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Posts Tagged ‘TechCrunch’

Chirpify Empowers Non-Profit Fans to Donate Directly via Facebook Comments

Earlier this week our sister site SocialTimes reported on a development that could be good news for SM-savvy non-profits: two services have joined to make donation as easy as clicking “reply” or posting a comment.

Transaction startup Chirpify launched in February 2012 but made headlines with a new round of funding last month. As TechCrunch notes, its selling point is not entirely new: several competitors already allow consumers to buy things by replying to tweets (after allowing PayPal or another similar service to connect to their Twitter accounts, of course). The model works for everything from downloads and digital subscriptions to clothes and concert tickets.

This week, however, Chirpify revealed plans to expand its existing presence in the non-profit space by partnering with Greater Giving, a PayPal equivalent dealing exclusively with charity organizations.

The deal: one of Greater Giving’s non-profit partners (which include DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital, Metropolitan Performing Arts Academy, Stiletto Stampede, and The Shade Project) posts a message on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. After they’ve enabled Chirpify, fans who want to donate can simply reply or comment with “donate” or another designated keyword. Here’s an early adopter you might recognize:

And here’s a slightly different client:

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What’s ‘Enterprise Tech’ PR All About, Anyway?

Today we bring you another guest post courtesy of Pasta, a provider of public relations management solutions. Today the company launched “Pasta PR Chats,” a new interview series where employees speak with public relations practitioners of all shapes and sizes—from agency folks, to PR-savvy entrepreneurs, to in-house managers. Their first interview is with Rod McLeod, an account manager at Bateman Group and finalist for this year’s PRWeek Young PR Professional of the Year Award. You can head on over to Pasta’s blog for the entire interview, but here are some choice excerpts along with a clip in which Rod discusses the truth behind a lingering PR stereotype:

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Netflix Finally Proposes to Facebook

After a long and sometimes troubled courtship, two of the biggest names in media finally agreed upon a domestic partnership: Netflix and Facebook will join forces to let all of your “friends” who also have streaming accounts know exactly what you’ve watched in the past and what you’re watching at any given moment.

We see this as a bigger deal for Netflix than Facebook, since the world’s largest social network is a perfect promotional venue for the world’s largest members-only streaming service (despite the fact that all of the “sharing” will take place on the Netflix site itself). And while we have no doubt that this announcement amounts to a PR win for Netflix, we do see some potential problems emerging:

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‘The Startup Legitimizer’: Instant PR!

The Startup LegitimizerSometimes the key for a startup or other new business venture looking to break out can be a single article in a big-name magazine or newspaper. What startup founder looking for “Angel investors” wouldn’t want to say “did you see us in the Wall Street Journal?”

Of course, in order to receive such press mentions, businesses usually require the services of people called publicists or PR professionals who specialize in pitching the story of the scruffy startup to big name glossies, trade papers–or even lowly blogs like ours!

But for those who want to get all those press mentions on your website without actually, you know, doing the work, we present The Startup Legitimizer–a single webpage that can fill all your startup PR needs with a few simple clicks. Which publications would give your cred the biggest boost? The New York Times? TechCrunch? BuzzFeed? TED Talks?!

These famous names, divided into the “kind of legit” and “really legit” categories, even come in pre-organized bundles like “innovators” and “game changers”, which are totally different things. Just choose your favorites, copy and paste the HTML code and say goodbye to pesky PR flacks forever! Check us out!

(Just kidding. Startups absolutely should invest in PR services. And thanks to Digiday for the tip.)

Fired Groupon CEO’s Farewell Message: PR Win?

Groupon's Andrew MasonIn case you haven’t heard, long-struggling daily deals leader Groupon finally dumped its controversial CEO Andrew Mason yesterday. But we have to say that his “resignation letter” was the most amusing pseudo-press release we read this week–and the Internet seemed to agree! His letter, in full:

(This is for Groupon employees, but I’m posting it publicly since it will leak anyway)

People of Groupon,

After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today. If you’re wondering why… you haven’t been paying attention. From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that’s hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable.

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Is This The World’s First Vine Press Release?

Today we may have witnessed a first: a press release delivered via 6-second Vine mini-video. The makers of Sonar, a “social discovery app” that allows users to find others by geographical proximity (which Mediabistro profiled in this Elevator Pitch video), just received a big investment from Microsoft‘s Bing Fund–and they chose a unique way of letting the world know about it:

TechCrunch hopes this move doesn’t become a thing. What do we think? Can you imagine companies announcing new hires or clients with little clips like this one?

NRA’s Media Team Goes Silent After Newtown Tragedy

National Rifle AssociationFriday’s horrific violence in Newtown, Connecticut, understandably dominated every corner of the American media this weekend.

Many citizens (most prominently President Obama) spoke of taking every available step to prevent similar shootings in the future while others warned against politicizing the tragedy. Quite a few Americans also had energetic debates about gun control, both online and off. Even West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who built a campaign around disagreeing with his party’s leaders on gun rights, suggested that the nation must now have a “sensible” dialogue on gun control.

Nearly every business and organization in the country, from The National School Board to a group representing the families of Virginia Tech shooting victims, made some sort of official statement. Yet the nonprofit at the center of America’s relationship with guns was conspicuously silent: The National Rifle Association has not released an official statement or tweet since the tragedy, and its Facebook page is no longer visible today. While officials at both the NRA and Facebook have not responded to requests for comment, bloggers at TechCrunch speculated that the group took its page offline in order to “avoid hosting flame wars” between commentors on opposing sides of the gun control issue. Knowing the nature of online debates as well as we do, we think that was a very good idea.

We sympathize with the NRA’s position from a PR perspective:

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Everyone Fooled by Fake Google Press Release

PRWebIn an almost comic case of pretty much everybody getting it wrong, a score of major publishers ran with a big-news press release that turned out to be fake–and the incident now looks more and more like an old-fashioned financial crime.

As if to offer further proof that anyone can use PRWeb, some shady individual with an interest in making a quick, illegal buck wrote and released a post announcing that Google had just acquired ICOA, a “neutral host” broadband wi-fi provider, for $400 million. If true, this announcement would have been something of a big deal signifying Google’s desire to move deeper into the competitive world of Internet service providers. Yet no one bothered to fact-check the release (probably because ICOA isn’t a big name), and now much of the Internet has egg on its face.

What was this funny business all about? In a follow-up email, ICOA’s CEO guessed that “a stock promoter with a dubious interest is disseminating wrong, false and misleading info in the PR circles”. Sounds like someone living in the notoriously lawful land of Aruba wanted to spark a short-lived bump in ICOA’s stock price—and according to a Buzzfeed follow-up report, said individual may have earned six digits’ worth of easy profits by briefly pushing the company’s share price up from one penny to five. We’re not terribly familiar with stock trader lingo, but we’re fairly sure this one falls under “fraud.”

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Amazon Enters the Brand Pages Game

Amazon Brand PagesJust in time for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all that related insanity, Amazon has joined Facebook in giving marketers yet another reason to obsess over data with new brand pages and analytical tools.

Some details on this latest effort to flood every waking minute of our lives with targeted retail promotions, courtesy of TechCrunch:

The retail giant’s latest rollout allows companies to set up their own Amazon pages with tailored URLs and track their products’ sales performance numbers through a new Amazon Analytics service. It also includes an Amazon Posts feature designed to sync branded Facebook and Twitter messages.

The features are all free…for now. But we see a future revenue stream in the works.

Pardon us, but we’re a little overwhelmed by the latest chapter in The Data Explosion. Will Amazon’s new toys be welcome tools in the marketer’s arsenal? Will they help “demystify the impact of social marketing”, or has the company pages trend officially jumped the shark?

Facebook Has Nowhere to Go But Down

General impressions of Mark Zuckerberg’s speech at yesterday’s TechCrunch TC Disrupt conference have been mixed with good reason: The Zuck called his company’s post-IPO performance “disappointing” and hinted vaguely at the profit potential of mobile ventures that the public is obviously way too dumb to understand while acknowledging that Facebook’s mobile apps aren’t as good as they should be; still, investors have confidence in his ability to stay atop the social flock, and stock prices rose nearly 5% after his speech.

The Zuck tried very hard to convince all interested parties that he knows exactly what he’s doing. The key quote: “For me it’s not about fun, it’s about mission. I’d rather be in the cycle when people underestimate us.”

While considering whether smartphones like the brand new iPhone 5 will save Facebook, we figured that now is a perfect time to re-pose the perennial question: Has the social network already reached its peak capacity and influence?

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