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Gaining Guidance: Seven Important PR And Media Lessons Learned From Mentors – Forbes

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Nobody starts their career in any field knowing everything there is to know—least of all in the public relations and media sector. Today’s successful agency leaders had a lot of guidance along the way, learning the ropes of this ever-evolving industry from trusted, experienced mentors.

Like many professionals, the members of Forbes Agency Council have carried the insights they gained from their mentors throughout their careers. In order to help others in the industry, we asked them to share some of those lessons. Below are seven of the most important things their mentors taught them about PR and media strategy, as well as why those things matter.

Photos courtesy of the individual members

1. Know Your Goals

The most important thing my mentor taught me is to keep any PR or media strategy simple and direct. Build your strategy by thinking through the goals and objectives you need to achieve and figuring out in real, incremental steps how to achieve them. – Natacha Rousseau, Diplomatiq

2. Back Up Your Press With Action

Earned media must be earned. Customers will see right through a story, no matter how well it is told, if it not substantively backed up in action. – Jack Dietrich, Fount

3. Build A Digital Presence

Leaving a digital footprint is extremely important nowadays. Effective PR and media strategies will help create a digital presence that is invaluable to a company or personality. – Jonathan Durante, Expandify Marketing Inc.

4. Narrow Down Your Audience

Avoid targeting excessively broad audiences, as this often results in dilution of your message. By focusing on a narrow audience, you’re able to provide value to your customers by addressing their pain points, needs and interests. – Osama Khabab, MotionCue

5. Be Authentic and Consistent

In what you say or do, be authentic and honest. Also, be consistent in your messaging. Lack of consistency dilutes the messaging completely. – Hareesh Tibrewala, Mirum India

Read more in How To Tackle The Era Of Authentic Marketing

6. Time Your Campaign Properly

Always check the schedule and news to make sure there are no conflicting messages or new stories that might spin your campaign the wrong way. The best media strategy is to know your audience. Have a fantastic and real story, make your audience the hero, and choose the right media channel for the content. This will help ensure that the message is told in the right way, at the right time to the right person. In turn, you will be rewarded with authentic customers who build social validation within their communities. – Jonathan Forrester, emmersion

7. Just Take Action

The most important thing a mentor has taught me about PR and media strategy is to just take action. Don’t concern yourself with how “perfect” something is or isn’t; just hit “publish,” “tweet,” “post,” etc. because otherwise, if you focus too much on what others will think, or how perfect or not-perfect something is, nobody will see it anyway. – Chris Kirksey, Direction, Inc.

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US designates six more Chinese media outlets as foreign missions – Al Jazeera English

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday the United States was designating the US operations of six more China-based media companies as foreign missions, a move he said was aimed at pushing back against communist propaganda.

Pompeo also told a State Department news conference that the US would launch a dialogue on China with the European Union on Friday and that on Sunday he would begin a trip to India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia.

He said he expected the meetings would include discussions about how “free nations can work together to thwart threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party”.

The State Department named the newly designated publications as the Yicai Global, Jiefang Daily, the Xinmin Evening News, Social Sciences in China Press, the Beijing Review, and the Economic Daily. This means 15 Chinese media outlets have now been classified as foreign missions by US authorities.

The designation requires the outlets to inform the State Department of their personnel rosters and property holdings.

The move is the latest US step to curb Chinese activity in the United States in the run-up to the November 3 presidential election, in which President Donald Trump has made a tough approach to China a key theme of his campaign for a second term.

Pompeo said the decision was part of efforts to push back against “Chinese communist propaganda efforts” in the US.

“They are also substantially owned, or effectively controlled by a foreign government,” he said.

“We are not placing any restrictions on what these outlets can publish in the United States; we simply want to ensure that American people, consumers of information can differentiate between news written by a free press and propaganda distributed by the Chinese Communist Party itself. Not the same thing.”

China’s embassy did not comment immediately.

The editor-in-chief of the state-backed Global Times newspaper said in a tweet that the US had “gone too far” and that China would retaliate.

“As long as Chinese media outlets suffer actual harm, Beijing will definitely retaliate, and US media outlets’ operation in HK could be included in retaliation list,” Hu Xijin said.

As Trump, Pompeo and other officials have ramped up criticism of China for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the US government has also steadily increased pressure on Beijing’s interests in the US.

As well as the restrictions on state media, they have imposed sanctions on Chinese officials, companies and government agencies for their actions in Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the South China Sea.

Since the beginning of the year, the Trump administration has closed China’s consulate in Houston, indicted several Chinese citizens on espionage charges, imposed strict limits on the travel of Chinese diplomats, restricted the number of Chinese journalists allowed in the US and issued stern warnings to US academic and scientific institutions over the alleged influence of the Confucius Institutes that promote educational and cultural links.

The Confucius Institutes have also been required to register as official missions of a foreign government.

So far this year, the US has designated 15 Chinese media outlets as foreign missions. Before Wednesday, those included the Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network (CGTN), China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corporation, Hai Tian Development USA, China Central Television, China News Service, the People’s Daily, and the Global Times newspaper.

In response, China expelled about a dozen US newspaper correspondents with the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

Some media rights advocates, while accepting that Chinese outlets are beholden to the state, have voiced unease about the US measures, saying that they give Beijing a pretext to expel journalists who have done valuable investigative work on human rights and the origins of COVID-19.

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How social media companies will handle post-U.S. election scenarios – Reuters Canada

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(Reuters) – In the run-up to the U.S. vote in November, social media companies like Facebook Inc and Twitter have announced new rules for various post-election scenarios.

FILE PHOTO: People cast their ballots for the upcoming presidential elections as early voting begins in Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S., September 24, 2020. REUTERS/Emily Elconin/File Photo

The companies, which have been criticized by social media researchers and lawmakers over the enforcement of their content policies, have laid out plans for how they will handle candidates claiming victory before results are certified or calls for election-related violence.

Here is how major social media companies plan to approach election challenges:

FACEBOOK

If candidates or campaigns make premature victory claims, Facebook said it will add labels to the content and show notifications in news feeds with information about the state of the race. Posts from presidential candidates contesting the official outcome will also get a label showing the declared winner’s name.

The company, which says it removes content and disables accounts when it believes there are risks of physical harm or direct threats to public safety, has also announced crackdowns on militia movements using the platform in recent months. In September, it said it had “break-glass” options to restrict users if the election becomes chaotic or violent.

TWITTER

Twitter said that it will remove or attach warning labels to any claims of victory before the results are certified, or misleading claims inciting “unlawful conduct to prevent a peaceful transfer of power or orderly succession.”

It will also label or remove unverified claims about the outcome that could undermine faith in the election process, like claims about vote tallying or results certification. Twitter also bans threats of violence against an individual or group.

YOUTUBE

YouTube, the video service of Alphabet Inc, bans certain types of election misinformation, like incorrect voting dates, but it does not have a rule against premature claims of victory. A spokeswoman said in this scenario YouTube would show authoritative information and context alongside videos.

YouTube says it removes content that incites people to commit violent acts against individuals or a defined group of people.

REDDIT

A Reddit spokeswoman said information seeking to mislead on or misrepresent election results would be removed from the site. She said it also bans content that encourages, glorifies or incites violence against individuals or groups.

TIKTOK

The Chinese-owned video app says it will make any content that prematurely claims victory less discoverable on the platform and will add banners on videos to say that results have not been officially announced.

Asked about how it would handle videos that contest election results, TikTok spokeswoman said it would work with fact-checking partners and would remove false content or limit its distribution if it was unverified or the fact-check was inconclusive. She said TikTok removes videos that seek to incite violence.

OTHER PLATFORMS

Twitch, Amazon.com Inc’s live-streaming platform, will not take action on premature claims of victory or content contesting election results.

Snap Inc said it would remove such claims from Snapchat, while Pinterest said it would remove or limit the distribution of premature claims of victory.

Snap and Twitch said they would remove content that encourages or threatens physical violence, while Pinterest said it would remove or limit the distribution of content inciting election-related violence.

Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford; Editing by Greg Mitchell and Aurora Ellis

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Pompeo says U.S. designates six more Chinese media firms as foreign missions – Reuters

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday the State Department was designating the U.S. operations of six more China-based media companies as foreign missions, a move he said was aimed at pushing back against communist propaganda.

FILE PHOTO: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Yorba Linda, California. Ashley Landis/Pool via REUTERS

Pompeo also told a State Department news conference the United States would launch a dialogue on China with the European Union on Friday and that on Sunday he would begin a trip to India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia.

He said he expected the meetings would include discussions about how “free nations can work together to thwart threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party.”

The State Department named the newly designated publications as the Yicai Global, Jiefang Daily, the Xinmin Evening News, Social Sciences in China Press, the Beijing Review, and the Economic Daily. It brought to 15 the number of Chinese media outlets so designated this year.

It was the latest U.S. step to curb Chinese activity in the United States in the run-up to the Nov. 3 presidential election, in which President Donald Trump has made a tough approach to China a key foreign policy theme.

Pompeo said the move was part of efforts to push back against “Chinese communist propaganda efforts” in the United States.

“They are also substantially owned, or effectively controlled by a foreign government,” he said.

“We are not placing any restrictions on what these outlets can publish in the United States; we simply want to ensure that American people, consumers of information can differentiate between news written by a free press and propaganda distributed by the Chinese Communist Party itself. Not the same thing.”

The State Department has previously required Chinese media outlets to register as foreign missions and announced in March it was cutting the number of journalists allowed to work at U.S. offices of major Chinese media outlets to 100 from 160.

In response, China expelled about a dozen American correspondents with the New York Times, News Corp’s Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

The United States also said last month it would require senior Chinese diplomats to get State Department approval before visiting U.S. university campuses or holding cultural events with more than 50 people outside mission grounds.

China’s embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Washington designated four major Chinese media outlets as foreign embassies in June and five in February. The designation requires the outlets to inform the U.S. State Department of their personnel rosters and real-estate holdings.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Doina Chiacu and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Andrea Ricci

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