Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Some Blogs I Like

Here are some PR-related blogs that I find useful and/or enjoyable. You should try a few of them out!

O'Dwyer's PR Blog (a great round-up of all things PR)

Harold Burson's Blog (Always gives you something to think about)

SPS Group Blog (I just met Dave in person today -- a real stand-up guy)

Peter Shankman's Blog (Peter is a real character, but a great and highly creative guy)

The Bad Pitch Blog
(Where Richard Laermer and Kevin Dugan tell PR people the way it REALLY is!)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Trenton Makes (dumb rules) -- Newspapers Take (it on the chin)

An area of concern for the advertising and PR community in New Jersey is a bill that would no longer require that legal notices be placed in newspapers around the state. The measure (A-1083), recently passed unanimously in the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee, would allow legal notices to be placed on official government websites, instead of in newspapers, as is currently required.

Passage of this bill would further weaken the financial health of newspapers -- at a time when many are already on life support. In addition, it is argued that Internet use is by no means universal, and there exists a significant population (mostly older) that does not yet have Internet access.

Since the state, also by law, sets the rates that newspapers can charge for this “legal advertising” -- at rates that have not changed since 1983 (when Ronald Reagan was President and many of us were humming Duran Duran’s “Rio”), the savings to the state and municipalities would not be as dramatic as you might at first think.

Given all of that, I believe there is no good reason that legal notices should not continue to be placed in newspapers and at the same time, on government websites. After all, shouldn't we be demanding MORE government transparency, and not less?

Perhaps there will come a day when legal advertising exclusively on government websites will make sense. I don't believe that time has arrived.

In a bizarre twist – even for New Jersey – at the same time that the government is seeking to save money by eliminating the requirement to post legal notices in newspapers, two bills, A 1092 and A-1106, would require newspapers to run certain political advertising free of charge.

Will SOMEONE in Trenton PLEASE wake up?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Karl Rove Champions PR

Karl Rove (don’t stop reading here just because you don’t care for Mr. Rove – neither do I!) wrote an interesting op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal last week, commenting on the state of the Presidential campaigns to date.

In the piece, Rove makes a few interesting observations:

Rove states that, contrary to conventional wisdom, TV ads for candidates are not as effective in moving the electorate as they once were. “Voters are discounting advertising…relying more on personal exposure, information from social networks, alternative information sources like talk radio and the Internet and local media coverage,” said Rove.

What Rove is saying is that PR works far better than advertising in moving people on an emotional level – an argument you may have read once or twice before on this blog. (As an aside, I would argue that the ascent of John McCain on the Republican side argues against the importance of talk radio, where the vitriol against the Arizona Senator has been non-stop, but that is probably just Rove throwing a bone to his buddies.)

Then, Rove drops a bomb on advertising, by suggesting that the PR person is more important to a candidate than the advertising person. “The 20th century’s closing decades saw the rise of the TV ad man as the most potent operator in presidential campaigns. The 21st century’s opening decade is seeing the rise of the communications director and press spokesman as the more important figures on the campaign staff,” he tells us.

‘Nuff said.