August 12, 2008
by Dan Ward
While attending the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) Golden Image Award banquet the other night, I was reminded of something that has long puzzled me about such awards.
Over the years, I’ve participated in many awards programs, and have served as a judge for other associations’ programs, and find that the process most often rewards communications programs that cost the least, not just those that achieve the most.
That’s not to say that low-cost programs can’t be very successful … we ourselves received two Awards of Distinction this year for programs that were very economical.
But the strong focus on cost seems to draw attention away from what should be most important … results. As an industry, shouldn’t we be happy when a company believes so strongly in the power of public relations that it invests confidently and exceeds minimalist objectives?
“The old adage ‘you have to spend money to make money’ rings true and public relations people – who most often are taught the business in college classes that use nonprofit case studies – ought not shy away from recommending and implementing well-funded, first-class programs. The rewards will be in their organization’s cash drawer and the awards in the P.R. Dept. trophy case.”
August 6, 2008
by Roger Pynn
Conservative talk radio is afraid liberals will reinstate The Fairness Doctrine and use the balancing effect to push them off the airwaves. Based on the dismal failure of the last attempt to revive the old FCC policy it seems they have little to worry about, but if a revised version applied to Trash TV it might have a chance.
Orlando Sentinel “Taking Names” Columnist Scott Maxwell today wrote what could be the language for such a bill. His heart aches for a little girl missing and trapped in a media circus that focuses not on the victim but rather the bizarre details of her mother’s life and a family in crisis.
Maxwell eloquently suggests that if you’ve somehow been drawn into Grace’s web in the belief her show is actually about the little girl, Caylee Anthony, whose life is at stake, you might consider prying yourself away from that 52-inch flat screen to focus on taking some positive action that might actually benefit kids at risk.
See his blog for ideas … and take a much-needed breather from these sewers of the airwaves.
(In the interest of transparency and full disclosure, our firm has helped create and promote the Maxwell-referenced “Florida’s People – Florida’s Promise” campaign to focus attention on the need to fund important social causes.)
August 6, 2008
by Nancy Curry
A colleague shared an interesting article on op-eds from PR Week.
While it’s certainly not news that The New York Times leans left and The Wall Street Journal leans right …. it’s worth remembering that op-eds offer distinct advantages in communicating with important audiences.
Consumers are suffering from information overload: between cell phones, the Web, cable television, satellite radio, text messaging, instant messaging, magazines on the newsstand, billboards, direct mail, etc. … we are bombarded with messages 24 hours a day. It’s no wonder that people are experiencing news “fatigue” and tuning out much of what they read and hear.
Having an article on the op-ed page gets your message in front of smaller but influential audiences who actively seek viewpoints that have been culled from the noisy herd. These readers tend to skew older, and more educated. And, even with fewer people reading the print version of their daily newspaper, readership is rising for the papers’ Web sites.
Getting an op-ed published doesn’t mean the newspaper endorses your point of view, but it does mean the editors consider your opinion worth hearing … in the “expensive real estate” that is their print edition. In today’s cluttered media environment, that’s saying something.
August 5, 2008
by Roger Pynn
Everywhere you turn today people are talking about transparency and there’s a growing fascination with the take of CEOs on the media (what’s left of it, anyway). Business Journalist William J. Holstein’s new book “Manage the Media (Don’t let the Media Manage You)” adds fuel to the fire, although the title is an oxymoron. You can’t manage the media. No one can. You can only manage yourself and what you say in your relationships with them.
On the other hand, from early reviews it is clear that Holstein has a message for the business community: play the game.
Unfortunately, in many cases today dealing with the media has become just that … and for many it may seem like blood sport. But when you take the position that you’re not going to talk with the media you might just as well press your nose in a door jamb and shut it. They become intransigent, too, and in the absence of your voice they turn to someone else to tell your story … often someone you’d rather not speak for you.
British historian, satirist and author C. Northcote Parkinson offered this advice: “The vacuum created by a failure to communicate will quickly be filled with rumor, misrepresentation, drivel and poison.”
Playing the game – even when your “opponent” may be an intern or young graduate fresh out of journalism school with little or no experience covering your world – is the only way to win. Failing to play is a clear path to forfeiture.