Wait! What? 9/11: It’s Christmas for Techies and Fashionistas, Love and PR are One and the Same

week in review 911
Credit: Thinkstock

Happy Friday everyone! Though there was only one national holiday this week, the Apple event is well on its way to becoming a bank holiday itself! From channeling your inner child to channeling your inner serial dater, here’s a round up of some of the top industry stories from this week:

  • This week was all about the big Apple reveal! The Tech Elite flocked to Bill Graham Auditorium this Wednesday as the world was introduced to the new iPhone, Apple TV and…Apple Pencil? The Next Web’s roundup of the event can help you keep track of all the updates and innovations.
  • Another exclusive event for a different kind of elite crowd kicked off this week: New York Fashion Week. Once reserved for the rich and famous, technology has worked its way into the tents at Bryant Park, offering us plebs a piece of the action through live-streaming.
  • You may not be a kid anymore, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t treat September like a new beginning. Fast Company gives advice on how to recapture that “back to school” feeling and refresh your career.
  • Is finding love really about selling yourself? Comedian Aziz Ansari’s book Modern Romance looks at dating in the digital age, but it actually gives some pretty sound marketing advice as well! Whoever said that PR wasn’t romantic?
  • In more somber news, today marks the fourteenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. WIRED takes a look at how the creators of the 9/11 museum took on the gargantuan task of creating a monument that would honor the memory of those who lost their lives and educate visitors about the tragic event.

That’s all folks! Tweet us your favorite stories of the week @BlancAndOtus.

Wait! What? 6/26: T-Swift and Apple shake off dispute, #LoveWins for brands

This is really, really colorful. (Thinkstock Photos)
This is really, really colorful. (Thinkstock Photos)

While you were recovering from the season finale of Game of Thrones, we were scouring the web for our favorite tech stories of the week. Take a break from your “Jon Snow’s not dead” debate – because it’s time for this week’s Wait! What?

  • Seriously, Taylor, we’re going to let you finish. Taylor Swift stood up to “The Man” so to speak by threatening to withhold her 1989 album from Apple Music…and then giving it back almost immediately when they responded with a very neutral letter. Victorious PR stunt?
  • Safety first, then teamwork. We are fascinated with Samsung’s new safety truck that features a video feed of the road ahead. It’s lane change time, y’all!
  • Speaking of driving, Uber is well on its way to a PR meltdown in France.
  • Even though few people actually own them, media can’t stop talking about smartwatches, because they’re futuristic and cool. So, how can marketers handle the challenge of the smartwatch? Embrace push notifications, be adaptive and create an ownable experience for publishers.
  • And finally, on a serious note, we are absolutely thrilled that the Supreme Court ruled to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states! Now check out these awesomely supportive tweets from brands that know what’s up.

That’s all – join us next week for a fresh new batch of news at the heart of PR and technology.

Wait! What? 6/19: Enter the taco emoji

Yum. (Thinkstock Photos)
Yum. (Thinkstock Photos)

With the exciting win from the Golden State Warriors you might have missed out on quite a bit of news. Here’s a little recap of some of the week’s top articles on tech and marketing:

  • What do the Pillsbury Doughboy, Tony the Tiger and Mr. Clean all have in common? Brand awareness. Who would have thought that our favorite childhood mascots would teach us a thing or two about charming audiences?
  • Never fear, the taco emoji is finally here! Earlier this week the makers of Unicode Consortium released a new set of emojis complete with popcorn, a cheese wedge and of course, the taco.
  • Facebook engineered its algorithm to better detect and track user interaction on the news feed. The latest update can actually track how long users take to read a post.
  • ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Like A Girl and Love Has No Labels topped the charts as some of the best marketing campaigns from this year’s Facebook Awards.
  • According to researchers, the perfect blog post contains social buttons, an average of 3.2 images and an average number of 9.96 links through out. Seems like overkill, but hey.

What were some of your favorite tidbits from this week? Send us a tweet @BlancandOtus.

Wait! What? 6/12: Non-Sportsball News of the Week

"Let's take a break from this to discuss the latest technology trends." (Thinkstock)
“Let’s take a break from this to discuss the latest technology trends.” (Thinkstock)

While you were all busy cheering on the Warriors this past week (Cleveland fans, please see yourselves out immediately) and contemplating whether anyone actually looks good in Golden State yellow (the answer is no), we generously took some time out of our rigorous viewing schedules and compiled some top tech newsbites for you:

  • Somewhere, a Target PR intern scheduled their first press release this week. We’re going to assume it was also their last. Whoops.
  • In news that really rocked the tech world this week, Blackberry and Android are contemplating what could potentially be the least consequential business partnership ever.
  • A little blue bird told us that Dick Costolo stepped down as Twitter’s CEO this week, but we’re not really sure since we were too busy checking our Snapchat stories and Instagram feeds to care.
  • Whoever called Mayweather v. Pacquiao the fight of the decade definitely did not anticipate Apple Music v. Spotify. In one corner, Taylor Swift and Drake. In the other, everyone who’s been listening to music since iTunes stopped being a thing in 2011.
  • And in what was legitimately the coolest tech development of the week, Facebook and Microsoft announced that the Xbox One will be in virtual reality thanks to Oculus Rift starting in 2016. We’re brushing up on our Super Smash Bros skills this very moment.

Now, back to sports.

Wait! What? 5/8: Storytelling enters the C-Suite, Yelp prepares to exit? Plus: The Emoji Graveyard

A vast abyss of :(. 30,000 of them, to be exact.
A vast abyss of :(. 30,000 of them, to be exact.

Whether you missed the news this week while nursing your tequila-induced hangover, post-#Maypac wallet or a new baby (HAYY royal family), no worries: we mixed up a tasty batch of headlines on the rocks for you:

  • They say compatibility can be measured by affinity for scary movies, but we’d like to propose a new question: is the McDonald’s revamped Hamburglar hot, creepy or actually a blue and black dress?
  • Carly Fiorina officially entered the 2016 presidential race, and so emerged a new PR attack tactic: the “Emoji Graveyard.”
  • To all of the wannabe bloggers out there afraid of taking the plunge who instead use Yelp to post self-indulgent, quixotic passages about every manicure and latte they purchase: get a Tumblr. The end may be nigh.
  • English majors everywhere, rejoice: we could be entering the era of the CSO – Chief Storytelling Officer.
  • Meanwhile, as corporations get cozy with English literature, the peasants have moved on to a new lingua franca, and it looks something like kissy face-frog-eggplant-flying money.

While those were the headlines we were particularly partial to this week, let us know if there’s a story we missed via Twitter, or carrier pigeon-note crafted in all Emoji (a startup idea we’d invest in).

Wait! What? 4/25: A decade of viral videos

Cats, rulers of the Internet. (Credit: Megan Ann, Flickr)
Cats, rulers of the Internet. (Credit: Megan Ann, Flickr)

It was a fun week full of emojis, BuzzFeed dating advice and YouTube’s 10th birthday! Here’s a recap of the news you might have missed:

  • There’s a new norm for marketing – the emoji. More brands are trying to incorporate emojis into everyday campaigns in hopes of drawing the attention of millennials and Gen Z. Even CNN is joining the emoji game by developing emojis for the 2016 election.
  • Curious to find out what kind of guy you’ll find in San Francisco? Well, BuzzFeed released an article on the nine types of guys you’ll date by living out in the Bay. Who will you date – the Marina bro, the tech nerd or the Mission hipster?
  • Tech PR isn’t always a cushy gig, but there are ways to make it easier. PR Daily discussed ten apps that can help PR pros multitask and be more productive in their day-to-day lives.
  • Happy 10th birthday, YouTube! Over the years YouTube has become the top place for viewers to indulge in silly cat videos, explore new music and so much more. CNet explores how YouTube won our hearts through video.
  • Reporters are flocking away from journalism and into the PR industry. This is one trend we don’t expect to let up anytime soon.

Those are the latest tidbits from this week! Now go out and celebrate the weekend with a funny cat video.

Wait! What? 4/10: Apple diversifies emojis, Sparks fly between Tinder and Bud Light

#InclusiveEmojis, courtesy of Apple.
#InclusiveEmojis, courtesy of Apple.

Happy Friday and first weekend of Coachella! Maybe you’re mentally/physically preparing for a weekend at the happiest and most branded place on the planet, or maybe you’re just ready to kick back and enjoy a drink or two (you deserve it) in a more relaxing setting. Either way, here’s the tech news of the week you need to know:

  • iOS 8.3 is here and Apple pleasantly surprises us with hundreds of new emojis to reflect various races of people across the globe. All goes well until Clorox gets involved on Twitter…
  • Speaking of Twitter, they’re just killin’ it with the new tweet within a tweet. This feature allows people to share and comment on tweets without having to shorten the original tweet, thus preserving meaning and context. We’re into it.
  • Want to take a trip to Whatever, USA? Bud Light introduces native videos to Tinder, tempting users to swipe right for Bud Light for a chance to win. If you’re #UpForWhatever, at least that’s one match that can offer some potential.
  • Hulu has provided users a catalog of GIFs from its TV shows, which in theory sounds thrilling. But branded with a Hulu hashtag, accompanied by a disclaimer, and created with a choppy frame-rate, we just can’t recognize these as the GIFs we know and love.
  • Brands have been flocking to the baby of Siri and promoted tweets, otherwise known as ads on Kik. The app lets consumers get cozy and engage with brands through messaging. Are these conversations more engaging than your Tinder ones? Hard to say.

And that concludes this week’s #WaitWhat. If nothing else I hope we have at least inspired you to take your dating app game to the next level this weekend. See you next Friday!

Wait! What? 5/30: Wi-fi on the moon, beds that check your sleeping habits, and other things that used to be science fiction

Credit: Gregory H. Revera
Credit: Gregory H. Revera

Wait, what? The week’s over already? It seems like just seconds ago the tech world went into a frenzy about Microsoft’s latest acquisition Steve Ballmer buying the Clippers. We sort of paid attention to that, but we were also loving these peculiar reads:

  • Try less, broThe Social Effort Scale analyzes your online activity and kindly lets you know if you’re trying too hard. We’re PR junkies, so it would probably advise us to chill for a second.
  • The moon is now a wi-fi hotspot. Speaking of trying hard.
  • You’ll never be home alone again. Not when your bed and microwave are jabbering at you nonstop about your health and electric usage.
  • Google caves into peer pressure and offers a form for people who want to be forgotten. But those who demand 100% Internet privacy can probably forget about that ever happening, either.
  • The World Cup goes digital as brands everywhere starve for that elusive .00001% of the conversation.

What were you reading about this week? Don’t be shy, tell us on Twitter @BlancandOtus or in the comments below.

Wait! What? 5/23: Inflatable business suits, Bitcoin Pizza Day, and other pressing news

Jasmin - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode
Jasmine – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode

While you were busy worrying about the eBay hack this week, we were enraptured by these far more trivial stories. Here are a few things you might have missed:

What were you reading about this week? Seriously, you can tell us. How about giving us a shout at @BlancandOtus?

Wait! What? 5/16: Breakthrough technologies that no one understands yet, and the raging net neutrality debate decoded

Credit: CC0 Public Domain
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Tech media was abuzz this week about the European Court of Justice’s recent ruling, which says everyone has a “Right to be Forgotten” on Google. This is great news! Not only for tactless millennials like me, but also for tech products that need to be forgotten, like the Segway. Anyway, below are a few great stories you probably forgot to read this week:

What’s on your radar from this week? Send us your favorite story @BlancandOtus or comment below.