What a week–and what a week for Rupert Murdoch or anyone at News Corps! Even after shuttering the News of the World on Sunday, it seems the phone-hacking scandal has only continued to balloon into a bigger problem. Youza…we’ll have to wait and see how this little media soap opera continues to unfold. In the meantime, here are some links and articles of interest (not related to News Corps)–enjoy!
Skills that Journalism Students Need to Develop (by @andymboyle)
As a former journalism student who ended up not working as a reporter, it was cathartic to read Andy Boyle’s experience and his advice to journalism students. Mr. Boyle seemed to run into the same job slump as I did, but he was smart enough to figure out another important component of supporting journalism-web programming.
The resulting conversation we exchanged over Twitter and in the comments section suggest that journalism schools may need to consider teaching more than just researching, reporting and editing. Today’s journalism students need to know where communications are moving and either adapt their skills to those media or develop the technical skills to support them.
Learning to Love Content (by @eggmarketing):
Here is a great ode to content development from Susan Payton, the Marketing Eggspert (see what she did with that word there? Doesn’t that make you already like her for having a sense of humor?) Ms. Payton is obviously good at what she does– her content is concise, gets to the point and shares relevant information with others. If you need any help with how to promote content marketing for your clients, check out her list of reasons why and I’m sure you’ll find a few that are helpful.
Bored People Quit & Employee Retention (by @rands via @michaelrlitt):
Speaking from personal experience, I know that boredom leads to frustration on the job, so this post by Michael Lopp was especially relevant. What’s more, he describes how to recognize and deal with boredom among employees, so if you are in a management position, you have some useful tips to pull from. It’s also a well-organized post that is a good example of how to structure situational case studies that keep a reader’s attention while still getting its main points across.
A Discussion About Blogger Compensation (by @prcog via @dannybrown):
If you ask me what is one of the best things about social media, it’s the conversations that occur within in it and the ideas that people exchange when engaged in a real discussion.
Nathan Burgess touches on the hot topic of blogger compensation (whether monetary or in kind) quite eloquently in this post. I tend to agree with him that bloggers need to determine their category and if their blog warrants compensation from the brand. Likewise, Mr. Burgess is smart to point out that it’s subjective whether or not compensating bloggers will work for a particular brand. Overall, it’s a necessary conversation and one well put by Mr. Burgess and the comments that ensue.
Hope you find these interesting–feel free to share any links or articles you found interesting this week :)
It’s finally Friday–at least for many of us, it was a short work week thanks to the holiday weekend. Getting back into the daily grind was a little difficult, but there’s always the next long weekend to look forward to, right? So, while some of us recover from sunburns and too much macaroni salad, here are this week’s articles and posts to share–enjoy!
Dealing with Negative Blog Comments (by @journalistics):
For as long as I’ve been reading Journalistics, I’ve never known the primary blogger Jeremy Porter to be a sloppy writer. In fact, it’s the quality content that makes me come back to read his blog and share it with others.
Chaulk it up to my speedy online reading, but I completely overlooked a grammatical error on one of his posts a few weeks back, but someone else did and took it upon themselves to send him a snippy personal email. Every blogger will have to deal with negative blog comments eventually, and it’s important to own up to our mistakes and roll with the punches sometimes. It’s a learning process of sorts. Mr. Porter demonstrates how this experience luckily has not deterred him from continuing to write and refine his craft.
Are Blogs the New Establishment of Media? (by @JasonFalls via @arikhanson):
Here’s an original thought-with so many blogs becoming credible news sources (ie. Huffington Post, Mashable, and TechCrunch), perhaps they are becoming the new media establishment. Jason Falls makes an interesting point with this post about the growing credibility of blogs as media sources. While I wouldn’t go so far as to count myself in this camp, I do believe there is validity to bloggers applying journalistic practice and standards to their content. Now, if that makes them journalists per se is another argument…
Implications of PR Filling the News Gap (by @mstory123 via @Shonali):
A study by the Columbia Journalism Review which examined how PR practitioners are “filling the gap” in news coverage due to the shrinking newsroom has spurred several articles and numerous tweets.
When I read this article, I recall sensing an underhanded swipe at PR in general from this article, and apparently, so did Mark Story who wrote this reaction piece to the article. While the facts can’t be ignored-that PR jobs are on the rise while journalism jobs are on the down slope-I agree with Mark’s sentiment that it doesn’t mean PR is creasing its palms in the darkness, ready to pounce with propaganda and spin to the public’s dismay.
Articles like this do the PR profession no favor by simply rehashing the stereotype that all PR is spin and that there can’t be a professional working relationship between the PR pro and the journalist.
Understanding Silver Bullets and Sales (by @tpop81):
It’s important for PR folks to understand what their marketing and sales colleagues are going through-we’re all communicators and often fighting for the same budget. I appreciate blogs like Thomas Takeaways, mostly because of how Thomas conveys marketing and business concepts in an easy-to-understand manner and for his great analogies. This week’s post described the ongoing discussion between the marketing and sales departments about products and pipelines. It’s a great insight into what these departments are prioritizing and their perspectives on what drives a company’s success.
Hope you find these as interesting as I did. Do you have any articles or posts to share as well?
Media relations are an important component of public relations.
It’s common for PR folks to develop close working relationships with their media contacts, often based on trust and with respect for each other’s role in shaping the communications that reach our audiences.
But one thing the PR pro in the United States has never had to consider is the safety or livelihood of their reporter contacts.
The reality for reporters working in many countries outside of the United States is that journalism can be a dangerous profession.
Proof of this fact is 2011 Impunity Index report, which The Committee to Protect Journalists released yesterday. It identified the thirteen most dangerous countries for reporters based on the number of unsolved or non-prosecuted murders of journalists in comparison with their total population.
For any journalist, whether current or former like myself, it is a jarring reminder of how important it is to advocate for the free press.
And it is a reality check for both PR folks and journalists in the United States to thank our lucky stars we have the freedoms afforded to us within our own borders.
Some of the most striking facts from the report include:
- Journalists are often targeted in conflict/war zones
While reporters are wounded or killed in the line of combat, the CPJ also found that they are often targeted in countries in active combat. Iraq topped the list of countries with the most unsolved journalist murders, along with other countries that are no strangers to conflict such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- A remedy to impunity against journalist murders is elusive
The CPJ has actively met with the leadership in many of these countries but found that pervasive corruption within the law and judicial systems prevents many of them from adequately addressing these cases. Consider that all 92 cases of murdered journalists in Iraq over the past ten years have gone unsolved or non-prosecuted. It begs the question of how much do these governments value free expression if they turn a blind eye or keep their hands tied at so many injustices against the press?
- Violence is often directed against political reporters
Thirty percent of the unsolved cases the CPJ found involved political reporters in the Impunity Index. In the United States, political reporting is such a part of our daily news, it’s incomprehensible how the same reporters in other countries live with targets on their backs. Imagine if someone took a hit out on Chris Matthews for something critical he said against a prominent senator?
- Local reporters are killed at higher rates than international reporters
Just as the news is local, so is the violence permeated against journalists in their own countries. While I credit the CPJ and other organizations like Reporters Without Borders and Human Rights Watch with keeping a high-profile of crimes against the free press, very few of these local cases make it into the international media. Perhaps it’s because they are local to those countries or because there are so many. But these crimes have the potential to enact a chilling effect on free expression. Take for example, how El Diario, a newspaper in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico (#8 on the Index) curtailed their coverage after a photographer and crime reporter were both killed just two years apart from each other.
I also understand the limitations of my observations. I am viewing it from my perspective of always being free to write and express my thoughts and opinions (so long as they do not incite danger against others). I do not mean to be naïve nor judgmental of these countries.
It would be interesting to hear what PR practitioners in some of these countries think about this report and how their colleagues in journalism are affected by violence and fear of retaliation.
What do you think? Should PR pro’s be concerned with a free press or violence directed against journalists?
Happy Friday, all. It’s the official kick off to the summer–Memorial Day weekend. Another sign of summertime that makes me happy, at least in Philly, is the start of Hoagiefest at Wawa. Hope you all enjoy the long weekend filled with grilling, BBQ, cold beverages, and good times. Here are this week’s links and articles of interest to share–enjoy!
Are Healthcare Marketers Killing Twitter? (by @philbaumann via @joshdbrett):
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the latest marketing craze, buy into buzzwords, and forget what social media is really about or why you’re even involved in it in the first place. Phil Baumann has been active in social media and healthcare for years, so I value his observations and analyses.
This post makes a good point in healthcare marketing, but it also has applications for non-healthcare marketers who use Twitter. Basically, no one wants to be broadcasted at–in healthcare social media, we want a community. With social media marketing reaching the saturation point, we may lose out on the value it brings to online communities. Phil’s post serves as a sober reminder to take into consideration when using Twitter as a marketing tool.
Failing in Order to Learn (by @ginidietrich on @spinsucks):
Reading a simple reflectional post is nice every now and then. It gives us pause for thought and takes us out of the professional equation for a minute. Gini Dietrich of Spin Sucks had a honest-to-goodness post earlier this week admitting that which we all fear-failure. I appreciated her honesty and candor on the topic by sharing a personal story with her regular readers. But the story isn’t all doom and gloom. In the end, it’s how failure is only the beginning. If we learn from our “failures” (if you want to use such a strong term) you can actually have more success in the future.
Facebook and Journalists – Friend or Foe? (by @FortuneMagazine):
Having followed Vadim Lavrusik for a few months on Twitter, I learned about the relatively new resource called Journalists on Facebook (link). This article draws attention to how developing a good relationship with reporters on Facebook could elevate the site to a trusted source of news for its members.
I hadn’t given much through to this notion because I don’t use my Facebook page that much aside from personal and familial connections. But others use it daily, even hourly, so the thought it could be a home page that one checks every morning and before the end of the night doesn’t seem that far off. It will be interesting to see the outcomes of Facebook’s resource for journalists and if it translates into some sort of revenue for the company or potential trusted news source for its readers.
Five Reasons the Reporter Didn’t Quote You (by @MrMediaTraining):
Mr. Media Training, or Brad Phillips, has a great site with numerous helpful posts on dealing with media interviews and cultivating good media relationships. A post this week deals with a situation that’s likely happened to everyone–your client/spokesperson is interviewed but is not quoted in the story.
Rather than pull our hair out, Mr. Phillips offers a few reasons why this may have occurred which can help in better media interviews in the future. And judging by some of the comments from former journos, he’s not far off from his reasons.