Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Death of the Deadline

By: Susan Finco, President, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

RIP the media deadline. One of the most common questions asked by PR professionals everywhere is “What’s your deadline?”  We still ask it, but I think it’s more out of habit than anything else. We all  know the answer is, “As soon as possible.” And that answer applies to TV, radio, newspaper and online. Today, even before an interview is given, a call is made, facts are gathered or the story is actually written, tidbits of the “news” will hit social media. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad – for journalists, PR people or the general public.

We all turn to social media the minute something happens and then generally wait for the full story to unfold. It certainly satisfies our need to know in a very timely way. (Can you say “Instant gratification for news junkies?”) But I’m not sure it satisfies the need to be accurate, fair or balanced; to have the whole story (or at least most of it) before it becomes public. We often don’t have time to think or gather information before responding to journalists’ calls and they don’t have time to develop the full picture before having to post or Tweet about it. I know it’s frustrating for them as well, but that’s the world we live in. So, RIP media deadline, it was nice knowing you.

So, what do you think about the death of the deadline? Is it good, bad or just the way things are?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Are you part of an “Electronic Neighborhood?”

By: Steve Scaffidi, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

If you've logged into Facebook at all recently you've probably seen the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos that have now gone viral and are not only wildly entertaining, but also raising a significant amount of donations for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Social media powerhouses Facebook and Twitter have led the way in promoting and spreading many of these digital fundraising campaigns, and they truly demonstrate the community aspect of what social media has become. We've all heard people moaning about the time that friends and family members spend looking into their smartphones-and not paying attention to each other-but the real story of social media is the connections it allows us to make with each other.

As we've moved away from hand-written letters in favor of posts, texts and tweets, we've also re-discovered the importance of the neighborhood, albeit a digital version, and the powerful energy of the Internet to do something positive. Instead of a geographic connection, we now have an electronic one, with the instantaneous ability to get a message or an amusing video to thousands of users, or in the case of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, potential donors.

So if you find yourself tipping an ice-cold bucket of water over your head in response to something you've seen on your Facebook feed, congratulations. You've not only done something to help a charity, but you've also joined the largest social club in the world. And in some ways, that may be the best long-term solution to what ails us.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Password Protection: Better to be safe than sorry

By: Cole Buergi, VP Business Development, Leonard & Finco Public RelationsIf you haven’t heard, news stories earlier last week reported that Russian gangsters have stolen more than a billion Internet passwords from individuals through the world. Yes, that’s right, it means once again, it would be very prudent to change all your passwords for all or your online accounts or risk falling victim to fraud.

I, for one, am getting very tired of hearing about hackers stealing people’s passwords. With all the technology being developed daily, one would think that security technology could keep up or, better yet, surpass the ability of hackers to break in and steal information.

I’m not sure about you, but I have numerous accounts that now need to be updated, AGAIN. I have so many that I have to keep a running spreadsheet just to keep track of them because I’ll never be able to remember them all. And, of course that needs to be password protected too in the event my computer gets hacked.

Do you plan to change all your passwords? Do you have an easy system to do so? If yes, please share.

I wish everyone a wonderful day. Mine won’t be as I’ll be sitting at my computer most of it changing passwords.