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Posts Tagged ‘Walt Mossberg’

AllThingsD Founders Relaunch with Re/code

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2014 just started, but it’s already brought us a new place to pitch our tech clients.

AllThingsD founders Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg bounced back from the Wall Street Journal‘s earlier announcement that it would not renew the property by launching a new tech news/reviews site called Re/code. The news broke on Twitter just after midnight, of course.

The AllThingsD name will be no more. Its former URL redirects to ”Digits”, the WSJ‘s behind-the-paywall source for news on things that buzz and transmit data.

Today Swisher posted this quote on the new site:

“While we think tech news is important, it’s a better day to refresh, reimagine, reinvent and, most of all, rest.

But get ready: Re/code will launch at midnight ET, January 2″

We’ll be watching—as will anyone who cares about what’s going on in tech.

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Get Ready to Pitch to Wall Street Journal Digits

WSJ460This week the Wall Street Journal finally announced its replacement for AllThingsD.

The new “WSJD”, which we assume stands for the established Wall Street Journal Digits, will be part of the paper’s “Marketplace” business section, and it will be the place to go for reviews of the newest “personal technology” toys.

With all due respect to the talented journalists who will make up WSJ‘s new tech review team, they don’t have quite the clout of Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg. Given the fact that they work for the most-read paper in the U.S., however, it’s probably in your best interest to get to know them a little better.

Joanna Stern (she of the awesome hack-to-flack Twitter marriage proposal) may be the biggest name among the new group, though Nathan Rothman‘s following is nothing to sneeze at and Nathan Olivarez-Giles wins the most colorful bio contest as a “is a former amateur hip-hop DJ who…[started] a comic book venture at age 18.”

We have no doubt the new team will do a great job of updating the public on the new things they should buy with their Christmas bonuses…so here’s your Friday follow.

(H/T BuzzFeed, pic via)

Google’s Eric Schmidt: ‘It’s Very Easy to Criticize a Company That You’re Not In’

Google’s executive chairman expressed the headline’s sentiment during a discussion with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher of All Things D at New York’s 92 Y yesterday evening. Schmidt’s comments varied from scripted to candid when discussing his Silicon Valley competitors and Google’s innovative products such as driverless cars.(Google’s Street Views Car, pictured at left, is currently on display at Mountain View’s Computer History Museum)

Schmidt leveled his harshest criticism at Microsoft, a company he excludes from his list of four major industry players (Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook). He said, “They’re well-funded, but they haven’t been able to bring out state-of-the-art products in key areas. Let’s see what their new set of products does.”

Yet Schmidt sympathized with HP‘s recent struggles, describing his friend Meg Whitman as a “capable CEO.” He noted, while enterprise businesses once had lots of time develop various strategies, they’re now under considerably more pressure to find solutions to pressing problems as quickly as possible.

Schmidt also cut Facebook some slack, saying that “with a billion users, they can find ways to make money.” While acknowledging Facebook’s enormous database of registered users, he also pointedly noted, “Google wants more registered users, but we’re not forcing customers to sign up.”

Schmidt also lauded Twitter for doing “an excellent job of celebrity branding” while referring to the many stars who have used the platform to expand their followings and expressed hope that Google+ might one day become a key competitor.

Despite Schmidt’s widely quoted critiques about Apple’s inferior iPhone maps, he saved his highest praise for his main rival. “Apple did a phenomenal job of building integrated solutions and they did a tremendous job with tablets.” He also emphasized that Apple has more cash. He said that Apple “still has a special place in his heart”, which makes sense–Schmidt once served on Apple’s Board and had a close personal relationship with Steve Jobs.

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Mark Zuckerberg Talks to ABC News About Hitting 500 Million Users; How Did He Do?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke with ABC News’ World News with Diane Sawyer, in an interview that aired last night. The interview was to note the milestone of Facebook reaching 500 million users worldwide.

Sawyer started off with some softballs: “What did you do to celebrate?” However, she then got into some deeper questions, including getting his reaction to the new movie about Facebook, The Social Network. Said Zuckerberg:

I just think people have a lot of fiction. But, you know, I mean, the real story of Facebook is just that we’ve worked so hard for all this time…I mean, the real story is actually probably pretty boring. I mean, we just sat at our computers for six years and coded.

Zuckerberg certainly did better in this setting than he did in May, when he was grilled by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg at Dow Jones’ AllThingsD conference.

Sawyer even mentioned that interview in the extended version of her interview, on ABC’s “Nightline.” What do you think of Zuckerberg’s performance this time around?

Mossberg vs. Embargos, The Video Game

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In the meta-story of the week, you will soon be able to shoot-em-up Walt Mossberg style and mow down pesky Gizmodo blogger Brian Lam (BLAM!) on your iPhone.

Lam complained about The Wall Street Journal‘s Mossberg –and the PR people who give him preferential treatment– just two days ago on Twitter. “Walt Mossberg’s Embargo Blaster!” is the product of an iPhone game construction kit called Sketch Nation, developed by Engineous Games. For a buck, you can use some scissors and your iPhone camera to create your own shooter, and share the custom game with others.

The meta-meta part is that the game is the creation of Engineous’s PR guy, Ed Zitron, account executive at TriplePoint PR.

“Dude. I sat there 3 hours after work drawing black lines around photo-shopped Mossberg heads,” said Zitron over chat when PRNewser asked him how it got done. The game caught the attention of MobileCrunch, and of course, Walt Mosspuppet.

RELATED: Gizmodo Blogger: ‘PR Kowtowing’ To WSJ’s Mossberg ‘Should Have Ended Five Years Ago’

Gizmodo Blogger: ‘PR Kowtowing’ To WSJ’s Mossberg ‘Should Have Ended Five Years Ago’

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Gizmodo editorial director Brian Lam wants PR professionals to stop giving preferential treatment to The Wall Street Journal. He tweeted last night:

PR kowtowing to walt should have ended 5 years ago. the emperor has no clothes. and no one under 40 reads him

Lam, and Engadget’s Joshua Topolsky were upset because The Journal‘s personal tech guru Walt Mossberg posted a story on TiVo’s new “TiVo Premiere” model before they were able to.

Initially, Lam accused Mossberg of breaking an embargo, but it appears he had “his own private publish time,” according to Lam.

Having previously worked in tech PR, we’ll say this: it’s unfortunate if Mossberg was indeed given a “private publish time,” which basically means TiVo gave Mossberg an exclusive and then briefed a bunch of other reporters under embargo.

Reporters, of course, hate this. It seems Lam and the other bloggers should be more upset with TiVo PR. Yelling at Walt isn’t going to do any good. Walt is a competitor, and a competitor at a much stronger and well-known brand, at that.

According to this release, Ruder Finn handled PR for the “Tivo Premiere” release.

Look Up Contacts On the Fly with MyMediaInfo App

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MyMediaInfo now has an iPhone app so you can look up media contacts on the fly. In the video after the jump, you’ll see Walt Mossberg pop up, complete with phone, email, Twitter handle and MMI’s deep info on him. It’s a handy thing if you travel a lot, and don’t always schlep a laptop or maniacally enter every journalist in to Contacts.

The App is free for those already paying for access to the database of over 80,000 news outlets.

It’s the first app of its kind. CisionWire has an app too, but it’s for searching and sharing company information.

More:

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Steve Jobs Speaks! To Walt Mossberg And No One Else, Thank You

We’ve been talking with many digital PR executives this week, about how the Apple company mantra of secrecy and anti-transparency goes against so much of what we hear from the likes of digital communicaitons agencies, publications such as Mashable, companies such as Zappos and the latest Edelman Trust Barometer which said, “trust and transparency are as important to corporate reputation as the quality of products and services.”

And yet the company seems to suffer no consequences.

Flatiron Communications founder Peter Himler wonders the same in a post today.

As one VP of digital at a large agency told us this week, “Their formula: Steve Jobs, big events with new products, a few coordinated press leaks, works for them. Not every brand can do that.”

PRNewser was intrigued this morning when we saw what seemed like an impromptu video interview between Steve Jobs and The Wall Street Journal‘s Walt Mossberg at the iPad launch event. (Video posted above – skip to 2:50 for the Jobs interview.)

While the interview did seem “impromptu,” as with most interviews with someone of Jobs’ stature, it was highly coordinated.

Reuters gives a first hand account of the scene:

Most of the people gathered around Jobs and Mossberg were not fellow reporters hunting for a quote, but a squad of no-nonsense, plain-clothed Apple staffers who had formed a human cordon around their leader. The only other person allowed within the safe zone was Mossberg, and any reporters who attempted to get near were physically blocked and pushed back.

Conversations with Apple staff about the iPad itself proved equally trying, with the mere act of getting a company spokesperson to confirm or clarify a fact feeling like an exercise in the theatre of the absurd.

“How do I spell your name?” this reporter asked an Apple staffer following a short conversation to confirm certain basic features of the iPad.

“That’s not available for you,” the staffer replied, in an eerily robotic tone.

So there you have it.

PR Takeaways From The Google Nexus One Launch

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In the biggest product launch of this short year, Google yesterday afternoon launched their first ever smart phone, the Nexus One. So how did the launch go?

The reviews

Walt Mossberg of the The Wall Street Journal was mostly positive. The New York TimesDavid Pogue was more negative. “Google Phone Is Not Revolutionary,” read his headline. Engadget’s Joshua Toplosky said the launch generated, “legitimate excitement.” CNET’s Rafe Needleman said, “it’s a solid step in Google’s continuing assault on new markets in general and on Apple in particular, but it’s not revolutionary the way the iPhone was…”

“It’s like the Obama of phones. Whether or not he’s really a great president, he can’t possibly live up to expectations he originally set,” said David Berkowitz, Senior Director of Emerging Media & Innovation at agency 360i.

Why No Video?

Flatiron Communications founder Peter Himler wondered why “Google’s PR peeps didn’t go through the trouble of web-streaming their own news conference, while arranging for on-site attendees to record wirelessly, to ensure optimal site lines and audio.” Instead thousands watched a stream set up by blogger Robert Scoble.

“They did the video feed for arguably less meaningful launches like Google Wave,” said Berkowitz.

Courting “influencers”

The list of people receiving Google’s phone in advance wasn’t at all limited to journalists. For example, venture capitalist Fred Wilson received the phone several weeks ago.

Google PR guaranteed feels more “comfortable” giving the phone to Wilson than say Engadget or the Times, as his review is much more likely to be positive. It was.

Wilson does not regularly review tech products and receiving such a high profile gadget in advance surely leads to excitement that could perhaps skew a review. Also, as a tech investor and not a journalist, he is less likely to be critical of the product.

The relatively new concept of “influencers” – some hate the term – means more and more people from different professions getting “pitched” by PR firms than ever before. Even PR people with popular blogs, like Edelman’s Steve Rubel or FutureWork’s Brian Solis get pitched. Robert Scoble, who was invited to the press conference, is a paid adviser to hosting company Rackspace.

Apple crowding

Per usual, Apple made it’s best attempts to crowd the news-cycle as we reported. “I think Apple got themselves in to the news with the tablet, and while iPhone would have been in the articles, it got Apple top of mind as usual,” said POP! PR Jots blogger and tech PR executive Jeremy Pepper. Edelman’s Steve Rubel saw things more positively. “Google plus phone is a surefire for press coverage as Godzilla plus city,” he told us.