Monday, June 24, 2019

Introducing: New Roles For the Old News Release [Abbott Media Group]

Long gone are the days of your PR firm or your own organization simply sending out a press release to the media, sitting back, and thinking that the job of promoting product, service, or individual has been completed.

That's because the media are no longer the sole audience of the news release.

Stephen Abbott of Abbott Media Group is skilled in using tried and true tools and techniques such as the news release, putting them to work in new ways.

AMG understands that news releases today can play several functions in the promotions process,. Releases sent to the media aren't necessarily to ensure immediate coverage. In fact, it's often unrealistic to assume that everything sent will be published.

In Abbott's political campaigns, frequent releases have served the purpose of showing that a campaign is active, has hired staff, is raising money, is engaging with voters, and is seriously contesting the race. And it must be understood that releases from political campaigns have several audiences. Not just local news media, which may or may not be covering local politics, but also political leaders, local business leaders, elected officials, and of course voters. Sometimes releases specifically targeted to these Publics make more sense than the single, standard  Release

Releases written for business can play a similar role by simply reminding local news media and others that the business is active in the community and open for business.

Releases sent to internal Publics also have a reassuring effect, and can communicate best practices within a business organization, as well as communicating new policies and procedures to everyone, not just to a select few. Effective internal Communications also build a sense of rapport and togetherness within organizations, reducing gossip and misunderstandings, as well as employee turnover.

They can also be employed to convey the new or long-held mission and vision of a group or company. These reminders, written in news-worthy, fresh ways, help solidify the reputation of the group or company within a community, and help clarify the purposes towards which they're striving. They also clear up misconceptions that could damage reputations or cloud the purpose of a company in the public's perception in the long term.

News releases, of course, continue to fill the traditional role of introducing new products and services to current and future clients and customers. They still must primarily be sharing something NEW, and be  News Worthy in order to be considered for print and digital distribution. But they also can demonstrate to clients that a business has the expertise in the field in which they operate, capable of bringing the latest technology and techniques to bear on their behalf.

Frequent news releases posted on a company or campaign website are an easy way to provide fresh content for visitors. Web content that is frequently changing and updated ranks higher in searches.

Finally, news releases can play a vital role in conveying to relevant Publics within the community that a business is engaging actively with it, playing a positive role by giving back through charitable giving and social involvement. This has the effect of building positive feelings towards the business, enhancing its reputation and making future business transactions with them more likely.

AMG and Stephen Abbott understand how to fully employ all the aspects of news releases, and use them to the fullest effect on behalf of clients. Contact AMG today for more information.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

About That Controversial Gillette Ad - Should Corporations Engage In Social Commentary?

About the controversial Gillette ad, it's beautifully filmed and one could argue that it simply calls on men to step up and do what's right when they see men bullying and belittling women. Great. Long overdue, and there's nothing wrong with that general sentiment.

But the #MeToo movement the ad references often devolves into anti-male hate and a generalization that all men are inherently aggressive by their very nature, and need "fixing." This turns this into a politically-charged ad, and a socially polarizing one.

Should corporations be involved in political ads and "virtue signaling" about social issues at all? From a #PR point of view, these kind if ads can appeal to one side of an issue, but repel others, so they are inherently risky, and divisive.

Gillette, and its parent company Procter & Gamble, likely assumed that everyone would be on the side of not being rude to women, but the perception of the ad as an attack on all men, as some in the Me Too movement have sometimes sounded, seems to be overwhelming this benign interpretation of the ad, leading to a massive #boycottGillette effort, emerging on the social platforms Twitter and Facebook.

We have of course seen this before, as when companies such as 84 Lumber have waded into the immigration debate with a Super Bowl ad featuring illegal immigrants crossing the border.

Gillette now faces a boycott from men, their primary users, while getting praise from women. A dangerous economic strategy, and a warning for other companies that are tempted to wade into divisive political issues.

Stephen Abbott

Friday, October 26, 2018

"Newsweek" May Be Dead In The USA, But Its International Edition Keeps Political Coverage Alive [Abbott Media Group]

It's not commonly known that magazines in the US have European or international editions, often with totally different material.

While Americans get "news" magazines that are busy pandering to one side of the political spectrum, or pop culture slop about fads or TV and movie entertainers, the Europeans at least get some coverage of actual personalities and issues that are changing their political lives.

Take, for example, Newsweek, which has in recent years become a shadow of its former self, which is to say, a magazine more obsessed with attacking the political Right than reporting "news."

In their October 26th International Edition, they featured a story on Austria's young Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. While not entirely "fair" (and arguably inaccurate, at least in the description we could find, below) the eight-page cover story at least introduced readers to this fascinating political leader:
"In May 2017, when Sebastian Kurz took control of the center-right Austrian People’s Party (OVP), he remade it in his image. Lest the world underestimate the significance of this, the thirty two year-old rebranded the OVP as the Sebastian Kurz List–New People’s Party. Seven months later the conservative populist became Austria’s youngest-ever chancellor, in addition to the world’s first millennial head of state and, according to some analysts, the future of Europe. 
Like other right-wing populists ascending to power in the European Union, the ambitious Kurz has pushed a hard-line immigration agenda in response to economic stagnation and the Syrian refugee crisis. But his youthful persona and political happenstance have elevated his status and his ideas far beyond Austria’s borders."
While the truth is out about Kurz's full conversion to the "right wing" (some on the actual right wing in Europe say he's starting to cave in to European bureaucrats on a few issues, including mass migration into Europe) kudos to Newsweek's International edition for at least covering a political leader of significance. Austria's public broadcaster, ORF, took note of the coverage, as well (In German. Use Google Translate to read in English.)

Now, if only most Americans knew who he was. Or who Angela Merkel or Emmanuel Macron are, for that matter.

Don't the media elites think we can handle such meaty discussions about politics? Do they not think we DESERVE to have those discussion.

Abbott Media Group does.

To get a broader picture, be sure to read World Politics News daily. And please support Abbott Media Group's latest venture, the Abbott News Service.

Abbott Media Group can be found online at

Monday, September 10, 2018

Abbott Media Group Launches Funding Campaign For Abbott News Service

Abbott Media Group


Today, Abbott Media Group is launching a campaign seeking seed funding for Abbott News Service, the next stage in the evolution of news coverage of global politics and social trends.


The Abbott News Service will finally expose Americans to unbiased coverage of international politics, elections and global social trends, using multiple online media platforms.

When fully funded and operational, The Abbott News Service (TANS) will feature original reporting and photography and concise news stories of under 250 words. We’ll seek exclusive, local reporting and interviews with influencers.

Using its website, social media platforms and a mobile app, TANS will disseminate original news content in ways that are innovative, interesting and engaging.


The Abbott News Service is the next step in the evolution of the World Politics News blog ( which Abbott Media Group owner Stephen A. Abbott has edited nearly every day since 2012.

Our mass media is failing us. It's failing to give us the news we deserve about the political events and social trends that, in a Globally interconnected world, could soon reach our shores and drastically impact our lives – both in positive and negative ways.

We need a revolution in Mass Media to ensure that we’re aware and alert to these trends, before they reach America’s shores. The Abbott News Service is the start of this revolution.

We're building the Abbott News Service to take on Big Media and fill the huge gap they’re leaving in international news coverage. We'll bring Americans the news they’re missing, and will insist on news that's accurate, unbiased and unfiltered.

This will not be “advocacy journalism,” since it will not serve as a mask for partisanship disguised as journalism, from the Left or the Right. The only thing TANS will advocate is the expansion of Americans’ knowledge of politics and social trends around the world.


The Abbott News Service will be overseen on a daily basis by World Politics News Editor-In-Chief and Founder Stephen A. Abbott, a veteran journalist, blogger and communications consultant from Central Florida.

TANS will seek to contract with American and native citizen journalists both overseas and in the US to report on international politics and social trends, paying them by the story. TANS will consider extending internship opportunities to qualified journalism students.

The Abbott News Service will eventually seek to license stories produced by its reporters to outside media organizations, functioning, in part, as a traditional wire service.

Abbott Media Group is seeking $20,000 in initial/seed funding, using a GoFundMe account and other fundraising methods. For more information and to support the Abbott News Service, go to 

Abbott Media Group was founded in 2008, the successor to Stephen Abbott Communications (2003-2008.) It relaunched in 2015, with a focus on online media, reputation management, social media management, and ePublishing. They can be found online at, on twitter at @abbottmedia and on facebook at

Founder and owner Stephen A. Abbott graduated with a BA in Communication Arts with a concentration in Public Relations from the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida.


Friday, September 7, 2018

4 Ways To Fix Our Broken Network Newscasts [Abbott Media Group]

Network news - news programs shown on the original Big Three networks and other, newer, upstarts - is broken. Below are four examples, and what I believe they need to do to fix their news programs to better serve the American people:

More International Focus - A "world news" program that focuses solely on domestic news is not worthy of the name, and international celebrities getting into trouble or the latest plane crash overseas doesn't count as "news." Americans who are insular and insulated from the news of the world are suddenly surprised by trends both friendly and ferocious when they hit without warning. When that happens, that's a failure of the "world news" programs we watch. Network newscasts must rededicate themselves to covering the entire world.

More International Politics - Political trends are also vital to our full and complete awareness as voters and as citizens. It may not, at first glance, seem important that a new anti-American party is rising in the polls in a nation traditionally friendly to the USA, or that a certain governor was elected in a prefecture in Japan. But if that nation turns hostile, or if that governor is more hostile to Americans remaining in a military base there than his predecessor, then that indeed is a problem that will have regional and international repercussions. Network newscasts should commit to covering international politics, because it's relevant.

The Weather Is NOT "news" - It's snowy in the winter in the Northern half of the United States. It's a fact. It's not, however, news. It's exciting to show cars skidding off the road, rivers frozen and, in other climes, wet summers, minor hurricanes and tornadoes. But aside from in-depth analyses of how slowly the aid got there after the storm, or how we are adapting to changing weather patterns, it's not "news," and besides, that coverage is being done already on local TV. Network newscasts should stop wasting time covering routine and expected weather, and blowing storms out of all proportion.

Fewer YouTube Videos - What's truly shocking about today's American nightly "newscast" is the inclusion of actual YouTube videos. ABC News includes these (and the "look at the unique playing on a ___ team" videos) in its "Index" segment near the end of the program. It literally shows YouTube videos of animals doing funny things, near-miss car accidents and other hilarity, which we can see with better justification on shows like "America's Funniest Videos" or its cable show equivalents. The YouTubization (tm) of Network news must end. 

"If it bleeds, it leads" was the old saying about the nightly news and the local paper. National Network newscasts shouldn't fear though. There is plenty of blood in the political turmoil around the world to drench their viewers' hearts. There are also demonstrations, corruption, trade deals, hard-fought elections, coups and uprisings, and much of it with very real and sometimes immediate consequences for American voters and consumers.

That's one of the reasons why I founded "World Politics News," a news aggregation service that points American readers to the news they're missing on the nightly network newscasts.

American news organizations owe it to us to bring us the world, and to show us accurately and fairly what's happening THERE before it happens HERE. And if they begin to do this again, the nightly "World News" programs will once again be true to their names.

Stephen Abbott
Abbott Media Group

Friday, July 13, 2018

How #PR Can Subvert The Traditional "Marketing Funnel" [Abbott Media Group]

Public Relations is not Marketing, nor is is it Advertising. It's actually better. The traditional "Marketing Funnel" consists of leading people to an Awareness of a brand, then to their Interest in it, followed by Conversion (a Purchase) then Brand Loyalty, which leads to Advocacy of your brand by the loyal customers.

Which is all good, and it tends to drag customers through the process effectively, when implemented correctly.

Advertising is also different from Public Relations, and from Marketing. For example, advertisers often want to go from Awareness directly to a quick sale, which can lead to crass, high-pressure appeals.

Note that I'm not saying there's anything WRONG with Marketing or Advertising as concepts or business practices. Both are critical to understanding consumer behavior and directing them towards becoming happy and loyal customers.

But with Public Relations, we have a way in which we can "short circuit" this process, and possibly make it more effective. If such a system existed, wouldn't businesses want to employ it, alongside traditional methods?

Here's how:

In PR, awareness of your brand's Good Deeds and/or its commitment to its Mission and Core Values can lead directly to people becoming brand Advocates, especially online, leading to them become Loyal customers.

We've seen this over and over again online, in which a poster on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram reacts to a positive action by a company, and says, "Great move! I want to do business with a company like this!" When the poster is a known figure, you have achieved a degree of social proof - an influencer who directs others to buy and support a brand. This is priceless, and can do more for a brand than a thousand TV or radio ads.

Consider letting Abbott Media Group use social media and PR communications tools to build positive awareness of your brand!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Creepy #PR Job Ad Seeking "Youthful" Female To Be The "Face" Of A Company Is All That's Wrong With PR [Abbott Media Group]

A recent job posting illustrates EVERYTHING that's wrong with PR today, or at least the growing perception of PR as a damaged profession with a reputation problem.

The ad, on the popular job search site "Glassdoor," read:

"We are looking for a youthful, energetic, personable, presentable, female for an overseas Public Relations position," it began, "The candidate will be the face of our Asia operation. Please send details and photo if possible."

It's signed - rare for an ad even on Glassdoor - by the male president of this company, which I've blacked out to avoid holding him up to public ridicule. Both his first and last name were included in the original ad.

This is wrong on so many levels. Aside from being an illegal job ad (gender-specific, which is forbidden by employment law) it's a bit creepy for a male president/CEO to be asking for a photograph - akin to a dirty personal ad in the back of a magazine or on the old "Backpage" or Craigslist personals, it sends a horrible message about the profession. One plausibly may wonder if he hopes to travel with her.

The ad's descriptions are equally troubling.

"Youthful, energetic" is "code" for "no one over 30 need apply. Age discrimination sucks, but it's a reality in the business world. And tolerated.

"Personable," well, of course a PR person will be personable - someone who is likable and generally likes people. Though that's a child's definition of "public relations," and every store clerk or auto show platform model can't be said to be in "public relations," just because they interact with the public - though that's a vital component for business success, for sure.

The final two descriptors, "presentable, female," are at the heart of the problem with this ad. "Presentable" seems to be a code word for "pretty." Now, there's nothing wrong with being pretty, or presentable, so long as the latter means how a person presents oneself, in dress, demeanor, and especially verbally and in writing. If THOSE were the criterion used by the CEO here, that would ELEVATE the profession, not demean it or raise ludicrous stereotypes as this ad does.

Let's also mention that the ad apparently breaks the terms of service Glassdoor has published on its own site, which state, "You may not post any job ad that ... gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, or any other ground(s) prohibited by applicable law."

CEOs of corporations should never use the tactic of pushing a "pretty face" in front of a news conference, so stakeholders and the general public will more easily forget the bad news about a company or CEO. That plays to the basest of negative stereotypes about PR.

This amounts to putting supermodels on catwalks wearing corporate logos. Corporations should be educated by real PR pros that this won't motivate any but the creepiest of men to patronize their businesses and buy their products and services. And it won't be enough to distract the media from a company's missteps.

A bit of a disclaimer. A search for the company on Google on July 7, 2018 at 8 pm (Central) produced no results. A Linkedin profile mentioning his name and company produced a blank page. It's unclear whether the ad, posted on July 7, 2018, is for a legitimate operation. If so, shame on the company's president. If not, shame on Glassdoor for facilitating this gross person's fantasy.

Stephen Abbott is the principal of Abbott Media Group. He's not "pretty" nor "young." He's a male over 50, and has over two decades of actual experience building brands and reputations. Abbott Media Group can be found online at