The Newsworthy Rise of Late Night Comedy

By Alex Altman More Americans are turning to an unlikely source for news: late night comedy. During the 2016 presidential election, more people got their news from late night comedy than print versions of national newspapers, according to journalism.org. Among 18-29 year olds, late night comedy was more informative than network nightly news. IT ALL STARTED With distrust in the mainstream media at an all-time high, the Cronkites, Sawyers and Brokaws of the world are being replaced by the Colberts, Olivers and Bees in the pantheon of trusted news orators. It’s a trend that started in 1999 when Jon Stewart […]

6 Solutions for Combating Fake News

By Alex Altman Six months after the election, fake news continues to be a real threat. Not just to the political system, but to businesses and the PR professionals charged with safeguarding their fragile public images. If last year’s campaign season taught us anything, it’s that people will believe anything that supports their personal agendas. That’s how fibs like Pizzagate, a wild conspiracy theory involving Hillary Clinton and a human trafficking ring, spread like wildfire and become part of the national conversation. While most will read a story like Pizzagate and ponder the political implications, there’s another victim here: the […]

5 Companies Winning in PR and the Reasons Why

By Alex Altman From polls to social media, there are many ways to measure a brand’s public image. But trying to figure out what drove that perception in the first place is a different story. Several factors lead consumers to form the belief that Brand A is good and Brand B is bad. But study the most reputable companies in the world and you’ll find there are more commonalities than you think. Here are five brands with favorable public images, and the reasons they appeal to consumers. Rolex There’s a reason Rolex is the most respected company in the world. […]

Tips for Working with Social Influencers

By Alex Altman The relationship between brands and celebrities goes back decades. Watch TV for an hour today and it’s a virtual certainty that you’ll see Jennifer Garner hawking credit cards, Chris Paul peddling insurance, or some other famous person selling you something you don’t need. In 2017 though, you don’t need to star in sport or cinema to get paid like a celebrity for endorsing a product. All you need is a large social presence. People who wield their social clout to promote brand messages on their own accounts are known as social influencers, and they’re part of a […]

PR PEOPLE: WHY REPORTERS LOVE THEM

By: Melissa Smuzynski About nine years into my career as a television reporter, a big milestone happened in my personal life: I got married. During the months leading up to our wedding, my future husband and I planned out every small, painstaking detail. Creating the guest list was one of the hardest steps for us in the process. Together, we whittled down the list, marking off those with whom we weren’t really close until finally we had a solid guest list consisting of 100 of our closest friends and family. I’m telling you this story to make a point. On […]

Gone in a Flash: The Abrupt Demise of Vine

By Alex Altman Last fall, 18 of Vine’s top 50 content creators gathered at the company’s Los Angeles headquarters with a brazen proposal. For $21.6 million and Vine’s promise to roll out several product changes, each influencer would create 12 videos per month — and presumably pledge their undying loyalty to the app. It was a stunning proposal that underscored just how far Vine had fallen. Just a few years ago, Vine was the fastest growing video-sharing app in the world — a social media titan with 200 million monthly active users and the financial backing of its parent company, […]

ENGAGEMENT VS. FOLLOW COUNT: WHAT MATTERS MOST

By Melissa Smuzynski When it comes to social media, numbers matter. When I sit down with a new client to discuss public relations’ objectives, the first thing that usually comes up is social media, and with good reason. I admit social media is a necessary element to basically any PR campaign. But when asked about their social media goals, most businesses will say their primary desire is to gain more followers. There seems to be a common belief that the more followers one has on any respective social channel, the more influence they have in their field. More fans equal […]

BUILDING A BRAND IN A DIGITAL WORLD

By Melissa Newton-Smuzynski A couple of decades ago, the word media meant newspapers, television, and magazines.  Then came the Internet and the meaning evolved. News organizations started experimenting with websites and creating online content. Soon after, the emergence of online social channels such as Facebook and Twitter added another layer to the definition. Almost instantly, media became interactive.  Businesses and brands could bypass newspapers and television stations and connect directly with their consumers. Finding ways to connect with those consumers became the new job of public relations professionals. Public relations as an industry had to evolve with the media to […]

Donald Trump On His PR Message?

By Brian Murnahan Donald Trump’s rise from political obscurity, where he was an established businessman and TV personality to the elite few who will make the final run toward president is a lesson in public relations mastery or absolute folly. Few would seriously argue that his first months on the campaign trail were seen by most as anything more than a stunt. His statements, one after another, more over the top than the previous with speeches that would sound like mental vomit, where everything in his brain would be hurled out on stage, in front of millions during the nightly news and […]