karly tarsia account coordinator social strategist

Introducing Our New Account Coordinator and Social Strategist

Today we’d like to formally announce the addition of the newest member of the AM:PM PR team, Karly Tarsia, who is hereby officially christened as an account coordinator and social strategist.

Karly joined AM:PM PR as an intern to help with media monitoring during a fall political campaign. At the time, our office was a flurry of activity, and hundreds upon hundreds of news stories demanded her patient, meticulous attention and laborious entry into an excel document.

karly tarsia account coordinator social strategist In another early notable sacrifice, she spent election night in the basement of a Portland hotel to help prep for the release of a media statement, while the rest of the country gathered in celebration (or defeat) to learn who would become the next commander in chief. She also played a vital media relations support role during the Oregon Leadership Summit last fall, and later wrote a blog about the experience.

Karly brings a fresh millennial perspective to the team. I’ve been pleased to discover that whenever a pop culture phenomenon doesn’t make sense I can go to Karly to straighten me out (though I may never fully understand why ‘kids these days’ are paying for the Kardashian app).

Her natural instinct for strategy and her investigative approach when researching client opportunities continually demonstrates her value to us. We also noticed when she immediately set to work mentoring prospective job applicants to share job seeking advice and best practices for cover letters and resumes.

She’s adept with social media best practices and new technology. If you need to factor in a geofence with an advert for your latest Snapchat filter, we’ve got someone with a special insight. Throughout the past six-months Karly has offered a bright and refreshing intellect when discussing client projects and any manner of communication-related topics.

Welcome to the AM:PM cyrkus, Karly. We’re delighted to have you on our team.

 

 

Dissent is Patriotic

STORIES FROM THE FRONT LINES OF THE MOVEMENT – What ACLU-Oregon, IRCO & NWGSDPDX can tell us

Have you felt a chronic sense of anxiety over the last 100 days? Has the last 100 days felt like 300? Does a feeling of dread come over you every time you see another “Breaking News” alert? Well, we might have just the thing for you.

 

AM:PM PR Speakeasy Panel Discussion with ACLU and Nasty Women

 

Come join us at am:pm PR this Thursday, April 20th at 4:00 pm to hear from some of the heroes fighting for us on the front lines of the movement. Come to listen, come to learn, come to support, come to help, or come for the feeling of solidarity.

Our Inspiration

A recent New York Times (NYT) article referred to this as the “political age of anxiety” in response to a poll taken by the American Psychological Association where nearly 60 percent of Americans said the current political climate is a very or somewhat significant source of stress and the level of stress is rising.

Dr. Stephen C. Hayes, a psychology professor interviewed by the NYT, advised Americans, “Use your anxiety to motivate you. Think about what you value most and take action.”

Hayes goes on to say that taking action gives you a sense you have some control over your environment. That perceived self-efficacy can relieve stress and help you feel empowered. Whether signing a petition, participating in a march, making a donation, joining a group, hosting an event or just taking the time to be a better person – action at any level can provide a sense of purpose and hope.

So, you could say this is a selfish effort. I admit, I wanted to be in a room of like-minded and inspiring people. I also wanted to meet my new heroes – the Nasty Women who created the “In Our America” you see multiplying everywhere, members of the ACLU who are fighting harder than ever to preserve and protect our civil liberties and those at the Immigration and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) who are working with those that feel most threatened right now.

Thankfully, representatives from each of these organizations have agreed to join us a for a panel discussion on just what the hell is happening right now, what they are doing about it and what you can do to help, if so inclined.

I hope you can join us for this group therapy session, but whether you are able to or not, here’s a list of videos, articles and sites that might give you the same feeling of hope and inspiration they give me:

 

 

The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

 

Melissa McCarthy as Spicer

 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

 

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

 

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

 

 

Listen Learn Lead with Nasty Women Get Shit Done PDX

 

Anti-Trump Resistance School Starts at Harvard - CBS News

 

Recover Resist Reform - Anti-Trump - American Prospect

“I can’t overstate how unprecedented the grassroots energy of this resistance is,” said Anna Galland, MoveOn’s executive director.

 

American Prospect - No Factions in Foxholes in Anti-Trump Movement

 

Indivisible Group Guide

 

 

Portland Mercury Resistance & Solidarity Calendar

 

Resistance Calendar

 

 

 

Postcard from space

Crowdfunding Crises Offer Communication Case Studies

Earlier this fall I read a news story about a Scotsman who raised money on a crowdfunding platform for a project that would purportedly send the world’s first postcards from space.

The project was in the news, not because the venture promised to strap a couple cameras to a weather balloon and take photos from twenty miles into the earth’s atmosphere, but because it failed to deliver on its basic promise. Angry customers formed an online revolt that led a newspaper reporter to take notice.

I don’t know if this SpaceCard was simply part of a clever self-funded publicity ploy to get the postcard app ByPost into the news, but the online reaction does offer another intriguing case study for my grad school terminal project.

Anatomy of a Typical Crisis.
My terminal project will explore crisis communication responses to crowdfunding crises. My interest was initially piqued last year after a company contacted AM:PM PR for crisis communication messaging help. They had created a great product funded through Kickstarter but were over a year behind schedule delivering the product. Additionally, the company was struggling to communicate its challenges to its backers and needed to open new sales channels to fund operations while navigating manufacturing conundrums. The appearance of the product for sale online before most backers received theirs threatened to create a firestorm of angry comments on review sites, which could have ballooned into news stories and increased undesirable attention. The situation was blunted with our help, and by honest and clear communication. No media picked up the story, and as of last check, the company is still quietly working away to get its product to its initial backers while concurrently offering its product for sale through a variety of channels.

Apology Videos.
The following apology video is for a project from Canada called the “Peachy Printer.” It raised $50,000+ on IndieGogo and another $650,000 on Kickstarter. Backers were supposed to get their printers in 2014, this apology video is from Oct. 2, 2014.

On October 23, 2016 the project creator posted updates at IndieGogo and Kickstarter to share news of police investigations after an investor was accused of using funds to build a house.

Since we helped that unnamed organization stave off a consumer revolt last December, I have been collecting stories like the “Peachy Printer” – and about other companies facing similar challenges. There are tons – from Seattle to Portland to San Francisco to Scotland and beyond. The challenges faced by these crowdsourced campaigns are similar to those faced by many entrepreneurial endeavors, and I intend to contribute to a growing body of research with my project.

Scholarly Research.
I’ve already done a fair amount of due diligence exploring existing scholarly research that may apply and form a foundation for my efforts. There are entire fields of study that may be relevant including crisis communication, issues management and operations management-related studies. One researcher whose work I’ve enjoyed is Timothy Coombs. His research offers insights that may be applicable to crowdfunded campaigns, including the Situational Crisis Communication Theory. Part of the theory suggests that companies that are new or without a track record will receive more flexibility in the court of public opinion for their fledgling efforts to meet customer demand and expectations. The key component is clear communication, yet most crowdfunded campaigns (and startups) I’ve observed are run by passionate and proud individuals that aren’t quick to admit when they’ve made a mistake.

Case Studies.
The Coolest Cooler is another interesting case study. The company created a cooler that includes a blender, Bluetooth stereo, USB charger and corkscrew in addition to other amenities. The company ran into trouble when it experienced manufacturing delays and then had to start selling its product through online retailers before all backers received their cooler. This led to negative commentary on review sites that de-evolved further into a crisis of communication when media began running with the story. My research will help to come up with guidance other businesses may follow to avoid experiencing the same painful dilemma.

Other similar crowd-funded products facing similar crises include a talking robot called Jibo that’s two-years behind its delivery schedule. The Glowforge printer, which broke customer’s hearts again this past week when the company admitted it wouldn’t get product out for the holidays, is now on track to deliver two years behind schedule.

Opportunities.
These crowd-funded projects are fascinating to study because they provide an opportunity to observe consumer reaction to business decisions in real time. You can see what the company did (or didn’t do) to communicate clearly, and review and gauge consumer reaction. The information will help to inform future best practices for crowdfunded projects, entrepreneurs and traditional startups.

 

Michele Kim Carter and Jay Carter on Great Day Houston

August Speakeasy: Pro Secrets for Making Powerful Videos

Part 1 of our 2 part series of video secrets from the pros

Having just one video about your business or organization isn’t enough any more. Now you need a series.

At our next Speakeasy event, hear from the team at Beyond Measure Media.  Jay and Michele
Next Speakeasy - Pro Secrets for Great Videos Part 2
Carter are award-winning video producers that specialize in telling documentary-style “stories from the heart” for businesses and nonprofits.

Drawing from years of experience in front of and behind the camera, they share:  

  • The types of videos every organization needs right now, and why.
  • The most common mistakes businesses make when creating their first video(s), and how to avoid them.
  • How to turn a mundane video interview into a magic moment that viewers won’t forget.
  • The one production element that is even more important than video quality.
  • Creative ways to boost your organization’s video output, including how to turn your entire roster of employees into lean, mean, powerful video production and idea machines.

All across the web and social media, your future customers and raving fans are out there — waiting to see, hear and connect with your brand and your mission.  A series of clear, carefully crafted videos is the most powerful way to tell your story, build loyalty and grow your tribe.

Join us October 5th for Part 2 of Pro Secrets for Making Powerful Videos.


About Beyond Measure Media & Michele Kim Carter and Jay Carter

Michele Kim Carter has worked on documentary films, most recently co-directing Southern Fried Fencing, now available on Amazon.  She was local producer for Beer Is Cheaper Than Therapy, which was broadcast on TV networks around the world.  She produced TV newscasts in Texas, and won the Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in broadcast storytelling.

Jay Carter is a former Texas TV news anchor and reporter, with numerous awards from the Associated Press and the Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in broadcast storytelling. He has worked as a radio news anchor and voiceover talent. He also co-directed the feature-length documentary Southern Fried Fencing with Michele.

At Beyond Measure Media, Jay shoots and edits video, and helps craft the overall tone and narrative flow of video productions. Michele produces, handles logistics, conducts interviews and helps clients tell stories that resonate.

trump entrance

Is Trump’s communication team unethical, incompetent or clever?

(originally drafted 7/19/16)

As I watched the furor over Melania Trump’s plagiarized speech Tuesday, I found myself pondering how I’d respond as a communication professional, were I employed by the Trump campaign.

It’s a complicated scenario to imagine because there’s a thoughtful crisis communication-oriented response, and there’s an opportunistic publicity-oriented response. Both responses serve a valuable communication purpose pending context, but I feel they often offer diverging paths for a communication practitioner to follow, and I’ll argue below that one response may be considered less ethical in this situation.

Crisis Communication.
This path recognizes that allegations of plagiarism represent a serious threat to the integrity of the accused, and the ensuing strategy seeks to minimize reputational damage and restore trust. A proper response may be to issue a statement acknowledging the misstep and earnestly suggest that the internal communication team is examining the process that may have enabled such a gross error. It would acknowledge the wrongdoing and graciously applaud Michelle Obama’s thoughtful, shared vision of family and work ethic. The media attention may continue to be harsh for awhile, and additional steps may be required, but the act would also maintain the presumed credibility of the Trump campaign.

While this may be the tactic to restore trust with the media, and other intellectual stakeholders, it’s apparent that Trump’s most important stakeholders are the people that will vote for him. His communication team must also recognize that these stakeholders will perceive plagiarism as a lesser offense than capitulating to a mistake, and may punish any attempt to mention an Obama in a positive light.

Publicity.
It’s also possible that Trump’s communication team perceived this misstep as another opportunity to generate free publicity from the media. We know this is one of Trump’s go-to communication strategies because a story from The New York Times earlier this year highlighted how he was able to outpace his competitors by generating over $2 billion worth of free media coverage during his party’s presidential primary.

trump statementBolstering the supposition that their team prioritized the publicity path (versus acknowledging the plagiarism accusations), they issued the statement on the left when the controversy first started.

The statement contradicts an interview where Melania told Today host Matt Lauer that she wrote most of the speech herself. Does this indiscretion even register among Trump’s key supporters? Probably not. The statement also does nothing to address Melania’s serious ethical failing – so it doesn’t represent a crisis communication response. It does manifest many more questions, representing a publicity-oriented response – and the media was busy. In a bizarre Orwellian twist, the Trump campaign chairman stated that the calls of plagiarism are the fault of Hillary Clinton. Chris Christie chimed in to point out 93% of the speech WASN’T plagiarized. Most everyone in the country sighed with exasperation from the absurdity of it all.

Is the campaign’s communication strategy ethical?
After observing the Trump campaign for nearly a year, it’s become apparent that negative media coverage does nothing to damage the Trump brand among its ardent supporters, and if anything, serves a purpose – to keep the media regurgitating the Trump brand name and messaging.

The initial publicity-focused communication response from the Trump campaign team represents either an unethical or an irresponsible tactic from the perspective of this communication professional. In my view, their campaign actively prioritizes controversy to generate more news coverage, versus prioritizing the act of telling the truth or offering anything of substance. This strategy has clearly created a dangerous and hyperbolic precedent. History has demonstrated that using crazy language and manipulating the media in such a manner leads to extreme consequences as time wears on. Americans should make themselves familiar with the notion that these campaign communications are strategically manipulative, versus dismissing the outrageousness of it all at face value.

Conclusion.
My instinct is to consider the accusation of plagiarism as a crisis communication threat and to address it accordingly. However, Trump’s reinforced brand image is that of hyperbole, puffery and gross exaggeration. Therefore, this misstep doesn’t threaten his brand at all, and if anything, is a shot in the arm to his publicity efforts.

* * *

Earlier Wednesday Trump’s team released a statement throwing his official biographer under the bus, and to my surprise, praising Michelle Obama in the process. Rather than the initial publicity-generating statement from Tuesday, Wednesday’s communication represents a crisis-communication response. Essentially versus choosing one of two paths, as I suggest, team Trump chose both. This may be part of their strategy, or it may suggest that they don’t have an effective communication plan for their campaign and were trying to patch over earlier mistakes.

mark geary performing

Renowned Irish Songwriter Visits Portland

During the past several years we’ve hosted Speakeasy events featuring internationally acclaimed filmmakers, Oregon Book Award Winners, journalists and esteemed editors of Portland publications. Now we can add a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter to the list.

We’re delighted to host Mark Geary on May 18th for a “Living Room” concert in AM:PM PR’s living room, located at 2006 SE Clinton.

Mark Geary RSVPMark is one of Ireland’s premier singer-songwriters and throughout the past 20 years he has toured all over Europe, the US and Australia, and has shared the stage with performers including Josh Ritter, Bell X1, Coldplay, Elvis Costello, The Pretenders and Joe Strummer. His records evoke comparisons to artists including Van Morrison, John Lennon, Elliott Smith and Richard Thompson.

Fresh off an autumn tour supporting Glen Hansard (Once, The Swell Season, The Frames) Geary is on his first West Coast jaunt since he was here with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, and is performing a series of private house concerts in Washington and Oregon.

Geary’s AM:PM PR performance is Wednesday, May 18th with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. The event is free, but a $10 donation to the artist is recommended. RSVP required.

Again, you must RSVP with Mike Phillips if you’d like to join.

Click here to listen to Mark on Spotify.

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