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Product Launch

Will You Be Pitching to Ezra Klein’s Vox?

It’s a worthy question, because despite former Washington Post writer Ezra Klein’s wonky history reporting on economics, his new venture Vox promises to cover “Politics, public policy, world affairs, pop culture, science, business, food, sports, and everything else that matters.”

This promo video also serves as a look into the current state of reporting. When was the last time you saw a trailer for a news organization?

Klein’s challenge is to convince the public to pay attention to factual stories that don’t contain the latest form of visual distraction. As the founder himself puts it, he’s betting the bank that readers will eat their media veggies as long as the material isn’t presented in such an unappealing “this is good for you but we guarantee you will hate it” way.

We’re very interested in seeing where Vox goes with this concept, but for now the launch is a nice reminder of the inherent challenge of getting people to click and, referring to the “understand the news” tagline, truly absorb informative content.

Surely you understand.

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Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsStarting April 22, this in-person workshop will teach you the specific ways to incorporate storytelling into your personal and professional life. Students will examine the role of storytelling in business and put their newfound skills into practice with a series of improvisation, writing, and presentation exercises designed to help them uncover personal stories. Register now! 

Are You Drunk Enough to Join This ‘Niche Network?’

No, that’s not a trick question…or is it?

The almost-too-clever LIVR (as in “liver failure”) requires users to attach a breathalyzer to their smartphones—and only those with blood-alcohol levels above the legal limit may proceed.

Why would you want to join such a network? We’ll let its supposed creators (who do not in any way embody certain longstanding stereotypes) explain:

We can’t quite agree that “our best ideas are found at the bottom of a glass”, and we almost hope this app is a joke—the breathalyzer itself has us leaning toward “SXSW stunt pitch that worked.”

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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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Samsung Tones It Way Down for New Galaxy Launch

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Call off the brass section

Last week we asked whether tech companies should stop scheduling big events for every upgrade and “new” product launch. The answer was a nearly universal “no”—and Samsung seems to have gotten the message.

The New York Times tells us to expect less “singing and dancing” and more fawning over gizmos as the company introduces the public to the Galaxy S5.

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When Do Tech Updates and ‘Product’ Launches Deserve Their Own Press Events?

Good question.

You’ve probably already noticed that Facebook got plenty of media attention and a nice big stock bounce after timing the “Paper” announcement to coincide with its impressive Q4 earnings report. But as a certain friend of the site said, Zuckerberg could score headlines for installing new urinals in his office.

Facebook is not quite like any other brand, and of course events ultimately serve to impress multiple parties: journalists, stakeholders, advertisers and—indirectly—the general public.

The question: when is an announcement from an established tech company important enough to justify its own press event? Did Instagram Direct really deserve a “share a moment” night?

Google Glass Almost Looks Normal Now

We figured Google had to have plans to make Glass a little more palatable.

When The Simpsons makes you look bad you know it’s time to move, because someone wrote Sunday’s jokes months ago and they still felt fresh (especially after the terribly racist “Comic Book Guy Gets a Japanese Girlfriend” episode).

Here’s CNN‘s take on the newer, friendlier Glass:

Today the upgrade scored a New York Times writeup thanks to its new prescription partnership with insurer VSP and a designer interview in WWD (subscription req’d), but most bloggers just used the occasion to come up with new ways to make fun of the product.

Given that this is Google, we feel like one day Glass will become so well-integrated with our eyewear that it won’t be noticeable—and then we will feel stupid.

For now, we’ll just point and laugh.

Should You Pitch to Dr. Oz’s New Women’s Magazine?

shutterstock_144522389Oh hey: a brand-new publication from Hearst will soon hit newsstands, offering “diet, health and fitness tips” to American women!

Wait, why are you yawning? This one involves Dr. Oz!

Capital New York tells us that Dr. Oz The Good Life will include plenty of the doctor’s signature clinical recommendations as well as his “wellness-minded approaches to finance.”

So how will The Good Life differ from pretty much every other magazine out there? The King of TMI himself explains:

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Ralph Lauren’s Team USA ‘Uniform’ Launch Confuses, Angers Internet

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Come on now, The Sporting News. Was the Ralph Lauren getup revealed on TODAY really so bad?

On the one hand, the brand was smart enough not to repeat 2012′s Made in China PR failure.

On the other hand, we’ll offer you these reactions in summary:

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On Optimizing Content Before It Goes Live

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Here’s a not-so-super secret we bloggers share: no matter what Neetzan Zimmerman says, it’s often quite difficult to determine how individual posts will perform.

It’s one thing to track a piece of content after you press “publish”—and of course we’ve all taken Intro to SEO. But how can one most effectively predict the performance of content in order to, you know, optimize it?

We’ve reported on InboundWriter‘s products in the past, and we recently had a chance to speak with one of their clients to learn more about how her agency has been able to create more effective and engaging content by analyzing it before it goes live.

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Business Wire Goes All in on Social Measurement

BW_CMYK_logo_press-ready

Today Business Wire announced a new feature that confirms its investment in both social and big data: expanded press release monitoring and social media analysis reports will now be available to all clients along with standard distribution.

According to marketing SVP and top tweeter Tom Becktold, BW decided to make social reporting automatic and expand its partnership with analytics platform provider NUVI because:

“We recognize that releases are becoming more important tools to engage consumers directly and that a lot of the conversation about press releases is happening on social.”

Becktold further explains this latest step in a natural progression after the jump.

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