Category Archives: Media Relations

What Words and Phrases Can We Eliminate From Our Writing?

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 10.57.36 AMHow can Twitter’s 140 character missives, and pithy Snapchat highlights get translated into our everyday writing as communicators?

Every time I reach for my AP Style Book, I am reminded of a college journalism professor who left her mark on me for a couple of reasons: First, we had weekly quizzes on the AP Style Book, which was a great way to learn and practice the rules. And if you weren’t sure there was a rule, at least we all learned to use the book to see if a rule existed.

Second, she was a stickler for writing in the simplest terms, using concise, action words and cutting out fat from our writing. Following is a list of words or phrases that should be eliminated from our writing, along with a suitable replacement word. Just like Bitly and Tiny URL help us shorten URLs for social media, this list can help tighten all of our writing. What are some of your favorite words or phrases that can be omitted and replaced with a single word?

Instead of: Use:
In order to To
Utilize Use
Very ugly, very fat, very angry Hideous, obese, furious
In the event that If
On account of the fact that

Because of the fact that

Due to the fact that

Because
In spite of the fact that Although, though, despite
In the absence of Without
In the event that If
A large proportion of Many
In a situation in which When
There is a need for Must
Subsequent to After
Impact on Affect
Along the lines of Like
At the present time Now, currently

 

 

Local Media More Trusted than National Media

When it comes to media, who do you trust? If you are like most people, you trust local media more than national media. Local media are perceived to be less biased than national media, and to have less of an agenda.

And the proof is in the ratings. A recent Poynter Institute analysis finds that Americans overwhelmingly view local TV news rather than their cable TV counterparts. Media writer James Warren used Chicago as a benchmark and found:

“The power and potency of local news endures, perhaps all the more so in a fragmented digital age. It’s a reality generally missed by media reporters.”

Local Media More Trusted than National Media - Nielsen Media Research | GroundFloor Media PR Agency

The general public’s reaction to media is analogous to how they perceive politicians. We all hate “Congress,” but we choose to continue to re-elect our own congressional representatives because we believe that our local representatives are somehow different. And that is the power of local.

One Journalist to Another: The Game Has Changed

Adele Arakawa, 9News Evening AnchorThis week marks the end of an era for one of Denver’s most beloved journalists as 9NEWS’ Adele Arakawa officially signs off on June 30. She’s been the evening news anchor for 24 years.

I couldn’t help but feel a little wistful after reading Joanne Ostrow’s article on Arakawa as it seemed clear to me from the article that she is not just ready to retire, but she may be disillusioned with the state of journalism today. If you haven’t read the article, it’s worth a read and you can draw your own conclusions.

It seemed only fitting that Ostrow wrote the piece on Arakawa, as Ostrow had bid farewell in a column less than a year ago to her job at The Denver Post. Ostrow shared her thoughts on a long and productive career reporting about the media for newspapers and magazines, and all the changes she too had seen in the news and entertainment industry.

Read more after the jump…

Click Bait and Misleading Headlines

Click Bait and Misleading HeadlinesWe’ve written about media click-baiting in this space before. Recently one media outlet came out with a defense of the digital trickery, although they wouldn’t go as far as to call it what it really is – click bait.

Can I write this without sounding creepy? News organizations (many of them, anyway) track what you read and what you don’t.

“It’s changing how we do journalism,” said Sacramento Bee opinion editor Joyce Terhaar. “So what works – and what doesn’t? Provocative headlines.”

Read more after the jump…

Shrinking News Hole Hits the “World Leader of Sports”

ESPN | Shrinking News Hole Hits the “World Leader of Sports”Communications professionals have long accepted the shrinking news hole and the impact it has had on how we share news and information about our clients.

Newsrooms are much smaller; TV reporters shoot their own stories and regularly report using Facebook Live. Newspapers are a fraction of the size and print reporters are covering more beats and are expected to produce many more stories each day for their online and social media channels.

It took some time, but now the cable sports world is feeling the same pain. According to Sports Illustrated, ESPN, which had roughly 100 million U.S. households paying for cable in 2012, recently laid off more than 100 journalists, including some well-known, on-air talent. A hundred journalists may not sound like a lot, but that’s on top 300 in 2015, and ESPN is now in 12 million fewer U.S. homes.

Read more after the jump…

Media Questions During A Crisis

newsIt’s difficult to prepare for a crisis, particularly one that involves media coverage.

To help prepare, here is a list of the most commonly asked questions by the media to serve as a general guide.

Big? picture, journalists are likely to ask six primary questions in a crisis: who, what, where, when, why, and how. They will relate to five broad topics:

  1. What happened?
  2. What caused it to happen?
  3. What does it mean?
  4. Who is to blame?
  5. What are you doing to ensure it does not happen again?

Of course, only some will apply but this comprehensive list of questions is a good start to prepare you and your team for the next crisis:

77 Questions Commonly Asked by Journalists During a Crisis

Read more after the jump…

Live, Baby, Live! Storytelling on Facebook Livestream

Facebook Livestream tips for on location

Facebook Livestream tips for on location

Facebook Livestream has brought communicators a fabulous storytelling tool for clients. Whether you are looking to cover an event, launch a new product, host a seminar or share news, it is a simple way to engage specific target audiences.

In fact, I recently worked with a local television station partner to amplify messaging for a public education campaign via Facebook Livestream on location and wanted to share a few tips:

• Once you determine a date/time, share that information across your social platforms to help gain an audience; repost it during and after with links to the livestream, as appropriate.
• Scout out a location beforehand and determine connections, best lighting, areas with the least noise/interruptions, etc.
• If you are outside, check on the placement of the sun and shading. Read more after the jump…

Two Takeaways from Study on Consumer Buying Habits and Influencer Marketing

Consumer Buying Habits from Influencer Recommendations

Influencer marketing, especially working with bloggers, is one of the aspects I love most about the communications landscape today. At GFM we talk a lot about bloggers – from ones with huge national reach to the best bloggers closer to home here in Colorado – because we’ve seen firsthand, measurable impact from influencer campaigns. I find the good ones to be professional, creative, patient and extremely hardworking. I personally define “the good ones” less on their reach, though that is extremely important, but more so by how well they know their brand, audience and most importantly, stay true to those things rather than becoming a product review monger.

Impact of Influencer Marketing on Consumers

A few weeks ago a colleague shared a great article with me, “Influencer content accounts for almost 20% of consumer media consumption,” and I’ve come back to it numerous times. The statistics that caught my attention include:

  • More than 50% of the 1,000-people surveyed over the age of 16 made a purchase based on an influencer recommendation. This jumps to 69% when you narrow in on millennials
  • The average consumer now spends one hour and 12 minutes enjoying online
    influencer content
  • Consumers between 35 and 45 attached more importance to food influencers; 45 and older look at influencers most for health and travel recommendations

Keys to Effective Influencer Marketing

I take two primary learnings away from these findings:

  1. If your content creation strategy does not include working with influencers in your space, you’re likely missing huge opportunities.
  2. Smart marketers will make every last penny of an influencer marketing budget go the extra mile by repurposing content across multiple platforms and working with influencers to tag/target/talk to their built-in audience. No longer should a blogger outreach program live in a PR silo. Instead, gather all of the best communications’ minds around the table, including social media, digital advertising and SEO, to amplify influencer content well beyond one blog post or Instagram photo.

I share these two opinions with a big caveat. Influencer marketing only works when you work with the right people. Not every blogger is worth their sponsor/partner fee, not by a long shot. Further, once you have established and respected relationships with influencers, you shouldn’t feel nickel-and-dimed every time you share ideas or quick pieces of content with them—like a tweet about a charitable cause. The best relationships should turn into a give-and-take where you ultimately treat one another like resources—never taking advantage, while always being willing to support each other’s best interests.

The “rules” for influencer marketing are blurry at best. However, if you let the unknowns and initial setbacks (because you will have some) deter you from getting started, you’ll find it harder and harder to catch up in the long run.

Journalism and a Trump White House: What are the PR Takeaways?

Saturday Night Live Sean Spicer Press Conference SkitNo matter what side of the aisle your political beliefs fall, it’s hard not to watch the very public antagonistic relationship President Trump and his administration are having with the media.

While President Obama had his fair share of scuffles with the media, they didn’t get the kind of attention President Trump’s school-yard battles are getting now. After several decades during which the media has lost trust, credibility and interest among Americans, will the new President bring back the Fourth Estate to its former glory?

I recently came across a Politico article titled: Trump Is Making Journalism Great Again. According to the article, there’s always been a quid pro quo in Washington, where journalists groom sources, but sources also groom journalists. “There’s nothing inherently unethical about the back-scratching. When a reporter calls an administration source to confirm an embarrassing item, the source may agree to confirm as long as the reporter at the very least agrees to listen sympathetically to the administration’s context.”

Read more after the jump…

Media Relations Takeaways from Maternity Leave

Last week I returned to GFM after the second maternity leave of my tenure and have been eager to share observations and tips related to media relations that have been swirling in my PR-minded brain since we got home from the hospital.

We welcomed Anderson boy #2 on Oct. 23, 2016 and I was fortunate to be able to spend 13 wonderful weeks at home with our newest addition.

But, like many a PR pro will admit, “unplugging” is simply not in my nature.

Read more after the jump…