Posts by Cameron McPherson

With the X, Apple refreshes the iPhone and its media strategy

If you haven’t heard, iPhone releases its iPhone X today. I’ve been so interested in the device that MacRumors.com is now the second most visited site on my current iPhone, right under my favorite tech website TheVerge.com. In addition to new features like Face ID and an OLED screen, the updated iPhone X comes with a new public relations strategy to promote the release. Here is what’s new. The 24-hour embargo Since the iPhone 6’s release in 2014, iPhone reviews on the major tech sites have come out the Tuesday before the phone’s Friday release. Apple sends out test units …

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Add This New Element to Your Next Media Advisory

I love a good media advisory. Done well, it should communicate to journalists what to expect at an event, the types of video and audio that will be available, the on-site spokespersons and other relevant logistics. This is done through the five basic journalistic elements: Who, What, When, Where and Why. Over the past year, I’ve begun to add a new section to media advisories: social channels. If a journalist covers your event, whether it’s a press conference or a special function, it’s likely they’re going to share the fact that they are covering it on their social channels. So, …

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Higher Ed Communicators: It may be time for an audit

Whether you’re new to your role or have managed university communications for a number of years, it’s always a smart move to take a step back and take stock of all external communications from your institution. It’s an opportunity to reflect, improve and uncover new opportunities to tell the university’s brand story. We call this process a “Communications Audit” at Hodges, and here are some of the areas we look at: Are all communicators … communicating? Depending on the size of an institution, we find that a lot of universities have separate communicators for each school. What’s the process to …

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A step in the right direction: AP Stylebook greenlights singular ‘they’

A majority, if not all, of the communications we produce on behalf of clients is dictated by the Associated Press Stylebook. Especially any media relations outreach. Here’s some background from the AP that helps explains why: “The AP Stylebook is the definitive resource for journalists and a must-have reference for writers, editors, students and professionals. It provides fundamental guidelines for spelling, language, punctuation, usage and journalistic style.” In other words, journalists use it, and it’s important for PR pros to as well. The AP announced earlier this year a new update that would include guidance on utilizing “they” as a …

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4 apps and websites that will make work easier in the college communications office

I always use the start of a new year to examine different methods to do better, more efficient work. From meetings across campus to monthly reports (and pitching subject matter experts in between), staying on top of it all can be daunting. But have no fear, here are four apps that will make your life easier as a college communicator: Texture ($9.99 per month): Keeping up with magazine journalists’ stories and columns takes time and big budgets as subscriptions add up. With a monthly subscription to Texture, you have access to the digital versions of 200-plus magazines on your iPad, …

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Content Done Right: Successes of Philanthropy Uses Brand Journalism to Promote Foundation Work

Earlier this year, an innovative new project launched within the Washington Monthly’s website to highlight the good work of foundations across the U.S.  Successes of Philanthropy isn’t just a new column from the D.C.-based magazine that traditionally covers politics and government. It’s a stellar example of brand journalism, one that is funded entirely by nine foundations. The project’s founder and curator Jeff Hamond explained the reason for the effort in a Successes of Philanthropy post: In America, more so than in other countries, philanthropies play a unique and important role of supporting innovative policy experiments that, when successful, often become …

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3 Takeaways from the 2016 College Media Conference

The Hodges Partnership’s higher education team recently spent three days at the 2016 College Media Conference in Washington, D.C. Organized by the Council of Independent Colleges and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the event included participation from about 100 colleges and universities, media panel discussions and great networking. How often do you get to spend a few days, talking PR with some of the best and brightest in the higher ed community? Kudos to the organizers – it was a great event. A lot of the panels included takeaways we regularly use when pitching faculty experts. Here …

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3 things to do after writing your next news release

Oh, the news release (also known as a press release). Is it dead? Is it alive? Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, we believe the news release is still an effective and efficient tool for communicating news. In fact, according to our account rep, BusinessWire publishes about 500 releases every business day. But there’s more to the news release than sending it to a handful of targeted journalists. Make sure you keep these tips in mind the next time you announce news: Develop an internal communications strategy: Employees don’t want to first learn about company news in the news. …

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Virtual reality meets PR

What virtual reality could mean for communications

It seems like you can’t visit a tech website without seeing a headline about virtual reality. During Samsung’s Galaxy S7 event at the Mobile World Congress last week, an auditorium full of tech journalists wore headsets while Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg snuck in to talk about what virtual reality means for communications. It looked like a scene from the year 2050, but nope, this is 2016, folks. Earlier this year, I vacationed in Australia and visited the National Gallery of Victoria. The museum currently has an exhibit with an artist that created a virtual reality version of his artwork. While we …

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Dissecting EOP: Don’t forget media relations

I was impressed by a recent PRWeek piece by a prominent CEO I read on the importance of integrating traditional media relations and content marketing. This sums it up well: “For a while everyone was focusing on driving peer recommendations, but we must not underestimate the importance of journalists’ expertise when it comes to making the purchase. People want specialist advice.” Have you ever heard of the Rule of Seven? While different for every company, it touches on “effective frequency,” stating a customer must be exposed to a marketing message at least seven times before making a purchase decision. With …

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