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Posts Tagged ‘The Associated Press’

PR Newswire Will No Longer Tolerate Your Spam

spam_can-SMWhile The Associated Press announced its plans to use robots to create financial press releases today, PR Newswire went in the (sort of) opposite direction last week with a new regulatory crackdown on spam. We missed it at the time, but now we’re on the case.

This move is interesting in that it won’t be based on algorithms alone: instead, the organization reports that its own editorial staffers will review submitted releases to make sure they deliver real value to readers via “a number of message elements” like original research and substantial analysis.

In other words, no more link-farming or jargon dumps/SEO tricks–in theory, at least…

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Reuters, AP Suggest That You Should, Like, Maybe Cut Your Word Count, OK?

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If you had the chance to read our recent interview with Facebook media coach Bill McGowan or our talk with the journalists-turned-content strategists at Bateman Group, you may have noticed a recurring theme: brevity.

Everyone’s all about it.

Now both Reuters and The Associated Press have officially agreed that news stories should come in two varieties: short and shorter. Why? Consider this sentence:

“Our best work does not stand out among a sea of bloated mid-level copy.”

Ouch.

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Associated Press Says ‘Over’ and ‘More Than’ Are Now the Same Thing

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Oh no. That scream you just heard came from anyone in your company with a history in journalism, education, copy writing or editing. And it came in response to a decision by The Associated Press to officially declare that “more than” and “over” are now interchangeable.

Let’s review why this is so very, very, very wrong.

But first, a joke!

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PR Disaster: Notre Dame Star Manti Te’o's Fake Dead Girlfriend

Mani Te'oIt was every sports journalist’s dream story: Promising college senior, Heisman trophy runner-up and near-certain first round NFL draft pick Manti Te’o suffers the deaths of his grandmother and his beautiful, supportive girlfriend within 24 hours–just before dominating the field in his team’s upset victory and continuing his streak as one of the nation’s most promising college football players. His heartbreaking tale of grief and victory quickly spreads beyond the world of sports.

One problem, though: it wasn’t true.

Deadspin broke the astonishing story yesterday as a web of complex lies promoted by some of our most respected publications began to unravel and the damage control campaign began.

A summary for those who haven’t been following: Manti Te’o is a gifted football player and devout Mormon from Hawaii who claimed, via his Twitter feed and various public statements, to have developed a relationship with a woman known as Lennay Kekua who he supp0sedly met after a 2009 game between Stanford and his team, Notre Dame. She had a Twitter account with which Te’o frequently interacted, expressing his love and encouraging his fans to follow her sister (both fake accounts were later deleted).

Then came the news that, right after the (real) death of Manti’s beloved grandmother last September, Kekua passed away from leukemia approximately a month after suffering a serious car accident. Manti doesn’t attend her funeral because she had insisted that he not miss a game. South Bend Tribune fleshed out the story through interviews with Te’o before Sports Illustrated, ESPN, CBS, the New York Post, The Associated Press and pretty much everybody else in the media world reported on it. Someone set up a charity in Kekua’s name. Manti Te’o was an American classic: the tragic hero.

And then things began to fall apart.

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Edelman Switches Sides, Joins the ‘Paid Content’ Team

Edelman PRIn a sign of the (changing) times, yesterday saw Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman PR, perform something of an about-face on an issue crucial to our industry’s ongoing “PR vs. Advertising” debate. In a blog post on the firm’s site, Edelman declared his newfound (if somewhat grudging) support for “paid” media/content as a valuable element of the PR arsenal.

Why did he change his mind? What led him to accept the idea that PR professionals must simultaneously pitch and create content? In short, promotional trends like sponsored stories and native advertising have changed the media game as companies scramble to develop new revenue streams to replace the dwindling profits of traditional advertising sales.

We’ve all read stories asserting the same, but recent months have clarified the fact that PR firms must aggressively make the most of the shift or risk losing opportunities to “media buying firms” that work directly with brands in another iteration of the traditional advertiser/client relationship.

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Revolving Door: More News Corp., Casey Anthony News

Casey Anthony at her sentencing hearing. Photo: Joe Burbank/Pool

Developments about the News Corp. phone-hacking scandal seem to roll in by the minute. Besides this morning’s news that they’ve hired Edelman, there’s now word that the F.B.I. is opening an inquiry into possible phone-hackings of 9/11 victims. And News International is said to be planning to run full-page apology ads in a number of U.K. newspapers.

Speaking of ongoing news, with Casey Anthony being released from prison on Sunday, HLN is planning more than 19 hours of Anthony coverage this weekend. (Remember, there are only about 48 hours in a weekend.) Many of those hours will be anchored by Nancy Grace. So if you were even thinking about pitching a story to HLN this weekend, choose another station.

Click through for more of the latest developments in the media world.

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