Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Do celebrity endorsements make a difference?

Some celebrity endorsements carry more weight than others. It depends on how the celebrity is perceived (air head or not) and their fan base. I've never been star struck so I don't put much stock in celebrity endorsements. Someone I know personally has greater impact on me.

I do enjoy political jokes. However, although I laugh, I still know they are jokes.

During a survey in September, the Center for Media and Public Affairs counted seven times as many jokes about the Republican ticket than the Democratic one.

Celebrity endorsements

Princess Grace once said this about Estee Lauder:

"I don't know her very well, but she keeps sending me all these things...."

Estee Lauder would send products to celebrities she didn't know in the mail and even give them to stars she spotted on the street and later at parties as she grew more successful.

The constant practice of gifting celebrities with her homemade cosmetics is what many say caused Estee Lauder's small business to explode into a $5 billion dollar cosmetics company!

Comedy's impact on elections

During a survey in September, the Center for Media and Public Affairs counted seven times as many jokes about the Republican ticket than the Democratic one.

So Comedy Central does have an impact on elections. Read more.

Obama won the media campaign and thus the election

"The media coverage of the race for president has not so much cast Barack Obama in a favorable light as it has portrayed John McCain in a substantially negative one," according to a new Pew Reserach Center study.

While press coverage of Obama has been somewhat more positive than negative, treatment of McCain has been heavily unfavorable—and has become more so over time.

In the six weeks following the conventions through the final debate, unfavorable stories about McCain outweighed favorable ones by a factor of more than three to one.

For Obama during this period, just over a third of the stories were clearly positive in tone (36%), while a similar number (35%) were neutral or mixed. A smaller number (29%) were negative.

For McCain, by comparison, nearly six in ten of the stories studied were decidedly negative in nature (57%), while fewer than two in ten (14%) were positive.

According to the study, "McCain did succeed in erasing one advantage Obama enjoyed earlier in the campaign—the level of media exposure each candidate received." Since the end of August, the two presidential candidates have been in a "virtual dead heat" in the amount of attention paid. Vice presidential candidates added to the mix put the Republican ticket ahead. This contrasts to the pre-convention period, when Obama had nearly 50% more coverage.

Much of the increased attention for McCain derived from his own actions, which generated mostly negative assessments.

In my view, sometime before the convention McCain abandoned his close relationship with media in favor of attack ads. In addition, his actions related to the bailout and financial crisis showed lack of leadership ability.

The last week

In the week from Oct. 27-Nov. 2, the top storyline in the media, was coverage of the contest for crucial battleground states, filling 16% of the campaign newshole studied, according to the Campaign Coverage Index from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. The battle over swing states was also No.1 the previous week, but at a smaller 10% of the coverage.

According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, the major story in the last week of the election campaign was coverage of the horse race, mainly which presidential candidate was going to take the majority of the electoral votes. This accounted for 16% of the coverage. Other strategic narratives, like head-to-head polls (at 5%), candidate attacks (4%), ads, including Obama’s 30-minute “infomercial,” (3%) and electoral vote arithmetic (3%), brought attention to the horse race to about one-third of the week’s campaign coverage. The overarching narrative was that "Obama was the clear, and possibly even overwhelming, favorite to win."

Another story was widely interpreted as a sign of political problems for the GOP ticket. Criticism of and dissension within the McCain campaign, including stories that featured an anonymous McCain advisor calling Sarah Palin a “diva,” accounted for another 2% of the campaign newshole. This obviously showed McCain's lack of leadership. He couldn't keep his campaign together and on message.

The morning after

Americans woke up with a hangover this morning. Supporters of Barack Obama felt euphoria while John McCain supporters were in disbelief.

How could a senator with over 20 years experience lose to a neophyte? One answer - during the campaign McCain failed to show leadership.

Obama was able to overwhelm the airwaves because he refused to take government campaign support, thus raising many more times in donations than did the conservative McCain.

McCain abandoned his cozy relationship with the press for a strategy of attack ads. McCain was seen as too negative. Pundits will have to revise their belief that attack ads work. They obviously don't.

Finally, McCain supported the financial bailout. The incumbent Republican congressman where I live voted against the bailout and defeated his liberal opponent by 2 to 1. McCain never could bring together the conservative coalitions needed to elect a Republican. He was seen as too far left. His support for the bailout and corporate welfarism proved his socialistic leanings.

For the few of us who supported third party candidates, we didn't have hangovers. We refused to go to the party.

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Dan Rather reveals how the Corporation controls the Media"

YouTube - Broadcast Yourself

Dan Rather's lawsuit against CBS continues years after his firing and one year after filing the suit. It is a tragedy that one of the great journalists of our time has been treated so poorly by the corporation he spent his lifetime building. Rather said in his lawsuit filed in September 2007 that he was made a ``scapegoat'' to placate the Bush administration. Read more here.

Americans, join the Ron Paul Revolution!

Larry King 09/20/07
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Saturday, October 4, 2008

VP debate draws larger audience

Nearly 70 million viewers tuned in to Thursday night's debate between
Sen. Joseph Biden and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, making the broadcast's
audience 32% bigger than the presidential debate drew the week before.

In Nielsen Media Research's final measurement of more than 200 U.S. TV
markets, the Biden-Palin debate generated a total household rating of
41.7, easily surpassing the 31.6 rating for the Sept. 26 debate
between Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain, a report by David B.
Wilkerson of MarketWatch indicated.

About 52.4 million people watched the Obama-McCain debate. One ratings
point equals 1% of the total TV audience.

In 2004, 43.6 million watched Vice President Dick Cheney square off
against his challenger, Sen. John Edwards. The 1984 debate between
then-Vice President George H.W. Bush and Rep. Geraldine Ferraro drew
56.7 million viewers.


Positive or negative media coverage can make or break a political
campaign, especially in a presidential race. Both McCain and Obama
have received favorable coverage, but will it continue?

"It almost never happens that there are two media favorites in one
political race — and yet this year, there are," said David Folkenlik
on National Public Radio.

Both Senators John McCain and Barack Obama can attribute their
popularity and their choice as candidates of the Republican and
Democratic Parties to the media. This doesn't mean they never receive
negative coverage; however, according to Folkenlik, during their
Senate careers and throughout the presidential campaign, both have
received "pretty positive press."

Read the rest of the story at:

Monday, June 9, 2008

Google gets top spot in reputation study

Google claimed the top spot in Reputation Institute's annual Global
Pulse U.S. 2008 Study. The study measures the overall respect, trust,
esteem, and admiration consumers hold towards the largest 600
companies in the world, including the largest 150 U.S. companies.
Governance and citizenship combined account for more than 30% of a
company's reputation.

Other highlights from Global Pulse US 2008 include:
-Six companies posted excellent reputations in the U.S. After Google,
Johnson & Johnson and Kraft Foods ranked 2nd and 3rd, followed by
General Mills, Walt Disney and United States Parcel Service.
-Consumer product companies have the best reputations, followed by
Industrial Products companies led by 3M, Xerox, Deere & Co, and
-Retailers' got mixed reviews. Publix Super Market and Costco
Wholesale earned high rankings while Safeway, Target, Rite Aid, and
Wal-Mart were the weakest in their sector.
-The high-tech sector (computer and electronics companies) has a
strong reputation led by Texas Instruments and followed closely by
Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Dell.
-Ten companies improved their reputation scores from last year, while
13 lost significant reputation equity from 2007 to 2008.

Reputation Institute's research model indicates that reputation is
built on 7 pillars from which a company can create a strategic
platform for communicating with its stakeholders on the most relevant
key performance indicators. These dimensions are: Products/Services,
Innovation, Workplace, Citizenship, Governance, Leadership, and


Generation Y far more diverse than baby boomers

Nielsen released a wide range of data about Gen Y in its May 2008 "Consumer Insight Magazine." It said that the typical Gen Y consumer surfed the Internet 22 times per month from April 2007 to February 2008.

The group is very comfortable shopping online. One-half of consumers under age 24 made an Internet purchase between April 2007 and February 2008, according to Nielsen Online. Among 13 to 21 year-olds alone, over $120 billion was spent in 2007.

The US Census Bureau says there are about 70 million Americans who fall into the Generation Y category. It is an ethnically diverse group: 60% white, 15% black (non-Hispanic), 18% Hispanic and 4% Asian. As a point of reference, baby boomers are 72% white, 11% black (non-Hispanic), 10% Hispanic and 4% Asian.


Monday, June 2, 2008

PRSA Responds to CBS Story Challenging Public Relations

The following letter was submitted today in response to a commentary on CBS Sunday Morning by legal analyst Andrew Cohen in which he challenged the integrity of the public relations profession.

Dear Mr. Cohen,

Regarding your commentary on today's CBS Sunday Morning, the Board of Directors of the Public Relations Society finds it imperative to affirm the professionalism of public relations practitioners and to take exception with what we regard as a misguided opinion. The PRSA Code of Ethics, to which all members pledge, embodies a strict set of guidelines defining ethical and professional practice in public relations. Professionals who meet the Code's standards stand in stark contrast to the simplistic, erroneous characterization of the profession you presented.
Contrary to baseless assertions, truth and accuracy are the bread and butter of the public relations profession. In a business where success hinges on critical relationships built over many years with clients, journalists and a Web 2.0-empowered public, one's credibility is the singular badge of viability. All professionals, including attorneys, accountants and physicians, aspire to ethical standards, and public relations professionals are no different, always striving for the ideal.
For public relations professionals, engaging diverse and often skeptical audiences requires top-flight skills in communications, creativity and even persuasion, but a trust once lost cannot be regained. Unemployment, contrary to your opinion, is reserved for the professional who has lost his or her credibility.
Building upon a foundation of integrity, implementation of those professional skills can also yield some very positive and powerful outcomes. Spreading the word about available health services has gotten thousands of infants immunized. Uncovering facts about post-9/11 air quality has helped scores of New York children unravel the mystery of a high incidence of asthma. Creating programs that engage veterans has helped them make the personal and professional transition to civilian life.
Curiously, you also assert that lying is no big deal. To the public relations professional, that is far from the truth. To "try to convince people a turkey is really an eagle" would leave true professionals eating crow, if they could eat at all.
Very truly yours,
Jeffrey Julin
Chairman & CEO

Mr. Cohen provides a blatant example of stereotyping and over generalization, worth studying for its lack of logic. How easy it is to tarnish a whole profession in just one broad stroke. John Fisher

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Washington insights

This week the long anticipated book by President Bush's former press secretary Scott McClellan finally came out. Entitled "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and
Washington's Culture of Deception," is an expose about his experience in Washington. He said he wrote the book because he felt he had to tell the truth. Here are some quotes from the Wall Street Journal related to how the media operates:

"Washington has become the home of the permanent campaign, a game of endless politicking based on the manipulation of shades of truth, partial truths, twisting of the truth, and spin. Governing has become an appendage of politics rather than the other way around, with electoral victory and the control of power as the sole measures of success. That means shaping the narrative before it shapes you. Candor and honesty are pushed to the side in the battle to win the latest news cycle..."

"The permanent campaign also ensnares the media, who become complicit enablers of its polarizing effects. They emphasize conflict, controversy and negativity, focusing not on the real-world impact of policies and their larger, underlying truths but on the horse race aspects of politics -- who's winning, who's losing, and why..."

"The press amplifies the talking points of one or both parties in its coverage, thereby spreading distortions, half-truths, and occasionally outright lies in an effort to seize the limelight and have something or someone to pick on. And by overemphasizing conflict and controversy and by reducing complex and important issues to convenient, black-and-white story lines and seven-second sound bites the media exacerbate the problem, thereby making it incredibly hard even for well-intentioned leaders to clarify and correct the misunderstandings and oversimplifications that dominate the political conversation. Finally, it becomes much more difficult for the general public to decipher the more important truths amid all the conflict, controversy and negativity. For some partisans, that is fine because they believe they can maneuver better in such a highly politicized environment to accomplish their objectives. But the destructive potential of such excessively partisan warfare would later crystallize my thinking."

See more quotes at:

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Metrics provide measurement of effectiveness of YouTube videos

YouTube is providing a free metrics program for marketers that place ads on the site. Metrics are the tools used to measure the exposure of media to the public.

YouTube Insight's initial metrics provide details on how often videos are viewed, where in the world they achieve the greatest popularity and how they compare to their competitors' shorts.

"The more information you have, the better it is," says David Berkowitz, director of emerging media and client strategy at 360i, New York. "It would be even better if you could compare multiple videos side by side, and also view more benchmarks on industry averages--'your video gets 50% of its viewers from YouTube search compared to 30% for all YouTube videos'--and better yet, get benchmarks by the category of the video."

See more details in Marketing Daily.

Retail chain pays PR firm to finance recall of township officials

Michigan is investigating the possible election misconduct by a retail chain with more than 180 stores in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

The Meijer retail chain paid a public relations firm more than $30,000 to help run a campaign to recall township officials opposed to building a store in Acme Township, Michigan.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle disclosed documents related to the campaign that include contracts, invoices and e-mails.

According to the documents, the public relations firm wrote campaign literature and letters to the Record-Eagle that were signed by local residents; oversaw collection of petition signatures; upgraded the Web site of a pro-Meijer citizens group; and gave strategic advice to local supporters of the recall.

"For a corporation to secretly finance a recall campaign is pretty unique," said Rich Robinson, executive director of the nonpartisan Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

It's illegal under state law for corporations to contribute directly to political campaigns, although employees can donate through company-sponsored political action committees.

Click here to read more.

The Liberal News Cycle

Glenn Beck describes how the liberal media distorted a question he asked in jest on his show about Barack Obama. See his analysis here.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Twitters "tweet" followers, not friends

Twitter is a Web 2.0 platforms built around the need to always know what our friends doing, just like checking Facebook or instant messaging.

Users have 140 characters to answer the simple prompt: "What are you doing?" Responses, called "tweets," are instantly sent to your "followers"--Twitter's way of saying "friends"--who read them in their RSS-like Twitter feed or via SMS textalerts.

"It's the perfect platform for self promotion," says Forbes magazine.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Running your own event to raise money for charity

Because David Day couldn't find a marathon to run on any other day but Sunday, he organized his own marathon and raised 1000 British pounds for cancer research. This is a great example of what one person can do by developing and running their own event. Read the story.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Media narrative

In January 2008 Jon Stewart interviewed Newsweek editor Jon Meacham about media narratives. Watch the interview here.