Archive for May, 2011

Why Corporate TV Hurts Local PR

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2011 by innovativemediapr

 Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had to spend upwards of two hours on two separate occasions sitting in the waiting room of a car dealership while a part was installed in my car.  The waiting room wireless connection allowed me to get some work done.  While doing so, I wound up watching Good Day New York.  It was an eye-opening experience.

I’ve booked numerous segments on Good Day New York over the years, including most recently, Michael Sullivan, author  of Necessary Heartbreak just a couple of months ago.

I’ve also done many remotes with the show, including weather segments with Mike Woods at the Meadowlands Racetrack and NJ Festival of Ballooning, among others.  I’ve always liked working with the producers at the show and look forward to continuing to do so. However, in watching the full program from the dealership it struck me that the opportunities we once had in pitching the show are starting to dwindle and a major part of it is because of the Fox corporate ownership involvement.

Corporate ownership of media properties such as Fox, ESPN and Comcast is having, and I believe will continue to have, a negative impact on local public relations efforts.  A local event now has fewer opportunities to work with a show like Good Day New York because of the station’s need to promote the corporate network’s programming.

As an example, this Thursday on Good Day New York, the show was filled with recaps from the finale of American Idol in Los Angeles where reporter Julie Chang filed live reports.  At least 10 minutes was devoted to the free taxi cab promotion that Dr. Oz was sponsoring to promote the move of his show to the 4 pm hour replacing Oprah.  It included an interview with Dr. Oz and a reporter filing a news story on the promotion.  I’m sure this air time would certainly have not been devoted to Dr. Oz if his show was on a rival network, nor would it have been deemed “news worthy” enough to warrant coverage. 

Instead, those 10 minutes could have focused on a local event in the metropolitan area and that is what hurts local publicity efforts.  You cannot fault the Good Day New York producers. A show like American Idol is paying all the bills for the network. Budget is also affecting local broadcast outlets.  Weather remotes are basically gone from all New York affiliates. It costs too much to send a truck out to stay at a remote location.

However, we are fast-approaching a day when the only voices on sports talk radio will be announcers and journalists that write or announce for the parent network; local morning shows will only feature guests from network-owned and promoted shows and unless you have an event that is tied to the affiliate’s corporate owner, you may not receive any local coverage.

Corporate TV has arrived and is making an impact.  The question is can local public relations efforts have an impact on gaining access to its local affiliates?

Tom Cosentino

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Bin Laden Death Photos Should Get UN Showcase

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 4, 2011 by innovativemediapr

In October 1962 Adlai Stevenson, United States Ambassador to the United Nations made the case to the world about Soviet missiles in Cuba by showcasing them to the world’s diplomatic community at the UN. By showing the world that these missiles were real and they belonged to the Soviet Union, Stevenson was able to eliminate any claims by the Soviets to falsification of the photographic evidence by the United States.

The killing of Osama Bin Laden by U.S. forces and the subsequent burial at sea of the Al Qaida leader has opened the door to numerous conspiracy theories in the Muslim world because the body of Bin Laden has not been shown nor have photos been released. To conspiracy theorists the body buried at sea is not Bin Laden and the DNA tests are falsified.

The Navy Seals team that carried out the mission did photograph the slain Bin Laden and took video. The question at hand is how and when to publish these photos so the world can see that it truly was Bin Laden that was killed. The publishing of such photos could obviously lead not only to closure for many in all corners of the globe but they could also inflame opponents of the west, especially when loyal followers of Bin Laden realize it was indeed their leader that was killed. White House press secretary Jay Carney has said the pohtos could be inflammatory.

Many can recall the riots and violence that ensued when a Danish paper published cartoons of Muhammad. While news organizations are ready and willing to run these death photos and video of Bin Laden, which would ultimately be the highest viewed images in history, and millions willing to view them, I think the route taken by Stevenson in 1962 may be the best way to handle disclosure of these death images.

The United States should call for a special session of the UN Security Council. All UN Members would be allowed to have representatives and local media present, to witness the unveiling of the Bin Laden death photos and video. All global media would be allowed to cover. However, no death photos or video would be allowed to be published in a newspaper, online or aired on television or the internet. The world’s diplomats, leaders and media would be the witnesses. Once revealed, these images and video would be stored forever in the National Archives. No media outlet or nation would profit by them and there would be no exploitation of the photos.

Many may view this as an unrealistic scenario. As a communications executive, my first inkling would be to show the photos to the world through every media outlet imaginable. However, in this case, I think such a revelation could do more harm them good. I say make the case to the world just this once. Let the world convey the message that Bin Laden is truly dead. Those that won’t believe would probably never be convinced anyway.

Tom Cosentino