A few weeks ago on a Friday morning, The Boston Globe was nice enough to host a group of PR pros from the PubClub of New England. We had a wonderful time meeting all of the staffers, touring the facility, and hearing about all of the assets the paper has now. One of my favorite parts was hearing about how they are now housing start-ups in the building to help them launch new products.
As PR pros, our job usually ends as soon as the story is submitted by a journalist to be printed – but that is just the beginning of the life of a article at the Globe. Once a writer’s deadline hits, the story physically travels all over the building (and sometimes across New England) before it lands in the hands of readers.
First, it’s written in the newsroom – this part we’re familiar with. However, I thought the Globe newsroom was rather overwhelming! I had no idea how huge it was. This part of the journey usually happens at night, we’ll say around 7pm:
Around 10pm: The stories are etched on to special plates that are used to print the paper (the room has special yellow lighting so they aren’t damaged):
The plates, which can only ever be used once (they are recycled, don’t worry!) are created on these machines….
And they are then clipped to and taken up this ski lift-type track to the press room (right over the heads of these PR pros!):
Meanwhile, in the press room, rolls and rolls of paper are ready for printing. The Globe actually has a train track in their press room (not pictured) and these rolls of paper are delivered directly to the Globe via train.
Since the rolls are so heavy (1,700 lbs each!) they are moved around by these unmanned robots:
You can see the their tire tracks along the press room floor:
Around 2:00 am: The first edition begins printing!
The Globe has four working presses, but they only ever use three at a time in case one goes down. The presses are intelligent enough that they can typically fix themselves if something breaks, but they also always have repairmen on hand as backup.
There are actually three editions of the Globe printed every day. The first edition has three stars on the edge of the page and is sent to the farthest-reaching distribution locations (Maine, Cape Cod, etc.). The second edition has two stars on the edge of the page and is sent to the metro Boston area. The last edition has one star and is sent to Boston proper. This allows edits and/or updates to be made right up until the last minute.
And voila! The paper lands in the hands of the readers. This tour certainly was an eye-opening experience and I’ll certainly think differently about working with newspapers from now on.
Were you on the tour? What as your favorite part? If you weren’t, have you ever seen a newspaper being printed? Let us know in the comments section below.
Earlier last week, my colleague Samantha Melendez and I went to hear Emily Rooney speak at WGBH as part of PRSA Boston’s annual meeting. The event was timed particularly well; falling not even 24 hours after the election results were announced, so we were able to hear candid reactions from one of the station’s best while the country was still reeling.
Emily was tasked with speaking on the “Future of Broadcast in the Digital Age” and, while she admittedly was not an expert on “digital,” she was more than happy to discuss how broadcast has changed in recent years and what the future holds.
While Emily covered a lot of ground during her talk – from how WGBH covered the election to whether or not America’s awareness of world events is getting better or worse – Samantha and I put together our top three takeaways from the event.
1) Reliability is becoming increasingly significant.
It’s important to embrace new technology and all of the new ways of gathering information as we progress in the digital age of media. As the Internet continues to flourish, so too does its variety of information. Almost every online site offers a different value of the truth and reliability of information. Because of the easy accessibility of sharing/blogging/tweeting out the news, anyone can be a journalist in the 21st century. Therefore, it is becoming more important for people to determine which news sources are credible. Perhaps surprising to some, but it’s not just the young social media savvy people who should be weary of the “reliability factor” of news. All people, both old and young, fall victim to sharing and believing news from unreliable sources, whether that is online, print, or broadcast.
Shows like “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show” are great examples of broadcast shows providing a comical slant of top news, while still providing important information to the masses. Often times, these types of shows get their news from online sources, making it difficult to know if what news they are delivering is 100% truthful. Overall, it comes down to one thing: It’s our civic duty to be aware of what is happening in the world, regardless of what medium we are getting the news from – however, it’s key for us to be skeptical of the credibility of news sources as the digital age of media continues to grow.
2) The future of radio is bright and network TV is holding steady.
As recently as the mid-2000’s, the industry thought the radio industry was on its way out. However, in 2012, as Rooney said, this “couldn’t be further from the truth.” She gave the example that WGBH’s radio station touts more than 100,000 watts and has a giant footprint in the Greater Boston area. Her prediction is that, as with other digital media, the industry will continue to become more personalized. “Similar to how everyone has their own personalized cell phone ring that gets beamed directly to them,” said Rooney, “we’ll have personalized radio stations. Everyone will get their own ‘ring.’”
Similarly, Rooney believes that network TV will continue to be the go-to source for information. “At 8:00 p.m. on any given night,” said Rooney, “more Americans are watching one channel of network news than all cable news stations combined. That fact alone is heartening for me.”
3) There aren’t necessarily two sides to every story.
The news isn’t on for one hour a night anymore – it’s on 24 hours a day. Born out of the necessity that news networks need to fill airtime, debating news stories has become a regular event – even if there aren’t necessarily two sides to debate. Equally weighing two “sides” of an issue, even when the two sides don’t necessarily deserve the same platform, can skew the story. The example that Emily gave that she said started the trend was the Dove World Outreach Center Quran-burning controversy of 2010. The event was debated on national TV several times but, Rooney questioned, “What is there to debate?” The media may blur the lines between opinion and fact, offering the examples of the right winged politicians recently coming forward and speaking on national news programs about the legitimacy of rape. “Just because you have an opinion on something doesn’t necessarily mean you are an expert and should be speaking about it in the media.”
We left the event optimistic about the future of broadcast media and inspired to keep up our “general level of awareness” that is our civic duty. If Emily was right and the future of broadcast is bright, we as PR professionals will have several very busy years ahead of us.
Were you at the PRSA event? What were some of your big takeaways? If you weren’t at the event, what are your predictions about the future of broadcast? Let us know in the comments section below.
Working in a restaurant, as they say, is a stop on the road of life. Whether its in high school, college, or in between jobs, working in a restaurant is a great way to make a good living with a flexible schedule. Here at 451 Marketing, those of us who have worked in the service industry – as a host/hostess, server, or back of house – have found that several skills that we cultivated while waiting tables serves us daily here at the agency and covers dealing with clients, the media, or colleauges. Below, we put together our top four PR lessons from the service industry.
- Anticipate: A waitress is always trying to save time and energy by making the fewest number of trips back and forth to tables. The easiest way to make the most of each table visit is to anticipate what each guest will need before he or she needs it. Proactively delivering ketchup, steak knives, and napkins turns into a huge time saver when you apply the strategy to five or 10 tables. Like wait staff, PR pros need to constantly anticipate client news, potential pitfalls and media needs. Ultimately, anticipating potential needs and problems goes a long way toward making the lives of clients and media members a little bit easier.
- Be a team player: While the wait staff is the face of restaurant service, it takes an entire team to deliver an enjoyable meal. A good waitress knows the importance of helping those around her succeed. Taking a minute to help a struggling coworker means that everyone in the restaurant will have a more pleasant experience. PR pros can also benefit from a team-centric attitude. Many times, a team member may have a great idea or relationship that could help at any time so don’t be afraid to ask around.
- Streamline multiple tasks: On a busy Saturday night at the restaurant, a waitress needs to keep many balls in the air – from remembering who ordered what to checking on tables, even picking up drinks at the bar and splitting checks – all in one walk from a table to the kitchen. With so much to remember, streamlining tasks and combining trips becomes a necessity. Waitresses create systems like assigning apron pockets or writing lists to keep it all straight. The same goes for PR pros. To do our jobs well, we must juggle several priorities for several different clients and things can easily fall off the radar. Organization and processes are key for keeping it all straight – and helps us keep a smile on our face through all of the speed bumps that can arise.
- Keep the customer #1: So much can go wrong during a shift that is out of a server’s hands – kitchens can get backed up, reservations can get lost and orders can get brought to the wrong table, just to name a few. Through it all, the difference between a 5% tip and a great night can be simply remembering what’s important – the customer. Keeping customer service as your #1 priority and communicating regularly and honestly with the customer can make a server’s life much easier. In the life of a PR pro, keeping your clients well-informed and remembering what their priorities are can make or break a client relationship. If you make a mistake, apologize. If that publication doesn’t want to publish their story, let them know honestly – and explain why. Customers and clients are human, so treat them how you’d like to be treated.
Have you worked in a restaurant? What role did you have and what lessons did it teach you about working in PR today? Let us know in the comments section below.
Here at 451 Marketing, we think two-legged friends are great and all, but we really love our four-legged (and sometimes three-legged) ones! In this fun Friday post, we wanted to share with you some members of our families. Meet our cold-nosed creatures!
Human: Glen Hawkins, Creative Director
Gender: Old man
The deets: This handsome fellow was adopted from Angel Memorial MSPCA when he was 8 years old. Glen let us know that Alex is not really a dog. He’s a plush toy. At 12 pounds, curly black hair and gray beard, all he wants to do is sit on (Glen’s wife) Amy’s lap. He won’t chase sticks, he’s fine with cats, doesn’t even bark just wants constant loving. He’s getting blind and deaf so he will lose Amy, even if she hasn’t moved, and will run around the house searching madly for her. What a comedian!
Human: Susie Anderson, Social Media Marketing Specialist
Gender: She’s a lady
The deets: So don’t hold it against her, but Mitzi is actually Susie’s aunt’s dog. Since her aunt and uncle are frequent travelers, Susie gets to take care of her a lot (lucky her!). They got her from the breeder that they got their two previous dogs from. She’s a cockapoo- cocker spaniel-poodle mix. Susie let us know that Mitzi is obsessed with her bouncy ball and if she’s not carrying it in her mouth, she’s trying to lick your face. She’s also an honorary bridesmaid in Susie’s wedding – cute! Can’t wait to see her dress!
Human: DeAnna Jacobsen, Marketing Coordinator
The deets: DeAnna purchased Ebby through a breeder in OH and picked her cute face out of a litter of six. There were only two female puppies and Ebby was the runt! DeAnna flew all the way to Columbus to pick her up.
Ebby loves sticks and will run with a stick in her mouth, chew on them, you name it. She also thinks she is a cat and will jump on pretty much anything as well as act like a lazy bear up on the window sill.
Human: Halley Sheffield, Marketing Manager
Gender: Little Gentleman
Age: Five in February
The deets: Baxter was adopted by Halley’s boyfriend from the Nelson County SPCA in Lovingston, VA. As many of you may know, Baxter is a tripawd. But he’s not ashamed – heck, he’s proud. “It’s better to hop on three legs than limp on four.” He’s a southern dog with a laid back attitude. He is also a leaner – if you are standing near him, he will lean all of his body weight on your just to make sure you know he’s there. He’s the most loving dog Halley has ever met and she’s so glad to have him as a roommate!
Human: Elizabeth Bond, Project Manager
The deets: Dexter was abused the first two years of his life before he was dropped off anonymously at the Watauga Humane Society in Boone, North Carolina. At the time, Elizabeth was searching for a dog and making weekly trips to the humane society to dog walk and look around. On her fourth visit, she noticed this tiny little rat terrier in a big kennel all by himself. After talking with the workers, she found out his story and that he had been dropped off three weeks ago and now had kennel cough. They needed someone to foster him until he got better. She ventured into the kennel to pet him and when she did, he crawled into Elizabeth’s lap and looked at her like “Okay, let’s go home now.” After two weeks, Elizabeth went back and paid for him and it’s been a match made in heaven ever since. Dexter currently lives with Elizabeth’s parents in Dunn, North Carolina but hopes to make his way to Massachusetts soon. We hope so too!
Elizabeth and her family call him Antonio Banderas because he’s the puppy of love. The name Dexter comes from those insane ears (Pointy > Poindexter > Dexter). He loves to go on walks and eat doggie biscuits. If you’re not careful, Dexter will steal the socks right off your feet for his own game of tug o’ war. He smiles (pictured on the left) when he’s excited to see you, but when he raises his lips it makes him sneeze so it’s always a funny greeting of smile, sneeze, smile, sneeze. So cute!
Human: Emily Rucker, Search Engine Marketing Manager
The deets: Emily adopted this lil guy and his brother, Hawthorne Monroe (who has since passed away) after their owner passed away four and a half years ago. Emily let us know that Baron Orleans loves human hair and plastic bags and that he loves to be brushed and cuddled (who doesn’t?). Emily said that he’s a “lady-boy – he’s a lover, not a fighter!”
Human: Emily Rucker, Search Engine Marketing Manager
The deets: Emily snatched this adorable kitty up when his previous owner had a baby. Doyle loves catnip and drinking from the sink. Even though he’s skiddish, he’s a tough cookie.
Human: Nikhil Inamdar, Search Engine Marketing Specialist
Human: Karyn Martin, Public Relations Senior Account Director
The deets: Karyn got Tess from her husband’s aunt who was breeding her black Lab at the time. She still has Tess’ mom and her sister, Puddin’!
Karyn told us that in her next life, she’d like to come back as Tess and have an owner just like Karyn. She lives a life of “doggie luxury!” When she’s not swimming in the lake at her seasonal home in New Hampshire, she can be found with her “doggie au pair” romping through the trails outside of Boston with her doggie pals. Or, if she’s visiting Karyn at work, then she’s likely chilling out with her city friends at The Dogfather. Her hardest job is looking seasonally appropriate- updating her collar and scarf to match holidays, sports teams, mom’s outfit, etc. (We hear ya, sister). And despite her hippo-like appetite she maintains her “swim-suit figure all year round” (according to her vet). Must be nice!
Name: Sasha a.k.a. Sausage a.k.a. Face
Human: Laura Christo, Public Relations Account Executive
The deets: Laura adopted Sasha in October 2010 from Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, MA. She abused for the first few years of her life and was found by the Humane Society in Georgia on the side of the road with a littler of 12 sick puppies. She was then nursed back to health and shipped up to Salem where she found a family with Laura and her boyfriend. After more than a year of love and patience, she is finally trusting again and is very happy in her home in South Boston.
Sasha loves hiking, belly rubs and going for rides in the car. If she were to win a superlative in high school, it would be “Best Kisser” – she can’t hold her licker! 🙂
Name: Callie Whiskers DuBois
Human: Alice DuBois,
Age 18 (no, that is not a typo – she is really that old!)
The deets: Adopted from Lollypop Farm in Rochester, NY. Alice’s family headed to the animal shelter on the day they adopted Callie with the intention of “just looking” and staunchly opposed to getting a cat. But, the minute they walked in Callie locked her eyes on them from her cage and the rest is history! To this day they say that “Callie chose us” instead of them choosing Callie.
Do you have a four(or three)-legged friend who makes your life complete? Send us a twitpic to @451heat!