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CEO Thought Leadership Series from Trade Show

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Heather Whaling, Founder and CEO of Geben Communicationsjoins Doug Simon, President & CEO of D S Simon, to discuss findings of the Media Influencers Report and how brands can earn media cross-platform.

If you would like a copy of the D S Simon Media Influencers Report: please click here.

Heather’s VlogViews:

“It was disheartening to see the number of media who said they had been burned by PR people or misled by PR people, certainly that is not a good thing for our industry. It does create an opportunity for those of us who are building really good positive relationships with the media. There are so many out there doing it wrong that if you are doing it right it reinforces why the media are so willing to work with the same PR people over and over.”

“I was surprised to see the data around how willing the media are, particularly television, to use third party video, I think that creates an opportunity for PR people to tell their stories to broader audiences in new ways.”

“I think it goes back to in your relationships and in your dealings with the media. Being open and honest as much as you can, whether it be through disclosures or is someone available to talk to them at that time or what are those details that led to the specific situation happening is important.”

“Make sure your social is appropriate for all the audiences you’ll be touching. I was on a panel with the Human Rights Campaign and they talked about how they’re placing highly targeted ads targeting specific journalists that they want to make sure see the videos so that it’s not just the journalists getting it organically on their feeds or in an email. I think this is a really interesting and smart way to connect with journalists beyond just our traditional approaches.”


Gini Dietrich, author of the book and blog Spin Sucks, joins Doug Simon, President & CEO of D S Simon, to discuss the value of being transparent with journalists and how earning their trust can help lead to earning media with your content.

Doug and Gini also discuss the findings of the D S Simon Media Influencers Report. If you would like a copy of the D S Simon Media Influencers Report: please click here.

Gini Dietrich’s VlogViews:

“It’s interesting. It used to be you could build relationships with journalists and have those relationships that go throughout your career and you use those relationships that go throughout your career. That all has been flipped on its head. And so, for those of us with experience and who remember the old ways it is kinda like, how do we do this now? Are we supposed to use social media because that seems very strange, but of course it works. And then with the newer, younger professionals they don’t know any other way to do it.  So there is this collide of how the heck are we supposed to be earning media. And to your point, if you’re creating compelling content, the media want it! They want to syndicate, they want to aggregate, and they want to curate it. It’s almost easier now than it use to be!”

“It’s astounding to me that Americans spend 152 hours a month watching some sort of television. Video, online videos, Netflix, TV. That is five hours a day. I don’t know who has the time. But it actually is good for communicators, because as we evolve multimedia pieces into our communications, it makes for something very powerful for us.”

“I think what is interesting is that trust and transparency piece in the report, there’s a couple of things in there that I thought were interesting. Proper disclosure around spokesperson is not attributed, so journalists can’t use the video because of that.  The idea that we aren’t being completely transparent and authentic, that also leads to journalists don’t trust us. The statistic was really pretty high in that journalists don’t trust communications because we aren’t doing the basics such as disclosure.

“There is that traditional old way of doing things and that was to keep things very close to the vest. And not say that so and so is your spokesperson. The fact that it would be 70%. If it’s 70% higher that they’ll run it if you disclose, and it’s required by the FTC to disclose, why wouldn’t you do it? It makes no sense. “

“Don’t try to mass distribute something. If you have a video you’ve created, or other multimedia pieces that you are doing with your news release, make sure that it is to targeted relationships that you are either building or have already built. And disclose anything that you can, because you have a higher likelihood of it being place of it being placed than if it’s not.”

Humanizing data and driving earned media with Rebekah Iliff

Rebekah Illif, Chief Strategy Officer at AirPR, joins Doug Simon, CEO & President of D S Simon, to discuss the findings of the 2015 Media Influencers Report and how humanizing data and understanding your audience can help you earn media with your content.

If you would like a copy of the D S Simon Media Influencers Report: please click here.

Rebekah Iliff’s VlogViews:

“Treat a journalist like they’re a person, and understand their audience, and look at them like you would look at yourself, what kind of information do you want to consume? We’re all human here. It goes back to that point of humanizing data, treat them like people and understand their viewpoint and give them content that they can use and makes their job easier.”

“At AirPR, [humanizing data] means looking at data, analyzing data and then helping PR professionals really put a human component and critical thinking to that, so they can use data to empower them to do their jobs better”

“We get enamored with technology and the truth is that we still need to use our critical thinking in order to really make sense to it”

“[The Media Influencers Report by D S Simon] was really interesting; I thought there were 3 things that were interesting.

  •  The first was this idea of trust and how over the past several years because of data, journalists have access to things they didn’t have before. So PR people who aren’t really empathizing or understanding where a journalist is coming from, loose trust. So that’s one of the biggest things I saw, just having data around that and that it is a real thing was quite insightful.
  • The second to me was the majority of journalists and producers that really want video content fed to them because their jobs are so difficult now and they have so much going on that if you can produce informative, educational content then they’ll use it. I think the number was something around 76% of them, which is a pretty big majority, I was shocked.”
  •  The third was in my opinion; these numbers really indicate that produced content and relevant content is an opportunity for PR professionals to make that part of the PR pie. So build the trust with the journalist, feed them the content and then really start looking at that as part of your strategy and make sure it’s relevant to their audience.”


Doug Simon’s VlogViews:

“Around 76% of journalists and producers want video content fed to them, this is the number that will use outside of produced video content and it’s a huge opportunity for PR because a lot of this content is completely produced by the organization so you’re allowed to get your message out in the form you want it presented through the right type of video.”

“One of the things that is often overlooked by communicators when creating video content is the idea that you want to work backwards from where you want to see that content placed, making sure it’s the right fit for them, sometimes it’s not always the same piece of content. Interestingly, we found you can actually offer exclusives separate from the video, so you can get the same video placed in multiple places by sharing exclusive information just for that online or broadcast media outlet.”

“69% of the digital journalists said they would be more likely to look at content and consider posting it if it had proper disclosure, and so there are great opportunities for communicators, just by doing the right thing to increase the likelihood their content will be used.”


If you would like a copy of the D S Simon Media Influencers Report: please click here.


Ronn Torossian, President & CEO of 5WPR, joins Doug Simon on VlogViews to discuss earning media in a changing landscape and ways that you can use content creation to tell your story to the press.

If you would like a copy of the D S Simon Media Influencers Report: please click here.

Ronn Torossian’s VlogViews:

“We’re storytellers; this industry is about telling a story and I think that earned media for us at this agency is something that will always be a part of who we are, media relations is not a bad word at 5W PR. We dial, and we call media and we have relationships. However, of course, as part of telling a story, digital is a part of that story, and we use it constantly in a variety of different ways for many different purposes for a variety different reasons, but digital is here and it’s here to stay and you have to adapt to the changing world and we’re going to continue to do that.”

“Staffing in the news room is down and therefore if you make it easy for them to use your video, they will, we do a tremendous amount of crisis work, and when it’s high profile crisis work, I don’t need to put my client on the camera anymore and subject them to the questioning of ABC, NBC and FOX. If it’s a high enough profile story, I know that I can do a video and everybody is going to pick it up. I can media train my client, I can cut my video 3, 4, 5, 6 different times. Now the media might not love that because they want the full access, but if it’s the middle of the crisis and it’s a high profile story, we’ve done it on a number of different occasions where we’ve changed the story tone by using video and that’s just one example of I think creating content which really matters and which benefits frankly the media and ultimately for us, we’re serving two masters, we’re serving the client and the media.”

“This whole concept of media not trusting PR, media loves to hate on PR, I don’t spend too much time really worried about that. I think that at the end of the day, relationships matter. Do I think there should be disclosure; yes I think there should be disclosure.”


Doug Simon’s VlogViews:

“One of the other findings was about trust being a problem and I think from your perspective, is that if agencies are not involved in earning media when a crisis hits and they need to earn, if you have that ongoing relationship, you’ve built that trust, they know they can rely to you to be a straight shooter, even if it’s when your client can’t make a comment about something, the relationship is there, it is so important when there is that crisis moment.”

If you would like a copy of the D S Simon Media Influencers Report: please click here.


Leadership, corporate vision, and trust lessons for executives with Ken Jacobs

Ken Jacobs, principal of Jacobs Communications Consulting, discusses organizational goals and executive leadership with Doug Simon, President & CEO of D S Simon.

Ken’s VlogViews:

“I think it all starts with vision, its being able to lay out where the organization is going and what comes after and what comes next, you know we have that analogy where we talk about everybody being in the boat, that can only happen when the leader articulates the direction, where do we want to be in three years, where do we want to be in five.”

“People are motivated and inspired by people by leaders who articulate organizational values, it’s why we come into work every day, how do we handle work and how will we handle it when we have a moral or ethical dilemma, we need to have those values.”

“I see a big misstep in trust, if you don’t have followers you’re not a leader, if you don’t have relationships with your followers, you’re not a leader, and the key to relationships is trust. If you don’t trust people on your team, well the reality is they probably don’t trust you.”

“Acting always trumps words. If you are leading the same way consistently that will start to build trust.”

“You may be a manager, you may be an executive, you may be the boss, you may have the big corner office, but if you’re not trust then you’re not really a leader.”

Doug Simon on Reuters News: What are the marketing implications for the world’s most popular sport?

Doug Simon, President and CEO of D S Simon Productions appeared on Reuters News to discuss what is at stake for sponsors and the global popularity of soccer in the wake of the resignation of FIFA President Sepp Blatter.   You can watch the video below or on REUTERS by clicking here.



Will Blatter stepping down be enough to placate sponsors?

“It relieves the immediate pressure. There are two big pieces stacking up against FIFA in this process. One, sponsors being pressured to pull out based on what was going on. Second, there has been talking that UEFA would boycott and possibly start competing games to the World Cup.”

“Blatter stepping down was a key first step, I am not sure if it will be enough.”

What reforms are needed to appease corporate sponsors and the fans?

“Fans will still love and support the game when the World Cup comes around again. Fan will be there and sponsors will still be there because that is where the fans and the dollars are. The key is if there is a perception that actual cleanup is happening it might even be advantageous for sponsors to get involved. “

“A key concern for sponsors is that if they decide to step down there will be another sponsor ready to take their place because of the popularity of soccer on a global basis.”

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Building a Proper Communications Plan For Your Clients

Chris Winans, Executive Vice President, General Manager at Hill+Knowlton Strategies joined Doug Simon, President & CEO of D S Simon Productions at the PRSANY Big Apple Awards Gala. Mr. Winans presented the John W. Hill Award to Barri Friedman Rafferty, Senior Partner & CEO North America, Ketchum. He also discussed the changing role of technology in public relations campaigns and offered advice to younger pr pros.


“The ability to understand a client’s business problem. What is the business problem they are facing and then finding out what is the communications element to solve that problem.”

Advice from Chris Winans to younger public relations professionals:

“Be bold. The client most values the people with the most creative ideas and a willingness to think outside the box.”

“Don’t be afraid to speak up and say the things that need to be said.”

Changing role of technology:

We no longer talk about a single media relations solution. We talk about a paid, earned, owned, integrated media solutions. There are so many channels you cannot rely on a single approach.”

D S Simon releases Media Influencers Report

Communicators are missing out on significant opportunities to earn media with their content in the digital space. That conclusion is yielded from the 2015 D S Simon Media Influencers Report completed by the digital video communications firm D S Simon Productions.

Key findings included:

-76% of digital producers, journalists and bloggers use outside produced video content. Of these, 63% of them are more frequent users.

-We found 74% of respondents will post or link to your unedited video

-While 60% of digital producers, journalists and bloggers anticipate using more video next year, more than a third of those anticipate using much more

-Facebook (69%), Twitter (59%) and LinkedIn (33%) were the most common networks cited by producers who accept pitches via social media

D S Simon CEO Hosts Webinar on The Brian Williams Trust Crisis

DSS CEO Doug Simon hosted “The Brian Williams Trust Crisis: A Critical Time for News Media” webinar for Commprobiz.com with panelists including: Richard Berman, Media Consultant and Former News Editor for the National NBC Nightly News; Steven Gaffney, CEO and President of Steven Gaffney Company, Jim Lukaszewski, President of the Lukaszewski Group Division of Risdall Marketing and Karin Kane, Chief Customer Officer of evolve24.

Discussion topics from the webinar included:
-Reputation management and the impact of this incident on parent company NBC’s bran
-Exploring the conversation and the emotions around the Brian Williams situation
-Sensationalism in today’s news broadcasts
-How the Internet can save American Journalism

How Can Brian Williams Win His Job Back?

Doug Simon, D S Simon offers his views on what NBC Newscaster Brian Williams needs to do to salvage his journalistic integrity and regain his audience’s trust.

Doug’s Three Suggestions: 

— Brian should focus more on his responsibilities as a journalist and as a newscaster, and let go of his persona as a public figure in the entertainment arena.

— Brian should stay off of his nightly newscast for at least a week.

— Brian should make an appearance on the TODAY Show on Friday, Feb. 13 to announce that he will no longer make appearances on entertainment television programs in 2015.