Public Relations Tactics

PR Blotter: April 2017

April 3, 2017

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In a March piece for Fast Company, Monster blogger Daniel Bortz writes that submitting two-to-three page résumés may seriously hinder your chances at a job. For presenting the best and tightest résumé, he recommends avoiding pronouns (like I, me or we) and relying on acronyms, such as R&D for research and development, to save room on the page. He also says to eliminate soft skills and unnecessary section headers. “The summary—a three-to-four-sentence pitch where you highlight what makes you uniquely qualified for the job — should appear at the top of your résumé, but you don’t need to label it ‘summary,’” he says.

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Cision’s “2017 State of the Media Report,” which includes responses from 1,550 reporters, editors, influencers and producers, found that 91 percent of journalists believe that the media is somewhat or much less trusted than they were three years ago. Yet, commitment to accuracy is still the top priority. Ninety-two percent of respondents say that being right is more important than being first — up 4 percent from 2016 — and 60 percent of journalists believe the public values facts over feelings.

Other key findings from the report include a growing distrust in social media — only 44 percent of journalists feel it’s a reliable source of information, which is down 7 percent from 2016 — and that most journalists (92 percent) prefer receiving PR pitches via email.

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What were some of the trending topics at this year’s SXSW conference in Austin, Texas? Jennifer Trou, a senior account supervisor for Edelman, listed building trust in a post on the agency blog. “Among the marketing panels and topics, many were trying to make sense of how to rebuild or refocus in a climate where trust is increasingly scarce and for many, the answer is to be authentic,” she wrote. “Don’t stray from your core beliefs… and you will build trust among your audience.”

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For most brands, philanthropy is an expectation. However, a new survey from marketing firm Toluna published in Adweek shows that today’s young consumers expect brands to go above and beyond when it comes to supporting different causes. Of the 1,000 adults sampled, 64.5 percent say they, at least sometimes, seek out brands that donate to certain organizations. This trend especially speaks to the habits of millennials — 49 percent say they are more inclined to buy from brands that align with causes they care about, compared with 34 percent of Gen Xers and 13 percent of boomers.

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Neuropsychologists at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have published research that shows the brain processes information better when a person writes with a pen instead of a keyboard, Mashable reported on March 15. The researchers discovered that the motor skills required to use a pen cause the brain to be active in larger areas, meaning more nerve cells were communicating with each other and thus processing more information.

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Oxford commas are commonly treated as optional grammatical flourishes. However, in a recent labor dispute involving truck drivers for a Maine dairy company, who argued they deserved overtime pay for completing certain tasks, the omission of a comma may bring $10 million consequences.

A law states that “the canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of (1) Agricultural produce, (2) Meat and fish products, and (3) Perishable foods” does not amount to overtime pay. But because there isn’t an Oxford comma between “packing for shipment” and “distribution,” an appeals court decided the law was too ambiguous.

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According to a report by eMarketer, the firm’s latest forecast expects that the digital ad spend in the United States will grow 15.9 percent this year — the equivalent of $83 billion in revenue. 

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