Wednesday, January 30, 2008

American Journalism

"For a top U.S. daily, I need *on-the-record* anecdotes from people willing to speak about their feelings about romancing on the road. Can you comment on how you felt when a colleague indulged in a reckless one-night stand on a business trip? Have you ever been approached on a plane or train, and/or had to rebuff someone because you are married or simply not interested? Does your company have rules about it? Does business travel tend to lead people to cast away their fears?"
Who is going to go on the record for this sorta thing?

"I'm looking for a style expert or pop culture scholar to discuss how Hitler made it forever impossible for men to sport a little mustache, even if that's the style that looks best on them."
Is this the best his legacy has to offer? The loss of a little mustache that looks like your frat brothers smeared crap on your upper lip?

"I'm interested in talking to folks about the Twodaloo, a toilet that features facing seats that allows couples to, well, do their thing together. Feel free to e-mail me your comments directly. Please include your identifying information, as well as a phone number, in case I have to follow up."
My favorite thing ever. Nothing says true love like blasting the porcelain together, as a couple. And nothing says great journalism like a story about true love.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

P2P is Pretty

Over 60% of women are more likely to buy a beauty product if they read a positive comment about it on a blog, a message board or an online social network, reports the February 2008 issue of Self magazine. The study comes from the Benchmarking Company, a consumer research firm in Washington, D.C. and can likely be applied to most consumer brands. Just another proof point that the traditional "product reviewer" is no longer some dude with a salt-and-pepper mustache sitting behind a desktop PC wearing a press pass that's been through the wash a few times. Consumers care what their peers/dungeon masters/homies think. Duh.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Blogging Dubbed 'Low-Cost, High Return' Marketing Tool for Businesses

For hard-up small or mid-sized businesses, The New York Times calls blogging a "low-cost, high-return tool" for marketing, public relations, raising company profiles and brand-building.

An American Express survey recently found that only five percent of businesses, supporting less than 100 employees, have blogs. But all the better; blogging experts are skeptical as to its effectiveness for most business goals.

Blogging necessitates writing skills and a commitment of more time than some companies can afford to lose. The best plan of action is to take things Step by Step, day by day.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

POP - Tired of pwning the courts, atheletes now pwn the Web

This is Chris Bosh. He's a good guy. Although he makes enough money to hire an army of midgets (errr... little people) to kill me if he so desired, he also has far more passionate, and less bizzare goals; such as making it to the New Orleans All-Star Game. So he made a Web ad to get the votes he needs.

According to this Wall Street Journal story (good read, click the link, do it) that details Bosh's rise to internet fame, it's working. His votes jumped up by 86% since posting the video. The best part? Of his millions of dollars he gets from the Raptors alone, it only cost him 1/650000th of his yearly pay (or 20 bucks) to fund the video, most of which went to his kick ass hat. He had friends and family film help put it together, which means they got the remaining 5 dollars.

So, as a general rule of thumb all viral videos that you make should meet the following requirements:

  • Cost about 20 bucks
  • Be funny
  • Extort friends and family

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Blogs Will Be BIG in 08!

Ok that's old news - did you know that blogging has been around for 10 years now? Check out Wired's article here on the original blogger, Jorn Barger. So what have we learned in the past few years that we can carry forward into 2008. Check out the five tips below from the Daily Dog:

1. Do your homework. Identify the top bloggers who are visible in your space. Read their blogs. Make intelligent and useful comments that add value to the conversation. Subscribe to their RSS feed.
2. Do research before you blog. Read the feeds of the bloggers you subscribe to. Set up searches in Yahoo News for key phrases you blog about. Read these feeds every day.
3. Have a point of view. The number one reason people read blogs is to get an opinion. Blog about something you know well and feel passionate about.
4. Write well. While blogs are seen as personal journals your content is out there for all to see. Be interesting. Be controversial. But above all, be readable.
5. Write often. Blogging’s biggest challenge is the time it takes. Anyone can set up a blog in less than five minutes. It takes skill and perserverance to have a blog that becomes influential. Write content that will keep them coming back for more.

Ok beyond blogs what else should we be paying attention to in 2008?

Online Videos and Search Engines.

High-quality video will push Internet TV closer to traditional broadcast TV, and create new opportunities for brand marketers. “It’s no longer a given that the Today Show is the ultimate media prize. One blogger with a niche audience could bring you better results,” writes Godin in his new book Meatball Sundae.

Here are some recent stats from HitWise that show us that search engines are responsible for more News and Media category website traffic than ever before.

- Print News websites received 29.7 percent more traffic from Google in March 2007 than in March 2006
- Broadcast Media sites received 35.9 percent more traffic from Google in the same time period
- News Aggregators and portals were also significant sources of traffic for News and Media websites.

If the new trend in PR is to go straight to the customer then we need to make sure our news is showing up in the top search results for Search Engines like Google. We do this by making sure our news content is using the same keywords that our customers are using and searching for. One site that I really like to use to make sure I've got the right keywords is Wordtracker.

Questions to ask in 2008:
- Do we understand how search affects our news content?
- Why is new Universal or Blended Search results page layout so important?
- How can we improve the search visibility of our news content?
- Are we monitoring what is being said about us online?
- Have we identified the influencers in our space?
- Do we have a blogger relations program in place to reach these influencers?
- Do we understand the dynamics of social news sites?
- Which social news sites would be best for our content?
- Are we planning to use video – and how will we do it?

Monday, January 7, 2008

R2 Couture

Riding the Lucas cash cow, Marc Ecko has designed a limited-edition collection of "Star Wars"-inspired urban streetwear for men, The Seattle Times and others report today. Not only is the syndicated reporter an uber geek, but he is witty and hilarious. Kinda like Conan. This can only mean two things: 1. Fodder for geeky team brainstorms. 2. The inevitable line of streetwear for women!!! I'm envisioning earmuffs designed after Leia's bodacious buns (get your mind out of the gutter, please). It could happen.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Is there such a thing as bad press?

Apparently not. A syndicated article circulating through daily newspapers today reports that Miss Teen South Carolina's unforgettably embarrassing flub in last year's pageant has solicited (gasp) job offers from TV producers. Hopefully Lauren Caitlin Upton can remember her lines if a deal goes through.

Beyond my personal feelings about how terrible it is to reward mild stupidity with air time (a la Kellie Pickler and Jessica Simpson), this article highlights a phenomenon that shouldn't be ignored among PR professionals. It's the reason why Lauren is better known to many than the pageant winner, Miss Teen Colorado, Hilary Carol Cruz. According to the article, Lauren's "success" is "mainly due to the YouTube Web site's posting of her jumbled response to a question on why many Americans can't find the United States on a map. The 48-second clip received 19.9 million viewings and countless online imitations.

The very fact that months later I am writing about the new "L.C." goes to show how YouTube can make someone/something POP! If YouTube can turn a bumbling beauty queen's 48-seconds of fame into calls from The "Today" Show, imagine what it has yet to do for us PR peeps. So what do you think? Is there such a thing as bad press?