- It's not enough to have experts, you need to have spokespeople with specific expertise on the ground. A nonprofit that helps with adoption from Africa seemed one that reporters would want to speak to as they wrote about children who were orphaned by Ebola -- but the media wanted someone they could interview in an Ebola-infected community. The media all felt the organization was doing good work but the organization didn't have specific information about what was being done for Ebola orphans and had no one who could talk about specific adoptions that had taken place in which a child, whose parents had died of Ebola, had been placed with a family in the U.S.
- Speed matters. It's amazing how fast network news can work to pull together stories. By the time you’ve read or watched an article about it, the producers will feel they’ve already told the story; there’s nothing more to pitch. To get the media's attention, you need to develop and implement your strategy, tactics and messages at the start of the crisis. You basically need someone on the ground or with direct expertise in the first few hours, especially someone who can do an interview over Skype.
- Bring something strikingly new to the game by uncovering what the media hasn’t covered. Make sure to differentiate the charity from what others are doing, and from what the media perceives the story to be. Otherwise, reporters’ basic response will be, "Good to know there’s another organization that can talk about conditions on the ground but we've had already covered that angle."
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
There are two challenges facing mom bloggers and dad bloggers, too.
- If you treat it as a hobby, it stays a hobby.
Those who treat their mommy blog as a hobby tend to start writing when their kids are newborns, and the content they provide can often be interesting, humorous and helpful.
- It can't be only about your blog.
Another challenge for parental bloggers is that blogs themselves may not be the best mechanism these days.
And it helps to have a strong point of view and to think about reviewing and updating content along the way. That's what magazines geared to an age group (Cricket, Seventeen, Boys Life, Redbook, etc.) do -- they write new articles covering a standard set of topics like beauty, body, life, love and shopping (the key navigation buttons on redbookmag.com). I say this with deep respect for these publications that continue to cover similar issues but find new ways to address their readers' interests and needs.
It certainly takes more work, and it may well be challenging to come up with yet another new slant back-to-school shopping tips, but that's what parenting bloggers need to do to -- if that's their goal -- to maintain their blogs after the kids become teens.
The good news is, of course, there will always be another generation of clueless parents (speaking as one) who need parenting advice and will look for it online.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
And I thought so before it came to light that billionaire Peter Thiel spent millions to fund the lawsuit against Gawker.
The facts are that Hogan 1) was a public figure who 2) talked publicly about his sex life and 3) the video in question also appeared on other sites. (One could also argue that Gawker has kept Hogan in the public's eye, enhancing his ability to generate cash.)
Gawker isn't a paragon of journalism in terms of always pushing for the greater good but trying to put them out of business seems to be an overreach. Now, the company has declared bankruptcy, and will try to sell itself and will layoff reporters.
As it is, already Hogan's lawyer has threatened Gawker with another lawsuit. And, at a time when a major presidential candidate is expanding the number of publications banned from attending his political events, this looks like part of a war against journalists -- and that's not a good thing.
I hope the Gawker gets the chance to appeal its case.
What hangs in the balance isn't just Gawker and its employees.
It's a matter of what standards apply to public figures. One can argue that a sex tape of a public figure is not Pulitzer Prize-material but the implications of this lawsuit is that journalists may decide to back off on how they cover public figures for fear of unreasonable damages. Think I'm overstating things? The other lawsuit threatened by Hogan's lawyer is because of an article Gawker wrote about a hair treatment clinic whose main client, apparently, is Donald Trump. While Trump is not the one threatening legal action for the article, it now seems to be open season not just on Gawker but our free press.
Again, that's a bad situation for our democracy.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
But his current column, "Inside Forbes: 11 Realities And Observations About The News Business, Like Them Or Not," is definitely worth reading for the following observations. (I'm not going to repeat all 11 items -- go read the column for yourself -- I'm just pointing out those I find most significant, and including some of my observations based on D'Vorkin's.)
- Content needs to be mobile-friendly and easy to consume -- but much of it is not. One problem is that when you click on a website on your mobile, often you'll get a pop-up ad (Forbes does this to, by the way) that you can't exit from because the form factor doesn't let you scroll easily to find the X. That's annoying and a problem.
- Ad-blocking software will get more popular -- a trend we didn't really address for 2016, but I tend to agree. The rise of ad-blocking will hurt online ad revenue that media properties can generate and depend on -- this is will lead to lower revenues, layoffs, and more media properties being shut down. Oh, and higher subscription fees for those media outlets that have a paywall.
- Facebook is not just a social network. It is a media play, and other sites' traffic rates are declining because people check out the headlines and comments on Facebook without clicking through. Again, that will affect online ad rates.
- Lest you think Facebook is unstoppable, it is facing stiff competition from messaging apps like Kik, Snapchat and Whatsapp.
- A lot of the media sites (and quasi-media/e-commerce sites like Refinery29) that are doing well are targeting women. That says something for companies looking to target customers.
- Death of Page Views -- which even D'Vorkin admits has been a prediction that people have made for years now. But this time, it's different because there are new data and engagement possible via mobile.
Anyway check out his article.
Monday, March 14, 2016
Monday, February 22, 2016
We said, "Unicorns – startups valued at upwards of $1 billion – were big in 2015. Expect coverage in 2016 that questions whether the unicorn bubble will burst. This will be true not just of privately held startups but also of publicly held companies (that represent the next stage of unicorn development) that fail to fully monetize their businesses. Twitter and Yahoo! – that means you and other social media platforms that fail to live up to financial expectations."
In Fortune's Feb. 1st issue, an article entitled, "Good Luck Getting Out!," made the case that private investors have put $362 billion into startups over the past five years, pumping up the value of so-called unicorns. Now the broken tech IPO market is cratering. Who will survive the reckoning?"
Meanwhile, let's not forget that we called out Twitter and Yahoo!
Twitter shares "hit a nominal low on Thursday a day after it said that user growth had stalled for the first time since the company went public in 2013," The New York Times reported this month.
And Yahoo!? Well, The New York Times also reported this month that "Yahoo Announces First Round of Layoffs as It Trims 15 Percent of Workforce."
We feel badly for the employees of Twitter and Yahoo! and other unicorns at risk, but we feel pretty good about our trend-calling ability.