Jan 10, 2008

Blu-Ray Finally Winning?

Blu-ray Disc Association

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.

Jan 9, 2008

My Biggest Influencers

GrandmaPaul Dunay of Buzz Marketing for Technology tagged me for a meme about my biggest influencers. Here are my biggest influencers:

My Grandmother (photo)- As I mentioned in an earlier post, my grandmother passed away in September. She was such a vibrant woman who took care of her children and grandchildren. She embodied what a strong woman is – she came from a small village in China and emigrated to the States. She was always there – caring and loving. She was my grandmother.

My Parents – It’s so funny. When I was younger, I wouldn’t have appreciated everything that my parents did for me. As an adult with a husband, home and profession, I now realize how hard my parents worked to raise and put me and my three siblings through college. They came to the US for a better life for their family. I truly appreciate everything they did and they have taught me the value of hard earned money.

My best friend, Danielle – I’ve known Danielle since my freshman year in college. Danielle has taught me so much about life and perserverence. She showed me patience when maybe, at times, I didn’t deserve it. She showed me what a true friend is and how to be a good one.

So there you go, my biggest influencers. I’m going to tag CK, Mack Collier and Brendan Cooper. Let’s see what they say.

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Jan 8, 2008

Are You Going to Blogger Social?

Blogger Social New YorkIt’s a brand new year and I’m so looking forward to the Blogger Social. Only 90 more days and party in New York! I’m looking forward to meeting all the bloggers I’ve emailed, as well as those I read.

It should be tons of fun and I offered to teach a salsa class too. If you’re interested in meeting up or learning salsa, leave me a comment and we can arrange some time in between the events.

If you haven’t registered yet, you have until February 15, 2008 to register. It includes three events – one Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening.  

There’s event a funny video that was put together of everyone attending:

Blogger Social Video

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Jan 4, 2008

Apologies for No Updates – Been Out Sick

Out Sick

I’ve been sick this whole week. I hope to come back strong with posts. I’ve also been tagged by Paul Dunay about my biggest influencers, so I’ll work on that as well. Thanks!

Dec 27, 2007

PRMeetsMarketing Weekly Articles: December 20, 2007

OOPS – forgot to publish this last week =)

This will be my last summary until the New Year. Come back next week for my post reflecting on my first 6 months of blogging and popular posts. You can click on the Weekly Articles tag for previous issues or subscribe to the Weekly Articles Feed: 

Pitched Into a Coma -  Ok – I shouldn’t be pointing to this but I did find Ken Magill’s of DIRECT Magazine description of a bad PR pitch quite amusing. Here’s an excerpt of his “rant”:

Open QuoteOr maybe the reason we didn’t call back is because the pitch put us into a catatonic state. Such was the case with a pitch received here several weeks back.

It was so buzzword laden that before it put me into a catatonic state, it made me cock my head to the side like a confused dog.

Remedial Social Media GuideMichael Pick wrote a great primer for social media at MasterNewMedia. For those just starting out, this is a must read, while it may seem simplistic for those already implementing social media.

Social Networking for B2B PR – Tom Pick provides some interesting tips on how to use social networking for B2B PR. I highly recommend points 1 and 3 for any PR practitioner. 

Oh No Spock! – Alec Saunders typically writes about VoIP type of issues. He occasionally looks at things that impact him, such as this interesting practice from Spock – the people search engine. Alex highlights how Spock is using interesting ways to send invites to people for your trusted network 

SEOd Blog Drives Sales ResultsBtoB Magazine highlights how a company leveraged SEO to increase blog traffic which in turn drove sales leads. As more and more B2B companies begin experimenting with social media applications and tools, there will be more case studies of this type.

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Dec 27, 2007

Thoughts for 2007: Popular Posts

Top 2007 PostsIt’s that time of year to reflect back on the year and make your resolutions for the New Year. I gave up resolutions a long time ago – how can you ask a chocolate lover give up chocolate for a whole year? Sorry – just can’t do it.

So instead of resolutions, here are the top posts from 2007:




  1. Let the 2008 Trends Lists Begin
  2. Many of you were curious about me
  3. You liked the compilation of How to Pitch Bloggers list
  4. And like me, online reputation management was a concern
  5. SEOing press releases was another top post

Dec 19, 2007

Embargoes – Valid in the Brave New World of PR?

String on finger

Recently, I saw CenterNetworks tweet about broken embargoes and Allen wrote a follow up post about his views on embargoes.  This raises an interesting question about whether or not embargoes are still valid in this new world of instantaneous news and the desire to scoop your fellow bloggers and traditional media. 

Even before blogs, you always risked the possibility of a reporter breaking your embargo. Heck, this happened to me when I worked with a reputable national business outlet before my client launched at a conference. The article appeared on the Sunday before the conference began and also mentioned a couple of other companies.  

The saving grace? Reporters were still interested in learning more about the company and technology. And there were several high-quality articles written about the company. 

In the end, I believe embargoes are still valid. The question isn’t should you have an embargo or not but rather how you go about securing and managing embargoes.  

Considering an Exclusive to One Outlet – Depending on your news and objectives, it may be worthwhile to give one media outlet an exclusive on the news. Usually, if the news is big enough for a top-level reporter/blogger to honor an embargo for an exclusive, other reporters/blogs will still cover your news. 

Use Your Common Sense – If a reporter or blogger has consistently broken an embargo, it’s most likely that that they won’t honor an embargo. Still brief the person on your news, but schedule the briefing for the day of your announcement, not before. If the briefing is early enough, then they still have time to write up a brief for online publication. 

Not All News Require an Embargo - I think we tend to fall into the habit of trying to have embargoes for all press releases. This just won’t work. If you’re going to require an embargo, make sure the news is worthy of one.

Be Consistent with Embargoes – As Allen highlighted in his post, he “broke” his embargo because he noticed the news on the company website. If you’re going to have an embargo, be consistent on when information gets updated to a corporate website, blog, or social network, as well as distributed on the wire. If it happens often, reporters/bloggers will begin assuming it’s ok to post things early.

And what about reporters/bloggers who break an embargo? That’s a tough one. I think you have to take a case-by-case basis. For less sensitive news, give her an opportunity to earn back your trust – will she post the news even when you request that she hold it? If so, then you know not to trust them with embargoes. 

In the case of top-tier reporters/bloggers, if she breaks an embargo 2-3 times and appealing to an editor has no effect, then brief them only on the day of the announcement.  

 It’s just that simple, I hope =)

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Cece Salomon-LeeCece 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.

Learn more about Cece.

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