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Posts Tagged ‘journalism’

5 Important Things PR Is Not

what is prFrom agency to agency, professional to professional, definitions of this glorious industry differ almost daily. If you ask people to define PR, the answers you get will be more all-over-the-place than those submitted in response to you “is reality TV scripted?” survey.

So people disagree about what PR is. But the more important query to remember during these days of evolution may concern “What PR is NOT.

After the visions of sugar plums and jolly fat men fade from your head, 2015 may be the time to definitively answer the big question — but we have to start with a negative.

Hopefully, this week’s edition of “5 Things” can be a small gift for those who struggle to define what their business does. Here, then, are five classifications that definitely don’t apply to the communications industry.

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GOP Comms Director Resigns After Rant About Obama Daughters Goes Viral

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Photo Credit: AP

Hell has finally frozen over as our fractious political parties have figured out something to agree upon: don’t mess with another man’s kids.

An unwritten rule in Washington has long held that journalists and political opponents alike do not report negative news about the children of our elected officials.

Elizabeth Lauten, communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), broke that rule all over Facebook last week…and this morning we learned that she paid for her mistake with her job.

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NYT PR Defends Decision to Publish the Name of Officer Darren Wilson’s Street

NYT Building

Journalists are supposed to be our storytellers, our soothsayers, our trusted cohorts who are all given carte blanche to walk into our homes or places of employment and give us — as one sage orator once opined — “just the facts, ma’am.” Yet, ethical concerns come into play every day.

This week, the conservative Washington Examiner asked the question: is it ethically acceptable to publish the name of the street on which the key figure in the world’s most controversial story recently bought a home?

Eileen Murphy, VP of corporate communications at the Times, answered “yes” and defended the paper’s decision to do so.

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Obama Promotes Press Freedom Abroad, Has Media Relations Problems at Home

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers an address to the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative in YangonThe American President is no stranger to dust-ups with the leering media.

This is a man who inspired high-fives  in newsrooms across this great land of ours when he declared that he would have the “most transparent administration in U.S. history.” Regretfully, that promise lasted all of a few weeks.

Journalism groups have scolded him and his response has been a questionable finger pointed in their direction because they “spread cynicism.” Now the president, while traveling in China and Myanmar, says that the  the media should have greater access to do their job in those lands.

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Even Tom Brokaw Has Cell Phone Issues (on Live TV)

brokaw news centerJournalists and PR practitioners alike should be able to name a “Mount Rushmore” of TV anchors.

Names that would adorn the rocks above could include the likes of Murrow, Jennings, Cronkite, Brinkley, Schieffer. One of the heads being engraved would almost certainly be that of Tom Brokaw.

The man epitomizes what it means to not get caught up in the pomp and circumstance of holograms, 36-headed pundit desks, 140-inch monitors, and sweet pyrotechnics.

(In other words, CNN would never hire the guy.)

Yet, the iconic anchorman may need a refresher course on how those newfangled cell phones work. In the below clip from MSNBC’s election coverage, the alarm going off is Mr. Brokaw’s grocery store alert.

#PRFails even happen to the great ones. Buck up, folks who forget to silence that stupid phone during new business pitches…you’re in good company!

If Donald Trump Hates the Media, Why Is He Doing This?

trump_hairThere are many proud organizations that focus on the ethics of journalism (e.g., National Press Club, Society for Professional Journalists, local Press Clubs…like the one in Dallas/Fort Worth, my fare burg) and others designed to foster better relationships with those journalists (e.g., PRSA, IABC).

In those prestigious institutions, one might find a dart board bearing the universally mock-able face and hairdo of Mr. Donald J. Trump.

The Don’s journalistic interests usually range from suing a journalist for cockamamie reasons to blasting the general practice for doing the job it’s supposed to do (just not to his liking). Yes, he’s an avowed media troll. Yet some journalists will do anything for eyeballs and affection, which is why Trump is keynoting a First Amendment event later this month.

That makes sense (or is it cents?)…  Read more

White House Charging Reporters $60K to Do Their Jobs

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(Photo Credits: FOXNews.com, AP)

In the PRNewserverse, we heart our journalist friends.

We appreciate their dedication to the craft of sharing stories and the sacrifices they make to do so. Consider the White House Press Corps. Their behavioral patterns follow the ebbs and flows of whatever the administration occupies the position at the time.

One small problem: President Obama isn’t that crazy about them. He has tried ignoring them, to the point of being given a petition. He has done a “Statue of Liberty” flag football move to avoid them en route to a fundraiser. He has even pointed his finger in their faces and accused them of spreading cynicism.

Now, the administration has effectively instituted a cover charge for reporters to get in the club to which they already belong.  Read more

Turns Out NPR Doesn’t Heart the Environment That Much After All

NPR HQ

This may not be breaking news, but National Public Radio (NPR) leans ever-so-slightly to the left. If someone were to poll its listeners in search of cliches, one might find a coterie of granola-eating, Democrat-having, hippie-being, skinny jean-wearing, rarely bathing (allegedly) folk.

If that “one” is not the prejudicial type, he/she might also discover that NPR is partial to good journalism and that it employs a few reporters known to evoke a love for our planet. The network even has its own division dedicated to the environment.

Or did, until a couple of days ago.

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Why Gwyneth Paltrow Is to Blame for Whisper’s Failure as a Media Source

whisperEarlier this summer, Whisper — the creepers app that allows people to send and receive meme-ified messages anonymously — wanted to become a viable news source.

The idea: if you have real, possibly unflattering news to share and don’t want to be outed by the soothsayers at TMZ, you post it on Whisper.

Also: a legitimate source is now some dude with a smartphone, a happy trigger-finger, and an axe to grind.

Then, came along Gwyneth Paltrow to ruin all the fun.  Read more

Obama Accuses the Press of Spreading Cynicism

obama cynicsPresident Obama is a paradox, if you ask anyone in the national media. The man rose to fame with eloquence, realism, and tangibility. He quickly became a darling of the media — someone who cherished candor and transparency.

In what seemed like moments after he took office, Obama had the White House website updated with his version of “No New Taxes”: Under the headline Change has come to WhiteHouse.govthe administration claimed it would be “the most transparent ever.”

This week at a DNC shindig, he seemed determined to prove that the relationship between his administration and “the media” is not quite as chummy as some continue to assume.

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