Tales from the Crossroads of Americana and the Changing Media Landscape

From the Blog

Facebook’s Image Problem

Now may be a good time for friends and families to rekindle their broken Facebook relationships since it appears Russia was behind much of the hostile engagement on the social network during the 2016 presidential election. Apparently 10 million people on Facebook saw 3,000 Russian-backed sponsored posts before and after Election Day, fueling racial, religious and political divisiveness. Initial investigations also show that content was geo-targeted in key swing states that may have tipped the … [Read More...]

Media Are People, Too

Americans and the press always seemed to have a love-hate relationship. Despite much of the anti-media rhetoric at play within the national dialogue, a fairly good chunk of Americans (72 percent) trust the information they receive from national news organizations, according to the Pew Research Center. The good news is more Americans are engaged. That means more eyeballs on traditional media, and social too. In fact, Pew also reported in a recent survey that two-thirds of Americans (67 … [Read More...]

Why Can’t We Stop Talking About Donald Trump?

No time in recent American history has one president been regularly talked about online, in the press or at the proverbial water cooler as much as Donald Trump. One thing for certain is Donald Trump knows how to make news, which usually is done in 140 characters or less. Policies aside, many factors contribute to this phenomenon, such as Trump’s unorthodox style, recklessness or lack of a media filter. But all publicity is not good publicity. A recent Harvard Study found that 60 … [Read More...]

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...]