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Archives: March 2011

Spin the Agencies of Record

Walgreens has chosen Encompass Events, a division of Encompass Media Group, for its national “Walk with Walgreens” program, which encourages people to stay healthy by walking. To start, the firm will work on the launch event, taking place April 6 at the Walgreens flagship in Times Square. It will begin with a press conference and continue with an “inaugural walk” led by a marching band, Alison Sweeney, host of NBC’s The Biggest Loser, and others. The program is also part of Walgreens’ Go Healthy: NY program. A 12-episode television show produced by Encompass Media Group along with NBC New York and Union Square Agency will debut on April 27.

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The Ticker: Polls Make Good Branding; Embedded Tweets; The Daily; Legroom in Coach; and Women’s Heart Health

Google’s +1 Button Adds A Social Element to Search

As if you needed another, here’s one more reason influencers are so important.

Google has introduced the +1 button, which will be rolling out broadly over the coming months. Clicking on the button allows your friends and contacts, pulled from other Google properties like Gmail, to see your searches. Eventually, you’ll be able to plus one pages, basically making all sorts of recommendatins to your contacts. Mashable asks a marketing-related question specifically:

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The Goal of Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ Was to ‘Stick in People’s Heads’

By now, you’ve likely heard 13-year-old Rebecca Black‘s little ditty “Friday.” Maybe you’ve even disliked it on YouTube; it just surpassed Justin Bieber‘s “Baby” as the most disliked video on the site with more than 1.2 million giving it the thumbs down. But the man behind the song doesn’t care one lick. He didn’t make the song so you would like it.

“Yeah, people didn’t like the song, didn’t like the music video, they thought it was really cheesy. But that was the whole point, to create something that was really simple but something that sticks in people’s head. To have people say ‘I hate this song, but I’m still singing it,’” Ark Music Factory CEO Patrice Wilson told Gawker. That’s probably what The Beatles were thinking.

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GetGlue Redesigns and Revamps

GetGlue, the entertainment social network, has added sports to its line-up. (Just in time. We hear baseball season starts soon?)

Much of GetGlue’s focus thus far has been on TV programs. As part of the redesign, the site will now have a sports check-in button with rewards for those who check-in at games from home or other locations. And there will be rewards for sports fans.

In addition, the site has been integrated with Foursquare, and there’s been a redesign for the iPhone app and website. More info is available on the GetGlue blog.

According to AdWeek, GetGlue has 800,000 members.

Even With Cuts Looming, PR Is a Worthy Expense for Nonprofits

Although Congress continues to wrestle with the 2011 budget, there’s one element that seems certain: there will be cuts. According to the Washington Post, in order to avoid a complete government shutdown, there are talks of $30 billion in spending cuts, which is just half of what conservatives are asking for.

Nonprofits that depend on federal funding are feeling the pinch. Despite or because of the inevitable cuts, PR has become even more important.

“We don’t have the resources to pay lobbyists or to buy TV ads or things that perhaps a corporation or a wealthier organization might be able to do,” says Jennifer Rison, program coordinator with the Children’s Leadership Council (CLC), a coalition of about 60 advocacy groups.

The CLC has recently started working with a PR firm, Slowey/McManus Communications.

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Roll Call: Microsoft’s Marketing Head Stepping Down

Microsoft’s global head of marketing Mich Mathews has announced her retirement after more than 20 years with the company Ad Age reports. She oversees consumer brands including Windows and Xbox, and its $1 billion marketing budget. She began working with Microsoft in 1989 and, by 1993, became head of the company’s corporate PR function. She became an officer with the company in 1999. She is helping with the search for a replacement.

John Blyth has been selected as president of Fleishman-Hillard Canada, a region containing 10 offices and High Road Communications, a tech and digital lifestyle firm that’s part of the F-H portfolio. Blyth joined the firm in 2010 and has spent much of his 30-year career at McDonald’s where he served as VP of corporate comms.

Annalise Coady has also been named president of High Road Communications following the resignations of Mia Pearson and Justin Creally, who are starting a new company. Coady joined the firm in 2004 and has worked in offices around the world, serving as MD of the firm’s Middle East office in 201o. She’s also co-chair of the firm’s tech practice.

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Fashion Blogger Focuses on Walmart for Content

A screenshot from today's Penny Chic.

The fashions featured on Shauna Miller‘s blog Penny Chic can be found at your local Walmart… and that’s the key to the blog’s success.

According to this story on The Daily Beast, Penny Chic (which isn’t tied to Walmart at all) reaches the mass audience — the folks who can’t afford the high-end outfits featured in magazines like Vogue, but still have lives filled with dating, careers, and vacations that they want to dress for.

The blog’s readers are attracted to the accessibility of its content the story says. Unless you live in New York City, there’s a local Walmart where all of these items can be found. And for Walmart, Penny Chic gives the retailer much-needed promotional help in the fashion department, where it has always lagged.

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‘Men’s Health’ Wants Your Freshest Pitches

Did you know that Men’s Health has been around since 1988? The 20-plus-year-old magazine with a circulation of nearly two million reaches an educated, well-off reader between the ages of 20 and 35 ten times per year.

“We live and breathe this health realm that we operate in,” editor Peter Moore tells mediabistro in this week’s “How to Pitch for PR” feature. The magazine is looking for new and fresh with a four-month lead time.

For more about how to pitch Men’s Health, including contact info, click here. (Sub req’d)

‘Black Swan’ Blasted for Ballet Cover-Up

Coinciding perfectly with its Tuesday DVD release, “a major scandal” may leave Black Swan with a black mark on its publicity efforts, and Natalie Portman‘s Oscar-winning performance as a prima ballerina in question.

Identified in the movie’s credits only as “Hand Model” and “Lady in the Lane” — and not thanked in Portman’s Best Actress acceptance speech — real-life ballerina Sarah Lane claims she was in fact Portman’s Black Swan dancing double.

“Basically, I did all of the dancing,” Lane told the Wall Street Journal‘s Speakeasy blog, among others. “And then they digitally put [Portman's] face on my body.”

Lane, a soloist with San Francisco New York-based American Ballet Theatre, says exec producer Ari Handel asked her not to speak to the press, “to create this facade that [Portman] had become a ballerina in a year and a half.”

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