Facebook Introduces Video Ads, Promises They Won’t Be Spammy

Ads that look and feel like TV commercials but are targeted like display ads: For Facebook, that’s long been the holy grail — the chief hurdle being how to introduce them without annoying the bejesus out of its users.

After many months of tinkering, Facebook executives finally think they’ve got it right. Today the company officially introduced what it calls Premium Video Ads.

Nothing much has changed from the version it’s beentesting in users’ feeds since December. The 15-second ads still start playing automatically, without sound, as soon as they come onscreen. Tapping on an ad expands it and makes it start over from the beginning, with audio.

Read more via Forbes.com. 

Welcome to the New PoweR Connection Column!

By Candice Nicole of Fox News and Candice Nicole PR

CandiceHeadShotWelcome to the PoweR Connection! Hello BPRSDC + Guests! My name is Candice (also known as Candice Nicole) and I hail from the DC Metropolitan area (MD to be exact). A brief despriction on me: I am the owner of Candice Nicole Public Relations and I started my boutique PR company in 2007.  By day, I work at WTTG Fox 5 News. 

It is with great excitement that the “PoweR Connection” column has a new home.

It was about 3 years ago, when I began something that I called the PoweR Connection conference call. It was a weekly call that joined leading Public Relations and communications professionals from around the globe. The call welcomed many amazing individuals, including the late great power publicist Dee Dee Cocheta.

With that platform, many individuals were connected throughout the world and all shared valuable information with a growing community of experienced professionals. Well, life happened and became extremely busy and I let the calls fall by the waist side. However, many kept asking me when was I going to bring back the conference call. I thought about it, thought about it and then thought about it again (SMILE). I said “You know, it would be great to bring the conference call back but so many are busy these days, why not revive it in a blog form?”. I reached out to some websites and they politely declined or wanted to change the format in which I wasn’t too keen on because I have a vision for PoweR Connection and I wanted to honor that vision. I was then invited by the Black Public Relations Society (BPRS) DC Chapter to host a workshop on branding yourself in the digital age.

pr connection logoWell, that changed my life as that was the first time hosting a workshop solo and that is when in talking I mentioned my idea and Faye Hyslop and Alana Hill said SURE! It was no selling, they simply heard what I had to say and said “Lets do it!” So here we are today (SMILE).

With the PoweR Connection column, we will highlight many publicist throughout the world as well as new industry trends and best practices for industry professionals. If there are any topics in particular that you would like me to cover, please feel free to email me directly at candice@candicenicolepr.com.

Again, I am so very excited to have this opportunity to blog on the BPRSDC site and to bring this vision of PoweR Connection back to the forefront! It is most important that we support one another because this can be a very unforgiving business at times. Hope you have a great reminder of the week and I look forward to sharing my first post!

PoweRfully Yours,

Candice Nicole

Crisis Communications Case Study: Atlanta Snow Storm Edition

View image on TwitterNews flash: crisis communications is one of the most important services provided by our government—be it local, state or federal.

MWW‘s Jarrod Bernstein knows: his past titles include Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Acting Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs for United States Department of Homeland Security (among many others).

We recently spoke to Bernstein to get his take on lessons learned from the most recent public crisis comms incident: the “storm” that brought Atlanta to a standstill as residents spent hours stuck in traffic on streets blocked by ice—all caused by less than three inches of snow.

The story included babies born on the highway, residents stranded in grocery stores and a significant hit to the reputation of not just the local government but the city itself.

How did the Atlanta disaster come about?

“It was a cascading series of events: the schools decided to close early, everybody had to get their kids, and they all ended up driving through Atlanta just as the city was trying to plow the very same roads.”

What role did communications play in the botched execution?

“The Atlanta school system is not run by the mayor, and it seems to me that there wasn’t enough conversation between the school system and the city government regarding the conditions of closing early.

If the kids had stayed in school for the full day (with only two inches of snow), you’d probably have the streets in better condition.”


Read more here.

January 2014 BPRSDC Event: New Year, New You! Personal Branding In the Digital Age”

 Join the Black Public Relations Society, DC Chapter as we host  “New Year, New You! Personal Branding In the Digital Age”

The event is free of charge however registration is required. Click here to register.

This event is designed to provide you with key information, tools and resources to help you:

  • Leverage individual strengths to create a unique personal brand;
  • Develop a personal narrative that utilizes digital media to reinforce individual’s personal brand;
  • Reinforce personal brand to strengthen personal reputation

The event will welcome Guest Speaker, CandiceNicole of CandiceNicole Public Relations. For more than a two decades, Candice Nicole Public Relations has served  local events as DMV Helps Haiti Benefit Concer, TheJasmineBrand.com and has worked with such entertainment clients as Marsha Ambrosius, Estelle, Yo Gotti, Wale, Jaguar Wright, & many more.

For questions, please contact Faye Hyslop, VP Programming at fayehyslop@yahoo.com. Don’t know if your membership is active? Contact BPRSDC at bprsdc@gmail.com.

To view highlights and additional photos from this and other events, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Justine Sacco, public relations executive, loses job after tweet on AIDS in Africa

ImageA public relations executive for the prominent New York-based Internet media company IAC lost her job on Saturday after she posted a message joking about AIDS in Africa and race on her Twitter account, sparking an online furor.

“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” Justine Sacco, who was IAC’s corporate communications director, wrote in a message on Twitter on Friday, shortly before taking a flight.

The Twitter account has since been deleted, though not before the message was widely circulated online.

IAC, which had earlier condemned the message, said on Saturday that Sacco and the company have now “parted ways.”

Twitter users have posted thousands of comments about the message. Some called the message racist and insensitive. Others defended it as an unsuccessful yet forgivable attempt at humor.

Many users wondered – some angrily, others gleefully – whether Sacco would still have her job after her flight landed.

As it turned out, she didn’t.

IAC operates more than a dozen websites, including the news website the Daily Beast, CollegeHumor, and dating websites like Match.com and OKCupid.

The company distanced itself from the message.

“The offensive comment does not reflect the views and values of IAC,” the company said in a statement on Saturday. “We take this issue very seriously, and we have parted ways with the employee in question.”

“There is no excuse for the hateful statements that have been made and we condemn them unequivocally,” the statement continued. “We hope, however, that time and action, and the forgiving human spirit, will not result in the wholesale condemnation of an individual who we have otherwise known to be a decent person at core.”

CNN’s Brianna Keilar to host 2014 Congressional Dinner


Brianna Keilar of CNN will be the master of ceremonies at the 70th Annual Congressional Dinner on Feb. 5, ITK has learned.

The award-winning journalist has covered both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue for CNN. She will share the podium with two congressional headliners, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), according to a Roll Call report.

The dinner is a major fundraising event that supports the work of the Washington Press Club Foundation. It will take place at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Via The Hill

Instagram Introduces Private Messaging

The popular photo-sharing app Instagram introduced on Thursday a messaging service that would let users send private photos and videos to their friends directly.

Kevin Systrom, a founder and the chief executive of the company, introduced Instagram Direct at an event in Manhattan.

“For us, communication is very core,” he said. “It’s not about photography necessarily.”

Mr. Systrom said that the feature is meant to let people start a private conversation around a particular photograph or video. With the new service, users can share their images and videos with 15 or fewer friends at one time, instead of having to send the message to all their followers. The direct messages can be sent only to people who follow each other on the service.

“The whole idea of this feature is to take moments and send them,” said Mr. Systrom. He said he envisions the service as being particularly useful to families, or to teachers who want to share with all the students in a class. He also said that brands and advertisers would be able to interact with their followers using the new feature by inviting them to submit photos for a contest, for example.

“It’s not about spamming everyone you know,” he said. “It’s about sharing a moment with your friends.”

The introduction of Instagram Direct, available for iPhone and Android users, comes at a time when private messaging services like Snapchat and WhatsApp are rising in popularity among mobile users. Private messaging has become big business overseas, including services like Line and KakaoTalk. And this week, Twitter introduced a new feature that lets users send photos privately to their friends.

Read full story here via the New York Times.

Michelle Obama gets new press secretary

ImageMichelle Obama will have a new spokeswoman next year, the first lady’s office announced on Wednesday.

After almost two and a half years with the first lady, Hannah August is leaving her job in the East Wing at the end of the year. She’ll be replaced by Joanna Rosholm, who’s been a White House regional communications director and has worked in the West Wing since 2010.

Read the full article here, by Emily Goodin at The Hill.

BPRSDC kicks off holiday season with the Capital Press Club and WABJ

ImageJoin the Black Public Relations Society, Washington, DC; Capital Press Club and WABJ as we host the 2013 Holiday Social: “Rock the Bells”, Dec. 11, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Public Bar located at 1214B 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC. Tickets are $20 in advance for members and $25 for non-members. Event tickets will include one drink ticket and access to buffet of hors d’oeuvres. Join today and gain free access to this event! Advanced RSVP closes on Tuesday, December 10, at noon. Register today here!

For questions about this event, please contact Faye Hyslop, VP Programming at fayehyslop@yahoo.com. Don’t know if your membership is active? Contact BPRSDC at bprsdc@gmail.com. To view highlights and additional photos from this and other events, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram.