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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The Bill Cosby crisis and what he’s doing wrong to address it

November 21, 2014

I’ve been a big Bill Cosby fan since I was a child. I bought his comedy records (back in the day when there were records). I have also seen him perform live at least three times, the most recent was just before the crisis hit. I always thought he was one of the best comedians […]

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Local Ebola news coverage an example of “what if it happened here?”

October 1, 2014

The outbreak of the Ebola virus in Africa and its subsequent spread into the United States has caused the news media in the city where I live (Portland, Oregon) to produce stories about what would happen if the virus came to this part of the country. I’d be surprised if the same isn’t happening in […]

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