Off the Media

How to Respond (And Not Respond) to Bad PR

Being criticized in the media is a good problem to have–most of the time. It means you’re doing something that is at least interesting or cool or crazy enough to be noticed. It might not always feel good, but it’s usually better than the alternative of obscurity.

Unfortunately, most people have no idea how to handle this when it happens.

As someone who has represented many controversial clients, been the subject of media scrutiny myself and more recently, written my own criticism, I thought we could talk about some simple lessons of what to do, and more importantly, what not do. Read More

Off the Media

It’s War: Scale and Intimacy Duke it Out in the Comments Section

One of the ironies of American “high societies” is that some of its most prestigious institutions were founded by members of what was, at the time, one of the lowliest professions: journalism.

Take the Bohemian Club, the private refuge of many future and ex-presidents, billionaires and captains of industry. It was started by a bunch of dirty staff writers at the San Francisco Chronicle in the 1870s. Read More

Fresh Capital

After Traffic Boom, Chris Hughes-Backed Upworthy Raises $4 M. to Find Actually Important Viral Videos

Upworthy

After six months, news aggregator Upworthy has proven that viral videos work as a conduit for politically-relevant information just as well as, say, cats or Carly Rae Jepsen. The Chris Hughes-backed site, which describes itself as “social media with a mission,” picked up an impressive six million uniques in September according to Google Analytics, up from just over 4 million in August.

To help catapult that growth, the company has raised $4 million from the venture capital firm NEA, as well as a host of familiar angel investors, including Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian and BuzzFeed cofounder John Johnson. Mr. Hughes, who is also fighting the good fight as owner of the The New Republic, reupped, participating in this round as well, the company confirmed.  Read More