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Posts Tagged ‘The Guardian’

The Guardian Wonders Whether Twitter Will Grow Up to Be a ‘PR Platform’

twitter handJane Martinson of The Guardian wrote an interesting piece yesterday about the departure of Twitter’s head of news, Vivian Schiller. It’s really yet another attempt to answer the seemingly unanswerable question: can Twitter make money?

We were most taken, however, with the idea that Twitter has to choose between being a service for journalists or one for PR.

Martinson’s point is that most people simply don’t use the network very often — and those who do tend to work in media, politics or communications. She opines that Martinson left once she realized that her only real responsibility was to convince more reporters to tweet regularly, Dean Baquet be damned.

The idea is that, while Twitter is almost always the best source for breaking news in real-time, the eyeballs and ad dollars belong firmly in the Facebook camp.

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Anonymous Hack-Turned-Flack: ‘I Absolutely Loathe Pitching’

cold callHere’s a piece from The Guardian today that will sound familiar to quite a few of our readers: a journalist-turned PR professional is slightly taken aback by the chilly reception he/she receives from former colleagues.

“I have been hung up on, told to ‘fuck off till Friday’, heard my colleagues referred to as ‘PR wankers’ and experienced a general glaze of obnoxiousness over my media relations outreach. And all in the space of a scant six months.”

Ah, yes: cold calls. No one loves to make them and no one loves to receive them.

It gets better, though.

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Greenpeace Not So Good with the Green Stuff

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Today in News We Missed: last week, leaked documents revealed that nonprofit Greenpeace International isn’t the best when it comes to handling its own finances.

The organization issued an official apology to its many small-time donors for a currency exchange error/financial bet that led to the loss of more than 3.8 million euros.

That’s not all, though…

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Are ‘Connected Appliances’ the Next Big Thing, or What?

One way to bring attention to your client’s burgeoning industry: sell it to Google. The company’s $3.2 billion purchase of “smart home” startup Nest was the best possible PR for the push to synchronize appliances, which has yet to catch on despite all the press because it sounds a little weird.

This morning, however, we found ourselves strangely compelled by this demonstration of the world’s first “connected washing machine” via Berg, a UK cloud service company.

Today the product scored a mention in The Guardian, and based on the headline/pitch we can see why…

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Millennial Investors More Focused on CSR as a Value Indicator

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Ever had trouble convincing your clients of the value of CSR efforts? We’re guessing the answer to that question is “yes” because, in most cases, businesses judge the importance of public sentiment on the degree to which it influences investor relations.

We found a recent piece in The Guardian encouraging in that regard, however: as the average age of the investor class goes down, its interest in CSR and “profit with purpose” goes up.

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STUDY: Lululemon’s Success Lies in Making Its Customers Feel Bad

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Why can’t you do this?!

Speaking of “unapologetic” Barbie, observers have long argued that apparel and beauty brands play on their consumers’ own insecurities to move products—and research now confirms that it’s all true (surprise surprise).

The study in question, performed by the Canadian Review of Sociology, concluded that Lululemon and other “aspirational” brands succeed on the psychological level by “promoting a philosophy that blames people if their lives aren’t fabulous”—a philosophy that reaches directly into your wallet.

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How Does Content Marketing Relate to PR, Again?

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Tired of this question already? Get used to it—sponsored content and brand journalism and content marketing are here to stay (not that they’re really anything new).

Thanks to The Guardian‘s latest conversation (sponsored by Outbrain) on the relationship between PR and whatever you want to call that other thing, we have some helpful quotes!

From Justin Pearse, head of marketing at Bite:

“Using great content to tell brand stories has always been with us…The problem [with new content distribution channels] though is it’s these technologies that have also led to a flood of content pollution online, as brands create content for algorithms, not people.”

From Jeff Pyat, head of global PR at Outbrain:

“PR firms need to have a strong understanding of all the distribution channels available to them…If PR owns the content, the industry will be well positioned for the future.”

From Jo Sheldon, executive director at Edelman:

“It has to be signposted so that consumers know who’s funding it and can make their own judgements. If it’s great content, relevant and in the right place they’ll enjoy it—paid or earned.”

Does that clear things up?

Amazon Ordered a Sunday Night Drone Strike on the Retail World

Why do bald men always make the best evil geniuses?

You’re probably still scrolling through emails from clients upset that Amazon trumped whatever Cyber Monday promo stunt they had planned with last night’s drone delivery service “reveal.”

They’re not wrong, you know; if you were psychic, you would have been able to sense CEO Jeff Bezos thinking “Go ahead and beat this, I dare you” while smirking at the rest of the retail world in the 60 Minutes segment below. Show us the money, Charlie Rose:

One must admire the brass balls on display here, but we’re gonna have to burst your fragile bubble: of course it’s all just a big, brilliant stunt.

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Jennifer Weiner to Jonathan Franzen: Twitter Isn’t Evil and All Writers Are ‘Self-Promoters’

What about "An American Novelist?"How do we classify a popular novelist’s Twitter feed: is it marketing? personal branding? public relations? It’s a bit of a grey area. But, as Jennifer Weiner so politely told Jonathan Franzen this week, social media is a necessary tool for any writer who wants to engage with his or her audience.

Yes, this is a literary spat, but stick with us: it will feel very familiar to anyone in marketing, advertising or PR.

We like Franzen because he writes good novels, but he’s also an ivy tower contrarian who feels compelled to talk down to the young and unenlightened among us. This week The Guardian ran an excerpt from his latest long-form essay opus under the frightening title “What’s Wrong with the Modern World?”, and it’s an epic rant. Some key points:

  • The instant gratification of social media is destroying our ability to focus and create real value
  • Marketing has led us to define ourselves by the brands we buy (“I’m a Mac guy”)
  • Amazon reviews are the worst thing that ever happened to publishing
  • Writers who engage with the public via social are diluting the integrity of their profession

These are generalizations worth considering, but we’re more interested in his personal attacks on fellow authors who turn to social media to “brand” themselves.

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Dunkin’ Donuts Didn’t Look So Great in Blackface

Well, then: welcome back to the grind. We hope your hangover isn’t too harsh—and if it is you can just chug some Pedialyte.

So what happened over the long weekend? To start it all off, Dunkin’ Donuts hung its head and apologized for August’s biggest facepalm moment, a “bizarre and racist” ad starring an actress in blackface. This story makes a little more sense when you consider the fact that the spot ran in Thaliand, where CEOs and creative departments are all apparently a little loopy (and racist).

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