musings on marketing, media, public relations....and life, by David Reich
Reich Communications, Inc.
Reich Communications, Inc. is a boutique public relations agency in New York City offering full service in a variety of areas, with specializations in business-to-business; advertising, marketing and media firms; transportation safety; non-profits, and select consumer products and services.
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Nancy Silberkleit, a friend who is Co-CEO of Archie Comics, is a firm believer that comic books, or graphic novels as they are sometimes called, can teach and inspire.
The iconic Archie series is often about teenage puppy love and the angst of growing up.
But Nancy has used the Archie platform, as well as the comic book medium in general, to help young readers deal with issues like bullying and self confidence. She even formed a foundation called Rise Above Social Issues to help kids deal with the issue, and she is a frequent speaker through out the U.S. and as far abroad as India and Africa.
Nancy also believes comics can inspire positive action. She recently added a teacher's guide to an Archie story titled "Get Drastic with Plastic," where Archie's pals Betty and Veronica, after hearing a speaker at school talk about the environmental impact of plastic, got their school and the community to do more to recycle. Nancy made the lesson plan available at no charge to teachers.
Hats off to Nancy Silberkleit for showing how a medium many see as simply light entertainment can be used to inspire and promote responsible action.
When it comes to preferences in music, movies and media, different age groups don't agree on much. But a recent poll by the Pew Research Center shows Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials do agree on which news sources they feel they can least trust.
All age groups say sources they trust least for accurate reporting are Buzzfeed and three widely-syndicated conservative radio shows hosted by Glenn beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.
Although many listen to the opinionated radio shows, they may tune in more for the entertainment value than for trustworthy news reporting.
The Pew study found more of a discrepancy by age groups when asked which news sources they can trust. Millennials (ages 19-34) say they rely on two faux-news shows, The Daily Show and the recently-ended Colbert Report. Almost as scary is that this group also lists Al Jazeera America as one its most-trusted sources of news. Boomers and Gen Xers, maybe with wisdom that comes with age, said they don't rely on any of those programs for reliable information. They say they get much of their news from local TV.
Troubling, to me at least, is that newspapers didn't figure into the picture for reliable news. (And where do you think local TV gets many of its story leads? The morning paper.)
For 24 years, Bob Schieffer has helped make sense out of what too often seems like a senseless place -- Washington DC. As host of CBS' Face the Nation every Sunday morning, he'd ask tough questions of those we pay to represent us.
In his closing broadcast today, he said he's enjoyed every bit of the 58 years he's spent as a reporter.
Good luck, Bob, and thanks for your probing and your insights.
Many of us New Yorkers can be a bit sensitive when someone criticizes our city. One frequent -- although really unfair -- criticism is that we New Yorkers are rude. I've come across plenty of rude and selfish people in other cities, large and small. It's not a trait we here in New York own.
So I have to admit, I was pleased to see a story in The Chicago Tribune by transportation reporter Jon Hilkevitch. I've dealt with Jon. He's not at all rude. But evidently many of his fellow Chicagoans are, which has caused the Chicago Transit Authority to launch a new campaign calling for courtesy on the trains and buses serving the windy city.
According to Hilkevitch's story, thirteen humorous messages addressing rude behavior began appearing this week on trains and buses and in stations. The ads address things like blaring loud music, littering and spreading out to take two seats. (New York's MTA has a campaign that addresses that same issue, which they call "manspreading.")
So it's good to see that rudeness is rampant in other places. It makes me feel that much better about this great place that I call home.
With the end of David Letterman's 22-year run in CBS' 11:35 p.m. spot, the network seems to be missing a real opportunity to keep a hold on the late-night spot. But instead, they're pretty much giving up on it until September when Stephen Colbert begins his new show.
In the meantime, CBS has an hour of "The Mentalist" reruns filling the hole between the local news and the promising new talk show being done by James Corden, who took over Craig Ferguson's spot a few months ago. When it was a first-run series, "The Mentalist" did pretty well for CBS. But now that the show is out of production, it becomes one of many re-runs that can be seen late-night on local affiliates and on cable.
Dropping the late-night talk show format at 11:35 puts CBS back in the dark days before they hired Letterman. Although he consistently trailed Jay Leno in the ratings, Letterman did build a solid and loyal following that was a profit center for CBS – more so than the reruns that had filled that time slot for many years.
So I can't understand why CBS is just giving up the slot. If I were CBS CEO Les Moonves, I'd do one of two things.
If Letterman would permit it, I'd run a "Best of Letterman" series of reruns until the new guy comes on board. It would hold the Letterman fans, and after all the hype of the past several weeks, it would probably draw lots of new viewers who never watched Letterman but would now tune in out of curiosity about what they've missed all these years.
If Letterman doesn't want to license those shows to CBS, preferring to have his final show mark the end of him on TV at all, there's another option. Start re-running past Late Late Shows with James Corden. There aren't a lot of them yet, but showing them at 11:35 might build an audience for him in his 12:35 spot.
Actually, there's yet another option which CBS already tried when Craig Ferguson left. During the few months before Corden started, CBS had a series of guest hosts, including many show biz people who you wouldn't expect to see in that role. Some turned out to be pretty good doing soft interviews, and at the least it kept the talk show format alive in that time slot on CBS.
It seems that CBS is just throwing in the towel at 11:35, waiting for Colbert. But as viewers surf over to Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, they'll get comfortable with either or both Jimmy's, and some won't come back – even for Stephen Colbert.
It makes sense to me, but what do I know? I'm not getting anywhere close to the $54.4 million Les Moonves earns, so he must know a lot more than I do. Maybe.
I've had several emails and calls lately, asking if I've stopped blogging or if maybe their blog subscription somehow got dropped.
I'm still a blogger, but I took a hiatus for a few months. Here's why... If you look at my previous post, you'll see we had to put our dog Loki down the day after New Year. It hurt so much and there's still a real pain in my heart and a hole in my spirit. I just didn't have the mental energy to write for the blog. And truthfully, I enjoy seeing Loki's picture there when I check my blog page.
I thought of posting many times. After all, there's been lots to write about... Super Bowl ads and prices, a new ad/marketing reporter at the New York Times, continuing trends in ad pages and readership in print media, PR gaffes by politicians and world leaders, and more. But I just didn't have the steam to put my thoughts here.
But it's time. I'm back. Thanks for your patience and please keep reading and commenting by adding your own 2 cents to mine.
He's been our good friend for almost 14-1/2 years... a very good run for a big dog.
And today we had to say goodbye to him.
My heart is broken ... it hurts so much.
But we have so many fun things to think of that will always keep our pal Loki alive in our hearts forever. His love for his puppy pal Delia, who he's now playing with in dog heaven. His walks through Hunts Woods and dunking in the stream, even on the most frigid days. Running on the big lawn in Harpswell and going down to the beach to swim and scavenge for food. Standing by me at mealtime, barking for me to share my meal with him. Riding in the convertible catching the wind as the breeze blew his ears and jowls, spraying drool all over us. Rolling over for belly rubs. Looking out the window from his favorite perches -- his chair in our bedroom or on the steps so he could see through the front door window. Waking up to find him snuggled between us with his head on the pillow. Greeting me in the morning with endless kisses.
And so much more...
We'll miss it all, but we'll always remember our Loki.
As much as things change, some basics remain the same. I'm reposting this from a year ago, where I looked at what I thought would be new in PR in this year just ending. As I reread it, not so much has changed. The basics of good public relations and media relations remain the same: Study the media you want to use to reach your target audience, determine how what you or your client has to say fits into what the media are doing, and pitch it properly.
This, from my 2 cents a year ago...
What will the new year bring for the world of PR, or at least the part of it that deals with publicity and media relations?
There continues to be talk about all the new forms of media, especially social media and so-called second screens. Some people still talk about their goal of having something "go viral." The new hot topic is content and "native advertising." And I still have clients say "Get me on Oprah."
But even with all the changes taking place in the media landscape, the challenge for publicity is still pretty much the same. Study the media you want to use to reach your target audience, determine how what you or your client has to say fits into what the media are doing, and pitch it properly.
Those three simplified steps are basically what successful PR people have doing for decades, going back to the days when there were just three TV networks and a handful or local stations, no cable or satellite TV, no internet or iPhones. And those three basic steps still work.
Content marketing and social media outreach are creating new opportunities for those of us in PR, but the basics of publicity still remain the same. It's as simple as that.