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This 'n That: Jeff's Blog

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


What Turns Reporters On?


Has the focus of today's news reporting regressed or progressed?  Perhaps no one should know better than journalists. For those who equate news with an aggregation of fact, here is an interesting commentary from a former political speech writer turned opinion editor and columnist:


"Reporters, especially though not exclusively political reporters, are more interested in the meaning of facts than in the facts themselves.  They're concerned with interpretation rather than accuracy, with 'narrative' rather than detail, with explaining rather than disclosing, with who's happy or angry about a story rather than whether it's true, with what's likely to happen next week or next year rather than with what happened yesterday."  --Barton Swaim, columnist in a Wall Street Journal "Bookshelf" review of Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury.


PS--For more on the definition of news, see "What is news" on this web site.

                                                  -- Jeff Bogart     


12:02 pm est          Comments

Saturday, September 17, 2016

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Journalists Are Becoming Ad Copywriters

Seems as though journalists are being called on these days to work as public relations consultants and ad copywriters.  That's the conclusion one can draw from a recent Folio magazine article.  Under a headline that reads "Majority of Publishers Use Their Own Editorial Staffs to Produce Native Ads," Folio reports on results of a recent study by London-based trade association FIPP and the Copenhagen-based Native Advertising Institute.  Findings include:

"Over two-thirds of magazine publishers leverage their own editorial teams to produce native advertisements, according to a study from FIPP and the Native Advertising Institute.

"Of 140 magazine executives surveyed around the world [in 39 countries], 68 percent report that their editorial team produces native ads, more than twice as many as the 31 percent who say they use an in-house native advertising studio, and nearly three times as many as the 24 percent who use a separate native ad team to produce sponsored content. Far fewer publishers make use of an external agency partner (12 percent), or an advertising agency (six percent)."

That's not the way it used to be, was it?  Which might lead a purist to ask, What's the difference these days between journalism and public relations, anyway?

                                                     -- Jeff Bogart    

11:50 am edt          Comments

Sunday, September 11, 2016

About "Fleek"? 

Have you come across the word "fleek" before?  As in "on fleek"?  Saw it for the first time in today's NYT—not in the Style but in the Business Section, of all places!  Looked it up online, and came across the following article examining its derivation:   Check it out, because it’s a fleek of an article.

This writer, incidentally, is very good, so I’ll need to explore some of the other posts on this site.  Seems as though William Safire lives!

                                                  -- Jeff Bogart   

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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Word Play

Another portmanteau word: Slurk.  But what does it mean?

              -- Jeff Bogart  

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Best ever! 

When you have a great new idea, the first person you sell on it is . . . yourself!

                                                      -- Jeff Bogart   

7:32 pm edt          Comments

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Crain's Letter 

My letter appeared this week in Crain's New York Business, both the print and online editions. The response to my proposal has been positive:

I would support its presentation I would also show the amount by which taxes have increased each year.

A modest proposal.....would be interesting for sure!

Makes sense to me...

Good idea...

Great Idea! Thanks Jeff

To read the letter, click here. 

                                                                     -- Jeff Bogart  

4:48 pm edt          Comments

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Is Social Media Worth It?
 Perhaps when used for B to C marketing, social media makes sense. But what about for professional services firms engaged in B to B?  I just received an email from a consultant to those service firms whose offerings are built on expertise (e.g., marketing, media, advertising, management consulting).  The email pans social media for most such firms.  It's appropriate, the consultant says, "for a few of you but it’s a luxury that fits really well as the last 5% on top of more substantive marketing activities. The ROI isn’t there, the stop/start of the activity is distracting, and it’s like running in place instead of actually walking somewhere." Of course, ROI is not what social media marketing is all about, right?  Listening, Visibility, Perception Building and Engagement are its hallmarks, as we all no doubt recognize.  Nevertheless, I wonder: Does anyone at professional services firms have concrete evidence that social media marketing to other businesses has really worked for his/her firm? Let me know.
-- Jeff Bogart 
7:36 pm est          Comments

Monday, February 29, 2016

 In Advance of the News

Just what stories will the news media be covering this year?  Editors develop annual lists that identify important stories by month and date.  The lists, or datebooks, help them with staffing logistics and enable reporters to conduct research, identify angles and write stories in advance of the event.  
Datebooks are, of course, works in progress, with new items added as the year unfolds.  Public relations executives who scan these lists can sometimes figure out ways in which their clients or companies might play a role in the unfolding and news coverage of these events. That's true both for internal and external communications.  
Here are links to the Wall Street Journal's datebook of global events and datebook of Greater New York published online on January 4. Here (chart, left) also is a combined snapshot from those datebooks of events occurring in March. We will soon be reading about them in the news.
                                       -- Jeff Bogart  
2:51 pm est          Comments

Friday, February 26, 2016

 Compliance Chiefs Provide Anticorruption Insights at Dow Jones Breakfast

"We don't like to use the term 'whistle blower,'" said Nicholas Elliott, editor, WSJ Risk & Compliance Journal.


His was one of the comments I heard while attending the anticorruption compliance breakfast held in midtown Manhattan by Dow Jones Risk & Compliance on Feb. 23.

Elliott moderated a panel of chief ethics and compliance officers from Merck & Co., General Electric, and Bechtel. Here are some of the corporate executives' observations:

 -- "Good and effective compliance is local compliance," not centrally imposed compliance. We invest locally in it.

 -- After reducing our 65-page conduct code by two thirds, "something great happened--employees started to read it."

  1.  --". . .[W]hen you simplify, you force yourself to hone in on the why and not the what."
  •  -- "We need our employees exercising good judgment . . . not simply following a set of rules."

 -- We still have 60 pages of code. You cannot just assume that people know the right thing to do.

 --You cannot write rules that cover every situation; but you can create the expectation of following the rules.

  -- A culture of compliance is "far and away" the most important component of an effective compliance program.

-- A sign of a strong culture of compliance is when what you ask be done is well received.

-- A second "true sign" of compliance effectiveness--emphasis on coming forward to report what is seen.

-- If there is quiet among employees, that is "the first important sign of trouble."

--Assess the tone about compliance not only at DJ_Compliance_Event_panelist_20160223_095505.jpgthe top of the company but also at the bottom among line workers and first-line management. If it is positive there, "then you're almost home."

--The biggest change in compliance in recent years is a transition from training and education to auditing and monitoring.

-- Another big change in compliance is the use of data analytics to know when to audit.   

 -- Jeff Bogart  

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Around Town 

Some recent event photography by me, including a holiday party, reception, ballgame party, and parade:









  -- Jeff Bogart


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Monday, October 6, 2014

 Howz That?

What about how?  The answer to that question is there is a legal battle brewing over whether "how" is trademarkable, according to a front-page story in today's The New York Times.  Who would have thought that "how" would ever rise to such importance.  Why it's almost at the very end of the list journalism students are traditionally required to memorize--who, what, when, where, how and why --implying, in other words, that its presence could be a mere afterthought.  But that is not the case, when you get right down to it, for the litigants in The Times’ story:  Where one might once have minimized or dismissed the term, the modern meaning of how, for them at least, is that it matters.  Or is it that the matter with how is that it has grown to have increased meaning?  We will most likely have to wait for one or more legal minds to parse the English language to find out.  Now, how about that! 

-- Jeff Bogart  

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Taking the Measure of PR

clip_art_Measuring_tape.jpgSeeking insight into how to measure the success or failure of public relations programs?  Here are some truisms from the keynote speaker at yesterday's gathering in New York on the subject:

1. "[The] measure of the value created by social media is qualitative, not quantitative." 

2. Quarterly sales results are not a meaningful measure of long-term relationship building. 

3. Business intangibles are where a lot of PR benefit is created. 

4. "Content that moves creates power"--i.e., it needs to be disseminated/distributed/shared. 

5. Share of conversation can be an indicator of sales. 

6. When a conversation has been identified as relevant, marketing managers want to know how people connect to it and how they can keep the conversation going. 

7. "Sometimes it's not about ROI [return on investment]; it's about relevance."

The speaker was Mark W. Schaefer, a marketing consultant and Rutgers University instructor.  The event sponsored by Cision and Vocus, was part of AMEC (International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication) Measurement Week.

-- Jeff Bogart  

8:07 pm edt          Comments

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Financial Media for Sale: Step Right Up!

BigNews--MSclipart2.jpgThe sale over the last year and the recently reported shopping by Thomson Reuters of some specialty financial media (peHUB Wire 9/8/14) suggest, arguably, that their owners foresaw--and Thomson Reuters still foresees--slacking sales and lower profit margins, as well as declining financial markets and the economy in the future.  After all, if results can only get better and not worse, why sell? 

So let's speculate, for a moment, about how things might get worse for possible new owners of such media.  New owners will have limited options to make back their purchase price plus a profit--they can, of course, cut costs by firing staff and by eliminating print editions.  Or they can seek to hike revenue by raising the price of their products to subscribers, by raising ad prices; by adding more product extensions such as conferences and webinars; and by changing the substance of those products to attract a wider, more general audience.  The downsides of these strategies include degradation in product quality and declines in the existing audience and advertising bases. 

Destiny--GraphicsFactory_clip_art.gifOn the other hand, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, every cloud has a silver lining, each option carries not only risk but opportunity, and, as has been said, "The meek may inherit the earth--but not its mineral rights."  There may indeed be ways to profit from the purchase, such as by adding to the subscriber base and demographics and content of the purchaser's already existing media properties. 

In that case, step right up, ladies and gentlemen.  For Thomson Reuters's media properties PeHUB ("a blog that covers PE and VC news"), Buyouts ("a bi-weekly magazine that covers news and trends in the buyouts market") and VCJ (Venture Capital Journal--"a monthly magazine that covers the venture capital business"), let the sale process begin.

-- Jeff Bogart  

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lessons From This Year's U.S. Open:

1) Due to upsets, the best/most exciting Grand Slam tennis matches often occur in the quarter- and semi-finals. 

2) It's time to add scoreboards for the onsite fans so they can keep count of aces, serving speed, rally lengths, winners/errors, remaining challenges.

3) Focus TV cameras on serve speed more often than now, especially when there is a big-deal server. 

4) Why not give awards to the most entertaining player, the fastest serving player, the most strategic player, and the first-time player deemed most likely to succeed.

5) And last but not least, to offset the advantage gained by super-serving giants whose height and wingspans exceed 6' 5", raise the height of the net and enlarge the side of the court they occupy!    

                                                                                                -- Jeff Bogart 

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Where Mainstream Journalism Is Heading

At Columbia Journalism School's recent Alumni Weekend, media consultant Mario Garcia delivered an excellent illustrated talk on understanding new media and how it is evolving. Even if you hate new media (a misnomer because it is no longer new), you may want to check out where mainstream journalism is heading. You can access the talk, which was streamed live, on YouTube at .

Garcia is introduced by Bill Grueskin, Columbia J-School's academic dean and former WSJ deputy managing editor for news .  Here are two slides from the talk:

Blog--ClipArt/Garcia_Talk_1--the_best_of_times.jpg     and   Blog--ClipArt/Garcia_Talk_2--industry_needs_mobile_editors.jpg

Worth viewing.
                                                                      -- Jeff Bogart 
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winter Recall


I recall when I worked as a reporter for UPI in Kansas City seeing a story about an American Indian with a dire prognostication.  He warned that if America landed a man on the moon it would change Earth's weather patterns.  Looking at today's heavy snowstorm plus global warming, it seems as though he was right.  Just who was that medicine man, anyway?
                                                                        -- Jeff Bogart 

7:04 pm est          Comments

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Fashion Note

Despite near-zero outdoor temperatures and wind chill values as low as 15 below zero, I spotted only three guys who arrived wearing sweaters, and just one more wearing a vest, under their jackets at today's ACG New York Sports M&A luncheon at the Union League Club attended by almost 80 people.  Brr!    
                                                                                           -- Jeff Bogart 

5:54 pm est          Comments

Friday, October 11, 2013

I just came across the below letter of mine published in PR Week's print edition quite some time ago in response to an article critical of the use of public relations in politics.  Given the ongoing political wars, it seemed timely:


Congratulations on your well written editorial on the difference between political and other forms of PR, `The epitome of the practice, or a corruption?' (PR Week, October 10).

It's possible that marketing, not PR is the culprit behind the problem you cite:  `There was a time when politicians actually started from a set of beliefs and tried to convince the public that those beliefs were right, rather than the other way around.'

It's a marketing tenet to find out what the consumer wants, then give it to him.  Which may be why that public is getting it right and left these days from both parties.  It's a PR tenet, on the other hand, to identify what the public knows and believes, in order to determine how best to educate it.

There seems to be, then, at least one difference between marketing and PR. Simply put, marketing conforms; PR informs.
                                                                        -- Jeff Bogart 

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Did Facebook overprice its shares?

The company's initial public offering was priced at $38 a share.  So did the company and its investment bankers flunk I-banking 101?

The substantial drop in price soon after the offering might make you think so. 
But Fortune columnist and blogger Dan Primack disagrees, saying:  "as I
wrote at the time, $38 was the perfect price." 

For Primack's reasoning and his view of the investment banker's role, see
Facebook's IPO Was No 'Disaster'
                                                                        -- Jeff Bogart 

8:27 pm edt          Comments


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