Archive for New York Times

A Fuzzy Personal Brand Didn’t Help Jill Abramson Duck the Axe

Personal brand Jill Abramson New York TimesJill Abramson, the first female Executive Editor of The New York Times, was summarily fired this week. That made news on the front page of the Times and has the media pundits out in full force as they analyze why she got the axe.

The Times coyly stated that it was “an issue with management in the newsroom.” The Times wouldn’t let its sources on a breaking news story get away with that non-response.

Funny how publisher Arthur Sulzberger clammed up when it was the Times in the news. That’s not what a Times reporter would write about the ouster of a high-ranking executive in a Fortune 500 company. Read More→

Brainstorming Still Works – When You Know How to Use It

"Brainstorm ideas"

Brainstorm ideas

Over the years the term “brainstorming” has fallen out of favor.

An image of people throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if it will stick – meaning throwing out ideas to see if they have any merit – is likely to induce fond memories among old-timers who remember when brainstorming was all the rage.

But, done properly, brainstorming still works.

What is Brainstorming?

Brainstorming was the creation of Alex Osborn, a founder of my former agency, BBDO (formerly Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn). He posited that a group could generate more creative ideas for solving a problem than an individual. There’s been a lot of controversy over the years about his methodology, with research both for and against it.

The New York Times last Sunday carried a very long story entitled The Rise of the New Groupthink in which the writer, Susan Cain, debunks the current trend of people working in teams in open space – or possibly cubicles if they’re lucky – as they collaborate on projects.  She champions the introvert who needs quiet and privacy to be creative. I think she makes some valid points

When Brainstorming Works

Where Cain and I diverge, though, is when she writes, “Conversely, brainstorming sessions are one of the worst possible ways to stimulate creativity…people in groups tend to sit back and let others do the work; they instinctively mimic other’s opinions and lose sight of their own; and often succumb to peer pressure.”

I beg to differ. I’ve participated in, and facilitated, numerous brainstorming sessions, which I prefer to call group problem solving sessions. They generated many original ideas that were successfully implemented. Read More→

The New York Times Cancels My Subscription – and 8 Million Others! A Missed Opportunity

Imagine my surprise yesterday when I received the following email from The New York Times at 1:04 pm.

Not me. Of course, as you may have read, The Times committed a big boo-boo yesterday when it accidentally cancelled the subscriptions of 8 million print and online subscribers. The media and Twitter scribes were all over it in the intervening three hours before the Times sent out this correction at 4:19 pm: Read More→

Are You Re-Tweeting Misinformation?

Associated Press has issued new social media guidelines for reporters who are sourcing social networks and retweeting content. What got my attention is that AP cautions its reporters to fact-check the authenticity of a person/organization posting on social networks and the information posted and tweeted.

AP points out in its guidelines:

If you come across photos, videos or other multimedia content that you would like to use in your news report, you must verify its authenticity. You must also determine who controls the copyright of the material and get permission from that person/organization to use it. Phony accounts are rampant in the social media world and can appear online within minutes of a new name appearing in the news. Examine the details to determine whether the page could have just as easily been created by somebody else.

AP gives this example of not giving an implied endorsement of a tweet. Read More→