About Nicholas Scibetta

As Partner and Global Director, Nicholas Scibetta, oversees cross-border communications programs, provides senior strategic and global media planning counsel and placement for clients across the network. He is also a member of Ketchum’s Global Digital and Media Network’s executive leadership team, working with a global network of over 600 digital, social and media experts. Football (read: #Soccer) fanatic and die-hard Manchester United fan. Follow him on Twitter @nscibetta.

Author Archive | Nicholas Scibetta

Q&A with Vincent Magwenya, CEO and Khadija Magardie-Bradlow, Media Director, from Magna Carta

Africa Q&A

From decades of being described as a continent riddled with conflict, Africa is now taking a key place in the world with its leading economies outpacing much of the rest of the world in economic growth. The World Bank notes that Africa’s growth is set to reach 5.2 percent in 2014, with strong investment growth and household spending. Half of the region’s population is under 25 years of age, which is not lost on marketers, specifically at multinational corporations. There is also general consensus in African policy circles that we are witnessing Africa’s moment.

I recently sat down with Vincent Magwenya, CEO and Khadija Magardie-Bradlow, Media Director, from Magna Carta, Ketchum’s exclusive South African affiliate to talk about the myths and realities surrounding Africa, what companies need know and do to succeed, and the current state of the media landscape. Magna Carta is Africa’s leading and largest Reputation Management Consultancy operating across all key African markets and recipient of the 2013 Holmes Report African Consultancy of Year award.

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The New Media Evolution: From Content to Consumer to Context

The shaping of today’s media landscape by social media first led to “content is king,” as everyone rushed to get information online, and then “consumer is king,” as everyday people gained a larger voice in mass media. And now the shaping has reached a new phase.  In a video interview I recently recorded for Ketchum’s online magazine, Perspectives, I describe how “context is king” is now the new catch phrase for today’s media landscape, how brands can capitalize on context, and what might be the next phase of media’s continuing evolution.

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The Art of the Relationship: Building Strong Connections with Today’s Media

Today’s rapidly evolving social media formats and new media technologies are creating as many new ways for PR pros to connect with the media as they are creating new ways of communicating for people. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Google+ are among just a few of the always-on media that enable media relations specialists and corporate communicators to interface with reporters and editors.

But despite the constantly shifting nature of today’s media landscape there still remain some universal rules for building and maintaining solid relationships that work across all media outlets.
Below are five of the most important of these. I invite you to check them out and compare them to your rules for building media relationships. Are there any rules you would add to or remove from this list? I would love to get your comments.

Be a true resource. All members of the media are under extreme pressure and many have to produce diverse content for multiple mediums, so understanding what reporters need in order to do their job is critical.
Practice role reversal. When pitching a story, ask yourself what you would need if the roles were swapped. Create a checklist to ensure you have the most essential assets to get the conversation started.
Know the outlet. Think of the volume of calls and e-mails you get a day and multiply that by 1,000. Now you can begin to understand the life of a journalist — this includes print reporters, broadcast producers, and bloggers. Before pitching, make sure you understand what types of topics the publication covers and how your story could fit in.
Lose the “all about me syndrome.” You will become a trusted go-to source if you provide the media with ideas and resources even if it doesn’t directly benefit, or even involve, your client. Join conversations and add value. Comment on blog posts, retweet a journalist’s post to your followers, or suggest related sources or commentary. In the end, that will go a long way toward building credibility and a relationship.
Be up front and transparent. Always disclose your client, be clear about what elements of a story you can offer, acknowledge what information you don’t have, and be straightforward about what missing pieces you can help deliver. Build trust and keep reinforcing it with your actions.

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What's the Most Influential Media Organization in the World?

What's the Most Influential Media Organization in the World?

Nate Silver, political statistician and creator of PECOTA, the popular system for forecasting the performance and career development of Major League Baseball players, recently did an analysis of the most influential media organizations. Silver simply looked at how frequently a publication’s name appeared in Google News or Google Blogs followed by the word “reported” to provide a sample of how many times an outlet was quoted.   The list is informative as much for what it omits as what it includes. For instance, it was surprising to see that the Huffington Post did not break top 20, but Al Jazeera came in at number 11. Another interesting thing to note is that the two out of the top three outlets are wire services and that TMZ, one of the major sources for celebrity news and gossip, rounds out the top 10. (Click here to check out the full list of 242 organizations.)


Jeff Bercovici discusses the list in a piece for Forbes.com, where he makes an interesting point about Bloomberg and how it is — or isn’t — “making good” on its global business objective of being the “world’s most influential news organization.” Another interesting list to juxtapose with this one is Time magazine’s list of the 140 Best Twitter Feeds. It’s a different approach to influence, but fascinating nonetheless. It includes thought leaders in a variety of industries, brands and news organizations, as well as comedians and even fictional characters. One thing to always keep in mind when talking media “influence” with clients is that it’s critical to consider the specific target audience you’re trying to reach in order to determine an outlet’s level of influence. By doing that, a list like Time’s or Google’s could look quite different. All of this further underscores the point of how media continually morphs and how we need to stop differentiating media by “traditional” or “new” and start considering it one big media universe.


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Brands Kick Off World Cup With Heavy Social Media Focus

Brands Kick Off World Cup With Heavy Social Media Focus

The 2010  FIFA World Cup is so close you can almost feel the excitement, passion, and drama that will come when the best in the world showcase football, or soccer for the sake of this post, at its finest! If you’re like me you’ve been living, eating, breathing, tweeting and posting anything World Cup related. For brands the mix of the world’s largest sporting event, the global connectivity of soccer fans and the explosion of social media makes for a perfect storm. This has not been lost on some of the biggest brands that are working hard to harness the powerful mix of soccer fans and social media. Let’s take a look at some.

Nike Shows Fans the Future

Unless you’ve been underground for the past week or so you’ve seen Nike’s Write the Future video on YouTube. The video has racked up over 11.5 million views, showcasing how content that’s relevant and creative can spread globally, even with some prominent branding from a major company. The star quotient of players like Rooney, Christiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho only adds to its appeal. To its further credit Nike’s YouTube Channel’s unique design nicely incorporates Facebook and Twitter access, while capitalizing on Facebook’s Open Graph by housing an exclusive ten minutes of behind-the-scenes video on its page, which can be viewed if you “like” it.

ESPN and Fox Take the World Cup Mobile

For those times when you need your soccer fix on the run Fox and ESPN have got you covered. Fox and Audi have created a free app called Ticket to South Africa, to get you front and center for all the action. ESPN continues its positioning as the brand delivering all things sports related, this time with a microsite covering all things World Cup related in addition to their own app. Whatever soccer fans are looking for from, scores to venue info, they should be able to find it. Wikitude is diving into mobile augmented reality with their launch of the Wikitude World Cup contest that enables folks to create their own “Worlds” tied to the World Cup.

Budweiser Goes Big Brother

For those of you still looking for more examples take a look at the Bud House—you’re sure to get your fill of drama and tension reality television style as Budweiser takes a page from the show Big Brother. Put 32 contestants in a house in Cape Town for the length of the World Cup and let the games begin. Bud has really focused foremost on entertainment and lifestyle and done a good job integrating their social media strategy into their larger communications platform.

As I write there’s only 8 days, 1 hour, and 3 minutes till the games begin. Get ready for the ride!

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