Archive for September, 2011

Hold Page One…Are Newspapers Dead?

There are precious and enjoyable times in life when one’s work, interests and free time intersect in a pleasurable way, and for me that happened this week when I had the great delight to watch Page One, a documentary about iconic American masthead The New York Times.

Even if you are not inside the world of PR or even of the media more broadly, there is still much to fascinate and inspire about this film, which takes a look inside the impressive veneer of the Times and gives us a very clear-eyed glimpse into exactly what is happening to established and esteemed newspapers around the world, struggling to maintain their competitiveness and profitability in a world drunk on the quick fix of social media.

The film tracks a 14 month period in the life of The New York Times as seen through the eyes and experiences of some key and engaging players, both writers and newspaper executives, at a time when Wikileaks – by circumventing regular news dissemination channels – had prompted many to wonder what the future held for newspapers in general, even one as venerated as The Times, a paper which had broken such seminal stories as Watergate and the abuse that took place at Abu Ghraib prison.

Sadly, as I write, the very short screening season of this film has already ended, but I commend it to you nonetheless, as it is a fascinating, insightful and highly entertaining peek behind the curtain of mainstream print news, and poses many uneasy questions about the future of print in our digital age.

As one of the protagonists poignantly enquires: “The New York Times has dozens of bureaux around the world, we’re going to toss that out and just see what Facebook turns up?”  Hmmm.

There is no doubt that influential and prestigious newspapers like the Times still do set the agenda, and as we observed at Publicity Queen with our own experience in ‘going viral’ with the story about Sampson the fat Labrador that became a global sensation, the story began through a major broadsheet, in our case The Herald Sun.

Perhaps what is happening and needs to happen is that newspapers play to their strengths – investigative journalism, analysis, research; featuring well-regarded columnists and reporting with a sense of history and perspective, and use social media to source the news and to disseminate it after it has broken; and rather than competing with its immediacy, use these new digital forms to run with the agenda that the hard news creates in the first place.

Neale Whitaker, Editor in Chief of Belle Magazine, in our interview with him in September, spoke eloquently when we asked his thoughts about the reported impending death of print media, he wrote: “I certainly don’t believe that print is on its way out as a medium.  Print just has to learn how to adapt to the new mediums and work in conjunction with them. Nothing can ever replace the smell and feel of a new magazine. It’s one of life’s great luxuries.”  Quite.

And try as I might, touch-scrolling through news articles on my iPad with a coffee in the morning cannot replace the crinkly enjoyment of a morning paper.  Long may it be so.

Publicity QueenYours in PR,

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TEDX Comes to Brisbane!


TEDX is coming to Brisbane in October, and I am thrilled to advise that I have been invited to attend.

This forthcoming event, which will be held at the State Library of Queensland on Saturday 1 October 2011, and is a subsidary of event of the parent organisation, TED, which is a not-for-profit entity that exists in order to capture the very latest and most innovative and future-focussed ideas available today and disseminates them for free via their hosted events and their website: www.ted.com

What’s fascinating to me is the buzz surrounding TEDX Brisbane 2011, which is being organised by MAP Magazine’s Carl Lindgren, is such a sought-after event, with fierce competition for attendance, despite the fact that as yet the list of speakers for the event has not been publicised.

So, who would want a ticket for a day-long seminar at an event without advance notice of the speakers or of the topics? Me, I would, and so to will all the other folks in Brisbane who have also been lucky enough to receive our modern-day version of a Willy Wonka Golden Ticket to the greatest mind-fest to reach our fair city in some time.

How does TED do it? How does it generate this much interest for an event for which the details are still sketchy?  The answer to this lies in the extraordinary back-catalogue of content that has arisen from previous TED events, the most inspiring of which are freely available from the TED website.

Regular readers of Publicity Queen’s e-magazine, Queentessentials, will know that we regularly feature webcasts recorded by TED, as – is stated on TED’s own site – these are ideas WORTH SHARING.

For those of you also lucky enough to have received a golden ticket to TEDX Brisbane 2011, I hope to see you there on the day, and if not, keep watching this blog for my new epiphanies that I will share in October after the event has been and gone.

Publicity QueenYours in PR,

Sally Romano ‘Sells Dreams’ in Herald Sun


Earlier this week I wrote to you all about the power of third party endorsements in peer reviews and industry publications.

Well, what a difference a few days can make, and today I am very proud to report that I was featured in the highly-regarded Herald Sun in their business news section, in an article entitled Selling Dreams (pictured above).

In the article, Paula Beauchamp interviewed me about how Publicity Queen has grown exponentially since I first hung out the shingle, so as to speak, in 2002; to the point now where we are able to be highly selective about the clients we choose to represent.

In particular, I was delighted that Paula interviewed one of my newest clients, Michael Atwell of ForSaleForLease.com.au, for whom Publicity Queen has, after only a few weeks representing them, secured some impressive media coverage.

Michael was featured in the property section of the Sunday edition of the Herald Sun on 28 August and previously on 21 August in Perth’s Sunday Times.

Michael, in yesterday’s interview, said that his company had already profited from the exposure he had received so far for his business.  And, in the words of Aussie rock goddess Deb Conway: “It’s only the beginning!”

I look forward to continuing our collaboration with ForSaleForLease.com.au and all of our other treasured clients, and continuing to drive excellent media coverage for them, because – and this is important – their success, in turn, enables our success and is proof positive of the power of PR to drive growth for business.

Publicity QueenYours in PR,

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