Tag Archives: PR

Will This Advertising Idea Ever Fly

To promote their exhibition stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Eichborn the publisher with the fly prepared 200 flies with an ultra light banner. The banner was attached with natural wax. After a short time the banner dropped off by itself. And the flies were not harmed.

The concept is certainly remarkable, if not unforgettable, but whether those experiencing this viral campaign remember the company name as well or just the fact that they saw flies with adverts attached to them is another question?

I first saw this on the Unionversity website

Trust Me, I’m a Blogger

While taking a break from my hectic morning schedule of making myself a cup of tea & finding some clean socks to wear I thought I’d check in and see what little bread crumbs my fellow Twits had left for me. Sure enough there were plenty, but one from Jaculynn stood out more than most “For big hearts. Please help. http://is.gd/eKbo Please retweet.” so I followed the link.

Glad I did, here’s a quick synopsis, a guy named David Armano, was asking for help, not for himself, but for a friend, a young woman named Daniela & her three children, whom were staying at his house, as she was going through a separation from her abusive husband. He was asking for $5,000, so Daniela could get her own place for her family and didn’t have to worry about a deposit or rent for a little while. David wasn’t asking for big donations, just whatever you could spare during these hard times, any amount would help & if you couldn’t donate directly then at least pass on the message.

Within 4hrs of posting the request on his blog & Twitter, he’d not only reached his target, he’d doubled it!! I think it’s safe to say that he was blown away by this, but what it shows is how much his followers & readers respect him.

So is this amazing success all down to blogs, twitter & social networks? absolutely not… it’s entirely down to David, and his skill in utilising the technologies to gain trust. He’s been writing his blog for 3 years & he’s amassed 8,000 followers on Twitter, but it’s taken him a long time & a lot of effort, but the payback has been worthwhile, as I’m sure 2009 is looking a much better place for Daniela & her family right now.

And this is all because David decided to make a difference and channel the trust he’s built to good use, or as Amie eloquently puts it in her comment to David’s thank you video “Absolutely incredible – not only have you helped a family in need, but you’ve proven again how powerful it is when just one person stands up to say, I will make a difference. You have. Imagine what else is possible”

exactly!

UPDATE:
Here’s a great blog article by Scott Drummond that expands upon what I said above, so get working on your Relationship Bank Balance! (that’s such a great analogy)

It’s Hammer Time: The Comcast Way

If ever you needed evidence that web 2.0 is reversing the balance of power into the hands of the consumer, then check out these videos and the www.comcastmustdie.com website. I’ve posted previously how the tide is changing & how companies need to be in there engaging with their customers and protecting their brands, companies ignoring this strategy do so at their peril.

I Can’t Get No Satisfaction
Networking or Not Working
Make Your Business Viral, Not Just Your Campaigns
Can Stephen Fry kill a gadget?

How To Make People Read My Blog

In a follow up from my “nobody reads my blog” post (which ironically is now my second most read individual post!?!?), I recently posted on the triiibes forum where a member was asking a question along the lines of “how to write a blog that someone will read?” well the answer is easy, don’t write a blog concerning things about you (as no one is honestly interested, except you of course)… write a blog about things that affect your audience or things they’re interested in, especially if your blog is to have some commercial relevance, then it needs to be focused & about your audience, not you.

Faceparty: A different approach to customer service

I was just reading a post “Jaw Droppers of 2008 – What they’d rather you forgot” on The Register where they recap the most embarasing moments from the past 12 months. The bit about an online community I’d never heard of before named Faceparty, and how they dealt out their customer service is priceless and a must read.

Social Network attacks own customers
Customer service has yet to hit Web 2.0, where you have to answer your own technical questions, wading through forums or sending emails to people in “support” who never reply. “Maverick” social networking site Faceparty went a step further, though, by rounding on users who dared to expect it deliver on its promises – in this case, free tools. Faceparty threatened to terminate accounts of “every single twat who moaned about their friggin’ free cool tools”. “Listen this is our HOBBY, not our business,” Faceparty said, helpfully reminding everyone it’s a “free fucking site” and not to expect anything.

Faceparty’s current homepage has a video on it that pretty well sums up their feelings for those that had the audancy to complain. (WARNING: Faceparty’s site & the homepage video are rated 18 & over. It’s a sexually explicit & rather alternative site, so if you’re easily offended or shocked, then please don’t go there!)

Apple Announces Its Last Year at Macworld

At first this may appear as an irrelevant press release, but upon reflection it’s actually very telling of how media relations are changing in light of social media & web 2.0 plus the effect it’s having on the live events industry.

Although Apple appears to rely entirely on it’s website & blanket media advertising for it’s official direct marketing (although I’m sure it feeds the rumour sites from time to time), I don’t know of any social networks or any other web 2.0 services such as Twitter, Flickr etc that Apple actively uses. But it’s followers are actively using these networks themselves & spreading the word for them, so Apple doesn’t need to waste its time & effort at large live marketing events as these do not show the same direct ROI as their own small scale events & webcasts, that utilises the rumour mills and the web to focus attention which leverages the most it can from the media & press coverage.

“Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers. The increasing popularity of Apple’s Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the Apple.com website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways.

Apple has been steadily scaling back on trade shows in recent years, including NAB, Macworld New York, Macworld Tokyo and Apple Expo in Paris.”
Full Apple Press Release

Got Something to Say?

I got your press release, 
I wouldn’t change a single word… 
and that single word is on page 5!

Ouch! but in today’s fast paced attention grabbing media frenzy, you really have to get to the point in seconds or your reader is gone, there’s too many choices, yet too little time. Sticking your press release on your website hoping your audience will drop by & pick it up, is a waste of your time, as they won’t be dropping by, they’ll be reading what someone else has sent them directly. Plus writing a book every time is wasting their time, if they actually bother to read it that is!

Brevity is the way ahead, if the gist of your release doesn’t fit within the header of an RSS feed, you’ll get skipped over. Twitter limits you to 140 characters, but if that’s where your audience is then that’s what they want. The mobile platform is happening right now, if you’re not on it, you’re not being read.

So sending out press releases the old way isn’t cutting it anymore, you have to be pro-active to survive, you need to be opening up dialogue, and when someone does contact you, you need to respond to them directly.  You need to focus on producing something they’ll want to discuss with others, and build a platform so they can!

Can Stephen Fry kill a gadget?

For one answer click this link to the BBC dot.life article by Rory Cellan-Jones

It’s a good question to ask and anyone in a marketing or branding department should take note, as it’s not just gadgets that can be made or broken in this way, but services, reputations or even your brand!

There’s been a lot of press about the Obama Campaign utilising web 2.0 in the run up to the election, although it will be interesting to see if they continue to use Twitter & the likes as much after the campaign, odd’s on they don’t, but that’s a another conversation!

Social networks & web 2.0 services such as Twitter make the individual very powerful, and it doesn’t take long for an opinion or rumour to ripple out across a network, as per the Korean proverb “Whether it be a grain of sand or a rock, in water they both sink alike.” So size doesn’t matter as much anymore, what matters now is who’s talking & more crucially who’s listening. It’s important that businesses listen in on what is being said, plus essential they are actively in there themselves. Blanket marketing & advertising doesn’t work as effectively as it used to, we all place a recommendation from a colleague far higher than an anonymous advert, when the likes of Stephen Fry, whom is held in great esteem & is loved by his fans & followers (I’m one of them), gives an opinion on a product, we listen, because we trust him.

And there in lies the rub people, you have to be trusted, but trust takes time, you have to put in the effort and you have to be open & transparent in your opinions and take a genuine interest in what people are saying. You can’t fake it, Stephen Fry is no fake, he’s honest & open, plus he’s probably mortified that he has the power to make or break a gadget, but as “with great power comes great responsibility”, and I for one would trust Mr Fry with this power.

Here’s a link to Stephen Fry

Get Mobile

There’s great advantage of brevity, we all use our mobiles for communicating, for texting and now surfing the web.

Your kids and grand-children, will be using mobile devices we’ve never dreamed of, and they’ll probably never see let alone use a computer, because they won’t exist… Sounds unlikely, well ask yourself this, you don’t expect them to buy vinyl, or even CD’s anymore, they’ll just download music, DVD’s & BluRay, will be gone in 5 years (BluRay may hold one for 10 years tops). In developing nations, almost anyone can get a mobile phone or has seen one, the rate of computers being sold year on year is dropping, while mobiles is increasing. In these countries the users will again never see or use a computer, Even, English won’t be the main language spoken on the internet, countries such as India & China dwarf English speaking nations, plus with ICANN soon allowing non-roman characters to be used in URL’s this change will probably happen quicker than anyone expects.

Anyway I’m breaking my first rule, “Brevity”, but you needed to think about all this… the mobile platform & brevity are the future, make sure you’re part of it.

Networking or Not Working

In today’s 24/7 wired world of social networks, web 2.0 & mobile platforms, if you’re business is not networking then you’re not working!

Do you have a group or page on a social network such as Facebook?
Do you have a Twitter account?
Do you have a Blog?
Do you have a YouTube Channel?
Do you have an account on Get Satisfaction?
Do you run a Forum?
Do you have a mobile strategy?

Answer no to any or all of the above, then ask yourself why not? If you say it’s because you can’t afford the time or the resources, then find the time & the resources, as the cost to your business of not utilising these platforms will outweight your investment of time.

Answer yes to any of the above, great stuff… answer yes to all of them, that’s amazing! But remember simply registering in these places won’t mean anything if you’re not participating & engaging your audience on a one to one basis, plus it’s not just about getting large numbers. Having 5,000 people in your Facebook group won’t mean a thing if you’re not having direct two way communication with them.

It’s easier now more than ever for you to open dialogue & interface with your audience directly, but it’s also easier than ever for your audience to talk about you to others, you need to ensure what they’re saying showers you in a positive light. If you ignore the conversations going on, soon you won’t be in them anymore, as your audience will be talking about, and to, your competitors, and it will be very difficult to get them back!

Marketing or Publicity?

Well, basically it depends how much you want to spend… simply put you pay for marketing, while publicity is free! well free as far as you don’t give anyone any money, but of course it doesn’t just happen on it’s own, you’ve got to invest the time & effort, but it’s probably more fruitful than blanket marketing & advertising.

Invest your time building a dialogue with your audience, leverage social media sites & the web 2.0 revolution, find out what it is they want and give it to them. Don’t waste you time developing products then spend the rest of your time looking for an audience, invest your time in building your audience base, build a rapport with them, then develop products and services they want, stuff they will wax lyrical about to everyone else, thus in turn increasing your market share and exposure.

These early adopters become your publicity channel, continue creating products they want and they will continue spreading the message, focus on them, not the wider market, as they’re do your marketing for you, for free!