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Biggest Stories of the Week

Top 10 Social Media Wins of 2013

Next round of likes is on us

The next round of “likes” is on us…

We already shared the worst of social media in 2013, so here’s to the best…or at least our own approximation of it.

OBVIOUS DISCLAIMER IS OBVIOUS: Yes, this list is highly subjective and you’re going to see some repetition/glaring omissions. But such is the nature of year-end clickbait, no?

Here, then, are the stories that demonstrated what social media meant to us and our industry in 2013.

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‘Best Media Errors and Corrections of 2013′ List Is One for the Ages

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First: we apologize for overlooking “fail to correct mistakes in articles” on our contentious “11 Things the Media Does That Piss Off PR” listicle. It was indeed a grievous error on our part.

Second: we love Poynter.

Third: stop whatever you might be doing right now, read this list of the best (and worst) media mistakes, corrections and apologies of 2013, and try to imagine that you have to make the call to correct screwups like these.

We’re not just going to reprint the piece in its entirety because we’d like you to read and share it, but here are some of our favorites from the list.

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Pope Francis Used to Be a Bouncer, But Now He’s Just a Spy

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The spy who loved me and you and every other one of God’s creatures

Whoa, calm down! We didn’t mean “spy” like Daniel Craig or Felicity or the undercover Russian who doubles as a model in her spare time.

Following yesterday’s big reveal about Pope Francis once working as a bouncer at an Argentinian club, we learned that he’s been donning the robes of a regular priest and sneaking out of the Vatican at night to check on Rome’s homeless population, pray for them and hand out donations without revealing his identity. Given that he’s one of the most famous men on earth, we didn’t really think this would work—but then we thought about his audience and reconsidered.

Today’s addition to the growing “how badass can this guy be” canon comes courtesy of uCatholic and an interview with an Archbishop responsible for distributing money from the Holy See to the “poor and marginalized.”

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Here’s An Eagle Taking an Accidental Selfie While Trying to Eat a Camera

Apropos of absolutely nothing, here is a video from an Australian land council in which an eagle mistakes a camera for a food item of some kind before stealing it, flying away with it and abandoning it without even realizing that he/she had reminded us why “selfie” was the word of the year:

Of course this little clip doesn’t have much of anything to do with our industry, but there’s got to be some way Australia can use it in a tourism campaign (hopefully without including “Fly Like An Eagle” on the soundtrack).

(H/T to NPR)

‘#SFBatkid’ Wins the Week for Make-A-Wish

Boys Batman Wish

In a week filled with bad news and terrible behavior, it’s nice to end things on an inspiring note.

Five-year-old lukemia patient Miles Scott has thoroughly charmed the Internet thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the city of San Francisco, which transformed into DC’s Gotham today to fulfill his dream of fighting crime as his favorite super hero.

It was a collaborative production: Police closed off the roads so Batkid could arrive in his own Batmobile (a black Lamborghini outfitted with the appropriate decals), Police Chief Greg Suhr recorded a video calling for his help, and the San Francisco Chronicle ”planned to distribute special-edition newspapers with the headline, ‘Batkid Saves City,’ in Union Square, where a flash mob was set to gather”. Many of the people attending today’s event were volunteers.

More pics after the jump:

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Here’s Your New Favorite NSFW Book Trailer

We’d never heard of F**k: An Irreverent History of the F-Word before we saw this promo clip, but we’ve just placed it on our list of “10,000 Books We Might Feel Guilty For Not Reading.”

We can think of a few acronyms they missed, but everyone loves hearing British people curse, so here goes:

What we’re saying is that we support the concept of book trailers 100%. Got a gimmick? Go for it, because EMFPK* that it’s damn hard to get an audience’s attention.

There’s a second clip too, but as the copy block says:

“For more information and history, buy the f**king book.”

*(That’s “Every Motherf*cking Publicist Knows”, and H/T to Meg McAllister on this one)

Colbert’s Twitter Bot Mocks Fox PR ‘Socks’

Last week, a staff writer on The Colbert Report created a Twitter feed automated to turn others’ messages into tweets celebrating Fox News with the hashtag #PraiseFOX by replacing words with the names of Fox shows and hosts.

It’s a satirical play on Fox PR’s “sockpuppet” habit and BuzzFeed’s @horse_ebooks, and while WaPo‘s Erik Wemple is kind of right to say “the explanation is a doozy“, you’ll get it:

Maybe we’re just easy to impress because we’re not programmers, but there’s a new tweet every two minutes and some of the backhanded compliments are gold:

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Catholic Church Plans to Turn ‘Bishop Bling’ Mansion Into Soup Kitchen

germany_bishop_limburg_184368475_620x350Last week we spent a couple of hours counting the ways in which Pope Francis is a PR genius, but now he seems to have outdone himself—or at least inspired Catholic Church officials in Limburg, Germany to follow his example.

Francis made headlines last week for temporarily suspending Franz Peter Tebartz-van Elst, aka “The Bishop of Bling”, for embarrassing the Church worldwide by spending a reported $26 million to renovate his official residence. We’re not sure who thought it would be a good idea for bishops to live in mansions, especially those with $20,000 bathtubs, but now the Limburg organization wants to go a step further by forcing the Bishop out of his fancy house and turning it into a soup kitchen/homeless shelter.

There’s no official word on these plans yet, but a spokesperson for advocacy organization Caritas Internationalis (which is itself part of the Church) has apparently discussed the matter, saying:

“The residence is like an inherited sin which the bishop has left in his wake. People who seek sanctuary with us could be given food in the residence.”

Speaking as “typically ill-informed” members of the mainstream media, we see this as another step in the right direction. Also: the house looks cool but we think he may have overpaid a bit on that renovation—and the red just screams “please audit me!”

(Photo of protesters via Getty)

Louis C.K. Shows Us How to Make a Banner Ad That Actually Works

What’s the one thing that PR, marketing and advertising have in common? We all know that banner ads are here to stay despite the fact that they are the ugliest, most annoying, least effective wastes of money ever created in all of history.

Not so, says Louis C.K., whose banner recently appeared on the Vulture blog:

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That’s the first ad we’ve ever wanted to voluntarily click, because our first thoughts on seeing it were “Does he have a new standup special?” and “Where might I download this special, if it does indeed exist?”

There’s probably a larger conversation to be had here about strategy, but just look at the dude’s face! Don’t you want to give him five bucks even though he’s totally rich now and his FX show is kind of depressing?

(H/T to Pop Culture Brain, which first featured the scoop a few days ago.)

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