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Posts tagged “Journalism”

The battle for public opinion really comes down to communications

Looking behind can sometimes offer the best view of what lies ahead.

An audience at Kent State University recently prompted me to reflect on public relations practices of the past and consider communications of the future.

Kent’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications hosted a Media at the Movies night earlier this month. First the audience, consisting largely of public relations and journalism students, was to watch the documentary “Merchants of Doubt.” Then the students were to grill a four-member panel of professionals about the ethical lapses portrayed in the movie. I agreed to sit on the panel. 

If you aren’t familiar with the movie, it is based on the book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway that links the tobacco industry’s efforts in the mid-to-late…

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What do The Atlantic, Deutsche Bank and my lawn mower all have in common?

You know that question makes me feel like Johnny Carson playing Carnac the Magnificent.

But the answer is … video.

The Atlantic is a storied magazine that was started in 1857 and which remains a powerhouse. It is creating more video stories for its digital edition as part of a growth strategy that is enabling this media property to succeed. There is a video ad fronting every single video story, and that is boosting revenues.

Deutsche Bank is one of the largest financial services companies in the world. It is creating more video stories in a thought leadership initiative to create brand separation from competitors. Check out its videos – on an array of topics suggested by its stakeholders – and see this positioning as it works.

So how does my lawn mower fit here?…

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The one-word answer to the perfect speech or public relations campaign

Here’s a word you may never have heard of. It’s the one-word answer to crafting the perfect speech or the perfect PR campaign.

The word is “kairos.” It is the ancient Greek term for “the perfect moment.” It’s the elusive slip of time when the speaker is perfectly in sync with the audience, their mood and their needs.

Abraham Lincoln found it at a military burial ground in Gettysburg, Pa., in 1863, his words and delivery catching a nation’s yearning for meaning and peace.

FDR held it in his 1933 radio talk to a frightened nation explaining with reassurance and clarity why he was declaring a bank holiday.

Closer to PR, if more prosaic, Johnson & Johnson found that kairos moment in 1982 when it quickly withdrew 31 million capsules of Tylenol from store shelves…

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Communication innovations shape presidential campaign weaponry

At their most basic level, presidential campaigns are about one thing: communications.

Not the standard formula that involves the stand-up interview that leads to an article that leads to a vote. The communications strategies that campaigns develop every four years are far more dynamic, and far more desperate, than the standard fare. Equally as frenetic are the efforts of journalists and others who seek to chronicle every move and statement candidates make.

Just as the urgencies of war accelerate innovation in weapons development, the pressures of a presidential campaign act as a catalyst for communications change that affects us all.

Let’s look at a few moments in history:

September 26, 1960:  Massachusetts Democratic Senator John F. Kennedy and Republican Vice…

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When mega trends collide – how digital media became part of global expansion

Digital this, and global that.

When is the last time you saw anything that wasn’t about digital or global something or other?

Obviously, digital and global are two of the biggest technology and business trends in the world, and their convergence is changing how communicators go to market.

But one place you have not seen them together is digital media. Until now.

When digital news media emerged – starting with The Huffington Post – these were dismissed by mainstream media and ignored by business organizations.

But digital media are increasingly successful – some of them wildly so – with stories that outpunch those in mainstream media as far as popularity, stories that get shared on social media around the world, stories that are even changing how mainstream…

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