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





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