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Posts Tagged ‘The Wall Street Journal’

Hot Trend of the Week: Fancy Veggie Juice As ‘Status Symbol’

You want to be healthy, you want everyone to know that you’re healthy, and you gave up on Naked Juice like three months ago. According to The Wall Street Journal, the answer to all your life’s problems lies in one ridiculously overpriced bottle of liquid kale.

The stuff is a marketer’s dream: it’s become a status symbol with a price tag that is “beginning to approach that of expensive liquor”, and at this point we honestly wonder if people realize that it won’t get you drunk. You could get a full bottle of 50 Shades of Grey wine for the price of a pre-bottled beet and carrot smoothie at Whole Foods, but that’s not stopping the trendsetters we’ll never meet:

Key quote from this interview with the excellent Katie Rosman: “That sounds great, but why don’t you just have a salad?”

A question for the ages indeed.

If you have clients peddling veggie puree who didn’t make it into this trend piece to end all trend pieces, then that kinda sucks. But we hear certain celebrities are available for product placement opportunities!

Suzanne Somers Didn’t Fact Check Her WSJ Healthcare Op-Ed

"Sex And The City 2" New York Premiere - ArrivalsBlog world secret: typos are not a huge deal; we make like five of them every day. Errors in a high-profile guest article, however, will seriously damage your credibility. This week Chrissy from Three’s Company took a break from bragging about how many times she has sex with her 77-year-old husband every day to write an anti-ObamaCare piece for the Wall Street Journal‘s new “experts” feature under the super-scary headline “The Affordable Care Act Is a Socialist Ponzi Scheme.

She made the usual arguments about how this convoluted attempt to make healthcare more accessible would limit consumer choice and lead to dependence on the state before dropping two quotes that somehow escaped her editors:

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 10.02.48 AM

“Widely disputed” means the first quote has been used and corrected repeatedly over the past 60 years.

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Inside The Wall Street Journal: A Newsroom Tour and Pitching Guide

WSJ News Hub Intro FinalSince landing a story or mention in The Wall Street Journal qualifies as the major leagues, it requires a pitching approach similar to that used by New York Yankees’ ace reliever Mariano (Mo) Rivera: a combination of tenacity, resourcefulness, integrity and precision. That was our takeaway from a recent panel discussion with a team of seasoned WSJ editors, organized by PRSA NY.

Gabriella Stern, the WSJ’s deputy digital editor, moderated and hosted a behind-the-scenes group tour of WSJ’s state-of-the-art midtown newsroom. She described The Hub as “the nerve center and the heart of the New York news operation”. That’s where print, online and wire editors coordinate their efforts. The Opinion Page functions separately from the news operation.

“We have a sprawling digital operation, and our digital strategy is increasingly mobile”, Stern added. She pointed out areas devoted to social media, mobile, Infographics, design, video, and an on-air digital control room. WSJ hosts about seven live video shows per day.

“As PR professionals, you’re often the keys to information and thought leaders we need to talk to for our stories”, Stern told the group. She offered a wealth of pitching tips, along with her editorial colleagues:

  • Jim Pensiero, deputy managing editor (focuses on talent, training, newsroom projects)
  • Noelle Knox, editor, CFO Journal (addresses CFO suite)
  • Geoff Rogow, editor, Real-Time Finance News (area includes markets and finance)
  • George Stahl, corporate news editor, Real-Time Corporate News (handles news put out by companies)
  • Kevin Noblet, editor, Wealth Management (covers financial advisors and how they manage their practices and help clients)

We’ve organized the range of pointers like a baseball pitcher, with an outline for pitch selection, windup, delivery and mechanics.

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The White House Just PR Failed All Over Itself

The competition for “most counterproductive comment made to the media” during this whole shutdown saga is over, and it’s not even close: some super-genius “anonymous source” from the White House supposedly told The Wall Street Journal last night that:

“‘We are winning…It doesn’t really matter to us’ how long the shutdown lasts ‘because what matters is the end result.’”

Face, meet palm. President Obama is supposed to be the best poker player around, yet someone in his administration just showed their hand, like, big time. Secretary Jay Carney quickly moved to counter the comment, but you guys are supposed to be on message!

Here’s the runner-up, coming from a North Carolina representative who was all gung-ho for the shutdown until she wasn’t:

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Mexico Isn’t Buying Coca-Cola’s ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ Spin, Either

It’s not just Michael Bloomberg, guys—our neighbor to the south doesn’t seem fazed by Coke‘s latest “soda can be part of a healthy, active lifestyle” message either.

As Coca-Cola looks to offset diminishing American sales by targeting other areas, public advocacy organizations within Mexico are running PSA campaigns designed to warn the public about the dangers of soda consumption. It’s especially relevant this summer: Mexico, which is second to the U.S. in soda consumption per capita, surpassed us in June to become the most obese of the world’s major economies.

See a pattern developing here?

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The World’s ‘Most Quoted Man’ Isn’t Much of an Expert on Anything

Quotes are valuable, right? Everyone wants a client to be quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or a major tech blog. Well, in case you thought that scoring quotes is all about being a legitimate expert on the topic at hand with something valuable to add to the conversation, The New Yorker gives us this video profile of Greg Packer. He has amazingly been quoted nearly a thousand times on everything from the new iPhone to the local football game and the war in Iraq despite being the least qualified expert around.

This interview quickly establishes the fact that Packer, a retired highway maintenance worker, doesn’t have any particular insight on, well, much of anything. And yet, he’s been so successful in getting his quotes published that the Associated Press had to issue an effective ban on him way back in 2003. How did he do it? He simply showed up and let everyone know that he was eager to offer a few words.

The lesson here is to keep pitching quotes to reporters and bloggers (especially bloggers). Our standards apparently aren’t as high as you might think.

(Ed. note: this video’s being a little wonky on Safari, so if you can’t watch it you might want to try another browser.)

Weirdos Sabotage Twitter Promotions While the WSJ Watches

We all work in social media, so this may strike some as an odd question, but we’ll ask it anyway: don’t you just hate promoted tweets?

If you answered “No, I love them; they provide essential information on goods and services that I may or may not purchase,” then you must work in marketing. If you answered, “They are kind of annoying, aren’t they,” then you’re…everybody else.

Twitter has obviously become a key promotional platform in the past couple of years, but it wasn’t always this way—and some longtime users aren’t too happy about it. In fact, as The Wall Street Journal puts it, these young ruffians are all about “subvert[ing] the corporate vibe.” Twitter spokesman Jim Prosser called it “the eternal battle people have over hipsterdom.”

Really?

We never joined the “weird Twitter” club (sue us), which for the most part is all about making strange jokes rather than assaulting brands. But we do know that some comedy professionals use promo tweets as a platform for jokes, because duh:

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8 Tips for (Successfully) Pitching to Bloggers

As a sort of farewell (for now!) to our readers, I’d like to draw upon my experience editing this site over the past nine months to leave you with a list of tips for pitching to bloggers like me. I write “bloggers” because that’s the field I know, and there are some differences between pitching to a site like PRNewser and a paper like The Wall Street Journal, even though the basics are the same. Anyway, here goes:

1. Do Some Research: I don’t mean that you have to read everything the blog in question has published over the past six months. You can probably just scan the content to get a general sense of what sorts of stories interest the blog’s editors, the tone they like to use in covering them, and the sort of audience they serve. You’d be surprised how many pitches I’ve received from people who have very obviously never read PRNewser. I don’t hold that against them, but it certainly makes me less likely to consider their stuff.

2. Get Your Contacts’ Names Right: I know you’re busy and that you’re not really too concerned when an editor leaves or joins a blog. But I’ve been here nine months, and a majority of the pitches I get are still addressed to my predecessor, Tonya. That’s not all: to this day I receive an embarrassing number of emails directed to Joe and Jason, the guys who started the blog — and it’s been almost three years since either of them worked in this office. That’s bad form, guys.

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Roll Call: Fleishman-Hillard, Univision, The Wall Street Journal, EOS

International communications firm Fleishman-Hillard announced the hiring of Wendi Taylor Nations, who will serve as senior vice president, partner and leader of the health and wellness group in the firm’s Chicago office. Before joining Fleishman, Nations spent ten years at Porter Novelli, serving as healthcare practice director and managing director of that firm’s Chicago office. She also managed healthcare relations for Hill & Knowlton. Maxine Winer, general manager of Fleishman-Hillard’s Chicago office, describes Nations as “highly regarded in the health and wellness space”, and her responsibilities at Fleishman will involve increasing the firm’s influence among clients in that sector. (Release)

Univision Communications Inc. announced that Mónica Talán has been appointed executive vice president of corporate communications and PR, effective immediately. Talán, who was most recently the senior vice president of the same, will remain based in New York and report to Randy Falco, Univision’s president and CEO. She will continue to be responsible for overseeing all corporate and internal communications and programming public relations as well as the company’s media relations efforts. (Release)

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Coke Clarifies: Social Buzz Complements Long-Term Sales

You’ve probably heard that everyone’s talking about Coca-Cola‘s social media reveal this week. According to the soft drink giant, the fact that more people are discussing its brand on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube doesn’t necessarily mean that more of them are buying Coke products. But maybe “How many people bought a Coke after retweeting a call to action?” is the wrong question to ask.

In an effort to clarify its points and counter the media’s collective freakout, Coke’s SVP of integrated marketing Wendy Clark wrote a blog post arguing that social does, in fact, play a large role in boosting brand perception and audience engagement–which leads to more sales.

Her point, of course, is that the fact that data can’t directly link the number of comments on a Facebook post to the number of people buying Coke does not diminish the value of said content. This kind of “buzz” is only one part of Coke’s extensive branding/PR puzzle, which uses earned, shared, paid and owned media to encourage the brand’s ultimate goal: driving consumers to buy more soda in the long run.

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