TVNewser Show TVNewser AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘things we used to like’

Newsweek Print Edition Goes Out With a Whimper

Today, Newsweek editor-in-chief Tina Brown and CEO Baba Shetty announced that the magazine will fold its print operation after 80 years. In other news, if you want a video tour around their office you should check out our exclusive Newsweek/Daily Beast edition of “Cubes.”

Now get your big-picture questions ready: Is this the end of print? Is this the end of responsible journalism? Is this the end of Tina Brown’s obnoxious and gimmicky covers? (For the record, that’s no, no and a very hopeful yes.)

Yeah, OK. It’s not like nobody saw this coming. Here are the most important parts of the appropriately self-righteous statement:

“After 80 years in print, the newsmagazine adopts an all-digital format.

We are announcing this morning an important development at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Newsweek will transition to an all-digital format in early 2013…

Meanwhile, Newsweek will expand its rapidly growing tablet and online presence, as well as its successful global partnerships and events business.

Newsweek Global, as the all-digital publication will be named, will be a single, worldwide edition…

…our business has been increasingly affected by the challenging print advertising environment, while Newsweek’s online and e-reader content has built a rapidly growing audience…By year’s end, tablet users in the United States alone are expected to exceed 70 million, up from 13 million just two years ago…

In our judgment, we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format…

We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it. We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents…

Newsweek is produced by a gifted and tireless team of professionals who have been offering brilliant work consistently throughout a tough period of ownership transition and media disruption. Regrettably we anticipate staff reductions…

Exiting print is an extremely difficult moment for all of us who love the romance of print and the unique weekly camaraderie of those hectic hours before the close on Friday night. But as we head for the 80th anniversary of Newsweek next year we must sustain the journalism that gives the magazine its purpose—and embrace the all-digital future.”

You got the point across. Good job. However, Brad Phillips (aka Mr. Media Training) noticed something missing from the statement—something that we think is extremely important.

Read more

Mediabistro Course

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! 

Nike (Finally) Drops Lance Armstrong

Looks like public opinion has turned decisively against Lance Armstrong. According to a statement issued today, prime sponsor Nike (NYSE: NKE) officially terminated its contract with the cycling star.

Nike’s reversal of support for the embattled biker came after a report released yesterday indicated thatKathy LeMond–wife of that other American cycling legend Greg LeMond–testified under oath that, in a separate suit filed against Armstrong in 2006, Nike coughed up a $500,000 payoff to former Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) president Hein Verbruggen in order to cover up a positive Armstrong drug test.

Another day, another aftershock stemming from the reams of evidence made public by the USADA.

One bit of silver lining in this dark cloud: the sporting goods behemoth (and extremely spendy sponsor of countless athletes and causes) will continue supporting Lance’s Livestrong foundation: Read more

Schwarzenegger’s Press Tour Is Bad PR

The Austrian Oak, better known outside the bodybuilding world as former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, has spent the last week or so hitting every conceivable media outlet to push “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story”, which may just be the worst-titled “tell-all memoir” ever. Go ahead and roll your eyes—we did.

We’re sure Arnold had some big plans for this current press offensive, but we can’t see too many benefits. In fact, we’d question the wisdom of his big comeback tour–and we’re not the only ones.

We echo the question Jon Stewart asked him last night: Why write the book now? Couldn’t you give it another year or two to wait until the heat cools off? The public may have a short memory, but this is ridiculous.

And why confess to multiple affairs that no one outside your immediate family knew about or cared about (and to describe said affairs as “hot”)? This is pure tabloid fodder–and it makes Maria Shriver’s defense of her candidate husband in the wake of the infamous groping allegations seem even more bizarre. While Arnold did manage to say that his affair with his housekeeper was “the stupidest thing” he did during his marriage, we’re not sure that his performance has been terribly convincing. His “I’m not perfect” moment on “60 Minutes” was particularly lame.

Schwarzenegger admits that his kids aren’t comfortable with him airing his dirty laundry to anyone who will listen (ya think?), but his publicist didn’t seem to mind. Why is that? Oh right—he has a book to sell.

Read more

Will the FTC’s Revised ‘Green Guides’ Keep Marketers Honest?

We recently discussed consumers’ growing cynicism about products marketed as “green” or “environmentally friendly” — turns out that people are sick of having their well-meaning efforts to better their environment exploited by advertisers and corporations simply looking to cushion their bottom lines. In the wake of many dubious claims, consumers are now understandably hesitant to believe earth-friendly marketing messages.

Today, in its continuing effort to keep the marketers of “green” products honest (or at least discourage them from telling bold-faced lies), The Federal Trade Commission released its revised “Green Guides“, a set of guidelines meant to help advertisers make claims that are “truthful and non-deceptive”.

While the guides aren’t technically regulations, they describe the types of environmental claims the FTC may or may not find deceptive under Section 5 of the FTC Act. The Act allows the FTC to take “enforcement action” against deceptive claims, which can lead to Commission orders prohibiting deceptive advertising. If a company then violates these orders, it would be subject to fines.

Read more

Tim Cook Is, Like, So Sorry for Apple Maps

The public doesn’t know Apple as a company prone to apology. We imagine its communications team would be far more comfortable issuing a statement to the effect of “the obvious superiority of our products speaks for itself, hahaha”. Hey, we understand—apologies acknowledge the imperfections that come with being human, and CEO’s aren’t generally too big on humility (with good reason).

And yet, CEO Tim Cook felt the need to release an official statement to customers today in order to control the spread of bad publicity stemming from the awfulness that is Apple Maps.

We can’t imagine Cook enjoyed writing this little letter, and we wonder what finally led him to draft it: Was it Motorola’s viciously effective #iLost ad? Was it this hilarious tumblr page? We’re not sure, but we do admire Cook’s ability to acknowledge that his company made a completely terrible product!

Readers should note Cook’s unreservedly apologetic tone in writing that Apple “fell short on this commitment”. Unlike the other big “damage control” missive released this morning, Cook’s note includes the word “sorry”. A real-life apology! We just might be impressed!

Cook promises to get to work on improving the map app, and we’re sure that a few programmers have had anxiety attacks this week–but what will the CEO’s next move be?

Read more

PR Fail: Starbucks Says ‘No Soy for You!’

Today in Look Before You Jump News: Starbucks seems to have gone the way of Netflix in making service changes without checking with customers first–and now its PR team has a bit of a backlash on its hands.

The coffee giant has some notoriously loyal customers, and its “My Starbucks Rewards” program has been extremely popular. Company publicists just announced a few modifications set to begin on October 16th in an effort to encourage even more customer loyalty. The changes include birthday freebies, smartphone discounts (customers previously had to wait for postcards) and some kind of gold star system that we don’t really understand.

Sounds good, right? Not really. The shift that caused an Internet uproar seems tiny at first glance: Starbucks will no longer offer complimentary soy or flavored syrup shots. We didn’t even realize that the chain charged extra for soy milk.

Well, it turns out that Starbucks has more than a few lactose-intolerant customers–and they are not happy with the changes! Check out the comments on the company’s Facebook page via our friends at The Hoffman Agency for examples of previously loyal customers who have taken offense at this new policy. Seems like the company should have tested this new proposal with their fans first, no?

Read more

Facebook Needs PR Advice Now More Than Ever

Maybe you’ve heard: The once-heralded Facebook IPO is in trouble and losing value by the minute. PR experts live for big, challenging cases like this one–after suffering through an economic collapse caused by over-inflated home values and bundled stocks, the public understands the pain that comes when a financial stake doesn’t live up to the hype (even if it that stake happens to double as their favorite weekday time-waster). In other words, Facebook’s money woes garner little sympathy from Main Street. There is no victim card in this game.

Today, the public loathes overvalued anything. The fact that Mark Zuckerberg is a young, idealistic and ridiculously wealthy CEO who wears the same clothes to work that we wear to rake leaves ensures that Facebook’s negative PR arc will inspire a certain Schadenfreude. You probably even have a few outraged friends who claim to be completely “over” the Facebook phenomena–especially if they take personal offense at the new compulsory timeline format. (For the record, we think your friends are full of it.) Read more