Stories by Justin Joffe


Amidst New Accusations of Gender Bias, Facebook Ads are Once Again the Culprit

September 19th, 2018 by

All recent accusations of bias have one thing in common, the same thing that Facebook has dodged questions of reform or regulation over and generally failed to directly address: its proprietary, micro-targeting ad platform. It was this ad platform that allowed the Russians to pay for propaganda in rubles, it was this ad platform that allowed Cambridge Analytica to manipulate its third-party audience categories, and it was this ad platform that has brought the latest accusations of gender bias back to Facebook.


Can a Good Endorsement be Bad PR? The New Apple Watch May Save Lives, But It’ll Cost You

September 17th, 2018 by

A good endorsement from the FDA could actually turn out to be bad PR for Apple, a company known to offer its newest proprietary tech at premium prices, as people who need the tech might not be able to afford it. The issue of life-saving resources that are unaffordable to many recalls several recent instances when pharmaceutical companies have made headlines for raising the price of their medications to such exorbitant numbers that those without insurance deemed the gouging to be a death sentence.


A Decade After Our Economy Crashed, Financial PR Still Has a Transparency Problem

September 13th, 2018 by

Goldman Sachs offered a blanket denial to the reporting from a story published earlier this week in the New York Times, which accuses Goldman of dismissing claims from a top executive who used the firm’s own whistleblower hotline to call out a litany of ethical violations he saw from the inside. Goldman’s statements on the matter call to question why transparency and accountability remain so difficult for the bank to put into practice, and its statements similarly raise more questions.


Saving Face: Key Takeaways From Zuckerberg’s ‘New Yorker’ Profile

September 11th, 2018 by

The New Yorker has published a 14,000-word profile on Facebook founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg. While regulation continues to be proposed as the umbrella solution to several of Facebook’s problems this year, here are a few takeaways from the story on what Zuckerberg thinks about external regulation—and what efforts the platform is taking to regulate itself.


Why Nike Just Did It: Kaepernick’s New Deal is Perfect Revisionist PR

September 4th, 2018 by

This past Labor Day, Nike announced Colin Kaepernick as the main face for the 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” campaign. Heaps of praise, and condemnation, were immediate. #BoycottNike continues to trend, as conservatives across the country destroy the Nike goods they paid good money for in protest, and Nike shares took a slight dip.


Are Google and Facebook Biased Against Trump? Here’s How They Actually Rank News

August 30th, 2018 by

Earlier this week, President Trump accused Google and Facebook of prioritizing unfavorable coverage about him in their respective news feeds. The accusation comes at a time when both platforms are under increasing pressure to be more transparent about how they decide what content to prioritize.


Vape Makers JUUL Supporting E-Cigarette Regulation? PR at the Perfect Time

August 27th, 2018 by

This could have easily have been a moment of crisis for JUUL Labs, manufacturers of the eponymous JUUL e-cigarette vaporizer, after The New York Times published a lengthy investigative report Monday detailing the company’s history of marketing its sleek, easy-to-use vaporizer to underage consumers. Instead, the fact that nothing nuclear happened to JUUL Labs this morning is a testament to the brand’s “proactive, not reactive” approach to reputation management.


Study Shows Most Businesses Have Mixed Feelings About Mixed Reality

August 22nd, 2018 by

Though VR and AR have become much more ubiquitous over the last three years, most businesses are still reticent to dive in. Last week, eMarketer shared infographics culled from a Harvard Business Review study in March 2018 that found while roughly two-thirds of U.S. executives polled claimed to be exploring the use of mixed reality (MR) technology, only 20% said they are “currently in production or deploying MR.”


How Not to Give a Speech: Lessons From Madonna’s Aretha Tribute at the VMAs

August 21st, 2018 by

While presenting the award for Video of the Year, Madonna took the opportunity to deliver a lengthy speech about how her career was inadvertently started by the late singer and undisputed Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, who died the Thursday prior. Reactions to the speech were overwhelmingly negative, with amateur and professional critics alike voicing their belief that Madonna disrespected Aretha by making the speech largely about Madonna, relegating Aretha’s influence to nothing but a footnote in Madonna’s story of her own rise to stardom.

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4 Ways to Optimize Your Social Strategy Using Facebook Analytics

August 16th, 2018 by

It’s through listening to the data, selecting your audiences carefully, experimenting and not being afraid to fail that social communicators can figure out what actually matters for them.