Stories by Sophie Maerowitz


4 Talking Points to Win Budget Dollars for Social Media, Courtesy of TOMS

January 19th, 2017 by

James Chong, senior manager of social customer engagement at TOMS, is tasked with managing TOMS’ social budget while spreading its cause-related messaging to new audiences. Chong, who will be speaking at PR News’ Digital Summit Feb. 24 in Huntington Beach, CA, shares the arguments for paid social that he’s made to senior leaders.


7 Social Media Trends to Watch in 2017 From Yelp’s Manager of Local Business Outreach

January 17th, 2017 by

Social platforms are in a constant state of evolution, with new features being rolled out at a breakneck pace. And every brand can benefit from keeping an eye out for upcoming social platform updates and trends. Yelp, for instance, with its diverse audience of businesses and consumers, prioritizes staying current to ensure it serves content in the most engaging way possible. John Carroll, manager of local outreach at Yelp, will be speaking on what’s next in social at PR News’ Digital Summit, Feb. 24 in Huntington Beach, CA. He shares seven trends in social media to be on the look for in 2017.

football, helmets

[VIDEO] NFL Players Association’s George Atallah on Finding Balance in Crisis Communications

January 13th, 2017 by

Given the rapid pace at which we digest information, expert crisis management is the best defense against a brand reputation meltdown. Managing the flow of harmful news articles and social media posts is a delicate craft, best handled by PR pros with a balanced approach—neither dismissing the seriousness of claims, nor issuing a hasty apology. One such PR professional, George Atallah, assistant executive director of external affairs at the NFL Players Association, spoke on crisis PR with Doug Simon, president and CEO of D S Simon Media, at PR News’ Media Relations Conference in December.

facebook live

6 Facebook Live Updates for Communicators to Start Using ASAP

January 12th, 2017 by

Facebook has announced several new features communicators can use to more effectively measure and broadcast quality content to engage audiences. The update includes six distinct features that will help stabilize footage, increase flexibility and collaboration for multiple admins and improve metrics and views post-broadcast. Here’s a breakdown of all six updates and a few ideas on how communicators can start putting them to good use.

students, uc berkeley

UC Berkeley’s Influencer Program: A Secret Weapon for Recruitment and Fundraising

January 10th, 2017 by

What’s the secret sauce for injecting authenticity into today’s competitive college market? A solid influencer program, according to some. PR News spoke with Christina Sponselli, director of social media at University of California, Berkeley, about the school’s influencer recruitment and relationship-building strategy. Sponselli will be speaking at length on influencer marketing at PR News’ Digital Summit on Feb. 24 in Huntington Beach, CA.


[VIDEO] The Interplay Between Social Media and Humor in the Obama Years

January 6th, 2017 by

It can be challenging to pick and choose when to use humor in communications, especially for well-known brands whose audiences religiously follow social channels and dispatches. In recent years, the White House—a brand unto itself—has used humor to great effect. David Litt, special assistant to the president and a presidential speechwriter from 2011 to 2016—and now head writer and producer at Funny Or Die D.C.—reflects on the uses of humor during the Obama administration.


McDonald’s Takes Vow of Silence After Vatican Location Opens

January 3rd, 2017 by

McDonald’s has opened a location just a stone’s throw from Vatican City, eliciting complaints from Vatican authorities. NBC reported at least one cardinal’s public opposition, calling the opening “perverse” and “abberant.” Amidst a flurry of international headlines, McDonald’s has been noticeably silent, and has not issued any kind of public statement. The fast food chain hasn’t even announced the opening on social media or other official channels. McDonald’s silent posture is likely a strategic move to keep the brand out of a volatile situation.

moments, facebook

Facebook Keeps It Current With Moments and Holiday Cards

December 22nd, 2016 by

If you’ve noticed more announcements at the top of your Facebook feed, it’s likely due to Facebook’s latest rollout, Moments. For various events, from lesser-known holidays to news to cultural moments, Facebook has added a card to the top of users’ feeds to keep them in the know and spark conversations. The feature is similar to Twitter’s Moments, but if 2016 has taught us anything, it’s that Facebook won’t hesitate to poach competitors’ most popular features (e.g. Instagram Stories, Facebook Live). Facebook has also unveiled an e-card feature for posting holiday cards to friends’ feeds.


[VIDEO] How Hilton Worldwide Finds Authentic Influencers

December 21st, 2016 by

Every brand under the sun wants influencers to act as ambassadors, but as with any partnership, the right fit is key. Influencers should have more than a large following—they should be able to lend an authentic voice to your brand’s story. But how to find the right match? John Walls, director of brand PR, luxury and lifestyle brands at Hilton Worldwide, makes use of influencers regularly, and notes that authenticity is all about understanding potential influencers’ aesthetic and tone. He discusses influencer relations with Doug Simon of D S Simon Media in this brief video.

star, mobile

Why C-SPAN and Kim Kardashian Are on a Level Playing Field on Snapchat

December 19th, 2016 by

Celebrities: They’re just like us. At least when it comes to Snapchat perks, that is. Unlike other social platforms that serve as advertising opportunities for celebrity influencers, Snapchat has kept the influencer marketing door firmly shut. A ban on all paid influencer posts on the platform has helped boost Snap Inc.’s reputation as a bastion of raw, authentic content. This vacuum of celebrity endorsements on Snapchat creates a perfect opportunity for brand communicators seeking to experiment with posting more spontaneous, raw content.