Wake up and smell the recession

March 2, 2009

“You’re richer than you think”, they said.

Kudos to Scotiabank’s marketing team for waking up fairly early on and asking themselves the question: ‘Is our little catchphrase becoming an object of ridicule?’

Apparently, ‘no, not really’ is the official answer. But Scotia seems to be letting go of the slogan anyway. Just like that slightly discoloured ‘still wearable’ shirt you don’t want to throw away, but always stays in the closet anyway.

The environment is shifting. Time to review that comm plan and comm tools.


Rocky Mountain News’ farewell video

February 27, 2009

The Denver’s Rocky Mountain News published its last edition today. It’s a local bit of news within a global catastrophe for the print media (and much of the electronic). The farewell video put together by the staff illustrates a whole range of issues linked to the changing industry, as well as captures the human side of the event.

Lest this blog becomes entirely about the media, I better try to avert my eyes from all those ‘media in trouble’ news items and get back to my PR notebook. Until the Canwest goes bankrupt, of course.

Here’s a great stolen podcast

February 27, 2009

I have no particular comments on the content of this podcast, which is a slightly more entertaining version of the standard discussion one can find all over the Internet in these difficult times for the media. I just wanted to see if the inter-Wordpress ’embed’ function worked well.

Okay, it works – copy, paste. Nice.

The podcast’s real home is here on Inkless Wells and here on Coyne’s blog, of course.

Congratulations, Hélène Buzetti

February 27, 2009

Today, Hélène Buzetti was elected President of the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery. Félicitations. Richard ‘Badger’ Brennan did not run again, after two years marked by a difficult relationship with the Prime Minister’s Office (and some victories for the reporters – kind of).

The Press Gallery is much less useful than it used to be (from a PR point of view, that is). With the proper invitation, a flack could walk in to schmooze and booze with the members of the old boys’ club. Things have changed – they even closed the bar a couple of years ago, for lack of patrons. And of course, women have risen to the top of the profession, through skill, dedication and force of will.

Cheers! To a better Press Gallery.

CBC needs $ 65 million, fast

February 25, 2009

The CBC is deep in the redbecause, well, nobody’s buying advertizing time right now. Apparently discussions are already under way with Heritage Canada. Most government-watchers I talk to agree there will be some kind of rescue funding but some cuts will have to be made – the process is already underway internally. There shall be pain.

It’s nice to see the dismal situation has not affected CBC VP Stursberg’s metaphorical speaking style. “The revenues fell off a cliff. … I have not seen a slide that precipitous and that deep in my entire life.”

So is the Mother Corp sinking?

“We have not been able to bail the boat as quickly as the water is coming in over the gunwales.”

Better keep pumpin’, mate!

February 26 update: Okay, so it seems the government isn’t seriously considering additional funding for the CBC after all. Perhaps my contact were doing a little spin themselves… Still, there are many ways to get money to the CBC and not call it a bailout. Let’s see what happens now.

Does Canwest need a government bailout?

February 24, 2009

Canwest needs to come up with a $100 million debt payment by Friday to avoid becoming insolvent. And if they manage to beg, steal or borrow the money, there’s always another payment not far behind…

How long before media conglomerates beg for a government bailout? That would be the acid test of journalistic objectivity.

Hamilton ‘Spec’ sheds 35 jobs

February 24, 2009

TorStar’s smaller newspapers are really getting hit: 35 layoffs at the Hamilton Spectator, 21 at the Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 13 at the small Guelph Mercury.

That is mightily unpleasant. Good luck to everybody. There’s still a future in public relations, by the way.

UPDATE: It could be much worse, of course.