The Wilbert Group Blog

Posts by Gary Tanner

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.

Go Tell It on the Mountain

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Photo Mar 15, 8 24 56 PM (1)

Wilbert clients have great stories to tell, and the reason is they are doing exciting things.

Bayer Properties is opening new food halls this year in Birmingham, Alabama and Lexington, Kentucky, bringing exciting new dining and retail experiences to those cities. The Atlanta Braves will open the 2017 season in a month at their new stadium, SunTrust Park, and New South Construction is part of the joint venture behind construction and Pollack Shores figures prominently in the development of The Battery, the mixed-use component of that project. And, there are dozens of impressive things our clients are up to that there’s not time or space to list here, because today we’re talking about telling stories.

Brand storytelling master Robert McKee says businesses are learning to raise their profiles, enhance their reputations and market themselves by increasingly shifting from traditional tactics to communicating with audiences with compelling stories.

“In other words, what marketers have discovered is that the mind is a story-making and taking-in machine. The natural way in which people think is to storify their experiences,” McKee said in an interview with Skyword.

McKee says traditional advertising – particularly broadcast commercials – interrupts what people are doing, so that a company can brag at them and make them promises they don’t believe. Compelling stories that show how businesses deliver on their mission are far more effective.

At The Wilbert Group, we love to help clients deliver their stories to the people they want and need to reach. We do this through media relations, working to get their projects, products, expertise and success stories out to the audiences they need to reach from the media outlets they trust.

We also help clients by working with them to develop and then place thought leadership articles. They are experts and their thoughts and experiences are helpful to others who are in the same business, or need the guidance or help of someone with their expertise.

While we’re helping clients share their stories and expertise in traditional, print, broadcast and digital channels, we’re also helping them build effective social media communications. We’re also helping them bring high-quality video into their communication toolboxes.

It’s an exciting time to be a communicator, and we have some of the best client stories to tell. That means we get to come to work and have fun every day, while making our clients’ lives a little easier.