The People Voted, and Dow Jones Media Relations Manager is a Winner

Posted on June 25, 2010. Filed under: Public Relations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

How great is this?  On Monday, at the Eighth Annual American Business Awards (aka “Stevies”), Dow Jones Media Relations Manager received a People’s Choice Award for Favorite New Media Product of the Year.  This is the second year now that the American Business Awards invited the public to vote for their favorite new products.  During the voting period, from May 13 to June 4, over 150,000 votes were cast for the People’s Choice Awards.

Product Team (L to R): Martin Murtland, Saurabh Goorha, and Priya Nallan

VP and Managing Director Murtland (L) accepts award from Stevie President Michael Gallagher

I headed up PR for Dow Jones’s Factiva and Dow Jones Newswires business lines when our product team began working on Dow Jones Media Relations Manager. My team played a big role in the development of this product, providing ideas and feedback along the way. I’m really proud of the result of that collaboration, and I love some of the features that have resulted. For example, the link between journalist and blogger profiles and the articles and posts they’ve written makes it so much easier to determine who to pitch, because you know whether they’ve written about the topic. Also, the briefing book feature is amazing. It used to take us hours to put these together, but now we can get a very presentable document in just a few minutes.

Dow Jones Media Relations Manager was also named a Finalist in the ABA’s New Product or Service of the Year – Media & Entertainment category.

We’re extremely proud of this achievement and thank everyone who voted for us.

For more info about the American Business Awards, visit their website here.  To learn more about Dow Jones products, contact us!

Diane Thieke is marketing director for Dow Jones Solutions for Communications Professionals. She is based in Princeton, NJ.

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Going Forward at the End of the Day – Clichés are one of Journalism’s Best Kept Secrets

Posted on June 3, 2010. Filed under: Public Relations | Tags: , , , , |

My longtime friend and colleague, Chris Pash, Director of Content Licensing at Dow Jones & Co and self-proclaimed “word miner,” was featured in a recent report on The Australian. Chris has spent the last nine years researching clichés in journalism.  In his interview, he explains how he has used Dow Jones Factiva’s extraordinary 30+ year media database as a “deposit of reportage” to further expand and confirm his findings regarding journalistic clichés.

Anchors and reporters of all types must differentiate themselves through their diction and their personality.  But how much of that diction is really their own?  Chris provides solid, quantitative evidence of the most rampant “newsworthy” clichés, and speaks of their proliferation into the media.  Check out a video interview between The Australian reporter Geoff Elliott and Chris.

The seven most overused clichés:

1. At the end of the day
2. Split second
3. About face
4. Unsung heroes
5. Outpouring of support
6. Last-ditch effort
7. Concerned residents


Awhile back, we did some research using Dow Jones Insight, a media analytics tool, to look at clichés – or what David Meerman Scott called “gobbledygook” – in more than 700,000 press releases.  At least 150 of the 325 phrases analyzed got frequent use, which leads me to wonder what kind of role we, as communicators, play in driving the prevalence of clichés in journalists’ work.

What do you think?  Do clichés in journalism show a lack of originality? Are we partly to blame?

Be sure to check out Chris’s latest article in The Australan. He’s also looking for cliché suggestions. To submit ideas, join his Facebook group or visit his blog.

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Facebook’s Public Discourse over Privacy

Posted on June 1, 2010. Filed under: Measurement, Public Relations, Social Media | Tags: , , , , |

Facebook is in the news a lot lately regarding privacy, but  it’s not new: A Factiva search reveals that for the roughly five month period from July 1 – December 8 2009, there were 3, 482 mentions of ‘Facebook and privacy.’  But this time it’s different: in the roughly five months since, there were just under 70,000. And, the tone of the discourse is overwhelmingly negative. What happened?

On December 9, Facebook issued a press release to publicize a “transition tool” to aid users in taking advantage of multiple changes they made to their service. It downplayed the changes to the company’s privacy policy and weren’t explicit about how much of their users’ information would be publicly available after the change. Close watchers of the company began to question the changes.

The press release alone didn’t cause any noticeable buzz: A Factiva search of “Facebook and privacy” for 1-8 December found an average of 35 mentions per day, while a search for the same terms from 9-31 December found 33 per day. And the chart of average daily mentions below reconfirms the chart above that January was pretty quiet regarding privacy as well.

The dramatic, continuous groundswell of mentions began on February 17 when Facebook announced a second major change to its privacy settings. This time Facebook used a blog post from a software engineer, and it appears that the change in medium helped bring different results, but the messaging also had a lot to do with it.

The company’s December release touted that the changes would help people connect and share and explained that they’d taken privacy into consideration when they engineered the new default settings and fine-grained controls. Facebook was telling users to trust them to continue their stewardship of users’ privacy. The blog explained that Facebook would now extend the December changes to third party content and again assured users that Facebook would protect them and improve their experience.

As the chart shows, there was plenty of discussion about Facebook and privacy, but more was in store. In April, days after Facebook’s spokesman explained to The Washington Post that Facebook would provide a universal opt-out, an IT security firm released a survey which found that 95% of respondents thought Facebook’s privacy changes were “a bad thing.” They also lamented that most Facebook users are unaware of safe privacy settings and the confusing nature of Facebook’s privacy controls.

While Facebook must have seen the groundswell forming, better media analysis would have allowed them to understand the nuances of the negative tone shaping their coverage. A deeper understanding of the specific conversations people were having and how they were evolving could have allowed them to properly calibrate their messages and PR strategy.

By mid-May, several major influencers spoke out against Facebook, and in the last week there have been extensive negative articles in major outlets. Predictably, this week Mr. Zuckerberg announced – in a letter to a tech blogger – that Facebook would add simpler privacy controls.

Damien DuPont is a report writer and quality assurance specialist in the Dow Jones Media Lab and is based in New York.

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