How to get the most out of attending a national communications conference

November 5, 2017

During my career, I’ve attended more than a few of the national communications conferences organized by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the International Association of Business Communicators. The most recent one I attended was 2017 in Boston when I was among the 2,300 attendees at PRSA’s national conference. These conferences can be […]

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The instant nature of today’s news: Will your organization be ready when CNN calls?

July 4, 2017

My hometown newspaper, The Oregonian, reported today that a small airport in the small Oregon city of Hillsboro was the site of a bizarre helicopter hijacking attempt yesterday (July 3). The incident ended when police shot and killed the would-be hijacker. The last paragraph of story caught my eye because it contains an important lesson […]

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The news topic that attracts the most eyeballs

March 26, 2017

The topic people most want to read about in their newspaper, hear about on the radio or see on their television news is … other people. Don’t believe me? Let’s say the front page of your newspaper today includes three stories. One story is about the latest argument in Congress. Another story is about a […]

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Comedic tv show has scary lessons for PR pros

February 11, 2017

My son and wife recently introduced me to a Comedy Central show entitled “Nathan For You.” I watched an episode dubbed “The Movement”* and found myself laughing hysterically but, in the end, wound up quite scared for the lessons it taught about the news media and the public relations profession. The premise of the episode […]

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Here’s some advice for PR pros from two national reporters

June 1, 2016

I attended a “Meet the Media” event today that I helped organize on behalf of the Portland Metro chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. The two speakers were Portland-based reporters from national news media outlets: John Maxfield from the Motley Fool and Tim Dickinson from Rolling Stone magazine. I want to share some of […]

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Communications lessons from almost 40 years of experience

May 9, 2016

I was among the speakers at the 20th annual Portland Communicators Conference held recently in Portland, Ore. In my presentation, I shared 14 of the lessons I learned from my almost 40 years of working in journalism, public relations and corporate communications. The focus of my remarks was how to survive, thrive and even prepare […]

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Two words of advice: Try harder

April 30, 2016

Many years ago the Avis car rental company’s slogan was “We try harder.” I loved that slogan. The company was acknowledging that it was not as big as market leader Hertz, but that it wanted your business because its staff would try harder to please you (according to an article I read online by AdvertisingAge, […]

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Love might mean never having to say you’re sorry, but not when it comes to mistakes by the news media

January 17, 2016

Many years ago there was a well-known book that became a popular movie in 1970. Both were named “Love Story.” And the most famous lines from that film was, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” For years after the film came out you would see that line printed on everything from pillows to […]

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Our attention span is shrinking: so get to the point quickly in your news release

March 11, 2015

I had heard recently on the radio that a new study showed our attention span has gotten shorter. So I went online to see what I could find. I came across a 2014 study (not exactly new) from the National Center for Biotechnology Information that said the average human’s attention span was eight seconds in 2013, as […]

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Your deadline is “Now!” (but you can still control the timing)

February 8, 2015

Adam Kress in Arizona, a former reporter now working in the public relations industry, wrote a column recently with five tips for PR pros about how to deal with the news media (read his column here). I really liked his thoughts and I encourage you to read his piece. One of the tips Adam shared […]

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