Archive for the ‘Journalism’ Category
A Checklist for Your Contributed Content
GigaOm decided to limit guest posts and I understand why. Late last month, Tom Krazit explained why in his piece, We’re updating our policies toward guest posts on GigaOm. Here’s why. The main reason: bad content.
There is only one thing to say about this from a PR standpoint – garbage in, garbage out. Yes, PR people are likely going to help shape the content. This is not new, or news. While some have decried this ghost-writing trend, the practice has been around as long as thoughtful people have been writing and speaking in public. In fact, we revere the speechwriters who crafted the memorable words we quote from presidents like JFK. We accept that not all influencers are great writers (even Sheryl Sandberg had a co-writer for Lean In – her name is Nell Scovell).
Last weekend, I participated in the Tough Mudder, notoriously known as “the toughest event on the planet.” As I ran up and down the Green Mountains of Vermont, climbing walls, swimming through ice water, and running through high-voltage wires, all while knee-deep in mud, I came to realize that I (perhaps foolishly) enjoy a great challenge – and that doesn’t stop at my extracurricular activities, but spills into my career as a PR professional as well.
While one of the main objectives of a career in PR is to obtain media coverage for clients, that isn’t always an easy task.
Here are five things that will help any PR person overcome the obstacle of getting media coverage:
Words of wisdom have been shared with students all month, as commencement speakers joked, advised and were inexplicably mad on campuses across the nation. We had our own special guest at InkHouse yesterday when Ron Miller, TechCrunch’s new enterprise reporter, stopped by our offices to give some insight into what he is looking for in his new role and some best practices to help us PR folks graduate from a pitch to an actual story for our clients.
Ron is certainly a familiar face to anyone who has enterprise clients. He has been a tech writer since 1988 and you may remember him from such publications as EContent, CITEWorld and FierceContentManagement.
Last week I looked at Vox and Quartz as examples of new approaches to journalism. At the time I’d considered adding fivethirtyeight to the mix but didn’t have the time or wherewithal. I do today and think it warrants attention. Here’s why:
The rise of data has impacted so many aspects of our digital lives and news is no exception. Nate Silver has been banging the data drum for years and in a series of increasingly interesting ways: from poker to PECOTA to politics. He has traveled from the original 538 blog to the New York Times and now to the current iteration of fivethirtyeight.com. Silver has recognized that, viewed through the right lens, data can reveal all kinds of interesting stories.
For all the handwringing about the state of the news business, there is a ton going on that is really exciting. Yes, it’s taken a while for the industry to get its sea legs (a process that isn’t going to stop any time soon) but there are plenty of interesting things happening. Two outlets that I have been relying on more and more are Quartz and Vox. They take very different approaches to presenting information.
Vox attempts to make complex issues digestible with plenty of charts and graphs and bite-sized data served in the form of “cards” that address specific questions related to a topic. It’s a nice approach. Vox makes it easy to share its stories and cards through the various social channels. What Vox doesn’t allow you to do is ask questions or post questions. The site presents itself as helping readers understand the news, but without the ability for readers to engage that understanding is limited to what the editors believe it should be.
The Associated Press has shaken the world of journalism by amending two distinct style entries, igniting uproar from writers, reporters and communications professionals.
As the de facto guide to news writing prepares its 2014 update this spring, the stylebook unleashed two controversial edits that brought years of following rules and explanations to a screeching halt. “Over” is now OK to use in place of “more than” in references to quantity, and state names now warrant full spelling in copy.
“We decided on the change because it has become common usage,” said AP Stylebook Editor Darrell Christian in published reports. “We’re not dictating that people use ‘over’ – only that they may use it as well as ‘more than’ to indicate greater numerical value.”
Last week, Jessica Lessin, a well-respected tech journalist who earlier this year launched the news site The Information, wrote a thoughtful piece on why Misleading Pushback on Media Reports Does Nobody Good. The post cited several high profile stories on brands such as Nike, Amazon and Square, that the subjects publicly denied – though Lessin’s whole point is that their PR statements were open to interpretation and trying to put the best spin on reports that, ultimately, were true.
“Many don’t dispute the underlying facts,” she wrote. “Instead, they try to obscure them. Others use words that could mean multiple things to multiple people.”
We love TV. We prefer it and trust it the most. In fact, 73% of Americans cite television as their preferred source of news, according to a study we did in partnership with GMI Lightspeed of 1,000 Americans ages 18+. News websites came in second with 52% and print magazines & newspapers came in third with 36%.
We also found some directional clues in our data. Of those between the ages of 25 and 44, 60% chose news websites after TV, compared to 43% of those over age 55. And of those who consider themselves to be tech-savvy, only 37% trust TV (compared to 50% of those who consider themselves not to be tech-savvy).