5 ways to help your pitch in the new era of the news media

We all know the media has changed significantly in the last five years. Newsrooms are smaller, and journalists are doing more with less and are busier than ever. And that means public relations professionals have to do more in order to grab the attention of journalists to get their stories told.

So when I had the privilege to hear from four local journalists about what it takes to get coverage in the new face of the news media I was ready to take copious notes.

But the thing is, even though everything is different in news, nothing is different. They still have to report the news; and they still have to search for interesting stories all of the time. Read more of this post

3 lessons the NFL could learn about crisis communications

The National Football League has a serious brand problem. The perception of the league has been tarnished by a number of bad moves and it’s getting worse as the days go by.

Since even before the 2012 season began the NFL front office has been making decisions that have been affecting its perception – conflict over benefits for former players, a 132-day lockout of the players, and now locking out the referees.

The latest hit to NFL brand was the final play during Monday Night Football Sept. 24 between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers. A clear interception of a Hail Mary pass should have ended the game in favor of the Packers but replacement referees claim a simultaneous catch and awarded a touchdown to the Seahawks, and the victory.

The reactions were swift and angry from fans, players, and the media. Read more of this post

3 techniques to better public relations

There is something wonderful we can learn from the folks at the National Center for Family Literacy and its educational website Wonderopolis. I’m not talking specifically about the daily wonders posted (even though those are great too) but the effective ways they communicate with the people who visit.

Take a look at any of the posts produced at Wonderopolis and you’ll see well thought out wonders presented and several comments from readers who share their personal experiences or thank the Wonderopolis team for piquing their interest and increasing their knowledge.

And after reading several posts, and the comments left, there is a great lesson Wonderopolis can teach businesses and PR pros – the right way to handle public relations, and how to be social. Read more of this post

Ohio water park angers breastfeeding moms, lets them take over its Facebook page

Silence is golden … at the movies. In social media it’s like shooting your business in the foot.

Over the weekend, a Columbus, Ohio news station ran a story of a woman told to stop breastfeeding her child while at a local indoor water park. The story made it over to Facebook and soon the very vocal breastfeeding community went in droves to the Fort Rapids Indoor Waterpark Resort page to tell them their displeasure with the business’ decision.

First, the water park ignored the news’ request for comment, then it ignored its Facebook page for 49 hours letting hundreds of negative comments and exclamations of lost business pour in with zero response. Read more of this post

Public relations definition has a PR problem

If you had an elevator ride to explain your profession or industry to a stranger, how would you tell it?

Would you tell the most interesting / exciting / engaging parts of what you do, or would you give your elevator passenger a robotic, jargon-filled rendition that is likely to confuse and make eyes glaze over?

For us communications professionals who work with the media, formulating succinct and interesting sound bites is a regular part of the job we do for our clients/organizations. And this is a valuable skill to have when speaking with any other person who you want to educate and keep interested in your organization or what your role is at that organization.

So when I read the three proposed definitions the Public Relations Society of America wants its members to choose from, I was confused. Read more of this post

Komen digs an even deeper hole

I wasn’t going to weigh in on the Susan G. Komen for the Cure PR nightmare because I thought it has been already sufficiently digested and analyzed, if not overly, by many others. But the latest wrinkle makes my blood boil.

Two days after pulling grants from Planned Parenthood because Komen doesn’t fund organizations under investigation, and deleting negative reactions to it on its Facebook page, it is now back-tracking from that argument to a much more disingenuous one.

Now SGK is saying it isn’t funding Planned Parenthood because it doesn’t actually perform mammograms and breast cancer screenings, only refers women to other organizations. Read more of this post

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