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Will Corporate Directives Undermine Fox31’s Credibility?

SinclairLast week, I wrote about the increased levels of credibility that local media have compared to national media. Readers and viewers trust local media more because they perceive them to be less biased and to have fewer agendas.

One Denver television station that seems poised to test that theory, however, is Fox31. The Tribune-owned station has been on a ratings tear over the past year, but it is in the process of being acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group, a conservative-leaning ownership group that is one of the largest broadcast companies in the country.

One of Sinclair’s signature components is its “must run” segments – short video segments that are centrally produced by the company that all stations are required to broadcast. Local news directors and producers do not have the ability to determine whether they should appear.

As The New York Times reported:

“Critics … cite Sinclair’s willingness to use its stations to advance a mostly right-leaning agenda. That practice has stirred wariness among some of its journalists concerned about intrusive direction from headquarters.”

The Sinclair approach threatens the credibility and trust that Fox31 has built up over the past decade. And the fallout has already begun. Fox31 news director Holly Gauntt, who drove the station to No. 2 in the ratings locally in just one year, has just left the station to take the same job at 7News.

Now the question is whether local viewers will also abandon the station if they feel they can’t trust its credibility.

Mid-2017 Crisis Communications Overview

Adidas crisis communications responseHere is a recap of the some of the best crisis communications gaffes, courtesy of PR Daily and Meltwater, that you may not have heard of. Be sure to check out the takeaways at the end.

Shea Moisture
This company featured a series of television commercials that profiled different types of hair types, but unfortunately they showed a limited number of minorities in their ads. They issued an apology: “We really f-ed this one up. Please know that our intention was not – and would never be – to disrespect our community, and as such, we are pulling this piece immediately because it does not represent what we intended to communicate.”

Adidas
In a tone-deaf blunder, Adidas sent an email out Boston Marathon participants with the subject line: “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon.” It didn’t take long for them to apologize, and the crisis dissipated.

Juicero
Bloomberg news showed how a $400 Wi-Fi-enabled juicer was basically just a ruse, in a video showing a person producing the same amount of juice as the specialty juicer. Reporters were able to wring 7.5 ounces of juice from the specialty packs in a minute and a half. The machine yielded 8 ounces in about two minutes. The startup this week cut its staff by 25 percent, and it offered customers refunds.

Fyre Festival
Billy McFarland and Ja Rule launched a luxury music festival at a private island in the Bahamas, and tickets ran from $2,500 to $250,000 for “deluxe” packages. Instead of the promised extravagant catering, beach yoga sessions, bikini-clad models and yachts to lounge on, attendees found a “disaster tent city” with scant rations. Instagram photos documented sorrowful bread-and-cheese sandwiches and dreadful accommodations. Social media users had a field day mocking the woes of the well-to-do audience and the downfall of the much-hyped event. A criminal investigation is under way and lawsuits abound. Ja Rule’s response: The whole world knows Fyre’s name now,” he said. “This will pass, guys.”

Takeaways
With any crisis situation, including the ones above, having a response plan beforehand can help, and listening and responding to social media in real-time can help turn the tide. Keep these points in mind:

  • When you mess up, genuinely apologize and share what you’ll do to prevent similar mistakes in the future.
  • When in doubt, talk to your community; they’re the people who already support you.
  • Treat your community with respect and listen to what it has to say. If you’re only interested in the bottom line, it will show.

When is Live Video a Good Idea?

The CenterTable team in a live broadcast from the Greeley Stampede.

The CenterTable team in a live broadcast from the Greeley Stampede.

In my time as a news reporter there were two types of producers (generally): Those who only used the live truck for breaking/extremely visual stories and those who used live trucks in virtually every newscast.

Fast forward more years than I’m willing to admit, and we’ve got a similar situation now that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all have “live” video options. Many brands and individuals are using live video options extremely sparingly (if at all) while others seem to be using it all of the time.

What’s the smart approach? Read more after the jump…

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.”

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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.

How to Submit an XML Sitemap to Bing

How to Submit an XML Sitemap to BingWe recently covered how to submit your XML sitemap to Google as part of your onsite SEO efforts, so we wanted to be sure we circled back to talk about submitting that same XML sitemap to Bing, as well.

Submitting the XML sitemap is a great way to tell search engines about all the content on your website and make it quicker and easier for the search engines to find, index and return the website in search results.

Steps to Submit the XML Sitemap to Bing

  1. Jot down the URL for your website’s XML sitemap. For example, com/sitemap.xml.
  2. Create a Bing Webmaster Toolsaccount and verify that you own the website.
  3. Once logged into your Bing Webmaster Tools account, go to Configure My Site, then Sitemaps.
  4. Paste the entire XML sitemap URL into the box. For example, com/sitemap.xml.
  5. Click “Submit” and you’re done! The status will update when the sitemap has been crawled and indexed.

 

Online User Reviews Are No Longer a One-Way Street

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The way we interact online is constantly evolving. For brands, we’re finding new ways to connect with consumers – and it is becoming even easier for those consumers to tell the world about their experiences with brands. This week, we take a look at some new opportunities – and risks – to consider when we’re building connections out in the digital space.

User Reviews

Website Magazine: User Reviews Are King
Online reviews can either make or break your business. Twenty-two percent of users will not buy after reading just ONE negative review, and consumers are likely to spend 31 percent more on a business with excellent reviews. This handy infographic explores how valuable – or potentially damaging – an online review, and your response, can be for your business. Read more after the jump…

Mount Saint Vincent Strengthens its Foster Care Program

Photo credit: Melissa Yocum Photography

Photo credit: Melissa Yocum Photography

Founded by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Mount Saint Vincent has cared for children and their families since 1883. In the spirit of the Sisters (who also founded Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver), the mission of Mount Saint Vincent is to “strengthen the abilities of families and children to emotionally and socially participate in the community, making life better for generations to come.” Read more after the jump…

New Features for Your Fourth of July Week

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It seems you can’t even take a couple of days off to celebrate America’s independence without missing new updates to nearly every social media platform. When Instagram zigs, Snapchat seems to zag – the latest in big updates to each platform are listed in this week’s reads below.

Snapchat:

CNBC: Snap Now Lets Users Add Links to Snaps
It’s been a long time coming, but Snapchat users can now add links to their snaps via the new feature they’re calling “Paperclip.” The feature moves Snapchat ahead of rival Instagram when it comes to flexibility in driving traffic to outside sources, which of course has a ton of traffic/conversion potential. Read more after the jump…

Does Your Marketing Mix Have Enough Ingredients?

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Too often in marketing organizations a small number of tactics receives a disproportionate amount of attention. Whether it’s one or two social media platforms, email, or sales engagement, a number of factors including internal pressures and associate skill levels can influence where time is spent. Stepping back to make sure all you’re evaluating all available marketing tactics and including the right ones will need to long-term success.

Email Marketing

MediaPost: Are They Kidding? Survey Shows Small Businesses Prefer Social Over Email
The author of this column oversells the value of email a bit but his point about it being an extremely important part of the marketing mix is 100% correct. As we mentioned above, each of these individual tactics can drive results for your business even with limited budget and bandwidth. Read more after the jump…