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?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Is the US finally getting it - "Mobile Marketing"

I recently returned from a one and a half year stint in the UK and was overly amazed as to how progressive agencies and marketers alike were leveraging mobile marketing as part of their integrate marketing communications programs... Well, I stumbled upon this article and thought to myself, hey, maybe mobile marketing is finally coming of age in the US. I know the likes of Google and Yahoo! have tried to figure out ways to embed their ads into mobile browsers, and Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T are certainly notorious for trying to monitize everything you do with your mobile device...

So, back to that article: "Mobile Marketer's Mobile Outlook 2009"

With the ubiquity of smart devices (i.e., Apple iPhone, Samsung devices, touch-screen Blackberry's, and Google's Android operating system and mobile enabled HTC devices), it makes sense that US consumers are becoming much more familiar and confident with receiving information on the go. WiMax is certainly on the horizon, 3G is getting better and better, but just how the heck do you successfully integrate mobile into your marketing programs or your client's communications strategies???

A point raised in this article, that I totally agree with is as follows"

Marketers must remember that mobile cannot, and must not, be treated like other mass mediums out there.

Mobile is a highly personal channel, with attendant sensitivities and double opt-in permission requirements.

So, how do we proceed from here? I have come up with a few neat implementations for clients that aren't pervasive or overly sensitive when it comes to the end-user's privacy concerns, but just how far along are we and how far could we go with this medium...

Discuss if you wish...

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Pod Hotel Goes Social...

First and foremost I have to say that I have always been impressed by the folks at Organic. They are pretty good at staying on top of their game and I frequently read their blog. Their latest post, "Connecting with the Traveler Staying in the Room Down the Hall" -, really piqued my attention because I am all about all things social.

So check this out, a social network, specific to a hotel, that pre-connects travelers so they can hook up and hang out when staying at The Pod Hotel. Kind of like a really cranked up, or should I say, it is a really cranked up version of a utility like TripIt that makes a lot of sense, IMO.

Think about it, if you're a road warrior you'll certainly know why this makes sense, but if you're heading out on that business trip, all by your lonesome, or perhaps someone else you know is staying at The Pod when you are, but just don't know it, you could totally plan out to meet up, grab a drink, etc.

Brilliant in my mind, yet so simple. Read on, though, as Organic does question how The Pod has spread the word about this social utility that they launched back in January. So, discuss... Neat idea, or not? Neat implementation of a social utility, or not? Giving you any neat ideas for a client project, or not? Just my 2 cents.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Can you back up your interactive prowess???

I stumbled upon this blog entry recently and it made me scratch my head a bit: "How Can You Advise Clients On Social Media If You Don't Use It? " - The context of the post assumed that the employees of top interactive agencies should have robust LinkedIn profiles to justify how interactive savvy their agencies are... Thus, if you don't have a robust and active LinkedIn profile, how can your agency claim its interactive prowess, especially as it pertains to social media and utilities...

Now, I thought to myself, ad agencies are made up of all sorts of people and LinkedIn, and other social utilities, are only frequently used by people who have the intention to do so, whereas other people just use them because it's easy to upload your address book and connect with other people who happen to subscribe to that social network.

Do you think this makes sense? I'd like to hear your thoughts on the matter. Are you - as an employee of an interactive agency - someone who doesn't heavily use LinkedIn or other social utilities, measure up as a strong barometer of your agency's ability to perform as a top interactive shop, and even more so have the ability to succeed in social media planning??? Discuss...