Goodman CEO Featured In Bulldog Reporter's PR PROfile Series

Goodman CEO Featured In Bulldog Reporter's PR PROfile Series

Bulldog Reporter's latest PR PROfile features Goodman Media's very own CEO, Tom Goodman. From his most memorable experiences to top lessons learned, Tom shares his secrets to PR success. We've included a snippet below, but the full version is available here.

TOM GOODMAN

President, CEO and Founder, Goodman Media International

Length of PR career (so far): 40 years and counting.  I was at J. Walter Thompson PR for four, ABC News for six, CBS News and CBS Inc. for nine and, now, Goodman Media, which I founded 21 years ago.

Your most memorable campaign: British Airways (through its agency M&C Saatchi) was our founding client; I was brought in to help publicize one of the biggest promotional stunts in the airline’s history—the placement of a half-sized model of the Concorde atop a building in Times Square. Goodman Media literally “took off” with that project and it’s a nice coincidence that our office overlooks that site today.

Most poignant professional moment: I spent one year after college as a newspaper reporter in Ohio and nothing in school or life prepared me for one of my first big stories, a triple murder of three beautiful little girls, ages 19 months, two and a half, and four. Seeing what happened to those kids, photographing them and reporting the story became part of my life; I never forgot the girls or their mother, for reasons that quickly became apparent. She committed the unimaginable crime.

Read more at http://bit.ly/2sjEhZ8.

Simply Because You Can Talk Directly To Your Audience, Doesn't Mean You Should

Simply Because You Can Talk Directly To Your Audience, Doesn't Mean You Should

Social media has revolutionized the PR and marketing world by enabling brands and celebrities to speak directly to their audiences.  While this offers an amazing opportunity for ongoing engagement and authentic conversation, it also opens the door to larger potential issues.

Even though companies and individuals can communicate with their followers directly without PR support, for marketing efforts to be truly successful, communications executives should always have a seat at the table.

Identifying The Squeaky Wheel

There’s an old saying that the squeaky wheel is the one that gets greased. Nowhere is that more true than on social media. With a direct line of communication to the brand, followers can publicly criticize or laud a product, often prompting knee-jerk reactions from the brand itself, especially when the commentary is negative. 

Before you react to new social media feedback, ask your PR team to do a deep dive into general sentiment. Since PR professionals focus on overall perception, they can quickly evaluate whether all customers feel a certain way or it’s only a small portion of the audience.  With this insight in hand, marketers can make more accurate decisions about inventory, product modifications, and more.

 Living Outside The Moment

We can all think of a celebrity or public figure who, in the last month or even the past week, has endured public criticism for incendiary comments fired off in the heat of the moment. Take, for example, Kanye West’s Twitter feed. Though many did “shut up and enjoy the greatness” of some of West’s Twitter rants, his actions ultimately reflected negatively on his brand, causing the public to question his mental health and ability to continue performing on tour (it was cancelled midway through).

Situations like these never end well for the criticized party.  While brands often think they won’t make the same mistake as individuals, that’s simply not true. Without the same training as PR executives, brands may inadvertently turn a small issue into a larger crisis.

Publicists are in place to provide safeguards for off-the-cuff responses by those closest to the brand, and plan for the time and distance to carefully craft an on-brand response to any unforeseen criticism. When negative commentary starts flooding in, turn to your PR team, who can assess the situation, formulate a proper response plan and share that with key stakeholders.  After all, all it takes is one well-meaning tweet with the wrong word or message to create a firestorm.

Keep Messaging On Brand

While organizations and celebrities are immersed 24/7 in all aspects of their brand, PR pros keep a targeted eye on the messaging and positioning across all channels. Finding an authentic voice is important to engaging and keeping an audience, and a larger team should be involved in accomplishing the sometimes difficult task of brand voice. But, PR people are well-trained to help navigate the brand team through the nuances of language and communications – and ultimately help distinguish between the next top-engagement tweet and a tone-deaf, off-brand gaffe.

Testing, testing, 1,2,3…

Each year, companies spend countless amounts of money and resources developing new marketing campaigns.  Even with advanced research and insight, it’s not always clear how the public will react until these campaigns go live. Today, social media provides a valuable opportunity for marketers to test new messages and narratives in a lean way. However, marketers who test it on their own, without incorporating other groups, will quickly find out that they’re only getting part of the story, a mistake that could become costly later on.

PR and marketing executives, who have both spent their careers building and executing campaigns, can work together to test new ideas. Unfortunately, all too often these two groups are working in silos, never connecting until after a campaign has been approved. Working together early in the process, can help marketers figure out what to build upon, what to test further and what to drop, before making a hefty investment in a splashier, all-encompassing marketing campaign.

ROI

While a core component of PR is media relations, the idea that media relations is the singular focus, is no longer correct. Today, PR touches upon all areas connected to the consumer or audience, ranging from social media to marketing to customer service.

This means that marketers don’t have to do it all alone.  You can leverage your PR team to help amplify the work you’re doing on social and digital.  By working with your communications team, you can draw more attention to your campaigns and increase your ROI.

Good PR professionals – whether an in-house team or an outside agency – bring to the table a targeted expertise when thinking about the overall marketing picture. As the part of your team with a constant pulse on what the marketplace and the media is talking about, it’s always wise to consult PR before engaging with that same marketplace. Teamwork makes the audience engagement dream work!

To see more about how we think, please click here.  Follow us on Facebook at @goodmanmedianyc or on Twitter at @GoodmanMedia. 

How Can PR Help to Restore Public Trust in Media?

How Can PR Help to Restore Public Trust in Media?

According to a late 2016 Gallup poll, only 32% of respondents had “a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media.” This statistic is unsurprising, given the rise of “fake news” permeating today’s headlines and social media feeds.

For communications professionals, the fact that consumers are becoming more splintered and confused about which sources to trust is concerning. As the media is a main lifeline of our work, what can publicists do to thrive in the changing landscape?

CNN Senior Media Correspondent Brian Stelter gave a heartfelt plea after the election on the importance of standing up for truth. His plea was aimed at journalists, but it can just as easily apply to communications professionals as well. He said: “…Don’t tell half-truths, don’t shade the truth. Don’t fear the truth. And then we can focus on the other ‘t’ word—trust.”

Know which outlets are reputable and which are not. A Merrimack College media professor has provided a fairly comprehensive list of “fake news” sites here, but understanding what makes a trustworthy outlet in the first place is an important first step in combating fake news. Does the outlet employ diligent fact checkers? Are the stories without a clear and obvious bias, and were they written by a real person? Does it have commentators from both sides of the political spectrum? While clients may see value in having a story placed in a buzzy online site that gets millions of monthly views, being associated with a notoriously dishonest site will ultimately hurt its reputation in the long run. It’s critical to remember that quality and respect is always more important than quantity and views.

Supply journalists with only accurate, real information. It’s also on us to ensure the pitches and releases we send out can be verified against scrupulous fact checkers and that all our claims and promises can be held under scrutiny. The reputation of both the media and the PR industry depend on our trustworthiness.

Expand PR capabilities. With the splintering of audiences and trust, media relations should not be the be-all, end-all for communications professionals. If traditional media relations is your bread and butter, consider expanding your capabilities and skills to adapt to the changing landscape. Find a way to interact directly with the consumer by employing digital and social media initiatives, event marketing and other emerging trends. But be sure to always be truthful in those efforts as well!

The media industry is facing an uncertain future. While the Fourth Estate has yet to fail us, PR pros must do all we can to ensure the media’s longevity and reputation as a trustworthy source of (real) facts. After all this commotion has died down, those who kept their standards and held to the truth will be remembered and respected for their efforts. Let’s do our part.

To see more about how we think, please click here.  Follow us on Facebook at @goodmanmedianyc or on Twitter at @GoodmanMedia.

Why You Should "Date" Your Audience

Why You Should "Date" Your Audience

As Valentine’s Day approaches, conversations about love and relationships begin to appear more often. While it may not seem obvious at first, PR and marketing professionals can learn a lot from the advice of relationship experts. In fact, those who take the time to “date” their audiences are far more likely to succeed in the long run.

There are a lot of fish in the sea. Stand out.

Just like in dating, you want to stand out.  In order to do so, you must present a compelling reason why someone should pay attention to you.  What is it about you that’s unique?  How are you different from others?

Once you’ve answered that question, pay close attention to the way your audience talks about themselves and their needs. By understanding exactly how they communicate, you can articulate your value proposition in a way they’ll understand.

Finally, if words alone aren’t enough, it may be time for some sort of grandiose gesture. Just remember that while big campaigns are likely to attract attention, your focus should be on building a long-term relationship, not just trying to pique someone’s initial interest.

Continue the conversation

Congratulations! The “first date” went well and now your audience wants to hear from you again. The question is, what do you say?  How do you keep the conversation going?

Start by recognizing what attracted them to you in the first place. If it was because of your quirky sense of humor, keep being funny.  If it was your deep insight in a particular area, highlight your expertise regularly.

You should also make sure that each of your interactions is meaningful.  Content should be relevant and specific. Customer service should be timely and helpful. Product offers should be valuable.

Finally, communicate with your audience when and where they want to hear from you.  Make sure you’re using the right channels to get through to them, not just the channels you’re used to using. When it’s appropriate, you may even think about introducing them to new ones.

Work on your relationship

Just because someone is interested in you, doesn’t mean your job is over. In fact, it’s actually just beginning.

Devote real time and attention to your audience. Talk to them regularly and listen to what they’re saying in response. Create an environment where they can speak honestly and openly and where you support their ideas and feelings on an ongoing basis.

This Valentine’s Day, remember how much your relationships matter.  Treat your audiences with care and you may be on the road to a lifelong love affair.

Written by Amy Jaick, Executive Director of GMI Digital at Goodman Media. For more on how we think, click here.

 

 

Building An All-Star Communications Team

Building An All-Star Communications Team

Last night, we watched two standout teams, which have spent the past few months enduring an endless amount of workouts, practices, meetings and games, fight for the title of Super Bowl winner.

As PR professionals, we can all appreciate and gain some perspective from the similarities between building an all-star football team and building an all-star PR team:

Head Coach: Like a football team’s head coach, senior PR executives build and manage groups of individuals who demonstrate exceptional talent, expertise and promise. While these leaders may not have all the answers, they do have the experience and understanding necessary to develop successful strategies that move things down the field. 

Team Captain: To take a team from great to best, you need a fearless team leader with a clear game plan and the ability to inspire those around them. When the proposed game plan isn’t working as well as it should, this leader can call an “audible” and quickly change directions. These decisions keep teams nimble and are a testament to the leader’s ability to read what’s best for your team at any given moment.

Most Valuable Player (MVP): An MVP is a top player on the field that has the opportunity to make THE game-changing play. True MVPs go the extra yard – they assist teammates when needed, always meet deadlines, are known as a go-to for quality work and continuously challenge themselves and those around them to keep improving. Being an asset to their team also means they are an asset to their client.

The Rookie: No team is complete without a rookie, usually taking the shape of the youngest or newest member. Rookies are sponges, and with strong leadership, coaching and teammates, they can rise to become an MVP or even the captain. Leaders should be a mentor for their rookies and show them how to keep the ball moving forward. When appropriate, take them off the bench and trust them to keep the ball moving forward on their own. You might be surprised to find out they have the perfect new pitch idea or a much needed mastery of presentation decks.

The Locker Room: Also known as your office, a company diner, meeting room – wherever the team comes together and makes magic happen. It’s where the team spends hours preparing client materials and late nights or early mornings meeting deadlines. A great company culture allows every member’s opinion to be heard and new ideas are welcome and respected, ultimately allowing the team to work to its full potential.

By combining all of these elements with motivation, a good attitude and drive, you can build an all-star PR team that is ready to move into the end zone for the win.

 

How PR Pros Can Navigate Executive Change

How PR Pros Can Navigate Executive Change

Last week, our country participated in the age-old tradition of peaceful transition of power.  While most executive changes don’t typically involve the Oval Office, they all face similar challenges. 

New executive teams often result in change, both internally and externally, and fear or anxiety may be the byproduct of these shakeups. As employees, clients and even media begin to speculate about the organization’s future, the vital role of the leadership and communications teams is to reassure and re-engage.

For PR professionals involved in the transition, clear communication is the key to a successful and smooth “changing of the guard”. Adhering to a few sound principles will help: 

Plan ahead, way ahead. Forward thinking and strategic planning should be incorporated early on. Together, as partners, thinking about and talking about the transition well ahead of time allows for ample preparation and strategy development for the succession. It also ensures that the right questions are asked proactively and that messaging is developed well ahead of when it is actually used.

Be in the room where it happens. A crucial component of success comes from truly being a part of the process from the beginning: meeting with the board or key leadership, discussing a strategy and putting a timeline in place in order to meet goals.  PR executives can also guide leadership on communications process and prepare them for the transition.

Transparency goes a long way. When handling internal communications, it is important to be transparent whenever possible. With more information available, there is less chance for the rumor mill to disseminate false claims.  Communicate frequently, be open and try to acknowledge the changes ahead. It allows a sense of a surety and trust within the organization. 

The first 100 days following any transition are critical, but our work as communications executives doesn’t stop there.  In fact, day 101 marks the continuation of the new campaign. The first year is an equally exciting time and the work continues with ample engagement opportunities ahead. Acknowledge any key milestones and find news pegs and fresh ways to keep your executive top of mind.

For more on how we think, click here

​Three Things Not To Pay Attention To In 2017

​Three Things Not To Pay Attention To In 2017

At the start of each new year, public relations and marketing professionals receive countless lists and guides, each claiming to offer critical knowledge and insight about the year ahead. We are told that if we pay close enough attention, we too can be innovative and cutting-edge. But, with so many outlooks and predictions, how do you navigate the maze and understand which trends matter most?

While we don’t have a crystal ball to tell us if artificial intelligence will really revolutionize PR and marketing or if the Internet of Things will truly change the customer journey forever, we can tell you that some things simply aren’t as important as they are made out to be.

Below is a list of the top three things NOT to pay attention to in 2017:

Don’t Feel Compelled to Master Every New Channel: Simply because something is new, it doesn’t mean it deserves our undivided attention.  

As PR and marketing professionals, it is our job to seek out, understand, and capitalize on emerging trends for our clients. We constantly see and read about new channels, each one supposedly better than the last. We spend time trying to master at least one before another wave of new options is introduced. But many of them won’t matter to us in the long-run and some may not even be around much longer. So is this really the best use of our time?  

Be judicious about how much effort, energy, and resource is spent on exploring new channels.

Take the time to learn which ones actually matter to your audience, don’t just jump on whatever is new and popular. Figure out which channels truly help impact the bottom line, rather than focusing on channels where vanity metrics look good.

Only The Data That Helps You Prove Your Point: Use data intelligently to get smart results.

There is increasingly more data available about PR and marketing campaigns. With just a click of a button, we are given access to information that used to take days or weeks to uncover. We can review audience behavior, extract valuable insights, and optimize our campaigns in less time than it takes to catch up on our favorite show.  And, perhaps most importantly, data has changed the way we approach our jobs and allowed us to directly prove the value of our efforts.

With so many advantages, it’s easy to see why we rely so heavily on data-driven decision making. But we must be careful about how we treat and interpret data. We must look at what the information is telling us, instead of just falling into common traps, such as confirmation bias, where we use data to confirm the story we want to tell. By going back to the basics, pairing qualitative and quantitative data together, looking for statistical significance, and ensuring that we have truly representative samples, we can make better short- and long-term decisions.  

Haters: Don’t pay attention to the noise.  Not everyone is going to agree with your PR and marketing strategy and you may encounter naysayers. It’s important to be thick skinned, but equally as important to listen. 

Find out what exactly it is that critics don’t like. Is there an issue with your product or service, maybe something you weren't even aware of? Is there something you can do to help improve their experience or perception?  By understanding who your audience is and listening to both positive and negative feedback, you can gain critical insight into how your brand is actually perceived and catch small issues before they become larger crises.

In today’s rapidly changing environment, it can be challenging to determine how and where to focus your energy.   In 2017, resolve to figure out what you need to pay attention to, and what might not be as important. Because if you do, you’ll have more time for what matters most. 

Written by Amy Jaick, Executive Director of GMI Digital at Goodman Media. For more on how we think, click here.

Personal Branding Resolutions for the PR and Marketing Pro

Personal Branding Resolutions for the PR and Marketing Pro

“New Year, New You”, as the saying goes.

Though many like to set diet and fitness-focused resolutions in the New Year (and if that’s you, visit our client Furthermore’s site for some serious fitspo), PR and marketing professionals know that setting goals for a “New You” should go beyond the physical.

Our personal brand – our reputation, our image on- and offline – is something good pros manage and curate for ourselves, just as we do for our clients. And what better time of year to review and do just that.

In the spirit of “New Year, New You,” and setting new goals for 2017, here are four daily resolutions for PR and marketing professionals:

On social media: As social media platforms continue to evolve, there are even more new and shiny ways to get your message, passions, and expertise out there. Resolve to offer something insightful to your audience, no matter which platform you’re using. Try out the new capabilities of each platform, like Facebook Live or Instagram stories, when appropriate, but the content should always be meaningful to your audience.

 At the office: Whether you’re the CEO or the newest member of the team, you can still work on your personal brand. Are you known as the go-to person for crisis management, or do other teams come to you first for out-of-the-box creative ideas? Play up that go-to expertise. Then, pick one area to really focus on and improve this year, in order to offer something new to your coworkers and stretch your capabilities to the next level.

With clients and business partners: Clients expect to see their partners go the extra mile. Resolve this year to spend extra one-on-one time with your clients, attending their events with them or getting firsthand experience with their brand. Then, share your experiences with your own audience and hone your PR skills within your own sphere of influence.

 With friends and family: Influencer marketing was huge in 2016. When it comes to your personal brand, remember that your friends and family are the influencers of your life. Sharing your expertise with them creates more opportunities and a larger audience for you.

 

4 Tips For Choosing Your Next PR Firm

4 Tips For Choosing Your Next PR Firm

“I want to be on Oprah.”  Years ago, this was one of the most common phrases public relations executives heard from prospective and existing clients. Although “Oprah” is no longer on the air today, the requests for big-name hits continue. 

Each time the discussion turns to a particular “wish list” in a meeting, we respond with a question of our own: “Why do you want to see your organization there?” We don’t ask these questions because we can’t deliver those moments.  We’ve actually made plenty of those dreams come true throughout the past 20 years! Rather, we ask because it’s critical to understand our clients’ underlying objectives so we can help them impact the bottom line and achieve their goals.

It is clear that it is no longer enough just to get good media coverage.  Today’s communications and marketing professionals must show clear ROI and prove their efforts move the needle.

Working with a results-driven PR firm can make that happen, but selecting the right one can be challenging.  How do you identify the right partner that not only understands your company’s goals, but also knows how PR can help achieve them? Below are four suggestions for how to evaluate potential partners in 2017:

1.       Ask The Right Questions, And Give Honest Answers: Has the firm asked what success looks like for you?  Is it lead gen, increased sales, awareness?  Cookie-cutter solutions DO NOT work so it’s important that the firm understands the nuances of your short- and long-term goals. The more honest and upfront you are, the better the strategy your firm will develop. 

2.       Go Niche Or Go Home: Does the firm realize which audience you are trying to reach?  Is it c-suite decision-makers? Advertisers? Policymakers?  A well-defined strategy focuses on the outlets and publications your target audience reads, even if they’re not the most popular names or have the largest circulations. Targeting niche media that reaches specific buyers can often be more impactful in moving the needle.

3.       Proven Success And Creativity: Does the agency have a strong track record of success? Have they been tasked with similar objectives in the past?  Do they understand how to tackle challenges they might encounter and, when they do have a road block, do they think creatively to find another solution?

4.       It May Not be A Marriage, But It Is A Partnership: Is there chemistry? Your PR firm should be your partner and an extension of your in-house efforts.  If you can’t imagine sitting next to members of the firm on a long flight, they may not be the right fit.

Being on “Oprah” used to be considered success on its own. But as the focus on ROI only increases, make sure you seek out an agency that can help you meet your business objectives. After all, what’s the point of being on “Oprah” if you don’t leverage it to impact your bottom line, drive business development and achieve your goals?

Written by Amy Jaick, Executive Director of GMI Digital at Goodman Media. For more on how we think, click here.

 

Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation’s 14th Annual Celebrity Gala Dinner

Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation’s 14th Annual Celebrity Gala Dinner

Last night, Goodman Media headed downtown to join our friends and clients, Ali and Joe Torre, at the Safe At Home Foundation’s 14th annual gala at Cipriani 25 Broadway.  The event, which honored MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred, Jr. and celebrated the 1996 World Series Championship New York Yankees, raised more than $1.5 million to help end the cycle of domestic violence and save lives.

Goodman Media has had the great honor of working with the Foundation since its inception to help raise awareness of its mission. From the beginning, our team has proudly organized and managed all of its red carpets, drawing numerous national and local media to attend and cover the events.

Many celebrities were spotted last night on the red carpet, including Robert Manfred, Jr., Derek Jeter, Hannah Davis, Don Mattingly, David Cone, Willie Randolph, Lorraine Bracco, among many others. 

The Safe At Home Foundation was founded in 2002 by Ali and Joe Torre in response to the impact that domestic violence had on Joe Torre and his family. Now in its second decade of educating students that are most profoundly affected by domestic violence, Safe At Home helps thousands of young people every year. Named in honor of Joe’s mother, the Margaret’s Place program provides a “safe room” in schools staffed by a full- time, master’s-level counselor who provides both individual and group counseling sessions.  The Safe At Home Foundation has reached more than 59,500 children and provided more than 26,000 counseling sessions to date.

To learn more, check out the Foundation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter