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Posts Tagged ‘Uber’

Uber Offers Taxi Drivers a Ride to Their Own Protest

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This morning we read news of the massive traffic-blocking protests that have greeted most-expensive-startup-ever Uber as it tries to conquer Europe. VentureBeat just shared the company’s response: ferrying angry London taxi drivers to their own event while adjusting its policies to make nice.

“Riders won’t pay any additional charges, while Uber caps the commission drivers must pay at 5%…Uber says its 5% commission is the lowest in the city.”

So how much is the 12,000-strong protest damaging the company’s business? This headline pretty much says it all:

UberHeadline

Probably not the intended result…

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Airbnb Goes Grassroots With ‘Us vs. Them’ Damage Control Campaign

We might almost feel bad for Airbnbairbnb thanks to its appearance in an endless stream of negative headlines if the company–and its ideological partner Uber–weren’t also responsible for so many think pieces about “the sharing economy.”

If the news is so bad, then why is the company’s estimated value somewhere around $10 billion–which is, as The New York Times reminded us today, more than the total worth of Hyatt Hotels Corporation?

The answer, as far as we can tell, involves the appeal of staying somewhere for cheap and a strategy focused on casting the company’s legal struggles as a case of “The People” versus “The Man”–said man in this case being New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman.

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Valleywag Will Continue to Make Your Tech Clients Sweat

valleywag-touch-icon-200x200If you have big tech names or promising startup clients on your roster, you may flinch each time you hear the word “Valleywag.”

Don’t count on that changing anytime soon. In a new interview with New York magazine, head tech muckraker Sam Biddle promises that–while his online persona is not an accurate representation of himself–he will continue trying to make your tech clients nervous with more than a little help from anonymous tipsters.

Most importantly, he does use Uber…no matter how much he may hate the company and everything it stands for.

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Startups Like Airbnb Are Getting Better at Addressing Viral Scandals

airbnbAllow us to overgeneralize in writing that tech startup founders can sometimes come across as…what’s the word…aloof. Arrogant. Condescending.

Maybe all that adulatory media coverage goes to their heads. The point, as Valleywag reminds us every day, is that they don’t always respond to challenges in the most effective or sympathetic way.

Yet a PandoDaily post this week argues that companies like Uber and Airbnb are getting better at crisis communications, and we have to agree.

You probably read the viral story about one Airbnb client whose apartment served as the set for a “XXX Freak Fest” (NSFW). Rather than dismiss his complaint as the cost of doing business, the company changed his locks, paid for his hotel stay and wired him thousands of dollars to cover the literal clean-up cost.

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11 Brands That Got Cheeky on Valentine’s Day

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FACT: Valentine’s Day is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dour New Year for retailers.

Of course it makes sense for relevant brands to develop tailored VDay social campaigns, so today we thought we’d take a look back at some of the cheekier ones we noticed last week.

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Uber and the (Negligible) Cost of Bad Publicity

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Chances are that any recent news you’ve read regarding taxi service app company Uber was bad.

The company has recently suffered a string of very negative stories including:

  • Accusations from drivers (which Uber calls “freelancers”) that the company was stealing their tips
  • A case in which the company argued that the California government cannot regulate its business practices since it is not a transportation company (it simply happens to help cab drivers meet up with people who need a ride)
  • Angry complaints from both coasts about the “surge pricing” model that boosts rates by as much as 500% when users need the service most as opposed to, say, establishing a base rate like New York’s yellow cab service
  • An incident in which a driver hit and killed a 6-year-old girl; her family has filed a wrongful death suit against the company

The most recent story is the worst, though.

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Roll Call: MWW, AOL, INTEGRATE and More

MWW announced that Ryan Wallace has joined the firm’s technology industry practice as vice president, enterprise and technology. Wallace, who will be based in New York, brings more than a decade of B2B technology experience. He comes to MWW from Bite Global, where he led the New York office and oversaw global strategy for the firm’s clients including Plantronics, SAP and other enterprise and start-up brands. As part of his role within the enterprise and technology group, Wallace will help oversee the development and management of integrated communications programs that help boost brand relevance via a combination of paid, owned and earned strategies.(Release)

Nate Richardson has been named president of AOL’s AOL Live, its live streaming video site. Richardson was previously the co-founder and CEO of Waywire, a video curation service he created along with Mayor Cory Booker. Prior to his time at Waywire, Richardson served as president of Gilt City. Richardson also previously served as CEO of ContentNext Media Inc., which owns paidContent.com. (FishbowlNY)

INTEGRATE announced the appointment of marketing executive Scott Vaughan as chief marketing officer. In this newly created role, Vaughan is responsible for marketing and go-to-market strategies to engage and support INTEGRATE’s rapidly growing base of customers. Prior to INTEGRATE, Vaughan served as chief marketing officer at UBM Tech where, under his leadership, the company reinvented its marketing approach and developed integrated programs and services to serve business and technology professionals and the marketers trying to reach them. (Release) Read more