Some years ago, frustrated by the lack of a mechanism to assess prospective PR agency candidates, I developed a questionnaire on media and PR trends that served as a non-scientific barometer for hiring. It was not intended as a measure of whether a candidate will ultimately succeed in the job, but rather one that speaks to his or her currency and experience.
Here is the latest iteration. Have fun with it. I will post the answers in a few weeks.
Q1) What’s the difference between TicToc and Tik Tok?
Q2) How many digital subscribers does The New York Times currently have?
____ 100,000 – 999,000
____ 1,000,000 – 1,999,000
____ 2,000,000 – 3,000,000
Q3) Match the following journalists with where they work (insert number):
1. Ben Smith _______The New Yorker
2. Katy Tur _______CNN
3. Ronan Farrow _______The New York Times
4. Brian Stelter _______NBC News
5. Jane Mayer _______Fox Business News
6. Andrew Ross Sorkin _______Buzzfeed News
7. Robin Roberts _______The Wall Street Journal
8. Maria Bartiromo _______ABC News
9. John Carreyrou _______CNBC
10. Margaret Sullivan _______Washington Post
Q4) Complete this sentence: Cheddar is the first ________________________________________________
Q5) What do the following acronyms stand for?
Q6) In which cities can one catch the following stations?
Q8) What is ROKU and why all the buzz?
Q9) What does it mean to be “ratioed” on Twitter?
Q10) True or False?
____Amazon is an advertising company
____Amazon is a retailer
____Amazon is a cloud service company
____Amazon owns the Washington Post
____Jeff Bezos is happily married
____Amazon owns Costco
Q11) Rank the following by the number of their Twitter followers (from highest to lowest):
Q12) On a typical weekday, CNBC’s TV ratings are closest to:
___ 150,000 viewers
___ 500,000 viewers
___ 1.5 million viewers
___ 4 million viewers
Q13) The publications of Condé Nast have certainly experienced challenges from their heyday – with several folding altogether. What did the company just announce to try to ensure their sustenance?
Q14) When offering a journalist the opportunity to report a story on an embargoed basis, what shouldn’t you do? Check all that apply.
___ Include the news release and other supporting assets in your initial contact with the reporter.
___ Provide the names of the other reporters/outlets receiving the offer to report the embargoed story.
___ Ask the reporter to sign an NDA to ensure that he/she does not break the embargo.
___ Request that the reporter publish the story on a specific date and time.
___ Ask the reporter to share his/her story with you before it posts to ensure accuracy.
Q15) Who owns TIME Magazine?
____Marc & Lynne Benioff
Q16) What is NBC News Signal?
Q17) What distinction do Jake Paul, Pewdie Pie and Logan Paul share?
Q18) In 2018, we witnessed the rise of “micro” and “nano” influencers? What are they and why can they be more cost-effective for brands seeking consumer engagement?
Q19) What factors pose the greatest threat to production of quality journalism in 2019? (Rank 1-5 with 5 posing the greatest threat.)
____ The rise of fake news.
____ Shorter shelf lives of important news stories.
____ The downsizing of news rooms for financial reasons.
____ An increase in the number of media owners with political or social agendas.
____ The rise of social media as the primary source of (often dubious) news.
____ The ease with which malleable consumers share unverified “news”
Q20) What do Buzzfeed, Vice News, Huffington Post and Yahoo News have in common?
Q21) Can Snapchat survive in the age of Instagram Stories and Facebook Live?
Q22) What is the difference between public affairs and public relations?
Q23) In the face of adversity, many executives and politicians are choosing to “double down” as opposed to offering heartfelt apologies. Is this a viable strategy? Why/Why not?
Q24) Which corporate executive suffered the greatest loss in reputation in 2018? Rank 1-5 with 1 being the biggest loser.
____ Elon Musk
____ John “Papa John” Schnatter
____ Mark Zuckerberg
____ Sheryl Sandberg
____ Carlos Ghosn
____ Les Moonves
Q25) True or False:
_____For every journalist on staff at a U.S. news organization, there are an estimated six (6) PR professionals
Q26) Bonus question: How is “Fyre” a parable for our day and age? (See photo above.)