Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wall Street Journal Launches New York Section

By Stefen Lovelace

We have an official newspaper war.

On Monday, print heavyweight The Wall Street Journal unveiled its new “Greater New York” section. The section is being seen as a direct competitor to The New York Times, which has been New York’s top publication for local and regional news for years.

Taking over the grand ballroom of The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, the Journal feted dozens of guests with a breakfast of bagels, quiche, coffee, Danish and other goodies. Large screens in the room promoted the new section's name, while top guns Les Hinton, CEO; Robert Thomson, managing editor; and Michael Rooney, chief revenue officer, headlined the event.

Each spoke out about why this venture, which many analysts and newspaper experts have said is financially limited, will succeed.

"This is good news for New York and good business for Dow Jones," Hinton told the crowd, adding that, in terms of advertising, "We didn't expect it to be as good as it has been."

This move shows that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which purchased the Journal in 2007, believes he can take down one of print’s most well-respected institutions.

There's a reason for his confidence. Earlier this week it was revealed that overall newspaper circulation has continued to declined, down 8.7 percent in a six month period ending March 31, 2010. That news in itself isn't all that surprising.

What is surprising is that The Wall Street Journal is the only one of the top 25 newspapers to rise in total circulation, going up by a very slight 0.5 percent. WSJ is also the No. 1 biggest daily newspaper in the country.

It’s too early to tell what type of effect the Journal’s jump into the New York news scene will have in the city. There have already been some that have ranked and compared the Journal against the Times, with reviews on WSJ's new section being mixed.

NYT hasn’t sat on its hands in this fight, as it’s now being reported that the newspaper is considering expanding its news coverage to include non-New York markets.

The Financial Times is reporting that the NYT has entered discussions to expand to provide regional coverage in five areas of the U.S. Eventually, the paper wants to provide local news for 10 to 15 markets, the FT reports.

It's possible that the paper's enhanced regional coverage is a response to the Journal and fellow News Corp. paper The New York Post's aggressive slashing of ad rates, a move widely perceived as an effort to eat into the Times' ad-client base.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, as the Times and WSJ are two of the largest and most reputable publications in the country. Stay tuned.

Stefen Lovelace is an Associate Account Executive. Contact him at

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reliving the 6th Annual Pat’s Run

By Chris Daley

On April 17, I joined nearly 30,000 people at Arizona State’s Sun Devil Stadium to honor Pat Tillman. It was part of the sixth annual Pat’s Run, the signature fundraising event for The Pat Tillman Foundation. The Pat Tillman Foundation was started in 2004 in honor of Tillman, a former football player who was killed on April 22, six years ago today, while fighting for this country in the United States Army. The Foundation honors Tillman’s legacy and provides resources and educational support to veterans, active servicemembers and their dependants.

Pat’s Run has grown considerably from roughly 5,000 participants in 2005, to over 28,000 in this year’s race. The 4.2 mile run (in honor of the number Tillman wore as a football player at Arizona State) officially had 20,629 finishers and according to Running USA’s list of largest races in the U.S. (last updated in 2008), Pat’s Run has grown into one of the top 15 largest running events in just six years.

My inspiration to participate in the race came after reading Jon Krakauer’s book, “Where Men Win Glory, The Odyssey of Pat Tillman” last fall. I’d heard the story about Tillman leaving football to join the Army Rangers post 9/11, but this book provided me with a closer look at the man who positively impacted everyone around him. The book made me look at life from a different perspective and gave me the urge to start setting some new goals for myself.

In January I decided to register for Pat’s Run to pay tribute to Tillman and support the Pat Tillman Foundation. To make the experience even better, I convinced my father, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and a close friend from high school to join me and participate in the run. With my father’s 60th birthday on April 27, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the occasion than a few days in Arizona, playing golf and running a race together to honor a true American Hero.

My goal was to finish the race in less than 30 minutes. When I crossed the finish line last Saturday on the 42-yard line of Frank Kush Field, I had done it. My official time was 29 min. 10 sec. and I finished in 453rd place overall. My father also finished in an impressive 1,326th place. The race was fun and a great experience to share with my Dad.

Perry Edinger, Pat's friend and former head trainer for the Arizona State’s football team was one of the people who initiated the idea of this race and said, "With Pat's Run, people are motivated to exercise and do something positive for themselves, while honoring Pat's memory, sharing their stories and ultimately being an inspiration to others."

The Pat Tillman Foundation is providing a tremendous service to our servicemembers and their families across the U.S. As they continue to build their Leadership Through Action programs, support for the organization is growing rapidly. The foundation’s Facebook page has nearly 24,000 followers as of today, and it seems to be growing by the hundreds each week.

I felt that this race would be a perfect opportunity to utilize social media and engage my small twitter following with updates and photos throughout the day, which turned out to be quite fun. In addition, I was asked by Heather Schader, the public relations and marketing manager for the Pat Tillman Foundation to conduct a television interview because I was an out-of-state runner. I came to find out that the interview was with a production crew from The Weinstein Company who are developing a documentary that will potentially air on A&E. So, if my sound bites make it past the cutting room floor there is a chance I’ll be featured in the film slated to air later this year. That would be something.

Pat’s Run was an amazing experience. I’m happy that I was able to be apart of it and share the memory with so many people. I am already planning to take part in the 2011 race and set another goal.

Foundations like the Pat Tillman Foundation and event’s like Pat’s Run continue to show the power and impact nonprofits can have within our society and that’s a wonderful thing.

Chris Daley is an Account Executive. Contact him at Follow him on twitter @CDaley43.

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Blogging from the #140Conf (Part 2)

By Abby Draper

The lineup for Day 2 of the 140 Character Conference (#140conf) is just as exciting as it was for Day 1. One of the early panels today was a group of four social media professionals all under the age of 23, speaking about “growing up with real time internet.”

During their discussion, Sarah Cooley, Communications Manager for, had strong opinions on securing the perfect job or employee through your social media platforms. As a current undergrad, she explains that her friends ask questions of her like “What if your future employer sees the pictures of you on Facebook?” Or “Remember when you tweeted after a few glasses of wine? What if they read that?”

During my last years of college, I had the same reservations, and restructured my personal pages with hopes that doing so would help me in my job search. I deleted my hobbies, interests and favorite movies and replaced them with professional organizations I am a part of and links to my LinkedIn account, Twitter handle and my blog.

Sutton went on to explain that as it becomes more instinctual for companies to rely on social media platforms as resumes, you should be conscious of how you present yourself online. Adding photos of yourself during a long night out on the town or tweeting about how much you hate a certain brand could hurt your chances of being hired at some companies.

I also came across a great article from that explains how big groups like Accenture will be approaching their hiring in the future.

[Accenture Head of Global Recruiting Joe] Campagnino plans to make as many as 40% of his hires in the next few years through social media. Says he: "This is the future of recruiting for our company."

As Maroon PR continues to add clients, we will continue to grow our team as well. With so many great clients having such a strong presence online, I look forward to adding to their social media team. I am certain that through this process, we will rely heavily on social media personalities in making our final decisions.

Accenture and other companies are continuing to prove that social media is not only growing in popularity, but becoming essential for professionals.

Abby Draper is the Manager of Social Media. Contact her at

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Blogging from the #140Conf

By Abby Draper

It comes as no surprise that the most popular “tweeters” to follow are celebrities. I am fortunate to be in New York today, at the "140 Characters Conference," (#140conf) where I just heard Ivanka Trump discuss how and why she tweets. During her presentation, there was a particular part that really stood out to me.

When asked what the most important part of twitter is as a celebrity, Ivanka answered “Remaining consistent in your messages.”

Although I am not a celebrity, a key part of what defines my role as a social media public relations professional is to develop and manage several different types of clients’ social media platforms. In doing so, it has become apparent that a consistent message is key to engaging friends, followers and fans. With each client I strive to achieve a specific goal: to combine news, relevant trends, and a unique perspective into each account.

We become friends, fans and followers of things that we are interested in knowing and learning more about. If the message becomes distorted and dishonest, the audience becomes disengaged. If the audience becomes disengaged, the message cannot be shared.

While the accounts I manage may not be as exciting to follow as certain celebrity’s tweets are, I understand that without a consistent message, the potential to connect to an audience and provoke conversation through social media is lost.

Abby Draper is the Manager of Social Media. Contact her at

Bookmark and Share

Monday, April 12, 2010

Video Blog: Tim Richardson "Maryland's Greatest Sports Moments"

By Tim Richardson; Video by Abby Draper

Tim Richardson is Executive Vice President. Contact him at

Bookmark and Share

Friday, April 9, 2010

Old Media vs. New Media Hits Penn State

By Stefen Lovelace

The tug of war between the old-guard, traditional journalism and new-school journalism, which embraces social media, has been ongoing. We’ve talked at length about some of the traditional media’s cautiousness about fully embracing social media before. It looks like the war is even moving to colleges. According to, there’s a bit of a journalism battle going on at Penn State between The Daily Collegian, the long-standing, award-winning student newspaper and a new upstart blog, Onward State.

On the campus of Penn State University, a rivalry between a rogue campus blog and the official newspaper has become a fascinating mirror of the strife between old and new media. In only a matter of months, the unofficial campus blog Onward State, has marshaled the power of social media to compete with the award winning 112-year-old campus paper The Daily Collegian. With one-tenth of the Collegian’s staff size, Onward State has constructed a virtual newsroom that collaborates in real-time with Google Wave, outsourced its tip-line to Twitter, and is unabashed about linking to a competitor’s story.

Full disclosure time. I’m a Penn State grad, and actually worked for The Collegian. I learned a lot from my time working for the student newspaper, and worked with some very talented people while there. I view The Collegian as one of the best student newspapers in the country.
I do find Onward State to be a very interesting alternative though. It’s clear that social media enhances journalism, and it looks like Onward State is fully embracing social media as a way to compete with The Collegian’s larger staff, and more experienced reporters.

“We focused on our Twitter presence from the very beginning, and it’s paid dividends for us in terms of referring traffic to the site and really becoming a part of the community,” said Davis Shaver, founder of Onward State. Tapping the power of the crowd has been essential to multiplying the resources of Onward State’s relatively tiny news team. By being responsive to the social media community, Shaver told Mashable that they “curated this ecosystem in the sense that people will actually send stories to us on Twitter.”

This is in stark contrast to The Collegian, which utilizes social media only for “getting out short bursts of information.”

Onward State also has no qualms about linking to Collegian stories if the Collegian breaks the story first. This is common practice in the digital age, as bloggers have been doing this for years. Not surprisingly, The Collegian is against this practice as they believe it drives traffic to competitors.

I certainly see The Collegian’s concern, but don’t completely agree. With the immediacy that news is broken, it’s time to stop getting fixated on who beats who to stories, and get news out as quickly as possible. Like it or not, that’s the news world we live in.

Another creative advantage Onward State is taking is utilizing Google Wave.

“Our office really consists of my dorm room, I guess. We don’t have any kind of physical structure, so we use [Google] Wave as our virtual newsroom,” said Shaver. Throughout the day, Shaver and his team monitor several waves at once, each tailored for a different department. In a single browser tab, Shaver has a unique eagle’s-eye view of the entire newsroom. In real-time, his editorial team can toggle between multiple conversations or throw an idea out to the crowd for greater perspective.

I must admit, I like what Onward State is doing. I still believe that the best journalism is coming from The Collegian and should be a must-read for every student on campus. But for a small upstart website to compete, utilizing social media is a great way to do this.

This is also an interesting example of the differences between old media and new media, and I’ll be interested to see how this competition plays out.

The story is a fascinating read, and I’d encourage all to check it out HERE.

Stefen Lovelace is an Associate Account Executive. Contact him at

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Intern Finally Sees the Value in Social Media

By Chris Grant

The other day my 86-year-old grandfather talked to my cousin in Rome via Skype. This is a man who was born before television became popular. For all I know he could have a Twitter and LinkedIn account, and who knows, maybe even get hired over me for my first “real” job after college. I have never used Skype, or Twitter, or LinkedIn. I always knew I was behind my generation when it came to new technology and social media. But my grandfather?

As I get ready to enter the real world, I know I need to come fully equipped with all the social media necessities. I have never been the biggest advocate of social media. It has always taken the pressure of others to force me into it. My Facebook account was actually created for me by my friends. I’m still not on Twitter or have a LinkedIn profile, but I can say that my opinion of social media has changed over the past couple of months from my time at Maroon PR as an intern.

While at my internship, I have been able to see the benefits of social media firsthand and how important it is to a company. Companies constantly look for ways to enhance brand awareness and are starting to come to the realization that social media is an extremely effective way to achieve this. It allows for there to be direct contact between company and buyers, without a middle man such as the media, to have control of a message.

According to a recent article in CNN, social sites, such as LinkedIn, are more important now than ever before:

“If you don't have a profile on LinkedIn, you're nowhere…. If you're serious about managing your career, the only social site that really matters is LinkedIn. In today's job market an invitation to "join my professional network" has become more obligatory -- and more useful -- than swapping business cards and churning out résumés.”

As my internship comes to an end and I begin to look for jobs, I am going to need to start buying into this social media craze if I want any chance at succeeding. But most of you probably knew that months ago.

Apparently, my grandfather did.

Chris Grant is the Maroon PR Intern. He can be reached at

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Video Blog: John Maroon Discusses Maroon PR's 4th Anniversary

By John Maroon; Video by Abby Draper

John Maroon is the President of Maroon PR. Contact him at

Bookmark and Share