Posts Tagged ‘headlines’

The Similar Plights of Newspapers and NCAA Players

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014
flickr user danxoneil

flickr user danxoneil

This weekend I heard a lot about the controversy surrounding money and the NCAA big games. The NCAA makes money selling broadcast rights to the game; networks make money from ad sales; schools make money on ticket sales; and coaches make millions. Who’s not making money in this situation? The players.

Professional athlete I am not, but this plight reminded me of a situation I deal with daily, in which the revenue options of publications and publishers are circumvented, while public relations and advertising firms, which rely on those same publications to broadcast their message, continue to thrive. In fact, most PR pros recognize that traditional media is still incredibly influential in building a brand and telling a story, and media relations undisputedly plays a significant role in benchmarking and demonstrating results in the development and success of public relations campaigns.

So if the media is so important, why the misconception that the information that demonstrates results should be cheap or free? It’s not Google’s fault; they’ve already determined that news access is a loss leader to advertising revenue. But if there were no high-quality journalist-produced content to search, Googling would be a whole different ballgame, and the lines would be further blurred between editorial content and advertorial, if there were a line at all.

Apologies for the strained metaphor, but let’s extend the comparison to consider what the implications are in the NCAA version of content and media monitoring:

News alert = big game is televised

Article headline = Quarterback Makes Perfect Throw to Downfield Receiver

Article snippet/link = Receiver doesn’t miss a stride, but two linebackers are on his heels

Paywall = Broadcast signal dies for everyone except those who pay for a premium cable subscription or those with a credit card willing to pay extra to watch on demand.

PR using only alerts = Looking at the final score and using that data point to determine if a “play” was a success or failure.

PR using comprehensive copyright-compliant content = Provides play-by-play analysis, and sets up brand “linebackers” in the same or better position in the future to impact future outcomes.

Those PR pros who work diligently to secure placements for their organizations are the NCAA coaches. These PR pros are high-value with honed expertise; in fact, PR pros are doing so well, the 5WPR recently reported that they “achieved record-high financial revenues” in 2013. Such success warrants an increase in fees and retainers. But if the field is empty (i.e. high-quality editorial content further erodes), and there’s no way to broadcast a message, monitor its progress, and continually reposition, it’s like coaching an empty field, and suddenly, that value is gone.

So why is traditional media perceived as no longer having value? Because the digital age made some things free – or seem so. But the truth is, we’ve been paying for traditional media content since its inception. We paid for newspaper subscriptions for decades, so why is it no longer “worth it?”

With more access to metrics and our social habits, we should be leveraging all of the information to make our brands smarter; have a world-class offensive plan. Instead, too many people are taking shortcuts (like looking only at headlines instead of the full content) and sacrificing quality for quantity. If trends continue similar to those in this 2012 report, public relations’ value will continue to grow. But if you’re not working to curate information strategically or seeing everything included in your media content, it’s like watching every sports game simultaneously on a 20-inch screen. Sure, you can see there are games – many of them, all the size of postage stamps – but in the bid to see “everything,” you sacrifice really seeing anything at all.

In PR and the Media: August 31, 2011

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

MoviePass Makes Second Stab at Unlimited Filmgoing (WSJ)
“MoviePass Inc. said Tuesday it will soon begin testing a service that lets participants see an unlimited number of films in participating theaters for a flat monthly fee, a proposition that some theater owners fear could erode the value of a trip to the multiplex.”

Ad Giant Nurtures Startups (WSJ)
“Advertising companies keep finding new ways to cozy up to technology businesses—even tiny ones. Omnicom Group’s OMD and its client General Electric just completed a summer-long tech incubator to get an early in on new tech trends relevant to marketing. They awarded the $10,000 prize to a website called …”

7 Parts of a Facebook Post (SocialMediaToday)
“Content creation is one the biggest challenges for brands. Many of the folks I work with have a hard time trying to find the right thing to say to their listeners. There are two approaches I like to guide brands to take…”

Twitter Limits: Maximum Tweets Per Day? (SocialMediaToday)
“There are over two hundred million registered users of Twitter. This number grows by hundreds of thousands each day as new users sign-up. There are over one hundred and fifty million Tweets per day. So many, in fact, that many people find it hard to monitor ongoing conversations without using special platforms.”

Google Explores Re-Ranking Search Results Using +1 Button Data (Wired)
“Google is making plans to turn its +1 button into a crowdsourcing tool that helps it re-order search results and fight web spam. While not surprising, the move would bring Google’s search engine into the social networking era, while simultaneously creating a new avenue for blackhats to manipulate search results and potentially incurring the wrath of trust-busting authorities. Google confirmed its plans in an e-mail to”

News International confirms internal review of ‘journalistic standards’ (YahooNews/TheCutline)
“As the saga of the British phone-hacking scandal continues slowly to unfold, News International, the British arm of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, has confirmed it is conducting a thorough internal investigation of its properties.”

 Golden Globes Trial: Inside One of TV’s Messiest, Nastiest Battles (HollywoodReporter)
“THR’s in-depth look at why the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is accusing Dick Clark Productions of secretly squeezing it out of its own awards show.”

How Much Has Changed?

Monday, November 9th, 2009

“So much has changed, and we are at a turning point,” said Arianna Huffington, keynoting the opening session for the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) International Conference. (I’m one of several BurrellesLuce representatives attending the conference this week.) She went on to say that, “Old media can be consumed on the couch and new media is like a galloping horse.” Another way to put it is that new media is ADD and old media is OCD.


Flickr Image: kevindooley

Not surprisingly, Huffington touted citizen journalism, which she believes can help make journalism better. In fact, The Huffington Post had a citizen journalism project during the election, which broke some big stories. Currently, they are asking citizen journalists to tell the stories about the economic crisis.

Some other takeaways from her keynote:

We need to look for the drama. Huffington gave the example of a story she recently wrote with the headline, “Biden Should Resign.” Had she headlined it, “The U.S. Should Pull-out of Afghanistan,” which is what the story was really about, very few people would have read it. The drama gave the story legs, and allowed her to tout it on talk shows. She also suggested using drama in communications to do good and gain support for worthy causes.

She wrapped her presentation encouraging everyone to listen. When we are not talking, we can hear what others have to say and gain knowledge from others.

What are you doing to encourage listening in your organization?