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Staying Ahead of the Changing Media Landscape

Within the past six months to a year, the local media market has been in flux. Many of the reporters and producers we work with have changed positions. Moreover, several of the programs and stations are shifting their formats and capabilities. It is a reminder that you cannot count on what was to always be.

Having a relationship with the media is just that: a relationship. It requires investment by both parties to make it strong, successful and long lasting. Some people believe all relationships are only for a season (however long that season may be) and they may be right. However, the ending of one relationship often opens up opportunities for a new relationship. With my relationships with the media, I have found three guiding principles that have served me well.

1. Go Wide and Go Deep

If you only know and talk to one person at a specific media outlet, you are at a great disadvantage if that person changes positions or leaves the company completely. Take advantage of every opportunity possible to meet and communicate with multiple reporters and editors, even if they do not directly cover your topic. You never know when that might change.

Media Relations

Moreover, don’t just connect when you have something to say, find out what they need by touching base and checking in. In these interactions avoid wasting their time. We all are busy and business time is time for business. This could mean offering comments or feedback on something the reporter or editor has covered. Or simply asking how you may be able to help them on a current story with an introduction to a potential source or offering background yourself. The key is to be brief, be helpful and be relevant to the reporter’s or editor’s focus, which leads me to my next principle.

2. Be Relevant

I have heard it said way too often that the media is in need (desperate need) of material. This is true. But there are qualifiers. Almost all media outlets operate in multiple platforms, which includes the web. With the instant nature of electronic platforms and the demand by the public and search engine algorithms to have a constant stream of new information, there is a great need for content. Conversely, the space at any one time is still limited. Because of this, there is ever-growing competition for that space.

News is still that, news. Just because you, or your company, did something, is offering a product or service (even if it is a new offering in the market place), or has something to say that will help people, make people’s lives better/easier or inform people of something that they need to know, this does not mean it is news.

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When working with the media the most important of the five “Ws” (who, what, when, where and why) is the “why.” Why is this important/ Why should I (the reader/viewer) care? And why now? Having clear and concise answers to the why questions will increase the attention editors and journalists give to a story idea or pitch. Consequently, this increases the opportunity for coverage.

 

There are times that no matter how important it seems to an individual or company that the world needs to know about the latest and greatest X, Y and Z, it just does not reach the bar of being news. Advertising may be the proper avenue to share this information.

3. The Media is a Business Too

Nothing is free in this world, and that includes the news. Although many media outlets hold true and fast to journalistic integrity, the media in all of its forms is a business. Just like any business, they are not successful if they give everything away. Respect the business side of the media and consider giving their business some of your business, especially if you are regularly asking them to give you editorial space or coverage. Advertising is how most media pay the majority of their bills. Subscription revenues (if the outlet charges them) only cover a fraction of the costs to run a media business.

Respecting the business of media does not always mean buying an ad. Consider sponsoring an event the media is hosting. At the very least be a subscriber and read, watch, listen to the media outlet you are asking to give you coverage.

Like all businesses, the formats, foci and people in the media will change over time. But, if you stay in a relationship, stay relevant and respect the business side of media, there is a good chance that you will be able to navigate this change smoothly.

Yum! Media Preview Beer Tasting Event for Lebanese Festival

What an exciting media preview event for the 2015 Lebanese Festival! Local media came to the Crafty Beer Shop in Lafayette Village to preview and learn about the flavors, sights and sounds of Lebanon before the weekend festival. The no-cost, 17th annual festival is hosted by the Triangle Lebanese Association which shares the Lebanese culture and promotes cultural understanding throughout the Triangle.

Media Tasting Invite

 

#MoonRunnersSaloonMedia

 

The past month has been such a blast working with our client, MoonRunners Saloon. In March, MoonRunners filmed an episode for the Spike TV show, Bar Rescue. We knew that the episode was scheduled to air on August 11, so we began a social media and media relations campaign.

With nearly 500 new Facebook “Likes,” 115 new Twitter “Followers,” more than 250 people attending the viewing party, and numerous media pickups, the campaign was not only successful, but also such a fun experience. See how we did it, by the way.

Some of our favorite moments:

Showgram Interview Showgram Lunch Collage
Waking up at 6 a.m. for an in studio interview
at G105 with Bob & The Showgram Morning Show!
Then getting to have the entire group come into
MoonRunners for their lunch!

 

Getting MoonRunners on Extra host Maria Menounos’s AfterBuzz TV for a Pacific coast podcast with Russell Davis and Brian Duffy!

N & O Arlie IG
Getting MoonRunners in News & Observer! Having Miss NC 2012 Arlie Honeycutt at
the restaurant.

Oh, and having a client on national TV wasn’t half bad either!

 

Smarter Buildings Require Smarter Building

View article online at North Carolina Construction News

More than 190 commercial architects, engineers, building owners and facility managers from across North Carolina spent the day at the Brady Earthwise Expos in late April. Focusing on where the commercial construction industry is heading, attendees explored more than 30 booths featuring the latest in building technologies for improved energy efficiency.

Driven primarily by new code requirements to reduce energy consumption, software, systems integration and dashboard discussions were as prevalent as talk about construction materials and mechanical equipment. John Roberts, senior mechanical engineer at Dewberry and North Carolina Energy Ad Hoc Committee member presented an analysis of the 2012 energy conservation code governing new construction in the Tarheel state. The code is designed to save energy, reduce pollution and decrease energy costs by requiring new buildings to be 30 percent more efficient that those built under the 2009 code. Along with reducing lighting wattage and increasing insulation, the code is requiring buildings to be smarter with occupancy sensors and demand controls.

Although the new requirements can save the building owner money in utility costs over the life of the building, it is adding expense lines to the construction budget that did not exist five years ago. To help manage the new requirements with tight budgets for new construction, many, including the Wake County Public School System are turning to technology for solution.

“Growing school systems, like Wake County, are facing a heightened challenge with the 2012 Energy Conservation Code,” says Jim Brady, president, Brady, a company that provides energy systems and comprehensive HVAC building solutions for commercial and industrial facilities. “Finding the right balance of where to invest in best-in-class building components and where to cut costs with lower-priced options will increase reliance on building information modeling (BIM) software. This means the school system will need to make a choice between purchasing the technology, keeping it up to date and training staff, or paying for the assistance of private-sector construction and engineering experts that provide BIM services.”

WCPSS is just starting to look at how to maximize the application value of BIM according to Greg Clark, senior director of maintenance and operations for WCPSS. “We are beginning to discuss how construction managers are using BIM on WCPSS projects and what portions of the intellectual property generated by these systems is owned by the school system,” says Clark. “Beyond the direct benefit of managing construction costs, I see a future where BIM will be able to integrate with our asset management system. This could eliminate manually populating each building’s parts and components inventory, which would save hundreds of labor hours. It could also expedite the competitive-product comparison process when buildings need repairs.” Clark sees a future where BIM and the transfer of the systems IP will be an important consideration in awarding construction contracts.

Dr. Michael Walden, N.C. State economist notes, “The fiscal situation in North Carolina is improving.” This combined with commercial building vacancy rates on the decline and the need for additional classrooms means the construction industry is poised for an influx of new projects. However, budgets are still tight. Therefore, the A/E/C firms that will be the most successful in winning new business will be the ones that are tech savvy, both in how they build and in how the building will operate in use for many years to come. Whether by architects, engineers or contractors, it all comes down to smarter buildings requiring smarter building.

For more information, check out some of the great videos from the 2013 Earthwise Expo

Articulon Wins 2012 ADDY Award

Articulon has received an ADDY® award from the American Advertising Federation Raleigh-Durham Chapter.

The agency has been recognized in the interactive category for its work with the North Carolina Guardian ad Litem program.

“We are honored to have our work recognized by industry leaders,” says Cindy Stranad, APR, Articulon founder. “Meeting the goals of the campaign and sharing this recognition with our clients is a great achievement.”

Articulon was recognized with a Bronze ADDY® for creating a social media campaign to engage a non-traditional, 18-35 male and minority demographic. The volunteer recruitment campaign is titled “Be the Voice for a Child” and showcased the personality and diversity of children and teens in need of a court advocate. Celebrity testimonials were also used to bring the story to life with voiceovers and videos.

“From concept to production, the entire Articulon team strives to reach each client’s audience in a way that emotionally resonates with them,” explains senior account manager Mike Gauss.