Tag Archive for 'media'

History’s First Press Release

Pennsylvania railroad

After a Penn Railroad train ran off the rails, PR pioneer Ivy Lee gained the upper hand over reporters covering the story with a subtle account of the accident that minimized the reputational damage to his client.

Is Public Relations Just Fake News In Disguise?

The modern era of managed information began with a succinct press release written by a former newsman on behalf of his industrial client, a northeastern railroad that had just suffered a derailment resulting in multiple deaths. To be sure, ten eyewitnesses if asked to describe the accident would have ten different accounts of the exact same facts. But the one that made it into the New York Times that day is the only one that counts.

The first press release of the modern era was crafted in 1906 by Ivy Lee, one of public relation’s original founders, for his client the Pennsylvania Railroad. Following a derailment that resulted in multiple deaths, Lee arranged for reporters to be transported to the accident scene – under his watchful eye – and at the same time released an account of what happened, complete with asides, misdirections, and human interest.

What ran in the paper that day wasn’t Fake News, but it wasn’t a totally innocent, unbiased account of what actually happened either. It was a subjective report presented as an objective story on behalf of a client in exchange for income.

#FakeNews isn’t a new concept. Public relations is, among other things, an extension of the psychology of people, and towards that end its best known component is shifting public opinion from Point A to Point B beneath the radar. Like any profession its goals aren’t always in everyone’s best interest. Lowlights include the extensive campaigns, presented as news, that promoted smoking, especially when it came to converting women’s attitudes towards the habit.

All news is not created equally, and the concept of so-called Fake News is somewhat of an oxymoron. News that’s fake by definition isn’t news at all – it’s propaganda. The intention of the current campaign, though, is to create the idea that news in and of itself isn’t true. In other words, to shift opinion that casts doubt on journalists and the media.

In a consumer culture we seldom come to a conclusion strictly on merit, as opposed to being nudged in ways subtle enough as to escape detection as a motivating factor for any particular decision that is made. Ford. Or Chevy.

ubm shuts down dealernews

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Five Decades of Dealernews Now History

In a stunning announcement that dropped December 16, Jim Savas, VP/GM of automotive at media conglomerate UBM Advanstar, announced the immediate end of Dealernews as of December 23, 2015.

After initially making the case for a robust online presence, well supported by more than respectable metrics, Mr. Savas then set January 1, 2016, as the cessation of Dealernews in print, on the web, and across all digital channels.

As of December 18, there was no mention on either Twitter or Facebook of the decision to shut down what many in the powersports industry considered the Gray Lady of motorcycle aftermarket B2B publishing. Continue reading ‘ubm shuts down dealernews’

cycle world sold – again: to bonnier ab

The saga of Cycle World’s future existence continued today on news of the venerable publication’s sale to Field & Stream publisher Bonnier AB, a family held privately owned media group headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. Self-described as, “… a culturally progressive, humanistic organization (with) knowledge-sharing goals,” the European publisher is also involved in book publishing, broadcast, digital, cinema, cultural events and educational efforts.

Many of the company’s best known titles were acquired as part of the Time print selloff in 2007.

News of Cycle World’s (re)sale was predicted before the ink was dry on the June, 2011 sale by HFM to Hearst. Shortly after the transfer, rumors began circulating that the familiar CW brand was for sale by owner, no reasonable offer refused. Bonnier’s titles also include Popular Science and Parenting. In a statement announcing the sale, Cycle World is slotted for Bonnier’s special interest Outdoor channel. The amount of the sale was not disclosed.

Bonnier’s portfolio of titles is impressive, and includes such special interest lifestyle nameplates as Saveur, the Transworld active collection, Motorboating and Yachtbroker. Given the production quality and editorial value of their offerings, Cycle World seems likely to maintain their leadership in print while enjoying a much needed web makeover that could be transformational.

clues to cycle world’s future hinted

wsj reports on hearst new media aspirations

One of the first departments to get the ax after Hearst announced last June the completion of the HFM media sale that included Cycle World among others was that brand’s social media department.

That was followed last month by a rumor on the alt-lifestyle site Hell For Leather (subscription required) that the title was already up for sale, again, possibly to the first bidder willing to step forth and make an offer. Any offer.

Today’s Wall Street Journal announcement has Hearst looking very closely at the digital components of their extensive media empire, which now includes 15 dailies, 38 weeklies, nearly 200 magazine titles, and an eclectic collection of local t.v. and cable outlets ranging from A&E to ESPN.

WSJ points out the obvious: Hearst is caught in the same dilemma as very other purveyor of traditional media; namely, a no longer debatable downward spiral of sub and ad based revenue that, like Rosebud, is lost forever.

And it is to that end that corporate strategy now seems heavily focused on building out Hearst’s Interactive Media group and with it a pronounced shift in emphasis from old to new media and with it all the promise offered by the tech sector.

Too soon to tell if any of this will spill over to the Newport Beach offices of America’s most popular two-wheel journal. But if it does, that can only be good.

h-d marketing escapes from solitary

harley tries new dance steps, picks 3 to replace carmichael lynch

iconic brand splits ad work three ways

News out this morning from Ad Age has Harley’s media planning/buying to Publicis Groupe’s Starcom (first globally in media buying – new adds include Darden Group, Best Buy) while doing a 180 and casting their creative future with newcomer Victors & Spoils following Carmichael Lynch’s ship jumping last August after 30 years of mostly hidebound (“screw it – lets ride”, jeans over boots) treatment. At the same time, Publicis shop Digitas is greenlighted for digital, a too long neglected portal. Continue reading ‘h-d marketing escapes from solitary’

media spotlight: pbs tracks trends

a five-member panel hosted by pbs' newshour deliberated the changing media landscape

surviving in a digital tsunami

PBS NewsHour host Gwen Ifill led a five-member panel consisting of local print, digital and broadcast personalities in discussing The Changing Media Landscape, the last stop on a multi-state tour taking the public’s news temperature in cities across the country.

The 90-minute discussion, held today at St. Petersburg’s Poynter Institute, represented community, for profit, consumer and business POVs. It opened to an audience that included a contingent of Iraqi journalists by acknowledging the challenges facing a recession battered journalism that’s also being hammered by social media’s cultural transformation of how consumers take their news. Continue reading ‘media spotlight: pbs tracks trends’

don’t count email out yet

email will remain as a constant in web connectivityYesterday’s anticipated iPad intro was a major step towards a future imagined by Ben Parr over at Mashable, a world where we stay in touch by bypassing typing in favor of voice-to-text, where we’re surrounded by web connectivity via t.v., cars, and uncomputer like computers, where content evolves from text-driven to video-viewed and where social media becomes the driving force, not the passive voice.

Well. That’s quite a list, and will probably arrive sooner rather than later. In a disapointing Harris poll, two out of five adults no longer read a newspaper. Forty percent, if you’re keeping score. Worse, fewer than 25 percent of 18-34 year olds read a paper. And most readers say they won’t pay for online content.

According to Folio, magazines lost nearly $20 billion with a B in ad revenue last year. Yet despite dismal numbers for traditional mass media, teens and tweens are spending what many see as an unhealthy amount of hours online – by one study, over seven and a half daily spent surfing, gaming, texting and in general being connected.

How’s the mundane notion of email fit into the web world just around the corner? It’s not going away, it’ll just be interpreted differently. Professionally, you’ll still need an address that communicates authority. That’s the topic I tackled in my January newsletter. Read how to build a better trust score with an individualized account of your own.




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