New from PRWeek this morning: Snap has selected PMK-BNC as its U.S. PR AOR. The firm has been brought on to help Snap tell the story of its core product value to consumers, according to a source familiar with the matter. The messaging company also conducted a global review in the fall. Read the full story here.
Beto O'Rourke is running for president in 2020. In his announcement video, released Thursday morning, O'Rourke said he would run a "positive campaign that seeks to bring out the very best from every single one of us, that seeks to unite a very divided country." The former Texas congressman’s near-miss Senate run last year propelled him to Democratic stardom.
Panic over: Facebook and Instagram are back up and running. After being down for more than 14 hours, at 12:41 a.m. ET on Thursday, Instagram posted a tweet that said, "Anddddd... we're back" with a gif of Oprah Winfrey. The outage, appearing to affect people in the U.S., Central and South America, Europe, and Asia, could prove costly for Facebook, which is dependent on ad sales. Facebook had to turn to rival Twitter to communicate about the issue.
Brands respond to #InstagramDown and #FacebookDown. The sites’ blackouts were trending on Twitter Wednesday, and some brands took advantage with some real-time tweets, including: Denny’s, Wendy’s, Nickelodeon, and Cannes Lions. Twitter itself tweeted about the incident and turned its competitor’s dilemma into a Twitter Moment. What did you do during the outage?
The University of Southern California is denying admission to all students connected to the alleged cheating scheme. A case-by case review will be conducted for students who are already enrolled at USC and may be connected to the scheme. USC will "make informed, appropriate decisions once those reviews have been completed. Some of these individuals may have been minors at the time of their application process," university spokesman Gary Polakovic told news outlets Wednesday night. Fifty people — including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin and top industry CEOs — stand accused of taking part in the largest college admissions cheating scandal in U.S. history. Hallmark Channel parent company Crown Media is "monitoring developments" in the case as it relates to Loughlin’s future employment with the network, according to New York Daily News.