Monday, September 29, 2014

And now to tonight’s fake news …

Posted by Greg Matusky
STRANGE NEWS: Major Mariam al-Mansouri
comes from the UAE, where women are
routinely discriminated against. 
Last week’s news that a female fighter pilot from the United Arab Emirates had led an airstrike on ISIS strongholds inside Syria struck me as odd. Especially since The UAE isn’t exactly known as a hotbed for women's equality. I mean, their biggest claim to fame on the topic is that unlike other Arab counties, they allow women to drive cars!

According to Human Rights Watch, the UAE isn’t exactly the National Organization for Woman. Islamic law in the UAE discriminates against women granting men privileged rights in divorce, inheritance, and child custody. Men in the UAE are allowed up to four wives, while forbidding Muslim women, but not men, from marrying non-Muslims.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What defines news: More and more it’s video

Posted by Greg Matusky
Rice case, it was video that rejuvenated the story 
What’s news? As every journalism student knows, it’s got to be timely, local, significant, celebrity-driven, or human-interest focused.

Well, all that and more is now trumped by one additional qualification: video. If the recent Ray Rice case taught us anything, it’s that video, in all its grainy, security camera glory now trumps even the most classic definition of news. The Ray Rice story was dead in its tracks, until it came back to life, thanks to the security tapes from the now-defunct Revel Casino in Atlantic City.

Rice had testified truthfully to team and league officials that he had struck his fiance, knocking her out in the elevator that night. It had all been reported. Heck, we all saw him drag her from the elevator. But it wasn’t until some former Revel security guard decided to hawk the video of the actual punch to TMZ, did the story turn Frankensteinian, life from non-life.

With new video, a story once reported and cold as last weekend’s pizza quickly became the top sports story in the world.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The new age of PR integration

Posted by Greg Matusky
I am excited. My heart is racing; palms sweating.

I just hung up with an incredible prospective client that’s growing like mad. Added 30 people last month alone; sells big deals to major corporate players. Has 10 highly respected subject matter experts on staff, and holds a unique and distinct competitive advantage. And they are doing it with NO formalized marketing or public relations program in place.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The spiral of silence in social media: If real it undermines the value of these media

Posted by Greg Matusky
SPIRAL OF SILENCE: Pew found that social media users
are becoming more hesitant to share beliefs online.
If you are a big follower of social media, as I am, you would think that digital pathways provide an enormous opportunity for citizens to engage in public dialogue on policy, politics, and religion. But a new study by PewResearch suggests that citizens are actually less likely to share their political and religious views in social media than they are in the real world, particularly if they feel their opinion isn’t widely shared by the world in general. The finding supports the phenomenon called the spiral of silence, which has long been documented to exist outside the internet.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The NFL’s looming PR disaster

Posted by Greg Matusky
IS MARK CUBAN RIGHT? The 2014 season
might show us a fundamentally changed NFL.
Could Mark Cuban be right? Could the NFL being sowing the seeds of its own destruction? Seems highly implausible. As the most profitable sports league in the world with $1 billion of profit, it’s hard to believe anything can derail this American institution. Cuban, though, contends that the NFL’s own greed and its drive to expand TV coverage could in 10 years erode the brand and run it into the ground.

Well that might just happen sooner than later if this preseason is any indication of the NFL’s flagrant disregard for its own traditions, legacy, and the power of its brand. What fans witnessed this summer suggests that the NFL is heading full steam ahead with a product that, if the course doesn’t change, will be nearly unrecognizable to fans when the season opens September 4, 2014.

Monday, August 18, 2014

At CNBC, the medium is the message

Posted by Greg Matusky
AS SEEN ON TV: Appearances on business TV are worth a
a great deal for your product, service, or investment.
Will an appearance on CNBC, FOX Business, or other business TV networks spike a stock price or drive demand for a product? Probably not. But if leveraged properly, it can be worth its weight in gold.

Last year, we secured scores and scores of appearances on CNBC, Fox Business, and Bloomberg TV for our clients. Still, such a rush to coverage always raises the specter of, "What is all this worth? How valuable is someone’s five minutes of fame among the non-stop talking heads and barrage of market opinion and analysis by an endless stream of commentators?"

Well, it turns out, it’s worth a great deal. Maybe not in the fleetingness of the appearance - which can easily get lost in the 24-hour news cycle -but rather the real value comes from how an appearance or series of appearances can push forward a narrative, build credibility, and differentiate a product, service, or investment opportunity from a crowded field of competitors. Here’s how:

Advancing the narrative. Storytelling is among the most powerful means of human communications. Stories hang in human memory. They trump fact and features. They seed meaning and affect decision-making. And they can impose discipline on an organization. Effective three minute storytelling is a learned art, often mastered in the pressure cooker of media training leading up to a TV appearance. It’s here where many clients crystallize their thoughts and distill the essence of their message. That exercise alone is valuable, but then distributing it on national TV amplifies it, not just for viewers, but also for employees, partners, and shareholders who can view it over time, thanks to the miracle of Internet.

Monday, August 11, 2014

If it bleeds, it leads

Posted by Greg Matusky
The old newspaper adage has more to do with us than with journalism. At least that’s one conclusion from Abundance: The Future is  Better than You Think. The 2012 book by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kolter. Diamandis is an engineer, physician, entrepreneur, and founder and chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation. I had been meaning to read his book for some time, and a recent remote working assignment away from the office gave me the perfect excuse.

Abundance presents a rare, positive look at our future and at how much progress our civilization has made, particularly in the past 50 years. It all goes under-reported, though, because Diamandis believes we are predisposed to negative biases by a primitive structure in our brain that is ever vigilant, searching for danger above all else. No matter the good, it’s our brain that allows the bad to dominate our attention, much of which is focused by the media.
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