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Posts Tagged ‘Reuters’

STUDY: Journalists Need PR Now More Than Ever

happy journalist

Not this guy, though. He’s fictional.

Encouraging headline, no? This new paper comes from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford, UK, and we have so many mixed feelings about it right now.

Everyone knows that the PR-to-journalist ratio grows more lopsided by the day, but this study’s findings confirm that the power shift goes deeper than that.

In short, “hacks” need “flacks” more and more whether they want to admit it or not. The reverse isn’t really true, though, so the dude in the image above might want to pour himself another stiff one…

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Reuters Has Some Ebola Crisis Advice for Burson-Marsteller

Texas Health

Pic via Mike Stone/Getty Images

Late yesterday, a writer at Reuters responded to the news that Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital had hired Burson-Marsteller with some very healthy skepticism…directed not at the firm but at its client.

Steven Brill, founder of both Court TV and American Lawyer magazine, notes that hospitals are generally “terrible at dealing with the media,” and he has some not-quite-friendly suggestions.

His basic points:

  • While most of the public has good impressions of hospitals, most don’t realize that this one and its executives make a lot of money, that very little of its revenue (1.3 percent) comes from charity, and that it is “among the most successful businesses in northern Texas”
  • No one seems to know whether a quality-control committee reviews the number of patients who contract infections — Ebola or otherwise
  • The hospital’s position on nonpayment (which obviously applied to the late, uninsured Ebola patient Thomas Harris Duncan, who was sent home after his first trip to the emergency room) has not been made clear

Brill’s suggestion is that “we’re sorry; mistakes were made” statements can only do so much and that Texas Health will have to go far beyond playing basic defense. He even encourages reporters to seek out hospital employees who will address these issues if the organization’s designated spokespeople do not.

We doubt the org will be so open, but for the record we hope journalists on the scene take his advice. Millions of people will be watching.

The New York Times Agrees: Shonda Rhimes Not An ‘Angry Black Woman’

shonda_rhimes2-620x412Here’s a topical reminder that words matter on the editorial side, too. Twitter blew up — as it tends to do — this weekend thanks to a New York Times profile of Scandal /Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes. Why? Here’s the lede by Alessandra Stanley:

“When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called ‘How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.’”

Get that? She’s black, she’s angry, and yet she somehow manages to get away with it.

It’s not that Stanley wanted to insult anyone. In the next paragraph, she writes: ”Ms. Rhimes, who wrought Olivia Pope on ‘Scandal’ and Dr. Miranda Bailey on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ has done more to reset the image of African-American women on television than anyone since Oprah Winfrey.”

That point is settled. But Rhimes took issue with Stanley’s piece, and today NYT public editor Margaret Sullivan agreed.

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The Number of People Killed by GM’s Defective Switch Will Soon Rise

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We’re all aware that General Motors is one of the world’s most challenging clients right now–and we can sit around all day and wonder why the company’s preferred strategy for dealing with its ongoing recall crisis can be summarized with the word “stonewall.”

But a report released by Reuters today indicates that this horrific story has only just begun.

The crux of GM’s defense holds that thirteen people–and only thirteen people–have died in accidents involving the infamously defective ignition switch that shuts down cars and their airbag mechanisms mid-drive.

Unfortunately, that number will change soon.

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Reuters, AP Suggest That You Should, Like, Maybe Cut Your Word Count, OK?

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If you had the chance to read our recent interview with Facebook media coach Bill McGowan or our talk with the journalists-turned-content strategists at Bateman Group, you may have noticed a recurring theme: brevity.

Everyone’s all about it.

Now both Reuters and The Associated Press have officially agreed that news stories should come in two varieties: short and shorter. Why? Consider this sentence:

“Our best work does not stand out among a sea of bloated mid-level copy.”

Ouch.

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The Math Behind Viral Content Doesn’t Add Up

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Everybody wants to create that piece of “super-sticky”, high-quality content, right? We get it; as bloggers we want to write posts that get attention from unexpected sources, even if that attention sometimes amounts to “what is this fu<&ing bullsh!t?

Reuters econ reporter and general gadfly Felix Salmon has done the math on the viral model, and he warns content creators not to put all their eggs in one basket. There’s a lot of fancy algebra in his post, so we’ll summarize it.

First, remember that Upworthy and BuzzFeed wouldn’t exist without Facebook, because that’s where they get their exposure.

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PR Pro Turns a Wedding Ruined by the Shutdown Into a Big Media Win

This week, Joy Miller had a problem: her wedding was scheduled for Sunday at Yosemite National Park, and the government shutdown threatened to ruin everything. We’ll let her explain:


Sounds like a nightmare come true, right?

Enter Lara Miller, a freelance publicist based in San Francisco who handles media pitching for clients at Prosper PR. Joy and Lara have long been best friends, and Lara writes:

“Joy called me on Tuesday in tears.  She could barely get the words out about her wedding. I immediately went in my PR mode, told her not to worry that we WOULD find them a place and that I would get the media to cover it. From there it was a day’s work fielding pitch responses, venue calls, and offers for various services.”

As Joy told us today, “Lara’s been planning the wedding with me for a whole year, and she said ‘Trust me, I’ll make it happen; it’s what I do.’”

Behold the power of the press…

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New Edelman Advisor: ‘PR Needs to Grow Up’

edelmanBack in March, Edelman advisor Steve Rubel told us that upcoming PR professionals need to “look at the bigger picture” and “orient [themselves] toward both creating and distributing content”. The firm’s newest tech advisor Burghardt Tenderich recently gave The Holmes Report a more direct version of that statement:

“PR needs to grow up and become real content creators.”

Edelman picked Tenderichwho is an Associate Professor/Associate Director of the Strategic Communication and Public Relations Center at USC Annenberg, to advise clients tech clients; his specialty will be “transmedia storytelling” campaigns like this one which include both paid and earned media across platforms.

The quote may seem obvious now, but remember that Edelman was a little late to the paid content game. The firm’s sponsored content partnership with Reuters on Twitter had a bit of a rocky reception, but we’ll be watching to see exactly how they put Tenderich and Rubel’s statements into action.

*Photo via Edelman Digital

Starbucks Asks Customers to Leave Their Guns at Home

If your morning plans included sipping a mocha frappe at your local Starbucks while lovingly polishing your Colt 45, the coffee shop chain kindly requests that you reconsider, and leave the gun at home.

Many U.S. restaurants and shops don’t allow firearms on their properties as part of their company policies, but because Starbucks’ policy has been to default to local gun laws, including “open carry” regulations that allow people to bring firearms into stores in many U.S. states, the chain has been dragged into the heated debate over gun rights.

This past August, in order to thank the coffee shop chain for what they saw as a firearm-friendly policy, gun-rights advocates held a national “Starbucks Appreciation Day” at multiple Starbucks locations nationwide. One of these locations included Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were shot dead in an elementary school last December. Though Starbucks had the foresight to close that shop before the event was scheduled to begin, the Appreciation Day events pulled the company deeper into the contentious political debate.

In an effort to distance itself from the controversy, and to make it clear that Starbucks does not sponsor or advocate the carrying of loaded firearms in public, chief executive Howard Schultz said in an open letter late Tuesday that Starbucks Appreciation Day events “disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of ‘open carry.’ To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores.” He went on to say that:

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Roll Call: Porter Novelli, Reuters and Time Inc.

Porter Novelli announced that Karen Ovseyevitz, partner, regional director of Porter Novelli’s Latin American presence and co-managing director of Martec Porter Novelli in Mexico and Porter Novelli’s Florida office, has been appointed president, Latin America, effective June 1, 2013. Ovseyevitz will be charged with developing Porter Novelli’s Latin American presence; managing the growth of the agency’s partner offices in Central and South America; and establishing best practices and training curricula for all of Latin America. She will continue as co-managing director of Martec Porter Novelli, together with Sandra Kleinburg, and as managing director of Porter Novelli Florida. (Release)

Thomson Reuters Corp said on Wednesday it had hired Andrew Rashbass, currently group chief executive of The Economist Group, to be CEO of its Reuters news business. Rashbass has spent 15 years at The Economist in several roles, including managing director of Economist.com and publisher of the magazine. Pearson Plc’s The Financial Times Ltd holds a 50 percent stake in the parent holding group of The Economist. Rashbass will report to Thomson Reuters CEO James Smith and will be based in London in the newly created role at Reuters. Stephen Adler, president and editor-in-chief at Reuters, will report to Rashbass. (Release)

Time Inc.’s ad sales division — Time Inc. Branded Solutions — has named Tom Kirwan its vice president of digital sales. Kirwan was most recently the associate publisher of Time Inc.’s Style & Entertainment group. He has been with Time Inc. since 2008. (FishbowlNY)

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