from pickett&associates … exploring PR, social media and entrepreneurship

Random Friday Thoughts July 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — pickettwrites @ 2:26 pm

Wrapping up this first week of the blog, the news today is filled with LeBron James, Lady Gaga and Lindsey Lohan. It’s puzzling to try to figure out the fascination with these characters. At one time, these stories were relegated to the grocery store tabloids, gossip columns and television shows. Today the gossip news rules the media roost. The most serious of journalists are including gossip in their news … and, honestly, I just don’t get it. The explanation that’s offered: It’s what the public wants. Really?

As a self-professed “news hound,” I find this all very hard to swallow.  I think about the journalists and columnists whose work  influenced me  along the way — Cronkite. Royko. Huntley. Brinkley. My beloved Tom Brokaw. I cannot imagine them doing anything as UNjournalistic as the gossip-laden news we have today. Unfortunately, the networks and major newspapers are no longer driven by the foundations of the Fourth Estate; they are the products, literally, of corporations with the express purpose of driving revenue. And “gossip news” is cheap to produce and deliver.

I’d like to think that our economic state would prompt Americans  to rethink their priorities and take some time for introspection about such things. Then again, I’m certain in light of such depressing times, people are inclined to seek out “lighter fare.” But maybe people ARE seeking out other sources for their news in search of something more “real.”  The Internet has become a prime source for news, and social media is growing at a rapid, amazing pace. None of this delivered by the objective reporters of yesteryear, which poses a whole other set of concerns. I would LOVE to hear YOUR thoughts on this? How do we protect those now tenuous foundations on which our country was founded? Or must we just sit back and watch it happen?

Speaking of social media …

An interesting piece from our friends at WOMMA — the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. For years, marketers have known word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective advertising is word of mouth marketing.  The smartest marketers know word of mouth works best when it’s credible.

Unfortunately, trust is on the decline.   The percentage of people who view their friends as credible sources of information about a brand has fallen from 45% in 2008 to 25% in 2010, according to Edelman’s 2010 Trust Barometer study.

That’s an alarming statistic for marketers wanting to tap into the power of word of mouth through social media marketing.  Check out these guidelines for harnessing the strengths of social media WHILE REMAINING ETHICAL. (Not an oxymoron, folks … it IS possible.)


And on that note, I wish you all a good weekend. I’m off to my first potential-client meeting. One week. One client. So far, so good.


3 Responses to “Random Friday Thoughts”

  1. Rose Campbell Says:

    I completely agree with you. Gossip news is discrediting the REAL news and the journalists who do it. I knew we were in trouble when the Jon and Kate break up made it to the Today Show and CNN headlines. I could not care less if someone’s Hollywood relationship disinigrates, a celebrity has plastic surgery, or a teen star goes to jail.

  2. Mike Corbett Says:

    Of course, I agree because I’m from the old school as well, BUT (and its a big BUT, as they say), I like to read People magazine. And, I don’t think I’m the only one who enjoys both serious and not so serious news. So what’s that say about us? It says we like to read stories. Yes, its important to debate ideas and have high level conversations but when my brain starts hurting from all that I want to hear about how somebody overcame adversity, got stuck and is trying to get out, had an epiphany of some sort. You can always hook me with a good story about human beings. That’s the appeal of that stuff. It reminds us that celebrities are human beings too.

  3. kat wedmore Says:

    I feel like it’s becoming more and more difficult to get actual news stories, too. With no cable, and not a lot of free time, even trying to google search popular news stories is impossible with big corporations buying up the rights to search results. When the oil spill happened, I was floored by the lack of news online. What’s credible? What is news and what is a public relations commercial for BP. Thank god for NPR!!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s