Out of the Blue: PR Measurement News

Thursday, June 14, 2007 Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Is There Any Light?   VOLUME 2 ISSUE 10  
If The Sun Rises And No Ones Around to See It, Is There Any Light?
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Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Barry Bonds' "Remarkable" Feat
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Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Ponyhawk and Earplugs-Reviving My Singing Career
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Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Do You Hear What I Hear?
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Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Viral: Virtual, Voracious and Vital
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Vol. 2 Issue 2
Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Read 'Em and Weep
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Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: The Sweet Smell of Diapers
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Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Who Do You Love?
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Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Some Animals Eat Their Young
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Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: New Year's Resolutions
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Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Setting Goals for Press Coverage
November 21, 2005
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Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Rating the News
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Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Internet Impressions
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Public Relations Measurement Newsletter: Reputation
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Public Relations Measurement
Other PR Topics (not measurement)
June 14, 2007
If The Sun Rises And No Ones Around to See It, Is There Any Light?
A Winterphobe Heads To Alaska To Celebrate The Start Of Summer
by Jerry Brown

Full Moon in Daylight

I hate winter. So, I'm heading to Alaska. Why? Its quite logical.

It's not the cold (well that's not entirely true) but the lack of sunlight that I hate about winter. So, I'll be in Alaska on June 21 -- the summer solstice, longest day of the year and beginning of summer. By spending that day in Alaska, I get a bonus: 18 hours, 16 minutes and 39 seconds worth of daylight in a single day. But whos counting? Back home in Denver, daylight peaks out at 14 hours, 59 minutes and 9 seconds.

Actually, it's not the day I celebrate so much as what it represents. As the longest day of the year, the summer solstice is the antithesis of long winter nights. So, off to Alaska to celebrate the beginning of summer!

Worse Off Than A French Hotel After A Night In Jail

I won't be hanging around, though. One week in Alaska and I'm gone. I'm not sticking around for those long, winter nights. No way. One winter night in Alaska and I'd be worse off than a spoiled heiress named for a French hotel after a night in jail.

I celebrate the winter solstice, too, because once it's done the days begin getting longer. It's one of the landmarks I use to get myself through winter. I don't dwell on the fact that the days start getting shorter on June 22. There's still plenty of long, summer days left to enjoy.

Incidentally, not everyone in my family shares my winterphobia. My oldest son likes winter. As the amount of darkness grows each day, he feels his "days" (which is to say the hours when its dark) get longer. I'm not making this up. There's just no accounting for taste.

The summer and winter solstice have been around more or less forever -- long before there was anyone around to notice them, in fact. That's because Earth has been revolving around the sun ever since there was an Earth and sun. And there's been a summer and winter solstice since that began happening -- even though there wasn't anyone around to take note of it.

Predictable As The Sunrise, Just Not As Often Summer Solstice News

The solstices have been around long enough, in fact, to provide a predictable news hook. There are about 30 days of news coverage (almost entirely positive or neutral) each year about the summer solstice. And the angling (as in fishing) industry rides that predictable coverage1 to remind the rest of us that the solstice is the signal to go fishing in warmer waters, have fun boating and fishing, win fishing and fish-story contests and -- of course -- buy tackle, boats, rods and fishing magazines and attend sport-fishing events.

What about your industry? What seasonal news hooks can you use to generate news? And how will your measure your success?

For some of us, unfortunately, the calendar brings an annual cycle of bad news in the form of anniversaries of past bad news. And these bad-news cycles can be as predictable as the summer solstice.

Recall News

How do you counter that? Find a way to make good news that will help offset the bad news you know is coming. For example, one pharmaceutical company minimizes annual negative drug-recall coverage2 by launching community collaborations to help indigent and elderly people have access to low-cost medicines.

This is another place where measurement can help. Knowing exactly what negative messages you're likely to see will help you formulate news to counter them. And tracking your results from year to year will tell you whether you're succeeding in turning the tide from bad to good.

Yes, I said "year-to-year." Ending negative coverage sparked by the anniversary of bad news from your past can take years to accomplish. But providing good news of your own to minimize the bad coverage can help speed the process.

1Yahoo!News 5/13/2007 - 6/13/2007, chart includes 2006 trends from BlueVision media measurement;
2Yahoo!News 4/13/2007 - 6/13/2007, chart includes 2006 trends from BlueVision media measurement.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jerry Brown committed journalism for 20 years, but received a full pardon. He's been practicing public relations for more than 20 years and plans to keep practicing until he gets it right -- which he hopes takes a long time because he likes what he does. He specializes in strategy and message development, media relations and media training and writing (news releases, annual reporters, collateral, etc.). He also writes the Monday Morning Media Minute, a free weekly media tip distributed by e-mail. You can reach him at jerry@pr-impact.com / 303-781-8787.

Published by Blue Marble Enterprises, Inc.
Copyright 2007 Blue Marble Enterprises, Inc.. All rights reserved.

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