Posts Tagged ‘Time’


Has Apple Hit a Sour Note?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Kelly Mulholland*

It’s that time of year again. Yesterday, Apple launched another sleek new product: iPhone4S. Noticeably different during the launch was not the appearance of the phone—which retains the same look as its older model—but the appearance of their new chief executive Tim Cook. In the promotional video below, it advertises that, “Your I-Phone can do more than any other phone.”  How so? For starters, Siri is your personal assistant built into your phone. This voice activated system can dictate measurements, recipes, reminders, timers and much more in natural language – proving to be the next wave of semantic innovation.

Besides voice recognition, the new smart phone is made smarter by these other features. 

  • An 8 megapixel camera with backside-illuminated CMOS sensor that carries more light and is 33 percent faster.
  • Video camera is now 1080p, and includes video image stabilization.
  • Downloading data through wireless system is twice as fast
  • The new phone has a longer battery life than its older counterparts. 
  • Sprint is now another service provider that will carry the new phone that is priced between $199 to $399.

While others may show loyalty to the Apple brand and pre-order the new model, on October 7th, others have voiced opinions of being duped by an “imposter,” according to “Apple’s Absent iPhone 5 Whose Fault is it Really?” Matt Peckham, Time/Techland, while the Tech communities were busy informing each other through social media outlets about the upcoming I-Phone5 launch, Apple stayed mum. Instead Apple pulled the wool over the public’s eyes, and we learned about the 4S—we never knew we wanted. Consequently, Apple Stocks dropped 5 percent after the launch, confirms, Mashable’s “Apple Stock Drops 5% Following iPhone Event.” Whether or not this was due to the market or directly linked to the disappointment about the new smartphone launch is moot.

What do you think? Are you impressed that the new smartphone can be your personal assistant or is Siri the most amazing thing that no one will use? Most importantly, do you think Apple needs to do some PR damage control for inadvertently misinforming the public and not simply being there to acknowledge they were never going to release an I-Phone5 yesterday?

 ***

Before joining the Burrellesluce team in 2011, Kelly interned at CondeNast’s Glamour magazine as an editorial intern to the senior style writer and was an editor of her college newspaper. She received a B.A. in Behavioral Science and Business, Society and Culture from Drew University with honors. After graduation, she worked as a sales associate at Nordstrom and took a month off to travel abroad throughout Europe. In Kelly’s free time, she enjoys traveling, fashion, reading, bringing awareness to Breast Cancer, running 5Ks, baking and social media. Twitter:@miss_mulholland Facebook: BurrellesLuce; LinkedIn: Kelly Mulholland

Is Digital Media Changing PR’s Role in News-Gathering?

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010
Flickr Image: Yago.com

Flickr Image: yago1.com

The Oriella PR Network issued their 2010 Digital Journalism Study recently. The survey consisted of 770 journalists across 15 countries, and is used to find out how digital media has changed the nature of news-gathering. In reviewing this study, I naturally paid the most attention to those items that directly affect public relations and media relations practitioners. 

For example, according to the report, “interest in traditional news content remains healthy.”  Results showed:

  • 75 percent of journalists surveyed indicated they like to receive emailed press releases, and
  • 52 percent want to receive still photography.

Interestingly, demand for social media news releases (SMNRs), chosen by 19 percent of journalists in 2008’s survey, and 15 percent in 2009, has leveled off at 16 percent in 2010.  

  • Video content has fallen to 27.5 percent from 35 percent.
  • Audio / podcasts have fallen to 15 percent from 19 percent.

The report notes it is possible that these declines may be due to the fact that publications have the capabilities to produce their own multi-media content now. Previously they were more reliant on content from third parties.

Considering the international reach of this survey, I was curious if our own U.S.-based media followed suit. I set-up a (very un-scientific) three-question survey on PollDaddy and asked my Twitter and LinkedIn journalist connections to respond. There were only a handful of responses, but the poll answered my question.

  • 85 percent of journalists who responded to my survey indicated they prefer to be contacted via email. 
  • 44 percent said it was okay to contact via Twitter, but keep in mind that I posted the survey on Twitter and LinkedIn so the journos that responded are those that are on social networking sites – be wary of assuming this is true across the board.
  • 67 percent want to receive hi-res photos with press releases.
  • 55 percent would like to see supporting documents (such as backgrounders, bios, fact sheets, etc.) and/or attributable quotes. 

When I asked for additional comments, one respondent replied, “I wish press releases had original quotes instead of marketing-speak.”  Another responded, “Short, sweet and to the point. Make it catchy. Make it actually newsworthy. Make it interesting. And don’t send something that’s happening that day. Timing is EVERYTHING.”

Jessica Pupillo, freelance writer and editorial director for St. Louis Sprout & About, opined: “Put the news release headline in the subject line of an e-mail. Also put the text of the release in the body of the e-mail, and ALWAYS include copies of the release and access to photos on your online press room. Include a phone number where you can be reached during reasonable hours (7 a.m. to 9 p.m.). If you don’t answer your phone when I call, I may just skip your news.”

The author of the Digital Journalism Study results report surmised, “Time pressures remain – it is down [sic] to the PR community to facilitate access to relevant stories so they can turn it into a compelling story as efficiently as possible.” And, goes so far as to state, “While the communications landscape has become increasingly complex, journalists continue to rely on PR professionals to address the basics of news gathering in the content they produce. Communicators that overlook this essential need do so at their peril.”

If you’re a media professional, do you agree with the survey findings published in the Digital Journalism study or from my poll? What do you wish public relations professionals would do better? If you’re in PR or media relations, how are you tailoring your strategy to meet the changing needs of journalists? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

Relationships and Referrals: Making the Most of Your Two Most Important Business Assets

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Valerie Simon

Early on in my career I received a phone call from a client who began the conversation with, “Hey Valerie, I want to introduce you to a friend of mine…”

I very much enjoyed and respected this client and was thrilled that he wanted to introduce me to his friend. In my mind I fantasized about his intentions. Perhaps we would all go out for dinner, or maybe he was setting me up on a date… my thoughts were interrupted by the words “director of corporate communications” and “in charge of media monitoring.” My heart began to pound as I realized what was happening. I was getting my first referral!

Today I regularly receive such phone calls, but the thrill has yet to go away. While Relationships and Referralsreferrals add up to quantitative results of your efforts to build relationships, they also offer bona fide proof that your relationship is one of trust and confidence (Cue Sally Fields, “They like me, they really like me!!!)

In order to earn new business, you’ll need to invest both time and resources and maximize your opportunities in the most efficient manner. Below are 5 steps to help you become more strategic in your relationship building and increase the number of referrals you receive:

1. Perform a SWOT analysis. Identify your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and then clearly identify the organizations you are targeting. As you consider different prospects and prospect categories, evaluate the customer needs against your analysis. Brad Douglas, vice president of sales and marketing with Shipley Associates, offers some excellent considerations to help you better assess your opportunities for targeting the right customers.

2. Determine the influencers you need to reach. As mentioned in this post from the Harvard Business Review, you may think you know the decision maker, “the one that is described in the RFP or articulated by those who actively participate in the formal decision-making process.” However, there are often key influencers within the organization who carry informal power as it relates to your opportunity. Take the time to uncover and develop those relationships.

3. Utilize ALL of your current relationships. While most organizations have a sales team or business development group, I am a firm believer that everyone in an organization, regardless of title or department, should consider themselves a member of the sales team. If you are proud of your organization and even if you are not (though you may want to ask yourself why are you working there?), it is your responsibility to help your company grow. Communication and collaboration between the sales team and other departments is essential. Beyond your organization, consider your vendors, partners and affiliates, clients, industry contacts, and even personal networks. If you aren’t actively using LinkedIn it is a great place to start organizing and expanding your network.

4. Ask for the referral! It is interesting that many people shy away from asking for a referral when they need/want it. Consider what’s stopping you. Are you afraid of creating an uncomfortable or potentially annoying situation? If yes, then that is good because it means you are thinking about and potentially being considerate of the person you wish to ask. And that is what distinguishes a “pushy salesman” from a friend you want to help. So be professional to and respectful of the person you are asking, their relationship, and their reputation. But don’t let that stop you from asking. After all, if you have real relationships, qualified targets, and a product/service you believe in, the person you’re asking should have no issue referring you and the person you’re introduced to will soon be thanking your friend for making the introduction.

5. Beyond ABC’s… ABH. While I certainly understand and appreciate the need to “Always Be Closing,” my personal philosophy is to “Always Be Helping.” In sales, and perhaps maybe in life, your reputation is everything. So be the person you want to be perceived to be – whether or not it meets an immediate business goal. In this case, that person is one who is helpful and informative and acutely aware of the needs and goals of his/her clients, prospects, colleagues, friends and family. In other words, take every opportunity to add real value and help them achieve their goals.

How are you making the most of one of your most precious resources – your relationship with others? Do you find it easy to ask for referrals and network when needed? What tips would you add to the list? If you are having trouble, what do you think is holding you back? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

Magazine Ad Value Per Minute Study- Relevance or Selling Their Own Hype?

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

A recent article on MediaDailyNews describing a report by Magazine Publishers of America, revealed an index comparing TV, online, radio, newspapers, and magazine advertising values. After an apparent shift in supported data there appears to be a new opinion and a new metric for successfully measuring these values. When Time/Ad Impact Ratio is applied to major consumer media it implies magazines carry more than twice the impact of TV, online, radio and even photo courtesy of Johna Burkehigher than traditional newspapers. While this appears to be an attempt to create a new metric supporting this thesis I discourage PR pros from giving this too much credence.

Using Ad Value Equivalency (Media Value) as a media measurement metric is a common PR practice, but not considered a best practice. BurrellesLuce counsels practitioners who are required to show AVE to use it as an index over time vs. a stand-along metric. If you currently provide AVE as a metric of media measurement, the “best practice” is to only use the portion of the article specific to your mention. While there are those who will immediately dismiss the relevance of AVE the reality is there are still executives demanding this evaluation. Realizing there is a certain amount of trust that must be built up before you can convert AVE advocates we want you to know you have a support system with BurrellesLuce. By using this as one metric in an index where you will likely see some correlation practitioners will ultimately be able to provide a more holistic (quantitative and qualitative) analysis to raise the profile of public relations.

While I don’t subscribe to the theory that magazine advertising is more credible I know I don’t want to go without my beloved glossy pages. I believe within the thinning pages of Time and Fortune lies some of the only remaining investigative reporting. The thought of being without magazines is ghastly as long as the “please discontinue use of all portable devices” rule is in effect on every flight.

Can you imagine waiting for your dentist, doctor or hair appointment without the companionship of magazines?