Tales from the Crossroads of Americana and the Changing Media Landscape

From the Blog

Memorial Day Marketing: A Risk Worth Taking?

While Memorial Day is sort of the unofficial start of summer, the holiday is a solemn one, established to honor fallen servicemen and women of the U.S. military. It’s also a time for big summer sales … and everyone from car brands to home improvement centers are getting in on the action. Too many times, however, brands take exception to the true meaning of Memorial Day, putting them in the proverbial hot seat. One beer company actually tweeted: “Something to remember on #MemorialDay. It’s … [Read More...]

Is LinkedIn the New Facebook?

LinkedIn these days seems to be less about posting “business” content and more around publishing selfies, memes and math puzzles. Ironically, these Facebook-like posts generally get more traction. But all engagement is not always good engagement, just like all publicity is not always good publicity. Interestingly enough, the Pew Research Center found that more workers ages 18-49 have discovered information on social media that lowered their professional opinion of a colleague, compared to … [Read More...]

The Public Relations of Lobbying

Influence is the common denominator between public relations and lobbying. One influences opinion, and the other, government. While these disciplines sometimes work in tandem, they are separate and distinct. In New York, however, that may not be the case. The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) earlier this year issued an advisory opinion that expands the definition of lobbying to include aspects of public relations. Whoa nelly, says the Public Relations Society of … [Read More...]

Is Being Too Polished a Public Speaker Bad?

Some are born with it. Others practice a lot. Establishing a visceral connection with an intended audience is paramount to the success of any public speaker. Watching the 2016 presidential debates can be good lessons learned when it comes to public speaking in corporate life. A schmorgesborg of styles are hitting the TV airwaves among the candidates of both parties. Some are slow talkers, others quick, and some are just loud. So what about being too polished? Could that be a bad thing? … [Read More...]

For The Love of Polling

Media love polls. Data sets help identify trends that can be turned into stories or support or debunk a particular story narrative. Polls have become instrumental in helping shape politics. Consider the GOP debates for the 2016 presidential election. Approval ratings are determining what candidate gets national camera time and who doesn’t. Americans love polls too, unless they are asked, “Would you like to take a brief survey?” We get to find out what is the best-tasting ice cream or … [Read More...]

Everything is Awesome, Not

Just type the word awesome into a Google search and about 1,300,000,000 results will appear. The word is so ingrained into our popular culture, it’s hard not to watch anything on TV or go anywhere without someone using “awesome” to describe something cool or hip. Countless articles and hundreds of thousands of pages on the Internet are dedicated to the overuse of the word. Several print and online magazines have put awesome on their list of banned words, including an article in the PR … [Read More...]

Starbucks’ ‘Race Together’ Campaign Puts Brand in Jeopardy, For the Time Being    

A visit to Starbucks’ website makes clear that the company is all in regarding its “Race Together” campaign, which basically gives its baristas the option to engage patrons about conversations on racism in America. The Seattle-based company and its chief spokesperson CEO Howard Schultz received a ton of backlash when the co-initiative with USA Today was announced last week, as a majority of customers do not necessarily like the idea of talking about race when getting their morning cup of … [Read More...]

Come on America, Let’s Vote

Yesterday’s 50th anniversary commemoration of the historic civil rights march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma comes at a time when almost half of all Americans (45 percent) say race relations under President Obama have not changed. The irony was uncanny as America’s first black president spoke to thousands of revelers at the site where fifty years ago peaceful marchers were beaten with clubs and tear gas by Alabama troopers on their way to the state capitol in Montgomery to demand … [Read More...]

Tweet TV: How Social Media is Making Television Fun Again

Nearly 37 million people watched the 87th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday, down from 44 million last year. Many reasons may have contributed to the viewership drop, everything ranging from the show’s host performance, to the celebrity of the actors themselves, to the types of films that were nominated. For many pundits that offered critiques of this year’s Oscars, reviews bordered on ho-hum and boring. But what may have been seen as a luck-luster TV event, much of the action was happening … [Read More...]

ALS’ Ice Bucket Challenge Is Raising Awareness, Money Too. But Is It Enough?

Many people have seen videos of family and friends taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which helps raise awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig ’s disease. Brave souls dump buckets of ice over their heads while nominating others to do the same. There are no formal guidelines, although unofficially, participants who accept the challenge are asked to donate $10 and those that “chicken out” to give $100. No doubt the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has spread across … [Read More...]