Thursday, October 25, 2012

Digital Publications – Shaping the Future of Media

By: Angela Raleigh, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

I’m sure at some point in your life you’ve picked up a copy of Newsweek, or any magazine or newspaper, and read the latest news. If you’re someone who likes holding magazines in your hands and being able to turn the pages, you might want to make sure you get a copy of Newsweek before the end of the year. Newsweek has announced that the final print edition will be on stands on December 31…after that the magazine will be available exclusively in digital format.

The world of media is vastly different than just a few years ago and will continue to evolve. More information than ever before is now available in the palm of our hands or at the click of a button. With an increased use of tablet computers, it’s no surprise that there is a shift toward digital publications. We used to read from books and now digital books are becoming the norm. The tablet is a natural platform for reading and now that they are in color and come in higher resolutions, they are a perfect match for magazines.

Of course when you are digital, there are other advantages including bringing video to the publication and making it interactive. For Newsweek, going digital will allow them to publish news instantly, which they probably were doing with their online edition now, but that was not doing their print edition readers any good.

Truth be told, we are so connected to our mobile devices today that I am sure a good percentage of people get their news from their smartphones and tablets or from Facebook and Twitter. With every interactive update of sharing news stories, information is sent faster and reaches more people around the world. But even with a shift towards digital publications, many still rely on traditional media outlets as a primary news source. It’s hard to deny the growing use of tablet computers for reading books, newspapers and magazines, but we can’t forget the importance of our roots. The skills and attributes of traditional media are still just as valuable as they’ve ever been in successfully communicating and receiving a message.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Despite the ugly campaigns, your vote is important

By: Scott Stein, Vice President of Client Services, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

If you’re like me, you’re probably near the boiling point when it comes to political ads on TV these days. The election is still about three weeks away, and we’re being bombarded on the airwaves with ad after ad touting one candidate or blasting an opponent.

That doesn’t take into consideration the number of phone calls, either political polls or robo calls  supporting one political party or the other. And how could I forget about the postcards that fill my mailbox on a daily basis or my Facebook “friends” who don’t seem to understand that most of us don’t want to read your political rants on social media.

Having said all that, you may be surprised that this blog is actually about how important it is to do your homework and be sure you get to the polls on November 6th. I’ll never get on a soapbox and tell you who I think you should vote for, but as a member of Project VOTE I will preach a bit about your right to vote and your responsibility to participate in the election process. 

Sure, the election process seems to get uglier with each election cycle, whether it’s the race for President or even a local election. Still, that doesn’t diminish the importance of casting your ballot.  

We hear from many who complain that elected officials don’t listen to the public. But if we don’t bother to vote, our voice will not be heard at all. Our votes send a message to those running for office. If we don’t vote, that message is loud and clear that we don’t care; and that’s a dangerous message to send.

So despite all the negative ads, bothersome phone calls and annoying social media posts, please don’t forget about your “right” to vote, or should I say, your “responsibility” to vote on election day.

Friday, October 12, 2012


By: Kristen Paquet, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

Ever hear of a First World Problem? How about a few examples to help you out:

“Having a bad day. Washed my car and now it’s raining.”
“I can’t find the right balance between my fan and my electric blanket.”

Those are what are called First World Problems. Silly, mindless, no-where-near-a-real-problem problems that only the privileged living in a developed nation could possibly have. Go to  or check out #firstworldproblems on Twitter and to read some of them for yourself.

At first, I wasn’t sure how to take what I was reading. Are these people actually serious? They must be joking, right? After all, some of the posts did make me laugh. And then I starting thinking about the perception these ‘problems’ were creating about people living in the U.S. Are others going to think that we are all like this? That we all overreact to little inconveniences that bother us from day to day? I have to admit, it left an unsettling feeling in my stomach.

As you can imagine, there have been many critics of First World Problems, saying that it is terrible to publicly voice insignificant problems when there are children starving and living in unthinkable conditions elsewhere in the world. But some service organizations are now actually using First World Problem posts to their advantage. These organizations have produced public service announcements that have children and adults living in third world countries recite people’s actual First World Problems as a way to bring attention to real world problems like not having clean drinking water.

Here is one such video:

I’d like to think the intent of First World Problems is for people to basically make fun of themselves over issues that they know are insignificant. But, unfortunately, what I believe is the intent of the site and Twitter feed may not be what others think. I believe that there could very well be a person who posts their problem thinking that it really is one. And that makes me shake my head.

So what do you think? Is First World Problems just something fun or is it sending the wrong message out to people in different parts of the world?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

There are a lot of haters out there….

By: Susan Finco, President, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.
My husband made what I thought was a great observation the other day.  He said, “You know, all of these political commercials tell you why you should fear and/or hate the other guy.  Very few ever tell you what they really stand for or what they’re going to do.”  If you think about it, he’s absolutely right.  Political communication these days is based on fear and hate.  And I’m not just talking about the presidential election.
As for the presidential race, I personally believe that both candidates care about this country and will do what they think is right for this country.  I don’t think either one has some kind of hidden agenda to do great harm to one part of the population or the other.   Will their policies and platforms impact people differently? Absolutely.  That is what we should be looking at.  As eligible voters, it’s our responsibility to look into not just what they’ve accomplished to date, but what they say they’re going to do in the future.  I encourage you to do that without listening to what “the other side” has to say about the candidate. Then I urge you to have a healthy amount of skepticism as to what can actually be accomplished by a single person in office, even if it is the President of the United States.  You want to make an informed choice; not a choice based on robo calls and hate filled commercials.

Choose carefully and I would like to urge you to vote for a candidate, not against one.