Tips for Creating iPhone Videos

Tips for Creating iPhone Videos

Updated for 2019! Creating share-worthy videos is easy!

The primary update to these tips is in regards to #4 below, shoot horizontally. With more and more social media (and website usage) being consumed on smartphones, it is not ALWAYS best to film horizontally. According to this post by Covideo, 94% of smartphone videos are consumed vertically…people simply aren’t willing (or able in the case of many apps like Twitter and Instagram) to turn their phones. So shooting vertically may be best when your target channel is social and your social audience consumes your content on their phone.

If you don’t want to invest in buying equipment or can’t wait for it to arrive, you can certainly create iPhone videos without any extra gear all by yourself. The video below was created without using external equipment and handheld by the speaker (me). No tripod, no external microphone, no special lighting. It’s really pretty easy to get a post-worthy video with just a little thought.

You can also view the video on YouTube for some tips on taking videos with an iPhone (or most any smartphone) including:

  1. Be aware of your lighting. Shooting outside (be sure the sun is not directly behind you) or near windows is good if you do not have lighting equipment.
    • Take a sample video to see how it looks. Experiment using the phone’s flash, or the flash of a second phone.
  2. Do not use your phone’s zoom (zoom the old fashion way by moving toward or away from your subject).
  3. Use your “exposure lock” on an iPhone (and most other smartphones).
    • This is done by touching your screen to “lock” in on your subject, hold your touch until it displays “AE/AF LOCK” which will help keep the lens from changing the exposure (how much light it lets in) automatically.
  4. Shoot horizontally.
    • Unless the primary purpose is for social media feeds (vertical shots do not play well on websites, but social users on mobile prefer vertical)
  5. Have a steady hand or prop your phone on something stable.
    • Or you can use a tripod (you can find a great one for around $20). Check Amazon Prime for a variety of options.
  6. Place the phone’s microphone close to your subject.
    • Or get an external microphone, we use a clip-on lavalier with an extension cord.

You can also easily step up your production value by investing a little (certainly under $100) by purchasing a tripod &/or external microphone. The following video was taken using a tripod and external microphone (again, no extra/special lighting). The set-up used to film the below video included a tripod, lapel microphone and extension cord, all for about $50.

Quick Tips for Creating an iPhone Video (w/ tripod and microphone) from Veracity Marketing on Vimeo.

Once you have recorded your video, see our tips to edit your videos and tips on uploading and publishing your videos.

 

 

Podcast: Gini Dietrich: Spin Sucks

Podcast: Gini Dietrich: Spin Sucks

Spin Sucks’ Gini Dietrich is Worried for Our Industry:

Describing a Possible Takeover of PR

This week I hopped on the phone with Gini Dietrich, all the way across the country in Chicago. If you couldn’t tell from our conversation, we immediately felt like fast friends. Gini is best known for her role launching and leading Spin Sucks, which is a professional development hub for PR and marketing professionals. She is also the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, Inc., a PR and communications firm that “runs like a well-oiled machine.”

At the helm of the very active blog that is Spin Sucks, Gini sends out newsletters every day to thousands of subscribers. There is also a members-only component called Spin Sucks Pro that offers PR and marketing courses online. What was originally a blog, Spin Sucks actually morphed into is own book, written by….drumroll please….Gini Dietrich of course! The book, officially called “Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age” is available on Amazon. As Gini walked us through her experience we discover that she honed her book-writing chops first with “Marketing in the Round,” which she co-authored with Geoff Livingston, also available on Amazon.

After talking about how these books came together in conjunction with Spin Sucks, running a firm, co-hosting the podcast, Inside PR, and how she manages to do it all with a small child, we delved into the true meaning of Spin Sucks — uncovering the various misconceptions PR people are faced when encountering the public. For Gini, the “spin doctor” reputation runs rampant, but I find that people exaggerate how fancy and fabulous PR jobs are.

We also discussed some very big topics like: what PR actually is, how it is different from marketing, and why it matters. But most importantly we talked about how worried Gini is for our industry.

Listen to her insight as she describes a possible “takeover of PR.” And new pro’s will most definitely be empowered hearing Gini’s one piece of advice for people coming up in the industry.

About the guest: Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is also the lead blogger at the PR and marketing blog, Spin Sucks, author of the book Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing In the Round, and co-host of Inside PR, a weekly podcast about communications and social media.

Catch Gini speaking at these upcoming conferences: Content Marketing World, September 3 – 6 in Cleveland, Ohio and PRSA’s 2019 International Conference, October 20 – 22 in San Diego, California.

Connect and follow Gini on social media:

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Podcast: Mike Rosenberg: CommCon2019

Podcast: Mike Rosenberg: CommCon2019

Traditional PR Transformation: Maximizing PR for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

I will be presenting at PRSA Oregon’s CommCon event on May 3rd to help PR and communications professionals add SEO to their marketing toolbox. With a short history lesson, the overall basics of SEO and some specific how-tos, I hope attendees will realize that they are already doing many SEO-worthy activities. A little extra work and strategic planning can pay major dividends.

Presentation Abstract:

Many traditional communications professionals may be surprised to learn they’ve been part of the “IT” crowd all along. In fact, we’re leading the way. Due to continued competition and Google’s ever-evolving ranking algorithms, it continues to be difficult to achieve high rankings in Google for a website. Instead of completely removing “traditional” PR’s role, now the most technical search marketer must rely on our savvy to take their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to the next level.

This presentation will offer attendees a deeper understanding of the SEO game, instilling them with the confidence, language and basic understanding to insert their skillset into any digital or website discussion. We’ll then delve into how to transform typical PR strategies to include SEO results. And finally, we’ll offer hands-on practical tips that should be infused into any digital PR campaign.

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Podcast: CommCon Keynote: Suzanne Stevens

Podcast: CommCon Keynote: Suzanne Stevens

Portland Business Journal Editor, Suzanne Stevens
to Keynote CommCon2019

Since Suzanne Stevens, editor of the Portland Business Journal, is going to be keynoting PRSA Oregon’s CommCon2019 event coming up on May 3rd, we thought this would be a perfect time to re-air this interview we did with her a while back. It can’t hurt that this is one of my favorite episodes…because it is really helpful! She jam packs this with real tips on how to get covered in the Business Journal. Any time anyone says that they want to get into the Business Journal, I automatically direct them to this episode. At this point no one has any business pitching the Business Journal if they can’t take the time to listen to this episode…You’ll see what I mean…

For more info and tickets to CommCon, where Mike Rosenberg is also speaking about the convergence of PR & Digital, visit PRSAOregon.org.

See original write-up and listen to the original interview (episode 6) below

Podcast: Getting in the Portland Business Journal: Editor Suzanne Stevens Reveals How

If you ever wanted to get into the Portland Business Journal (PBJ), you MUST listen to this or at least read our write up of tips from PBJ Editor, Suzanne Stevens. She gave so much advice that I was tempted to pull out a pen and paper in the middle of the interview and start taking notes!

Connor and I had fun getting to know Suzanne on a personal level. Self-defined as someone with a bit of “wanderlust” who loves to travel, Suzanne has lived in places as varied as Louisville, Charlotte and New York. She spent 12 years working for NPR before entering print journalism, but once she exited radio she’s been “all print all the time.” An Oregon Business magazine editor position brought her to Portland — a town she’d been eyeing like many current transplants. She then came over to the PBJ where she first worked as the Digital Editor and is now going on year three as Editor.

The Pitch Opportunity:

The Portland Business Journal is a weekly publication released each Friday that is revered by local business executives. Its email newsletters hit the in-boxes of movers and shakers throughout the city on a daily basis. Subscribers have the option of receiving more frequent newsletters focusing on a specific industries (Healthcare, Real Estate, Tech/Start ups).

Here’s an in-depth guide:

  • Reporter’s Pages: Each reporter’s weekly section highlights news within their targeted industries. There isn’t much room for PR pitches here.
  • Strategy: A weekly feature goes in-depth with stories and rotates among reporters. Bring story ideas for this section — it’s a great way to get covered.
  • Executive Interviews: Even though they have a list of 2,000 local business leaders they’d like to feature in this section, keep it in mind if you have a quirky business executive.
  • People On the Move: You can now upload these yourself here for digital coverage. We’re still debating whether or not this is the best way to get your executive news to also run in print though.
  • Digital Newsletter: Send your story to the relevant reporter, but also include digital editor, Andy Giegerich, so he can consider it for the email newsletter. “Include Andy on most things as he’s always looking for web stories.”
  • 5 Things to Know: Also handled by Andy Geigerich as part of the newsletter. This is great for “anything that is funky or weird that might never fly as a news story.” It’s also where you’ll read about events as they aren’t frequently included in the paper or other digital sections.

Competition is High:

On a “good day,” 200 emails await Suzanne in her morning in-box, but messages can reach upwards of 400. “That’s because I’m the editor. The reporters probably get 100 new emails per day,” Suzanne clarified. Make no mistake — the majority of these emails are from PRs! Everyone at the PBJ knows what they want from us, too — they even wrote an article about PR do’s and don’ts!

Breaking Through:

Suzanne loves PRs who do their homework to understand what the publication covers and to get a handle on what each reporter writes about. Best practice? Know who covers each beat and include a pitch about why the PBJ should cover your idea.

Suzanne explained the multitude of new product releases flooding her inbox that lack broad appeal. “Thousands of companies are releasing new products in Oregon. Why would we write about that?” Instead, Suzanne advised adding details like expanding staff, additional funding or bigger industry trends to catch their attention.

Nut Graphs:

“Sell your story in one paragraph [less than 300 words],” Suzanne advised. “We’re looking for the ‘nut graph,’ which tells readers what’s coming if you stick with the story. We want to know if it impacts the business community.”

Exclusive Content:

The prospect of exclusive content gets the PBJ really jazzed. If you haven’t already blasted your news all over town, you might consider contacting the PBJ first and offering an “exclusive.” But if the PBJ accepts, your story can’t be placed in other media outlets — so you might float the idea by your boss or client first.

5 Reporters & 5 Beats:

Suzanne receives many pitches that are irrelevant to her role at the PBJ, but everyone makes it a daily practice to give all emails a cursory glance. Suzanne seems to be very easy going, considering how busy she is, and is happy to pass emails on to the right reporter. However, she’s careful to state that she doesn’t assign stories. “My seasoned staff know their beats better than I do.” More specifically, here’s when you’d email Suzanne:

  • You can ‘cc her if you’re worried that a busy reporter won’t see it, and she’ll pass it on.
  • Send Op-Ed or Guest Column ideas to her or Eric Siemers. “We love getting these written by business owners on a topic of interest in the news.” Best to send the pitch first before investing time in writing the article.
  • Still not sure whom to send your pitch to? Five reporters cover five primary beats, explained in detail on PBJ’s website.

Timing is everything:

Suzanne generously added that she’s happy to talk through ideas, provided you call at the right time. Here’s a typical week at the PBJ:

  • Mondays & Tuesdays: Reporters are writing and planning the stories for that week’s paper.
  • Wednesday: Deadline Day! This is the worst day to send an email and absolutely DO NOT CALL as the newsroom is getting the paper ready for Friday’s publication.
  • Thursday: Planning and writing day. Suzanne meets with reporters to strategize next week’s stories. This is a better day to call.
  • Friday: Paper is in print. Reporters are working on next week’s stories. This is a better day to call.

Throughout the week Suzanne is editing what comes across her desk, helping reporters organize upcoming stories, and planning future coverage.

Truth be told, getting business journal coverage can be tough. But if you remember to do your research and customize your materials before contacting them, you’ll not only increase your chances, you won’t inadvertently kill your future pitches as well. Oh, did you think newsrooms didn’t talk? Don’t be the person who sends the irrelevant pitches or calls excessively. Trust me, they will all know.

About the guest: Suzanne Stevens

Suzanne is editor of the Portland Business Journal, overseeing the newsroom and guiding all news operations.

Connect and follow Suzanne on social media:

PBJ editor Suzanne Stevens

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Podcast: Mike Rosenberg: Pseudo Host

Podcast: Mike Rosenberg: Pseudo Host

A Little Background on Mike Rosenberg,
PR Talk Podcast Occasional Host

 

In this episode, I sit down to talk with our occasional host Mike Rosenberg about his background, role at Veracity and what he does for fun. Soon, Mike will reverse our roles and interview me because you will be hearing a lot more from us in future episodes. We thought maybe a little background would be good.

Episode Transcript

We are trying something new for this write-up by posting the episode transcript. 

Amy:                                     Hello, Mike Rosenberg.

Mike:                                    Hi, Amy.

Amy:                                     Hi, podcast listeners. We kind of figured that since we are going to be podcasting every week, you might kind of want to know who we are. Maybe you don’t want to know. Maybe if you knew who-

Mike:                                    Just keep it a secret?

Amy:                                     Well, maybe if you knew who we really were, you wouldn’t want to listen.

Mike:                                    Don’t Google Amy Rosenberg. Actually, don’t Google Amy Winehouse.

Amy:                                     Ooh, yeah, don’t Google Amy Winehouse and wonder why not to Google Amy Weinhouse. I’ll just say Amy Winehouse spells her name incorrectly.

Mike:                                    There you go. We’ll discover that one maybe on your episode.

Amy:                                     I’m the real Amy Weinhouse.

Mike:                                    There you go.

Amy:                                     Okay, yeah, so again, it’s not the Amy show. You might think it is.

Mike:                                    It is sometimes.

Amy:                                    Well, most of the time. But today, we’re going to learn about Mike.

Mike:                                    Why?

Amy:                                     Well, I don’t know why, but we just want … Maybe once we hear from Mike, we will understand why we want to know who he is.

Mike:                                    Well, I’ve done a couple of episodes. It’s been a while, though, for sure.

Amy:                                     Well, and you’re going to be doing episodes with me-

Mike:                                    Moving forward, right? So we’re going to go every week now, instead of every other week, and we’re doing this because we’re adding a new kind of content. Or doing our content more that’s just kind of us educational, right? In addition to interviewing others in the media world or in the marketing world.

Amy:                                     Yeah, so we just thought this would be a fun chance for you to get to know Mike. So what did you do … I don’t know, do we want to talk about what you do now first, and then talk about where you came from?

Mike:                                    Let’s do it the other way around. We’ll evolve into what I am now.

Amy:                                     Okay, so where did you go to college?

Mike:                                    Went to the University of Oregon. Go Ducks. After graduating … I actually was the in the first class … It actually wasn’t a major yet, but my claim to fame is one of the first folks to go through sports marketing. It was long enough ago that sports marketing, which U of O is well known for their sports marketing program and their sports marketing degree.

Mike:                                    I have a business management degree with an emphasis in sports marketing because when I was a junior, there was this new program called sports marketing, and they said you learn business administration with kind of a sports twist to it. So in your law class, it has to do with sponsorship contracts and law for sports and that sort of thing. And I thought, well, that sounds pretty cool. I like sports. I’m going to follow that. So I got that emphasis, which … And then after college, I actually did what my degree says and went into sports marketing.

Amy:                                     Wow, that’s amazing.

Mike:                                    Right? One of the few.

Amy:                                     Right. And I remember we always … Because I have known you for quite a while. We actually met at U of O.

Mike:                                    Right.

Amy:                                     And I’m not going to tell you how, but we did meet. Maybe we could create a poll to see how do you think Amy and Mike met at U of O. Pretty typical, I’ll just say that. But I remember when you got your first job out of college, it was pretty hilarious because you used to use the excuse that you were watching sports for work.

Mike:                                    Oh, it wasn’t an excuse. It was reality. I had to watch the game.

Amy:                                     That’s too bad, right?

Mike:                                    And I had to read the sports section. Now, did I have to only read the sports section? Probably not, but it was a good excuse.

Amy:                                     Yeah, so what was your job?

Mike:                                    I was with the Oregon Sports Authority. It was actually the Portland Oregon Sports Authority at the time, and we were … It is a sports commission, which means our overall job and mission was to bring events and franchises to Oregon for quality of life, economic impact, that sort of stuff. It was a private nonprofit, but oftentimes it’s a public entity that’s supported by state, federal, or county government.

Amy:                                     Okay, and so how long were you there?

Mike:                                    I would have to look at my LinkedIn to know for sure, but I know I was … Well, it was probably about four years, with a quick thought.

Amy:                                     Oh, that’s a while.

Mike:                                    Maybe three or four years, yeah. So I was there for a while. I ended up being the marketing director, and as I mentioned, one of the things that we did was we tried to bring in events. We brought in events for economic impact and quality of life. One of the big events, the biggest event at the time and maybe still is, that we brought in was the US Figure Skating Championships. So part of my job was to go out and pitch and create bids for these major events that move across from city to city, and the Figure Skating Championships was one of those that we got during my tenure at the Oregon Sports Authority.

Amy:                                     Right, and then you went on to manage that event.

Mike:                                    Exactly. That’s why I bring it up. I then transitioned … They were looking for someone to run it locally. I raised my hand, they selected me, and then so I did that for … I think the total job was about three or four years, so a couple of years to get ready for it, and then the event, which was in 2005, and then a couple of months afterward to wrap everything up.

Amy:                                     Yeah, that was kind of a big deal for Oregon because that’s what people competed in before they went to the Olympics, right?

Mike:                                    Exactly, yeah. In Olympic years, it was the Olympic qualifier. Like I said, it was and maybe still is the biggest one-time sports event that Portland has hosted. We had the Moda Center, which then was the Rose Garden, and the Coliseum, and a couple of other ice rinks around town full for basically a week. It was live on TV. In fact, my biggest memory from that is … which is interesting we’re talking about this today, because there’s a snowstorm, “snowstorm” in Portland today.

Amy:                                     As I roll my eyes.

Mike:                                    Yeah, it’s not much of a storm, but school is closed and all that stuff. Well, there was a real snowstorm during the US Figure Skating Championships, and I remember contemplating whether we were going to postpone or call the event, because there was ice, and would people be able to get there?

Mike:                                    And I remember talking with the folks on … with the TV station, which I believe was ABC, and basically they said, “If the skaters can get here, we have to go live, because yes, there’s thousands of people who are coming to watch it live in Portland, but there’s millions of people who are watching it on TV, and this is scheduled out. We’ve sold millions of dollars’ worth of commercials,” and all that sort of stuff. So yeah, it was a big deal. It was a fun event, and I learned a ton doing it.

Amy:                                     Well, it’s kind of nice to have the news tell you how to make a decision for once.

Mike:                                    Well, yeah, it wasn’t really the news. It was the production folks. It was the sports production side of it, but yeah, it’s the media.

Amy:                                     And then from there, you worked on your own for a couple of years, kind of trying to sell sponsorships for events like that, right? Is that what you would say that was?

Mike:                                    Exactly. Yeah, I was consulting for anything in sports that was revenue generation, so a lot of that’s sponsorship, also consulting on ticket sales and those sort of things, merchandise, that kind of stuff. But it was in the sports world, basically things that drove revenue, were my clients, so mostly events.

Amy:                                     Okay, and then you moved on to EngineWorks, which was a digital marketing agency, and why did you do that?

Mike:                                    Well, really, the gist of it was that I got frustrated in sports. So for someone who took sports marketing and worked in the sports world to have an excuse to watch sports and be involved in it, and I’ve always played sports and been a big fan, I got frustrated on the marketing side, and it was mostly because it seemed like I was banging my head against a wall every time we tried to do something new.

Mike:                                    For example, on the sponsorship side, we’d try to come up with maybe a different thing to sell or a different way of measuring it. One of the things that got me was in car-racing stuff, and how we measured the value of a sponsorship, even locally, had to do oftentimes with how many milliseconds … This is car-racing, so things are moving fast. Someone’s banner, if it got a tiny, little millisecond on TV, how many of those was a big thing that went into determining the value of a sponsorship. And I just kept running into asking, “Why are we doing it like this?” And the answer was always, “We’ve always done it this way.” It was like, “Well, why don’t we do something different? Why don’t we try something different?” “No, no, no, we’ve always done it this way.”

Mike:                                    So I actually was having lunch with a friend of mine, Kent Schnepp. He was talking about EngineWorks, this startup, basically a digital marketing agency that he was starting or had actually just started, and wondering if it was something that I would get involved with. And for me, it made a lot of sense because we couldn’t really ask how to do something, because we were basically in a new industry at the time, right? So it was like, “Well, how do we do this? I don’t know, we’re going to have to figure it out.” So that was really cool.

Amy:                                     Oh, cool, so it totally flipped that old idea on its head.

Mike:                                    Exactly, exactly. And I think that, in regards to sports … I don’t want to bash the sports marketing world, because I think they’ve caught up a lot, and there are lots of organizations … In fact, in our hometown, Portland Trail Blazers are one of the leaders in digital marketing and social media and have really taken a step to embrace it, but it did take a while.

Amy:                                     Okay, so tell me what it was like working at EngineWorks/Ethology, because it then turned into Ethology, so we’ll just call that the same job.

Mike:                                    Right, so that was where I learned digital marketing. We were, first and foremost, a search marketing agency, so what that means is SEO and paid search, so AdWords. We were specialists in those two areas in the beginning. We added social media as kind of part of our search offering a couple years in as that grew as an industry. But for me, it was great because I learned that industry, right?

Mike:                                    I joined SEMpdx, I then got on the board, became president, and would go to all of their educational events. I was in charge of client acquisition, so my job was to help the company grow its client base, so the actual doing of SEO, of paid search, I didn’t actually ever do, right? Although, as I was selling things … and this is I think 100% true, especially back then … I knew SEO better than 90% of the people that we competed against, the people who were actually doing it, because there was a lot of-

Amy:                                     You mean the other salespeople?

Mike:                                    No, the other actual doers, because that industry-

Amy:                                     How do you know that?

Mike:                                    Just from talking with other folks in the industry and reading things at the time. There was a lot of folks that were just kind of selling absolutely nothing. But anyway, that was in the past. I’m sure there’s still a bunch of folks who are out there doing that now, but I don’t think they last very long.

Amy:                                     But not necessarily. So this is going to be more about your resume and your background, but just in general, digital marketing does have a bad reputation.

Mike:                                    It does, and it earned it in the beginning, and I’m sure there’s still a ton of folks … I mean, I get calls from “Google” still, and it’s obviously not Google calling me. Well, it’s obvious to me, but the reason … but it’s not obvious to a lot of the people answering the phone, which is why they’re doing it.

Amy:                                     So it’s deceitful.

Mike:                                    So it’s deceitful, yeah.

Amy:                                     And then you’re saying a lot of these people don’t know what they’re doing.

Mike:                                    Correct, they definitely didn’t in the past. I think that’s … I mean, it’s caught up a little bit.

Amy:                                     Why do you think you kind of knew what you were doing? Was it your involvement with SEMpdx, or was it the group you were working with?

Mike:                                    It was both. We were selling a real service, and I always think to be able to sell something, you have to understand it. You’re not just selling … I was going to say “air,” but in real estate, air is an actual thing that you do sell.

Amy:                                     I have sold air, but we’ll talk about that next week.

Mike:                                    Exactly, exactly. So that’s where I learned the industry. I learned the industry at EngineWorks. Our goal that was stated to … that everybody knew, from owners to management to new employees that our goal with that was for some sort of event, whether that’s to be acquired or go public or something like that, so that was a stated goal, and we did that. We were acquired, so that’s why EngineWorks became Ethology.

Amy:                                     Oh, okay. So then now, kind of switching gears into what you’re doing today, which is kind of more about our company, I want to ask in the sense of, like … Well, I don’t … Because I don’t want to get too into the background of why … of our company, I guess. I’m curious, though, why you did switch to work for our company, to work … Or not for our company, but with me. But I don’t know if we want to get into the whole story of that. And if not, we could just talk about, what do you see as the similarities and differences from working at Ethology versus Veracity?

Mike:                                    Sure. Well, at Ethology … Well, at EngineWorks, before we were acquired, I was a part of the leadership team, and now I continue to be part of the leadership team at Veracity, so those things are the same. We go after different types of clients. I would say that, similarity-wise, we would be more similar to, again, Ethology because it was kind of more full-service than EngineWorks was, being specifically a search firm, that Veracity is, although we certainly have very specific things that we do, right? So that’s similar, as well.

Mike:                                    Differences? Size. That organization was a lot bigger, employee-wise. We had some very specific industries that we went after. We were big in the hotel and hospitality space, which we continue to do some work in that space at Veracity, as well, but we’re not quite as direct on who we work with. So those are kind of some of the similarities and differences.

Amy:                                     Okay. I’m giving you a fun-

Mike:                                    I didn’t work with my wife.

Amy:                                     Who, your wife would say, “Please, no hotels.” No, just kidding.

Mike:                                    Yeah, right?

Amy:                                     Do we want a hotel? Sure. I don’t know if we’re running after them. But okay, so what do you do today at Veracity?

Mike:                                    Sort of the transition story into Veracity was you, Amy, was doing PR, kind of started Veracity or … It’s actually kind of … I don’t know if this interests anybody else, but I find it interesting that, as we talked about, my consulting company, it was called Rosenberg Marketing, right? And then when you kind of … Rosenberg went to bed, took a nap when I joined EngineWorks, and then you kind of woke it up and changed it into PR consulting.

Amy:                                     Yeah. Well, I mean, you already had the LLC and all that paperwork figured out, so I just-

Mike:                                    Yeah, exactly. The technicality stuff was done.

Amy:                                     So you did all the work I didn’t want to do.

Mike:                                    Right, exactly.

Amy:                                     Thank you.

Mike:                                    Yeah, no problem. So you were kind of running what eventually became Veracity, which turned into Veracity as a PR firm, right? So what I did was I brought in the digital side of that, so from my experience at EngineWorks and Ethology, I brought that to the table for us so that we were more well-rounded and bringing us into modern-day marketing a little bit more.

Amy:                                     Well, yeah, but you did … You’re not really giving yourself much credit, because … I don’t want to get too into the company history, but when I was doing PR, I really was just a freelancer.

Mike:                                    Right.

Amy:                                     So then you were able to come and help bring it up to the next level of not being a freelancer, being an actual company. And then we changed the name.

Mike:                                    Changed the name. We got an office, changed the name, hired people, all that sort of stuff.

Amy:                                     So then what do you do now? Did you already say that? Since we are married, you might notice a theme: I don’t listen to him. It is what it is. Just get used to it.

Mike:                                    So now I continue to be basically in charge of the digital side of our business, as well as I do operations. Just as you mentioned that I created the-

Amy:                                     All the boring things.

Mike:                                    Yes, all the boring things.

Amy:                                     Thank you.

Mike:                                    Payroll, taxes, setting up systems, a little bit of sales when we actually ever do any.

Amy:                                     Meaning we don’t reach out, but people reach us.

Mike:                                    Yeah.

Amy:                                     Sorry if that was you that we hung up on the other day. So if you want us to work on your account, we might hang up on you, not knowing that it was a new business call.

Mike:                                    Not on purpose. Yeah.

Amy:                                     Anyway, somebody called when we were in the office on a conference call with a client, but of course we’re basically millennials, even though we’re not. Pretend that we’re millennials. We’re on our cellphones all the time, so if someone calls our landline-

Mike:                                    Right, or on speaker.

Amy:                                     … I’m just going to hang up on them. I’m going to pick it up and hang it up. I’m a millennial, but I’m 41. Anyway, so what … You have a lot of extracurricular activities. Are you trying to get credit-

Mike:                                    I’m trying to get into college.

Amy:                                     No, yeah, exactly. Are you trying to get into some grad school? What the heck?

Mike:                                    I’m not doing that much anymore. I just have filled out my LinkedIn profile, which you’re looking at.

Amy:                                     Okay, but are you supposed to have all this on here as a LinkedIn expert?

Mike:                                    What do you mean?

Amy:                                     Well, I don’t know, I mean, this gala marketing committee co-chair for OMSI.

Mike:                                    What, back in 2011? Yeah, sure. Why not? I don’t know, LinkedIn keeps telling me that my profile is good.

Amy:                                     Okay, so you’re still involved with SEMpdx.

Mike:                                    I am. Right, yeah, so I was … I think I was on the board for either eight to ten years, because we had two-year stints, and mine ended being past president, so two years of that, two years of president, and some years before that. And as I mentioned before, that was one of the big education pieces for me.

Amy:                                     And then what do you do … It says you’re a board member for B’nai B’rith Camp. What is B’nai B’rith Camp?

Mike:                                    So BB Camp is a Jewish summer overnight camp at the coast, and I’m on the board.

Amy:                                     And why are you on the board?

Mike:                                    Well, long story short, my kids love it, my father was involved and has been involved for a long time, there’s … I end up at that camp once a week for a weekend at the end of the summer-

Amy:                                     Thank God.

Mike:                                    … as kind of a go do sports and eat too much and hang out.

Amy:                                     You mean you go as a camper?

Mike:                                    Yeah.

Amy:                                     Like, with other kids or …?

Mike:                                    No, with other adults.

Amy:                                     I’m just kidding. And is it called Men’s Camp?

Mike:                                    It is, yeah.

Amy:                                     Is it just for Jewish guys?

Mike:                                    It’s mostly, but not exclusively, no. And the whole purpose of it, and the whole purpose of me being on the board, is to raise money for kids who can’t afford to go to camp, right? I’ve heard so many stories from people whose lives have been positively impacted because they were able to go. Some of them, they could go because their families could afford to send them, and some of them wouldn’t have been able to go.

Amy:                                     And they would have been sitting at home, all alone by themselves for the summer.

Mike:                                    Exactly.

Amy:                                     Because their parents were working.

Mike:                                    Yeah, exactly.

Amy:                                     So this got them out into nature and with a community and-

Mike:                                    Yeah, a lot of them, it gave them a place where they could be themselves more so than anywhere else that they felt comfortable. And like I said, I’ve heard quite a few different stories of people like that.

Amy:                                     Yeah. So then you’re still involved with that today.

Mike:                                    I’m still involved with that. I’m on the board there. I’m also a member of the Rotary Club of Portland, and my-

Amy:                                     And that keeps you really busy.

Mike:                                    Well, we have a meeting or a lunch once a week.

Amy:                                     Which I love.

Mike:                                    Right, you love that. And I guess … and I think I’ve said this, whether it’s on LinkedIn or maybe it was another … oh, it was another podcast that I was a guest on. If anyone in the Portland area, or if you happen to be in Portland on Tuesday and want to come to lunch with me, I kind of put out there an open invitation, I’ll take you to lunch on Tuesday at the Sentinel downtown, as a guest of mine for Rotary.

Amy:                                     Well, actually, if anyone wants to go, next week it’s the Oregonian talking-

Mike:                                    Right, yeah, the history of the Oregonian.

Amy:                                     … about the past, present, and the future. And it’s Therese Bottomly, who is the-

Mike:                                    Editor?

Amy:                                     Editor or something like that.

Mike:                                    Yeah.

Amy:                                     And I cannot go, unfortunately. I have a client meeting that came up last minute, but I was definitely planning on going, so if one of you guys want to go, let Mike know.

Mike:                                    Right. Yeah, and if you follow anything that we do, if you follow it closely, you’ll also see that I’m the chair of the Oregon Ethics in Business Awards, which is an event hosted by … which means we do all of the work … the Rotary Club of Portland, and presented by KGW, where we honor businesses and nonprofits every year for ethical business practices. So we have a nomination process, which we’re in the middle of. Or the nomination process is over, but a selection process, and then we’ll have a big gala dinner to announce the recipients and celebrate what they’re doing in their organizations and businesses.

Amy:                                     So then, now that we’re done-

Mike:                                    And that’s the part that keeps me kind of busy.

Amy:                                     Yeah. Well, right now, but once that’s over, it won’t be as bad.

Mike:                                    Right, right.

Amy:                                     But now that we’re done with your LinkedIn profile, is there anything you can tell us in a couple of minutes about what you like to do in your free time?

Mike:                                    Ooh. Well, my favorite thing right now is skiing, so I was a-

Amy:                                     I knew you were going to say that.

Mike:                                    Yeah, I was a big skier when I was a kid and through high school and that sort of stuff. And pre-kids, went a fair amount, but once kids came into the equation, for the most part, it ended. And then this year, both of my kids got into snowboarding, and so once I had that commitment from them, I scheduled them up for lessons and to go up to the mountain, and that’s what I really like.

Amy:                                     Yeah, but you exercise like every day, which actually makes me annoyed because I don’t.

Mike:                                    Well …

Amy:                                     But it’s a good … you’re a good role model.

Mike:                                    Yeah.

Amy:                                     So what all do you do for your other exercise, besides skiing?

Mike:                                    I play basketball a couple times a week. I also love coaching … Assistant coach … I don’t want the responsibility of a head coach, but assistant coach for both my kids’ teams, which is fun.

Amy:                                     Well, you’re doing both kids’, so you can’t do head coach.

Mike:                                    Right, and I don’t have time. Even if it was one kid, I don’t think I’d have time for that, because evening meetings during practice, when you’re an assistant coach, you can say, “Hey, sorry, Coach. I can’t make it.” When you’re the head coach, you can’t really do that. And then I just started running because I joined a neighborhood team for Hood to Coast, so if any of you listeners know what Hood to Coast is, you probably think I’m crazy.

Amy:                                     Well, we already knew that. So yeah, a lot of exercise and family stuff, it sounds like.

Mike:                                    The free time that I have, that’s where it goes, for sure.

Amy:                                     And then podcasting on the side.

Mike:                                    Podcasting on the side. I like that. With a dish of podcast on the side

 

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

PR Talk is sponsored by monday

In such a fast-paced, multi-faceted work environment, it can be tough to stay on top of everything. monday is the collaboration tool trusted by businesses of all kinds to help cut down the clutter and streamline productivity. Learn more at monday.com and signup for a free trial. You’ll see in no time why so many teams around the world are choosing monday for their project management needs.

PR Talk listeners can use the coupon code BetterExecute for a 15% discount.

Podcast: Allan Brettman: The Columbian

Podcast: Allan Brettman: The Columbian

Covering Business in The Couve with Allan Brettman

Allan Brettman has been working at newspapers in Portland and SW Washington for more than 30 years. Hailing originally from the Chicago area, he was drawn to the Northwest by its abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities, or as Allan says, “for the same reasons you’d choose a summer camp.”

He began his local newspaper career with the Longview Daily News and then in 2000, joined The Oregonian as the business news reporter in the paper’s Clark County bureau. During his 17-year career with The O, Allan also covered the region’s sports business, digital media and PR industries. Last September, Allan returned to covering SW Washington news as business editor for The Columbian.

During this episode of the PR Talk podcast, Allan and host Amy Rosenberg talk about his time at The O, Vancouver’s status as an up-and-coming area, and a few tips for getting coverage in Vancouver’s hometown paper.

Creating a Digital First News Organization

Amy begins her interview by quoting Therese Bottomly — editor at The Oregonian/OregonLive — who credits Allan with helping The O pivot to become a digital-first news organization. Allan politely deferred, saying it was a team effort that included other O influencers like Steve Woodward, Mike Rogoway, and breaking news editor Karly Imus.

The structural challenges facing the newspaper industry are great, and a shift of that magnitude required lots of experimentation with all the available tools in the digital toolbox, while at the same time, remaining true to traditional news values. Allan said it helped that he was covering the digital landscape at the time and had developed some familiarity with the topic.

 

Vancouver Rising

Things are a bit different at his new home at The Columbian. The print product is still healthy and the paper is working on growing its digital footprint.

Allan was hired as business editor in September 2018 and manages one other dedicated business reporter. Together they cover a growing region that has changed immeasurably since Allan last had the Clark County business beat back in 2000.

The waterfront is currently being redeveloped to include public spaces, restaurants, luxury hotels and condominiums, and other mixed-used offerings. When it’s completed, the area will rival any of Portland’s new neighborhoods. Vancouver also features a growing tech center and a thriving real estate market.

 

Searching for Good, Local Stories

All that growth means there are lots of potential stories to tell, and Allan, and business reporter Anthony Macuk, are always looking for pitches. As Allan tells Amy, if a story has a Clark County or Vancouver angle, and has some news value, the pitch will definitely be considered.

One story Allan thinks is going untold is about the 60,000 people who go from Clark County to Portland every day for work. He thinks there are more stories to be written about Portland companies through the eyes of their Clark County employees.

PR pros with local business-centered pitches can reach out to Allan by email at [email protected]. Anthony Macuk covers everything, but specializes in hi-tech and real estate development. He can be reached at [email protected].

General story ideas can be directed to metro editor Mark Bowder at [email protected]. He’ll know how to divvy out stories to the right Columbian reporters. Sports pitches can go to sports editor, Micah Rice at [email protected]. Amy Libby is digital editor and can be reached at [email protected].

 

Tips for a Good Pitch

Now before you go lighting up all those email addresses, Allan shared a few of tips he’d like PR pros to consider before contacting a Columbian reporter.

  • Ideally, PR pros will have a relationship with a reporter, know the kinds of stories they’re looking for and reach out directly with a pitch. If that’s not the case, try contacting an editor first. Do not shop a story around to multiple reporters.
  • People can feel free to email or phone Allan with story ideas but he wants them to put some thought into their pitches first. So write it all down before you pick up the phone.
  • If you email your pitch first, Allan would appreciate a courtesy phone call with a heads-up. One of his biggest news stories of the year came through this way.  
  • It’s also important that your news releases are 100% accurate, especially with name spellings.
  • And of course, Alan recommends getting a Columbian subscription so you can get familiar with the publication to know exactly what stories they cover.

 

Subscribe to PR Talk Podcast

Allan and Amy talked about much more during their conversation, including his favorite stories during his time at the Oregonian, the biggest business news to hit Vancouver in years, and his PR pro pet peeves.

Click through to hear the whole interview, or subscribe to PR Talk podcast on Stitcher, iTunes, or the Google Play store.

About the guest: Allan Brettman

Allan Brettman is a detail-focused journalist with creative edge recognized for developing, honing and delivering inventive, quality content, strengthening brand and engaging diverse audiences. He is currently the Business Editor at The Columbian and spent 17 years at The Oregonian after 12 years at The Daily News in Longview, Washington.

 

Connect and follow Allan on social media:

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

PR Talk is sponsored by monday

In such a fast-paced, multi-faceted work environment, it can be tough to stay on top of everything. monday is the collaboration tool trusted by businesses of all kinds to help cut down the clutter and streamline productivity. Learn more at monday.com and signup for a free trial. You’ll see in no time why so many teams around the world are choosing monday for their project management needs.

PR Talk listeners can use the coupon code BetterExecute for a 15% discount.