NBC, Meet the Mason Inc. Team!

Our office and some clients recently had the pleasure of touring the new NBC studios here in Connecticut. Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, or just don’t watch TV, you may have heard that they built a new facility that is the first high definition (HD) studio here in Connecticut.

I could describe it with all sorts of jargon that we tend to avoid like the plague, but I thought I would just for fun. Simply put, the new studio is “state-of-the-art, cutting edge, leading technology, and really is a true solutions provider.” In other words, it’s impressive.

In all seriousness, the tour was informative and an eye opener to how broadcast media is changing and how they’re also utilizing online and social media much more these days, including Twitter. NBC showed off all of its new capabilities, but what was really extraordinary is that the entire building is a studio in itself. There are no walls separating the newsroom from the news studio like the old building and there are also several areas throughout the building that allow for cameras and feeds to go live from, such as the front lobby area.

Truly a great time, but what I enjoyed most was that our clients were able to experience this as well! Here are some pictures capturing the fun! Enjoy.

WVIT News Director Mike St. Peter shows off the new studio set.

It’s not NORAD. It’s the new control room at the new NBC WVIT studio. Impressive!

NBC General Manager Don Doebler explaining the technology and capabilities of the new studio.

Getting miked-up and ready for our big moment. Myself (Derek Beere) and one of our clients, Susan Gates from the Hospital for Special Care, getting some last minute coaching tips from NBC political correspondent Tom Monahan.

A small crowd gathers and waits in anticipation for Susan Gates and Derek Beere to record their promotional segment teaser.

There we go! Recording our first segment teaser and nailing it after (ahem), three or four attempts!

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Hey Kermit! It’s Easy Being Green!

Kermit the Frog said it’s not easy being green. Well, according to kids in the greater Bridgeport area, it can be easy (and fun) being green.

One of the rewards of the public relations profession is seeing your hard work and events come to life. The client meetings, conference calls, concept sessions, brainstorms, media pitching and creative energy that go into it is hard work.

Then the big day happens. Event day. You’ve made your final calls to remind the media of the event and are confident, but still hope it will be covered. Such was the case for a recent client event, “Discover Green Expo“, that involved The United Illuminating Company (our client), The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, and the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport. When all was said and done, we received coverage from WTNH (ABC), WFSB (CBS), News 12 Connecticut and half a dozen print and online outlets, including the Connecticut Post, Bridgeport News, Stamford Advocate, Danbury News-Times, and others.

It feels good when it all comes together. Clients are happy. The team here is happy and we congratulate one another on a job well done and move onto the next project and continue doing what we do.

However, the real reason I am sharing this story is that its got a great message about how we can all do our part in helping out a bigger client – our planet Earth. Who’s going to help the most? The kids and future leaders of tomorrow. Below is a news clip from Channel 8 (WTNH) and it really captures the story in a heartfelt way. Enjoy the show!

No Time to Waste in PR

Mason Inc., along with Mason Onofrio PR is a very successful and established advertising and public relations firm in Bethany, CT. The experience and success they have is unique and very diverse. I made this realization the first time I walked into the office. I walked through the visitor’s door and saw a Bruegger’s Bagels sign right away. As I made my way up the stairs I noticed a campaign that Yale New Haven Hospital put on, and on my way to my new office I see an ad for Copenhagen.

For the men and women that worked on those projects they must have a sense of pride on the way to their desks every morning. Me however, I had no part of these campaigns, so the walk to my desk is more motivational then it is nostalgic.

It is my first week here at Mason Inc. I flew in from Wisconsin on Sunday. I Brought a suitcase and my cat with me (not a fun flight), and started work Monday. I was a little hesitant to come in to the office. My experience prior to this has been in start-up companies that I owned, or was one of the first employees for. Mason Inc. was the first opportunity I accepted that would provide me with a “real-world” experience, or so I thought.

Half expecting my first day to be some paper work and introductions while getting acquainted with my new environment, I was thrilled when after about 45 minutes of getting my computer hooked up and on the network I was free to work. “What?” I thought to myself. “That’s it, I am here, and I am part of the team, so now I… work?” Apparently, yea, that is exactly right. I was in at 8:30, and by 9:30 I was working at full speed. I just started doing what I thought I should be, and when I let my boss know what I was up to, he was happy about it.

Sitting in on my first client meeting I realized immediately that my skill set would be beneficial here. For the last year and a half I was working at Brazen Careerist. While there, I worked with companies to develop their social media strategies, and then implement them. I was initially working with them to attract young potential employees, but as less jobs were available we shifted our thought process, and instead of recruitment, we focused on retention and branding. Helping big brands get their blogs started, and building content plans was my specialty.

When I decided to make the transition to PR, my reason was pretty simple. I believe in the power of social media, I believe in conversation, and I believe in the benefits of having an online presence. However, I do not think you can put together a few profiles and cross your fingers. Instead I think that combining a social media plan with a traditional advertising and pr plan is the best way to reach your audience.

Yes, social media marketing has its benefits. We can identify and target demographics, we can answer customers publicly, and with the right strategy, we can place ourselves wherever we need to be in order to increase sales, and show ROI. However, without that offline connection, we are missing so many potential clients or customers.

Mason Onofrio has given me this opportunity. The opportunity to take my skill set, and work with their experts to provide our clients with the best of both worlds. This will be a great experience, and I know the people that are really benefiting are the companies we work with, and just saying that gives me a sense of pride…

Can Ink Be Saved?

President Barack Obama, who is a self-proclaimed “newspaper junkie”, has taken an interest in the health of newspapers. Could this be the next big federal bailout?

In a story recently published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Obama met with editors from the Post-Gazette and The Blade of Toledo to discuss the current health of the newspaper industry. What’s pretty interesting to me is his take on journalistic integrity:

“I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context,” he said, “that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding.”

What are your thoughts? Get the full story here.