UPDATE: Received comment from Ann Taylor that indicates that this may be a viral email that is being passed around. If someone has any information on this, let me know and I will update accordingly. As such, I am taking Ann Taylor’s name off the list. Let’s see if other retailers will respond to their online reputation…
UPDATE: 11/24/08 Wilson Leathers has responded in the comments below so I’m striking their name from the list. Will be posting an update shortly.
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My cousin just sent me an email about gift cards, especially from companies that have filed for bankruptcy this year. Per her email:
“Stores that are planning to close after Christmas are still selling the cards through the holidays even though the cards will be worthless January 1. There is no law preventing them from doing this. On the contrary, it is referred to as ‘Bankrupcy Planning). Below is a partial list of stores that you need to be
The list includes (I cannot verify the accuracy of this as this list was forwarded to me. Please feel free to clarify in the comments if there are additions or deletions to be made):
Circuit City (filed Chapter 11)
Ann Taylor- 117 stores nationwide closing
Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug ,and Catherine’s to close 150 stores nationwide
Eddie Bauer to close stores 27 stores and more after January
Cache will close all stores
Talbots closing down specialty stores
J. Jill closing all stores (owned by Talbots)
Pacific Sunwear (also owned by Talbots)
GAP closing 85 stores
Footlocker closing 140 stores mo re to close after January
Wickes Furniture closing down
Levitz closing down remaining stores
Bombay closing remaining stores
Zales closing down 82 stores and 105 after January
Whitehall closing all stores
Piercing Pagoda closing all stores
Disney closing 98 stores and will close more after January.
Home Depot closing 15 stores 1 in NJ ( New Brunswick )
Macys to close 9 stores after January
Linens and Things closing all stores
Movie Galley Closing all stores
Pep Boys Closing 33 stores
Sprint/Nextel closing 133 stores
JC Penney closing a number of stores after January
Ethan Allen closing down 12 stores.
Wilson Leather closing down all stores
Sharper Image closing down all stor~s
K B Toys closing 356 stores
Loews to close down some stores
Dillard’s to close some stores
Personally, I think this is a deceptive practice by these companies. I suppose, if you’re in bankruptcy with little options to come out of it, you’re not worried about customer loyalty. I can imagine a huge uproar as folks drop by on Jan. 1 and find their cards worthless.
Building Relationships –
Valerie Valeria Maltoni of Conversation Agent discusses how revealing yourself is a key part of building relationships. As part of this post, Valerie provides her 4 good and bad things to do when pitching her.
Reinventing Journalism – Though written last week, I found Scott Karp’s post on Feb. 20th about reinventing journalism interesting. If more publications move to including links from other sources, how does this impact PR? And from a press room perspective, what is the value of creating a useful resource that also links to “competitive” coverage?
One Chair Creates Conversation -The Lonely Marketer had an interesting post about how a person created internal conversation at her company. All you need is two chairs, a sign and a person willing to listen. IMO, the last part is sometimes the most difficult thing to find.
The Emperor Has No Clothes – I frankly couldn’t improve on the title of this post by Michelle Golden of Golden Practices. In this post, Michelle discussed how her brutal honesty in reviewing CPA websites has won her fans. This wasn’t done with “marketing” in mind, but rather to share her expertise and provide counsel. This positions her as a thought leader and expert. And isn’t that what PR and marketing is all about?
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This past week has seen some interesting conversations about press releases/newswires, how to conduct social media campaigns and the relationship with customers. Enjoy this last issue before the President’s Weekend Holiday. You can click on the Weekly Articles tag for previous issues or subscribe to the Weekly Articles Feed.
The Power of News Wires – Read/WriteWeb has an interesting post about how BusinessWire’s influence and ability to be a top Techmeme source. If newswires are able to gain this much influence for a press release, does this mean PR folks will be “lazier” in getting placements for press releases?
When a Release is Not a Release – B.L. Ochman highlights her experience with PR Web’s decision not to post a release because it didn’t satisfy their standard of a press release. The release was a funny announcement for procrastinators on Valentine’s Day. The tone was perfect for this type of announcement, yet PR Web insisted that B.L. make some changes. Frankly, who’s to decide what is and isn’t a release. I could understand profanity but because it wasn’t written in the third person? Puh-lease!
Blogs are the Music to My Ears – Mack Collier writes about how blogs have contributed more to music sales than MySpace. Need I say more?
Valentine’s Day Special: It’s About the Relationship -Toby Bloomberg of Diva Marketing Blog put together a special post for Valentine’s Day. She lists 62 responses to how to create great business relationships. Tons of great tips from all walks of life and industries. I like #4, #7, #12, #27, #34 (this one is tough for me.. ask my husband =), #62. My tip? Be humble and admit that you don’t know everything.
Successful Customer Case Studies - Jeremiah Owyang is on a roll. He’s providing great insight as an analyst that should help every PR person out there. This week’s nugget of wisdom, creating successful customer case studies.
SMRs in the Real World – Brian Solis posts an email from Steve Kayser who has outlined his experience using SMRs in the real world. Very informative regarding what to be aware of as one proceeds down this avenue.
Social Campaigning… Not! – Paul Dunay of Buzz Marketing for Technology highlights a good point about Social Media. Social media can’t be considered a campaign as a campaign eventually ends. It require diligent work and commitment. Only then can you see reap the rewards of entering the social media world.
Measurement Makes Your Executives Care – Dave Fleet reminds us that measurement is key for executive support and understanding. Like Social Media, it can’t be an one-time project. It has to be monitored constantly. I previously wrote about the PR measurements I track. It’s quick, easy and can be maintained weekly. Leave a comment if you’re interested in learning more.
Six Deadly Sins of Social Media
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.
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.