Thursday, September 03, 2009

For my PR Folk Friend - Digital Advertisers and Social Media are your friend...

@davefleet, whom I have never met, recently wrote a blog posting - you can read it by visiting - talking about how PR folk could possibly learn some lessons from advertisers and their use of digital / social media. I thought this was a pretty interesting piece because in my current job, I find myself having developed a pretty good working relationship with my PR counter-parts, and in the end of the day, marketers / advertisers and corporate communications personnell should work together, learn together, and promote together.

In the end of the day, we all are trying to promote some variation of the same cause, right??? So, @davefleet came up with a 5 point list of things that PR folk should take notice of. Before we get into that, there was a particular quote I found of interest - mainly because I am an advertiser by nature - and it goes a little something like this:

Regardless of the media buy budgets, advertising agencies command big dollars. They land smart, creative people. They execute highly original ideas. They have a voice at a senior level. As much as folks on the PR side might hate to admit it, we can learn from the advertising folks. This is especially true as the different communications disciplines converge.

Now, I would like to think that I am one of those really creative smart advertising people that recently moved from the agency world to the client-side, so obviously you can see why this quote peaked my interest. But, enough about what I think of myself, and more about what @davefleet was talking about. @davefleet brings up some really good points for my PR brethren. It all boils down to a 5-point list, which goes a little something like this:

1. Scale matters
2. Creativity beats staid
3. Measure, measure, measure
4. Target your audiences
5. Craft your message carefully

Under point number 4, @davefleet points out something that I think all of us forget all to often...

Remember all those ads you didn’t like? They weren’t targeted at you. Good advertisers are laser-like in their targeting as they know you can’t please everyone.

So, he's on to something here. Advertisers are always held to some of the highest benchmarks because we spend so much darn money doing all sorts of "out-of-the-box" things, leveraging cliche terms such as "Web 2.0," "Digital," "Mobile Marketing," and all that other terminology we toss around. We are responsible for measuring our efforts, and adjusting our media buys according to the numbers, but we also have to measure the qualitative impact of any campaign, which can be measured by listening to the viral buzz - whether it be P-WOM or N-WOM and responding accordingly.

We come up with compelling advertisements, draft copy and creative in a way that targets our "target-audience," because our job is not to satisfy some self-fulfilling prophecy; rather, we're trying to speak to people who may want to buy our products, try out our services, and so on. On the same note, we try to sell a concept to the public, whether it's a micro- or macro-population we're speaking to. That concept is something that should be inspirational; something that elevates the organization to some higher level and conveys a message to target audiences that goes beyond mass communication, and focuses on customized communication.

Anyhow, I am rambling at this point, but I really liked this short piece because I have found over the years that the folk in PR have lots of great content, and the advertising / marketing folk have lots of great ideas, and we all just need to work with each other, and learn from each other...

So, did I bore the heck out you??? If not, let's discuss...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The ATM that can diagnose your symptoms...

So, I am huge fan of finding new ways to implement technology to make our lives easier, provide us quick and easy access to information, and enable us to connect with others in real-time. Well, in this installment of iWeb I stumbled upon a post titled: "Diagnosis From A Kiosk" -

This excerpt in particular caught my attention, as Mass General Hospital has found a way to improve our healthcare system leveraging wicked technology:
Massachusetts General Hospital is developing this computerized kiosk that physicians hope can help bring some relief to the healthcare system. The kiosk will be able to track a patient's medical history, weight, pulse, blood pressure, and other vital signs. It'll even perform simple blood tests for glucose and cholesterol. The Project is a small Windows computer with a few attachments -- a blood-pressure cuff, a scale, to start. The goal is to decrease the wait time at doctor's offices and the time the doctor usually needs to assess your problem.

Yet, as novel as the concept is, it also has me thinking that it could further exacerbate a well documented condition; cyberchondria (i.e., I think I read somewhere that something like 9% of all doctor's office visits are from people who have conditions like hypochondria).

To be able to pick up quick vitals like cholesterol levels from a kiosk sounds kind of cool, and the mere fact that the technology is in place to pull this off sounds like a good way to reduce hospital wait times, etc., but it also sounds like a good way to have people who already over self-diagnose get pushed a little too close to the edge. Therefore, without careful monitoring of machine usage and the people who are actually using them has me a little concerned for the general public's well-being. But, with monitoring comes a huge privacy concern. Heck, the machines itself sound like a privacy concern...

So, digitally - this tech is totally cool in my book - but it's also a little concerning on the same note... What do you think? Any thoughts?