Thursday, January 28, 2010

State of the Union 2010

For ABC-TV Chicago Channel 7 a.m. news:
1. Style of the State of the Union was illustrated by the President's wildly praised speaking skills. One exception was a thumping of his hands on the podium picked up by the mic. However, if you conduct a readability analysis of the grade level of the speech you can see why the President is working harder to get his message across. I used Microsoft's Word Flesch-Kincaid) scoring ( The President and his team of David Axelrod- senior advisor, Jon Favreau - speech writer and Mona Sutphen -policy advisor crafted a speech scoring at the 6th to 7th grade level. His speech in 2009 was at the 9th grade level. For a point of history, John Kennedy's 1962 State of the Union was at the 12th grade level. The scoring is meant to provide some guidance to edit your talk or paper to be more understandable by the audience. A speech for a national audience on TV should not use so many long sentences and words that it is difficult to follow.

He also changed his strategy to refer to existing bills on a range of topics that were passed by the House. He charged the Senate to act on their own or the House bills. His strategy on jobs and several specific bills supporting jobs (tax breaks for small business) showed his growth as a leader. If he gets only a few of the more than a dozen recommendations; he will be miles ahead of 2009 stalled efforts. As a relatively inexperienced lobbyist himself, he failed to work with the Congress to secure healthcare repairs. He needs to learn that only a tiny fraction of bills pass (8%) even when he commands them for his desk. His key points on education again threatened traditional and over-priced university degrees, power and this mix-master of issues tossed in at the end seem presidential, but expensive.

The Republican effort was weak (again). They smartly added the most enthusiastic diverse audience I have ever seen to applaud stiff and too new to office Governor McDonnel after each cliche. The Governor was stiff and too new to office to carry the mantle of the GOP. All he could do under the thumb of Republican strategists was to mention the President's agenda and a tired Republican retort.

We don't need all of the President's legislative wish list. The President needs to secure some his wish list. What we need are jobs, lower taxes on smaller businesses and a modified health care system.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Floating "PRournalism" Part 2 Credibility

The 2nd “C” – Credibility
How can the values of the Medill School of Journalism, the values of professional journalism and the new gyrations of the professional employment market be aligned for the 21st century beginning in 2010?
The values of journalism as stated by Medill are most visibly found in 2009 at
In its teaching, Medill has always emphasized three fundamentals to media reporting: accuracy, fairness, and balance. "There is a right way, an ethical way, to present the news," says Boye. "More than anything else we want Medill graduates to have a strong appreciation that this is what good journalism is all about."
From the Poynter Institute’s tolerant publishing of G. Stuart Adam’s Notes Towards a Definition of Journalism Understanding an old craft
as an art form: “Whatever else this journalism may be … it is the product of reporting — the gathering and presentation of slices and bits of human experience and thought selected from what N. K. Llewellyn once called the “aperceptive mass of behavior.” So journalism involves, and is defined to some extent by, reporting. But it also involves criticism, or editorializing, or the conferral of judgments on the shape of things. Each of the items in the foregoing inventory — some more consciously than others — involved a judgment or an assessment of the significance or value or worth of the actions of its subjects.”

After meandering about in his essay for 27 pages Adam’s finally writes: “In other words, I am trying to define journalism in terms of what it is rather than by the medium through which it is circulated. Now I am prepared to commit myself.”

He writes: “There are minimally five elements or principles of design in any piece
of journalism that, although journalism may share some of these with
other forms of expression and although the elements may be unequally
represented in individual pieces, together mark and define it. In my
view, journalism comprises distinctive elements or principles (1) of
news, (2) of reporting or evidence-gathering, (3) of language, (4) of narration, and (5) of meaning.” (p. 23).

The readers of the report are fully familiar with Adam’s often used descriptors of journalism through other Medill School 2020 planning terms. Our language is similar but richer choice of words such as storytelling, audience, engaging, news, research, writing, technology, reporting, relevant, differentiated and more..

Dean Lavine stated in 2006 on the Medill 2020 plan:

The realities of today’s media environment require an education that incorporates elements of both traditions, Lavine says. In a world of abundant choice for consumers and fierce competition for their time, journalists need to learn how to reach their audience with compelling stories and presentation, while marketers and communications students must understand how to think and write with the clarity of journalists, according to Lavine.
Wisely there never was a debate among reasonable, thinking adults about the need for change (only the process). Since 2006 for the journalism program and bluntly since 1989 for the IMC program the changes have been explored, tested, researched, authored, rejected, accepted and refined. As 2020 approaches, the challenge will be to build a viable alternative educational delivery system (a degree combining the content and credible values of journalism for many organizations) that may take as long as IMC has taken to be accepted – toward the year 2020.
For example, a team of communicators at Boeing Corporation operates as the internal communications staff. The team is lead by a former newspaper reporter and editor and staffed with traditional Medill journalism graduates. Their avowed goal is to “transparently communicate to the employees of Boeing” (confirm quote from October 18 2009 meeting).
The example of Boeing is prescient of the future of the need for a journalism based but more broadly targeted educational program in what could be logically, academically and professionally called: “organizational service journalism,” or organizational journalisms” While initial expressions of concern over this preliminary label seemed premature since the report had not been edited or submitted. The report offers in the appendix a combination and permutation of 2925 other phrases constructed from 27 possible degree title words selected from this study. The final choice should be the faculties
The values of the press including “freedom of expression” (Emerson, Fuchs 1992) do not apply only to the traditional news press. It may be time, again, to label the various estates related to the 4th estate of the press and journalism to clarify the richer list of “estates” available to the modern graduate... The discussion above from Adam and Lavine, established that journalism in this discussion is a not simply an organization but a highly professional intellectual process. From this discussion it is fair to suggest that the elements of journalism may be found and logically practiced in any number of institutions or estates.
Given the complex role of so many institutions from the historical 1st-4th Estates it might be reasonable to note the shifts of power and communications to the 1st through the 9th Estates. Therefore, the loss of credibility and the need to restore it for the new estates and old ones. The incumbent expectation of the provision of content may indeed make the new estates “more important than them all."
From the corporate and other organizational concept of transparency in financial, social and other reporting to the shifting search of employees, voters, investors and general public to non-traditional journalism sources for news and news like content, we have a caldron perfect for a more diverse and richly segmented communications “soup”.
William Baker calculates a very high level of unemployment among traditional news journalists: “There's no doubt that news in America is in trouble. Of the 60,000 print journalists employed throughout the nation in 2001, at least 10,000 have lost their jobs, and last year alone newspaper circulation dropped by a precipitous 7 percent. Internet, network and cable news employ a dwindling population of reporters, not nearly enough to cover a country of 300 million people, much less keep up with events around the world. It is no longer safe to assume, as the authors of the Constitution did, that free-flowing news and information will always be available to America's voters.”
Baker’s government take-over (NPR, PBS) or foundation solution in The Nation may be just one of the “too big (or important) to fail” solutions to changing journalism’s future:
“Saving journalism might seem like an entirely new problem, but it's really just another version of one that Americans have solved many times before: how do we keep a vital public institution safe from the ups and downs of the economy? Private philanthropy and government support are the two best answers we have to this question.”
The balance of this report has a modest suggestion of a more balanced, likely and institution building approach to advancing journalism as a provider of credible content.
Proposals for Program Research
Initial paper was shared with a dozen members of the leading elite organizations in public relations - Arthur W. Page Society ( The select group represents professional PR who led the communications function in corporations with $3,000,000 in sales and the top official of leading PR agencies. Members are selected for life-time appointments.
Several of the reviewers are also current or former adjunct professors in the Medill School of Journalism (IMC Department). The proposal was also read by selected members of the Medill faculty’s journalism educators (full-time) as well as full-time members of the IMC Department. Several graduate students in Journalism and IMC were asked for their opinion.

Floating "PRournalism"

In two parts this blog reexamines the career directions of journalism at the graduate level. Despite the increase in applications to the field (due to the recession), the field is constricting day by day. The following discussion, drawn from a report to my university leadership, suggests that graduate journalism students can be redirected to NGO, corporate and government positions. These posts will require their knowledge, skills and natural desire to write and communicate. The clear communication weaknesses of so many international students and U.S. students demands that we find the very best journalism talent, but help them find a career where they can use the the two leading dimensions of journalism: 1. content and 2. credibility. By the way, the unfortunate word "prournalism" is a combination of public relations and journalism. The Handbook of Strategic Public Relations and Integrated CommunicationsThe Handbook of Strategic Public Relations and Integrated Communications

First “C”: Content
The first issue of “who will provide content” is a contemporary issue that is argued by surviving members of the press, by researchers in the automated delivery of journalism and by investors in new media systems .
For example, the well publicized “test” announced October 16 2009 by the Chicago Tribune of the value of the AP wire service, the sharing of stories and content across an Ohio network of newspapers and media as told by Professor Owen Youngman suggest that content supply and demand are in flux. If a precipitous decline in the numbers of traditional news hunters and gatherers means a relative decline in content; then new sources for news content, information and even entertainment content will have to be developed, staffed and supported.
The content may be needed for the rapidly increasing numbers of newer channels of communications. However, while traditional journalistic channels are dying in some countries, they are growing rapidly in others such as China. The growth and demand for content includes the growth of advertising and public relations to feed the dragon.. Whether traditional journalism is dying or not, the demand for original content and new communication pipelines may be expected to outstrip the ability of even traditional journalistic content providers to create and disseminate information. in the midst of severe journalism cutbacks even in the field of business reporting. Journalism has always been an experimenter in new media as has public relations. From a mirror perspective both fields have served the public and their audiences with credible communication standards.

Technology Shifts
• From broadsheets, to tabloid to newspapers and back to tabloid
• From paper to computer screens to digital readers
• From print to electronic to digital
• From print to sound to video to digital forms
• From community to national to global and back to community
A somewhat useful search of Google for November 4, 2009 locates 167,000 searches for the phrase “who will provide content”. The more serious uses of the phrase and the concept of content are identified in two cases that 1. "operationalize" journalism as a professional provider of content (and not simply the traditional media and new organizations that have hired journalists) and 2. "Operationalize" public relations and corporate communications as professional assignments providing content for multiple stakeholders or a wide range of non-media and non-journalistic organizations. Paul Gillin wrote about the future of journalism in a where the role of journalists will be substantially pared: ( For one thing, the craft of journalism will evolve to include far more aggregation and organization than it has in the past. Editors will assemble their reports from a vast library of resources located across the Internet. Information will come from paid staff writers, others from freelancers and still more from reports and opinions published by independent third parties who Editors will still have a critical role, but their value will increasingly be in assembling and organizing information for readers who don’t have the time to sort through the vast Web. with edits by Clarke Caywood for this report.
The future of the creation and dissemination of content was also described by Gillian under the title which parallels the work of this report as “How the Coming Newspaper Industry Collapse Will Reinvent Journalism”
Gillian wrote that “Editorial content is outsourced to an army of individual enthusiasts, former journalists working for a wide range of organizations and bloggers who find interesting information on the Web or original information from organizations and feed it to the site operators. Editorial expenses, which account for about a third of the operating costs of a daily newspaper, are practically zero.
What Gillian misses in both his creative predictions is the logical placement of traditional journalists and new journalists into a wide range of organizations from hospitals, to NGOs , to churches, to government and politics to the largest potential content provider - business. His “third party” journalists may be former journalists and new crops of young journalist able and willing to deliver content from their catbird seat in many legitimate organizations with huge quantities of digital information to share for free. His editors in surviving journalistic pipelines may be charged with determining the credibility of the content of the wider and wider range of content providers (rather than simply tossing the past high percent of public relations generated content .
The content provider issue is on-going even the decline of reporting on business by the press was illustrated by David Carr’s November 1and 2, 2009 stories in the New York Times :
“Fortune magazine had already cut back to 18 issues a year from 25 and this week will be whacking anew at staff along with other Time Inc. magazines. BusinessWeek was sold for parts to Bloomberg a few weeks ago.”
“Instead, Forbes, a magazine that sells a beau idéal of capitalism, announced last week that it was cutting a quarter of its already decimated staff. The Wall Street Journal’s Boston bureau — historically a hothouse of game-changing business coverage — is being closed.”,
Graduate journalism schools sealed their fate decades ago by aligning their future with a single, narrowly defined economic industry. An industry that has been a relatively small (and growing smaller) fraction of industrial sector. The mistakes of the past cannot be undone, but the future of schools of journalism can certainly learn from history.
Business schools only marginally aligned their curricula with specific industries (real estate, transportation). In general, the teaching and research were “industry neutral”. Except for an overheated relationship with consulting firms, business schools have survived the multiple recessions that impact the placement of their students. In other educational fields such as engineering the organizational relationships are redefined by technology with some overproduction of students in selected fields like industrial engineering. However, the response in schools of science and technology has been to increasingly create joint field (Bio-engineering, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence). Even the very popular schools of communications have developed all weather sub-disciplines that survive on the generalized applications of communication theory and practice. Specialized areas such as theater which have always suffered from poor economic models are promoted as great for working in matrix management organizations (Stanford University).
The exception in schools of journalism has been the productive and popular fields of public relations and advertising found almost exclusively in the American educational model in journalism or journalism and communication schools or departments. Again, the alignment for research, teaching and graduate career building in PR and advertising (including IMC in the Medill School) is relatively industry neutral except for the agency side of the field. Both of these disciplines are able to use their specific knowledge, education and skills in a very wide range of businesses, NGOs, healthcare and other institutions. By deliberate design of curriculum and their placement service development the field of advertising and PR are more recession proof than their brethren in more narrowly conceived and implemented journalism.
Creating graduate programs that are less precipitously married to a single industry is not as simple as abandoning the original field. We know that the definition of journalism should be considered “wider” than the press. The question of who will provide content is an answerable question that can move forward with or without journalism schools vying for the new honors. However, there is something that journalism schools possess more than many other organizations that may create a new professional advantage for journalism in a wide range of organizations. More to come on credibility.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Interview on China subjects From late Fall 2009

Global Brands from China
10/1/2009 - Part of TCBN's Global Brands Series
Professor Caywood teaches integrated marketing communications at the Medill School at Northwestern University. He is also a speaker at the Global Brands Summit 2009. He has taught Chinese foreign students in his classroom and traveled to China to speak to business professionals abroad. The Global Brand Summit takes place this year in Chicago on October 20-21, 2009, and in addition to Professor Caywood, will feature many notable speakers, including marketing expert Philip Kotler and's Cao Guo Wei.

Interview Transcript
TCBN: Hello and welcome to The China Business Network, I’m Michael McCune and joining me today is Professor Clarke Caywood. Professor Caywood teaches integrated marketing communications at the Medill School at Northwestern University. He is also founder of the US-China Brand Group and chair of the newly established IMCA or Integrated Marketing Communications Association.

The association is organizing the 2009 Global Brand Summit with a special emphasis on the expansion of US and China businesses into each other’s markets.

Professor Caywood, thank you for joining us today.

CAYWOOD: I’m glad to be with you.

TCBN: Now I understand that early in your career you were pretty focused on public policy and politics. When did you have a change of tact that China became more of a professional involvement for yourself?

CAYWOOD: Well as an academic the opportunity to work with the Chinese universities has just grown phenomenally over the last decade really because of – it is almost hard to stop curiosity about American business because of the changes in Chinese policies.

But my first jobs were working for political leaders in Wisconsin. I will say that given the temperament in some parts of the country, they these were men and women who were never indicted nor nearly indicted. They were all very good people. And I helped them run trade missions to China as well as Japan, South America, and other locations when the idea was to see what Wisconsin could offer to the world in terms of trade, and what the world could offer back in exchange.

So that also piques your curiosity when you realize that the economic world does not just revolve around the Midwest or any kind of narrow band of geography.

TCBN: Well you mentioned the academic exchanges. The opportunities have proliferated over the years. There have been a lot of not just academic exchanges, but student groups coming from China to Medill if I am not mistaken.

CAYWOOD: We’ve had a tremendous growth in this area. Maybe due to myself, I suspect a little bit because I travel all over China to speak to college groups as well as executive groups. And another colleague of mine, Don Schultz, who speaks in China extensively as well.

Our message that we both share in terms of IMC, and in my case doing a fair amount of work on crisis management, seems to resonate very well with Chinese guests.

But, as you know, Chinese, the best Chinese students, have been coming to America for 40 years, 35 years, at the very least. Because when I was professor at Northwestern as well as a student (excuse me, at Wisconsin, I apologize) we had many engineering students, science students, directly from China, mainland China-as well as Taiwan.

So this is a long tradition, but at our program recently here in Illinois at Northwestern, we’ve had almost half of our students, in some years more than half of our students, are PRC or Taiwanese.

TCBN: You know, it is interesting that you mentioned what the main focus of early students was, particularly in the hard sciences, and trying to build skill sets either for pursuing opportunities here or back in China. People would have normally thought perhaps in China that marketing was more art than science, but in today’s more sophisticated integrated world, there is a skill set that needs to be learned in order to really get the most out of marketing programs. Do you see this appreciated by the student coming from China?

CAYWOOD: I think that is a great insight. One of the advantages we’ve found with our Chinese students is the discipline of learning to work with statistics and mathematics.

And while this is kind of a well known weakness of the American educational model (although we all as individuals in our own families try to correct this as much as we can) we’ve done some good work in the United States with trying to get young woman in America more mathematically inclined and so forth over the last ten or twenty years, but clearly these young men and women who come here have scored exceptionally well in this area.

And our form of marketing, an integrated marketing communication form, requires a very deep understanding of databases. We track a lot of data about the customer as well as other experts, opinion leaders, the media, and journalists such as yourself, trying to find what thought leaders are saying about a product or a service or a brand of a company.

So that led us to develop more refined kinds of courses that make the students know something that their bosses don’t know, and of course that is reason enough to hire them because bosses want the newest knowledge and I think that’s what we’re providing.

TCBN: And with this conference that you’ve come to put on, really you’re not as much focused on students it seems, as well as looking more broadly at the professional awareness that needs to be facilitated with regard to integrated marketing communications. Can you tell me, what was the genesis of this conference?

CAYWOOD: Yes. Absolutely. Well you know, I am always selling my students. That is my reason for being and my career. But it’s clear to us from travelling all over, and from a seminar series that we did about three years ago with myself, a colleague from Kellogg, and a former of governor of Wisconsin. We all went to China as a team and we presented a branding seminar across several cities in China and my colleague from Kellogg spoke on his specialty which is more product brand at the microlevel, my work has been at the corporate brand, the reputation of the company, the holding company, so we call that corporate brand, and the governor spoke about national branding or province branding.

This is prior to the Olympics, and so we had a great audience for this message. They seemed to realize increasingly, the Chinese business leaders, that they could build all three aspects of their brand, including how can they build a reputation - being a brand that is respected in China and can be respectable all over the world.
So that led us to look at branding more closely and this conference will specialize on all three levels of that branding, where we’ll talk about all three levels of branding, and we think the timing is right to help grow out of this economic doldrums were in.

TCBN: So when you look at the attendees at this conference coming up and you think about what skill sets there trying to buttress, or knowledge there trying to augment, when coming here are they all coming from almost the same angle, because we all have the same channels just maybe with different maturation and usage, or are there really sort of skill sets that pose challenges for one group as opposed to the other.

CAYWOOD: Well I think they’ll all know what these are. These are men and women who are operating at very high levels, for example one of our keynote speakers is the chairman, or CEO, of So we’re talking about very sophisticated business men and women who are leaders in finance as well as manufacturing.

But the Chinese will teach us something about how to build longer-term relationships, and how to manage those, and perhaps not to be quite so paranoid about the quarter-to-quarter performance that our stock market insists on. I think that American businessmen can learn a lot and to their advantage.

But I believe the Chinese are coming also to hear our business leaders. We have Phil Kotler who is the premiere marketing professor in the world. There is something called the Kotler Award which is a major Chinese marketing award in China. Phil is a colleague here at Northwestern and his name is just known everywhere.

So I know they are attracted by Phil’s knowledge. We’re bringing people from many of the top agencies and top corporations. So that is a good exchange,

And for some reasons I doubt it, and sometimes I think maybe we need to keep growing rapidly too. American education is considered superior to other educational models in the rest world. And so they are quite often interested in what the new thinking is here in the States. So as long as we still have that advantage we’ll celebrate it and we’ll make sure we put extra effort into improving our knowledge on important topics.

TCBN: Well we certainly look forward to the outcomes of the conference, and I look forward to attending myself. And I understand that both Phil, who you just mentioned is one of the featured speakers along with Cao Guo Wei, the CEO of Sina Coproation - and a long list of esteemed professionals from both sides of the ocean. So it seems like you’ve pulled together fertile ground for good conversation and insight.

CAYWOOD: I’m as anxious to attend this conference as I hope my guests and invitees are because I know I’ll gain a great deal from it, and it will give me many examples that I can use when I travel back to China and when I teach class. I know business men and women here in the United States and in China that will attend will find great examples of best practices and will build new business relationships and friendships.

TCBN: I’ve been speaking today with Professor Clarke Caywood from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Integrated Marketing Communications.

As the Chair of the IMCA, he is chairing the 2009 Global Brand Summit which will take place in Chicago October 20-21 of this year.

Thank you very much for joining us today Clarke.

CAYWOOD: Thank you.