Wednesday, July 20, 2005

front pages and smarts

You'll find both at the website of the Newseum, the Washington, D.C.-based museum of news journalism. Currently closed while its new location is built, the Newseum offers cyber exhibits, including views of hundreds of today's newspaper front pages, updated daily. You can check them for story placement, size of article and photo, and use of images -- all things you can't get in online news pages. Test your news know-how with the Newseum's news trivia game, a timed, interactive quiz based on the latest coverage in several categories.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

the shoemaker's PR help...

It's ironic, but true: communications offices often neglect opportunities to gently promote their work within the rest of the organization. (The easy way to tell: Your client-colleagues say, unprompted, that they have no idea what you've done for them lately...or at all.) Aside from reminding others why your services are worthwhile, you're missing the chance to create pride and enthusiasm among your clients, as well as your own staff. Take a tip from those of us who work with many clients independently, and set aside time on a regular basis to brainstorm "gentle promotions" you and your staff can carry out, from elevator chatting to more formal reports when you hit a communications homer. You'll find an educated client is more enthused and receptive to new ideas. For more ideas on communicating your communications success, contact Denise Graveline at

Monday, July 18, 2005

a new science writing conference...

...combines two old ones, and the joint program has just been made available. This year, the National Association of Science Writers joins its sister organization, the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, for a combination conference from October 22 to 26 in here for details about the program, schedule, and hotel registration for both conferences. NASW's focus will be on professional development for science writers, public information officers and freelancers, while CASW will offer briefings by noted scientists on research topics emerging on the horizon. In between, there's lots of networking and some journalism awards. This is the first time NASW has moved its main conference offerings away from the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, with which it has long been linked. So if you're a science writer -- or looking for them -- the Pittsburgh conference is the place to be. Regulars: Note that you should register even earlier than usual, as attendance for both conferences is expected to swell.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

get a world view

In the wake of last week's bombings in London, that city's Guardian begins its editorial with a line from one by George Orwell during the WWII blitz: "As I write, highly civilised human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me." Curious about what editorials in other countries are saying about world events? Check out the New York Times opinion page online and look for the section "Editorials from Abroad."

Monday, July 11, 2005

and you think you've got mail?

A new study by the Congressional Management Foundation tells us that members of Congress received some 200 million communications by mail in 2004, with 180 million of them via email -- four times more mail overall, compared to a decade ago. Today's Washington Post article on the study notes that, since 9/11, it is almost useless to send snail mail to Congressional offices; since the anthrax scares, paper mail is scrutinized so thoroughly that it has no hope of reaching the target in a timely way. That's also true for most major news organizations, BTW. Phone calls, followed by emails, are our preferred methods -- based on guidance from the individual reporters in question. Are your emails to these tough targets as effective as they could be? Ask Denise Graveline at