Wednesday, June 16, 2010

WZZM One of 10 Gannett Markets to Go 'Hyper-Local'

Grand Rapids is one of 10 Gannett markets that will soon have hyper-local web-based coverage, according to an article in Washington Business Journal.

WZZM TV 13 is the Gannett station in Grand Rapids.

Gannett says the "community web sites", which will include user-generated content from viewers, will be integrated with current TV station web sites and be attractive to advertisers who want to reach specific audiences within a broader coverage area.

There are not a lot more details at this time. But I do wonder a few things, such as:
  • will this new effort work with or compete with the Rapidian, Grand Rapids' year-old 'citizen journalism' and neighborhood news effort?'
  • will there be scope and scale for advertisers to reach more specific demos within the community (i.e. what will they be willing to pay and will that be enough, and will there be enough advertisers, to make this effort really pay for the TV station?)
  • will others follow suit and make reaching hyper-local markets more hyper than local?
  • how will this affect PR people in terms of pitching hyper-local stories, to whom should the story ideas be pitched if user-generated, will the station accept a well crafted user-generated story from a PR professional (so long as it's legitimate news I would hope so), will PR professionals adapt and learn to shoot and post online video?
One thing is for sure--this new media environment is interesting and ever-changing.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

LEA Wins Silver Anvil for 'Bible Across America'

Grand Rapids PR firm Lambert, Edwards and Associates (LE&A) won the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Silver Anvil for the Bible Across America campaign for Christian publisher Zondervan. The Silver Anvil Award is regarded as the “Oscar” in the public relations industry.


LE&A created and executed Bible Across America, a nine-month nationwide mobile tour for Zondervan, the world’s leading Christian publisher, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. The Bible bus tour visited more than 100 cities and 31,173 Americans contributed a handwritten verse that was published in a special edition NIV Bible.


LEA previously earned other awards for this campaign, including a PRoof Award from the West Michigan PRSA Chapter and a Gold PR Innovation Award from Bulldog Reporter.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Recent PR Research Summaries

I had some good feedback from PR professionals last time I summarized academic journal articles about PR issues and topics. So, now that summer is here and I’ve caught up on some reading, here are some very abbreviated summaries of findings from academic journals that would be interesting to PR practitioners. Articles are listed in APA reference list style, with comments below. You can get full articles via your local academic library online or in person.

Seungahn, Nah (2010). “Media Publicity and Civil Society: Nonprofit Organizations, Local Newspapers and the Internet in a Midwestern Community.” Mass Communication & Society, 13(1), pp. 3-29.
218 nonprofits in a Midwestern community were analyzed by survey, news archive analysis and other methods to learn that more newspaper coverage of a nonprofit is likely when the organization is financially well-off, locally embedded, and has a larger number of directors and volunteers.

Wirth, Werner; Schermer, Chrisitian; & Matthes, Jorg (2010). “Trivializing the News? Affective Context Effects of Commercials in the Perception of Television News.” Mass Communication and Society, 13(2), pp. 139-156.
An experiment showed that if TV commercials put people in a positive mood, they will perceive news stories viewed either before or after the commercial as more entertaining, realistic and credible.

Kelly, Kathleen; Laskin, Alexander; Rosenstein, Gregory (2010). “Investor Relations: Two-Way Symmetrical Practice.” Journal of Public Relations Research, 22(2), 182-208.
A national survey showed that IR professionals practice two-way symmetrical communications, and this is regardless of whether the practitioner is oriented more toward finance or public relations.

Yan, Changmin; Dillard, James Price; Shen, Fuyuan (2010). “The Effects of Mood, Message Framing, and Behavioral Advocacy on Persuasion.” Journal of Communication, 60 (2), 344-363.
Experimental studies showed that framing a message as something to gain or lose made a difference in persuading people to adopt health behaviors, particularly when combined with a associated moods. A message framed as something to gain was most effective when coupled with positive mood and advocating something to do. A message framed as potential loss was most effective when coupled with a sad mood and a advocating personal restraint.

LaRose, Robert (2010). “The Problem of Media Habits.” Communication Theory. 20 (2), 194-222.
The article is a review of media theory that posits media consumption is largely a result of habit, which occurs after repeated behavior that is initially goal-directed. Over time media consumption may be only habitual and not associated with a particular outcome expected. This has implications for the proliferation of social and mobile media technologies as professionals consider reaching and engaging publics through these new media. However, while media consumption may be habitual, individuals may exert conscious control over media use at any time based on needs, personal experiences, and contexts. The article proposes more research to determine when media consumption is habitual and when goal-directed.