Author Archives: Joni Winkler
At a time in history when it seems that every day we are experiencing historical events that have the potential to literally change the world around us, how do we, as communications professionals, break through the noise? Forget the noise for a second, what about breaking through the fear, the hype and the panic to tell a story that might actually affect you, your family, your neighbors? Can we? Is it even possible? Does it even matter?
To these questions questions, I submit that the answer is YES. More than ever on both a personal and professional level, it matters. It matters to me personally to know that there are initiatives, programs, events and just some GOOD news in my community. It matters to me as a professional to know that the local media markets all over the country actually want to hear about these initiatives, programs and events and share them with their audiences. It matters. It’s possible. And we can.
Here at Boom we work with some amazing clients. We have the pleasure to be working with The Entertainment Industry Foundation (you’re likely familiar with their Stand Up To Cancer initiative) on a new initiative: Think It Up. Think It Up is the first-of-its-kind platform to fund student-powered, teacher-led learning projects in partnership with DonorsChoose.org. Our role is to maximize the message through Public Service Announcements on TV and Radio. Our focus is to gain national exposure by way of local network affiliates and media outlets. LOCAL. The key here is connecting the dots on a cause or issue that affects people in a specific community and making a case for the media outlet sharing it. Old school, one-on-one outreach. Not syndication/RSS, not viral, not digital. Just connecting a message with an audience. And it works. It’s not immediate, it’s not snappy or chatty. It’s local media relations.
We were thrilled to see that particular campaign firing on all media platforms this week an landing locally. In fact, in my own backyard. A local tie to the initiative was covered in the Denver Post this week…both their online and print editions of hyper local “Your Hub.” The feature focused on the first-ever Think It Up Live event that took place A Columbine High School (in my own Jeffco neighborhood.) Kids and teachers brainstorming ideas for powerful learning projects that will be submitted for crowdfunding on ThinkItUp.org. This initiative matters, the story matters, and local media matters.
Today marks Boom’s 11th birthday! And like any 11-year old, we’ve had to navigate some fairly significant changes over the years. It’s been a wild ride and we know we are possibly entering “that awkward stage,” but for now we’re feeling a little nostalgic.
Remember when broadcast news was the big player when it came to “electronic media?” We do. While the interwebs have been taking us on a wild ride we think our timing launching Boom could not have come at a more interesting time. Here’s a few notable trends that have come, gone or broken onto the media scene this last decade-plus-one:
- Podcasts. Our clients had to have one 9 years ago. Then they didn’t. Now, thanks to Serial we all know what a podcast is again.
- Mommy Bloggers. A whole new species when considering pitching a story, content, or an announcement. Like any good mommy, they call the shots, do it “their way.”
- Social Media. Who’s on it? Your ad team? Your PR team? The web team? These were the questions that needed to be answered these last 11 years. Who’s keeping up? Ironically, the only one that is truly keeping up is probably the 11-year-old next door.
- Video. Time was, a video was a video was a video. Now, and let’s say it together…it’s “CONTENT.”
- Mobile. The newest category of media. Remember when we could fit our flip phones in a pocket or the inside zipper of your bag? Who would have predicted our “devices” (aka “phones”) would be getting bigger these last few years rather than smaller.
- Text-neck. See “mobile” above. Now the challenge is to presume what game, app, or site that “user” is staring at and slip in your message. If your story can’t be told with 6-second content, might need to consider another route.
So there you go. The times as always, are a changin’. And while 11 can certainly be the start of those awkward years, like our 11-year-old selves, ignorance is bliss and we’re ready for the ride.
Boom Broadcast is ten years old. However, I’ve been involved in broadcast media relations for over 20 years (oh…that is painful to type…) In that time, terms like “hard copy,” “beta,” “VNR” and even “satellite feed” give way to “digital upload,” “H-dot-two-six-four,” “broll & bites,” and “digital delivery.”
But while the technology changes, the essence of media relations really hasn’t. Even if it’s “sponsored content” what matters is delivering meaningful stories or messages to the appropriate news outlets to reach your desired audience.
While rumors of our industry’s demise have risen and fallen over the years, hype for the newest tool in the bag comes and goes. Whether the banter focuses on PODCAST (remember when you had to have one?), SOCIAL, DIGITAL or (and I love this one..) TRADITIONAL media tactics…none can really survive alone to deliver a robust or even complete PR plan.
Last fall I had the pleasure of a referral by a long-time client to their PR agency who “specialized in digital.” As we chatted about the successes we had over the years with our common client’s brand, I mentioned radio as an effective outlet for other brands they represented. I articulated what a radio news release was, and how a radio media tour worked. A few weeks later I had a call from one of those who was at the coffee shop where we met. They were over the moon about a demand at the agency for more information about this great idea: Radio. Yes, Radio. These staffers were having a new and gushing love affair with this old stand-by. I’m sure, at this agency, Social was seething…but fear not Social. There’s room for all of you! If you just hold out long enough, the pendulum swings back and all these outlets and tactics can play nice to deliver a strong, if not stellar, media mix for your PR plans.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” – William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
But…would it? Today’s branding experts might argue with Shakespeare that the name might actually influence the smell after all. I mean, it’s all perception right? Image? Association? We want to associate with brands that we feel represent us, say something about us, possibly even define us. At Boom, we don’t claim to be branding experts, but 10 years ago when it came to deciding on a name for our company, we felt strongly that it should be something that not only stood out in our industry, but really captured who we are and how we work and maybe even communicate what you could expect when you work with us.
We started with the brainstorm…we asked around for one word answers to “what makes you want to work with an outside company or agency?” We had some great responses: honesty, great results, price/value, likability, efficiency. But one sentiment really came through consistently: we want someone who will do what they say they will do.
We liked that. We liked that a lot. Because when we asked ourselves what was the impulse to go out on our own, we realized that this sentiment was a contributing factor. We were frustrated with our own environment at the time. We were a bit bogged down in process and bureaucracy and politics internally that often made it impossible for us to “just get it done” for our clients. So the brainstorm naturally flowed: what do we want our clients to know, to experience, to feel like when they come to us. The answer: that we get the job done. You tell us what you need, BOOM, it’s done. No unnecessary back and forth,no extra meetings, no series of conference calls. Get to the root of what our clients need. Ask the right questions, float the solution, and you should naturally get the BOOM.
While Shakespeare clearly got it right when referring to Juliet, we’re not so sure his hypothetical applies in today’s competitive world of branding. We hope our approach to client service and appeal would be just as strong if we were, say “the broadcast media relations company, inc.” But we’d rather stick with what we’ve got…after all,everyone needs a little Boom now and then.
Sounds like a contradiction right? Why do a news announcement without including the media? We’re finding our clients are doing it all the time – leaving out TRADITIONAL media that is…like TV news, radio pitching, sometimes even leaving out the online brands of traditional print media outlets. Well the times…they are a changin’ (or maybe, just “correcting…”)
With social media, came the recognition that a new golden child had emerged for PR professionals: here is our audience, let’s go get ’em. And so, a strong focus on print and broadcast began to wane while social got all the love. Now that analysis of user behavior online is showing us that users are getting wise to the sponsored post, and wise to navigating AROUND digital paid (ads) maybe it’s time to recognize that social is really not replacing a traditional media outlet, but now just joining the party. A well-planned news announcement, event or charitable cause should include multiple media strategies in order to effectively capture print coverage, broadcast coverage, and online media coverage. In fact, PR in general is proving to be more effective than content marketing altogether. Here at Boom we have a stake in broadcast being a strong part of the PR plan. In other words, don’t get caught with your broadcast down. Some respectable organizations have some stats to back us up:
PEW RESEARCH: “Local TV remains a top news source for Americans, with almost three out of four U.S. adults (71%) watching local television news compared with 65% viewing network newscasts and 38% cable news over the course of a month, according to our analysis of Nielsen data from February 2013.” Here is that LINK TO READ MORE
HUFFPO/NIELSEN: “Content Marketing is 88% less effective than PR” A couple items we like:85 percent of consumers regularly or occasionally seek out trusted expert content — credible, third-party articles and reviews — when considering a purchase (hello online media relations…) 67 percent of consumers agree that an endorsement from an unbiased expert makes them more likely to consider purchasing (ahem, RMT or SMT anyone?) Here is THAT ARTICLE to read more