Media Log- Anheuser-Busch InBev Approaches SABMiller on Possible Takeover

Medium: The New York Times
Vehicle: Newspaper
Reporters/writers: Chad Bray and James Kanter
Date: 9/16/2015
Headline: Anheuser-Busch InBev Approaches SABMiller on Possible Takeover
Company/business involved: Anheuser-Busch InBev, SABMiller
Your client: Anheuser-Busch InBev

Summary of story: If Anheuser-Busch InBev passes an anti-trust muster, they will combine with SABMiller to continue to expand as the world’s largest beer makers.

This news coverage is predominantly positive; Anheuser-Busch InBev is being very cooperative and open about the review process. The potential outcome is also very promising for the beer industry and would give a larger grasp on the difference between premium and standard lagers. Anheuser-Busch InBev is being portrayed as lucrative and progressive, striving to reshape the beer industry.  If the two companies do indeed merge, the article depicts that beer-drinkers will be exposed to a more refined lager experience, since the company will be able to collaborate with their former competitors.

PR folks should continue to follow the investigation and the acquisitions potential market value, so they are able to shape the publicity in a positive manner that will benefit beer-drinkers and the alcohol industry.

A news release most likely generated this story, since merging is a very public and professional process. The goal was most likely to attract attention to Anheuser-Busch InBev and their prevalence among the industry. They could have been spreading awareness of the possible merger to generate positive support from consumers and marketers.

Media Log- Partnership Boosts Users Over China’s Great Firewall

Medium: Newspaper
Vehicle: The New York Times
Reporters/writers: Paul Mozur
Date: 9/14/15
Headline: Partnership Boosts Users Over China’s Great Firewall
Company/business involved: CloudFlare, Baidu
Your client: CloudFlare

A partnership between CloudFlare, an American start-up security company, and Baidu, a Chinese internet behemoth that’s the equivalent to Google, has created a fast lane that speeds up internet traffic across China’s border. They are establishing a new and attractive business model with benefits for other American technology firms trying to do business in China, but also improving Chinese international communications.


“Joshua Motta, left, Carmen Chang and Matthew Price in the San Francisco offices of the security start-up CloudFlare.” (Jason Henry for The New York Times).

This news coverage is positive. It is stressing the improving relations between American and Chinese businesses, hinting of future endeavors that will benefit both nations’ industries. CloudFlare is the first to seek out a virtual joint venture with the Chinese, and its success shines the company in a good light. The message of the story about the company ultimately depicts CloudFlare as an intuitive, progressive company pushing the boundaries of intimidation. Their open-mindedness and modest coding (which they hold firm confidence in sharing with the Chinese) allowed relations to be established with the politically sensitive tech industry in China. All tech companies are widely impacted, as this creates new possibilities for both American and Chinese tech firms; the Chinese have significantly faster services and a chance to expand their target audiences, Americans are able to tap into Chinese industries by expanding their present businesses’ scope of intelligence. The mutual benefits of the partnership between CloudFlare and Baidu encourage a positive public perception of the two companies.

PR folks should continue to follow up on the businesses growth and progress, continuing to shine publicity on not only their technological advances, but on the resulting political, economic and social advances the partnership is enabling. Thereby, the companies progress can potentially be seen as more influential and attract further funding.

A news release most likely generated the story. The factual nature depicting great success was probably released to show the technology industry the progress being made in international business relations, to encourage adjustments to other tech projects taking place.

Media Log- Intel to End Sponsorship Of Science Contest

Medium: Newspaper
Vehicle: The New York Times
By: Quentin Hardy
Intel to End Sponsorship Of Science Contest
Company/ Business Involved: Intel, Science Talent Search

Client: Intel

According to Quentin Hardy’s article “Intel to End Sponsorship Of Science Contest”, published in the New York Times on September 9, 2015, the world’s largest producer of semi-conductors, Intel, is withdrawing its support of the Science Talent Search. The search is the most prestigious science and math competition for high school students in the United States, bringing 40 finalists to Washington to meet government and industry leaders. The work exhibited in this contest represents America’s educational competitiveness and national priorities, making headlines nationally and bringing great attention to the necessity of the STEM fields.

This news coverage about Intel’s decision is largely negative. For Intel to support the contest is roughly $6 million a year – only about 0.01 percent of Intel’s $55.6 billion in revenue last year – and it generates a significant impact. Hardy even has a former Intel CEO, Craig Barrett, quoted saying he was “surprised and a little disappointed by Intel’s decision”.

The story is informing the audience that Intel’s interests have shifted, most likely upsetting those involved with the contest. They will continue to grant support to a different international contest until the end of their contractual terms until 2019, but after then Intel will have no bounds to supporting any talent or technology contests. However, the contests that Intel is leaving behind still hold attractiveness to other companies, so funding is not an issue.

PR folks should be looking into where Intel is directing those funds instead. They need to turn around the story and have Intel reach out to other companies to replace their funding, so they aren’t depicted as leaving the contests and scholarships in the dust. Then, Intel needs to make public where precisely they are allocating their money and give explicit reasoning for the transition.

I believe a press release drove this story. The premise of the article is based on a factual, public statement that Intel was withdrawing their sponsorship, which most likely led to further research and interviewing of Intel, as well as the science contest. This could have been a PR stunt on behalf of the science contest. Representatives could be seeking attention from other corporations who might be interested in contributing to the contest funds or replacing Intel’s sponsorship.

"President Obama with 2012 Intel Science Search Finalists" Saul Loeb/Agence France-Pressee- Getty Images

“President Obama with 2012 Intel Science Search Finalists” Saul Loeb/Agence France-Pressee- Getty Images

Writing and My Dream Job

Writing has always been one of my favorite pastimes. I came to Penn State initially with the aspiration of becoming a journalist. I worked as reporter for the Daily Collegian my freshman year and while it was an incredible experience, I decided to take a leave of absence to pursue the newspaper’s business division to explore my other interests. I really enjoyed news-writing and I like how PR works so closely with it, which prompted me to switch my major to PR. While I do well with creative writing, the courses and experiences I have had at Penn State brought to my attention that I need to work on my formal and persuasive writing. I trail-off too often and have a fondness for wordy, run-on sentences. I also take a long time to produce a piece of work, which I need to direly work on in order to succeed in the communications world of deadlines. I have improved on my writing since taking Comm260W, and I hope that Comm471 will enable me to perfect all kinds of writing techniques.

My Dream Job
I have been an avid reader my entire life, drinking up everything from Ernest Hemingway to my local newspaper. But as of a few years ago my all-time favorite publication became Rolling Stone, and I would love nothing more than to earn a position working for them. My passions coincide perfectly with Rolling Stone’s purpose: The magazine features a terrific mix of music, politics and popular culture angled towards a less-serious audience while still maintaining serious coverage. I find coverage on business and politics fascinating, and I have a slight obsession with music; Working for Rolling Stone would truly be a dream job. I’m not 100% set on a specific job, but my ideal position would be to either work as a journalist or to work for their business division, dealing with advertising, PR, marketing or sales.

Media Log- Studio Altered Film to Deter N.F.L. Protests

Medium: Newspaper
Vehicle: The New York Times
By: Ken Belson
Date: 9/2/15
Headline: Studio Altered Film to Deter N.F.L. Protests
Company/business involved: Sony Pictures Entertainment, N.F.L.
Your client: N.F.L.

Concussion Will Smith

Will Smith stars in the disputed film, “Concussion”.

After e-mails were hacked, it was discovered that the N.F.L. played a powerful influence in the making of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s movie “Concussion”- a film based around the death and dementia professional football players suffer from the aggressive nature of football. After the screenplay was hacked via e-mail, further hacked e-mails revealed that the N.F.L. directly intervened to ensure that the movie presented the game in a “richer and fairer” light, insinuating legal action would be taken if the film took any creative leniencies to make football injuries appear more dramatic than necessary.

This news coverage depicts the N.F.L. in a negative light because it shows the influence organizations have over freedom of speech and the ability to freely utilize creative licenses. It depicts the N.F.L. to be a powerful presence over everything that discusses football and insinuates that they do it in an overprotective, bullying manner. It also shows Sony in a slightly negative light, since they cowered to the N.F.L.’s presence despite their initial task to reveal the dangerous nature of football.

This story shows that Sony worked closely with N.F.L. representatives to ensure that their movie would not depict football injuries in a too dramatic light. Sony took every precaution to not provoke the powerful league so the N.F.L. would not attack the enterprise, putting them at risk for an annihilating lawsuit.

N.F.L. fans and players are made aware of the fear the N.F.L. has in exposing any unrealistic nature about football, making them wonder why the N.F.L. is so concerned about the image. The public most likely gained the perception that the N.F.L. has a powerful influence on movie and television outlets and how they project the image of football and the league.

PR folks should be researching other films or television shows that depicted negative aspects about the game or league and what actions the N.F.L. took against them. Also, they should be thinking about how the N.F.L. has such a powerful influence over creative media. Does the N.F.L. have the right to be able to influence them?

PR folks can try to change the negative connotation towards the N.F.L. by positioning the story so that Sony approached the N.F.L. to clarify that what they were putting in the film was entirely accurate, as opposed to the N.F.L. viewing hacked e-mails of the screenplay and discussions about how Will Smith should angle his role in the film. They should emphasize that the N.F.L. was concerned about the validity of the information and being considerate of players and their families, instead of just the industry.

A news release most likely generated this story. The trailer for the film was released on Monday and Sony Pictures Entertainment discussed that their e-mails were hacked, allowing the N.F.L. to gain Intel on the film and ultimately begin a conversation between the two. That most likely prompted further research to be done on the film and the N.F.L.’s role in its creation. Sony most likely wanted to attract attention to their film, and to encourage readers to wonder about the validity of the content and to ultimately watch the movie to draw their own conclusions. While I’m sure Sony did not attract the N.F.L.’s attention intentionally, I believe that by them bringing attention to the fact that they did is for publicity for the movie.