Pump the Brakes on Digital

September 15, 2016

by Kacie Escobar

“Not so fast,” implies a recent Pew Research Center report, which pumps the brakes on the communications industry’s rapid migration to digital.

Despite what industry outlooks might lead us to believe about the internet as the most popular pathway to news, nearly 60 percent of Americans turn to TV most often.  Online platforms, including social media, websites and mobile apps, lag behind by nearly 20 percentage points.

As we’ve shared before, “Connecting with the audiences that are important to your success is the essence of good public relations.

There’s no doubt online news is “reshaping Americans’ news habits,” as the study suggests.  Put all your eggs in one basket, however, and you could fail to reach key audiences.


For The Win

September 2, 2016

by Vianka McConville

While the ultimate measure of success in public relations is meeting and exceeding client goals, it’s nice to receive recognition from your peers as well.  I’m proud to say our team was recognized for several exciting public relations programs and projects at the recent Florida Public Relations Association Golden Image Awards Gala, giving us more trophies and plaques to decorate the halls and walls of our office.

C&P took “home the gold” (the gala was Olympics themed) with the top scores in each category for the following programs and projects:

  • The Corridor’s annual magazine as a tool to tell the story of a growing high tech region and of the pioneers who push innovation forward locally.  The magazine served to introduce media to the region, earning coverage and exceeded circulation by 1,000 copies over the previous year.
  • Promotion of The Corridor’s 20th anniversary, divided between an industry luncheon and support from Florida Trend to feature the region. These efforts recognized long-time partners and further shared The Corridor’s message beyond the 23-county region.
  • National Airlines’ launch into commercial flights through media events and outreach which exceeded objectives for media coverage by 300 percent, and was planned and implemented in only three weeks.

Additionally, we received an Award of Distinction for C&P’s For The Win digital magazine, celebrating our firm’s 30th year in the business.  The magazine achieved an impressive 49 percent email open rate and increased social media engagement on the firm’s Facebook page.

It’s an honor to be part of a team that is ready, willing and able to go above and beyond for our clients.  These awards are just a small glimpse into our work.

FPRA 1 FPRA 3 FPRA 2


Alt-What?

September 1, 2016

by Roger Pynn

Until a week ago, if someone mentioned “alt-right” most people would have thought it was some new keyboard shortcut.  We could only have hoped it would automatically eradicate political rants of all kinds from our social media inboxes.

Although this article from Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) suggests that this is a “political movement” that has been around and been talked about in some media for more than a year, my guess is that I’m not alone in having been clueless when Hillary Clinton first used the term as a means of tying her opponent to what sounded like some dark and dangerous political cult.

The CJR article offers brilliant insight into how little we know of what goes on online.  Just as the Islamic State appears to have cornered the market on unstable young minds desperate for raison d’etre, it seems there are as many people and groups trying to infiltrate the psyche of the disaffected as there are those trying to sell products (legitimate and otherwise).

And from a communicator’s perspective, it is an important reminder that vetting sources of information is more important today than ever.  Who and what you quote is important.  Truly knowing who you are quoting is critical.


Research is Useless if You Ask the Wrong Questions

August 22, 2016

by Dan Ward

Thanks to James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal for highlighting this tweet from Bloomberg national political reporter, Sahil Kapur: “Monmouth poll finds that if @JohnKasich were the Republican nominee he’d be leading @HillaryClinton 57% to 33% in Ohio.”

Seems to be a clear indication that Kasich may have been a much stronger candidate than Donald Trump, right?  Maybe not.  As Taranto correctly points out, “Well, if [Kasich] were the Republican nominee AND all the Dems’ efforts were concentrated on disqualifying Trump.”

Monmouth mistakenly assumes the answer to a nonsense question holds value.  Kasich ISN’T the candidate, he has not faced media scrutiny as the candidate, and has not faced opposition advertising as the candidate. Asking whether he’d win the election now is like asking for the price of a car that isn’t for sale.

We do a lot of research in our business.  It’s the very first step in developing a successful communication plan.  If you don’t understand your target, you won’t know where to aim.

If you’re investing in research, make sure you ask questions that provide actionable information.  “What if” questions are fine if you’re asking about actions you might actually take.  Just don’t follow Monmouth’s lead and ask questions for which there are no real answers.


Zika, the Oil Spill and Help for Communicators

August 19, 2016

by Kim Stangle

One of the most important client success stories we’ve told in the last decade has been about our work for South Walton (the Tourist Development Council) on the heels of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.  With tourism as its main economic driver, the destination faced a crisis of epic proportions when news of the spill hit and visitors feared the pristine white-sand beaches they loved would be covered in tar balls.

Deepwater_Horizon_offshore_drilling_unit_on_fire_2010

Our team worked alongside the TDC’s communication staff to develop a crisis communication plan that would ensure visitors would continue booking trips as they’d done for so many years before.  The plan included scenario-based messaging; a blog that was updated daily to show real-time images of beach conditions; and, a variety of other communication tools.

Ultimately, the drop in bookings was a fraction of what initial research indicated was possible and they rebounded dramatically in the years to follow.

It’s hard not to immediately draw comparisons to the latest news coming out of South Florida—Miami Beach, specifically—where the latest Zika outbreaks are crippling an otherwise bustling tourism spot.

While an oil spill is hardly the same as a mosquito-transmitted virus, the communication challenges are similar.  Perception is a powerful motivator of fear and communicators must work to provide a constant flow of accurate information if they seek to separate fact from fiction.

For help with crisis communications and other public relations issues, check out our case studies and white papers.


Media Training 101: Do Your Homework

August 17, 2016

by Kim Stangle

When conducting our Message Matrix® training program with clients, we share a variety of practical tips to help navigate the sometimes-difficult landscape of media interviews.

One key tip is: always do your homework … anticipate all questions, especially the tough ones.

This advice would’ve been incredibly helpful to Seminole County Tax Collector Ray Valdes during an interview he granted recently with News 13’s Amanda McKenzie.  The elected official has been under fire for failing to disclose business dealings that many see as a conflict of interest.  And according to McKenzie’s news report, when probed about a tough question regarding those dealings Valdes stopped the interview, returned to his office and closed the door.

Valdes may get points for controlling the conversation, but abruptly ending an interview he granted does little to bolster his side of the story.

Moral of the story:  if you’re not prepared to answer even the toughest questions, don’t grant the interview.


Can’t Take a Joke?

August 15, 2016

by Roger Pynn

I got a big kick out of the dustup last week about John Oliver’s view of the state of the newspaper industry.  Remember, Oliver is a comedian, but people like Newspaper Association of America really let his humor get under their skin.  Said NAA President and CEO David Chavern, “newspapers need solutions, not petty insults and stating the obvious.”

I’m a recovering journalist.  I say that because far too many people claim to be practicing journalism when in fact they are practicing commentary.  I’ve had a hard time finding degrees offered in commentary, but I can tell you that when I studied journalism we were schooled to never, ever offer our own opinion.  That was for those folks who produce editorial pages where the newspaper was to express its “corporate opinion.”

“I would just ask Mr. Oliver to spend more time talking about what the future of news could be, and less time poking fun at publishers who are trying to get there,”  begged Chavern.

I would just ask Mr. Chavern to spend more time standing up for the practice of real journalism … and, less time letting a joke get the better of you.  Learn to laugh.


%d bloggers like this: