This week’s summary is shorter than usual. Let me know if you have any recommendations for make this a more useful list of information. You can click on the Weekly Articles tag for previous issues or subscribe to the Weekly Articles Feed:
It’s Good to Be Delicious – I so love MarketingPilgrim because I always get nuggets of wisdom that help with PR and marketing. Yahoo is starting to include delicious information into the search results. Whether or not this will augment search rankings, it’s good to know how many other people find the information useful. From a PR perspective, all press releases, marketing materials, etc. should be bookmarked on delicious. You never know who is looking for what where.
Fact Check Everything – Dave Fleet of Fleet PR writes an important post about fact checking everything first. By just omitting some details, the meaning can be completely different.
Jumping on the Green Bandwagon – This article in MarketingProfs highlights the recent trend to jump on the green bandwagon. I think this is a key thing to keep in mind as companies proceed with sustainability and green programs.
Online Reputation Management – Paul Dunay provides good tips for managing your online reputation. Monitor – Respond – Optimize. Check out my previous posts about online reputation management and the tools I used to manage my online reputation.
Effective New Media Mediums for Marketers - eMarketer is summarized some recent reports about what are effective marketing mediums. For my company, I found it interesting that 54% of marketers found webinars effective. Who knew!
OK, I know that there are bad pitches. But have you ever read bad openings for an article. This one came from the AP about an Afghan journalist:
An Afghan journalist sentenced to death for distributing an article that allegedly violated Islam is actually being punished for reporting by his brother about abuses by northern warlords, a media group said Wednesday.
Do YOU know what the reporter is trying to say? Well, it finally appeared four paragraphs later:
Jean MacKenzie, country director for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, which helps train Afghan journalists, said Kaambakhsh is being punished for stories written for IWPR by his brother, Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi.
Me thinks this is the beginning of Bad Journalism. I tried to rewrite this one out myself and stopped.
How would YOU make this sentence better? Add them to the comments. I know you’re all smarter than me =)
Yes, not a pleasant thought, but this did happen to me. No, not the truck =), a broken and dislocated ankle. But there is nothing more vivid than the truck test to focus your attention on preparing you organization for the unexpected.
What has that person be working on? What are you policies for checking the person’s voicemail and email? And if the laptop is destroyed, are critical documents and plans lost as well? Here are three things for surviving the truck test:
Centralize - Laptops are great for their mobility – you can take it home or away on a sales trip thereby getting more work done outside of traditional work hours. But there is a tendency to save documents to the laptop instead of a shared server or intranet. In case of an extended leave, the challenge is accessing documents that may be relevant to the team, especially for sales information, marketing plans or other documents critical to the company. Ensure that documents are saved on a company server or intranet for easy access.
Standardize – Let’s assume that you have a server to save documents. To ensure that you can easily find critical information, create a policy that outlines 1) what documents are to be saved to the server and 2) how to name documents for consistency. For point 2, I recommend always including a) the person’s name, b) main subject and c) date. For example, “MaryMediaList_May252007” is easier to find than just “MediaList.” The date also helps for versioning.
Communicate – Assuming that your team member survived the truck test, it’s important to provide regular updates. Not only does your team want to express their best wishes for a speedy recovery but also will help minimize confusion as to 1) what happened, 2) when is he/she coming back and 3) who is handling his/her responsibilities in the meantime.
By just focusing on these three factors, you can begin preparing your organization for the unexpected.
What has your company done TODAY to ensure that YOU survive the truck test?
I know you’ve missed your summary of weekly articles. It’s been a slow start to the New Year, but I how you enjoy this week’s selection.
Engagement Overrated? – AdAge just released a survey of marketers and media buyers. I’m a little confused by what this survey means frankly. In the end, different mediums are judged by different criteria. Indicative of this contradictory stance: Survey respondents said it’s print — yet ranked print lowest for delivering results. Online was ranked lowest for engagement but highest for results, while TV was ranked in the middle for both results and engagement.
Baiting for Links – Adotas has an interesting article on how to receive quality links for your website. I’m not sure I agree with adding media mentions into a press release, but there is some good advice for those needing quality links.
Saying Sorry the Right Way – Andy Beal compares two situations of how Search Engine Land and Gizmodo apologized for recent incidents. Andy highlights the five steps for handling such a situation. Hmmm… Twitter, are you listening?
Protecting Your Online Brand – Richard MacManus of ReadWriteWeb wrote a post an email http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/brand_squatting_what_to_do.php
Why Meet Face-to-Face When Virtual Suffices? – I found this article interesting as part of my role is how to support sales with materials to help in the sell. This article highlights a buyer’s request for an online demo being spurned by sales folks. As a PR/marketing person, this raises a question of what can I do to facilitate the sales cycle. PR has a great opportunity to research, test and introduce new tools that can be used by sales folks. The question is, can you teach a sales person new tricks? =)
Twitter Pals Galore – The good folks at MarketingPilgrim have compiled an impressive list of online marketing folks on Twitter. Have fun finding people to follow!
Raising Customer Expectations – Chris Bucholtz of Inside CRM posted a great article of how to exceed customer expectations. No matter how big a company gets, it’s the little things that win over your satisfied and dissatisfied customers. Being proactive and quick to respond goes a long way then sending an impersonal email that arrives weeks later.
Protecting Your Brand Here, There and Everywhere – Richard McManus of ReadWriteWeb about a recent email exchange from a person using the “readwriteweb” brand overseas. Though I am sympathetic with Richard’s dilemma, I believe he received some bad advice. Richard can probably argue for protection in the US but may lose overseas. In the end, brand protection is brand protection. Always trademark. Even if you’re not planning to expand overseas, consider it. You never know.
Improve PR Programs through Measurement – KD Paine has some useful tips on how measurement provides insight for more effective PR programs. KD uses the word “dashboard” in her post. I believe she means a central place – whether a formal dashboard, database or excel document, that will help you identify and evaluate these points.
Standing Out in the Tradeshow Crowd – Rohit of Influential Interactive Marketing shares his tips for standing out in a tradeshow. Though I don’t agree with Rohit’s suggestion on a giveaway, I do believe he has some valid points. For those folks going to DEMO this month, my one word of advice is to walk to the space, pull people to the demo, and network at the events. Don’t wait for folks to come to you otherwise you won’t get the full bang for buck at the show.
I realized how important family is, even if they annoy you!
The power of social media to meet new friends from all over the world
Twitter is truly addicting.
That you don’t have to blog every day. Saying something interesting is more important than frequency.
Good friends are hard to come by – fight for the good ones, don’t stress about the others.
Compromise is important, especially if you’re wrong or think you’re right.
Keep telling yourself that the 49ers will always get better.
Take comfort that at least the Red Sox are doing well.
What lessons have you learned from 2007?
Google PR just sent me an email. the CCd instead of BCC – I know have email addys for all major journalists! Woohoohaha
Wow, this journalist email list is GOLD, shame I’m too ethical to do anything with it
I was surprised that Google PR didn’t personalize the emails based on the reporter/blogger and beat. Andy’s response was that this was typical depending on the PR person within Google.
Don’t get me wrong, Google is obviously doing something right. I barely read any negative articles about Google. But this non-personalized approach surprised me. I was always taught to personalize my pitches. Here are my top don’ts for pitching reporters:
- Don’t Misspell Names – Misspelling names turns off the reporter before he or she even reads your pitch.
- Don’t Use Nicknames – unless you’re absolutely sure, I would err on using the reporter’s full name. Make sure you remember point 1.
- Don’t Generalize Pitches – research the reporter to make sure that you target your pitch to his/her beat. Using a general pitch can backfire as it’s obviously a mass emailing.
- Don’t Mass CC Reporters – this one refers to what Google PR did. If you have to mass email reporters, at least use the BCC line. Otherwise, you’re advertising who you’re pitching and possible competitors in the email.
Any thoughts or other recommendations for PR Pitching?
Update: Toshiba has announced that they will no longer promote HD-DVD. Blu-ray has won.
I have a personal interest in the recent news coming out of CES and now Variety. I worked on the Blu-ray Disc Association from late 2004 to 2005 while I was with Blanc & Otus. Wow – that was a long time ago during the early years of the high-definition format wars!
At the time, the PR effort was focused on educating manufacturers and content providers (e.g., the studios) about the large support behind the Blu-ray format. At the time, the only major manufacturer NOT backing the format was Toshiba, who backed the HD-DVD format. Then there were the studios. The assumption was whomever could get the most content would have an edge.
It was unfortunate because the whole “format war” could have been avoided.
But who’s the true winner here?
So fast forward to 2008 and it seems that Blu-ray may finally getting the edge over HD-DVD. Despite the bottom prices of HD-DVD, Sony’s PlayStation probably had a huge influence in the adoption of the Blu-ray format.
However, the possibility of downloading high-definition movies digitally is more a reality than two years ago. Why purchase another “DVD” player when my local cable company can provide me with a set-top box for downloading movies or TiVo adds this ability for current subscribers.
In my case, I don’t have TiVo or advanced cable service. Instead, I go online to watch episodes that I’ve missed, which raises another option – delivery to the computer.
How long will this last?
If you’re like me and believe that Blu-ray will be the standard for high-definition viewing, then how long will the format be around?
This much is true – people are buying HD TVs. They want more than Discovery Channel in HD. Some will pay the premium to cable companies to get on-demand HD. But most, like me, will want the ability to get a rental movie delivered via Netflix or at my local Blockbuster.
Even then, we may be a few years before digital downloads rival Blu-ray players and Playstations for viewing movies.
So what do I think?
Frankly, I’m tickled pink. I truly believe that the Blu-ray format is better. I wish the association well and look forward to seeing how this will finally enable manufacturers to focus on consumer products.
This is an interesting case study in how a format war unfolds and a winner is eventually picked.
Cece Salomon-Lee is director of marketing for ACTIVE Network, Business Solutions division, and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.
This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.
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