? Absolutely. It’s also a PR setback for both Oprah and Microsoft because of the innate “stink test” the public exercises in moments like these.

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Re-Branding: Oprah, HuffPo Join Forces

Two of the media world’s biggest one-woman brands have  joined forces in the interest of elevating both of their profiles—and their respective media outlets.

After some earlier announcements, the two chose today to launch “HuffPost OWN”, a co-branding project that amounts to a new section on the Huffington Post site focusing on lifestyle and personal/inspirational content drawn from Oprah’s channel, website and magazine.

Winfrey says she’s “delighted to join the conversation” and Huffington calls her new partner “made for the internet.”

The real message here? After her OWN Network suffered some disastrous ratings failures, Oprah realized that what her fans really want is her—in the flesh and ready to distribute her own well-formed brand of advice and “authenticity”. The network’s ratings began to steadily improve once Oprah realized her mistake and brought back the things her fans love: the book club, celebrity interviews, and controversial personalities like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian.

Will the venture work? As long as Oprah’s face is on the page every day, we see this as a branding win for both properties. Our only question: does the world really need more of the good doctors Oz and Phil? We hope the answer is no.

Oprah Launches Book Club 2.0

A new video from Oprah Winfrey has relaunched her book club. Only this time it’s Book Club 2.0, a digitized version of the club that will include e-books (notes highlighting the parts she likes will be included), a Twitter hashtag #oprahsbookclub, and additional interaction on Facebook and elsewhere.

The first book — the book Oprah says prompted the book club’s return — is Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Versions of the book with the coveted Oprah’s choice sticker will begin appearing on bookshelves next week.

The original book club launched many book sales into the stratosphere over the decade-plus that Oprah made her 65 selections. Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 promises to not only help book sales, but perhaps help OWN, Oprah’s broadcast network which has been struggling with ratings. Barely two weeks ago, Oprah and The Huffington Post announced a partnership that would bring an OWN section to that site. So it appears that Oprah is trying a variety of things both old and new to draw attention and fans.

Wild is the nonfiction story of the author’s 1,100-mile California trek after she suffered the loss of her mother and a divorce. As of June 10, the book will be number 22 on The New York Times bestseller list.

[via The New York Times, h/t GalleyCat]

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