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Posts from the ‘Public Relations’ Category

Contently – A Brief History of Explanatory Journalism


May 4, 2014

By Natalie Burg

3009254-poster-1920-176-feature-number-20-lara-setrakian-the-100-most-creative-people-in-businessRoy Peter Clark remembers when his mentor and editor of the St. Petersburg Times Gene Patterson began “preaching for the perfection of an ‘explanatory journalism’” in the 1980s. Clark himself wrote an essay on the topic, “Making Hard Facts Easy Reading” for the Washington Journalism Review in 1984 — the same year Ezra Klein was born.

Listening to online buzz, one might get the idea that Klein, Nate Silver and their contemporaries invented the idea of writing news that explains the news, even though the first Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism was handed out in 1985. Though Klein was quick to clarify in the comments of a recent article by Clark that he isn’t trying to take credit for the existence of explanatory journalism, he and a handful of others are undeniably on the forefront of explanatory journalism’s resurgence. Klein’s Vox, The New York Times’ The Upshot, Bloomberg’s QuickTake, and Silver’s newly re-launched FiveThirtyEight are just the crest of the wave.

What’s behind it? Let us explain.

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Marketing Profs – Blog Best-Practices and Benchmarks [graphics]


By Ayaz Nanji

Which are the best days and times to post to a blog? Do capital letters, exclamation points, and question marks in titles lead to more engagement? On which social networks do readers share blog posts most often?

TrackMaven recently tackled those questions (and many others) in its Colossal Content Marketing Report, which was based on an analysis of 1.16 million posts from 4,618 blogs and 1.9 million social shares of those posts. The data set included blog posts from a range of publishers, including content marketers, individuals, and media companies.

Best Days and Times to Post

  • 87% of the blog posts examined were published during the workweek, with Tuesday and Wednesday the most popular days for posting.
  • However, the 13% of pieces published on weekends actually had more social shares per post on average.
  • Saturday were particularly ripe for blog post sharing: Only 6.3% of posts were published on Saturdays, but they received 18% of the total social shares.

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LinkedIn – Your ‘Brand’ is the One Sentence People Say About You Behind Your Back


April 19, 2014

By Mark Drapeau, Ph.D.

056a192Not too long ago, Lululemon was a revered brand. Now it’s not, and sales have declined accordingly. Not so long ago, Apple could do no wrong. Now people wonder out loud if it’s innovative anymore. With constant connectedness and infinite information, consumers have never been so fickle about their choices.

According to the American Marketing Association, a brand is the “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s product distinct from those of other sellers.” That sounds like something from orientation day at Sterling Cooper Draper Price. What does the term “brand” actually mean in practice?

A brand is essentially the one sentence people say about you behind your back. This practical “street” definition based on actual human interaction applies equally well to people, products, and companies. For example, someone might describe Lululemon to their friend as “absolutely the best place to buy yoga gear, ever” or they might say “people say Lululemon great, but I’ve bought a few things and they fall apart, totally overrated.” Someone might describe you to their professional acquaintance as “the smartest person in New York on things related to creativity in advertising, you must talk to them” or “too cerebral and academic, I’m not sure they’d be the right fit for your advertising company.”

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Harvard Business Review – The Indispensable Power of Story

Harvard Business Review

April 18, 2014

By Anthony Tjan

TjanSome people have a way of making the complex clear.  They know who they are, why they do what they do, and where they want to go. Because they have internalized all this, they are able to sharply crystallize ideas and vision. They speak in simple, relatable terms. And they can get a lot accomplished.

Making your words understandable and inspirational isn’t about dumbing them down. Instead, it requires bringing in elements such as anecdote, mnemonic, metaphor, storytelling, and analogy in ways that connect the essence of a message with both logic and emotion. Almost everyone leading or creating has a vision, but the challenge is often expressing it in ways that relate and connect. Quick, think of some former Presidents of the United States and presidential candidates. Which ones are most memorable? Which ones are most likable? Which ones won?  The leaders who stick in your mind are likely the ones who humanize their message and deliver it in ways that connect with everyone at some level, in turn inspiring others to relate to them while better appreciating the mission at hand.

I have enormous respect for poets and writers who are able to touch our souls and enhance our understanding of concepts and ideas by writing simply and straightforwardly. Take, for example, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman — the tale of a tragic hero, Willy Loman, whose fallibility lies in his lack of self-awareness. The play’s enduring power comes from its straightforward telling of the human story — our aspirations and disappointments and how we deal with them. There is something in it for almost everyone to relate to.

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MarketingProfs: The Complete A to Z Guide to Personal Branding [Infographic]


April 9, 2014

by Seth Price


Ever since Tom Peters laid out a modern “personal branding” road map in Fast Company in the late 1990s, the concept has been in full swing. The revelation was that we could be an individual powerhouse, separate from the corporate umbrella.

So much has happened since: blogging, social media, the advent of online video, and the explosion of content marketing.

Nevertheless, nearly two decades later, most companies require a strict separation of business communication and personal branding, with the job of social interaction relegated to a few chosen spokespeople or PR handlers.

Meanwhile, those brands are missing out on the collective connections and expertise of the very people they’ve hired to be a crucial part of their team. But all that is about to change. Those who fail to embrace the empowered individual brand will miss out on the positive impact that employee advocacy has to offer.

Like most marketers, I spend a lot of time trying to do more with less. Lately, though, I’ve become more aware that I’m surrounded by a team of super-smart professionals who were recruited and hired because they can add value to our startup. This realization got me thinking about what it means to empower the individual brand in concert with a company mission.

I found lots of great examples, such as IBM; its 300,000 employees are encouraged to share and publish online, and MarketingProfs, where individual subject-matter experts are invited to share with and teach an audience they may not have been able to reach without the power of the community. That is what building a brand is all about: mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their members.

To explore this topic further, I recently collaborated with online powerhouse and fellow MarketingProfs contributor Barry Feldman of Feldman Creative to create “The Complete A to Z Guide to Personal Branding” —to help people and companies dive into the wonderful world of personal branding.

See full infographic here: