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Posts Tagged ‘The Atlantic’

Sponsored Content: Essential Branding Tool, Death of Journalism or Both?

“Let me tell you a story about our sponsor…”

The chorus has spoken: brands who don’t jump on the sponsored content train are destined for the banner ad dustbin.

But is it true? David Carr of The New York Times isn’t so sure. Joe McCamby—a designer who created the very first banner ad in 1994 when MTV still played Nirvana videos and Facebook was the name of your high school art project—thinks the increasingly grey line between journalism and advertising could end up hurting publishers and, by extension, the brands that hire them.

Why?

The problem, as McCamby sees it, lies in publishers allowing PR and marketing agencies to post directly to their sites through their own content management systems. He thinks readers will question the origins and accuracy of every editorial piece in a given publication once they discover that said mag/website is in the sponsored content game. Those readers, he implies, wouldn’t find much value in sponsored content in the first place, and it can soil their opinions of their favorite magazines and websites.

How true is that fear?

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Someone Finally Told The New York Times About Sponsored Content

We know it’s something of a stereotype that traditional and especially print media tend to take their time in arriving at/commenting on a hot story. Such is the case with The New York Times, which made waves this weekend by reporting on a phenomenon that PR and marketing folk already know quite well: paid or sponsored content.

We’re not saying that the many talented reporters at the Times have ignored the trend until now; this Media Decoder post regarding The Atlantic‘s Scientology advertorial scandal mentions the fact that BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post and other top web publishers already maintain sponsored content sections. But the weekend’s article does seem to be the first time the Times has deemed such content worthy of comment in print.

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Walmart Announces Plans to Hire ‘Any Veteran’ Who Applies

WalmartWalmart has certainly faced its share of PR struggles over the past few months, but today the big-box leader announced an initiative that no one in his or her right mind could oppose: Beginning on Memorial Day, the company will have a job waiting for any United States military veteran who decides to apply.

The project only includes a couple of qualifiers:

  • Vets must apply within the first 12 months of discharge
  • Discharge must have been honorable

According to initial estimates, this will equal about 100,000 new jobs over the next five years. Can Walmart pull it off? In a word, yes. The organization claims to have an annual turnover rate of 37%, and its workforce is so large that it can comfortably guarantee work for every qualified applicant (which isn’t to say that all the jobs will be full-time or that they will be good, but still).

We’ll just come out and say it: this is a great PR move.

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How NOT to Do Native Advertising: The Atlantic Runs Scientology Advertorial

The Atlantic Magazine Scientology AdvertorialSo, last week we took the time to lecture our readers on the nature of native advertising–and this week’s biggest media “scandal” conveniently gives us an opportunity to show everyone how not to do it.

In summary: Established magazine The Atlantic, long a home to respectable journalism, ran a sponsored post that was little more than an official release from the Church of Scientology.

The church is scrambling to get some good press before journalist Lawrence Wright‘s upcoming expose Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief hits the nation’s bookstores and e-readers. The post itself amounted to a comical report about how leader David Miscavige has helped the church expand its membership; it included little beyond (obviously staged) photos documenting the recent openings of Scientology “centers” around the world.

And that’s not all: The Atlantic also carefully monitored the story’s comments section, erasing many of the (overwhelmingly negative) comments from users before closing them down altogether. Bad move, guys.

Now it’s damage control time!

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Hillary Clinton Can’t Stand Holden Caulfield

Today in (Fake) Media Scandals: You may have heard of a controversial article published in The Atlantic this summer in which columnist and former State Department director of policy planning Anne-Marie Slaughter lamented the fact that many modern women cannot possibly live up to the superhuman expectations they face as both mothers and professionals.

(We’re sure it was a great piece; please don’t tell our friends we haven’t read it yet.)

Fast forward to this week, when Marie Claire published an extensive “farewell” interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Interviewer Ayelet Waldman asked Clinton about Slaughter’s piece and the SoS seemed to agree with her thesis, noting that while “Some women are not comfortable working at the pace and intensity you have to work at in these jobs”, others can juggle multiple children and demanding careers without “break[ing] a sweat.” Different strokes…

The next paragraph moved into a discussion about “whiners”, a class of people for whom Clinton has little patience. She wasn’t afraid to make a forceful point: “I can’t stand the kind of paralysis that some people fall into…You live in a time when there are endless choices…Do Something!”

Sounds like Hillary might have been referring to the women in Slaughter’s article who find themselves paralyzed by the unreasonable demands of modern life, doesn’t it?

That’s what the scoop-hungry bloggers at Politico, Jezebel and The Huffington Post thought. We can see why—in emails to journalists, Marie Claire’s PR people hyped the story by implying that the quote referred directly to Slaughter’s article. But the subsequent headlines about Hillary knocking on women who whine about “having it all” weren’t quite accurate; the Secretary said so herself. Here’s the missing section of the interview:  Read more

Roll Call: Ogilvy PR, Sunset, Bloomsbury and More

Ogilvy PR/Chicago has appointed Heather Wilson executive vice president and director of the agency’s Chicago Corporate Group. Wilson joined the company on September 17, moving from Weber Shandwick where she ran the West Coast corporate and crisis management practice in Los Angeles. In her new roll, she will focus on brand positioning, financial communication, litigation support, crisis management, government relations and media strategy to solving complex issues facing multinational corporations and crafting integrated campaigns that deliver business results. (Release)

Pete Beatty has been promoted to senior editor at Bloomsbury. He comes from Bloomsbury Press, where he’s been working with Peter Ginna since 2008. Lea Beresford, who joined Bloomsbury as editorial assistant in 2011, has been promoted to editor at the Bloomsbury imprint. (Publishers Weekly)

Maili Holiman has been named the new creative director of SunsetHoliman comes to Sunset from the George Lucas Educational Foundation, where she had been creative director of the foundation’s magazine — Edutopia — since 2009. Prior to that she was art director at Wired and Readymade. (FishbowlNY)

Andy Sareyan, president of National Journal, is stepping down and Bruce Gottlieb is set to take his place. Gottlieb had been Senior VP of Corporate Strategy. He has also written for Slate, The Atlantic, NYT magazine, and The New Republic, and was the former Chief Counsel at the FCC. (FishbowlDC)

Angelo Lomonte has been named SVP, managing director, at KSL Media. He had been director of media strategy, marketing & advertising at Cablevision. (mb)

Ian Robinson has been named creative director at Ebony. He had been design director at Spin. (mb)

Tom Arnost has been named EVP and chief revenue officer at Telemundo Station Group. He had been on numerous boards and managed a private investment portfolio focused on the media industry. (TVSpy)

Revolving Door: Lots of Video, An Intern Lawsuit, and More

Comic book author Alonzo Washington is on "TheGrio 100" list.

At an event yesterday, The Huffington Post and AOL introduced The Huffington Post Streaming Network (HPSN), a live network that will broadcast 12 hours per day starting this summer. HuffPo founding editor Roy Sekoff will run the network which he says will be a mix of CNN, The View, and YouTube.

The New York Times has launched “Business Day Live,” a live video show that will focus on the top business headlines of the day. It will air each weekday and appear on the outlet’s homepage.

The Wall Street Journal has also launched a new program, “Off Duty,” a lifestyle show based on WSJ Weekend that will air each weekday at 6 p.m. ET on the outlet’s YouTube channel. It will be hosted by reporter Wendy Bounds. This adds to the list of shows that the WSJ already has, including “Lunch Break” and “Mean Street.”

A former Harper’s Bazaar intern is suing Hearst for unpaid minimum wages. According to the lawsuit, accessories intern Xuedan Wang worked unpaid between 40 and 55 hours per week between August and December of last year. The plaintiff and her lawyers hope to build a class-action lawsuit. [via Reuters]

Bloomberg head Lex Fenwick has been named CEO of Dow Jones & Co. He replaces Les Hinton, who left the post in July. Fenwick joined Bloomberg in 1987 and was tapped to head up Bloomberg Ventures in 2007. [via WSJ]

TheGrio.com has revealed “TheGrio 100,” its list of “history makers and industry leaders” making waves in the U.S. today. Among those on the list are the mayor of Jacksonville, FL, Alvin Brown, Google’s Torrence Boone, and marine biologist Daniell Washington.

Clickthrough for more of the week’s media changes.

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Revolving Door: Ryan Seacrest, Publishing App Expo, NewsBasis, and More

Ryan Seacrest may take over for Matt Lauer should the veteran Today anchor vacate his seat. Talks are only in the preliminary stages. [via WSJ]

TIME.com‘s GM paid a visit to Mediabistro’s Publishing App Expo to talk about the role of apps in a business plan. For more on the Expo, check out GalleyCat and eBookNewser.

The publisher, EIC, and creative director of the Manhattan society mag AVENUE have jumped ship with some of Jared Kushner’s money in order to start another Manhattan society mag that has yet to be named. Kushner is the wallet behind the New York Observer (and is married to Ivanka Trump). A statement from the new publication’s publisher and CEO (and AVENUE‘s former publisher), Julie Dannenberg , includes references to Henry James and Edith Wharton so we’re guessing this magazine will be pretty annoying. (Though we love us some Edith Wharton.)

Vogue has launched an archive and the subscription costs $1,575 per year. That’s as much as the average pair of designer shoes on one of its pages, so it’s a deal? The archive has 100,000 articles and 425,000 images. [via Folio]

NewsBasis, a HARO/ProfNet-like site that launched last year, is shutting down on December 16.

T.J. Holmes is leaving CNN at the end of the year to join BET, where he will have his own show and a presence on the website[via TVNewser]

Click through for more media changes.

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Revolving Door: ‘NYT’ Adds a Politics Desk, HuffPo Adds BlackVoices, and More

This week, The New York Times announced that it has created a new Politics desk in preparation for the 2012 election. Dick Stevenson, deputy Washington bureau chief has been chosen to lead it up.

Comcast is rebranding the Versus cable network to the NBC Sports Network on January 2. It will be the cable arm of the NBC Sports Group, which will sport the new logo at left.

The Huffington Post has launched BlackVoices, which will cover the wide spectrum of issues touching the lives of Black readers. Christina Norman, former OWN CEO, is the executive editor and contributors include Rev. Al Sharpton and Henry Louis Gates Jr.

For more staff changes across the media, click through.

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Revolving Door: More News Corp., Casey Anthony News

Casey Anthony at her sentencing hearing. Photo: Joe Burbank/Pool

Developments about the News Corp. phone-hacking scandal seem to roll in by the minute. Besides this morning’s news that they’ve hired Edelman, there’s now word that the F.B.I. is opening an inquiry into possible phone-hackings of 9/11 victims. And News International is said to be planning to run full-page apology ads in a number of U.K. newspapers.

Speaking of ongoing news, with Casey Anthony being released from prison on Sunday, HLN is planning more than 19 hours of Anthony coverage this weekend. (Remember, there are only about 48 hours in a weekend.) Many of those hours will be anchored by Nancy Grace. So if you were even thinking about pitching a story to HLN this weekend, choose another station.

Click through for more of the latest developments in the media world.

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