Coordinating lobbying efforts in numerous states – all with different laws, challenges, and legislative schedules – is complicated. The Goff Public team is well-organized and consistently delivers the results we need.
Call us: 651-292-8062
Twitter fun aids Duluth
Severe weather is the holy grail of reporting in the Twin Cities, so it’s no surprise that news organizations covered every angle of the Duluth floods last week. But the story that rose to the top was not about the disastrous effects of the heavy rain; it was about Feisty, the seal that escaped from the Duluth Zoo, and his fake Twitter account @DuluthZooSeal. While fake Twitter accounts for escaped or noteworthy animals pop up on a regular basis (e.g., @BronxZoosCobra or @TargetFieldHawk), most are satirical accounts that poke fun at the situation. While still having fun on the account, the @DuluthZooSeal Twitter used its social media popularity to help during the tragedy, seeking donations for the zoo and general relief efforts in Duluth. And for that, Feisty captured the hearts of the nation – even the Huffington Post tweeted about @DuluthZooSeal.
After a short hiatus in dramatic newsroom changes in the state, three Minnesota media outlets announced big changes in June.
Production shift: The Rochester Post-Bulletin is moving its news page and ad design production to a centralized facility in Illinois. The move will affect the jobs of about 30 people, including reporters, copy editors, designers, and ad design artists.
Newsroom shutdown: Alexandria’s KSTP-owned affiliate KSAX-TV has followed the lead of WCCO-owned KCCO-TV (also in Alexandria) by eliminating its local news staff and ending its regularly scheduled local news broadcast cut-ins. KSAX is also eliminating 17 media jobs. Most viewers in west central Minnesota will now only get local and national programming from Twin Cities television stations.
Section compression: First it was the separate business section that disappeared six days a week from the Pioneer Press. Now The GP Spin has learned that the separate local section of the paper has been permanently merged into the general news section. There will still be coverage of local news, but it will not have the same profile as it did as a standalone section. The change is part of another round of staff reductions made through buyouts at the paper. The Twin Cities is one of the smallest markets in the country to still have two daily newspapers.
Rising technology costs and increased competition in news choices have made business hard for small-market media outlets. However, these outlets provide a critical local angle to stories that might not otherwise be reported, especially since larger-market media outlets have also cut back on reporters. We will continue to follow these media developments closely in the coming weeks.
TV experience standards decline
WCCO-TV is hiring a new reporter, and the job description only requires two years of reporting experience. When Goff Public’s Chris Duffy, who was a former TV reporter, graduated from college in 2004, most reporter positions in the Twin Cities required at least 10 years of experience. The decline in experience is a sign of the economic times. Stations in the Twin cities (the 15th largest market in the nation) can’t afford to pay experienced reporters anymore. We’ll have to see how this trend affects the quality of news in our market.
Pinterest for politics
As Pinterest continues its rise in popularity, it’s not just women who are joining the site (83% of users are women). Candidates are flocking to the site, which represents one more way to reach out to voters in an election year. Both Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have Pinterest sites with 25,906 and 30,488 followers respectively. While Mitt Romney doesn’t have a Pinterest account, his wife Ann has 8,547 followers on her site. While Barack Obama posts campaign-related photos, which link back to his campaign website, Michelle Obama and Ann Romney both post family photos, healthy recipes, and other photos that appeal to women voters. Look to social media sites of all kinds to play an important role in the 2012 election as candidates try to engage voters through their online presences.
Transparency through YouTube
After Minneapolis Police arrested dozens of Occupy protestors during a June demonstration, the Occupy group accused the police of rough treatment via online videos. The Minneapolis Police Department posted its own footage of the incident on its YouTube channel, which showed that officers had warned the protestors before arresting them.
This is an example of how law enforcement agencies nationwide are embracing online video in an effort to seem more transparent, cast doubt on false claims, and offer their own perspectives to the public. The Minneapolis Police Department created its YouTube channel just a few months ago, and already it has realized its value. Look for more police departments across the nation to use online video in similar ways.