Five Questions with Liz Kaplow, CEO Kaplow Communications


Last week I was intrigued to see the lineup for Kaplow Communications‘ Algonquin roundtable “Don’t Write Us Off,” on the future of media. It featured leaders in various media proselytizing and struggling with the realities of a landscape where anyone can pick up a flipcam and publish their own content within minutes, for close to zero investment.

Magazine vet Lesley Jane Seymour relayed complaints from the industry,
“PR people are sending all this stuff to bloggers, and getting one little Tweet in return, that means nothing. We’re the voices who help tell you where to go and what to trust”.

Lincoln Millstein, VP of digital at Hearst Newspapers, the admitted “gray hair” on the panel explained that the economics of content are just fine, but the sales and distribution systems aren’t keeping up. Seymour also told of distribution for glossies that hasn’t changed since 1940. “It’s a mistake to let the 30 year-old media buyer drive our business,” Millstein squawked.

Alan Levy, founder of BlogTalkRadio was sitting pretty representing his shiny new and cheap distribution system, where mainstream media can sit alongside the consumer-generated, “380,000 episodes so far. One word, ’empowerment.'”

I thought I’d circle back with CEO and moderator of the event Liz Kaplow to see how these changes have affected her business, her firm’s approach for clients, and even her personal relationships:

PRNewser: Given what I heard at your event, you’re bullish on traditional media and its future. Why do papers, magazines stand a fighting chance?

More after the jump:

Liz Kaplow: Because the best among them are already multimedia companies. They are in print, on the Web, on air. And the journalists’ content from those “traditional” media outlets is the fodder for 95% of all blog posts.

The credentialed journalist is not going away. We have an appetite for great writing and highly credible investigative reporting. Now, what the delivery vehicle will be is up to the imaginations of the electrical engineering majors out there.

PRNewser: Is it necessary for PR firms to understand both traditional and social?

Kaplow: That’s a given. We go where the consumer goes. And consumers are increasingly media agnostic; they love media in all its forms.

PRNewser: What segment of the media is most ripe for a bit of new-media innovation and why?

Kaplow: All traditional media need to look at new digital platforms. At a recent Algonquin 3.0 thought leadership panel I hosted on the future of media, Sree Sreenivasan from Columbia School of Journalism introduced us to the term “Tradigital Journalist,” which is a fancy way to say that established journalists had better be ready for multiple platforms to keep themselves relevant.

New media players seemed to realize early that multiple platforms make perfect sense when trying to reach larger audiences. They constantly cross-promote on so-called “old media” like TV and in print, because they still have huge market share. Just look at the talking heads on MSNBC or Fox that are drawn from blogs like Huffington Post and

PRNewser: Where is the intersection of msm and social at your firm in terms of helping clients meet business goals?

Kaplow: It’s less of an intersection and more of a crowded square with thousands of consumer conversations that our clients want to be a part of. Kaplow’s approach is to completely integrate the two. Consumers don’t separate their mainstream media lives from their digital lives and neither do we.

PRNewser: How has social media enhanced your personal relationships?

The mark iPhone App keeps me up-to-date on the latest beauty and fashion trends and it’s a great way to try and stay current and not embarrass my 20 something daughters.

PRNewser: What do you think of the trio of bad behavior stories that hit the week of your panel, ie Kanye West, Joe Wilson, Serena Williams?

Kaplow: Where is Emily Post when you need her?

PRNewser: We have your Emily Post right here Ms. Kaplow!

Related: Live Stream of “Don’t Write Us Off” (updated with archived video and audio)