It’s been a roller coaster year for Theranos, a startup once heralded as a revolutionary blood-testing company.
On October 10, one of the company’s major investors filed a lawsuit against the company (which Theranos vigorously contested). And before that, on October 5, Theranos decided to get out of the clinical lab business, cutting 340 positions and closing all of its Wellness Centers. Theranos will pivot to focus solely on its technology, namely the miniLab platform, its CEO Elizabeth Holmes announced.
Although it sounds like this story is still far from over, here are some of the key moments in the rise, fall, and pivot Theranos has gone through in the past year.
There are some people who get really, really into Halloween each year. You know, the people who figure out their costume in June and then spend four months meticulously sewing, super-gluing, and bedazzling themselves into some crazy elaborate costume that inevitably gets smashed by drunk people before midnight? Yeah, those people.
And then there are the people who, about five hours before Halloween, realize they should maybe, sort of, kind of figure out what to wear…but ugh, costumes suck…and who has time for that, anyway…plus, it’s too late to try anything…OK, I’ll just wear all black and call myself a shadow. Sound familiar? Yeah, we’ve been there. We are there.
But we’re here to tell you that you don’t need to break out your kindergarten crafting skills or spend a boatload of cash to look festive on Halloween (just look at that combat boot-wearing skeleton up there). And to prove it, we rounded up some pretty excellent non-costume costume ideas—a.k.a. regular clothes that can totally pass as costumes—for all of you who just can’t. Check them out, below.
Tesla announced a big update for its cars on Wednesday.
CEO Elon Musk announced the new hardware currently being built into new Model X and Model S cars that will boost Autopilot’s current capabilities and set the foundation for a fully driverless Tesla later on.
We decided to take a look back at just how far Tesla cars have progressed, and within just the last year there’s been a lot of change. Scroll down for a closer look.
Tesla garnered a lot of attention in 2008 when it released its very first electric car — the wildly sexy Tesla Roadster.
The Roadster Sport boasted a range of 245 miles and could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. Its base price in 2008 was $98,000, according to Car and Driver.
Tesla sold more than 2,400 Roadsters across 30 countries, the company wrote on its webpage.
In 2012, Tesla released its Model S — the first luxury electric sedan on the market.
The car could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in five seconds and had a range of 265 miles per charge. It was named Motor Trend’s 2013 Car of the Year.
But the car was pricey at $106,900 before federal tax exemptions.
In late 2014, Tesla released two dual motor all-wheel drive configurations for the Model S, the world’s first dual electric motor car.
It was also the first time Tesla made Autopilot standard on every car. The car came in three versions — the 60D, 85D and the top-of-the-line P85D. Above you see the P85D.
The P85D could reach a top speed of 155 mph and could accelerate to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, outperforming the McLaren F1 supercar, Tesla wrote on its blog at the time.
On some level I am conscious that there was a time when stretch skinny jeans didn’t exist, but man am I glad we’re on the other side of it. Especially now, in 2016, when the options for all sizes have never been more plentiful.
If you’re looking for plus-size skinny jeans, you can shop Forever 21’s ultra-stretchy, ultra-affordable jeggings, or splurge on designer denim that’ll hold up for years with James Jeans’ Curvy Plus styles. Concerned about fit? Check out reviews from bloggers whose shape is similar to yours, and take advantage of stores with liberal return and exchange policies.
Click through the gallery for some of the best skinnies on sale right now for sizes 14-plus. On top of your classic indigo, black, and faded blue, you’ll find some of the biggest trends of the moment: embroidery, raw hems, paint splatter, and lace-up details.
Holidays like Halloween and Christmas bring out the artistic side in a lot of us, and hundreds of specialty publications cater to the creatively inclined year-round. While some cover established craft and décor industries, others are dedicated to rather unique niche hobbies. All of them aim to inspire readers ingenuity, so below are some quick tips for inspiring the editors and writers of these publications with your pitch.
Similar to the store decorations you’ll see up to a month before an actual holiday, craft and décor writers plan well ahead. If you have a holiday-centered pitch, be the early bird who gets the prized product placement by researching lead times.
Seeing is believing
When it comes to pitching craft and décor editors, photos definitely speak louder than words. High resolution images are most-often sought, so include them to help ensure your pitching angle is accompanied by a photogenic one.
There truly is an app for just about everything, and crafts and hobby enthusiasts love having instant access to the latest products and ideas on their mobile phones. Many editors and reporters are capturing these offerings, and they encourage PR and marketing professionals to keep them in the loop.
Hone your pitching craft
Décor, craft and hobby writers are no exception to the common preference for succinct pitches that spell out what will be of benefit to their readers. Strike the balance between short and effective to stand out among the countless emails they receive.
Remember that you’re pitching editors who pour over innovative ideas constantly. They’re likely to be just as intrigued by a creative pitch that stokes their readers’ imaginations.
Nintendo announced a new game console on Thursday morning, called Nintendo Switch.
It’s a hybrid console that combines mobile and home console. You can play it on your TV at home, in high-def, or on the go as a handheld console. Like so:
It’s the first console from the Japanese game maker since 2012’s ill-fated Wii U — a console full of ambition that ultimately failed with consumers. Just 13 million Wii U consoles sold in its lifetime, despite having launched a year ahead of competition from Sony (PlayStation 4) and Microsoft (Xbox One).
Nintendo’s hoping for a restart with Switch, and apparently that restart extends to Nintendo’s entire last generation of consoles: Games from the Wii U and the handheld 3DS console won’t work on Nintendo Switch. That means none of the games you bought for Wii U and 3DS will work on Switch; it’s not clear if games purchased digitally will carry over. Japanese game publication Famitsu got that information directly from Nintendo Japan.
The concept is known as “backwards compatibility” — the ability for new game consoles to play games from previous hardware. For example, it means being able to play PlayStation 1 games on a PlayStation 2 by putting the disc into the PS2 drive like you would on a PS1. The PlayStation 2 was “backwards compatible” with PlayStation 1 games.
It’s a hotly-contested concept. Dedicated game fans insist backwards compatibility is crucial for game consoles, while game console makers have gone back and forth on its importance. It was a major move, for instance, when Nintendo announced that the Super Nintendo wouldn’t be able to play original Nintendo Entertainment System games — parents who spent hundreds of dollars on games were out of luck.
In the long run, Nintendo sold its Super Nintendo (even without backwards compatibility) to enormous success by having the best games on any console. It looks like that may be the strategy once again with Nintendo Switch.
After you reach a certain age, you start realizing that nothing about Halloween is real, and that all of those amputated zombies drenched in fake blood are really just your mom and dad covered in corn syrup and red food coloring. It’s a sad, sad day. So when saw that the internet was freaking out over a Halloween-themed manicure of bloody nails, we were skeptical. Like, come on—how real could these babies look?
Uh, very real, apparently, based on the 1.1 million views the Instagram video has received in one week. The video, which features a harmless little fake nail being pulled off with Tweezers, was uploaded by a nail artist under the name of @narmai, whose Instagram is filled with crazy unique, detailed, and shocking manicures (we’re talkin’ art-school-level nail art). But this video is less about the details, and more about the scare factor, clearly.
Hey, we weren’t kidding about the creepy fact. Pretty much immediately, the internet freaked out, asking the nail artist why the hell he/she would inflict such horror onto the Instagram world (more or less), while other users genuinely thought the video was real. But @narmai calmed everyone’s nerves…sort of…by posting a follow-up video the next day, showing exactly how the bloody nails were created, with a note saying, “Don’t worry, my nails are just fine.”
The trick to the spooky look: a mix of wax and red face paint. Yes, those two harmless ingredients can create an insanely creepy look in under three minutes. So if you’re not sure what to do for Halloween, we suggest a full-hand of bloody nails. Sure, you won’t be able to touch or hold anything, but it’s the price you pay for horror, right?
Your communication is only as strong as your relationships.
Steve Majors, vice president, communications at Communities in Schools, says in order to find opportunities and tell your brand’s story effectively, you need to make good connections.
In this interview, Steve discusses what he learned from working in television news, the skills needed for successful media relations and how to improve your pitching strategy.
How did you get your start in PR and communications?
I started out on the other side of communications equation as a journalist. Specifically, I was a television news producer. When I felt I had done most, if not all, I had set out to do in my career, I took a hard look at my skills and realized that I could put my passion for communications to work for a purpose that was close to my heart.
I was living in New Orleans at the time and introduced myself to Malcolm Ehrhardt and Marc Ehrhardt of the Ehrhardt Group. Their public affairs agency was at the center of so much that was happening to rebuild trust in public institutions after Hurricane Katrina. They gave me the opportunity to work with clients in virtually every sector – education, healthcare, criminal justice, housing, hospitality.
You can imagine the scale of work that had to be done to help these institutions and their leaders in the weeks and months after the storm. I’m proud to look back on that work and know that I played a small role in helping that community rebuild and revitalize itself.
You’ve held several positions in television news. What did you learn from those experiences?
My first job was shortly after grad school was at a TV station in Columbus, Ohio. From there, I hopscotched across the country and up the DMA ladder to markets including Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Tampa and Los Angeles.
Those in-the-trenches skills helped me land a job at CNBC in New York. From there, I worked at MSNBC and then at the weekend edition of the Today Show. I honestly feel like I was the Forrest Gump of TV news for several of those years. I remember standing in the TV control room during the OJ Simpson Bronco chase. I recall watching the dot.com bubble begin to burst in real time during my time at CNBC.
At MSNBC, I watched the twin towers fall on dozens of television screens and stood there transfixed. Later, I helped produce shows that featured many of the political and policy players who would later be called to account for their role in supporting the invasion of Iraq.
Along the way, I met some tremendous people – folks I worked alongside in local TV who are now well-known nationally. And I worked with some incredible folks who were nationally “famous,” but who are the most down-to-earth, good-hearted people you’ll ever meet.
I learned that it’s all about relationships. Whether you are working as a journalist or working as a public relations professional, the quality of your relationships makes all the difference. It opens doors, mends fences, greases the wheel and ultimately makes the work and your life more fulfilling.
What are some of your tips for improving media relations?
Recognize that media relations is an art and a science. I think too often as practitioners we rely on one of those skills over the others. Either we are great writers or story pitchers or we excel in maximizing the distribution of stories and measuring their impact.
What are the biggest pitching mistakes brands make?
That’s a great question. (Can you tell that I’m using the old interviewee stalling trick?) Ok, now that I’ve had a chance to formulate an answer, let me offer some great tips.
- Read: As a PR professional, I have run into practitioners who pitch and pitch, but never take the time to read what the journalist has written in the past. Get to know them, their beat, their outlet and their interests.
- Relate: Be a human being. Take the time to make a connection with a writer or editor and learn something about them. Take them to coffee. Talk to them even when you’re not trying to pitch them. After all, it’s all about relationships.
Rapid Fire Round
1. My biggest pet peeve is…This doesn’t happen in my current position, but I have previously run into journalists who don’t acknowledge that public relations professionals can help them do their job. There are still a few writers and editors out there who believe that PR people get in the way of their work.
What they don’t realize is that somewhere in their reporting process, PR people are already deeply involved. They have helped synthesize data in a report. They have crafted charts and graphics. They have written fact sheets. They have crafted the language about the brand, product or service that will eventually become commonly used in the media. They have counseled a client in crisis to tell the journalist and the public the truth.
They have even picked the best time, date and place for the news to become known news. They are professionals as well. Ok, this was supposed to be rapid fire, so I’ll get off my soap box now.
2. My hobbies outside of work include…reading and writing. Whether it’s 140 characters on Twitter or the latest historical biography, I still like to keep up on top of the news and current (and historical) events.
3. The thing that gets me up in the morning is…crickets. (the sound of my alarm)
4. My daily news source is…Twitter, or 140-character syntheses of the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, etc.
5. If I won the lottery, I’d…insist on editing the Lottery’s press release about me.
6. I laugh most at…my kids.
You too can be a headline maker.
The key is understanding your communication’s impact and how those insights will improve your future efforts. Request a demo now to see how Cision can help.
Tesla made a big announcement on Wednesday night: all its future vehicles will have the capability to fully drive themselves.
That represents a huge leap forward for autonomous vehicles and in particular for Tesla’s Autopilot technology.
But investors aren’t impressed. In early trading in Thursday, Tesla slipped 3%, to $198, after climbing above $205 on Wednesday during the trading day and closing at $203.
There’s two reasons for investors to fret about the self-driving promises. First, the technology will be expensive: $8,000 on new vehicles.
Second, though Tesla has just taken a massive theoretical lead in the race to get a fully autonomous car on the road, the validation process could take years, as the carmaker orchestrates the complex hardware and software.
Fortunately for all of our blood pressures, the third and final presidential debate is over. Even though there are still 18 days to go until Election Day, leaving plenty of time for scandals, lies, and other vitriol before November 8th, there will be no more live, hostile face-offs between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. That means we can all chill for a sec and debrief on what exactly went down during Part Three of the most un-presidential series of presidential debates ever.
First off, even though there were plenty of heated moments, last night’s debate was markedly more tame than the first two. As a friend texted during the first few minutes of live coverage, “It’s like Trump took three Xanax.” Clinton was half stoic, half poised to aggressively take down Trump in the middle of various lies and accusations. The common refrain of many political pundits is that it was the first real debate, in the sense that the candidates focused on policy, didn’t immediately resort to character attacks, and gave somewhat substantial answers to most of moderator Chris Wallace, host of “Fox News Sunday,” who was by far the most vocal and involved moderator so far.
Here are the seven most unforgettable highlights from the debate.
Trump Said He Might Not Concede if He Loses.
In arguably the most WTF moment, Trump warned that he can’t promise he’ll formally accept a loss in November. (Contrary to what he has said in the past, and what Ivanka said just this week.) When pressed by Wallace to clarify, Trump said, “I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now… I’ll tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense.” Clinton’s response: “That’s horrifying.”
Clinton Looked Presidential AF in Ralph Lauren.
Just as she did in the first two debates, Clinton wore a Ralph Lauren pantsuit last night—first red, then navy, and finally cream wool crepe. She looked crisp, tailored, elegant, and Oval Office-ready.
Trump Called Clinton a “Nasty Woman.”
You have to give Clinton credit for a lot—especially for how she doesn’t stoop to Trump’s level by acknowledging or being distracted by his taunts. In answer to Wallace’s question about Clinton’s plans for the economy, she said, “…That’s part of my commitment to raise taxes on the wealthy. My social security payroll contribution will go up, as will Donald’s, assuming he can’t figure out how to get out of it.” and Trump interrupted Clinton to snarl: “Such a nasty woman.”
Clinton Schooled Trump Hard on What She’s Accomplished.
In one of her strongest moments of the night, Clinton drove home the point that she’s beyond ready for this job, whereas Trump is, to say the least, pathetically unqualified—and any argument to the contrary is a joke. “On the day when I was in the situation room monitoring the raid that brought Osama bin Laden to justice, he was hosting the Celebrity Apprentice,” said Clinton, “So I’m happy to compare my 30 years of experience—what I’ve done for this country, trying to help in every way I could, especially kids and families get ahead and stay ahead—with your 30 years, and I’ll let the American people make that decision.”
Trump Made Awkward Comments About Race.
While talking about immigration, Trump said, “We have some bad hombres here, and we’re going to get them out,” resulting in much hilarity on Twitter (see Merriam-Webster’s tweet, below). He also invoked his common refrain about inner cities and minorities: “Our inner cities are a disaster. You get shot walking to the store. They have no education, they have no jobs. I will do more for African Americans and Latinos than she can ever do in ten lifetimes.” Here are some of the things that are wrong with that statement.
Clinton Delivered a Mic-Drop Closing Statement.
In what he must have hoped was a surprise move, Wallace asked the candidates to deliver closing remarks. You’d never know Clinton wasn’t prepared, with her super-smooth, articulate, and impassioned response: “I’ve seen the presidency up close and I know the awesome responsibility of protecting our country and the incredible opportunity of working to try to make life better for all of you… I hope you will give me a chance to serve as your president.”
There Was No Handshake… Again.
People are starting to wonder if no handshake before or after the debate is going to be the new normal, or if it’s just a result of the spite Clinton and Trump have for one another.