According to a telephone survey conducted by NRG Research Group and Peak Communicators, twenty-seven per cent of residents in the Lower Mainland claim they will attend this year’s Honda Celebration of Light festival. The survey was conducted on July 22nd and 23rd amongst 400 participants from Vancouver and across the Lower Mainland.
Twenty-seven per cent is a significant number considering it doesn’t include tourists or residents who are planning to attend multiple shows. The survey further indicates 90 per cent awareness of the festival, with 80 per cent of participants maintaining a favourable impression of this popular Vancouver event. Furthermore, sixty-three per cent of participants stated they had attended the event at least once in the last five years.
“This shows a strong interest in the festival, which has become an iconic Vancouver tradition and one of the most popular fireworks displays in North America,” says Brian Owen, CEO of NRG Research Group. “With the high level of awareness and support indicated by the survey, this year’s event could well attract record crowds.”
The survey has a confidence interval of +/- 4.9 per cent 19 times out of 20. It is weighted to be represented by age, gender and whether the participant is from Vancouver or elsewhere in the Lower Mainland.
For further details, check out the Global BC article or listen to the News 1130 interview with Brian Owen below.
In June, David Baines, Scott Simpson and John Manthorpe said farewell to Vancouver Sun business readers. They had accepted Postmedia’s voluntary buyout options. Postmedia is losing millions every quarter and is operating under a heavy debt load – reflecting a general decline in the viability of traditional media.
I will miss David Baines the most. He was an award-winning columnist who for the past 25 years exposed questionable practices, stock fraud and misconduct in the business world. He was afforded a generous amount of research time and he often took stories to the “legal edge.” His parting shot was a multi-page article looking at the financial stewardship of the Rick Hansen Foundation.
In his farewell column Baines said, “I learned that it takes money, not just to publish stories, but also to defend them. I am fortunate to have worked for a newspaper that has the means and mindset to do both, and to have had great libel lawyers … to guide me through this jungle.”
In the current media landscape, local TV, radio and print news seldom have the staff, the research time or the finances to pay for libel lawyers. There are still many talented journalists in our market, but they are provided with less opportunity to do in-depth work.
I’ll miss the journalistic excellence and in-depth stories that Baines provided. Let’s hope local media will still have the resources to cover much more than just the headlines in the months and years ahead.
The cover depicts accused Boston Marathon bomber Jahar Tsarnaev but unlike the 1970’s cover of Charles Manson which showed a demonic killer, this cover shows someone who could be the latest teen heartthrob.
Reaction has been swift and damaging to the Rolling Stone’s reputation, a reputation founded on the cache of being on the cover as much for the often profanity laced articles inside.
The PR mistake that Rolling Stone made was failing to understand that emotions were still raw surrounding this terrible event. The editors forgot PR 101, lesson one, people react emotionally to what they see and not what they read.
What they saw and are fixated on is the picture. The words “bomber” and “monster” don’t come close to balancing that, even in bold, large print.
A picture is still worth more than 1000 words. In this case it’s worth hundreds of thousands of tweets threatening never to read the magazine again, and some retailers pulling the magazine from circulation so as not to offend their customers.
Having created its own “PR Crisis” the steps that Rolling Stone have taken are good ones:
Publishing the entire article so that people can read for themselves that the article does not glorify a “monster”.
Giving away its cover story, so that Rolling Stone is not seen to be benefiting from the controversy
Acknowledging the bombing victims at the top of the article and explaining why they pursued the story
The article is legitimate. TV entertainment shows do this all the time. Sometimes entertainment news just becomes news.
In 1970 Rolling Stone published a Charles Manson cover story, but the picture demonized Manson. This one didn’t. It showed the boy next door or the newest rock star. The public wanted to see the devil and they saw themselves.
It has been 40 years since Dr. Hook released “The Cover of the Rolling Stone” a song which immortalized what it meant to get on the cover. The public hasn’t forgotten what that means.
If Rolling Stone had a do-over they would pick a different cover.
It will take years to recover from the devastating flood that hit Calgary and Southern Alberta in late June. Many communities will never be the same. Others suffered so much damage they may never be rebuilt. Yet despite all the destruction, now estimated at over $5 billion, only four people died. It could have been a lot worse if not for a well-executed emergency communications plan keeping residents informed. Social media and traditional media played a vital role in that plan.
During the worst of it, as the rain poured down and rising rivers flooded one community after another along with the downtown, the zoo and Stampede Park, Twitter became an essential information lifeline for thousands of people. With no electricity, residents in affected communities used Twitter for real time information. Mayor Naheed Nenshi was constantly Tweeting to his tens of thousands of followers and the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA), Calgary Police Service, Calgary Fire
Department and other essential services used Twitter extensively to update flood conditions, coordinate evacuations, provide road closure status and even direct people to emergency shelters. Facebook sites were used to draft volunteers and muster resources and supplies. The flood clearly demonstrated how effective and efficient social media is at disseminating information during an emergency.
Calgary’s news media and in particular the TV stations really came through when it counted. As the flood situation worsened, Global, CTV and CBC affiliates broke into programming and provided wall-to-wall flood coverage for almost 48 hours. As part of its communications strategy, CEMA held frequent media updates and used the media as an information conduit. Mayor Nenshi and officials from CEMA, police and fire were readily available for media interviews. The coverage was critical in keeping the community informed, especially the hundreds of evacuees crowded around TV sets at the emergency relief centres trying to find out if they still had a home to go back to.
Now that the clean-up is underway and thousands of people work to put their lives back in order they can at least be assured that Calgary has an excellent emergency communication plan in place.