ISFJ. ENFP. ISTP. ESTJ. These may sound like acronyms for a secret club but actually they are personality types for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test. You may have seen some buzz as of late regarding the Myers-Briggs personality types and how less than one percent of the population is identifying as an INFJ. As I got sucked into taking this test to find out what I am (an INFJ shockingly enough) it got me to thinking, what personality types are best suited for the world of communications and public relations?
What is the Myers-Briggs test?
First, there are sixteen different personality types on the Myers-Briggs test. You will either lean more in the direction of introversion (I) vs. extroversion (E), sensing (S) vs. intuition (N), thinking (T) vs. feeling (F) and judging (J) vs. perceiving (P). These different traits make up your overall combination of what your personality type is. I highly suggest diving into this test and seeing what you are; from personal experience it is freaky accurate! The Myers-Briggs test helped shed a lot of insight into myself and what I am best suited for.
What types of personality types work well in communications?
This prompted me to wonder, what personality types are best suited for the communications industry? Are you suited for communications, or maybe another field? After looking into this I have concluded the best Myers-Briggs personality types to work in public relations are:
– INFP (Mediator): This personality type is known for their kind and altruistic nature. They are natural communicators who thrive in positions where they can help people. All the great traits you want in a public relations professional!
– INFJ (Advocate): This personality is known for being an idealist who inspires those around them. They are empathic and creative, which makes them great for PR due to their natural ability to read clients and deliver high-quality work they are proud of.
– ESTP (Entrepreneur): These personality types are known for their intelligence and natural leadership skills. While they often find themselves in high level leadership roles they also make a great communicators because of their ability to lead as well as their natural inclination to not have a day-to-day routine.
– ENTP (Debater): Those who identify as an ENTP are great at problem solving. With a strong mindset to analytical understandings they are perfectly suited for the world of public relations and love a challenge they can solve.
– ESTJ (Executive): This personality is an excellent one to manage people and are driven by results. While they can fit in any field seamlessly they would make great PR practitioners due to their logical and critical-thinking thought process.
– ENFJ (Protagonist): These personality types are best known for their ability to captivate an audience when speaking. They are incredibly charismatic with strong values for bettering human-kind. ENFJ’s love working with people and enjoy making a positive difference in those lives, making them excellent in the field of communications.
– ENTJ (Commander): One way or another mentality is what the ENTJ is best known for. They are very goal-oriented and organized and are often very career-driven. With their “can do” attitude they are well suited for the world of communications.
Whatever your personality type is, even if it doesn’t fall into the category of what would be a good fit in the public relations field, doesn’t mean you wouldn’t make a great communicator! The Myers-Briggs test can highlight a lot of strengths you can take to any job you choose. The world is your oyster!
(headline image credit: Homeland “Sock Puppets”)
Mounting criticism for enabling the spread of fake news during the 2016 presidential campaign has pressured Google, Twitter and Facebook and others to get involved in dispelling and discrediting fake stories.
An April 6 Facebook blog outlined three approaches the platform would use to halt the spread of misinformation and false news:
- disrupting economic incentives because most false news is financially motivated;
- building new products to curb the spread of false news; and
- helping people make more informed decisions when they encounter false news.
Like the last bullet point, Google is also tapping into its user base to identify and flag fake news stories. Wired reports, “the company will roll out an expanded feedback form for reporting inappropriate snippets, search results, and autocomplete suggestions.” Additionally, the company has made tweaks to its algorithm to remove or hide blatantly fake stories from appearing at the top if its searches. On some of the more popular conspiracy theories, like 9/11 being an inside job, the platform includes snippets from credible sources debasing some of the wilder claims.
The Guardian reports that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales will create a new community combining journalists with volunteer contributors to combat the fake news problem. The crowdfunded platform, titled Wikitribune, was inspired by Kelly Anne Conway’s remarks about ‘alternative facts’ and will initially be UK-centric.
Twitter is well known for enabling legions of bots to increase the spread and reach of fake news stories, and is used by foreign actors including Russia and ISIS to do the same. Twitter is also used by the President of the United States to share misinformation and doublespeak in an effort to confuse people or shift media attention from the misdeeds of his administration. The platform has been known to ban extremists like Charles Johnson that spread hateful content.
The most intentional and effective disinformation threat comes from foreign governments like Russia, a country with a tight grip over its own broadcast media and a history of using propaganda for dubious means.
The New York Times reports that Russia hosts massive buildings full of government-funded internet trolls that exist solely to sow confusion in democratic societies. Articles from reputable media sources have demonstrated Russia’s strategy to use soft power to influence its political ambitions in regions including: the Baltic states, the Balkans, Britain, Ukraine, The United States, The Netherlands, Sweden, France, Germany and recently fears have grown of interference in Mexico.
Western democracies have been noticeably slow to identify the source of these problems, and most efforts have been anemic. Addressing fake news is challenging in that it comes from multiple sources and for different reasons. Organizations including EU Mythbusters, EU East Stratcom Task Force, NATO Stratcom, and stopfake.org exist to challenge politically-funded fake news organizations directly, but often tackle the exciting headlines and sophisticated efforts of their adversaries with a dull, academic approach. The existing network of fake news capabilities is defeating by comparison.
The Fake News Business
Hostile foreign governments are not the only curators of fake content. Enterprising capitalists from every region of the world and every segment of the political spectrum have learned they can drive users to their websites with salacious, hyperbolic and fanatical (mostly political) headlines and content. Reputable media organizations uncovered how fake news creators were able to use social platforms to spread fictional content to rile up a base of gullible web users, and social media accounts offered the perfect medium to spread these stories. These visits lead to clicks on advertisements leading to a monetary incentive to create more fake news.
Inside a Fake News Sausage Factory: ‘This Is All About Income’:
This is how Facebook’s fake-news writers make money:
How to Stop the Spread of Fake News
A more concerted effort between Western businesses, governments and academics will strengthen the defense and help nullify the negative effects of misinformation campaigns, but a more proactive effort is needed to keep bad actors from continuing to dilute faith in democracy through propaganda and disinformation.
Sadly, with its current administration lacking all credibility due to countless examples of Russian interference and blatant lies emanating from the executive office, the United States government is not in a position to take a leadership role in this effort. But that doesn’t mean its citizens cannot be informed, and I strongly encourage everyone to explore this topic (using credible sources, of course).
I’ll end this blog with 10 tips Facebook offered to help its users identify fake news in their feeds. This list can be applicable to most media sources.
- Be skeptical of headlines. False news stories often have catchy headlines in all caps with exclamation points. If shocking claims in the headline sound unbelievable, they probably are.
- Look closely at the URL. A phony or look-alike URL may be a warning sign of false news. Many false news sites mimic authentic news sources by making small changes to the URL. You can go to the site to compare the URL to established sources.
- Investigate the source. Ensure that the story is written by a source that you trust with a reputation for accuracy. If the story comes from an unfamiliar organization, check their “About” section to learn more.
- Watch for unusual formatting. Many false news sites have misspellings or awkward layouts. Read carefully if you see these signs.
- Consider the photos. False news stories often contain manipulated images or videos. Sometimes the photo may be authentic, but taken out of context. You can search for the photo or image to verify where it came from.
- Inspect the dates. False news stories may contain timelines that make no sense, or event dates that have been altered.
- Check the evidence. Check the author’s sources to confirm that they are accurate. Lack of evidence or reliance on unnamed experts may indicate a false news story.
- Look at other reports. If no other news source is reporting the same story, it may indicate that the story is false. If the story is reported by multiple sources you trust, it’s more likely to be true.
- Is the story a joke? Sometimes false news stories can be hard to distinguish from humor or satire. Check whether the source is known for parody, and whether the story’s details and tone suggest it may be just for fun.
- Some stories are intentionally false. Think critically about the stories you read, and only share news that you know to be credible.
For more in-depth guidelines visit this piece from Elia Powers, PHD.
Earlier this week AM:PM PR cut a check to support a small newspaper in Eastern Oregon unfairly threatened with an expensive lawsuit from a governmental agency seeking to block its reporting.
While the lawsuit was dropped on Tuesday (after Gov. Kate Brown interceded) the story reminds us that good journalism is under constant pressure from many different threats. In addition to lawsuits, journalists and related media professionals face crises spurred by intended slurs like “fake news” from our commander-in-chief, reduced subscribers, low industry wages and questionable business practices leading to reduced newsrooms (among others).
It’s clear our friends working in the media could use some vocal allies, so the following is a list of suggestions to kickstart the creative process for other communication professionals looking to support journalism and the terrific professionals working in the field:
- If your client wants to promote a news story that isn’t news, push back. As trained professionals and consummate media consumers, communication professionals know what information is required to create a story. Media relations professionals and publicists should feel emboldened to educate clients when they try to push an idea that will only clutter inboxes or annoy our reporter friends.
- Don’t blast out a press release to 100 irrelevant reporters. When pitching a story idea, always make an effort to research and identify reporters that are directly applicable to the story, and reach out to them individually with short, easy-to-read emails. Buckshot press release blasts are annoying to those that receive them erroneously and will damage your credibility if you take a willy nilly approach. (And please, if you send information to more than one reporter at a time, please use the BCC feature in your email platform.)
- Don’t harass reporters. If you wrote a compelling pitch and press release and reached out to the right reporter you should hear back from them if they are interested. If you don’t hear back, maybe they aren’t interested? Exercise emotional intelligence when following up.
- Spend money to subscribe to multiple media outlets. Between AM:PM PR and my home media interests I currently subscribe to: Oregon Public Broadcasting, The Eugene Register-Guard, The Portland Business Journal, Salem Statesman Journal, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Funemployment Radio and RollingStone. If we want free, independent journalism we need to get back into the habit of paying for it.
- Disseminate real news. Follow your favorite journalists on social media platforms. Share their work, comment on their stories, make your proverbial Uncle Bob read those stories, too. In some newsrooms reporter’s performance reviews are tied to story impressions and other social media related-metrics, so put your thumb on the scale for journalism.
- Challenge Uncle Bob. One of the best things going for the anti-media crowd (sharing actual fake news from Brietbart, Infowars, NaturalNews, etc.) is that people who actively identify the fakery are so burnt out on the b.s. that they either ignore these connections or unfollow them altogether. Perhaps instead, demonstrate what real journalism looks like or occasionally and subtly offer tools for spotting fake news (like this guide for 5th graders from Vox).
These are just a few simple ideas – we’d love to hear your thoughts via Facebook or Twitter. #supportjournalism
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2nd Installment By Jay Carter, Beyond Measure Media
This post is borrowed from BeyondMeasureMedia.com
Last time, we explored why the story your video tells is so important, and how a great video will always pass the “I Should Certainly Hope So” test.
Today, we reveal the Secret #2: Sound quality. While video quality can go a long way toward telling a clear and compelling video story, I think sound quality is even more important.
Bad Video Happens
Most (honest) professional videographers have a war story or two. Memories of a time they really blew it behind the camera, especially at the beginning of their career.
Hey, stuff happens – out-of-focus interviews, a bright-blue shot of what is supposed to be a white wall, an accidental jerk of the camera away from the action.
But even in the face of those kinds of video mistakes, there are usually ways of correcting or covering those flaws and recovering what could still turn out to be a decent video.
But sound? You really can’t screw that up.
Mess up on the sound, and your video is most likely dead in the water.
Here’s a good example:
Watch (and listen) to the two short interview clips below.
Clip #1: Bad Sound Quality
The sound you’re hearing in this first clip above came from the onboard mic that was attached to the camera.
It sounds like the subject is talking into a microphone that was located across the room, because that’s exactly what was happening.
The too-lengthy distance between the person on camera and the microphone is the biggest reason why many videos recorded on smart phones often appear less than professional.
Listening to a person who sounds far away makes the viewer feel far away. It causes their attention to wane. Rather than taking the viewer on a journey, bad sound reinforces that they’re just watching a video – a video that is annoyingly hard to hear and understand.
Now compare that to clip number two below.
Clip #2: Good Sound Quality
In this second clip the audio is recorded from a lavaliere microphone clipped to the subject’s collar.
This simple improvement in sound quality changes everything.
Despite the fact that this is a poorly-lit shot, despite the fact that there is no depth to the shot, it’s still (mostly) usable in a video, particularly if we’re only using a quick clip of the interview.
For the interviews we shoot – and even for b-roll footage of people doing things – we use a wireless Sennheiser lavaliere microphone to pick up deep, rich audio.
There are even lav mics available these days that can attach to your smart phone, delivering a richer and more professional sound quality than what most smart phone video cameras can deliver by themselves.
But isn’t just about making your video “sound professional.” It’s deeper than that.
Sound quality can make a viewer pay closer attention to the on-camera speaker. It can make the entire experience sound (and thus, feel) more intimate.
More than fancy lighting, more than stunning panoramic images, more than pretty much anything else, a rich quality sound can pull a viewer into the story being told on a screen.
In the next post, we’ll uncover our third secret for creating powerful videos – a secret tool I personally use on nearly every project I produce to “dial up” the emotional impact of an interview.
Also, if you’re in the Portland, Oregon area, stay tuned for Part 2 of “Pro Secrets for Making Great Videos” in November.
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 works with his wife and business partner, Michele Kim Carter, at Beyond Measure Media creating video stories and testimonials for businesses and nonprofits.
A note from AM:PM PR
According to Google, in 2016, more video content will be uploaded in 30 days than all three major U.S. T.V. networks combined have created in 30 years and a Cisco forecast report predicts online video will be responsible for 80% of internet traffic by 2019.
Video is the quickest way to influence an audience and the most effective tool for telling complicated stories. In an age with so much content coming coming at us, video can also be the easiest tool for learning new things.
We see video as a powerful communications tool and regularly recommend it to clients.
A decade ago, businesses struggled to understand social networking and some doubted its value or predicted it a fad and fell behind their competition. Today, video is the tool every organization should include in their marketing plans.
Here’s a great source for on using video for business: By 2019, Video Marketing Will Be Everything. You’ve Got to Get in on the Trend — Now.