Posts Tagged ‘world’


2010 Bulldog Reporter Media Relations Summit: Martin Murtland, Dow Jones Solutions for Communicators, Interviewed Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Transcript –

JOHNA BURKE: Hello, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce, and I’m here at the 2010 Bulldog Media Relations Summit. I’m joined by Martin.

Martin, will you please introduce yourself?

MARTIN MURTLAND: Good afternoon. My name’s Martin Murtland. I’m vice president at Dow Jones Solutions for Communicators. I’m here at Bulldog Reporter News Summit.

BURKE: Martin, can you talk about the qualities that PR practitioners need to have?

MURTLAND: That’s an interesting one. I think there’s probably two key qualities that I see communicators needing in the future, first one being their alignment to the business media, both to truly align themselves with what the business is trying to achieve. And secondly, I would say regards to analytical skills, the ability to question things. I’ve sort of looked at the future and sort of tried to create a–I’m interested in scenario planning, sort of four scenarios what the future may, may not hold. You sort of imagine a two-by-two grid where you have, at one end, people who are very much aligned to the business, and the other end people that have sort of, “vanity publishing.” You’re just going to get a publication where the coverage of the story with their CEO is actually a hometown newspaper. And the other axis we imagine something like highly analytical skills and that augment, you know, very uncomfortable with analytical skills. So what I would say, somebody who’s got high analytical skills and a–and strong alignment in business are going to be the winners in the future. And those are the things we should strive to try to become as communicators.

But some of the other scenarios, what I would say, they’re what I would term the bluffers. They’re people with good–can talk the talk. They’ve got political alignment to the business, but they don’t have the strong analytical skills to back it up. And they’re typically people who’ll move on after shorter period of time, perhaps before they get found out. And the other end of this expert spectrum I would sort of look at people who I call ostriches. They’re people that are very much into vanity publishing, or a world future that’s sort of run by ostriches. They’re very much into vanity publishing, and their idea of measurement would be how large–how loud the clip book makes whenever it hits the desk.

And then there’s the–sort of the final scenario for what the future may hold, is a world that’s sort of controlled by the gamblers. They’re people who do have strong analytical skills, but then they’re basing on flawed content or data. And so they’re doing the sophisticated analysis on not complete information. That’s why I call them gamblers. But what I–what I think, and certainly what I’m getting across in this conference is there’s a lot of winners out there, and how there’s a very good future in store for communicators as we look forward.

BURKE: Martin, thanks so much. And where can people find you in social media?

MURTLAND: I’ll try and do the–without doing the funny dot-com bit. You can find us at the conversationofcorporation.com.

BURKE: Great. Thank you so much.

MURTLAND: Thank you very much.

Big Media, Mass Media, New Media – Oh My!

Friday, September 10th, 2010

A few days ago, I read NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen’s inaugural lecture to the fresh crop of future journalists at Sciences Pos School of Journalism in Paris. I’m not going to recap the historically rich (and lengthy) address, but will borrow a piece or two for the purpose of discussion here. (Note: his post can be found here if you’d like to read it in its entirety.)  This address was directed to future journalists, but I think public relations practitioners that deal in media relations, can learn from it just as well.

Rosen began with a clip from the 1976 movie Network, which is about a TV news anchor who begins to act out on the air. I realize this was before many of you were born, but please take a few minutes to watch what is probably the most well-known scene in the film.

Rosen believes the filmmakers are “showing us what the mass audience was: a particular way of arranging and connecting people in space. Viewers are connected ‘up’ to the big spectacle, but they are disconnected from one another.” He explains, “But Howard Beale does what no television person ever does: he uses television to tell its viewers to stop watching television. When they disconnect from TV and go to their windows, they are turning away from Big Media and turning toward one another. And as their shouts echo across an empty public square they discover just how many other people had been ‘out there,’ watching television” – concurrently yet disconnectedly. 

I agree with Rosen’s belief that this clip clearly demonstrates the great event we are living through today: the breakup of the mass audience and the shift in power that goes with it. What if today’s TV personality acted like Howard Beale? Rosen answers: “Immediately people who happened to be watching would alert their followers on Twitter. Someone would post a clip the same day on YouTube. The social networks would light up before the incident was over.  Bloggers would be commenting on it well before professional critics had their chance.” 

Cases of where citizens beat journalists to the punch are numerous but a few off the top of my head are: the Mumbai attacks, the Hudson River plane landing, or more recently the Discovery Channel hostage situation.

Rosen goes on to explain, “The media world today is a shifted space. People are connected horizontally to one another as effectively as they are connected up to Big Media; and they have the powers of production in their hands.”

The digital revolution changes the equation, according to Rosen. “It brings forward a new balance of forces, putting the tools of production and the powers of distribution in the hands of the people…”.

From my media relations standpoint, this means the days of blasting out a press release to every big (or small) media outlet are rapidly coming to an end. NO, I’m not saying big media is dead, nor is the press release (sheez, don’t get me started!)

What I am saying is that PR agencies, public relations practitioners, branding/marketing folks, small business owners, etc. now, more than ever, have additional opportunities to reach out to their publics in multiple ways – connecting with their individual audience(s) – and each other wherever they hang out.  Big media and small media alike are still very much part of that equation, but now there are even more possibilities.

That’s my takeaway from Rosen’s speech and the clip. What is yours?