Isabelle Leonard is a passionate public relations practitioner whose career has spanned two continents. Specialising in crisis communication, the highlight of Isabelle’s career came in 2006 when she won the European Sabre award. Commonly known as the Oscars of Communication, Isabelle beat four other competitors for the honour. In the past, Isabelle has worked for organisations such as the Guggenheim Museum in New York where she worked on making films for temporary exhibits. One year later she moved back to Brussels and began working for Interel, where she was a senior consultant for international clients. Today, Isabelle owns her own communication firm, Art & Facts, combining her love for public relations with her love of art. Isabelle’s next project will be to move into documentary making – in between giving clients advice on how to construct PR plans of course.
May 23, 2016
Just over two years ago, we published a detailed breakdown of the Brussels press corps that shattered two myths: that the number of journalists reporting on the EU is shrinking – it has constantly grown – and that Brussels has the largest concentration of international correspondents in the world (that would be London.)
We followed that up with a piece on ‘10 Things You Need to Know About the Brussels Press Corps’ that contained such sparking nuggets of information as: almost half the correspondents based in the EU capital work alone, Chinese news agency Xinhua has 23 accredited correspondents and French reporter Jean Quatremer has the most followers on Twitter (still true.)
May 10, 2016
STORYTELLING MASTERCLASS AND BOOK SIGNING
Join us as actor, author and film director Danny Scheinmann (pictured above) leads a free, two-hour masterclass on the importance of storytelling for business on Monday 13th June. Danny will also be signing copies of his latest novel The Half Life of Joshua Jones over bubbles and nibbles.
SILICON JOURNALISM – HOW TECH COMPANIES ARE BECOMING MEDIA GIANTS
After Facebook’s recent launch of Instant Articles, we look at how tech companies are becoming more influential in the media industry. As platforms like Snapchat become publishers, what effect will this have on journalism?
May 2, 2016
Social media and tech giants like Facebook, Google, Apple and Snapchat are moving forcefully into the journalism business by publishing news on their mobile apps. This could be good news for users, who stand to benefit from faster, richer news. Some publishers could also gain extra revenue from more viewers and readers of their products – especially younger ones – on mobile devices.
But there are obvious risks too. With the tech and social media firms hosting the news, publishers will see less traffic and therefore less advertising on their sites. Smaller news producers lacking the resources to produce content for the new platforms could be shut out of the game. There is also the threat that these Silicon Valley mega-firms will move from distributing news to producing it, a move that could crush even the biggest media players.
Since the advent of the Internet just over 20 years ago the journalism industry has been revolutionised by new technologies such as smartphones and tablets. It has been disrupted by the emergence of major new players such as Huffington Post and Buzzfeed. It has been hit by the slump in advertising revenues and the collapse of newspaper readership. And publics used to being broadcasted to on media companies’ terms have now become “the people formerly known as the audience” in Jay Rosen’s memorable phrase.
Hailing from Flanders, Elizabeth Van Den Bergh is a freelance communication consultant and trainer. At the age of 29 Elizabeth was named a deputy director for BIP Huis van het Gewest and two years later went on to lead her own PR team at Mostra Communications. While team leader she worked on projects such as the European Year Against Poverty and the International Year of Biodiversity. Elizabeth is fluent in Dutch, English, French and Italian. Awarded Competent Communicator at Toastmasters, she is also a trained public speaker.
March 24, 2016
March 17, 2016
More than nine in ten journalists prefer to be pitched by email rather than phone and over half rely on social media to write their stories. These are some of the headline conclusions from Cision’s State of the Media Report 2016, which explores journalist practices in the United States and Canada in 2015 and looks at future challenges and trends.
A key difference from previous years is the way journalists prefer to be approached by communication professionals. 93% of journalists said email was the best pitching platform, while 37% considered the phone off limits.
But what makes journalists follow up the pitch? In the US, 54% said they would pursue the pitch if all the details were included, while 13% of journalists only followed it up if they had a personal connection with the PR person. Surprisingly for a profession enamoured by scoops, only 7.5% considered exclusivity as important.
March 14, 2016
Reposting your blog on LinkedIn and Medium is a no-brainer. Which is precisely the problem – it takes no brains.
Reposting your blog post to platforms like LinkedIn and Medium expands exposure for your ideas, company or whatever else you’re trying to promote, at almost zero added cost.
This is particularly the case on LinkedIn, where the algorithm almost certainly rewards rePosts over Shares to get more content into its rotting walled garden.
So why not do it?
John Holland is a former journalist turned media advisor who loves telling stories, listening to stories and being in the middle of stories. A former United Press International bureau chief in Vienna, John was also senior correspondent and Frankfurt bureau chief for CNBC Europe as well as a radio correspondent for CBS News. He has interviewed dozens of prominent figures, including CEOs, prime ministers and the former President of Serbia Slobodan Milošević. John’s career has spanned many continents, with the highlights including reporting live from Baghdad during the first Gulf War, being in Prague when the communist government fell in 1989 and covering the Rwandan genocide. He now helps clients master media interviews, speak more confidently in public and tell better stories.
March 4, 2016
John Oliver and the rise of investigative comedy
It speaks volumes about the current state of journalism in the United States that it takes a 38-year old British comedian to draw attention to topics much of the mainstream media has chosen to ignore, using investigative reporting methods many of these organisations have long abandoned.
Take Donald Trump. A lot has been written and aired about the bombastic billionaire Republican presidential candidate. But when John Oliver – the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight – turned his fire on Trump Sunday, he touched a nerve that even other presidential contenders had failed to. After trashing Trump’s business record and denouncing the property magnate turned reality TV star as a “serial liar,” Oliver launched a campaign for the Donald to be referred to by his ancestral German name ‘Drumpf.’ By March 2, the #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain campaign was trending on Twitter and the episode had been viewed by more than 50 million people on YouTube.
This is the kind of crowd-pleasing trouble-making that has helped make Oliver one of the hottest tickets on American TV. Since April 2014, the British stand-up has used his satirical show to deal with some of the thorniest issues on the planet. Among the topics tackled: Net neutrality, the rise of Islamic State, Europe’s refugee crisis and corruption at the governing body of world football FIFA. Along the way he has interviewed luminaries and heavyweights such as whistleblower Edward Snowden and scientist Stephen Hawking. Read More