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Lessons from a CBS4 Editorial Meeting

I had the opportunity to sit in on an editorial meeting at CBS4 last week. (Many thanks again to Tim Wieland and his team for allowing me to do that!) I’ve worked in PR for a long time, and I know the “rules” for working with broadcast media. However, I’d never had the chance to observe an editorial meeting in “real life,” and I gained a lot from the experience. The following are five reminders/insights I took away from the meeting:

Read more after the jump…

Going (Sort of) Viral on Social Media

Football season is generally a happy time in Denver. Orange and blue-clad fans fill the streets, and memories of yet another abysmal summer at Coors Field have nearly faded away. The Nuggets and Avalanche are gearing up for their campaigns as well, but everyone knows that Denver belongs to the Broncos.

When the preseason kicked off a couple weeks ago, we thought it would be fun to post a Broncos-themed image on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Having grown up in Denver and being a lifelong Broncos fan, I enthusiastically jumped on the project. I immediately opened Photoshop and started crafting my tribute to the team I love. Peyton Manning’s head – check. Bucking bronco with orange accents – check. Explosion – check. Within about an hour my monster was ready to face the world. Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – Learning from the Best

Best practices. We’re addicted to reading about them and have the utmost respect for brands and organizations raising the bar in the social space. This week we glean new ideas from the continuation of the #IceBucketChallenge phenomenon and important reminders of when to step back from social after tragedy strikes. In addition, Google has announced a search and security related update that you don’t want to miss.

Read more after the jump…

What’s Your Story?

Essentials_of_a_Company_Story_Infographic_cropEvery organization has a story to tell. Maybe the founder was downsized from a previous job and started a new company in a basement, was on maternity leave and created the next big “must have” product for caring for an infant, or was simply at the right place at the right time. Even if your organization doesn’t have a big bang behind it, keeping it fresh, timely and of interest to readers/viewers takes a bit of finesse.

Sandra Stewart, a principle at Thinkshift Communications, posted an article with an infographic on Regan.com  this week outlining the five essential ingredients to telling a compelling company story, including:

1. Inspiration
What sparked the business’s founding? Who was involved, and what motivated them? What problem were they trying to solve? What was their vision and mission? Read more after the jump…

5 Tips For Tackling a Tweetchat

Recently, GFM has been lucky to counsel a few clients through their first Tweetchat. If you aren’t familiar, a Tweetchat (sometimes called a Twitter Chat or Twitter Party) is a way to focus conversation happening on Twitter for a defined period of time – usually an hour – using a specific hashtag. Typically the host (or hosts) will promote the Tweetchat and hashtag via their own social channels, newsletters and website a week or so prior to the event, inviting fans, friends and influencers to jump on Twitter to ask and answer questions, share their thoughts and resources, and just generally connect with others. If you haven’t attended (much less hosted!) a Tweetchat before, here are five easy tips to get started.

Read more after the jump…

Crushes on Brothers… And the importance of teamwork

Bert Jacobs

Life is Good co-founder Bert Jacobs with Ramonna and Laura

I was recently on a plane reading (even more) about Bert and Jon Jacobs while listening to Scott and Seth Avett, and it hit me that my brand crush (Life is Good) and my band crush (The Avett Brothers) both consist of brothers who work together and play together. From what I can tell, both embody the mantra I try to follow: Love what you do. Do what you love.

So why this fascination with brothers? As I thought about it more carefully, I think it’s really about teamwork. Whether it’s your brother, sister, co-worker or significant other, when a pair or a team clicks, the results are remarkable. Working in sync with another person or team of people allows you to thrive – to truly do what you’re great at and be supported in areas that aren’t your strongest assets.

Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – The Direct and Indirect Way We Consume Brand Content

Social media has become such a big part of our lives. It integrates with almost everything we do, even if we are not on certain platforms. For example, I rarely visit Pinterest but in my home we cook a meal found with a “pin” multiple times per week.

That’s why smart social media marketers should take into account the infinite direct and indirect ways people are exposed to brand content.

Read more after the jump…

Newspaper Journalists Becoming An Endangered Species

crumpled-newspaperNewspaper journalists are a dying breed.

According to The American Society of News Editors’ (ASNE) annual newsroom census, which was released last week, 2013 saw a net loss of 1,300 full-time newspaper journalists.

The good news, if there is any, is that the losses totaled only about half of the jobs lost in 2012, bringing total newsroom employment at newspaper organizations to roughly 36,700, a decline of 3.2 percent from the 38,000 counted in last year’s census.
Put in perspective, newsroom employment has fallen 33 percent from a pre-recession peak of 55,000 in 2006 and is down 35 percent from its all-time high of 56,900 in 1989, according to the ASNE report released last week.

Losses were heavily concentrated at the major metropolitan daily papers with a circulation range of 100,000-500,000, where year-to-year job declines were roughly 16 percent.

This trend, not surprisingly, is attributed to continued losses in print advertising, which are only partly offset by gains in digital advertising and circulation revenues.

The continued decrease in the number of media professionals is no surprise to those who work with reporters on a daily basis. It used to be that you could get a reporter on the phone, or get them to reply to emails. But that is not a sure thing anymore. We recently conducted outreach regarding a legitimate news event to 100 reporters, and could not even get one to pick up the phone.

Here are a couple of ways PR practitioners can adapt to the continually dwindling number of reporters:

1. Make your pitches count: Is your press release or press event really pressworthy? If not, then it is even more unlikely that you will get coverage. In fact, in sending non-newsworthy pitches to reporters, you potentially harm your chances of getting press in the future.

2. Foster relationships: This hasn’t changed from when newsrooms were full and Craigslist was just an idea. Meeting reporters for backgrounders is a good practice, and any reporter worth his/her salt will welcome talking to you about potential news events.

3. Keep media lists updated: A media list you compiled at the beginning of the year is already outdated. Some of the reporters have moved on, and others are covering different beats. The more targeted and up-to-date you are with your list, the more success you will have in reaching a reporter.

4. Social Media: Go directly to your client’s customers on social media, but remember that no one likes commercials. Engage in real conversations in a real voice, not one generated through legal or marketing departments.

5. Paid media: With earned media becoming more challenging, savvy media outlets are realizing businesses will pay to get placement. Just be sure you get information about ROI before you go this route. Placing an article in a newspaper that gets buried in its digital edition and is not searchable is a waste of time and money.

Weekly Reads – Give People a Reason to Care

Back in the heyday of traditional media relations, the million-dollar question on everyone’s mind was, “How do we get this story on Oprah?” Fast-forward a few years and the new million-dollar question is, “How do we get this social media content to go ‘‘viral’’?”

Here’s the thing. If it were that easy, we’d all have a lot more “viral” content on our resumes. But in the quest to go viral, individuals and brands often forget to consider what drives conversation, emotion for, and loyalty to their brand or offering in real life. Capture that in a social media post and now you’re onto something…

Read more after the jump…