Facebook and flackery

Last night, I watched 60 Minutes — more to hear what Ben Bernake had to say about the economy than about what Mark Zuckerberg had to say about Facebook. But since Bernake didn’t have much new to say about the economy, I’ll talk about the big (overhyped) 60 Minutes story on Zuckerberg and Zuck’s big announcement of the Facebook profile redesign. Or rather, I’ll share what a few other bloggers had to say about the segment from a PR perspective.

1. In How Mark Zuckerberg Fooled ’60 Minutes’, Paidcontent.org deconstructs the non-event, pointing out how the venerable news magazine “overplayed a purely cosmetic change” — or rather, how Facebook’s PR team played 60 Minutes to “placat[e] the older demographics most likely to have the kind of reflexive resistance that always accompanies any alterations to Facebook visual design.”

2. Another PR analysis — this one from Forbes’ Mike Isaac — hails Zuck’s 60 Minutes interview as the best piece of Facebook PR yet. The post captures how Zuckerberg came off as polished and positive.

3. In A tense look at Facebook on ’60 Minutes’, Cnet’s Caroline McCarthy moves the spotlight away from Zuckerberg to shine it on CBS. Her story summarizes how 60 Minutes approached the story as “an optimistic, yet sinister portrayal of the future of Facebook and its rising power around the world.” Yet she, too, makes note of the way Zuckerberg expertly handled the situation. “But it was Zuckerberg who maintained a dose of levity, showing a remarkable change since his days as a famously press-shy young CEO.”

In the final analysis, Zuckerberg and Facebook managed to look good. Which is not always an easy thing to do with 60 Minutes.

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Author: andrewcareaga

Higher ed PR and marketing guy. Communications director for Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla, Missouri, USA. Slow runner, mediocre guitarist, lover of music and puns, and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. I blog and Tweet about #highered, #music, #gocards and #random stuff.

4 thoughts on “Facebook and flackery”

  1. Andrew, thanks for the great recap for those of us who missed it. I think we need to remember, in some cases, that smart people are coachable in terms of gaining media relations skills.

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