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TODD SMITH — IHOP cooks up ‘Bancake List’ campaign

IHOP – the brand that did the flapjack flip-flop last year – is at it again, and has cooked up another tongue in batter campaign. We all remember how the famous pancake house enraged the public with its temporary rebrand as IHOb in a move to promote its burgers last year. Now the restaurant chain is turning up the griddle ...

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TODD SMITH — Tech, telecom & wheels, oh, my, rule top 50 brands

What’s in a brand? The good ones smell sweeter than a rose, to borrow from the famous William Shakespeare line. Brands – and names – are big business, and getting bigger by the year. Companies spend copious amounts of time, positioning and money to build their brand identities and establish their brand voice – especially the big consumer companies. Recently, ...

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TODD SMITH _ Journalists have interviewed 20 percent of Americans

The media have long been a part of our everyday lives – from the morning newspaper to nightly TV news to today’s digital news that hits us with headlines 24/7. Many of you have had interaction with journalists in your lives. This is underscored in an interesting new survey from Pew Research Center that found about two-in-ten Americans (21 percent) ...

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TODD SMITH — Digital advertising smashes $100 billion level

Digital ad spending in the United States exceeded $100 billion for the first time last year, according to the latest Internet advertising report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Specifically, total domestic spending reached $107.5 billion, a 22 percent increase from 2017. Mobile advertising has become increasingly dominant, growing 40 percent year-over-year, to $69.9 billion. And video ad spending ...

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TODD SMITH — Earned media (PR pickup) is dominating branding campaigns

In our fast-paced, increasingly digital-driven world, one of the ageless measurement tools of PR success – earned media – continues to dominate campaigns. Earned media is publicity or PR gained through an unsolicited third party (mass media outlet such as newspaper, TV, radio and the Internet). Unearned media is paid media (marketing and advertising). Earned media is at the center ...

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TODD SMITH — Twitter voices are largely younger, more educated, Democrat

Social media has become our virtual backyard, a go-to place to catch up on news, stars, media personalities politicians, entertainers, sports and so much more. Varied audiences from around the world tune in. So, whose voices make up Twitter users? To examine this question, Pew Research Center recently conducted a national survey of nearly 3,000 U.S. adult Twitter users who ...

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TODD SMITH — Wegmans, Amazon have best corporate reputations

Brands must constantly polish their image and shine their reputations. And brands must be constantly vigilant to moves that can dent their identity. Just ask Facebook about what privacy concerns and unauthorized use of customer data can do, or Boeing about how a faulty computer system can wreck a reputation. One scandal, fraud or flaw can taint an image for ...

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TODD SMITH — Digital local news is increasingly desired by audiences

Folks prefer to catch the news via digital media, according to new research into audience habits in the digital age. Nearly as many Americans today prefer to get their local news online as they do so through TV, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of 34,897 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 15-Nov. 8, 2018, on the Center’s American Trends ...

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TODD SMITH — Writing mistakes, words & phrases to avoid for clearer communications

Bad writing can sink your brand and wreck your reputation! Professional writing coaches from across the country recently shared the biggest mistakes they encounter, and tips on how to avoid them with Fast Company. Writing inappropriately for the audience is a frequent pitfall, Wilma Davidson, author of the book “Business Writing: What Works, What Won’t,” said. Scolding readers or failing ...

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PETER FUNT — Brian Williams earns his way back

Television’s most elegant and articulate anchor, who shepherds what is arguably the nation’s most informative nightly news program, continues to toil in relative obscurity. It’s not that viewership for Brian Williams’s 11 p.m. ET program on MSNBC is tiny; it reaches nearly two million people on an average night. It’s that the broadcast from which Williams was exiled four years ...

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