For companies trying to develop relationships with the media, here’s another arrow for your quiver: Share the stories they write with your social media networks. This according to journalists and reporters themselves. When asked in the 2017 State of the Media Report by public relations software firm Cision, ‘How can communications professionals improve their media relationships and improve the chances that their content gets media exposure?,’ 31% said ‘share my stories on social media,’ up from 27% in 2016.
It seems almost every reporter, anchor, radio host or ‘influencer’ out there likes to point out they are giving you information that ‘the mainstream media won’t report on.” Sometimes it’s information the mainstream media “wouldn’t dare report on.”
I would offer that if you are trying to interpret the media landscape today, remove the notion of the mainstream media from your thinking because it doesn’t exist anymore.
The modifier mainstream implied wide distribution and consumption, which meant influence, which meant power. While the venerable New York Times has a circulation of ~2 million (1.4 million digital only subscriptions and 600,000 print subscriptions), a big number, it cannot compete with even second tier social networks (i.e. not Facebook). Reddit, for instance, has ~540 million visitors per month. Tumblr has a (disputed) 300 million monthly visitors.
All businesses occupy a perch. By that I mean the manner in which their business operates throws off data that sheds light on their industry, competitors, suppliers or customers. Here’s some examples:
•The number of times men click the profiles of fair-haired women on match.com answers the question whether or not gentleman do prefer blonds. Similarly knowing how beards fare in the romantic ecosystem might offer a clue about how long the current trend in facial hair is going to last.
•The average cash balances of a wealth manager’s clients over time sheds light on whether investors are growing more conservative or more speculative.
With his high profile arrest and perp walk this morning, Martin Shkreli has a massive public relations problem on his hands. As the photo demonstrates, the full force of the law is lined up against him.
Mr. Shkreli is the hedge fund manager turned pharmaceutical entrepreneur who provoked outrage when his Turing Pharmaceuticals increased the price of cancer and AIDS drug Daraprim by 5000%
I would offer his current problem with the media has its roots in a poor public relations strategy right out of the gate. Sometimes blunting exposure is more important than gaining exposure. Better to lay low and gauge sentiment than arrive on the scene with guns blazing. His 5000% price increase might have ultimately faded from view if he stayed out of the spotlight. And what he learned from the reaction of a smaller more manageable audience might have given him clues how to manage a larger national audience.
The notion that increased media exposure leads to increased investment rings false for issuers primarily focused on gaining institutional investors.
The reason for this is simple. For equities, buy (and sell) decisions are primarily driven by earnings and earnings growth. And with instantaneous access to new and consistently issued financial information every 90 days, spotting a meaningful, or at the very least an interesting change in earnings or earnings growth is easy. In some cases, it’s just a matter of managing alerts.
Almost every prospective client I’ve talked to over the last 30 years has asked, ‘What is the value of media exposure?’ My answer: Millions. Few prospects take my answer seriously even though they should.
However, the current U.S. presidential race offers an unusual degree of insight into the value of media exposure. Here’s the nib of it: Donald Trump has spent just 12.53% of what Hillary Clinton spent for the period 7/1/15 to 9/30/15. Despite this he’s in the thick of the race and is leading the Republican pack.
Were it I was head of media relations at amazon.com when the New York Times revealed some less than civilized employment practices there.
Finally a media relations challenge that, in my view, will fill the pages of communications and crisis management text books for generations to come.
Unknown at this point: Will these case studies portray Amazon’s response as exactly what companies should do in crisis or exactly what they shouldn’t do?
Taking the temperature of this situation at this moment in time, I’d say Amazon has stumbled out of the gate.
FANG stands for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google.
The term, emblazoned on the front page of yesterday’s edition of USA TODAY, was popularized by CNBC’s Jim Cramer.
Some think the FANG clan is unstoppable, and looking at the trajectory of technology and commerce at this moment, it’s hard to see the dominance of these companies ever waning.
But many may remember the portmanteau Wintel as well, which referred to the total dominance maintained by Windows (as a proxy for Microsoft) and Intel.
Wintel had meaning inside the tech industry, but in the early 1990s among investors it represented the duopoly that was a ‘must have’ in any growth oriented portfolio.
The most popular past time among people who care about the news and media is discussing how biased it is.
It’s not. Here’s why:
- Almost all media in North America publishes on a for-profit basis.
- Profitability requires providing audiences with what they want.
- All editorial agendas are driven by satisfying the needs of the reader.
- Looking at the media is like looking in a mirror. It serves up to you its best estimate of exactly what you want.
- Metadata from digital publishing gives publishers ever better data upon which to base their editorial decisions.
- People who say the New York Times is biased, are poor readers. Journalism 101 requires presenting the other side of the story, which the paper scrupulously adheres to.
- Many who complain about the bias of the media have never worked in the media.
Another unappreciated facet of perceived media bias is that few journalists have the time for it. The chart shows on an inflation adjust basis, newspaper advertising revenue has retreated to 1950 levels.
To put this into perspective, consider when Google filed for an IPO on August 3, 2004, it’s total revenues were $2.6 billion on an annualized basis. In their 2014 annual filing, Google showed expenses of $49.5 billion. As a result, if Google’s revenues retreated to 2004 levels, they would report a loss a$46.9 billlion.