How the Explosion in News Creators Affect Comms Pros

It was inevitable. The ability to profit from a personal news brand through the creation and distribution of original content has gotten even easier. “We the media” started 15+ years ago with CGM/blogging and, to a lesser degree, podcasting and has evolved to the point where established journalists (with decent social followings) are jettisoning prestige jobs at venerable news organizations to go it alone. (They should also thank their employers on the way out for facilitating their large followings.)

Ben Smith, David Carr’s most worthwhile successor at The New York Times, explores the rise of new content-distribution platforms that pave…


Did @PressSec’s Staff Seek Journalists’ Questions in Advance?

Jen Psaki (MANDEL NGAN | Credit: AFP via Getty Images)

I suppose it’s all relative. Compared to the horrific daily White House press briefings of the last four years — when there were any — the transparent and truthful approach of President Biden’s new Press Secretary Jen Psaki and her team is a breath of fresh air. Didn’t I read that reporters for the faux news orgs OAN, Sinclair, and NewsMax were considered persona non grata by this new communications team? If so, good for @PressSec (and good for all Americas)! As VF’s The Hive reports:

Other members of the pro-Trump media are, however, still pursuing access to Joe Biden’s…


Dogma Be Damned: Set Real Journalists Free

For many, it would seem unusual, if not highly suspect, for a long-time public relations executive to opine on the state of journalism and to offer remedies for its preservation. After all, aren’t most PR pros charged with positioning their clients more favorably in news and feature stories? (There are strategies to achieve this.)

I thus find myself in a quandary, torn between offering an interview/story idea to a news outlet pre-determined to be receptive to the message, while avoiding those that would not be. …


Jon Ossof and Rev. Raphael Warnock

The short answer is probably not. That is until the Democratic leadership recognizes a significant shortcoming in how their brand is perceived and the urgent need to mount a communications plan to fix it.

Sure, “one America” resonated loudly with an electorate that was tired of four years of division and demonization by Trump, his GOP enablers, and the pernicious and pervasive right-wing media apparatus. Then why didn’t the highly anticipated Blue Wave materialize? It’s simple: the Democrats turned over the reins of managing their brand identity to the Republicans.

In Florida, Cubans and other Latino voters shuttered at the…


I belong to several private groups for communications professionals on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Slack. In following the conversation strings, one can’t help but notice a palpable frustration by many practitioners that PR as a marketing communications discipline is DOA during the coronavirus crisis. This is mostly true, except for the brand-focused story angles that are supportive, not exploitive, of the tragic circumstances in which we now find ourselves.

Sure, many niche media beat reporters continue to report breaking, non-COVID related news, most noticeably in the entertainment arena, e.g., Quibi’s ramp up or Roku’s stock price, but most others require some…


This is the opening line for far too many PR story “pitch” letters emailed to journalists. To call it a cliche would be to state the obvious. In fact, it’s such a hollow greeting — often sent to reporters with whom the publicist has no prior relationship — it becomes a non-starter, if not a catalyst for the reporter to expose the sender in a caustic tweet. At no time is this more true than the present day.

The New York Times’s Brooks Barnes posted a piece late yesterday in which he echoed what many of his beleaguered WFH colleagues…


More than a few media watchers have audaciously proclaimed that this week’s viral performance by the “President” spells doom for his prospects of re-election come November. I disagree.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the age of Trump, scandals big and small simply dissipate in a matter of days, if not hours. Some never rise to the level of national awareness, while others that normally should have legs, don’t. The ephemeral nature of today’s news diet is in part a result of the fragmented media landscape where mind-boggling revelations reported by once-trusted national news organizations fail to make an…


The Internet Research Agency, Russia’s Troll Farm

Between Trump’s and the GOP’s disregard for the truth, and the unwillingness of the major social platforms — Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter — to remove provably false or purposely doctored information from reaching its users, America is poised for a whole lot of hurt in 2020.

Now comes the news, thanks to some nifty reporting by Buzzfeed, of how some public relations firms are offering services that leverage the flaws in how the world gets its news and information. In its piece “Disinformation for Hire: How a New Breed of PR Firms is Selling Lies Online,” the authors write:

“If…

Peter Himler

Founder, Flatiron Communications; President, PCNY; Editor, Medium; Blessed w/ 3 exceptional sons & a most fabulous wife; Music & tech; Maker of the sauce. #NYC

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