Seth Godin: Nearly Impossible

Best selling author Seth Godin shares a couple of stories about making great products and building strong customer relationships. After a few remarks, he jumps in and answers any questions attendees have to throw at him. What results is valuable insights that all brands can learn from.


Excellence – is it only about intelligence?

The content of many coaching sessions deals with the improvement of personal performance and excellence and many people ask themselves, what the qualities are, that make a real life genius. New research shows again it´s not talent and it´s not IQ. Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth calls it grit – and explains more during this TEDx event.

Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Angela studies non-IQ competencies that predict success both academically
and professionally. Her research populations have included West Point cadets, National Spelling Bee finalists, novice teachers, salespeople, and students.


Systemic Effects: Why Wikileaks has to pitch stories

wikileakswall6Everyone would have thought that publishing secret material like the embassy cables would in itself create so much attention, that no additional pitching would be necessary. In fact, Wikileaks learned that this is not the case. With pitching I mean the term used in PR, which means bringing a topic to an editor´s attention by calling him, writing an email or summarizing the story by writing an abstract.

Originally the Wikileaks founders thought, that all those thousands of people editing Wikipedia and all those bloggers commenting on critical issues, complaining that they never get access to an original source like established media outlets do, all these people would be delighted if they got original source material and they would spread it on the net in no time creating maximum impact.

But according to Julian Assange, this is not what he experienced. Simply publishing source material does not work. I think legal consequences do also play a role, but his conclusion is that non-professional editors only write about topics that display their values to their peers. I guess this is the reason why it is so hard to get coverage on facts that oppose the current opinion of many bloggers (and editors also), which I already experienced myself.

Assange concluded that Wikileaks had to give at least summaries of the source material or in case of more complicated stories, write an article. They actually liaised with editors to give them the material plus story on an exclusive or semi exclusive basis and to spread the embassy cable news worldwide, Wikileaks liaised with major editorial houses in the US and Europe.

A year ago many people watching the development of the internet as a news channel predicted that the internet would lead to maximum transparency. Well yes, there is much more transparency now, but the “currency” on the net (as everywhere else) is still attention, as Google puts it. The Wikipedia example shows that apart from all transparency on the net, news still follow the “old rules” in terms of how to create awareness, and that a lot of the impact (apart from the story) depends on the credibility of the publisher and the awareness he or she can create among the general public, which means inside AND outside the internet.

PS: I really like the Guardian Live Blog on Wikileaks. It´s very interesting to follow the events and comments on Wikileaks around the world in real time and in one place.


More than Words: Clouds

newsspectrum journalism PR_smExpressions people associate with specific topics are very important in communication. They create the film that is played in people´s heads while listening to narration or reading a text. The associations change over time, depending on currently discussed topics and experiences of the individual of the past. And of course, everybody has his or her own associations.

While planning a new campaign or drafting a new speech it is often very helpful to know what is currently associated with a single word.  Thanks to Leander Wattig I recently found and the tool News Spectrum.  It is a visualization tool that shows which words are associated with a specific pair of terms in the news (taken from results from Google News.) One topic is coloured blue, the other red, and the associated words are coloured and positioned closer or further away based on how highly they are associated with one or the two topics.

You can try News Spectrum by clicking here and enter your own terms of interest. Maybe the results help you to better shape the wordig and associations you use in your next campaign.

Below I ran the expressions “Journalism” versus ” PR” and got interesting results, see yourself.


Corporate Communications: The end of an era always heralds another

Effects of the media crisis on corporate communications

The media landscape is currently changing rapidly, and it is imperative that corporate communications keep pace with this changing landscape if they want to continue to reach opinion-makers. For evidence indicates that many daily newspapers will not be able to continue to exist in their current form, online magazines are set to expand their readership, and special interest magazines to take on new formats. The article below provides an overview of the main changes taking place and analyses the consequences of these changes for corporate communications.

Particularly in the USA, daily newspapers are already experiencing major difficulties, but the situation in Germany is also worrying. Due to the current economic crisis, daily newspapers have seen a decrease in the number of advertising orders and a fall in subscriber numbers because, in both countries, people can now simply read the news online – more quickly, more up-to-date and more extensively.

Everyone in the industry agrees