Archive for the ‘News’ Category
At the White House correspondents’ dinner, President Obama said, “I remember when BuzzFeed was just something I did in college after 2 a.m.”
Indeed, while the website founded by MIT grad and Huffington Post co-founder Jonah Peretti is 7-years old, until recent months, BuzzFeed might have been something only college students were reading at 2 a.m., searching for LOL cats and photo bombs that they could share on Facebook.
But all that is changing and it feels as if suddenly, BuzzFeed has all the media buzz.
- Propelled by high-profile news events such as the Newtown shooting and Boston Marathon bombings, the site seemed to intuit exactly what readers wanted during and after the crisis and its content was even more viral than usual. In January, the site had about 30 million unique visitors. In April, that number had spiked to 65 million uniques. The New York Times’ website has nearly 29 million monthly uniques.
In the horrifying moments after the Boston Marathon bombings, after ensuring that everyone we knew was safe, we told all clients who might have scheduled tweets to shut them off. Some of them already had and some were shocked that it took almost 20 minutes to finally stop the process.
Thankfully, having a business Twitter blackout has become standard procedure during any crisis because a brand’s social chatter – even if it’s not self-promotional – seems wrong when people are trawling for vital information about breaking news. Going silent is the digital equivalent of giving a fire truck the necessary 500-foot perimeter to do its job. Get out of the way of the #disaster hashtag.
Last month, as I was trawling Twitter, I experienced one of those moments of truth that often lead to a blog post. “Stop the Madness! Why do we spam the crap out of each other #CRE?” It was an excellent question from @TenantAdvisor. His screenshot (above) showed a whole bunch of emails from the real estate world; no doubt property listings or announcements about recent transactions.
This is especially true in the brokerage community, where deal flow means everything, competition is fierce, and an old-school approach to marketing is pervasive. But when everyone else is doing lead generation the same way, namely by email and even cold calls or printed fliers, it is simply not effective, as I explained in a previous post.
First, let me say that doing the Pope’s PR would be a really hard job, even for a Catholic. He’s controversial in some quarters, his audience is spread around the globe, and his message needs to be translated into many languages. Critics also say the Holy See lacks transparency and is clinging to historic doctrine at a time of global social change. But on top of that, its communications methods are quaint: Latin Mass still happens, and news of Pope Francis first went out by smoke signal (ok, that might be more high-tech than you think).
Of course, not all of the church’s problems can be solved by PR. But there are a few obvious communications tactics that could create the perception of real change and perhaps even lead to it.
On Thursday, Newsweek announced they will be an all-digital magazine by the start of 2013. After nearly 80 years in print, “challenging economics of print publishing and distribution” means that the publication will solely be found online. When I read Tina Brown and Baba Shetty’s article online first thing yesterday morning, I wasn’t at all surprised.
There are certainly some unhappy with the news. But the loss of Newsweek’s hardcopy was predictable. It cost $40 million per year to publish, while ad rates everywhere were dropping and Tina Brown saw circulation halved from 3,158,480 in 2001 to 1,527,157 last June. Her attempts to goose sales with ridiculous covers (a few on Michelle Bachman, heaven and the Middle East) did not do the trade proud.
We’ve all seen and likely created a sepia-tinted, vintage-style digital photo using the photo-sharing service, Instagram on our phones. It makes our photos look much cooler than they are, which is probably why usage is exploding – growing from 15 million users in early 2012 to 80 million users in July. That’s an increase of 400% in seven months! And, as they did with the growing usage of Twitter and Facebook, big brands have taken notice. A recent study by Simply Measured found that 40 percent of Interbrand’s top 100 have an Instagram presence. Brands such as MTV, Starbucks, Burberry, Tiffany & Co. and Nike have a huge following with numbers topping or near half a million followers.
When Mitt Romney announced his pick for Vice President – on a Saturday morning in the middle of the Olympics – it seemed like curious timing. Who would try to compete with the ratings juggernaut that is the Summer Olympics? However, not long after the announcement was made, promotions started running for the first interview with the newly minted Romney/Ryan ticket in an exclusive with 60 Minutes.
The Romney Campaign clearly wanted to set the agenda for the Sunday op-ed pages and the Sunday morning talk shows. Even though “Meet the Press” was pre-empted by the Olympics, Eric Fehrnstrom, Romeny’s right hand man, was front and center on “Face the Nation” and Governor Tim Pawlenty defended the ticket on “This Week,” with George Stephanopoulos. The week that followed became all about the Republican challengers and a little about P90X.
My Facebook feed this week has been buzzing with Chick-fil-A updates. There was the viral letter that Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino wrote to the restaurant chain’s President Dan Cathy saying Chick-fil-A was not welcome to open a store in the city because of its stance against same-sex marriage. And then there were these photos below, posted by different friends; each shows a brand—Sarah Palin and KFC —taking advantage of the media firestorm to get some attention for themselves.
This got me thinking: when is it ok to be opportunistic, piggybacking on an issue in the media? When is it not? And what are the do’s and don’ts?
Do be opportunistic if: