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Erosion of the traditional? – On trust in the media

By Jan-Patrik Frohn, Alpha & Omega PR

Digitization has infiltrated nearly every aspect of daily life. In communication, consumption, love or traditional economy – digitization impacts our life everywhere. At a time when everyone with an internet connection can become his or her own media outlet, the Edelman Trust Barometer investigated the digital age’s impact on trust in the media.

Trust is an essential, if not the most essential commodity for both personal relationships and on a societal level. Trust is a connector, the social link within a population. Trust in the government, in institutions, in media and corporations all form the fabric of society. Media in a modern democracy is an essential tool to help the public make informed decisions and formulate opinions. Today, media still represents an important window to the world for the average citizen. Through media, an audience can stay informed about global affairs, while formulating opinions, and keeping up to date on events, products and services.

The most recent Edelman Trust Barometer investigates society’s trust in the media today and asks important questions. Who is ranked highest in the public’s trust barometer? Are the ‘new’ forms of media like social media and search engines catching up? And how does this influence Public Relations? Do we need new communication strategies?

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A Business That Helps Other Businesses Get More Business.

That in the proverbial nutshell is what we do.

Those in PR will understand that explaining what we do to friends, family and even prospective clients, who aren’t intimate with the ways of the PR world, can be a challenge.

Such was the case when I coincidentally found myself on a streetcar ride with my daughter’s fourth-grade class on their way to a field trip.  I was peppered with questions about where I work and what I do – apparently The iPR t-shirts I got my girls as a gift weren’t doing the trick.

So after about 10 minutes of trying to explain our raison d’etre – one of my daughter’s friends piped up and said – You’re a business that helps other businesses get more business – shout out to Sloane.

I think it may be time for that heading to find a place on our website.  Some people have trouble with exactly what PR does for a business but ultimately it helps to drive more business.  How that happens is many a splendid thing. Check out the Impact page on our website which lists what we do.

My long time mantra, courtesy of a former colleague, has been, “We’re all in sales.”  And while I don’t plan to give that line up anytime soon, don’t be surprised if your next iPR proposal starts with… A business that helps other businesses get more business.

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The Consumer Electronics Show Is Gearing Up on the PR Side

The biggest lament for many of us when it comes to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the timing. Not only does it start the first week back from the holiday break but the lead up to the show is all of December, when getting anyone’s attention is challenging to say the least.

Alas it is what it is and the only thing you can do is work it. So here are five considerations for getting in front of the media:

1. When and where to engage your key media: Like many things in life it’s good to have options. CES is a beast and one that is impossible to tame in three or four days. It’s best to make yourself available to media in different ways, be it on the show floor, a private suite, third-party media events like Digital Experience and Showstoppers or hospitality-based events like receptions or dinners. If you rely on just one, it’s not very likely that many of your contacts will be available.

2. Don’t push it: CES is a great place to connect with your key media and influencers, but it’s not the only place. Media are pushed and pulled in many directions at the show and getting to a meeting or demo can be a huge task. So if they can’t see your clients or have to bail on a demo, get them later. They can’t be all things to all people at CES.

3. Consider pre-CES briefings: For a number of years now we’ve worked with Belkin/Linksys to brief media in December under embargo. And it works great. The media love it because it enables them to create content before they even pack their bags and gives them more time at CES to cover other areas. Typically the embargo lifts the day the show starts and the coverage is had.

4. Go for substance: Don’t get hung up on exposure coming directly from the show. While lots of coverage comes out of CES it’s too often dominated by flash in the pan items (does anyone remember the smart fork? Yeah, I didn’t think so). Our primary goal at CES is to build relationships and get the media in front of the contacts that will build long term rapport. Make sure you have something meaningful to cover and be someone the media can count on. That will get you the right exposure all year long.

5. It ain’t over till it’s over: Getting a contact interested at CES is just step one. Once you get back there’s still a lot to be done. Closing stories generated at CES can take weeks and months, so be prepared for lots of follow-up and prompt delivery of details that weren’t yet finalized for products or services as well as timely review units.

Other than that CES is a piece of cake.

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RIP RFP

 

Here is a great video on spec work and RFPs from Zulu Alpha Kilo.  It’s been a long time since we have responded or sought out an RFP.  Luckily for me the RFP headed south early in my career.

The first time I had to shake my head was when a well-known courier company held a highly anticipated call for agencies. After a long process, they shortlisted three firms.  In the end none were chosen, with the company saying they weren’t on strategy.  Needless to say it caused quite a stir in the industry and for me was likely the beginning of the end.  I couldn’t and still can’t get over how much work all those agencies must have sacrificed for that pitch.

My other RFP head shaker was a proposal I submitted for a federal government assignment to run a program.  I duly followed the RFP and submitted it, only to find out later that we weren’t selected.  A year later here it comes again – this time I decided to call the contact name on the proposal and found out that we were the only agency that had responded but weren’t selected based on the criteria.  While it’s possible we may not have qualified there is little doubt in my mind that the RFP went to a firm that was pretty much pre-selected.  Yes, my first clue should have been “government RFP” but live and learn.

RFPs are a hangover from another generation. My suggestion: two Advil and a nice credential document instead.

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