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2017: Best, Worst & Favorites from AM:PM PR’s Staff

What was the best campaign you saw in 2017?

Pat McCormick (PM) Big brands and companies can afford amazing, creative campaigns. I’m always impressed by the small brands that remain true to themselves and prevail against the big guys. My favorite local example from 2017 was Old Town Brewing’s defense of its trademarked logo – featuring the iconic leaping White Stag that people associate with Portland, against the onslaught of mega-brewing giant AB InBev trying to get rights to use that image through the City of Portland. The best gesture in the battle came from Rogue Ales – a much bigger Oregon craft brewing company. Rogue banned the Portland mayor, city lawyers and other “bureaucrats” from its pubs until the city abandoned its effort to license the image beer and alcohol giants. (P.S. Dan Keeney, a former colleague, is Old Town Brewing’s spokesman. He’s an exceptional PR strategist and a great friend of craft brewing.)

Allison McCormick (AM) – It’s a tie for me…

The Indivisible campaign has been awe inspiring to follow. The grassroots movement was started when former congressional staffers commiserated after the election of Donald Trump and decided to draft a guide they could share with all the progressives across the country that wanted to do something. Borrowing from the pages of the Tea Party playbook, The Google Doc guide laid out a roadmap for taking on Trump and the members of congress doing his bidding. It emphasizes starting locally and using focused advocacy tactics. Since the guide was first shared it has been downloaded more than two million times, at least 5,800 local groups have formed across the country and the energy sparked by the campaign is changing elections. Congrats, Doug Jones!

The #MeToo movement has been equally powerful in its swiftness and impact. Effecting every level of Hollywood and government, every industry, and interactions in every day life – young and old women alike are finding the courage through each other to stand up and stand together against harassment and misogyny. It makes me feel like I did when I first heard this song and saw this clip from Full Frontal with Samantha Bee:

Karly Tarsia (KT) – I’m not sure if this classifies as a campaign but the #MeToo movement along with Time’s Silence Breakers. Watching that spark on social media was both incredibly heart wrenching but also incredibly powerful. This year there has been so much noise on social media and in general it’s hard to say if any campaign has stood out but if #MeToo qualifies as that I think it’s the one that was the loudest and had one of the biggest impacts in society.

What was your favorite accomplishment (personal or professional) from this year?

PM – Marking 51 years of marriage. The accomplishment is really Donna’s. She’s delivered our seven children, endured all these years with me and still laughs at my jokes, even ones she’s tired of hearing.

AM – Hiring Karly Tarsia.

KT – Personally, getting my own place postgrad and moving in with one of my best friends. Professionally, getting hired as an Account Coordinator at AM:PM PR last spring.

What trend do you think was overhyped in 2017? 

PM – The most overused term in 2017 PR plans is “influencer” marketing. It’s a trending term, but the concept behind it isn’t really new. In marketing as well as in public policy advocacy, the importance of individuals and authorities who help shape people’s view on a product or an issue has been well understood. Digital tools have improved our ability to understand and reach those whose views influence others. At our old firm, we were charter members of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. For those interested in learning more about influencer marketing, here’s a link to the WOMMA guide – http://womma.org/free-womm-resources/

AM – Mom jeans.

Just. Stop.

KT – I feel like everything is beyond hyped now and is so in your face that it becomes overhyped very quickly. Doing makeup tutorials with unconventional products, foods that you can tell are just solely so you can post it on Instagram, unicorn-related everything. Everything feels so over the top you kind of wonder how it can catch on and then it spreads like wildfire and is everywhere.

http://metro.co.uk/2017/04/26/the-unicorn-trend-is-infantalising-us-all-and-it-needs-to-die-6597978/

What is your favorite memory from 2017?

PM – I have lots of great memories, but my trip to Orlando in October is likely most memorable. I got to spend five days at Disney World with Luca, my eighth grandchild to share a Disney adventure with me. Our trip coincided with the NWSL championship game and we got to watch the Portland Thorns, our amazing women’s professional soccer team, win the title in a tough-fought game. My next grandchild Disney adventure will be in May, going with Keeton to Disneyland. Another great memory coming soon.

AM – It’s a tough call between Michael Flynn’s guilty plea and the defeat of Roy Moore in Alabama.

KT – It’s hard to remember a specific moment that stood out for me in a year, but its all the small moments you don’t realize you loved until later. Being with my friends and laughing until we cry. Being with my family and watching my relationships evolve with them now that I’m an adult. Watching some of my best friends get married. Really realizing how lucky I am to live the life I do. I’m really trying to focus on that and be more grateful going into 2018.

Favorite 2017 guilty pleasure?

PM – Binge-watching The Crown.

AM – Flaunting my new lipstick and sharing more of them as gifts.

KT – Hands down memes. I know I should stop tagging my friends in them but I really can’t (sorry Lauren and Megan). Also podcasts, I can never get enough.

What was your favorite app you used in 2017?

PM – For the last couple of years, Sleep Cycle has been a favorite app. It tracks my sleep and offers a gentle wake-up when I’m easiest to wake in my sleep cycle. This year I added a companion app called Life Cycle. It tracks all my activities throughout the day. I’ve come to appreciate Apple’s efforts to track fitness and health using my watch and phone. It’s made me much more conscious of my good habits, and more sensitive about the bad ones.

AM – The Apple Podcast app. Hands down.

KT – It’s a toss up between Apple’s Podcast app and Snapchat. But if I have to choose I’ll say Apple Podcast.

We did a similar post last year for predictions in 2017, what was the most surprising thing you felt that happened this year?

PM – It’s tempting to talk about politics because I’ve never experienced such poisonous rhetoric and distortions of conventional mores in public life. For those troubled by the lack of civility in political discourse, I recommend reading my friend James Hoggan’s book, “I’m Right and You’re an Idiot,” published presciently at the beginning of the 2016 election year. In my real life, the most enjoyable surprise of 2017 was getting to watch our adventurous Grandson Haxton start walking, then running – and smiling a smile that melts your heart.

AM – It might be Roy Moore’s loss, but this year has made it hard to remember anything farther than a few days in the past.

KT – Allison and I have talked about this so much and really its everything. When we started answering these questions we both struggled because so much has happened in a year, it’s hard to digest what happened even a month ago. I had to go back and look through different huge events and be like, “Oh yeah that did happen”. Things that would historically define a year feel like they are happening weekly and it’s hard to keep up and remember everything, whether that be in pop culture or politics. Personally, and as a civilian, I feel that so much has happened I could have never predicted this is where we would be ending 2017. It is both hopeful and terifitiyng to see where we will be this time next year.

What are you looking forward to most in 2018?

PM – Besides my May trip to Disneyland with Keeton, I’m looking forward taking Donna back to Maui for some R&R. Allison and Juan gave her a gift certificate for a restaurant we like on Maui, so using it will require us to go there.

AM – Robert Muller’s investigation outcomes and a trip to Spain with my husband.

KT – Turning a quarter of a century old! Plus a few trips I’ve planned.

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.

For more:

Game Industry by State

Mike Rogoway Covers Oregon’s Growing Game Industry [Next Speakeasy]

 

Next Speakeasy – February 3, 2016 – 4pm

A February 2015 Fortune article listed Oregon as the 8th most successful state for video game development, based upon jobs and revenues. A November 2014 report released by the Entertainment Software Association showed Oregon’s game industry added $111 million dollars to the state economy and ranks 9th in the nation for video game industry employment.

 

Oregonian Tech Reporter Mike Rogoway

Tech reporter, Mike Rogoway, discusses the Apple Watch launch with broadcast reporter, Jessica Greif, for the Oregonian.

What you’ll learn

The Oregonian’s Pulitzer-nominated reporter, Mike Rogoway, has been writing about the business of technology in the Portland area since 1998. He’ll offer his perspective on where Oregon’s video game industry is going and what role it plays in the Silicon Forest. He’ll also share what intrigues and what makes a compelling story as the Oregonian evolves into a more digital and interactive news source.

 

A quick primer before our eventESA essential facts about the video game industry

 

Gamescom.

Our collective interest in gaming was piqued when AM:PM PR’s Mike Phillips attended gamescom in August of 2015. gamescom is a video game industry convention in Cologne, Germany that had 345,000 attendees during a four-day stretch. Mike wrote about it here and has since created a Meetup group to explore unique marketing and communications opportunities and challenges in the industry.

Seeing Stars.

At gamescom, Mike learned startling facts about the size of the booming industry. Did you know it is bigger than Hollywood? Even more surprising, there are people with Cheetos-stained fingertips making hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, playing video games and narrating them on YouTube. In an earlier blog he noted YouTube’s prominent stature in the industry.

Gaming Celebrities.

Check out this interview with YouTube gaming star PewDiePie who recently appeared on Stephen Colbert. Or don’t. He’s obnoxious to most people over the age of 12, but intriguing because he has 42 million followers on the platform and his videos have had 11,035,674,427 views. That’s a lot of advertising revenue.

Considering a career shift?

Here’s a YouTube video featuring some of the richest video gamers.

Including Gamers in you Marketing Strategy.

New marketing research from Google demonstrates why gamers should be a part of your audience strategy.

Keeping It Local.

Local gaming industry groups exist to support developers, artists, small businesses and discuss marketing strategy. One of the more active groups is the Portland Indie Gaming Squad (or PIGsquad). This weekend Portland hosts the Cartoon Network Indie Game Jam.

Game On.

Game On is the Oregon Game Organization’s annual celebration of games and new technology. This year, OGO and TAO have teamed up to offer an exclusive, curated discussion of gamification, virtual, and mixed reality. Their next event is Thursday, February 11th.

 

 

James Swan books

Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day!

Today is the first day that the City of Portland is commemorating Indigenous Peoples’ Day as opposed to Columbus Day.

Last week the city council voted to make the change. A release from the city notes that Portland is home to the ninth largest Native American population in the United States, and its urban Native community is descended from over 200 tribes. The Oregonian quoted Portland Mayor Charlie Hales who said Portlanders have a responsibility to “remember and to learn” about the region’s history. “We can remember, we can repair, and we can respect,” he said.

 

From the City of Portland’s press release:

Indigenous Peoples’ Day was first proposed in 1977 by the delegation of Native Nations to the United Nations. It wasn’t until 2010 that the United States endorsed a United Nations declaration that recognized “indigenous peoples have suffered from historic injustices as a result of … their colonization and dispossession of their lands, territories and resources.”

 

Therefore, in the spirit of the new designation, I thought Indigenous Peoples’ Day might be a fun opportunity to share a bit about a body of work from the late 1800’s that I’m interested in, and that provides a unique insight on native tribes of the Washington Coast during that era.

When I was a kid, my step-dad worked for a time as a consultant for the Makah Tribe on Washington’s Pacific Coast. I grew up with their artwork adorning our home, and many weekends were spent exploring the Hoh Rainforest and surrounding areas. During family gatherings we’d bake salmon in the backyard over an open fire, an homage of sorts to a technique my step-dad learned from the tribe.

A couple years ago I happened upon the tale of a former Port Townsend resident named James Gilcrest Swan who lived in Oregon Territory/Washington State from the early 1850’s until his death in 1900. He was the subject of Ivan Doig’s critically acclaimed book “Winter Brothers” and several of Swan’s writings and illustrations were published posthumously, beginning in the 1970’s. There’s an excellent book of his illustrations and watercolors titled “James Swan, Chā-tic” that demonstrates Haida artwork, Quinault Villages and assorted native ceremonies. There’s also a collection of his journals titled, “The Northwest Coast.”

James Swan NW Coast selection

Selection from “The Northwest Coast,” published by University of Washington Press

During his lifetime, Swan was hired by the American government to teach English to members of the Makah tribe. He kept a detailed journal of his experience and during his time on the Washington Coast he collected artifacts from the region and sent them to museums on the East Coast. It is because of Swan’s efforts that insights and clues to the lives of the tribes during the 1800’s exist today.

It’s true that Swan writes about Native tribes through the vantage of a biased Anglo-American. Swan was a man of many faults. He completely abandoned his wife and kids in Boston to venture to the West Coast, and died a notorious alcoholic. He’s judgmental on tribal customs and tramples on their culture in his role as English teacher in an effort to prepare them for the impending influx of white Europeans. A cynic might argue that he documented the fall of their communities and was an active participant in doing so. Conversely, it’s apparent in his writing that he has a compassion and respect for the native people of the region and is often disgusted by the cultural insensitivity demonstrated by other Euro-Americans. It’s apparent that he made many friends among the local Native populations and appears to be an anomaly for his era. For those reasons, I recommend checking out his journals and illustrations.

whale blubber preparation, from "James Swan, Chā-Tic"

whale blubber preparation, from “James Swan, Chā-Tic”

This blog is intended to acknowledge the indigenous peoples of our region on a day our city has commemorated to do so. While these books are written by an European-American, they do provide an interesting insight into Native tribes during an interesting period of history. That said, the books are no match for the beauty and wonder of the Northwest Coast.

I’d encourage anyone intrigued by this post to visit the Quinault, Hoh, Queets and Makah forests, rivers, museums and communities in the near future.

Is your news newsworthy?

How to Successfully Pitch Media

 

Media pitch tips from a veteran-TV reporter

 

KGW's Pat Dooris spoke to am:pm PR's Speakeasy

KGW’s Pat Dooris spoke at AM:PM PR’s Speakeasy about what to expect if you have a story to pitch. These were his tips.

 

Only Pitch What’s Current.

“I don’t care about something happening in August when it’s February,” Pat says. “I need to fill a news hole today and tomorrow. Much farther out and it better be really good.”

Be Available Now.

“If you pitch me and I bite, you’d better be ready to go in 30 minutes,” Pat warns.  “I’m not kidding. You have a short shelf life. If I can’t lock you in with that time amount I’m moving on to the next potential source or story. I have no time to waste and no option for no story tonight.”

Offer Compelling Humans.

“Every story needs real people that are affected by the issue we’re talking about. Whether it’s sewers or acupuncture or taxes or a mission to Mars, we need real people that will talk with us for our story – and yes, that means on camera!”

Make the Humans Available!

“I once had someone pitch me a ‘C’ level story. But on this particular day we were short of story ideas so a ‘C’ looked like an ‘A.’ I called back quickly, but they didn’t have anyone…not ANYONE who would go on camera,” Pat shared. “Not only did we dump that story and move to the next – I was pissed and never took another pitch from that person.”

 

 

Be available for interviews when you are pitching a story.

 

What Gets Through

  • The number of people affected – Is it significant?
  • New news – Is this the first we’ve heard about it?
  • Stories with people willing to talk openly.
  • Good visuals i.e. video, compelling photos, infographics.
  • Compelling sounds.
  • Media trained experts.
  • The “What’s In It For Me?” (WIIFM) translation.
  • Something that runs counter to prevailing conceptions.
  • Something that reveals truth about ourselves.
  • Stories that involve emotion.
  • Stories that involve animals.

 

The 5 Biggest Influences.

    1. Emotion
    2. Number of people affected
    3. Visuals
    4. Sources available to go on camera
    5. Good talkers

 

About Pat Dooris

Pat Dooris has worked in TV News for 29 years. He’s interviewed more than 29,000 people and done at least 17,000 live shots. He’s won awards including two Northwest Emmys along with awards from the Oregon Association of Broadcasters and even a National UPI award. Yep, United Press International. He’s been reporting that long. Pat is a reporter at KGW TV and a media coach who trains people and companies on how to respond to the press. Rather than ducking the media, he believes people and companies should embrace the chance to tell their story in powerful ways. Find out more about his services at PatDoorisMedia.com

 

am:pm pr tips

Editor’s Note: While Pat’s tips are focused on pitching TV media, much of his advice works well for pitching any kind of media. So be wise, think ahead, and put yourself in the reporter’s shoes.

The first ever International Cannabis Business Conference was held in Portland in 2014

First Ever International Cannabis Business Conference in Portland

 

Networking and education event helps budding entrepreneurs prepare to sustain successful businesses

The first-ever International Cannabis Business Conference rolled into the Oregon Convention Center for a networking and business event featuring leaders in the industry, including acclaimed blogger Andrew Sullivan and Congressman Earl Blumenauer, among many others. Review the full list here.

ICBC offers panels of lawyers, investors, activists, politicians and successful business people offering expert advice for those looking to enter this blossoming industry.

The educational conference offers a series of panels featuring lawyers, investors, activists, politicians and successful business people offering expert advice for those looking to enter this blossoming industry. With Oregon legalizing marijuana this fall, the Pacific Northwest will become by default the center of a new industry that has the potential to make many budding entrepreneurs into glorified business folk. In the first two months of legal sales, Washington has reported sales exceeding $12 million (Colorado by comparison had $10 million in its first 4 months).

Whether you’re for legalization or against, it’s hard to dispute that the new industry would create more economic opportunity for those working up and down the supply chain – from hardware stores, to bakers, to artisans to urban farmers – to marketing and public relations firms too.

For information on the next conference check out: International Cannabis Conference.

Professional With An Edge: A Lunch Break Haircut at Rudy’s Barbershop

– by Dustin Nelson

The world of PR can be pretty busy, and so can a social life in Portland.

The combination of these two things made it difficult for me to find time for a haircut. This left me with the option of racing against the clock during my lunch break. Per the recommendation of our co-ringleader Allison McCormick, I ran up Division St. to Rudy’s Barbershop.

RudyPic5-300x183The first thing to know about Rudy’s is that it’s cool.

If you’re looking for a serene, spa-like, salon where they serve bottles of Evian and play music by Kelly Clarkson or Taylor Swift, this is the wrong place for you.

However, if you’re looking to get your hair cut in a garage with mismatched, vintage barber chairs, and an ancient Pac Man arcade game, by a group of hip, rockabilly, tattooed Southeast Portlanders then run, don’t walk to Rudy’s Barbershop 3015 SE Division St.

RudyPic2-300x300Actually, you may not have to bother with running, because these barbers are FAST. As I mentioned, I was in a bit of a hurry, so when I sat down with Sam and she got right to work with precision and speed worthy of a superhero, I was impressed. What’s even better, we had a great chat. We talked about some of the different neighborhoods in Portland, the Pride events that we did or did not attend the previous weekend, and the fact that thanks to Nicole Richie, blue hair is going to be the new lavender this year (sorry Kelly Osbourne.) Pretty impressive for the twenty minutes I was in her chair.

On top of that, she gave me one of the best haircuts I’ve had in recent memory. I always want to look professional, but I’m young and I’d like to think hip (hold your comments on that please) so I need a hairstyle that’s professional with an edge. Sam achieved these results even after I stammered a string of adjectives to semi-describe what I wanted. I guess it’s possible that mind reading may also be in her arsenal of super powers.

RudyPic4-300x300If you need to change up your look and want an all Portland experience that results in a bouffant Elvis would be jealous of, I can highly recommend Rudy’s Barbershop.

RudyPic3-300x300

P.S. their Instagram is pretty rad http://instagram.com/rudysbarbershop

And if you haven’t followed our new Instagram account yet, make a life choice and check it out http://instagram.com/ampm_pr

The Beer Chaser: A Tour of Pubs in Portland – Bar None!

 

Portland is the city with the most breweries and beer choices in the world, so it’s no shock that someone took it upon themselves to try them all. Luckily for us, that someone is a friend of our owner Pat McCormick’s. Don “Dirt” Williams is the man using his retirement for the good of beer drinkers everywhere. We highly recommend reading Dirt’s entertaining stories of his commitment to leaving no keg untapped on http://thebeerchaser.com/

Here are some other interesting facts about the Oregon beer industry, and Portland’s more specifically:

  • Oregon’s brewing companies employ 6,400 full and part-time employees-up 900 jobs over 2011.
  • Total economic impact from the beer industry is $2.83 billion for Oregon’s economy.
  • It’s estimated that 47% Percent of all draft beer consumed in Oregon is brewed in Oregon.
  • There are currently 54 breweries in Portland, 74 in the Portland metro area, 21 in Bend and 30 in Central Oregon and 12 in Eugene.
  • Portland currently has the most breweries per capita of any city in the world.

Having A Hard Time Earning Media Coverage? Take a simple stress test!

young mike phillips

hasn’t written any letters

I recall, as a kid, watching expectantly as the postman marched down the hill to dump copious amounts of letters into our mailbox. After rifling through the stack I was consistently disappointed that none were addressed to me. Whenever I expressed my dismay, my Mom retorted this unwelcome refrain: “You have to write letters to receive letters.”

I think back to this every time I hear someone befuddled with unrealistic expectations for media coverage. After more than a decade in this business I’ve come up with my own smarmy refrain: “You have to create news to receive news coverage.”

To those with great hopes of earning media coverage, and to prevent earned-media hopefuls from having their dreams crushed like an 8-year-old without a pen pal, I offer a simple stress test for newsworthiness.

The three-step test:

1.  Scrutinize: What are you doing that is actually newsworthy? Be hard on yourself.

*  Is your story or product timely?
*  Is it related to a current hot topic or trend?
*  Is it NEW?
*  Will a significant number of readers/viewers be affected by or interested in this news story?

2.  Research: Who will be most interested in your story?

*  Who is your target audience?
*  What media does your target audience consume?
*  Who do you want to cover your story? Have they covered it before? Do you know what types of news they are most interested in covering?

3.  Reality Check: Are you putting a fresh coat of paint on an old idea in a desperate attempt to fabricate a new story angle?

If you’re perplexed by any of these questions, you have some work to do. Don’t despair. Just shift your efforts, do your homework, come up with a plan and make some news.

Easy, right?