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Friday Five: 12/28-1/1

Happy New Year! Here’s a roundup of this week’s news and trends.

The Future Of Shopping Is All About Contextual Commerce – TechCrunch 

Contextual commerce is the future of shopping. The potentially game-changing idea is that brands and retailers implement purchasing opportunities into everyday activities. Examples of this can be seen on social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest where buy buttons are already available. Contextual commerce allows consumers the chance to purchase with as little as one click, barely breaking up their social media – or other – experience. This increases competition and a need for brands to constantly offer products for purchase on any device, channel and with a seamless e-commerce platform.

The Biggest PR Headaches of 2015 – The Wall Street Journal

The biggest PR blunders of 2015 were pretty big. Once negative opinion is out there, it becomes extremely difficult to change public perception. The PR mistakes included Chipotle’s E.coli outbreak this year when dozens of cases broke out in nine states sending the company into damage-control mode. There was also the Subway guy going to prison for charges relating to child pornography. When the spokesperson for a company has a negative connotation, so does the overall brand. Read on for more PR headaches from 2015.

5 things PR pros do that journalists love – PRDaily

These are always good things for us to know. Although journos need us just as much we need them, we often feel like we’re bugging them or we are just trying to make them happy. However, they appreciate us bending over backwards more than we think. Nicole Fallon, a journalist many of us may have worked with already, described five things she loves that her PR friends do. From being flexible with story topics, to genuinely caring about what they’re working on and being honest about our clients, she describes that when PR peeps want to build genuine relationships with her she’s willing to go out of her way to help them too.

Millions of Voter Records Posted, and Some Fear Hacker Field Day – The New York Times 

Last week a database of voter information was posted online including information like first and last names, phone numbers, addresses, voting histories, demographics and party affiliation. The information included 191 million voters’ records and although it is no longer publicly accessible, it is an alarming privacy danger as it can lead to identity theft, extortion and phishing attacks. It is not known who built the database or where all the data came from. Although access to voters’ data is necessary for modern campaigns, voter databases vary from state to state and since there is no federal agency overseeing any of it it’s a messy field to navigate – and protect.

Facebook opens its live video-streaming tool to verified Pages – VentureBeat 

Facebook recently introduced its live video-streaming tool to verified pages.  The social media platform has begun allowing brands such as T-Mobile, Nike, Ford and more to talk to consumers live. Facebook Live is only available for users on Facebook for iOS and in order for a brand to use it they must have a verified page. The company said that sports teams, media companies and other verified pages will be able to use the service to make announcements, share breaking news updates, take fans behind the scenes, host Q&As and more. Once a verified page begins to broadcast, their fans will get a notification and the feed will be broadcast onto users’ News Feeds.

Have you read anything interesting lately? Tweet us @WalkerSands!