Whether they’re college football fans or not, many Americans are aware of the NCAA’s two-year-plus investigation into the University of Miami’s football and basketball program. After all, the story had all the ingredients to captivate the general public.
In 2011, a major news outlet broke the story not only alleging that athletes took money and free drinks from a booster, but the same booster in question was a convicted felon in jail for a $930 million Ponzi scheme and purportedly paid for abortions on behalf of players (an unproven accusation).
But as the NCAA investigation came to a close on October 22, the biggest loser was not the school who was accused of wrongdoing and received resulting penalties, but the NCAA itself. Do you think if the NCAA knew the outcome two years ago it would have taken the word of a criminal and dug in to “bury” the University of Miami?
The NCAA made a calculated risk to use this case as an avenue to reclaim control of major college athletics and the big business it has become, and instead lost its reputation in the process. (This UCLA case and the Ed O’Bannon/video game lawsuit haven’t helped either).
ESPN columnist Rick Reilly has had it rough recently, but more importantly I thought it raised an interesting question about the responsibility journalists have in including comments from sources when it may potentially contradict the tone or message of their story.
To quickly set the stage: Back in September, Reilly, an award-winning sports columnist, wrote an article for ESPN.com that discussed the ongoing controversy surrounding the use of the name “Redskins” by the Washington NFL team.
In that article, Reilly argued that the controversy is being overblown and that Native Americans aren’t nearly as offended as our society thinks they are.
He supports his point by quoting his own father-in-law (a member of the Blackfeet Indian tribe), saying that the name isn’t really offensive and shouldn’t be a big deal.
Then things got a little hairy for Reilly. His father-in-law published an essay claiming that not only was he misquoted in the article, but also important comments he made denouncing the use of the word “Redskins” were omitted from the column.
I’ve always been annoyed by the word mentor. It conjures up visions of an elegant, silver-haired businessman patting the shoulder of a younger colleague in a fine restaurant while imparting sage advice.
In the business world, having a mentor is as much a status symbol as a Rolex. When people talk about their mentors, it sounds like they are giving a eulogy.
But when the Public Relations Society of America gave the founder of my firm, Bruce Rubin, a lifetime achievement award, I had to face facts. While it never came with a bow on it, or was part of a formal training program, I have a mentor – and a damn good one.
Posted in: Business Thoughts
Opinion editorials, known as “op-eds,” can be an extremely effective tool in the PR toolbox to deliver a message in a client’s own words – often on complex or controversial issues being covered in the news.
Op-eds are often penned by C-level executives, legislators, and even famous actors and actresses. Angelina Jolie used the forum to deliver news of her preemptive double mastectomy and Anna Gunn recently authored an opinion piece on her “Breaking Bad” character.
In a way, op-eds are an opportunity to bypass the system – to ensure one’s thoughts are delivered directly and in no way adapted by a reporter’s intended or unintended media filter.
They are usually not a vehicle for foreign policy, but Vladimir Putin’s op-ed in the New York Times may have changed that.
The recent announcement that Ben Affleck would replace Christian Bale in the upcoming “Batman vs. Superman” movie was met with a collective “What?!?” and a lot of head scratching by everyone from fan boys to regular Janes (including yours truly, who enjoyed the Dark Knight series).
Not to say that Affleck isn’t a skilled enough actor to capture the depth Bale brought to the role, but at the end of the day one will never be the other. Could this be the end of Batman?
Of course not. The strength of Batman lies in the strength of the brand. The same can be said for major brands that have survived shake-ups in their leadership.
Posted in: Public Relations
It’s been an interesting week for Hispanic media outlets. First, the ratings reports showed Univision is on track to be the most-watched network for the month of July, beating out ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. Then, the Pew Research Hispanic Center releases a study saying more Hispanics are getting their news on English television, radio, print and online outlets. Huh?
While this sounds like a contradiction, it’s easy to explain. Telenovelas and entertainment programming are huge draws for Spanish-language TV outlets – just look at Univision’s Sabado Gigante, which has been on the air since 1962 and still draws 2.2 million viewers.
For the news, however, the study found a 10 percent drop in the amount of Spanish language news consumption, and a 22 percent drop in the number of viewers that get their news exclusively in Spanish. This can be attributed to a few reasons pointed out by researchers – there are more U.S. born Hispanics, a growing number of adult Latinos speak English well, and immigration has slowed down.
Posted in: Media
It’s time again for this year’s rbb inspirations playlist. Good tunes, straight from the heart of the music lovers at rbb.
For the uninitiated, every year rbb asks its employees to share the song that’s inspiring them at the moment. We distribute these playlists internally, but we also like to share them with all of you. (You can check out last year’s playlist here.)
We’ve been doing this since 2005, so we have a pretty good track record for having a diverse, fun collection of tunes. So without further ado, here is Inspirations Volume Eight!
Posted in: Public Relations