This is the state of the media for 2018. | eNews from OWC

Fasten your media seat belt for 2018, communication of all kinds is stronger than ever. Despite warnings and howls, facts still have impact and new platforms have learned how to deal with a hostile environment. Rumors get corrected. Spin is detected. New voices are heard whether we like it or not, which is how things are supposed to be. Though America is a free-for-all and this year every business need to be among the “all,” now more than ever before, it really is “lead, follow or get out of the way.”

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Here’s what every company needs to know for the New Year:

Earned media is on the rise (really). According to Forrester Research, we are living through a fundamental reassessment of the role of advertising and editorial coverage. Earned media, like news stories and features, is more measurable and effective than ever before. Consumers are increasingly wanting to connect with people and stories, which presents an opportunity for editorial coverage. Eighty-one percent of senior marketers still believe that earned media is more effective than paid media.

Mobile and online consumption has new breadth of reach. In the U.S., roughly nine-in-ten adults get news online (either via mobile or desktop). According to the Pew Research Center, there are now many different audience strategies that news outlets use, through newsletters, original podcasts and allowing comments on their articles. By 2017, 61 percent of these highest-traffic digital-native news outlets had apps for at least one of the two main mobile operating systems (iOS and Android).

The crackdown on false news proves fruitful. A recent study reported by The New York Times reveals that propaganda and outright lies have a wide reach but reduced impact. “For all the hype about fake news, it’s important to recognize that it reached only a subset of Americans, and most of the ones it was reaching already were intense partisans,” according to Dr. Brendan Nyhan from Dartmouth College, who led the study. This year, we’ll see powerhouses like Facebook and Google continue to battle false news. Facebook will use its Related Articles tool to combat misinformation in the News Feed. Meanwhile, future leaders are taking matters into their own hands — right from the classroom.

The New Year has already brought media firestorms, but the trend is toward verification and fact. As always, the most powerful tool in business is an accurate message delivered with a clear voice. That is our mission and passion. Let us know how we can help you prepare for any potential issues that may come this year. Wishing you a prosperous 2018!

February 2nd, 2018|Categories: eNewsletter|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Olmstead Williams Communcations joins IPREX Platform

Olmstead Williams Communications has become a partner in IPREX, the $380 million network of communication agencies with 1,600 staff and 110 offices worldwide.

“It’s an honor to be named an IPREX partner.” said Tracy Olmstead Williams.  “We look forward to a powerful collaboration where together we’ll bring best practices and entrepreneurial talent to build reputations and brands, manage crisis, ignite ideas and change behaviors for a global client roster.”


November 2nd, 2017|Categories: OWC News|Tags: , , , , , |

The evolution of 21st century public relations

The terms “advertising” and “public relations” are often confused. Until recently, the easiest explanation was that advertising is paid media — print ads, commercials and billboards — vs. public relations which is earned media or news coverage.

As technology continues to advance to help companies better communicate with customers and prospects, the lines are blurred even more. Earned media is still the bread and butter of PR, but other equally important categories continue to evolve and gain traction: owned media, shared media and paid media.

A recent study by USC’s Annenberg Center for Public Relations surveyed PR firms and in-house communications professionals, and compared the breakdown of these four categories now and projections for 2020. Today, earned media is just 41 percent of the total PR resources allocated, followed by owned media (26 percent), shared media (17 percent) and paid media (13 percent). The numbers are expected to shift even more dramatically by 2020 with earned media sliding to just 31 percent, followed by owned (28 percent), shared (24 percent) and paid (15 percent).

Companies must embrace these additional categories and challenge their PR firms to deliver balanced communications programs that take advantage of all opportunities. Like a good investment portfolio, you must diversify to manage risk. A balanced PR portfolio also helps you weather the storm and stay relevant with all audiences while you’re waiting for that Wall Street Journal article to run.
Even the term PR is changing to include these other categories. Instead of standing for public relations, PR now encompasses four categories of publishing and relations (P+R):

Earned Media — Earned media cannot be purchased and will always carry the most credibility — estimated at 10 to 1 vs. advertising. Profiles on your business and articles that include you as an industry source remain key for driving bottom-line business results.
Taboola helps extend the reach and lifetime of the best articles about your business.

Owned — Blog postings, long-form LinkedIn posts, online newsrooms and shorter posts on all social media platforms allow you complete control of the message with anyone actively engaged in digital platforms.

Shared — Think of social media in terms of shares and engagement. It’s important to build followers, but how you interact with those followers is key. What’s your engagement percentage and how is that flourishing over time?
Paid — This can be as simple as distributing your news releases through a wire service such as Business Wire or include paid guest articles, radio news releases, print article services like NAPS, Twitter ads, boosted Facebook posts, etc. The Los Angeles Times has paid online ads that look like news articles and can reach 100,000 or more people. Taboola and Outbrain are services that take earned media that has already appeared on another site touting your business and extends its reach and lifetime. Instead of just appearing on one site, the article appears on sites throughout the Internet. These are those stories you can’t help but click on at the bottom of your favorite sites.

The proliferation of platforms and need to engage appropriately keeps us on our toes and always looking forward. Like Einstein said: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
June 30th, 2016|Categories: Commentary, OWC News|Tags: , , , |

Recent Pew Research study: People get news from increasingly complex 'information ecology'

People get news through an increasingly complex “information ecology” involving multiple sources and types of media, according to the recent Pew Research study “How People Learn About Their Local Community.” The report (see interactive graphic) shows that 74 percent of those surveyed turn to local TV news at least once a week, followed by word-of-mouth (55 percent), radio (51 percent), newspapers (50 percent) and the Internet (47 percent).

Researchers believe that word-of-mouth information fills in the gaps that traditional media tend to miss, and the less a subject is covered, the more important word-of-mouth becomes.

October 7th, 2011|Categories: Client News|Tags: , , , , |