Today’s RoundUp: A hat trick and noteworthy awards

Today’s Round Up on heartwarming stories in the world of public relations, marketing and journalism.


Public Relations

I’ve seen a couple of really good PR stories this week, but the one that tugged on my heartstrings was from the Chicago Blackhawks.

I’m from NYS, so it’s probably blasphemous to admit that my favorite hockey team is the Blackhawks. I’ll take that risk.   Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved them.  As an adult, I’ve grown to love their public relations skills.  I know I’ve written about the Blackhawks before, but I can’t help myself this morning.

Facebook greeted me today with a video called “Our Rinks”. The video is also on Twitter:


The video features Blackhawks players and longtime friends Ryan Hartman and Scott Darling going into the neighborhoods of Chicago in search of kids playing hockey, playing a bit of hockey with the kids and declaring their makeshift “rinks” “Official Blackhawks Practice Rinks”.

I admit that the video seems a little staged, but it still tugs at the heartstrings.

But, there are other reasons that I love this PR campaign.

The hashtags are simple, but communicated more than one message to the fans.  By combining the two hashtags in the order that they did, it says that the Blackhawks team isn’t just about what’s happening inside their home ice.  They’re interested in what’s going on with the fans.  Their one goal isn’t just getting goals or making it to the playoffs for another run at the Stanley Cup.  Rather, their one goal is to connect with the fans and growing a relationship with them that will last through generations.

The Blackhawks’ PR team scored a hat trick with this one for emotional content, utilizing the asset of Hartman’s and Darling’s childhood friendship and the perfect order of hashtags.


I have to admit that I’m a little disappointed about not being able to share my first choice for a combined marketing and public relations story.  I was so excited when the General Mills cereal Cherios brand launched a social media marketing campaign with Veseys seed company to offer free wildflower seeds to anyone asking in an effort to reestablish a thriving bee population in the United States.  I immediately signed up to receive the seeds.

But, shortly after launching this campaign, three news stories came out that defeat General Mills’ efforts. First, social media users resurrected a story from back in November that the Cherios brand is just one brand linked to Monsanto‘s use of a pesticide on the grains used for the cereal. Second, social media users circulated a rumor that Veseys seed with Monsanto, and the seeds that everyone is signing up for might actually kill off the bee population even more.  I can’t confirm nor deny that rumor, but it’s out there contributing to the Cherios PR/Marketing crisis. And third, many online news sources are critical of the campaign as nothing more than a stunt to increase sales.

So, I’m sad that something I thought was a brilliant campaign is now tainted with this knowledge, and I’m sad for the General Mills PR/Marketing teams who thought that they were going to connect with their target audiences and it seems to be failing.


However, since I want to bring you good news about marketing,  I would like to congratulate the 18 students of a 44 student team at Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, Michigan who won big honors at the DECA competition in Detroit, and who will be going on to the international competition.

In a way, I’m a little glad I couldn’t use the Cherios story because I wouldn’t have come across this wonderful marketing story.


Roosevelt High School, Wyandotte, MI marketing students. Photo courtesy of Elissa Cumiskey via the News-Herald

DECA is an international organization that prepares students in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.


Great job, Roosevelt High Students!


If you’d like to help fund the marketing students’ trip to the April competition, they have a GoFundMe page.  So far, they’ve only raised $200 of the $10K needed.



In the land down under, The Melbourne Press Quill Awards, gave The Age a majority of the awards in seven categories for excellence in journalism.

The Age is Melbourne’s premier newspaper and has been in publication since the mid-1800’s.

Congratulations to The Age journalists for their commitment to bringing the people excellent journalism.

download (29)

Photo courtesy The Age




New York State of Mine

For today’s RoundUP, the good news in PR, marketing and journalism, I thought I’d share some stories from Upstate New York.


Public Relations

Yesterday, winds with near record speeds invaded the greater Rochester, NY area forcing many closings of schools, businesses and agencies through Thursday. Flights arriving at the airport were diverted. Thousands are still without power this morning, many homes  and schools were damaged, and some areas of the western upstate NY city are under a state of emergency.  A train in Batavia, NY was even derailed by the force of the winds.  No injuries were reported in that incident.


Logo courtesy of Target Corporate website

In the midst of all the destruction caused by the winds, at least one major chain store made a decision to help the community.  The Target store in Henrietta, NY was one of the many who lost power on Wednesday, leaving all of their frozen and refrigerated food product vulnerable to waste.  Instead of letting that happen,  the Target store donated all of their perishable food items to a local homeless shelter, House of Mercy.

I admire this Target store’s management for assessing the situation thrust upon them, and choosing to help their community instead of letting this food go to waste.  Actions like this are good public relations and evidence of how upstate New Yorkers pull together in times of great need.


This is a week old story, but I was impressed by it so much that it was still on my mind this morning. Last Thursday, The Fenimore Art Museum located in Cooperstown, NY launched a new branding “initiative”.

You might be saying, “Yeah? Big deal.”

Well, it is a big deal.

Most people go to Cooperstown for the Baseball Hall of Fame or the Little League Dreams Park national competitions without realizing that this cozy town has so much more to offer.

Fenimore Art Museum is one of those hidden gems that gets overlooked.  To be honest, whenever I visit Cooperstown, I often overlook the museum, and I don’t know why.

The museum has a top-notch research library, an extensive permanent collection, and offers many unique traveling exhibitions and activities for all ages.  So, why haven’t I visited the museum in recent years?

Maybe because they haven’t had a new marketing campaign in 15 years?  Yes, that’s right. 15 years.  In terms of marketing, that’s several life-cycles behind.

I was trying to think of all the reasons they might not have paid much attention to their marketing for such a long period of time.

At first I thought, maybe they have a new marketing director.  Nope, same director for the past ten years.

Then I thought that the most reasonable explanation is that I would imagine it would be hard to market an art museum to the particular audience that flocks to the town for all things baseball.  Perhaps they just figured it wasn’t worth a lot of marketing dollars to try.

If this is the case, then they were overlooking a whole segment of people that like baseball, but love art.  Like me.

So, I was glad to see that they are launching a new marketing campaign that looks like the museum is reaching out to a wider target audience and updating everything from their website, social media presence and marketing portfolio.


Fenimore Art Museum announcement via the museum’s Facebook page

In fact, because of this announcement, I was drawn to their Facebook page and website and found two exhibits that I am planning on attending in April.

Great job, Fenimore Art Museum on your new branding!



John Gabalski, a Byron, NY home-schooled teen ” was the first person to participate in the 4-H Day in the Life Experiences nationwide” (M. Diefenbach) and won a trip to New York City to shadow MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin.

“The 15-year-old was chosen because of his interest in journalism and broadcasting and his role as a 4-H news reporter.”  (Dvon Williams of 4-H, as quoted in Diefenbach’s story.  I could not locate the original 4-H press release on the national website or other press release clearinghouse websites)

The teen plans on studying broadcast journalism in college.

For the complete story and photos, click here.

Additionally, Craig Melvin will be receiving the 4-H Legacy Award on March 21, 2017 in Washington, D.C.


MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin. Twitter photo




Lightening up this weekend: Today’s news in PR, Marketing and Journalism

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad it’s Friday! It’s been kind of a long week and I have plans with friends throughout the weekend.

You know what else is good about today? I’ve found three “good news” stories in the PR, marketing and journalism fields to share with you.  Out of sheer coincidence and a little design, today’s stories are all about fitness.


Public Relations

Who doesn’t like a good contest? A lot of public relations campaigns are built around contests to help current and potential customers or clients win something.  They can be a good PR strategy to reward loyal customers, renew interest in your company, or gain new followers.

captureBoss Running mobile app,designed to help people get physically fit, announced today that they’re launching a new PR campaign that involves users to win fitness gear.

Some of the prizes include:

  • An iPod touch®
  • BlenderBottle® shakers
  • Official BOSS Running exercise shirts

All you have to do to enter is to submit a photo, their fitness goals, and why they should win an iPod touch.

You can enter at

For more information about this new fitness app, go to Boss Running website.

Hope you win at your fitness goals and this contest!


As you head out of the office this afternoon, you might stop at your local pub or bar, or the liquor/grocery story to pick up an adult beverage. Or maybe you just got out of the gym and want something more than plain old water to quench your Friday night thirst.

Spring and Summer is almost here and you’ve been dieting.

So, which adult beverage won’t trash your fitness efforts or plans to fit into that new swimsuit by summer?

Henry’s Hard beverages, owned by the MillerCoors company,  announced a new marketing campaign tied to a new line of adult beverages under the Henry’s Hard brand. capture

Henry’s Hard Sparkling currently comes in two flavors: Lemon Lime and Passion Fruit.  At just a little over 90 calories and under 3 grams of carbs per bottle, the MillerCoors company is hoping that you will make these your adult beverage choice.

The target markets for this beverage are men and women alike who are dieting or into physical fitness.

The marketing campaign will include “advertising on high-profile partners such as TBS, Food Network, Bravo, USA, EPSN and Comedy Central, a digital presence on Men’s Health and Women’s Health, traditional print media support and public relations” (MillerCoors via PR Newswire)

On social media, “fans can share how they enjoy a balanced life with Henry’s Hard Sparkling by following @HenrysHardSparkling on Facebook and Instagram and using the hashtag #LiveHardish.”

The only complaint that I have is when I went to the website for the product, and I placed my zip code into the designated spot, this product is not yet available in my Upstate Central NY area despite the press release’s promise that it is now available in most liquor and grocery stores.  Maybe their waiting to toll this product out when our weather gets warmer?


Okay, so maybe this isn’t journalism news at all, but rather an idea prompted by something cute that happened to White House reporters this week.

Last Friday, New Yorker editor-in-chief David Remnick told White House reporters

“You can’t afford to be exhausted. This is the time you drink some coffee and work”.

Tom Hanks, then followed through by sending WH reporters a new espresso machine and a note telling them to keep up the good work at finding the truth. Tom Hanks and his gift trended on social media.

My advice to all reporters this week is in addition to coffee which may have some health benefits, exercise is a great stress and anxiety reliever.

Maybe you can all use that new Boss Running app and win some prizes while you’re working out your frustrations.

Or, your editors can all chip in and hire a semi-personal trainer to make daily visits to the press room.

Even better yet, fitness experts looking to expand their client lists can put out new exercise plans designed for busy reporters. Now, there’s an idea worth pursuing.


Have a great weekend. Hope you found this edition of PRdoctorit’s Round Up light and fun this Friday afternoon.

See you soon!

National Kidney Month, Ann Taylor and the Home Depot

Let’s see what’s the good word in PR, marketing and journalism today.


Public Relations

I’ve been trying to pick one story each post under each heading, but I just couldn’t decide between two today, so I’m telling you about both.

Like every month of the year, many organizations and causes claim a month to get the word out about what they want you to know.

March is . . .

Asset Management Awareness Month
National Caffeine Awareness Month

National Celery Month
National Cheerleading Safety Month
National Craft Month
National Credit Education Month
National Flour Month
National Frozen Food Month
National Noodle Month
National Nutrition Month
National Peanut Month
National Sauce Month
National Trisomy Awareness Month
National Umbrella Month
National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
National Music in Our Schools Month
National Professional Social Work Month

(links and list provided by

But the two PR campaigns that caught my eye this morning were for National Kidney Month and National Women’s History Month.


National Kidney Month

This morning, the American Urology Association (AUA), issued a press release to draw attention that this is the month we’re supposed to remember to care for our kidneys.

The press release came with an infographic that is easy to understand and read.  The horizontal layout that is different from a lot of infographics that use a vertical layout.  download-28

The infographic was the first thing that caught my attention about this press release, but once I read the whole release, I was more interested in the content of the release itself.

Under the topic of “Kidney Stones”, Christine Frey of the AUA and author of the press release, writes

“One in 10 Americans will develop a kidney stone at some point in their lifetime and are the reason for more than 1 million emergency department visits per year. In fact, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran Matt Mitrione was pulled from a highly anticipated fight last month due to kidney stones, which he needed surgically removed. Other famous names associated with kidney stones include Billy Joel, Tim Burton, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Joel, Roger Moore, William Shatner and Gene Simmons.” – via PR Newswire

The information is serious, but I couldn’t help but to chuckle just a little. Is is just me, or do you wonder if all these famous people (and Billy Joel twice as much) wouldn’t really want it known that they suffered from kidney stones. I know they’re famous and their lives are an open book, but still.

So out of curiosity, I googled “famous people who had kidney stones”. And you know what? I found what was most likely Frey’s source.

Frey lists her source as the Urology Care Foundation at the end of the press release, but I could not locate the information on their site, so I believe Nguyen’s article is  the source.

Dr. Mike Nguyen, a urologist and an Associate Professor of Clinical Urology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, CA, also writes for a non-commercial organization of doctors known as “Kidney Stoners“.  The organization is designed to help kidney disease patients understand their medical needs. One of those articles by Nguyen is called “13 Famous Kidney Stoners.

Frey lists her source as the Urology Care Foundation at the end of the press release, but I could not locate the information on their site, so I believe Nguyen’s article is  the source.

It’s okay, we all make mistakes, and I don’t want to focus on that.  Rather, I just thought that this was not only an important health press release, but it had a good infographic and it made me smile a little this morning.

Whenever a press release can do that, it’s got to be good, right?

National Women’s History Month

The other public relations campaign for a cause that caught my eye this morning was Ann Taylor‘s contribution to National Women’s History Month.

Within the press release, the women’s clothing company presented a new video honoring women of the past, present and future.  The video is available to view on the company’s website, as well as YouTube, PRNewswire, and well . . . here.



A lot of company’s are doing these public relations/marketing campaigns.  Some really can’t pull it off because the marketing and branding is too much in your face that it drowns out the message. I viewed a couple like that this week and passed them over because of it.

But, this video is one of the successful combination campaigns that makes more out of the message than the brand.  The video itself was tasteful, emotional and powerful.

The press release was written in the same way. There were definite marketing messages, but the main body of the release was more about celebrating women. Especially the part about an organization founded by the Ann Taylor company.

“The This is Ann video coincides with the launch of the HERlead Fellowship application period (formerly known as the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative). For the past six years, Ann Taylor and its sister brands have collaborated with Vital Voices Global Partnership, a non-governmental organization, to continue the HERlead Fellowship, which uses mentorship and leadership training to inspire the next generation of female leaders. This is Ann calls for those watching to apply or nominate a rising high school junior or senior with the passion to create positive change in her community. The application process is open through March 18th. -Ann Taylor via PR Newswire

If you or someone you know is interested in applying for the mentorship/leadership program, visit



Technically not a marketing story at all, but I read between the lines on this one.


Screenshot via Home Depot website

Home Depot has announced that they are simplifying the job application process for new Spring hires (PR Newswire).




The press release says

“Behind the Apron” Series
The company also is highlighting the personal stories of current Home Depot associates to give job seekers a glimpse of the fun and interesting people that make up the company’s rich culture. Behind the Apron is a series of video and photo essays available on The Home Depot’s digital content site, Built from Scratch, as well as the Careers site and #HomeDepotHiring hashtag. Here, job seekers also can view the number of job openings in major local markets, interview tips and more.

From the “Jobs in Bloom” tagline to the “Behind the Apron” series, Home Depot is marketing themselves as a company that has jobs, wants to hire, and is willing to go to great lengths to praise their employees.

I wish the Home Depot much success in this marketing and branding campaign.



I hate to say it, but I searched and I searched, and I searched some more.  But, I was having a hard time finding a good news journalism story this morning.  There was a lot of usual political stuff, some cautionary tales and some critical stories.

I’m going to keep searching today, and hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to give you two.

Until then, if you have a good news story about journalism, feel free to leave a comment.

See you next time on PRdoctorit’s RoundUp.


ICE, AMC and Diederich College of Communications

Today’s Good News in PR, marketing and journalism highlights winners, new strategy and a call for quality in journalism.


Public Relations

The largest, award winning culinary school, the Institute of Culinary Education, recently held a scholarship competition, open to anyone in the world.

The competition invitation was a public relations campaign, using the hashtag #CulinaryVoice on social media

“ICE partnered with celebrity chefs and food stars Marcus Samuelsson, Ted Allen, Donatella Arpaia and Duff Goldman to challenge the world to enter and win more than $212,000 in scholarships to attend one of six diploma programs at ICE.

More than 250 entrants shared their inventive and exciting culinary voices — and the world responded, with the videos garnering a total of 1.8 million votes and views to determine the finalists in each category. An exclusive panel of ICE instructors, including James Beard Award-winning chefs David Waltuck and Michael Laiskonis, selected the winners of the full and partial scholarships to attend ICE’s award-winning career programs.” – Jessica Mara, Public Relations
Institute of Culinary Education via PR Newswire

Today, ICE announced the eighteen recipients of the scholarships.  Congratulations to all of the winners and congratulations to ICE for a successful PR campaign!





Logo on Twitter

There’s quite a bit going on with the AMC Movie Theater brand.  Half of what’s going on is good, half not.  But, I’m counting this one as a win for AMC for two reasons.

(All of the quotes in this section are from A. Sakoui, Bloomberg Technology, 28 Feb. 2017

First, the good.

  1. The new marketing strategy includes creating sub-brands for the Chinese-owned movie theater company.  Two of the sub-brands will be AMC Classic and AMC Dine-In. “’AMC Classic’ brand would be used for its smaller theaters and markets, and a third smaller brand called ‘AMC Dine-in’ would be deployed at the about 60 locations with full kitchens and bars.” “The smaller theaters will have Coca-Cola Freestyle machines and refillable popcorn buckets.”
  2. “They’re considering plans to reduce the 90 days of exclusivity” before new releases become available in homes. This is good news for consumers who would rather watch movies at home or cannot afford to go to the movies.

Next, the so-so news.

  1. Part of the AMC strategy is to acquire Carmike’s Theaters.  Carmike’s Theaters operates in 41 states across the U.S. and will be re-branded with the AMC name. Good news for AMC, not so much for Carmike’s.
  2. But, the acquisition of Carmike’s cost AMC in profits the last quarter of 2016. AMC is confident that they will rebound with the new marketing strategy, additional theaters, and because overall their stock went up 35 percent last year.

While the news is split, I’m placing this in the win column for AMC because the bad news isn’t that bad, and I am confident that AMC is headed in the right direction with their new strategy. Dine-in movie theaters seems to be gaining popularity, and releasing movies from the theater earlier will be a hit with consumers.



There’s good things happening for journalism majors on the campus of Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.

First, the university is “celebrating 100 years of student media.”  In 2014, Diederich College of Communications at Marquette University received a gift to help renovate the main hall.  The work is expected to be completed in the summer of 2018.

This week the student run Marquette Wire ran an editorial calling for the university to revamp their antiquated journalism curriculum to help journalism student meet the needs of the 21st century press.

The editorial was critical of the current curriculum,  high turnover rate of faculty and what seems to be a lack of action on the school’s administration to bring the journalism program up to date.

Like I said, the editorial was critical, which doesn’t seem like very good news at all.  But, I believe that it is.

It is encouraging that the journalism student recognize that they need more quality training in order to be the very best journalists the can be once they graduate.  It gives me hope for the future of journalism.  It makes me proud that these students hunger for the best training for their educational dollars.

I hope that the Marquette College administration and faculty accept this challenge.  New buildings are good, but the foundation of the future of journalism requires up-to-date curriculum and teachers that are able to teach 21st century journalism.

Additional news at Diederich College of Communications:

This weekend, the college will hold their centennial celebration for alumni, staff and students.

Congratulations on your 100th year of teaching journalism!

Today’s good news: Blimps, seafood and camp

Every day there are so many interesting and inspiring stories communications pros.

There are so many great stories out there, it’s so hard to choose.  Sometimes there’s a theme, like the other day when we talked about Valentine’s Day.

But other times, there is no connection except that the stories are good news in the communications fields of  public relations, marketing and journalism.

Like today’s RoundUP that consists of blimps, seafood and a camp for budding journalists.


Public Relations

For almost 100 years, Goodyear tire company has been flying its beloved iconic blimps.


Good year’s Pilgrim Santa Express. Photo courtesy of the Lighter-than-air Society

Goodyear’s Pilgrim,  was the first commercial non-rigid airship to use helium.  Goodyear’s purpose for the blimp was purely for public relations.  Carrying the company’s logo, the blimp was to bring goodwill to “remote locations across” the U.S.

In the mid to late 1920’s, one of the most beloved public relations campaigns for Goodyear and their blimp was the “Santa Express“. The Santa Express is still part of the company’s public relations activities, partnering with Toys for Tots

Today, there are many Goodyear blimps that fly over sporting events and other community-spirit events.  The company uses Facebook and Twitter to build excitement for the blimp and to educate the public about Goodyear’s public relations activities.

Because PR is a major focus of the blimps, one of the main crew members of each blimp is the Airship Public Relations Specialist .

“The Public Relations (PR) Specialist is the communications representative and planning agent for the Blimp at his or her designated hangar. With a primary focus on generating public relations opportunities at the local and national level, the PR Specialist helps to tactically deploy the airship to televised events, customer-related initiatives and community-based events.

The Airship Public Relations Specialist works to capitalize on media opportunities and partnerships that will lead to positive press for the Blimp and Goodyear. This person also manages a schedule that satisfies a balance of media, public relations, and television-related opportunities.

Additionally, the Public Relations team plays a key role in managing the Goodyear Blimp’s social media content and works closely with the Pilot-in-Charge at their base to define a schedule that drives significant value for the Company. – Goodyear

In the past 90 years, the Goodyear blimp has changed many times, and aside from assisting the U.S. government during wartime, the focus has remained on public relations.

Today, Goodyear announced that they will make major upgrades to the Los Angeles area hangar in order to meet the needs of the new semi-rigid model “blimp” that was first introduced in 2011.

Although the new model is not actually a blimp, the focus remains the same: spreading goodwill for Goodyear and its community partners to adoring fans.

For more information on the history of the Goodyear blimp and its importance in public relations history, click here.


Photo of Goodyear’s new “blimp” courtesy of Goodyear



Maryland’s seafood industry is hoping to make a move that will benefit the branding of its industry.

Since 2011, the state’s seafood industry has fallen under its Department of Natural Resources (DNR)  For the past year or so, Maryland’s seafood industry’ marketing has been virtually nonexistent as the position of the DNR’s marketing specialist has remained unfilled after Steve Vilnit resigned and the person hired to fill his position quit a short time after being hired.

Recently, bill HB 120 was introduced in the state’s house of representatives that would move the state’s seafood industry back to the state’s Department of Agriculture.

The move would allow Maryland’s seafood to enjoy the same marketing brand as its agricultural products, additional marketing funds, and a new logo designed to boost the unique qualities and brand of Maryland’s seafood.


New Maryland seafood industry logo. Courtesy of the state’s governmental website: Dept. of Agriculture

Gov. Larry Hogan said,

“This bill is an important step toward recognizing the bond between farmers and watermen. As Marylanders, we all know that Maryland is home to the best seafood, and with a strong marketing plan from the Department of Agriculture, Maryland will be open to new markets and opportunities for our watermen.” – via Kobell; Bay Journal


“The industry would also benefit from established relationships with distributors, restaurants, grocery chains and other institutions, in addition to the department’s experience in promoting products to international buyers through the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA).” –




IPA 2005 Logo Color

Logo courtesy of Google.

The Illinois Press Foundation is currently seeking high school sophmores, juniors and graduating seniors to apply for its 11-day journalism immersion camp on the Eastern Illinois University campus at the end of June.

Applications will be accepted through May 24.

The program consists of hands on journalism field trips and instruction at media organizations and at the state capital.

For the past 20 years,

“Dozens of reporters, editors, publishers, photographers and other journalists have taught in the program since 1991, representing more than 50 newspapers and news organizations throughout Illinois and across the country.” – The Effingham Daily News

 For more information and link to the application, click here.
As always, thanks for following.
See you over the weekend!


Robots, “Markendising” & an award

It’s time for today’s RoundUP of my picks for public relations, marketing and journalism stories that inspire.

Public Relations

In 2010, Congress and iRobot established National Robotics Week to

  • Celebrate the US as a leader in robotics technology development
  • Educate the public about how robotics technology impacts society, both now and in the future
  • Advocate for increased funding for robotics technology research and development
  • Inspire students of all ages to pursue careers in robotics and other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math-related fields


This year’s National Robotics Week is April 8-16.  The organization is

calling for event submissions from robot-enthusiasts across all 50 United States. Events can include robotics competitions, expos, parties, meetups, workshops, classes, camps, and open houses or tours of companies and universities. To submit a National Robotics Week event, please visit

-via PRNewswire

The organization has thought of everything in terms of PR for anyone person or organization holding a robotic event.  They give libraries, universities, schools, museums and others the tools to succeed and to present a unified message for the organization and week. This is public relations at it’s best.

They have designated social media hashtags, a template press release, downloadable robotic trading cards (which are awesome!), logos to use on social media and public relations materials, an activity book for teachers, posters, and more.

Visit the website for more details.



If you’ve ever shopped at Walmart, then you’ve probably experienced “Markendising” by WhyteSpyder.

What?!?!? Markendising? What in the world is THAT?!?!?

According to the WhyteSpyder, the “Walmart commerce experts” website, “markendising” is the future marketing.

MARKENDISING defines our communication approach that combines marketing and merchandising in order to satisfy the demands of today’s omnichannel shopper. Marketing utilizes a blend of pull-marketing tactics and content marketing philosophy. Merchandising accommodates today’s virtual shopper with detailed product attributes and information. MARKENDISING provides the shopper with accurate, high quality product data and content that is searchable and consistent in every channel. MARKENDISING directly stimulates product sales both online and in-store.

Our MARKENDISING program helps manufacturers setup, manage, optimize, enhance and expand product information on the product detail page (SKU page) with major retailers, specifically and Staying aligned with strategic visions of Walmart and Sam’s Club, WhyteSpyder produces and manages content while leveraging any distribution technology accepted by Walmart/Sam’s Club that are beneficial for manufacturers and their agencies.

WhyteSpyder’s digital marketing execution capabilities for advertising agencies include UX design, photography, video, content marketing, publishing, database management, email marketing and Ecommerce services. We are best fit in supporting agency strategic plans with retention-based marketing as we nourish existing programs to achieve higher awareness, engagement, lead conversions and sales.

WhyteSpider‘s website



Logo courtesy of Google


If you’re intrigued about WhyteSpider’s “markendising”  . . . on Feb. 17 and Feb. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., WhyteSpyder will be hosting a Q&A livestream to answer any questions suppliers may have following the Walmart summit meeting”





Burhan Özbilici, 59, was awarded the 2017 World Press Photo prize for this photo of the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey.


Burhan Özbilic’s prize winning photo of the assassination of Andrei Karlov, Russian Ambassador to Turkey 19 Dec. 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/AP World Press


Özbilici is an Associated Press photojournalist in Ankara. He was also awarded the Izzet Kezer Photo Prize by the Progressive Journalists Association in Turkey for the same photograph.


To read Özbilici’s interview with Deutsche Welle, Germany’s public international broadcaster, click here.

Here are two quotes from that interview:


Burhan Özbilici; Twitter

“It was a horrifying, painful, terrible incident. I wish it hadn’t happened, but it did. But if I hadn’t been there, some other person would have been there instead of me. I could have run but I didn’t. I simply did my job and fulfilled my duty as a journalist.”


What kind of difficulties do journalists and photojournalists face in Turkey these days?

The situation is not very promising. It’s not our job to make political statements, just like it’s not their job to deal with journalism. It would be more than enough if they just left us alone. Independent journalism is the only condition for a society to survive.”


That’s a full lid for today.  I’m off tomorrow, but will be back on Friday, February 17.

Thanks for following! Have a wonderful day!

Today’s RoundUP: Valentine’s Edition

If you didn’t catch my last post, I have a brand new focus.  I’ll be sharing three items of interest in each post.  One public relations, one marketing and one journalism story that inspires those in these communications fields to be the very best.

Here are today’s picks with a Valentine’s Day theme.

Public Relations

hotel-clipart-hotel5In January, Mihaela Lica Butler of Hospitality Net published an excellent article for those in the hotel industry on how to promote Valentine’s Day.  The article gave excellent tips about how to “think outside the box” through special services that are unique to each individual hotel property. But the best tip of all was that Valentine’s Day isn’t just about making money and cashing in on the holiday, but a day for “relationship building”.

I have several friends who are single or recently divorced, and they dread this day, so I thought that the reminder at the end of the article that not everyone staying at hotels on Valentine’s Day are in relationships was sensitive and appropriate.



This week, President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met in Washington to discuss women entrepreneurs and business leaders and other matters. The meetings were “cordial” and focused on the commonalities our neighboring countries have with one another, signifying the long-time friendly relations the US and Canada has with one another.

Also this week, another US/Canadian partnership introduced.

The cities of Anaheim, California and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada announced that they have entered into a special “relationship” between the two cities by sharing a tourism marketing campaign (via PRNewswire).

The tourism boards for both cities decided to put aside their competitive differences and come together in a mutually beneficial relationship to share tourism dollars.

The year-long campaign features videos, special events and mutual social media posts declaring their “love” for each other’s cities.

To view the three currently released videos, click here.



download-22Journalists in Liberia, Africa are partnering with local health organizations to use their voice for the benefit of the people of their country.

“The Anti-AIDS Media Network (AAMIN) in collaboration with the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) with support from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) has scaled up programs for journalists in three of Liberia’s 15 counties to create demand for community utilization of the Prevention of HIV Transmission from Mother-to-Child (PMTCT) and Antenatal Care (ANC).” – Front Page Africa

The journalists in Liberia are being trained on the health issues of the nation, so that they can get the message out to the people.  The collaboration is expected to decrease the high infant mortality rate, which is about 13 times that of the United States’ rate (comparison via CIA World Factbook).

“We as journalists have the ability to help change the world around us, develop our countries and cities; counties and districts; and our beloved towns, villages and communities” – Necus Andrews, Executive Director of the Media, Liberia


I can’t think of a better way for journalists to spread some love than to serve their country and people in this way.

Something New

You may have noticed that I’ve changed the name of this blog.

prdoctorit is now

RoundUP: Good News in PR, marketing & journalism.


We’re in a time when our professions are being criticized, parodied and scrutinized.

Some of it is justified, funny and much needed.

But, there’s another side to our profession, the side that is rarely made known or commented on: The good side.

Every day, there are good people in public relations, marketing and journalism working hard to make sure that what we say and do is ethical, fair, honest and transparent. Believe it or not, there’s honor among us.

There’s an awful lot in the media, on social media and in the public that focuses on the negative aspects of our professions.

Instead, I’d like to shine light on the positive.

The new focus of this blog will be reporting on stories, press releases, trends and anything that tells how people in our professions are struggling against the current tide to impact our society in a good way.

Instead of a weekly roundup of what’s good, I will be constantly on the lookout for praiseworthy stories in PR, marketing and journalism.

Because, we desperately need to hear the good news of PR, marketing and journalism.

I hope that you’ll enjoy this new focus as much as I will enjoy writing about it.


Weekly Press Releases

It’s Friday, again? Wow! Where did this week go? I’ve been so busy! I bet you’ve been busy, too!

I’ve put together some press releases that you might have missed from this past week.



  • “The Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations & Marketing Society recognized Novant Health with 15 awards at its fall conference Dec. 8 in Charleston, S.C.”  – The Charlotte Weekly  


    Novant Health logo courtesy of

Congratulations to the marketing and public relations team at Novant!



Note: It’s been two months since Novant won the awards.  I wonder if the Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations & Marketing Society, Novant Health or The Charlotte Weekly is responsible for the late publication of this press release?



  • “George J. Moniodis, public affairs specialist for St. Agnes and former Baltimore County school board member, dies” – The Baltimore Sun


    George Moniodis, respected Baltimore PR specialist. Photo courtesy of The Baltimore Sun



Condolences to Mr. Moniodis’ family, friends and coworkers.









Marketing News


  • Good News for General Motors:  Three 2017 Chevrolet models make it in the top 5 of classic car insurance company Hagerty’s top 10 “Hot List” of Future Collectibles – PR Newswire

Logo courtesy of Chevrolet


Logo courtesy of The Great Race via Google





  • Will early interest drive up the price of NCAA tickets? 

“Vivid Seats Unveils NCAA Tournament Pricing Preview Giving Fans a First Look at the Cost to Follow their Favorite Team . . .

‘Final Four’ Ticket Searches Up 49 Percent Year-Over-Year, Signaling Sports Fans’ Excitement For Tournament” – Vivid Seats via PR Newswire


Logo courtesy of Vivid Seats website