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Posts Tagged ‘Rafat Ali’

PR Win: NYT Profiles Forbes Right Before It Goes Up for Sale

0717_forbes-cover-vergara-080612_400x51911This morning’s big media news scoop, via Bloomberg: Forbes Media is on the market for sale to the highest bidder.

As Skift‘s Rafat Ali notes, this announcement comes less than a week after The New York Times ran a big profile of the business. Coincidence or great PR? We think you know the answer.

Hell, the headline reads “Preserving Venerable Forbes Brand, With an Aggressive Digital Drive”, and the article is all about how the Forbes native advertising program (which totally works, BTW), along with sponsored events and other new revenue streams, will increase its value as a standout in the floundering media field. From the second and eighth paragraphs:

Forbes Media’s 60-year-old soft-spoken and folksy chief executive…has spent the last three years transforming the company from a financially troubled family business into an enterprise that has moved aggressively to embrace the new digital landscape.

Forbes spokeswoman said that advertising revenue for Forbes.com would grow by 35 percent from 2010 to 2013

Times columnist Christine Haughney just wrote their sales pitch for them.

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Mashable Officially Launches Follow

Cashmore speaking to the crowd at last night's event.

Last night at Edelman’s New York offices, Mashable officially launched Mashable Follow, the site’s “new social layer” that will enable readers to find and follow their favorite topics, share stories to multiple social networks at once and follow other Mashable readers who are of interest, among other features.

Mashable founder Pete Cashmore addressed the crowd in attendance, and noted that the service had already added “thousands of sign ups” within the first few hours of launching.

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ContentNext Media To Part Ways With Brainerd Communicators, Says Founder

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ContentNext Media, home to popular sites including paidContent.org, mocoNews.net, paidContent.co.uk and contentSutra.com, will end its relationship with agency Brainerd Communicators, according to the company’s founder, Rafat Ali.

A post this morning on digital media news site Business Insider highlighted a pitch from the agency, and said in a mocking manner, “This message is so important, in fact, that Rafat hired a PR agency to send it out…”

Reached for comment, Ali told PRNewser, “We’re not going to hire another agency anytime soon…easier to save costs in these lean times. If we had any good results from them, we would have thought of it, but when they didn’t, it is an easy decision.”

UPDATE: Brainerd Communicators Managing Director Michele Clarke contacted PRNewser to point out that the agency had secured a number of business press placements for ContentNext Media, including the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC and Fox Business. Clarke stated, “We have valued our relationship with ContentNext and continue to wish them much success.”

No More Embargoes At The Wall Street Journal?

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PaidContent’s Rafat Ali spoke with sources at The Wall Street Journal and learned that editorial staff will no longer accept embargoed news but will still take embargoed exclusives. According to Ali:

Not all embargoes are identical — according to our sources, the WSJ will accept embargoes for exclusives but not when other media outlets are involved unless the story is considered big enough.

A WSJ spokesperson denied any change in policy, stating, “There is no change with our embargo policy. We honor deals when we make them.” While Ali ran a story with the headline, “WSJ’s New Policy: Won’t Take Herd Embargoes,” this seems like a non-story to us. In speaking with a number of PR pros, and from our own experience, it is known that the WSJ, and other publications of similar size and stature routinely avoid or flat out don’t honor what are often called “herd embargoes,” where many reporters are briefed on a story in advance and then asked to hold the news until a certain date and time.

The key phrase mentioned in Ali’s story, and one that applies to all embargo pitching is: unless the story is considered big enough. When you actually have news, and reporters want it, there is a bit more room for PR at the negotiating table.