The Trouble With NDAs



Do NDAs trouble you too? I’ve had to sign a few NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreement) over the last few years. And they’ve stressed me terribly, as they are sometimes used as an intimidating, bullying tool, slapped in front of you at perhaps a vulnerable point in your life, and you’re told, “Sign, or else.”

I’ve refused to sign a couple, though. Particularly ones that have a non-compete clause in them. Be firm with these things and also with the kind of people waving them around. Have confidence in yourself. Don’t be intimidated. Take time to READ through documents carefully before you sign, well… anything.

And seek a lawyer. I’ve bugged the crap out of lawyerin’ friends and family with these NDA docs, getting them to review them for me, at no charge to me of course. And I’ll do it again if I have to.

From the article – things to look out for in your NDA:

  • That you can’t work for a competitor for one to two years
  • That anything you conceived of while employed is the property of the company, even if you did it on your own time
  • That you give up your right for a trial if there is an issue with the contract

Tip Your Huge Media Market Giant


A team of reporters from WSB-TV Channel 2 television news was there; someone apparently tipped them off to the arrest beforehand. The station has had exclusive access to the court proceedings since then.


Now I can’t speak to the matter of terrorism-related charges brought on anyone, let alone a Clayton County, Georgia woman who wanted to kill all the whities via YouTube. (Although this particular burden never stops Matthew Charles Cardinale, the editor of Atlanta Progressive News. But he’s in law school now, so off he goes. Go Matthew go.)

I can, however, speak to the stinky little underhanded and exploitative way in which virtually all federal and state-related arrest media straight out of Atlanta (that good ‘n juicy perp-walk stuff) gets handed to market-dominating WSB-TV (Cox Enterprises) alone, on a silver platter, by someone at WSB-TV’s brother who happens to work in federal (or state) law enforcement.

So let’s recap: someone who works in government serves up exploitative tidbits to a single, for-profit entity, Cox Enterprises. Over and over and over again.

This sleight-of-media-hand trick has been going on in the Atlanta media market for decades: exclusive access to media/news-gathering opportunities (those folk in big trouble with the law) which no doubt many other players in this same media market would also love to exploit for their organization’s financial gain.

May be legal, but it ain’t right.

The Media Rich Candidate


Let’s get this established right now, since we live in a time of “Biblical” flooding (by petty judgments): I’m not all cynicism and vinegar. I really do tend to watch the world in terms of the media it, preferably organically, produces.

And that’s why South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley makes me look towards those blue media skies ahead. She’s the dream client for a media guide gal like me, as she rounds corner after corner towards her next political incarnation.

Haley, of the novel-worthy backstory, has a political future so bright you need sunglasses and a server farm to store it all in.

Gov. Nikki Haley of SC helps repair a flood-damaged home in the Columbia, SC area, 10-15-15. Photo borrowed from the Post and Courier.

Gov. Nikki Haley of SC helps repair a flood-damaged home in the Columbia, SC area, 10-15-15. Photo borrowed from the Post and Courier.

Here she is going about her latest piece of Most Pitiable State’s business. Governor Haley moves effortlessly from winning Volvo USA, crying (genuinely so) for victims of unspeakable crimes, to helping veterans clean-up after “historic” even “Biblical” flooding. And all the Haley-associated media is free, locally-sourced, 100% organic product.

Well, maybe there was a portion of strategic, long game planning associated with the above veteran’s home rebuild photo op. Whatever. It was a smart thing to do. Round-up the usual earned media suspects. Whir those shutters. Bang on those keyboards, people. Squirrel away the media harvest as it comes in.

Oh how I’d love to be along for the media-rich ride on Nikki’s next political adventure. Because that will indeed… print big.

Delta Bashing Makes Editorial Data Fly High

Delta Bashing Makes Editorial Data Fly High

Here’s a fun, Atlanta-specific, advertising/sales v. editorial modern media dilemma!

Clearly, anything related to Delta-bashing, particularly Delta‘s frequent flyer program SkyMiles, makes data go hog wild. As it did with some impressive CTR numbers I sent to the Atlanta Business Chronicle from my Facebook alone. (See graphic below. If you don’t know what CTR means by now, you shouldn’t be in the ad/sales side of the media biz. However, old fogey journos, I will give you a pass on it.)


I’ve yet to notice the AJC cranking out any of this trendy SkyMiles-bashing editorial product as did, rather gleefully, the Biz Chron. WABE also seems to have caught an editorial-minded whiff of blood in angry Delta customers’ waters.

(I can only dream of one day running a company whose profit margin and stock price chronically deflect the hatred of its own customer base! But let’s move on.)

And why would the AJC jump on the I Really Hate Delta! bandwagon? Delta’s a fine, legacy, ad-buying customer for the AJC and all of Cox Enterprises. I expect what Delta wants by now, editorially speaking, at the AJC or WBS, Delta’s going to get. Or have quietly overlooked. Barring plane-related disaster media, of course.

But there’s your data-driven media rub right there. As what the people want, editorially and as displayed by the numbers, is hardly what your dearest ad buyer would like to have lying around the house.

Torn loyalties. ATL style.

Podcast: The Theft of WRAS Album 88 By GPB



2014-06-30 12.07.36

A WaySouthMedia podcast: The Takeover of WRAS by GPB and the Campaign.

Click here to listen: 

For the Content Creator a New Website is a New Car


Photo courtesy CCL

Seeing an appealing new website come online is to a content creator what an exciting new model of car is for the auto enthusiast: One is itching to get behind the screens to an operating dashboard and take it for a rich content-creating spin.

Because the best sites make it a delight, not a burden, to create and showcase new content – particularly if you’re an enthusiastic writer and photographer.

The Coastal Conservation League (CCL) of South Carolina has just such a new website. It’s gorgeous. And immediately displays the astonishing amount of conservation work done in the southern United States lowcountry by the CCL.

However, as a media professional, I went right to the press releases portion of the site, and I am now busily touting how the CCL has presented their releases within the new site.

As someone who is often called upon to write press releases, which too often serve as a client’s only new content, I am constantly bemoaning how releases are not getting the “workout” some deserve.

Not only are too many of them poorly written (not by me!) and merely fired-out via PR Newswire, they are not made interactive (live, working links), they are not visually appealing, they’re not easily found on websites, and they’re not made easily share-able in social.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

CCL’s Laurin Manning, working with Wide Eye Creative, has clearly conquered all those media-related hurdles within their new site. I’m delighted to have their example with which to beat folk over the head with.

Rather, show them. Of course, it’s up to clients where they wish to spend their time and money. But nudging them towards investing in a better website and a better press release is always a media professional’s time well spent.