Real-Time Marketing and PR

Real-Time Marketing and PR by: David Meerman Scott

Real-Time means:

• news breaks over minutes, not days.
• ideas percolate, then suddenly and unpredictably go viral to a global audience.
• when companies develop (or refine) products or services instantly, based on feedback from customers or events in the marketplace.
• when businesses see an opportunity and are the first to act on it.
This book teaches:
• Develop a business culture that encourages speed over sloth
• Read buying signals as people interact with your online information
• Engage with reporters to shape stories as they are being written
• Command premium prices by delivering products at speed
• Deploy technology to listen in on millions of online discussions and instantly engage with customers and buyers
• Crowdsource product development, naming, and even marketing materials such as online videos
Awareness of information, as it happens in real time can give you and enormous competitive advantage, if you know how to use it.
Financial Transformation – with that revolutionary shift, a new currency of success emerged with the ability to:

Grow you business the real-time way:

• Most organizations operate slowly and deliberately, cementing decisions months in advance.

•Speed and agility trumps size.

David & Goliath (as it pertains to PR):

• Musician Dave Carroll and band flew United Airlines from a gig in Halifax to a gig in Omaha.
• United broke their guitars during travel and refused to do anything about it.
• He threatened to post a song about their disservice to YouTube and received a ton of press because of it.

The Real-Time Law of Distribution

• Dave and United is about speed and media relations.
• Dave was ready and able to speak to the media in real time; therefore, the song and the band grew in the spotlight.

Real-Time Marketing Engagement

• Taylor Guitars – built goodwill among customers by posting their own YouTube video advising traveling musicians how to pack equipment and how to use airline rules the best advantage.
• Calton Cases – created a new product called “The Dave Carroll Traveler’s Edition Guitar Case”

And…United Airlines…

• Still made no response!
• Two aspects have been overlooked:
–The reasons why Dave’s video gained so much momentum
–The way agile players on the periphery were able to surf that momentum

15 Minute Press Releases

Going into the PR field (hopefully, that is), if I’m not specifically a PR representative, I will be doing something pertaining to my major (again, hopefully). Any PR representative, or something of the like, will need to write press releases. An article in Ragan\’s PR Daily discusses the very things that any future PR employee would have to know. Appropriately named How to write a killer press release in 15 minutes, we will discover and become professionals at doing just that.

Without having to sacrifice quality of the press release, Mickie Kennedy has come up with six tips on “How to write a killer press release in 15 minutes”. The first tip is to keep a list of ideas. This will save a lot of time when I sit down to finally write about something, so that I don’t have to wonder and waste time figuring out what to write about.

The second tip is to stay on point. Press releases are exactly that, releasing to the press vital information. The press doesn’t care about the intimate details of the situation, primarily the highlights. If they would like to know more elaboration on the topic, that is why every press release ends with contact information.

The third tip is to outline your press release. By creating something like bullet-point formation of what I want to write about, this will help keep me focused on what to include and write next.

The fourth tip is write when you’re inspired. This could be cautionary if someone were to only be inspired once in a blue moon; however, I would hope that anyone in the creative field would be more inspired than average. And as we all know, when we are inspired to write something we are passionate about, everything comes much easier and more smooth.

The fifth tip is to recycle old information when possible. Kennedy encourages to reuse the basic information about the company and products/services. There is clear time shaving with this step.

And the last tip is edit later. By editing while writing, it kills the flow–and undoubtedly kills the inspiration that was hard to work for in the first place. Edit once everything is written and completed. That way, there won’t be any disrupt in the flow.

By following these steps, Kennedy promises 15-minute press release knock out time. Good luck to your future press release writing days!

Blog Comments…Again

On March 17th, 2011 Super Bowl Ad by: Stacia\’s PR Blog

I agree that this commercial was slightly inappropriate; however, it didn’t completely cross my  convictions. The Super Bowl is primarily targeted toward adults–hence all the beer and car  commercials–therefore, I thought that this commercial targeted their audience well. Doritos,  along with many other companies, does well with the variety of their target audience. This  commercial did appeal to the homosexual community, but as Hollywood is today (and society in  general) it’s not uncommon to have homosexual references in a lot of the media. I would not go out on a limb and say that I’m completely in favor of this new wave of media, but it’s a wave nonetheless and PR is all about riding it.

On March 17th, 2011 EGYPT – Total Chaos by: CressPress

Everything that has been happening in Egypt has definitely been a calamity. What is more of a tragedy,  however, is that our attention shifts from tragedy to tragedy. In this instance, which almost seems like  ancient history even though it has only been a month ago, Americans were being put in danger. I don’t  know if that was the primary news of this post, but I think that there are many more pressing matters than  just our own citizens’ possibility of threats. This post was short and informative; however, I think that  people would benefit from hearing the tragedy as it relates globally rather than simply greedy Americans.

On March 17th, 2011 Arizona teacher fired over a bumper sticker? by: Laurie Lea

At first when I read this post, I was skeptical about the entire thing–really 61 bumper stickers  on an adult’s car, and she got fired over them? So obviously I wanted proof to know what the  stickers said. Tip to the wise blogger: pictures are useful. Like any modern person would do, I  googled it. Sure enough, there pictured on my screen a blue Toyota Prius with 61 stickers plastered in every available spot. Laurie offered a couple examples in her post, but the most controversial sticker was “Have you drugged your kid today?” Along with many other questionable stickers, my skepticism and siding with the teacher turned into understanding toward the parents and school’s decision. Yes, we have free speech, but there is a time and a place for everything. The work place, like Laurie Lea says, is not the place to voice your personal opinions…unless asked.

On March 17th, 2011 Spring Break and College Students by: Elijah Gil

Per the survey that was taken by Elijah, I think anyone would have to take into consideration the ages of the people being interviewed. When I was a freshman and sophomore (and even into my junior year) in college, I wanted to go home to see my family and my friends as well. Even though I had just been home over Christmas break, and even though I would be going home for the summer, I still wanted that break in between the second semester for some home rejuvenation. However, for my senior year I would have regretted it for my lifetime had I not seized the opportunity to take a vacation for spring break with my friends. Now having been through all four spring breaks of my college career, my senior year spring break has been the most memorable out of all of them simply because I went on a vacation and made memories with my lifetime friends.

On March 17th, 2011 Googoo for Gaga by: Tara Schwartz

It’s hard to believe that Lady Gaga has only been in the main stream music business for four years. The amount of media coverage and publicity that she has received far exceeds some of those who have been in the business for close to their entire lives. With this being said, I definitely agree that she was a good choice for SkyGrid to have test out their new product. With the amount of traffic that she gets on the internet, I would imagine that she would be able to tell within hours if she, and the rest of the world, would be willing to invest in this new product. It’s almost ridiculous what people can get famous for these days, but what seems even more ridiculous is the rapid growth of technology and social media. Good luck to GaGa!

Songs from the Grave (because marketers killed them)

Music adds so much to everything and it has the ability to swing moods based on the tune. For commercials, music is often the key element, having the power to relay the story to its viewers. However, for a handful of songs marketers more or less murdered these blindly–or knowingly. Ragan\’s PR Daily discusses this in the article 5 songs marketers tried to murder–and 2 that they did.

The first song on the list is Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” which was featured in a Burger King and an Applebee’s commercial. This musical tune has become a classic in American hearts, but TV goers are ready to disown the Man in Black’s song.

The second song is the third single from the American Indie-Rock band, Vampire Weekend’s second album. This NYC band’s music has resonated in between the ears of many thanks to their corkiness and creativity; however, for “Holiday” being deemed into two commercials, Tommy Hilfiger and Honda. Although it provided more recognition for the band, and I’m all for that, after the holiday’s I think we all need a vampire-free weekend.

I’m all in favor of Apple and everything that has to do with that lovely Steven Jobs creation; however, the third song on this list makes me slightly re-think my full-out devotion to the company. “New Soul” by Yael Naim was played over and over for Apple\’s MacBook Air commercial, which only made me wish that I myself had a new soul along with new ears. 

This next song was at least masked by the informative words of the Cadillac speaker, but France’s band Phoenix is now known for their overplayed, 30-second spot in conjunction with the luxury crossover. Not a bad combination, but Cadillac\’s SRX commercial can drive away for a while.

The last song that marketers tried to murder, according to Alan Pearcy, did not need murdering by the media. I think that the song itself did just fine with its own suicide. However, just to be sure that people were aware of the song Kia incorporated it into their Soul commercial. I think it’s safe to say that no one will be purchasing any Kia’s for a while thanks to the ridiculous hamsters and their “du-da-dippity” jingle.

As if anyone wouldn’t have guessed the two songs that Pearcy deemed as the horses in the ground, he shares with us those songs again. Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” in Samsung\’s 3D LED TV commercial and Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” in Animal Cruelty Awareness commercial are better left buried and never to be resurrected.

How do marketers ensure that they aren’t annoying their viewers by their music choice? Is there a way to guarantee that one song is limited to one company? I guess for the particular musician’s it’s great publicity for their band name and song, but for the sake of potential fans, please keep us sane.

Food Photography Not So Appetizing

Marketers scheme up different ways to get people to purchase anything and everything. Most of the time when it comes to food, we don’t have to be enticed too much into eating something; however, the market has a way to make items on the menu look more appealing. Dane Cook said it best when referring to the fast food pictures, “I don’t know who the photographer is who does the french fry shots. He’s fantastic. He’s the best. Just the way the fries are shooting up out of there. They’re dancing up out of that box like they’ve been freed from some kind of purgatory. Those fries look like a glamour shot. They’re just fantastic.” 

Granted, if you are not a fry consumer then they might not make your taste buds salivate, but all food is picked, placed, and designed to look finger-lickin’ good. Ragan\’s PR Daily covers the behind-the-scenes information about how photographers make all food look fantastic in the article 8 tricks of the food photography trade.

Tricks including motor oil, shoe polish, and glycerin are among the top resources in making consumers consume even more. Obviously we don’t consume those particular items, but the very thing that interests us on the menu does not translate to what is in front of us on our plates. However, interesting as it may be, when photographing ice cream, brands are not allowed to use “fake” ice cream in an advertisement, but any topping–whipped cream, hot fudge, savory fruit–can be as fake as my grandmother’s hair.

Rule of the day: don’t judge food by its picture. Next time we are torn between the 900 calorie, deep-fried, coconut-covered shrimp, and the mouth-watering, gooey-filling, cholesterol-packed peanut butter brownie, we should be reminded of the non-edible ways of the conniving marketers for the various well-known restaurants.

Social Media: Friend or Foe?

We always hear great things in terms of social media—if it wasn’t so great, I don’t think Mark Zuckerberg would be the billionaire that he is today.  However, could social media be bad? Mark Ragan, Shel Holtz and a team of well-educated professionals in the business discuss this.

Shel Holtz, an avid blogger and principal of Holtz Communication and Technology, obviously loves the idea and concept of blogging. At the beginning of this discussion, he is trying to implement blogging as apart of Mark Ragan’s company, Ragan Communications.

In Holtz attempt to convince Ragan to implement blogging, he states that blogging helps the company/customer relationship because they can communicate and be informed of one another. So many times are there misconceptions or misunderstandings and blogging can clear that up. Holtz also says customers are going to talk about the company and product regardless, so it might as well be on the company blog so that the company can be aware of what is being said about their business and/or product.

Ragan doesn’t like the obligation to keep up with a blog as well as the rest of his busy schedule, but a suggestion is raised at the employees keeping the customers in the loop via a blog. All that the customers want to know from the CEO is the general company upkeep; the other employees can inform the customers on anything that they wish.

Blogging is also beneficial as it deals with market research. The company can post a blog about potential products or advertising and get customer feedback before they put it on the market. This way, the company will be able to tell if that product or advertisement will be valuable and worth their time and money.

A frequent question for companies when a new system is being introduced is: What is going to be my ROI? Terry McKenzie of Sun Microsystems answers, “Customer feedback is priceless!” Having your customers be informed, encourage communication, allowing them to feel listened to and appreciated, will only reap benefits for your company and provide loyal customers.

Holtz encourages companies to be transparent with their customers and in turn they will have happy campers: both customers and employees.

My Favorite Super Bowl Ad

There were Super Bowl ads that warmed the hearts of some, struck the funny bone of many, and, as always, left a number offended after watching on February 6th, 2011. However, my fancy swung toward one in particular: Bud Light Hack Job.

It always seems that the beer companies have the best and the funniest commercials–Miller Lite in 2010, Heineken in 2010, and again Bud Light in 2009. Bud Light seemed to have a stellar creative team behind this years commercials (Bud Light Dog Sitter was averaged in the top five of favorite Super Bowl commercials this year). Obviously targeted toward middle-aged alcohol drinkers, Bud Light always seems to come up with creative, and funny, messages to their viewers.

In this commercial, as is most beer commercials, the primary target is the late-20s to early-40s male. The wife is not so thrilled about her new kitchen “renovation”, but once she sees her husband enjoying it, and also sees the crowd coming to partake in the enjoyment, she is convinced that the renovation was a good one and enjoys the party as well.

For the Super Bowl, we, as viewers, watch the commercials expecting them to make us laugh. When a commercial airs that is less than hilarious, we are almost disappointed. It takes a special team of creative geniuses to compile a message for a commercial that will not only relay their meaning but do so in a funny and unique manner. I think Bud Light accomplished this in the year 2011 for the Super Bowl.