ADVERTISING VS EDITORIAL? SEE CLINTON VS TRUMP

JohnLandsberg
July 24th, 2016
trump-hillary-sanders

The debate among communications pros will likely never end.  Is advertising superior to editorial coverage?

Ad agency folks will tell you that with an ongoing, coordinated advertising campaign ($$$) they can get people to buy virtually any product or service.  On the other hand, public relations professionals will tell you editorial coverage (along with free social media) will influence people’s views far more effectively than paid ads.  Some will say editorial coverage alone is valued at 8-10 times more than an ad.

In an ideal communications world, the combination of advertising AND editorial is hugely effective.  However, due to marketing budget concerns people often pick one or the other.

If you want to see the effectiveness of one concept or the other simply look at the Presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. National Public Radio noted today that Clinton had run more than 30,000 campaign ads against Trump since she was declared the winner of the primary.  Trump spent virtually nothing.

In May, Clinton reported a campaign money chest—including Super PACs—of $103.4 million.   Trump was at $21.7 million. While the old adage that advertising and editorial departments are separate entities, every journalist in American knows that Clinton’s ad spending benefits them and their livelihood.

If advertising is so effective how can the two candidates be in a virtual dead heat today?

“The July 18-22 national online poll found that 41 percent of likely voters supported Clinton, while 38 percent supported Trump,” noted Reuter’s. “Given the poll’s credibility interval of about 4 percentage points, Trump and Clinton should be considered to be about even in the race.”

What is ironic is that although Trump had received nearly $2 billion in “free” advertising by the news media dating back to March, the vast majority of it has been negative.  Never has a presidential candidate been as brutalized by the news media.  When the dust clears he likely will not receive any newspaper endorsements for his candidacy.  It doesn’t seem to matter to voters.

As an example, the Sunday New York Times (7/24/16) in its “Review” section featured a huge, very flattering picture colored drawing of Hillary Clinton along with a puff piece on her.   Trump’s stories?  Negative quotes from the Convention, “Donald Trump’s Sham Patriotism,” “Marrying Melanias, Raising Ivankas,”  “Is He A Racist?” “Donald Trump’s Disturbia” and “The Donald Trump Show.”  It was highlighted by an editorial piece titled “Trumpworld vs. Clintonworld” that all but formally endorsed Clinton.

The question today is “How is it possible this race could even be close?”  Yes, we have preached over the years that editorial coverage is extremely valuable, but we were always talking about POSITIVE editorial coverage.  Trump’s negative coverage is unprecedented.

The only answer might be that today the public has so little confidence in the news media’s reporting that it really doesn’t care what “journalists” say.  The public knows the term “unbiased media” is an oxymoron. Huge media conglomerates managed 90% of the print media in the U.S. today.

Huge media conglomerates managed 90% of the print media in the U.S. today.  In fact, Time Warner ($28 billion) is the 7th largest contributor to Clinton’s campaign and the owner of CNN, which has often been dubbed by Republicans as the “Clinton News Network,” in addition to a variety of media properties.

A recent Gallup Study said less than 20% of the public trust newspapers or TV news.  Banks, organized labor and the criminal justice system all were ranked higher than the media when it comes to trust.

No matter who becomes the next President of the United States, the credibility of the news media will never recover. The day of the media being the political kingmaker is over.

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  • TO TRUMP NEWS MEDIA IS JUST ANOTHER BUSINESS

    President Donald Trump has a rather unique way of dealing with the news media: He looks on the news media as needing him as much as he needs them.

    This tactic goes against everything media trainers (including us!) have preached for years. We have always stressed to our clients how to effectively work together with media outlets in order to get their message out to the public. We note it is important to provide information that the news media will want to use for a win-win situation.

    However, Trump, as a successful businessman, seems to look at things from a business perspective.  He understands that media conglomerates today operate the same way as Walmart or Exxon. He knows the media needs him for readers/listeners/ eyeballs. That means revenues for their bottom lines.

    He knows the media needs him for readers/listeners/eyeballs. They need him as much as he needs them.

    In years past journalists were heralded as individuals who worked hard to uncover issues and provide an honest examination of news. Yes, there was a business side to the media, but journalists were above the fray. A threat by a company to “pull its advertising” meant virtually nothing.

    That is not the case today.

    Literally thousands of high-quality journalists have been purged in the past decade over budget cuts. Reporters with specific beats such as banking, state government, telecommunications and others with intimate knowledge of those areas have been cut loose to improve media outlets’ bottom lines. It’s not a grand calling.  It’s just business.

    National Public Radio recently listed big digital media companies (LINK) and their myriad of ownerships. Potential conflicts of interest are routine. Verizon owns the Huffington Post which has attacked Trump relentlessly; Walt Disney owns ABC and ESPN; Time Warner owns CNN and TMZ.com; CBS owns book publisher Simon & Shuster.  In the newspaper

    In the newspaper business Forbes reports that 15 billionaires own America’s media outlets. They own them to make money, not necessarily quality journalism.

    With only 6% of the population trusting the news media, according to a recent Associated Press story, Trump’s attacks on the media also resonate with his base.  When he attacks CNN for doing “fake news” the network’s bottom line suffers.

    As an example, during his recent address to Congress Fox News led all coverage with 10.8 million viewers.  CNN came in at a paltry 3.9 million, with MSNBC the lowest among all cable channels at 2.7 million.  These numbers means millions of dollars of lost ad revenues.

    Yes, reporters hate Trump. Press coverage of him during his first 30 days in office was 88% hostile (Link).  But their bosses love the revenues he generates for them.

    It will be interesting to see if coverage of President Trump changes over time as media outlets’ bottom lines are impacted.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Published March 2, 2017 at 8:46 pm - One Comment President Donald Trump has a rather unique way of dealing with the news media: He looks on the news media as needing him as much as he needs them. This tactic goes against everything media trainers (including us!) have preached f ...

  • 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, a few days later she admitted she regretted how she portrayed gun activists (LINK).

    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 - 2 Comments 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 ...

  • 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 ...