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Journalists Agree: Press Releases Are Still Vital

The evolution in social media and technology has resulted in a whole new landscape when it comes to communications and public relations. PR professionals are not only looking to reach the media by targeting high-circulation publications but also to reach relevant influencers on social media.
Through all these changes, press releases still remain an essential tool that represents the official and formal communication of news directly from the management or leadership of a company or organization. Read more

To Handle the Visual Social Content Vortex, Brands Seek Balance

Palo Alto Egg Sculpture FinalWhile U.S. residents experienced the polar vortex this winter, another whirlwind phenomenon has surrounded the social media world in recent years: the surge of visual social content. Images and videos have become content’s hot currency, even surpassing text. Twitter’s redesign adds visuals, while platforms like Instagram, Vine and Pinterest continue to grow.

A Social Media Week New York session on Thursday addressed this shift. The Huffington Post’s executive tech editor Bianca Bosker moderated, and panelists included Craig Hepburn, Nokia‘s global head of digital and social media, Will Palley, JWT’s trends strategist, and Apu Gupta, CEO/co-founder at visual analytics firm Curalate.

As with other media transitions, visual content’s rise involves upsides and downsides. The panelists said those need to be weighed, since visual content poses as many challenges as it solves. They also outlined ways companies can leverage the swirling visual wave.

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MEMO to Nike: Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy

Simpsons-lawsuitsLawyers. I know, right?

You say that word and most people roll their eyes with visions of shouting advertisements and ambulance chasers. There’s a reason for the bad stereotypes — whacked-out lawsuits, the shady folk who debate them and the dolts who win them.

There’s the chick who sued McDonald’s (and won) for serving her hot coffee that she spilled in her own lap. There’s the other chick who sued Wendy’s (and won) because she found a finger in her chili — and then it turned out to be a hoax. No, really? Or even the dude that sued Subway’s (and will probably win because justice is screwy that way) for being an inch short on its foot-long sub. 

Frivolous lawsuits suck out loud because of the bad PR it gives good attorneys (yes, there are some), but this one against Nike may kick all their behinds.

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Russell Ferstandig On How the Affordable Care Act Impacts Substance Abuse Treatment

Psychiatrist Russell Ferstandig is well aware of the impact that substance abuse can have on a person’s life.  With a strong focus on addiction treatment, he helps patients to overcome these challenges and get the quality care they need to work toward recovery.  Unfortunately there are still millions of Americans who are not getting the help they need.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, only approximately 2.6 million Americans are receiving addiction treatment compared to the 24 million who are in need. Read more

Shannon Freedle Has 10 Tips for Dealing with Difficult Coworkers

As a business executive, Shannon Freedle has worked with a diverse range of colleagues and clients throughout his career.  He recognizes that companies encompass a wide scope of personalities.  Each person has their own unique strengths and abilities to contribute.  With this mix of personalities also comes the potential for conflict.  Not everyone will necessarily get along all the time.  Some people find it difficult to relate to others who have views that greatly differ from their own.

Dealing with difficult people takes a certain amount of skill.  Over time people learn strategies to overcome these challenges and make the best of any situation.  Everyone has their own opinion of what makes another person difficult to deal with.  However there are several common strategies that can help to make these interactions less stressful: Read more

Roll Call: Silver Chalice, Pure Communications and Purple Strategies

Silver Chalice announced that Dana Golden has been named executive vice president, Audience Development. Golden, who had been EVP, Distribution, will oversee audience development, strategic partnerships, marketing and public relations for Campus Insiders (, the ACC Digital Network ( and all other Silver Chalice digital networks and platforms Silver Chalice. Prior to joining Silver Chalice, Golden was vice president, Strategic Partnerships for Comcast Interactive Media, where she was responsible for negotiating multiplatform digital media rights for Comcast’s websites, mobile applications, IPTV set top boxes and “TV Everywhere” services with major networks, film studios, and Internet properties. Golden was also formerly the vice president of Affiliate Sales for ESPN, leading the distribution of ESPN’s networks, pay per view, video on demand and other services with top cable operators. (Release)

Pure Communications, Inc. announced the appointment of Mike Huckman, award-winning journalist and former CNBC pharmaceuticals and medtech reporter, to chief strategist. As chief strategist, Huckman will lead presentation, media and roadshow skills development sessions for clients, as well as provide counsel on story development, investor relations and media strategy, issues management and crisis communications. Huckman brings 27 years of television journalism experience to Pure and joins the firm from MSLGROUP, where he served as senior vice president, director of media strategy and developed a robust life sciences client roster. (Release) Read more

Yahoo Says PR Is Replacing Journalists. Wait, What?

PR + mediaMost journalists are highly skilled at what they do — research, reporting, writing and telling an intriguing story to the public. They represent both sides of a story without bias. They are able to see angles to a story that help educate and inform in a tangible way. Some went to school for journalism. Others went to school for English.

In short, they all know what they are doing and how do it.

So, how strange would it be if PR took over the news world? Very. According to Yahoo! Education, there are five jobs “nearing extinction” due to a combination of outlying reasons and other professions that “will take [their] place.” 

Yep, you guessed it. And you can probably guess how we feel about it too. More after the jump…

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The CEO of Blue Fountain Media On Creating a Successful Digital Agency

GabrielShaoolianGabriel Shaoolian has come a long way from his humble beginnings. The CEO of Blue Fountain Media was a web designer armed with a laptop and not much else when he arrived in the Big Apple in 2001.

Now, 12 years later, that digital agency has over 200 employees and is raking in $2 billion in revenue with clients like AOL and AT&T. In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s Hey, How’d You Do That?, Shaoolian talks about his journey to success:

You say the site you planned and designed for AT&T does about $100,000 per second. And the site you did for the Green Bay Packers did $200 million in four days. When you started your company, having no idea how successful it would become, did you have any doubts?
There was a point when I was starting out when my friend was doing really well in real estate, and I was struggling to meet my month-to-month expenses. I told him, “Maybe I should do what you do.” He goes, “Well, if you want to come over, we could use someone, but, I see you love what you do. Stick with it.” It was great advice. Do what you love, stick with it. Be patient. I think patience is what’s lacking amongst young people today. Things take time. That’s the best advice that I’ve got. [My company] didn’t happen overnight.

I get emails from LinkedIn all the time from guys that are trying to start businesses… And they’re asking me, how did you do it? What advice do you have for me? I tell them: I constantly invested. I reinvested back into BFM. I led a very humble life for many, many years. And I tell them, look, just do great work. Do good work for your clients.

To hear more from Shaoolian, read: Hey, How’d You Build Profitable Websites For Brands Like AOL and AT&T, Gabriel Shaoolian?

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Aidan Cassidy Lectures on Public Speaking Jitters, Jumbled Words, and Presentation

Aidan Cassidy, a civil servant and council member in a small town in North Carolina, has done his share of public speaking throughout his career. He was a law enforcement officer for two decades before becoming a well-deserved politician, and throughout both experiences he has developed a firm understanding of how speaking in public is a skill that is learned over time. Not only does this ability help politicians, good presentation skills carry over to the workplace and academia as well.

“The first thing you have to do to master public speaking is to understand your audience,” Aidan Cassidy says. “Why are they there? What do they want to hear? Why are you there? You need to ask yourself these questions in order to prepare a speech that is effective, remembered, and easy for you to give.”

The audience is everything for public speakers. Whether or not a person is a politician, a member of the clergy, a teacher, or a college student presenting a thesis in front of professors, knowing the audience is key. For starters, speakers have to redefine their audiences and come to understand that most people want the lecturer or presenter to succeed. This should help cut back on nerves, but more on pre-speech jitters later. Read more

Justin Singletary, Savannah, Shares Tips for Military Relocation

Justin Singletary, Savannah real estate consultant, may look like a slick businessman these days, but from 2001 to 2007, he was in military garb, serving his country admirably in the United States Army. Since 2007, he has traded his duty tours in Iraq and Afghanistan for a station spot in Savannah, Georgia, where he helps troops and their families find homes after they are relocated to the area.

For Justin Singletary, Savannah is a new kind of arena for military service and duty. While the danger levels in his current life have decreased dramatically in comparison to the war zones in which he used to serve, Singletary believes the work he is doing in his Georgia hometown is every bit as vital to the military as what he was doing overseas. As a military man himself, Justin Singletary has seen firsthand the toll that frequent military relocation can take on troops and their families.

Unpredictable, stressful, and emotional, military relocation can be a physically and emotionally draining process for even the most hardened soldier. By listening to his clients’ needs and helping troops navigate the real estate labyrinth, Justin Singletary of Savannah aims to reduce the stress of a military move and make the relocation process seamless. After all, finding the right home in the right neighborhood—and finding it quickly—can make all the difference for a military family moving to a new area. Read more