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COURIC TRICK SHOWS VALUE OF RECORDING INTERVIEWS

It has been called "appalling journalism." That might be considered a positive comment regarding an editing trick inserted into a documentary on gun ownership that has come to light. Long-time NBC Today Show star and anchor at all three major networks, Katie Couric, now with Yahoo! News, is being severely criticized for highly ...

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TIME WILL TELL IF TARGET'S PR TACTIC IS SUCCESSFUL

Public Relations practitioners are experts at taking advantage of current events in order to generate positive publicity for clients. After the 911 attacks, companies lined up to show their support for the War on Terror.  Anything they could do for the troops and their families was fair game with the hope ...

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AP POLL: ONLY 6% OF AMERICANS TRUST NEWS MEDIA

The news media has a credibility problem.  A big one. Once one of the most trusted institutions in history is now one of the most mistrusted.  A new study by the Associated Press reports that just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media. 6 ...

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DON'T IGNORE RADIO IN MEDIA MIX

Sometimes media "experts" fall in love with the latest and greatest communications vehicle.  Today that means a major focus on social media outlets where many communications pros feel virtually all their efforts should be directed. Yes, social media should definitely be a part of any marketing communications plan.  But, while social ...

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NEWSPAPERS STARTING DEATH RATTLE

The Journalism professor looked at his class of 25 and asked, "How many of you read a newspaper?" Silence.  After about a minute the oldest student in the class (40ish) raised her hand.  She was somewhat embarrassed to even admit she still read a newspaper. Many in the class were quick to ...

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Bottom Line Communications

    Communicating effectively with your customers, potential customers, employees and the public might is more important today than ever before.  

    The reality is that it doesn’t take much in the “Gotcha!” world of social media to undo years of hard work developing a positive brand image.  As Mark Twain famously noted, “A lie can travel half-way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Your hard-earned reputation can vanish within hours.

    At Bottom Line Communications we have worked for more than 25 years with clients of all sizes to make sure they are able to tell their story to the public effectively.  Whether via our award-winning media training program or PR and advertising programs, we know how to get YOUR story communicated.

    We work daily with the local and national media to help generate positive publicity and exposure for our clients. Doing a media interview? We have trained more than 500 executives in helping them get their messages out effectively while being prepared to handle tough questions. 

    Need a news release written and distributed quickly? We can do it and get you positive exposure. 

    Founded in 1996 by former Sprint spokesman and college professor John Landsberg, Bottom Line Communications has worked with more than 100 clients to deliver results that positively impact their bottom line. He is a frequent speaker to groups about media relations, PR, crisis communications and marketing.

    Landsberg’s book “Confessions of a Corporate Sycophant” humorously chronicles his PR career and demonstrates some of the strange situations he has dealt with over the years. He pretty much has done it all and seen it all.

    Read the stories on this site. They will give you a good indication of the relationships and knowledge we have of the news media and how we can develop a plan of action for your business.  

    Then email  jlandsberg@bottomlinecom.com for more details about how we can assist your efforts. The time to start communicating with your publics is NOW!  

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  • COURIC TRICK SHOWS VALUE OF RECORDING INTERVIEWS

    It has been called “appalling journalism.”

    That might be considered a positive comment regarding an editing trick inserted into a documentary on gun ownership that has come to light.

    Long-time NBC Today Show star and anchor at all three major networks, Katie Couric, now with Yahoo! News, is being severely criticized for highly questionable editing in her documentary titled “Under the Gun” after it was revealed an eight-second pause was inserted to make it look as if the people interviewed could not answer her question (LINK).

    Luckily for the individuals being interviewed, one person was wise enough to record the Q&A (LINK TO AUDIO). Otherwise, questioning the bubbly media icon would have been virtually impossible and fruitless.

    Couric was executive producer, host and narrator of the piece.  Anti-gun activist Stephanie Soechtig produced and directed it.

    In the documentary, a group of Virginia gun owners was asked by Couric: “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?”

    Not only did Couric/Soechtig insert a pause (8-10 seconds), but they also inserted “B” roll of the gun owners taken before the interview even began.  There is little doubt the editing was clearly designed to make it look as if Couric’s tough question made them speechless and uncomfortable.

    Couric is now calling the edit an “unnecessary mistake,” according to an individual with knowledge of her thinking (LINK).

    In an official statement, Soechtig countered, “my intention was to provide a pause for the viewer to have a moment to consider this important question before presenting the facts on Americans’ opinions on background checks. I never intended to make anyone look bad and I apologize if anyone felt that way.”

    Couric now says she supports Soechtig’s statement “and am very proud of the film.”

    However, the National Review and Washington Post now say Couric should be fired over the deliberate misrepresentation (LINK).

    This is a classic reason why at Bottom Line Communications we strongly advise clients to always record media interviews.  Without actual audio evidence (below) the Yahoo! crew would have denied inserting the pause.

    However, with the evidence journalism takes another huge credibility hit.

     

    Published May 29, 2016 at 8:30 am - One Comment It has been called “appalling journalism.” That might be considered a positive comment regarding an editing trick inserted into a documentary on gun ownership that has come to light. Long-time NBC Today Show star and ...

  • TIME WILL TELL IF TARGET’S PR TACTIC IS SUCCESSFU..

    Public Relations practitioners are experts at taking advantage of current events in order to generate positive publicity for clients.

    After the 911 attacks, companies lined up to show their support for the War on Terror.  Anything they could do for the troops and their families was fair game with the hope they would receive some media recognition for their efforts.

    Whenever there is a natural disaster anywhere in the country companies are quick to jump in with monetary support, supplies and other forms of assistance. They have learned their best chance for positive coverage is to announce a donation as soon as possible.

    The reason for all this corporate goodwill?   Obviously, to show their companies in a positive light.  However, the over-riding goal should be to generate additional revenue and profits in the short or long-term.

    In 2013, Target  experienced a major retail disaster when it had more than 40 million credit cards compromised during the 2013 holiday shopping season. That may have resulted in the theft of as many as 110 million people’s personal information, such as email addresses and phone numbers.

    After the breach, Target saw its profits fall an astounding 46 percent, according to Forbes (link).  To add insult to injury, just last month the company was forced to shell out $10 million in a class action lawsuit to settle credit card claims (link).

    Target needed some positive publicity and needed it quickly.  A current hot issue involved transgender people after North Carolina said transgender people must use the restroom that corresponds to their birth certificate.  Some performers like Bruce Springsteen immediately jumped on the issue, but no corporations had joined the fray.

    Target very likely saw an opportunity to general positive publicity for its “inclusivity” by jumping on the issue.  The beauty of it was there was virtually no cost for the PR effort.  To offer to build unisex restrooms could cost millions of dollars.  This involved no more than issuing a statement:

    “We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity,” the retailer said in a statement. “Everyone deserves to feel like they belong.”

    Target-boycott

    As the company likely anticipated, initial publicity was overwhelmingly positive.  The news media applauded the company for its politically correct stance on behalf of the LGBT community.

    However, within days, it seemed the tide of public opinion about Target started to turn in another direction.  In less than a week nearly one million customers signed a petition generated by the American Family Association saying they would boycott Target stores (Link).

    Stories began to appear involving men in Target restrooms attempting to take pictures.  The social media backlash to Target, particularly on the influential Breitbart News Network, was fierce.

    And now it seems Target is on an island with its controversial policy.  No other major retailer has jumped on the Target bandwagon.  Most, like Walmart, very likely staying quiet while hoping to skim off Target customers.

    Even Starbucks, considered a leader in political correctness, has not weighed in (Link).

    Was Target wrong to jump on the issue?   Only time will tell.  It obviously did not anticipate the fierce backlash by its customer base.  It most likely will not prove to be a move that will increase its bottom line.

    “The decision to weigh in so strongly on such a divisive issue has to be worrying for holders of Target stock,” noted InvestorPlace. “Since the retailer’s April 19 announcement, TGT stock has dropped 6.5%.”

    But of even greater concern to Target might be its new policy seems to be turning off its prime customers:  women.

    “The study further indicated that a growing number of shoppers — especially women — heard negative comments about the company,” said InvestorPlace. “Interestingly, brand perception of TGT is down to its lowest level in eight months.”

    Companies have to be very cautious when jumping on issues for publicity.  After Chick-fil-A’s CEO came out against gay marriage the LGBT community attempted a boycott of the chain.  Customers responded so strongly that Chick-fil-A’s sales actually increased.

    After a character on the TV show “Duck Dynasty” said he was against gay marriage the restaurant chain Cracker Barrel quickly announced it was removing all Duck Dynasty merchandise from its stores.  That hasty decision was not thought through very well despite Jesse Jackson throwing his support behind the restaurant.

    Cracker Barrel quickly realized it had made a huge mistake.  Its loyal customers were furious and let the chain know they would be taking their business elsewhere.  Within three days Cracker Barrel was forced to completely rescind its decision (Link) and ask for forgiveness.

    Target was quick to publicize its restroom policy, and now the company now steadfastly refuses to reveal if the boycott is hurting sales.  That will be the key whether this program is successful or not.

    Target’s decision may pan out in the long run as an effective PR tactic.  If sales and profits grow it will be time for high-fives in the corporate boardroom.

    However,  it could also be a decision its shareholders will regret for years to come.  Only time will tell.

    (Update: Signers to the petition have now surpassed the one-million mark.  Target’s stock has lost $1.5 billion.)

    Published April 28, 2016 at 10:35 am - 5 Comments Public Relations practitioners are experts at taking advantage of current events in order to generate positive publicity for clients. After the 911 attacks, companies lined up to show their support for the War on Terror.  Anythin ...

  • MIZZOU NEEDS CRISIS PLAN TO RESTORE IMAGE

    In Journalism circles, having a degree from the University of Missouri was often a ticket for success. It is not only the nation’s oldest Journalism school, it is also one of the most prestigious.

    When rankings for the best “J” schools in the nation are posted the University of Missouri is almost guaranteed to be in the Top 10 or Top 5.  However, that may have all changed due to the actions of a single media professor during the recent student uprising at the school.

    A Mass Media Professor, Melissa Click, is shown in a video asking for “muscle” to remove a student photojournalist, Tim Tai,  who was working for ESPN and in a public place.   It is a horrible act by a college professor and shows a total disregard for the Journalist’s First Amendment rights, which is against what the school has taught for decades.

    “Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here,” says Click.

    A video of Click’s actions against Tai has gone viral and has well over 500,000 views (LINK) on a single site.  The New York Times has written an extensive story about her actions.

    What was once a sympathetic media for the protesters has now changed with the actions of students and faculty against them.

    Technically some have pointed out Click works in the Mass Media Division of the Department of Communications in College of Arts & Sciences, which is separate from the J-school.  However, she is listed on the School of Journalism’s site (LINK), which tars the entire Journalism program whether it deserves it or not.

    Click had earlier Tweeted out that she she was looking for coverage of the event by Journalists.  Later on she is clearly leading the charge against other Journalists with total disregard for their rights to cover the event.

    With the resignation of the school’s President and Chancellor the University of Missouri is clearly being painted as a college where the inmates are running the asylum.   Rather than act like a Professor, Click and other faculty members have clearly shown they were behind the student protests against the administration.

    If the University of Missouri doesn’t hire a crisis communications team immediately its entire image for producing quality Journalism graduates could likely be tarnished forever. If the school was wise it already had a crisis communications plan in place for such an incident, but that is unlikely.

    The first move would be to remove Click. But that would be a stop-gap measure since a faculty member helping foment the disturbance was an indictment on all the faculty.  The school hired her, and whether tacitly or not, approved of her actions.

    A statement issued today by the Dean of the Journalism School denied she was part of the faculty and sounded as if her days as a professor at Missouri were numbered. Click has also been forced to apologize in an attempt to save her job and resigned her “courtesy” appointment to the J-School.

    However, a Kansas City reporter told BLC that the protesters are refusing to speak with local reporters and will only do interviews with national media outlets.  That is the kind of move that will turn sympathetic local media against them now and in the future.

    It’s a bad move.

     

     

    Published November 10, 2015 at 10:23 am - 5 Comments In Journalism circles, having a degree from the University of Missouri was often a ticket for success. It is not only the nation’s oldest Journalism school, it is also one of the most prestigious. When rankings for the best ...

COURIC TRICK SHOWS VALUE OF RECORDING INTERVIEWS
Katie Couric

It has been called “appalling journalism.”

That might be considered a positive comment regarding an editing trick inserted into a documentary on gun ownership that has come to light.

Long-time NBC Today Show star and anchor at all three major...

TIME WILL TELL IF TARGET’S PR TACTIC IS SUCCESSFU..
Target Bullseye

Public Relations practitioners are experts at taking advantage of current events in order to generate positive publicity for clients.

After the 911 attacks, companies lined up to show their support for the War on Terror.  Anything they could do for the troops...

AP POLL: ONLY 6% OF AMERICANS TRUST NEWS MEDIA
Media Distrust

The news media has a credibility problem.  A big one.

Once one of the most trusted institutions in history is now one of the most mistrusted.  A new study...

DON’T IGNORE RADIO IN MEDIA MIX
old time radio

Sometimes media “experts” fall in love with the latest and greatest communications vehicle.  Today that means a major focus on social media outlets where many communications pros feel virtually all their efforts should be directed.

Yes, social media...

NEWSPAPERS STARTING DEATH RATTLE
Newspaper RIP

The Journalism professor looked at his class of 25 and asked, “How many of you read a newspaper?”

Silence.  After about a minute the oldest student in the class (40ish) raised her hand.  She was somewhat embarrassed to even admit she still read a...

TRUMP HAS SUCCESSFULLY NEUTERED NEWS MEDIA
Donald-Trump-Bully

In more than 30 years of being involved with the news media as a journalist, professor, corporate communications specialist and media trainer I have never, ever, seen someone such as Republican candidate Donald Trump so successfully neuter the news media.

It...

RULE #1: KNOW THY MEDIA FOR SUCCESS
News

In our media training, we continuously stress rule number 1: Know Thy Media.

It may same trite, but it can make all the difference in the world during an interview if you are facing someone with an agenda.

Who is the person that will be...

RUBIO’S BRIDGING STRATEGY A DISASTER IN DEBATE
Chris Christie

It was cringe-worthy.

In a matter of minutes Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie destroyed fellow candidate Marco Rubio during the recent debate in New Hampshire.

Rubio has only himself and his handlers to blame. They fell into the trap of...

OFFICIAL CALLS TV REPORTER ‘BITCH’ ON-AIR
Microphone On

In Bottom Line Communications’ media training we instruct students very early to consider microphones always in the “ON” position.

From the minute you meet a reporter or go to a TV or radio studio just assume you are being filmed or recorded....

A ‘NEWS’ RELEASE IS STILL A VALUABLE PR TOO..
News Logo

It is an issue that arises in media relations circles on at least a weekly basis.  Is a “press release” a useful tool in today’s fast-moving social media environment?

The latest to weigh in on the topic is an expert named John Hall, who opined...