National Communication Job Postings
Week of 04/23/12
Recently I moderated a Dallas Press Club panel for journalists who were looking for new career paths due to layoffs in their field. The question came up, “Will there still be journalists in 20 or 30 years?”
It’s an interesting question that I often hear, and I have two answers. First, yes, there will always be trained journalists who we rely on daily for accurate, unbiased news reporting. And second, we will ALL be journalists due to the rapid explosion of social media. In many regards, we will come to rely on both types of journalists for our news.
Let’s take the recent tornado outbreak in Dallas/Fort Worth as an example. As you may know, approximately 15 major tornadoes struck DFW one afternoon during the work day. At our office, we were glued to the local television stations reporting both the tornado damage and weather reports. (Yes, we did go to the stairwell at appropriate times.)
We had the TV helicopters giving us the live footage of the 18-wheelers flying through the air and the tornados forming in the sky. At the same time, “citizen journalists” were sending in their photos and footage from the ground, augmenting the official coverage from the TV stations.
It is this combination of two types of journalism that gives us a more full and accurate view of news events. Until recent years, we had to rely solely on formal news organizations to give us the news. Now we can all contribute to the news cycle by being in the right place at the right time. Just look at the passengers on the JetBlue flight who got the only footage of the pilot going crazy as the plane was in the air, and whose footage subsequently went viral both through traditional outlets and social media channels.
As a former journalist, however, I know that we will always need “real journalists” to interpret, investigate and report on the news on a macro scale to give us the full story. And it distresses me to see so many good journalists being laid off or choosing to leave the field. I can only hope students keep taking journalism and aspire to become true reporters.
A newspaper mogul once remarked that to sell newspapers all you need is a picture of a pretty girl, a child, and a dog. Aetrex Worldwide dropped the kid and the mutt but still managed to make an impression. Using a a wink and a nod approach to sell shoes, Aetrex placed a pretty woman into a bathtub and captioned the image, “don’t forget to take them off.” The colorful ad graced the pages of CondeNast Traveler and Lucky Magazine.
With dvd’s, computers, Internet, ipods, gaming, and cable television within easy grasp of most kids, reading would seem to be lost among the competition for attention. When’s the last time anyone went to a public library, especially a child? The Columbus Metropolitan Library faced a daunting task–get people reading again. The Summer Reading Program built a fully integrated campaign around the theme, “Be a Hero. Read”. The CMS reached out to the community using social and traditional media. Logos, graphics, and celebrities also were brought into the marketing mix. The creative campaign resulted in a 20% increase in participants. Almost 90,000 kids, teenagers, and adults signed on to be ‘heroes’. Reading is alive and well in Columbus, Ohio. Community Heroes YouTube page
This 1:35 video pays homage to the Mexican National Soccer Team and the 100 million fans that stand behind it. It was shown to 74,000 people during halftime on May 13 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, when Mexico defeated Angola 1-0. It’s in Spanish, but you don’t need an interpreter to appreciate the music, editing, narration and especially the directing and videography. The piece is sponsored by Degree Men, an antiperspirant. The production and the players are so smooth that no one appears to be working up a sweat. Degree Men must really work.
We all get direct mail pieces every day. The challenge is obviously to stand out among the competition. In 18 years of marketing and communication competitions, nothing has stood out more than DAR, Inc.’s self marketing piece. It arrived in a square box that was three-feet tall by three-feet wide. Inside was the DARn Red Ball along with an oversized marketing piece that on one side details creative uses for the ball and on the other side, the Red Ball theme is carried over into marketing messages for DAR’s services. Wait there’s more. There is also a website they bounce you to (DAR’s words) where you can design and share your creative uses (www.thoseDARnRedBalls.com). This is a fun marketing piece that attracts attention for DAR’s direct marketing services, and even after the thrill is gone, it is impossible to throw the thing out. That darn red ball will probably be around our office forever.
Winner: Black Duck Software
Client: Black Duck Software
Title: Open Source Delivers (www.opensourcedelivers.com)
Category: 131. Blog (Corporate/Organizational)
Many blogs can pretty much be run of the mill, with more of a web obligation than a concerted creative effort. Black Duck Software has crafted a blog that is informative, concisely written, and well designed. The graphics are eye catching without being gimmicky. The site is well laid out and a pleasure to navigate. Though there is an incredible amount of information on the blog, it’s not overpowering.