The Wilbert Group Blog

Media Moves: July 2017

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We love getting – and sharing the latest newsroom scoop. In Media Moves, we highlight changes in journalism and the media both locally and nationally.

Jewel Wicker, digital arts and entertainment reporter for the Atlanta Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 1.41.09 PMJournal Constitution, has left the paper and started her journey as a freelancer specializing in entertainment. Jewel created a variety of content for the AJC including event roundups, concert reviews, TV recaps and more.

With all the changes magazines face, the one consistent trend is the decline of print advertising. Moody’s estimates that print ads will continue to fall 10 percent through mid-2018.

Min spoke with various publications about their new revenue strategies.

Read more about it here:

Closing the Gap: How Magazine Media is Solving for Print Losses

“Change is like oxygen: We need it to exist. It’s part of the daily rhythm of life. Instead of running away from it, try to embrace it,” Ron Smith, managing editor for news at USA Today, told Poynter in a Q&A about challenges he faces in his news organization as well as advice he has for others.

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Read more about it here:

USA Today managing editor for news talks challenges, advice and guidance

Did you know nearly two-thirds of adults in the United States who use Twitter get their news from the social media platform? Pew Research Center takes an in-depth look at how adults are using Twitter for news, not only whether they tweet about news and follow news organizations, but also what news topics they tweet about, and how many news media accounts they follow.

Read more about the findings here:

How do Americans use Twitter for news?

10 Tenets of Wilbert’s Wellness Program

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A few years ago, I began down the complicated road of creating a wellness program for The Wilbert Group. Everybody loved the idea of a wellness program and it took us about five minutes to coin the name – Wilbert Wellness. Cute huh? We immediately envisioned #wilbertwellness under pictures of us wearing Fitbits or eating organic almonds.

Creating a program that was meaningful proved more difficult. I made the mistake of trying to copy other companies, as well as letting enthusiastic and well-meaning employees implement one-off ideas. We divided into teams and had a contest to see who took the stairs more. We invited in a nutrition expert and a yoga teacher for lunch and learns. One vice president on our team spoke about how to choose healthier snacks. We got juices delivered to a staff meeting. We replaced office candy with fruit. While none of these ideas were bad, we were just throwing out tactics without a clear objective. It felt forced and silly. People rolled their eyes. Sometimes I rolled my own eyes.

At the start of 2016, we took a step back. I started asking the bigger questions. Why should a company have a wellness program? What does wellness mean in the context of an office environment? How do you create a program that is truly meaningful for employees with diverse needs and wants? I continued to read books and case studies and ask questions to friends and mentors, but I stopped trying to copy what other companies were doing. I now wanted to create something uniquely suited for our firm.

My journey toward WilbertWellness 2.0 was in parallel with my own journey into meditation, mindfulness and yoga. I was trying to become the person I wanted to be, and create the company culture where I wanted to work, all at the same time. I have landed on some working answers to the big questions, some basic beliefs that are the foundation of our program. From there, we have together slowly started to implement policies and programs.

The basic tenets for Wilbert Wellness 2.0:

  1. A good wellness program should make people better at their jobs – more motivated, more focused, more creative, more willing to take risks and work hard.
  2. A wellness program is about helping people be their best whole selves at work, so it must have tentacles that stretch into physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellness.
  3. People need breaks. People need breaks in the course of a day (e.g. a walk around the block at 3 p.m.) and they need breaks in the course of a year (i.e vacations). Nobody who has been staring at a computer underneath florescent light for 12 straight hours is going to be his or her most creative.
  4. Most people enjoy working hard, as long as there are opportunities to recharge and renew. People like to be challenged; a certain level of stress can feel good, as long as it isn’t overwhelming and relentless.
  5. People want others to notice when they do excellent work.
  6. People crave connection and an understanding of how their work contributes to the company’s larger goals.
  7. It is possible to be kind and empathetic, even when giving tough feedback.
  8. If people exercise, eat well, get enough sleep and take care of themselves physically they likely will be more energized and creative than if they do not do those things.
  9. Programs must be customized. A journey of wellness is going to be different for everyone. A company should support and encourage the journey but not dictate the path. (e.g. Just because I practice yoga doesn’t mean I should require the entire team to practice yoga together. That would be annoying.)
  10. You need buy-in at every level. That means the boss needs to walk the walk, and it means that employees at every level should have decision-making power in the wellness program.

What we have today:

  • A Wilbert Wellness stipend. All employees receive a $100 monthly stipend to spend on their own wellness journey. It can go to ClassPass or a membership at a Pilates studio or massages or Weight Watchers or a life coach coach or running shoes. Again, we encourage a journey but don’t dictate the path.
  • A refreshed office that includes new, creative spaces so people can get away from their desks, whether to be alone or to be together in a cozier, more informal way. We turned an office into a cool den with a sofa, chairs, rug, lamps and we added a large, inviting table to the kitchen.
  • Commitment to Excellence awards. We regularly hand out cash bonuses to employees who demonstrate their commitment to excellence by working together, building relationships, generating results and/or thinking big. Again, this is a way to acknowledge when people do a good job.
  • A culture that encourages balance. There is no way to guarantee a PR professional won’t have to work long hours occasionally or manage a crisis on a weekend. Our jobs are inherently busy, stressful and unpredictable. But we strive for a culture that strives for balance. Take breaks. Leave on time when you can.

We don’t have all the answers but I certainly have learned from my mistakes. Our program is not a gimmick. Our beliefs about wellness provide a framework to make decisions, invest resources and manage employees. And I am committed to doing my best to create a program — and company— that truly helps people be successful at work in a sustainable way. I am grateful for the people who work here, profoundly grateful, and I want to keep them here as long as I can.

July Digital Updates

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We’re all about keeping up with the digital world at The Wilbert Group and leveraging the newest technologies to help our clients tell their stories. Here’s the latest:

#1 You can now add URLs to Snaps.

This morning, Snapchat debuted the new Paperclip function, which lets users link to off-app websites through their snaps in yet another move to compete with rapidly-growing Instagram Stories, which has had the feature for a few months. This is big news for brands who use Snapchat and have a web traffic driving component to their PR and social media strategy, allowing them to link to their product, a blog post, a news article or simply their home page.

It remains to be seen how strict Snapchat will be about policing links from companies looking to make money, and how users will respond to this feature. One thing is clear: it’s a great opportunity for content creators and news outlets with Snapchat followings to nurture that audience and bring them off the app.

#2 LinkedIn unveils host of new features.

If you’re active on LinkedIn, you’ve probably noticed a litany of changes recently, both to the user interface and behind the scenes. Forbes describes the new home page as Facebook-like, and it’s easy to tell that LinkedIn is trying to be more social and less formal to compete with other platforms. Most interesting, though, are LinkedIn’s struggles with video. LinkedIn currently only allows video uploading through third-party providers like YouTube (except when adding video to your profile). Forbes is hopeful that live-streaming video and easier video sharing are coming soon — and so are we!

Other major changes to keep an eye out for are calendar integration and premium upgrades like access to Lynda, LinkedIn’s education platform.

#3 Grab your #squad for Facebook group video chats.

 Today, it seems like Facebook is all about video, video and more video. As anyone scrolling through the social network knows, it seems like the majority of your newsfeed is video clips thanks to Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm. The next step? Group video chat à la Houseparty, the highly-rated, steadily-growing video chat app popular with the coveted teen/early adopter demographic. Under the working name Bonfire, Facebook’s new app will allow large groups of friends to video chat together. It’s still in early development stages, but if Bonfire launches, it will be interesting to see if it catches on and overtakes Houseparty, or flounders like Facebook’s initial Snapchat competitors Slingshot and Bolt.

Using Facebook Live for Business

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As we all know, video has become increasingly popular across all social media platforms and is proven to be the most engaging form of media to share online. At The Wilbert Group, we take advantage of these trends and have learned the ins and outs for sharing video content on behalf of our clients. Facebook Live is one of the best ways to connect with your audience online, allowing followers to engage with a brand in the moment. Check out our dos and don’ts for success:

Do:

  • Have a goal in mind for the video. You need to have a reason for sharing a Live moment with your audience, so make a plan beforehand.
  • Choose a main subject or host who is comfortable speaking on-camera and handling the unexpected.
  • Get close to your subject for the best visuals and audio. No one wants to watch a video from across a room or one with audio that cannot be understood.
  • Use a tripod to ensure a steady shot, allowing you to get the best angles.
  • Allow questions from your Live audience and answer them on-camera to create a conversation.
  • Keep it short and sweet. The maximum length of a Live video should be 15 minutes to ensure your audience understands what is happening, no matter when they join the Live viewing.
  • Share when you’ll go Live with your audience beforehand, allowing them to plan to tune in when the time comes. This does mean you must follow through with going Live, so ensure everything is prepared with no need to cancel.
  • Prepare to use data in the event wifi is weak or drops unexpectedly.

Don’t:

  • Go live for the sake of going live. A live video with no plan and no purpose will not be of interest to viewers.
  • Stand at a bad angle for your subject. Move around if needed to keep your subject in-frame and in focus.
  • Record audio near any background noise or far from the audio source.
  • Use wifi if the signal is weak or could be dropped. Your Live video will stream in jumpy, low quality which will make viewers exit from viewing.

Check out an example from Wilbert client Atlantic Midtown, who recently hosted a grand opening event where we broadcasted Live from the celebrations:

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines 6/28/27

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Screen Shot 2017-06-27 at 2.13.42 PM1. Amazon’s $13.7 billion deal to buy high-end grocer Whole Foods Market sent shockwaves through the retail universe. Given Amazon’s history of disruption, experts say, the blockbuster transaction over time could influence the way consumers in Atlanta and elsewhere buy meats, veggies and dry goods, whether they shop at a Whole Foods or not. A recent Atlanta Journal Constitution article features insight on what this deal means for local grocery stores from The Wilbert Group clients Revenue Analytics’ Jared Wiesel, North American Properties’ Mark Toro and Cooper Carry’s David Kitchens.

2. The penthouse of Wilbert client Emerson Buckhead tower is under contract for more than $6 million, making it one of the most expensive sales of an unfinished high-rise condo in the city’s history. This Atlanta Business Chronicle article details the 6,200-square-foot space, which will feature two stories, 24-foot ceilings, and a rooftop terrace with views of the Midtown and downtown skyline to the south, Buckhead’s and Cumberland’s office towers to the north, and the tree-canopied Atlanta neighborhoods of Peachtree Hills and Peachtree Battle.

594949327eb36_7000_Central_Park_Full_Building_Photo3. More than a year after purchasing Wilbert client 7000 Central Park, CBRE Global Investors is endeavoring to transform the 18-story tower into a talent magnet. According to a Bisnow article, the firm is expected to add amenities, to the office building, a 424,000-square-foot tower in Central Perimeter. CBRE Global Investors is injecting $2.8M in a renovation campaign that will include a full-service fitness center, co-working and conference center space, an expanded café and an “outdoor living room” for tenants to gather.

4. The Coca-Cola Company recently sold an 88,000-square-foot data center in a joint venture with a client advised by Bailard, a California based investment advisory firm, who purchased the property. Wilbert client Lincoln Property Company Southeast, in conjunction with its data center division Lincoln Rackhouse, brokered the sale. You can read more about the deal in this Globe St article.

5. Business is booming at one of Atlanta’s tallest residential buildings. This Atlanta Business Chronicle article details recent success at Wilbert client The Atlantic, a 46-story tower overlooking Midtown from 17th Street and the Downtown Connector, which has recorded 20 closings this year, with another 18 units are under contract. Most Atlantic units are ranging from $300,000 to about $800,000 and the roughly 190 available units are on pace to sell out by the first quarter 2019, according to Christa Huffstickler, president and CEO of Engel & Volkers Atlanta.

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Media Moves

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We love getting – and sharing — the latest newsroom scoop. In Media Moves, we highlight changes in journalism and the media both locally and nationally.

Catie Dixon, national editor at Bisnow, spoke about editorial strategy on the “New Media Species” panel at the National Association of Real Estate Editors spring conference. Dixon began as a reporter at Bisnow in 2009, and says the publication is not as “inside baseball” as it used to be. Now, reporters and editors are looking increasingly for real estate stories that are interesting and relevant to a broader audience. Dixon said retail and sports stadiums are interesting to everyone and having a U.S. president who is a real estate developer translates to lots of real estate story angles with broad appeal.

Catie Dixon (middle) talked about Bisnow's editorial strategy at NAREE in Denver, Colorado last week.

Catie Dixon (middle) talked about Bisnow’s editorial strategy at NAREE in Denver, Colorado last week.

Dixon also shed some light on Bisnow’s revenue model. The site’s content is 100 percent free (no paywall) and while Bisnow generates some revenue from advertising and sponsored content, the majority of their revenue comes from events.


 

National television news shows appear to be holding on to their viewership numbers, while political talk shows are actually growing, according to a new Network News Fact Sheet from Pew Research Center. The data reveals the combined average viewership for the ABC, CBS and NBC networks remained stable, decreasing only one percent in 2016. On a more interesting note, the combined average audience for Sunday’s political talk shows on the three networks grew by 14 percent in 2016, following an eight percent increase from 2014-2015.

Read more here:

The patterns and data about network TV news.

McClatchy’s is trying to refresh its newsrooms with a “digitial reinvention” strategy. McClatchy’s team is advising journalists to spend more time gathering stories that digitial audiences are looking for in local journalism. Tim Grieve, vice president of news for McClatchy, said readers come to a local site for local content, so generic celebrity fluff or cute videos are not an asset. Digital audiences are looking for a deep story with a strong personality element; these are the biggest audience engagement winners.

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McClatchy’s big move to digital journalism has proven successful so far. The first two newsrooms to complete the digital reinvention program saw their page views rise 26 percent and 58 percent, respectively.

The McClatchy Company is an American publishing company based in Sacramento, California. It operates 31 daily newspapers including (Raleigh) The News & Observer, The Miami Herald and The Sacramento Bee.

Read more here:

McClatchey’s plan to reinvent its newsrooms.

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 11.08.13 AMIf you love the TV show or blog “The Pioneer Woman,” you’re in luck! Just a few weeks after reducing the frequency of Dr. Oz The Good Life, Hearst Magazines wants you to know it still believes in celebrity-driven publications. The Pioneer Woman Magazine debuted on June 6 and is being sold in 4,000 Walmart stores across the country. A spokesperson from Hearst tells min that distribution beyond Walmart will be determined after the two-issue pilot run.

Read more here:

The Pioneer Woman Magazine is Ree Drummond’s latest project.

 

Economics of News Make Sharing Achievements Tougher

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As I write, The Wilbert Group has four team members at the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) annual conference in Denver. It’s an opportunity for the journalists who cover real estate for a living to discuss their business, while also hearing from real estate industry experts talking about trends and outlooks.

NAREE journalists can add some expert sources to their contacts list and pick up some story ideas.

A journalism trend in progress for more than a decade is that the number of print journalists covering real estate and nearly every other topic is way down. The U.S. newspaper industry has shed about 60 percent of its newsroom jobs since 1990, a trend so unrelenting, the American Society of Newspaper Editors decided to stop tracking it last year.

Why is this important to the business community? News outlets supply information about trends in the marketplace, what competitors are up to, new government regulations, or the repeal of old ones. Fewer journalists reporting less news makes it more difficult for business people to stay as informed as they need to be.

The decline in the number of journalists covering business also makes it more challenging for companies to share information they want to get out to the public. Convincing busy reporters that your latest innovation, new deal or great hire is newsworthy wasn’t easy before. But, you can bet it’s about 60 percent tougher now.

A reporter at a metro newspaper earlier this year told me his publication stopped running items about promotions and new hires because of a lack of staff to compile that news. That’s why having skilled public relations advisers is more important than ever.

At The Wilbert Group, we spend a great deal of time reading about our clients’ industries. We routinely pass along items of interest we find. We pay attention to which journalists are writing about topics our clients are experts on and work to connect them. When our clients have news to share, we know which news outlets, and which journalists, will be interested, greatly increasing the chances of successfully getting that news out.

Sharing your company’s news in an environment when many fewer people are gathering and distributing that news is difficult, but PR pros have the expertise to help make sure it still gets done.

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines 6/15/17

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Unknown1. The Wilbert Group is proud to have helped shine a light on a compassionate and important organization, Destroy Pancreatic Cancer. Spokesperson Mark Gelinas and board member Mike Broxterman were recently featured on HLN’s MichaeLA to discuss the foundation’s mission and founder John Couvillon’s legacy. You can watch the full segment here.

2. Amazon has a plan for a new distribution hub in Atlanta that will ultimately employ about 1,000 full-time workers. The new “fulfillment center” in Jefferson will be Amazon’s second in Jackson County, and the announcement comes amid the Fortune 500 company’s push to provide rapid delivery — including same-day — to more customers. Jared Wiesel, partner at Revenue Analytics, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Scott Trubey that Amazon’s push to open more fulfillment centers is part of its goal to enable delivery within hours, saying “Two of Amazon’s greatest competitive strengths are around convenience and price.”

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 2.39.52 PM3. Preferred Apartment Communities Inc. (PAC) recently purchased Rockbridge Village, a roughly 102,432-square-foot retail center in Stone Mountain that is anchored by a 68,632-square-foot Kroger grocery store. Commercial Property Executive profiled PAC’s new asset, which it acquired through its wholly owned subsidiary New Market Properties LLC. The company financed the purchase through a non-recourse first mortgage loan originated by The Prudential Insurance Company of America.

4. General contracting firm New South Construction Company has completed construction of two Georgia senior living communities. The Glen at Lake Oconee in Greensboro and Thrive at Frederica in St. Simons are the latest to join New South Construction’s portfolio of senior living communities across the Southeast United States. New South president Huntly Gordon spoke with Multi Housing News about the projects, saying, “We’re proud to deliver modern luxury accommodations for future residents.”

5. In the past few years, there’s been a flood of intown Atlanta chefs and restaurateurs expanding OTP. While that hooped highway known as the perimeter can often feel like a solid wall when it comes to cultural differences, the fact is that literally millions of people live in the suburbs outside 285, all of whom eat and many of whom have the disposable income to eat quite well. A recent Creative Loafing article on the phenomenon profiled several OTP high-end food locations, including Avalon in Alpharetta, home to Ford Fry restaurant El Felix, a sister concept to intown Superica.

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storytelling – blogger style.

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We recently helped a client open The Summit at Fritz Farm, a mixed-use development in Lexington, Kentucky. This new property is significant to the local community as nearly 60 percent of the brands are either new to Kentucky or the exclusive location in Lexington. We designed and executed an integrated communications program that included media relations, social media, popup events and a blogger/influencer program.

Today we want to focus on the blogger program, which among the four partners generated a combined reach of nearly 400,000 and earned over 450,000 impressions on Instagram alone. Most importantly, it drove excitement with the right consumers for The Summit at Fritz Farm.

Here are five key tips for your own blogger program:

  1. Media kits are your starting point – Similar to print publications, bloggers also compile media kits that include information such as website descriptions, number of social followers, active social platforms, past partnerships and cost(s). We used these to help compare and contrast our options and ultimately pinpoint the representatives to best tell The Summit at Fritz Farm story.
  2. Evaluate past engagements – Once we had picked our top partnership choices, we began pairing retailers with bloggers. By scrolling through feeds and holding short telephone conversations, we were easily able to identify brands that aligned with the influencers’ personalities.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask – More than likely, your brands will be willing to provide items in exchange for promotion from the right influencers. One of our bloggers is based in Lexington yet has a social following of 57,000+ across the country. Think about it. That’s a significant amount of people seeing a brand through an influencer’s perspective on top of coverage in traditional media outlets.
  4. Blogs are more than just product descriptions – It’s about the experience. We worked with each blogger to tailor interactive experiences. The influencer behind blog Love, Lexington partnered with The FRYE Company to highlight the brand’s boots and accessories during a brunch at Keeneland Racecourse. And the Kentucky Gent partnered with Bonobos and Marine Layer for an in-store fitting and shopping spree. All of our partnerships included social media posts across several platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, that accompanied each full blog post.
  5. Extra, extra, extra – These partnerships are about creating lasting relationships. By taking our time in crafting these experiences, we added to our client’s list of influencer relationships. We formed a synergy between all parties that will continue to flourish as time passes. Not to mention, treating bloggers with respect will likely gain you a few added bonuses – like extra photos and promotions at no additional cost!

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Three of our blogger partners during the First Look influencer brunch at Honeywood.

 L to R: Love, Lexington; Glitter & Gingham; HerKentucky.

Media Moves: June 2017

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We love getting – and sharing the latest newsroom scoop. In Media Moves, we highlight changes in journalism and the media both locally and nationally.

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 11.13.26 AMCNN celebrated its 37th anniversary on June 1. Go back in time with Jennifer Wood, senior editor of MentalFloss.com, as she recaps CNN’s first day on the air.
Read more here:

CNN celebrates 37th anniversary

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Washington D.C. bureau chief, Michael Scherer, sat down with min to discuss the details behind his one-of-a-kind story about President Donald Trump. Time magazine recently spent nearly three hours with the president in his private quarters. Scherer shares what it’s now like covering the president and D.C politics.

Read more here:

Behind the Story: Tim’s Intimate Dinner with the President

As news junkies, we love behind-the-scenes looks into news organizations and how they make decisions. We’ve noticed a number of newspapers in recent years, including our local Atlanta Journal-Constitution, offering readers more of this information. The New York Times published an article recently explaining and illustrating the front page before and after F.B.I Director, James B. Comey’s firing. Who knew the front page of The Times starts each day as a hand-drawn sketch on green paper?

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Read more here:

An F.B.I. Director Is Terminated, and a Front Page Is Too

Laura Kern, former executive editor of New York Magazine, is taking on the role of editor-in-chief of Apple News. The popular Apple app does not currently have original content as it pulls top stories from participating media brands. Will Kern turn Apple News into that of a distributive content creator?Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 9.46.41 AM

Read more here:

Apple News Poaches New York Magazine Executive Editor