Posts Tagged ‘development’


Pretty soon you won’t be able to tell the difference between Fox and Hulu, HBO and Netflix, or CNN and YouTube.

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

sneetchesThe recent jockeying for position and struggle to find an identity within the crowded and competitive world of network, cable, streaming video, and online television reminds me of one of my favorite Dr. Seuss stories, The Sneetches. The Sneetches were a group of yellow creatures, some with green stars on their bellies (a sign of distinction) and some without, until a character named Sylvester McMonkey McBean offers those without stars a chance to add them by going through his Star-On machine. In order to stay special the Sneetches formerly with stars happily pay the money to have them removed in his Star-Off machine. Ultimately this escalates, with the Sneetches running from one machine to the next, and to quote the good Doctor,

“until neither the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew whether this one was that one… or that one was this one or which one was what one… or what one was who.”

The last few month, the news out of the “television” world has been very Seuss-like to say the least:

At this year’s winter TV press tour Kevin Reilly, entertainment president, Fox Broadcasting Company, revealed that his network plans to use web content as a development tool for the airwaves. “Something that starts in digital could be the next big primetime hit… We have an expertise, and a history, and proficiency, and a primetime audience base,” he confirms in this Atlantic.com article about 5 Ways the Networks Want to Change How You Watch TV. Reilly goes on to use Web Therapy starring Lisa Kudrow (of Friends fame) as one example of a web-only series that has successfully made the switch and is now aired on Showtime.

In an effort to kick start their declining subscription base, Netflix is beginning to act more like a network rather than your average streaming video provider. By jumping into the original programming waters, Netflix plans to release three new series in 2012 – starting with Lilyhammer, a crime comedy set in Norway’s former Winter Olympics headquarters, starring The Soprano‘s Steven Van Zandt. Not to be outdone and fresh off a year where they realized 60 percent revenue growth in 2011, the web streaming service Hulu is launching its first ever original scripted series. Battleground, a mockumentary series described as “The Office meets The West Wing, premieres February 14, explains, this opinion brief on TheWeek.com.

And remember when YouTube was just a site where you could watch short clips of people doing funny and unusual things? Well, last week Reuters joined CNN and the BBC by unveiling its own channel to be shown on the popular video sharing site. The channels will show original content from Reuters on YouTube, which will allow them to leverage an army of over 3,000 reporters worldwide.

I doubt all the players involved with getting content to the masses will end up in blissful harmony like our friends the Sneetches, but it should be fun watching them run from one machine to the next having their green stars removed and re-added over again.

What are your thoughts? Please share them with me here on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

Gaining Insights – Following the 2011 PRSA International Conference

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Colleen Flood*

prsa-logoThe 2011 International PRSA Conference kicks off in Florida tomorrow through Tuesday, October 18th.  Will you be there? Join Johna Burke, senior vice president, BurrellesLuce, for a workshop on ROI and Storytelling in the Digital Age. And to help get you thinking about storytelling, read the October 2011 BurrellesLuce newsletter in our free resource library.

For those of us not attending this year, myself included, there are ways to experience the conference without being there in person. 

Here are just a few of the ways I plan to capitalize on what surely will be an educational week of professional development:

  • Twitter:  Follow the hashtag #PRSAICON to check out tweets from sessions Twitter users are attending.  There’s sure to be live tweeting.  I know the BurrellesLuce team of @gojohnab, @tressalynne, @cldegoede and @_laurenshapiro_ attending the conference will be tweeting under this hashtag.  You may also want to follow the Twitter handles of some of the conference’s speakers. I also set up a column in my BurrellesLuce social media monitoring tool (Engage121) to keep tabs on all these tweets.
  • ComPRehension Blog: This is the official blog of PRSA and will be updated with conferences blog posts, podcasts, interviews and other news related to the conference.
  • Flickr:  Another source I will check out is the 2011 PRSA International photo stream on Flickr to view event photos.
  • Facebook:  While their doesn’t appear to  be an official page setup for the conference, I still plan to monitor PRSA’s Facebook fan page for interesting tidbits, along with some of the local Florida chapters.

I look forward to “listening” to the conference from New Jersey…How are you going to make the most of your virtual, conference experience this year?

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*Bio: Colleen Flood has been a sales consultant with BurrellesLuce for over 12 years and is eager to become a more integrated part of the social-public relations community. She primarily handles agency relations in the New York and New Jersey metro-area. She is not only passionate about work, but also about family, friends, and the Jersey Shore. Twitter: @cgflood LinkedIn: Colleen Flood Facebook: BurrellesLuce 

Don’t Let a Bad Interviewer Spoil the Interview

Friday, January 28th, 2011
Image Source: cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com

Image Source: cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com

First, I want to say I LOVE Piers Morgan on America’s Got Talent and Twitter. His whole “persona” comes across perfectly as a judge and in 140-characters. When I heard he was Larry King’s replacement I harkened back to his appearance on Celebrity Apprentice and thought he would do a great job “handling” the celebrities and wouldn’t be too intimidated to ask the tough questions. I was wrong. Piers doesn’t lack chutzpah, he appears to simply be too narcissistic and has more interest in what he has to say rather than his interviewee.

Piers is a trained reporter and editor. He has the pedigree to replace Larry King; unfortunately he’s just not a good interviewer. Instead of focusing on the interviewee, you can see him anticipating a hole in the conversation so he can make his next comment. Seeing him in action reminded me that the interview can only be as good as the preparation of your interviewee.

Basic Media Interview Tips:

Practice: Successful message development and delivery depends on preparation. Think through how you will respond to tough or hostile questions by developing and practicing clear, honest and appropriate answers.

Conclusions: Prepare and present your conclusion throughout the interview. Just as you wouldn’t bury the lead you can’t “hope” the interviewer will ask you the perfect question.

Avoid Jargon: Instead of using industry jargon speak in simple lay terms.

Key messages: Prepare, understand and practice key messages. Return to key messages as often as possible – Think Bill Clinton not Gary Condit.

Deal with difficult questions: Some questions can’t be given a straight answer, but to avoid the question looks bad too. Bridging and Blocking are very effective assets.

Bridging: Maintain control of the interview with the use of these common bridging phrases –
“Before we leave the subject, let me add that…”
“And the one thing that is important to remember is…”
“While…is important, it is also important to remember…”
“It’s true that…but it is also true that…”

Blocking: Never say “no comment” – it’s an obvious don’t. Instead, simple blocking allows you to focus the conversation. Common blocking phrases:
“I think what you’re really asking is…”
“That’s an interesting question, and to put it in perspective…”
“I don’t have precise details, but what I do know is…”

Never Repeat Negative Questions: Always frame your answer in the positive. Think about sound bites.

Stick to your message: Simple is better. Avoid the expert trap of over-answering. Work on test questions and learn when to stop talking.

Remove distractions: Technology is wonderful, but even the most seasoned interviewee can’t fight the Pavlovian response of the flashing red light or the subtle vibration that a message has arrived to their mobile device.

Relax: Be calm, confident and conversational.

In fairness to Piers, his first guests, Oprah Winfrey and Howard Stern, are arguably two of the best interviewers in the industry. They ask questions, some tough and some embarrassing, and get out of the way so people can answer. They have an inherent ability to relate and create a bond with the interviewee. Really great interviewers are few and far between which makes interview preparation an imperative skill for PR pros.

These tips are the basics. The best “tool” in your public relations toolkit is a video camera. Video magnifies the strengths and weaknesses of your interview skills and allows you to fast-track growth and improvement. Do you have any tips and tricks you use for media training?

Highlights from the 2010 PRSA Travel & Tourism: Section Chair Doug MacKenzie, Director Communications Greater Phoenix CVB, & Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Transcript –

JOHNA BURKE:  Hello, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce, and I’m here at the PRSA Travel and Tourism Conference in Aspen, Colorado.  And I’m here with Doug.

Doug, will you please introduce yourself?

DOUG MacKENZIE:  Good morning, Johna.  I’m Doug MacKenzie.  I’m the president of the travel and tourism section of PRSA, and the director of communications at the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau.

BURKE:  Greater Phoenix, indeed.  So, Doug, will you please talk to me about what some of the trends are that you’re seeing in the industry right now?

MacKENZIE:  Certainly in the travel and tourism PR industry, the trends are certainly enhancement of our social media tools, really a lot of interactiveness, and also there’s a good development of digital storytelling.

BURKE:  Great.  And then, you know, amongst that of your members specifically, are they talking to you about things that they would like to see as far as future programming and developments there?

MacKENZIE:  I think the tools that certainly track and measure the social media arena, certainly an easy interface where they can certainly message and story tell to the best ability, and to really work with different communities and show the spirit of their destination.

BURKE:  Great, Doug, and thanks so much.  Is there a blog where people can find you?

MacKENZIE:  You know, at our visitphoenix.com site we have the Hot Sheet blog which gives all sorts of good tips on visiting Phoenix.

BURKE:  Great.  Thank you so much.

MacKENZIE:  Thanks, Johna.