Stories by Mark Renfree

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Google Analytics Announces New Tools and Metric

September 29th, 2016 by

Google just put more brains behind Analytics’ considerable brawn. Babak Pahlavan, senior director of measurement & analytics at Google, unveiled a variety of new features and beta tests for the search giant’s measurement platform at SMX East in New York City.

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Snapchat’s ‘Spectacles’ Put Company’s Vision of Itself in Sharper Focus

September 26th, 2016 by

Snapchat is taking its first step out of the digital world and trying its luck in the hardware space, according to a blog post on the company’s website. Snapchat’s newest product, dubbed “Spectacles,” is a pair of sunglasses with a built-in camera that can shoot short videos and upload them directly to Snapchat.

A sign posted on the door of a Chipotle restaurant in Portland, Ore. reads "temporarily closed due to a supply chain issue," on Monday, Nov. 2, 2015. An E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in Washington state and Oregon has sickened nearly two dozen people in the third outbreak of food borne illness at the popular chain this year. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Chipotle’s Latest Messaging Recipe for Moving Past E. Coli Crisis

September 22nd, 2016 by

In the many months since its E. coli outbreak and the subsequent cleanup, Chipotle has made several attempts to rebuild trust in the brand. The release of the short video, “A Love Story,” did little to divert attention away from E. coli. Not even free burritos could bring the masses back into its restaurants. The new campaign meets customers’ fears head-on, a smart move that might have appeared bolder had it launched sooner.

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4 Questions (and 8 Tips) to Help You Master Writing for SEO

September 20th, 2016 by

It turns out that one of those right-brain skills—good writing—may be the best SEO weapon available. Now more than ever, SEO success depends on strategic writing skills. Creating content that satisfies search engines’ need to deliver useful information improves Google search rankings.

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YouTube Just Got More Social With Its New ‘Community’ Tab

September 16th, 2016 by

More than a billion people watch countless hours of video every day on the platform, making it one of the largest social networks around. But YouTube’s biggest flaw is that it’s never felt very social. That’s all about to change. YouTube announced the public beta for a new feature called “Community,” which aims to make the platform a much more socially engaging destination.

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Periscope Notifications Take Page From Facebook Live

September 13th, 2016 by

It just got a whole lot easier for Twitter users to tune into Periscope live streams. Twitter announced a new notification feature that lets users easily sign up to receive alerts when someone they follow goes live. One of the reasons Facebook Live has found success is Facebook’s default enabling of notifications for live broadcasts. Now that Twitter has followed suit, brands now have a much better way to notify fans about Periscope streams through push notifications.

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Communicating Hillary’s Health: What’s Changed Since the 9/11 Ceremony

September 12th, 2016 by

The question of Hillary Clinton’s health has dogged her campaign for president well before she quickly left a ceremony in New York on Sept. 11 that honored the 15th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. Republican candidate Donald Trump has tweeted consistently that Clinton lacks the strength and stamina to be president.

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NBC Stays Quiet Amid Harsh Criticism of Matt Lauer

September 8th, 2016 by

There were high expectations as NBC News headed into what was referred to as a preliminary debate between the two presidential candidates. But for many the “Commander-in-Chief Forum” that aired on MSNBC on Sept. 7 crumbled in the hands of its host, the longtime “Today” show anchor, Matt Lauer.

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British Airways’ Check-In Glitch Causes Major PR Problems

September 6th, 2016 by

An undisclosed IT problem disrupted the British Airways’s check-in process at airports around the world causing lengthy delays. But for many that were stuck on the ground, the lack of information from the brand was less than ideal. Unlike other outages experienced by airlines like Delta and Southwest, British Airways focused on responding to people individually on Twitter with generic statements.

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What B2B Brands Need to Know Before Using Facebook Live

September 1st, 2016 by

The right here, right now nature of live streaming can be freeing when used by individuals: Measuring success is often an afterthought, if considered at all. But for brands and communicators tasked with foraging in this relatively new space, live streaming brings its own baggage to the content production process. Of course, Facebook Live’s usefulness isn’t limited to B2B PR folks. Communicators from all disciplines should consider turning to Facebook Live as their go-to when creating short-form mobile video for Facebook, especially given that Facebook puts so much algorithmic weight behind live videos.