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TODD SMITH — Top blogs for PR practitioners, communicators


When it comes to pithy PR, marketing and communicating, the digital domain is filled with social media, website and blog best practices,

So what’s the best to turn to get the scoop? With the industry undergoing seismic shifts, along with our media brothers and sisters, there’s a deep thought leadership well to dip your bucket in, and keep up with the evolving marketplace.

Here are eight great blogs for communicators from PR News:

Public Relations Society of America: PRSA is the bellwether organization for the industry and its great blog, PRSay, features posts covering a range of topics, including news, training, diversity, careers and more.

Spin Sucks: Spin Sucks bills itself as the blog of “professional development for PR and marketing pros,” and it includes tips on how PR folks can do their job better. But it isn’t afraid to challenge the industry, either, and much of that comes from blog founder Gina Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich, who writes many of the posts that appear on the site.

The Flack: The Flack does a terrific job of weaving the narrative of how public relations plays a role – however subtle – in almost everybody’s life. That includes politics, journalism, entertainment, marketing, sports and more. The blog is overseen and written by industry veteran Peter Himler, principal of Flatiron Communications.

Edelman Insights: One of the biggest names in the PR galaxy, Edelman does a great job with this blog by providing insights and thought leadership from its own examples. It’s also a cool look into how an international agency operates on a day-to-day basis.

PR Couture: Technically, this blog centers on the fashion and lifestyle worlds. It’s included for a couple of reasons. One, it also blogs about careers in PR as well as the all-important new trend of influencer marketing. Two, there are some great tips and best practices in the posts that can easily translate to industries and companies outside of fashion.

The Shift Blog: How do you stay top-of-mind after a product launch? That’s just one of several compelling topics you’ll find on this blog, written by account executives and staffers at Shift Communications.

Reddit’s r/PublicRelations: This is a different sort of blog, since Reddit is a user forum driven primarily by Q&As from contributors. But r/PublicRelations is valuable nonetheless as a resource that solicits and receives opinions about the industry, with recent topics ranging from giving exclusives to certain media outlets, to career advice, to how digital marketing and analytics can complement PR efforts.

PR News: offers excellent industry insight it its own blog, full of stories, trends and opinions from SVP and Group Publisher Diane Schwartz and Editor Seth Arenstein.

Digital ad spending set to surpass traditional this year

The advertising world will reach a major milestone in 2019.

For the first time, digital ad spending in the U.S. will exceed traditional ad spending, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast. By 2023, digital will surpass two-thirds of total media spending.

Total digital ad spending in America will grow 19 percent to $129.34 billion this year – 54 percent of estimated total ad spending. And mobile will continue its dominance, accounting for more than two-thirds of digital ad spending, at $87.06 billion this year.

Also for the first time, the combined share of the duopoly (Google and Facebook) will drop, even as their revenues grow, according to eMarketer.

The big winner this year will be No. 3 in the marketplace, Amazon, which continues to take share from all platforms. Its ad business will grow more than 50 percent this year and its share of the U.S. digital ad market will vault to 8.8 percent this year.

What’s fueling the digital dominance? Directories, such as the Yellow Pages, will take the biggest hit – down 19 percent this year. Traditional print (newspapers and magazines) spending is a close second, with a drop nearly 18 percent. Overall, traditional ad spending’s share in the U.S. will fall to 45.8 percent in 2019, from 51.4 percent last year, according to eMarketer.

TV ad spending will drop 2.2 percent to $70.83 billion this year, largely because there are no elections or big events, such as the Olympics or World Cup. The presidential election next year should propel TV ad spending back into positive growth, before falling again in the following years.

America approved of President Trump’s State of the Union address

Seventy-six percent of Americans who tuned in to President Trump’s State of the Union address approved of the speech he gave. Just 24 percent disapproved, according to a CBS News poll following the SOU.

As is often the case in State of the Union addresses, the people who watched the speech leaned more toward the president’s own party, at least compared to Americans overall. In the latest CBS national poll released last month, 25 percent of Americans identified themselves as Republicans. Among those who watched last Tuesday night’s address, that figure was 43 percent, and Republicans helped bolster the overall approval of the address.

And while 97 percent of Republicans approved of the speech, far fewer Democrats who tuned in did (30 percent). Most independents did approve, according to the CBS survey.

Fifty-six percent of Americans who watched felt the president’s speech will do more to unite the country, rather than divide it, although 36 percent don’t think it will change things much.

Democrats who watched saw things differently, however, according to CBS. Just 15 percent of Democrats think the president’s speech will unite the country.

On bipartisanship, just a third said what they heard in the speech made them think Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will work together more going forward. Sixty-three percent said there wouldn’t be much change.

On some of the specific issues the president touched upon, most viewers had a favorable opinion of what Trump said about immigration and what to do about U.S. troops in the Middle East.

From what they heard, 71 percent of speech-watchers thought there is a crisis at the southern border. Democrats who watched do not.

And, on North Korea, 78 percent of the audience think a second meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is a good idea. Republicans are particularly likely to think it’s a good idea. Most Democrats (57 percent) don’t think it is, but 43 percent do, according to the poll.

Golden Hour Mic | Kacey Musgraves was big winner at the Grammy’s

Kacey Musgraves – one of country music’s hottest artists – stole the show at the Grammy Awards.

Musgraves won album of the year, the music industry’s most prestigious prize, for her critically acclaimed “Golden Hour.”

“I would have nothing without songs,” Musgraves said during her acceptance speech. “To me it’s just all about songs.”

She was one of many women who took center stage throughout the show, as the music industry attempted to address the criticism it has faced over how few female artists it has honored.

Musgraves was Music City’s most celebrated artist during the show – and grabbed the spotlight as the night’s top winner, tying hip-hop artist Childish Gambino with four trophies each. That included a win for Album of the Year with “Golden Hour.” It was the first country album to win that award since Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” took home the Grammys’ top prize a decade earlier.

The Grammys also paid tribute to country pioneer Dolly Parton with a star-studded, stage-filling medley of songs featuring Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Little Big Town and Musgraves. Diana Ross, another recipient of a Grammy tribute, who turns 75 this year, was introduced by her 9-year-old grandson for a performance she starred in.

The Nashville sound was on full display throughout the evening. Brandi Carlile, who recorded her top-nominated “By the Way, I Forgive You” at Studio A, energized the audience with an audacious performance of “The Joke,” which offers encouragement to the marginalized in our society.

All in all, it was a sho nuff Nashville shindig, with top artist Musgraves leading the way!

Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.


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