I know, I know. Newsrooms are shrinking, reporters have more beats to cover, no more enterprise stories, more articles on the weather, more AP articles, etc. I get it. But sometimes, you can really see the desperation to generate a story at all.
On Nov. 19, Madison’s online newspaper, The Capital Times, wrote a story titled “Boys and Girls Club CEO, grocery store owner go undercover as homeless men in Madison.” But the Cap Times didn’t end there.
Three hours and 15 minutes later, the Cap Times implored readers to check out the story in an article called “In Case You Missed It.”
The next day, the paper published a follow-up piece titled, “Men’s expedition into homelessness in Madison sets off lively discussion on social media,” which other than a handful of paragraphs mentioning the Boys and Girls Club Facebook page, was a complete rehash of the original article.
But wait, there’s more!
The day after that, the Cap Times wrote how Yahoo! wrote about the same topic in an article titled, “Story of Boys & Girls Club CEO going undercover as homeless getting national attention.” That was immediately followed by a mention of the Yahoo! piece in another “In Case You Missed It” article.
Finally, on Nov. 24, the Cap Times wrote a story on how its homeless story was its most read story for the week.
Let’s recap: one real story, one story to tell you to read the story, one repeat of the original story disguised as something else, one story on another media outlet’s coverage, a reminder of that story and then a pat-yourself-on-the-back story. Six articles for just one story!
This, my friends, is an example of the sad state of the media today.
I’ve previously stated why media training is important. Today at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, I sat on a panel that talked about messaging and saw firsthand what can go wrong.
A woman from the audience stood up to talk about her product, and it was clear that she was struggling. When asked twice about her qualifications in producing the product, she failed to truly answer the question, saying how the guy who came up with the idea didn’t want to deal with the liabilities and just wanted to sit in his basement and collect royalties.
I’m both surprised and not surprised by that response. How a person can’t even say something simple like “because I believe in this product’s value to society” is baffling, yet it happens ALL THE TIME.
I felt bad for this woman, because her inability to speak clearly and concisely was getting in the way of an otherwise wonderful product. That could hurt her in terms of marketing and attracting investors. I hope she hires a consultant to help her with her messaging strategy!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 11, 2013
Kay-Tee Franke, (608) 575-7819
Mobile Marketing Industry to Face Stricter Regulations
(MADISON, Wis.)—Companies that run mobile (SMS) marketing campaigns will face a new hurdle on Wednesday when the FCC’s update to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act takes effect.
The law will now require advertisers to obtain and hold unambiguous written consent from current and future subscribers before initiating any telemarketing call or text message.
“Most SMS opt-in procedures will have to be revised,” Kay-Tee Franke, president of mobile marketing consulting firm Engaging Results Communications, said. “Unfortunately, the FCC didn’t provide much notice on the new law, so many companies may be out of compliance on day one.”
The FCC is hoping to protect consumers from receiving unsolicited mobile marketing messages, often from unscrupulous companies, according to Franke. Penalties range from $500-$1,500 per call or text message.
“A key takeaway is that any past or current relationship with subscribers doesn’t necessarily equal consent,” Franke said. “That means it will be a large and time-consuming challenge for businesses engaged in mobile marketing to ensure they’re compliant.”
For more information on TCPA compliance, visit www.ercsms.com/services/2013-tcpa-compliance.
Engaging Results Communications aims to help businesses engage with their audiences both effectively and efficiently. It provides mobile technology and services that allow businesses to communicate directly with their audiences anytime, anywhere. The company is based in Madison, Wis. For more information, please visit ercsms.com.
Resulting media coverage
On Sept. 18, when two potentially armed suspects were on the loose in downtown Madison, campus police issued a warning to students and faculty to “shelter in place.”
On Oct. 3, when a woman led police and Secret Service in a car chase around the U.S. Capitol, authorities warned people in buildings nearby to “shelter in place.”
In journalism, we’re taught to keep things simple. So why not just say, “stay inside” instead of the oddly phrased “shelter in place”?