Communication Matters - our blog on trends and events


Posts by David Hertz

Of Pulitzer Prizes, Anvil Awards, teams and widgets

We are all in the business of telling stories. It doesn’t matter if you’re a politician, business executive, community organizer, member of the media or communications strategist. Our most basic interactions depend upon our ability to tell stories. It’s how we communicate, learn, change and improve ourselves.

I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to help tell some complex and important stories. Stories that have helped improve our communities. Stories that have moved people to change. And stories that have changed perceptions.

I’m truly thankful for the opportunity to work with stellar teams at top-quality organizations, including the Akron Beacon Journal and now Dix & Eaton.

In 1994, the Beacon Journal won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its year-long…

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How’s this for a headline? “Cleveland wins, Rust Belt loses”

CBS’ headline was cautious: “Cleveland begins to shine again.”

The Associated Press’ was understated: “Safe GOP convention boosts Cleveland's image to the world.”

The European Agence France-Presse headline was active: “A city on the rebound, Cleveland shines as RNC opens.”

Inside Edition was edgy: “From Doom to Boom: Home to RNC, Cleveland Is Surging After Years of Urban Decay.”

The Chicago Tribune was urban: “Cleveland, a city on the rebound.”

ABC’s headline gave me whiplash, but in a good way: “Cleveland on the Rise: Look Back on the City's Comeback Before RNC.”

PBS was temperate: “Hot in Cleveland? The city’s new, cool Public Square.”

Even Yahoo! Finance got into the act: “Fancy hotels, revamped airport welcome RNC visitors to Cleveland.”

Thanks largely…

Continue Reading How’s this for a headline? “Cleveland wins, Rust Belt loses”

The media are dying. Not! 5 tips for an impactful media relations strategy

The mainstream media are in decline. Their newsrooms are shrinking to nothing. It has been said by some in prominence that the mainstream media are “failing.”


Despite what conventional wisdom may say, the power and influence of media are increasing. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC News and a host of other national media today are reaching a larger audience than ever.

It is true that the print circulation of most newspapers is in decline, and that newsrooms are smaller than they used to be. But measuring the reach of newspapers by print circulation alone is short-sighted. What about the reach of their websites? Their social media distribution? Their blogs, podcasts, videos, Snapchats, tweets, Facebook posts and other audience engagement…

Continue Reading The media are dying. Not! 5 tips for an impactful media relations strategy

Cleveland’s RNC communications home run and 6 lessons learned

An ABC News story aired on July 17, the day before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The headline read:  “Cleveland on the Rise: A Look Back on the City’s Comeback Before RNC.”

The story was one of dozens that national and international media produced in July that chronicled Cleveland’s ongoing narrative of a city on the rise. Collectively, the coverage reached millions of people around the world.

This coverage didn’t just happen because Cleveland hosted the RNC. In fact, Philadelphia hosted the Democratic National Convention a week later, yet earned only about a third of the coverage that Cleveland did. 

Making It Happen

Journalists were armed with data, storylines, expert contacts and other materials as a result of communitywide communications…

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Snapshots from downtown

These past several days, a Dix & Eaton strategic communications team fanned out across the city to represent clients, support Cleveland and maximize the communications opportunities associated with the RNC. In some sense, readers of this blog have joined us in this effort.

Now that the RNC is over, we asked our colleagues to recount a notable memory from the experience. Here are their responses:

As my mother would attest, since I was little, I have always been a news junkie.  As a child, I would voluntarily sit through “60 Minutes” and other news programs on a regular basis. So, to see thousands of journalists descend upon our city and watch them work behind the scenes was a thrill to me. And to be a part of helping them with whatever they needed while they were…

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