Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Shrinking budgets make blogs appealing

The shift has begun. In the final chapter of Paul Gillin's The New Influencers he discusses the how the shift from traditional marketing - where the big $ is spent - to peer to peer marketing will slowly continue to change.

However, I would argue that the recent economic crises has changed that. With unemployment on the rise and companies scrambling to slash budgets, now is the best time for organizations to make their moved to break into the blogosphere.

This will not be an isolated trend.

As many bloggers are quick to point out, the technology surrounding this medium is developing so rapidly, that many organizations are now able to utilize and thus analyze blogs and social media networks in a quantifiable way.

For example, organizations like Telligent are creating social media analytics tools. According to a post on the Wall Street Journal, Telligent has announced the release of a new analytics tool that has the ability to:
Harvest 2.0 provides deep analysis and trending on how people are contributing within a community and helps enterprise organizations prove the value of their social computing investments.
New innovations in Harvest 2.0 include:

-- Social Fingerprints(TM) -- View the unique social fingerprint of every member of your community and quickly see how they contribute.

-- Scorecards -- Quickly summarize important information and enable community managers and business owners to understand the pulse of the community.

-- Sentiment and Tonality -- See what people are saying--either positively or negatively--in your community. Visual trending information lets you know immediately what people think.

-- Forecasting -- Predict future behavior based on current trends. Know where your customers are going before they get there.

-- Widgets and RSS -- All reports created within Harvest are reusable as either widgets or through RSS, enabling the reuse of data back into the community.
I believe social analytics tools such as these will continue to spur the rapid movement from traditional marketing mediums to blogs and social media sites.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

12 million to one, a lesson in pitching

Spam, the bane of all that is Internet. A pesky relic that remains from the dark ages of the Internet, when all was ruled by the simple phrase, "you've got mail."

However, in recent years, many public relations practitioners have had the misfortune of inheriting the occupational slur, "spammers."

Disgusting, I know.

But, to my dismay, I know this title isn't completely unwarranted. With increasing access to media gatekeepers via the Internet, PR practitioners are finding it increasingly easier to blast out "spam" pitches to any and all parties they can reach.


Conventional wisdom may lead you to believe more e-mails = more media coverage, but this couldn't be further from the truth. And the proof is in the pudding, and by pudding I mean an article posted on techradar.com.

According to techradar.com, for every 12.5 million spam e-mails, one response is received.

What does this mean for PR practitioners? Well, if you started pitching 500 leads each day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for 50 years, you would convert on 1 media placement.

Not a particularly efficient method.

Moral of the story, sending out mass "spam" pitches just isn't efficient, and will not generate the results your organization is hoping for.

My suggestion, personalize your pitches and understand you're not talking to another computer, but rather another human being. Take the time to learn about those you're pitching, and don't send out releases containing no newsworthy information.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Friday night road rage

Ada.... known by many as the road rage capital of northwest Ohio (according to a survey I just made up).

Little did I know last night that I would become another tragic statistic in my fictitious survey.

Sparing you the inconsequential details of my night, I ended up at the Marathon gas station on the edge of town/ village at about 11:30 p.m. On the way back to my house I was stopped behind a silver car that had just pulled out of the drive-through at the light in front of McDonald's. This is when things took a turn for the worst.

When the light turned green I pushed my foot to the gas and motored on , but was slowed down by the silver car in front of me now going 15 mph. Frustrated, I followed the car closely, and was barely able to avoid being break-checked.

Suddenly, the erratic driver swerved into the left turn-lane. Feeling somewhat relieved, I sped up as I passed the driver, exchanging hand gestures along the way (in retrospect not the best idea).

Angrily, the driver jerked his steering wheel back towards Main St. and started to 'ride my bumper.' After following me to my house, the driver got out of his car and started incoherently shouting about the street being a 25mph zone - in which he was driving 15mph - and that I was speeding. Normally, I wouldn't take the incoherent ramblings of a random 25-30 yr. old man seriously, but his 6'3 250 lb stature suggested otherwise.

As you may be able to guess, the driver wasn't in any type of mood to engage in a rational discussion. So, I let him know I was calling the police, and he was in his car taking off - at a rate faster than 15 mph, or even 25 mph for that matter - in a heartbeat.

So here are a few tips I've picked up to avoid road rage, which Isn't the best way to spend a Friday night. And, if you are like me and road rage just seems to find you, you're not alone. There is an entire road rage community out there.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The New Rules of Marketing And PR: A Reflection

So, I've just finished reading David Meerman Scott's The New Rules of Marketing And PR, and I feel that it is only appropriate to reflect upon what I believe are the most important points of the book.

At first glance, this is not an easy task considering the numerous insights Scott provided, but nevertheless one worth doing.

So here are my thoughts.

Distilled to its purest form, Scott's book is comprised of a series of insightful case studies and "new rules," all used to illustrate one point: The Web has changed the way marketing and PR professionals can converse with masses of "underserved," highly attentive consumers, and we (professionals) can't afford to miss out on these conversations.

An important point - and one blasphemous to my kind (PR folk) - is that the Web has blurred the traditional lines between marketing and PR. Rather than opposing disciplines, we are both goal oriented practitioners wishing to make a quantifiable impact - whether that stem from additional revenue, petition signatures or listserv signups - on our organization's bottom line.

Okay Jay, but how can we go about doing this?

Im glad you asked. The answer is simple, Content.

The key to any successful Web presence is quality content, and lots of it. Not only does frequently updated quality content help drive your web presence up in search engine rankings, but it also can be used to drive customers into the sales process (or a mutually beneficial goal for a non-profit).

Overall, I think Scott's book was an invaluable tool that opened my eyes to the immeasurable marketing and PR opportunities made possible through Web based social mediums.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

No News Like Niche News

Once in every long while I feel like I really gain some headway towards fully wrapping my head around the all encompassing term, social media. This being one of those times, I feel compelled to share what (i think) I've learned.

Yesterday, in a random stroke of luck I stumbled upon a tweet linking to an article titled 48 Social News Websites: A List of General and Niche Social Media Communities, which as I'm sure you may have guessed provides an extensive list of social media news sites.

Before I read this post, my reference point for social media news sites were digg.com, technorati.com and icerocket.com. Admittedly, it was incomplete at best.

I was stunned to see there were social news sites for everything from green news at Hugg.com to SWiK.net, "A community driven resource for people who use open source software."

And this article only begins to scratch the social news surface. The author even references a list of "380 Digg clones."

I feel encouraged.

Each of these niche markets represents another opportunity for PR practitioners to engage their target audiences through a mutually beneficial medium. Although I agree this sounds a bit textbooky(i know this isn't a real word), I'm glad to say I really am beginning to understand how to utilize social media for the benefit of a campaign or organization.

Atypical Saturday At ONU

Saturday... always a promising time for nonacademic pursuits.

However, little did I know how much fun I would have with a social marketing assignment this past Saturday. And, I can now say, I've created my first ever viral video for Donate Life Ohio.

To give a little background on the situation, the goal of the project was to make a 30 to 60 second video to promote the Do It Now Ohio Organ Donation campaign.

Naturally, the first idea that came to mind involved my dog fighting my girlfriend. Soooo, I ran with it.

The next 50 seconds are the result of a Sony Cyber-shot camera with video options, some simple video editing software and having way too much time on my hands.

I don't know about you, but I see viral gold in the making.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cavies Home Opener

I just received the best news of the quarter today. This Thursday the 30th my girlfriend and I will be attending the Cleveland Cavaliers home opener against the Charlotte Bobcats.

This couldn't have happened at a better time in the quarter. With the quarter quickly coming to a close, the stress has been building, and what better to get my mind off work than LBJ and the Cavies?

Unfortunately, the Cavaliers #1 fan won't be able to join me at the game. But, I know he will be there in spirit.

I'm expecting big things this year from the Cavs, as are many sportscasters. In an interview with Jeff Zillgitt from USA Today, LeBron James reported that in this point of his career anything less than an NBA championship would be considered a failure.

I'm with you LeBron, and I believe this year will be the affirmation of both your and the Cavs legacy when the Cavs clinch the NBA championship.

If you're a Cavs fan, join me and help cheer the Cavs on to victory on Thursday at 7 p.m.

The Wrong Measures Of Web Success

It all about the benjamins, or in this case, Web hits.

How could it not be? According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD), "The number of broadband subscribers in the OECD reached 251 million by June 2008, an increase of 14% from June 2007."

Think about it.... 251 million potential Web hits; who wouldn't want a piece of that pie? However, you have to ask yourself, what are those hits, impressions, unique visitors, etc. really doing for your company?

I find myself in the position once again where my thoughts are best expressed by author of The New Rules Of Marketing And PR, David Meerman Scott. And I quote:
Many marketers and PR people also focus on the wrong measures of success. With Web sites, people will often tell me things like, "We want to have 10,000 unique visitors per month to our site." And PR measurement is often similarly irrelevant: "We want ten mentions in the trade press and three national magazine hits each month." Unless your site makes money through advertising so that raw traffic adds revenue, traffic is the wrong measure.

Don't get me wrong, I believe there is great value to be found in tracking hits for web analytics, but that value extends insofar as the analytics can be interpreted to help add to your bottom line.

After all, what does 10,000 hits really tell you? Can you talk to 10,000 hits and ask them what they did or didn't like about your site?

With this in mind, you really shouldn't be asking, "How many hits did we get," you should be asking, "What are those hits generating for us?"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Social Media And The Recession

What can be expected of the future of social media during a fiscally tight time like now? I have my own suspicions on the matter (which I'll get to shortly), but I wanted to know what those with more industry experience were thinking.

The best article I found was Social media will transcend the negative aspects of the recession written by author jptrenn on the Digital Street Journal.

Basically, the author addresses the notion that traditionally, marketing and public relations are the first "expenses" to be dealt away with during a recession. However, traditions can and do change.

The most relevant point Trenn makes in the article is that, "Social media is a whole new ballgame because it covers so much - marketing, customer relations, media relations, public relations, and a whole lot more."

Because social media can be used to address so many fundamental business transactions (for such a modest investment), it can no longer be seen as a dispensable resource.

These two graphics illustrate my point. With 75% of U.S. adults using social technologies, organizations can actually use social media to cut the costs of both marketing a public relations efforts.

Even better, as the costs of social media productions like pod and vodcasts continue to drop, social media becomes a more cost effective strategy for an organization of any size.

Sooooo, my prediction is that savy PR and marketing managers will begin to make greater use of social media in order to cut production costs and to reach more highly targeted consumer markets.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Viral Marketing: Old News With A New Name

Viral Marketing, the Godfather of buzzwords. After stripping away all of the corporate speak and nonsense surrounding the term, what remains at the core?

In chapt. 10 of The New Influencers, Paul Gillin said of viral marketing:
This specialized brand of promotion, also called "word of mouth" or "guerilla" marketing, is nothing new. Each person tells several friends and word spreads on a geometric scale. It is perhaps the oldest form of marketing, but the Internet has given it new power.
I couldn't agree more. I see the roots of today's viral marketing campaigns in the original bad boy of 1800s press agentry, P.T. Barnum. Barnum was able to generate buzz/hype/press for his shows well before they rolled in to town.

Using a combination of extravagant impromptu shows and strong word-of-mouth marketing, Barnum helped plant the seeds of modern viral marketing campaigns.

According to Effective Public Relations, Barnum even started the trend of coining language for his viral marketing campaigns, introducing the American public to jumbo.

My point, viral marketing is not a new idea that needs to scare, intimidate or confuse new practitioners. Viral marketing is an old dog with a new trick, Web 2.0.

So lets cut through the junk and start demystifying the "new" trend of viral marketing.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

ONU Dodgeball, Public Enemy # 1

Today, while reading the Ohio Northern University student handbook, I came across some shocking information.

Included on pg. 18 in the list of actions that can create a safety hazard, right after bomb threats, is dodgeball...

So I started to wonder, how many injuries really do result from dodgeball each year? My initial suspicion is alot; otherwise, why would ONU ban such a classic "sport?"

Fortunately, to my benefit, I found out that the Canadians keep careful records on this type of important information.

According to a Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRP) 2000-2002 survey, 646 of 47,484 or 1.4 percent of patients surveyed were treated for dodgeball related injuries.

Doesn't seem like much, right? Wrong. Dodgeball injuries surpass those of seemingly more aggressive sports like floor hockey, lacrosse and field hockey.

With statistics like these at hand I can no longer question the logic of Ohio Northern's executive staff.

Let this be a warning to any and all hooligans at ONU trying to play dodgeball. Thanks ONU, you always have my best interests at heart.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Brand Name Social Media News Releases

If you're like me, then you may be wondering what a high-profile, brand recognizable social media news realease actually look like. Learning about the theory of SMNR's is effective only to a point...

Searching through PROpenMic I found an article asking: "Who Uses a Social Media Release?" with a link to a blog titled "PR squared."

In one of co-founder Todd Defren's posts he talked about the growing popularity of the social media news release. What really caught my attention were the sheer number of high profile scoial media news releases he gave examples of.

In reality, not all of the releases are as well made as they could have and perhaps should have been. However, they provide a basis for soon to be practitioners like myself to understand how to format and improve on current social media news releases.

Social Media TemplateEven better, PR squared authors posted their own suggestions for formatting social media news releases.

So, if your feeling a little overwhelmed this can work as a good starting point for developing your own personal style for your social media news releases.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Search Engine Optimization

This weeks readings really struck a chord with me. In a nutshell, much of what is being discussed concerns search engine optimization, something I worked on with University Hospitals for much of my summer.

Wiki defines SEO as "...the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results." So what does this really mean?

Well, much of my experience with SEO stems from crafting meta tags, the keywords or phrases users search to find information about a specific topic.

David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing And PR makes an excellent analogy about met tags when describing them as the dewey decimal systems of the Internet.

Just like in a library, users browsing the Internet must search through hundrends upon thousands of entries containing useless information to find what they're looking for. However, savvy marketers/PR practitioners can take advantage of the clutter on the Internet by specifying meta tags with keywords their users will search for.

Back to my job at University Hospitals. Being somewhat familiar with the role of meta tags already, I was tasked with the job of going through an entire portal ( of which University Hospitals has approximately 20 or so) and updating the meta tags of each page with key words.

Without much more direction, other than to pull the keywords in from the text on the page, I was set loose. It didn't take me very long to discover that the majority of the text on the Web site sounded as if it were written for other physicians (the majority is not). Could I really expect the average user (who I am told in Cleveland has a 7th grade or lower reading level) to be searching for Opthalmological surgeons?

Probabaly not. Finally, realizing the futility of crafting meta tags from physicians jargon I began crafting my own. Opthalmological surgeons became eye doctors and meta tags became useful!

So like Scott, I advocate the use of keywords that will really "speak" to your audience in a way that they will actually understand.

Talking With A Marketing Legend

This evening I had the privilege of having Dr. Ron Tatham as a guest speaker in my Consumer Behavior course.

Dr. Tatham has a laundry list of accomplishments in the field of marketing, including his most recent 2007 receipt of the American Marketing Association (AMA) "Legend of Marketing Research" award. I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that when any professional organization labels you a "legend," you're damn good at what you do.

And tust me, he is.

As is customary on such occassions, my professor sent our class a bio on Dr. Tatham several days ago and requested we come to class prepared with several questions to ask. Usually I don't get very excited about these events because in my experience most guest speakers aren't overly enthusiastic or insightful and cause time to drag.

But, After reading Dr. Tatham's Bio my interest was peaked. Admittedly, I still didn't prepare any insightful questions. I like to think I work better on the spot.

Dr. Tatham's speaking style had clearly been honed over decades of boardroom and classroom experience. Like every good teacher or mentor, he was easy to listen to.

As the discussion progressed and I became more vocal, the topic suddenly turned career advice. Dr. Tatham said there only three questions any person in any career at any level needed to ask to be successful:

  • First, ask the question, "What decision do you need to make?"

  • Second, determine "What info. you need to make that decision?"

  • Third, determine "What criteria will the information be judged by?"

  • I truly belive with these three questions I've just learned everything I will ever need to know to be a success in any career.

    If anyone checks this out, let me know what you think. I may be way off-base, but I feel like Dr. Tatham is on to something.

    Sunday, October 12, 2008

    Wheres the $ in blogging?

    Have you ever paused in the middle of a post and wondered how you could turn your new hobby into a career? And, even if you could, how much could you really expect to get paid?

    I know I have.

    To start, how much do the "top tier" bloggers make?

    I found some good figures in an article titled How Much Do Top Tier Bloggers and Social Media Consultants Get Paid? We Asked Them! written by Marshall Kirkpatrick on ReadWriteWeb.com that lists the average per post payment as $25.

    $25 per post... Kirkpatrick estimates taking on two clients and averaging three posts per day for each client will net you about 40k a year. I know to me, 40k doesn't sound like much for a "top tier" blogger. Now I don't intend to sound greedy, but personally, I think bloggers who are turly capable of generating ROI for their customers deserve more than 40k.

    Apparently, the real money for professional bloggers stems from consulting. These consultants reported their average rate from as low as $150 per hour to as high as $300 per hour. Down side..... these professionals have to work their asses off to preserve current clients and pusruit new ones, an especially difficult task during the current (budget slashing) economy.

    I was intrigued by the prospect of making $ by blogging, so I started to look around for some information on how to get started in this field. To my surprise, I came across another article on ReadWriteWeb.com titled Participate in Social Media, Get Money for College about a new social network site called collegeNET.

    If your in college and trying to hone your social media skills, this is a great place to start. CollegeNET is a unique forum that is completely supported by advertisers and scholorship sponsors. Students who enter the community are able to post their ideas (on any topic) to be voted on by their peers. The catch... students who host the most popular posts for a given month are awarded college scholarships!

    If your a student of social media, or even an average Joe who could use some scholarship money you should check out collegeNET and start make those $$benjamins$$ now.

    Tuesday, October 7, 2008

    Filters.... Everywhere

    "People are looking for filters to get the highest quality of content they can," said Ron Bloom, CEO of PodShow Network. I almost missed this quote while reading through chapter eight, "The Talkers" of The New Influencers.

    I'm glad I felt compelled to read the side examples, if not, I would have missed this quote that so concisely expresses my reasoning for majoring in Public Relations. Ron hits the nail on the head.

    Everywhere you look, whether in your house(atleast mine), at your university, riding your bike or walking your dog, messages are being thrown at you left and right. Every time I turn on my television or radio I am bombarded by audio and visual messages that I really couldnt care less about.

    Enter podcasting and videocasting. With new mediums such as these, people are able to boradcast highly targeted messages like never before. I now have the choice to listen to things I actually care to hear about, and be able to respond directly to the creator of the message.

    Although podcasts may not be as interactive in nature as blogs, they indeed present many growth opportunities for bloggers looking to capture a specialized niche.

    Presently, marketers and PR professionals may be dissuaded from using podcasts or video casts because of the comparably much lower audience than captured on traditional media like television.

    However, I belive the "beauty" of mediums like podcasting and videocasting are their ability to capture primarily only active audiences who are currently engaged in learning more about a product, service, hobby, cause, etc.

    Reaching the general masses may be good, but reaching the specific masses that are most likely to act on behalf of your cause is GREAT.

    Monday, October 6, 2008

    Why Do Social Media Campaigns Fail?

    I just read an excellent article about the difficulty of generating tangible results from social media camapaigns. This brings up a great question, what are the criteria by which to determine the success of a social media campaign?

    In an article posted by Caroline McCarthy, media analyst Adam Sarner expresses his belief that social media campaigns need "...a way to serve both the company putting out the campaign and the audience interacting with it."

    How do we as PR practitioners begin to engage our audience in a way that goes beyond just creating "buzz," but also drives people to action (whether that be to engage a specific brand, or influence an action)?

    Fortunately, I've been able to find some useful information about how to engage consumers. on he blogs about engaging consumers through the use of widgets.

    According to Spoon, good widgets are the result of 3 factors:

    • Give Users a Reason to Come Back

    • Make it Customizable

    • Market Softly and Carefully

    I Suggest you check out the articles, they are good sources for beginning to piece together the puzzle that is a successful social media campaign.

    Sunday, October 5, 2008

    Thank God for Monday

    Thank God for Monday.... four words I never thought I would utter. Clearly I didnt know what I was getting myself into when I left on Thursday for the Regional ITA tennis tournament in St. Louis Missouri.

    Although the tournmanet was a good experience, it was completely exhausting. To start, the bus ride to St. Louis was just under seven hours. I can't speak for others, but I know I can never seem to sleep well on a bus and usually end up staring out of a window for hours on end.

    After what seemed like 10,000 miles of corn, wheat and soy bean fields I finally reached St. Louis. However, regretably, nobody informed me that St. Louis is composed of the most complex series of twisting one-way streets ever conceived by mankind.

    Luckily we were fortunate enough to only spend an hour and a half circling St. Louis looking for the Red Roof Inn that was in reality five minutes away from the exit we got off on.

    Ridiculously long bus rides and confusing streets weren't even the most taxing part of the weekend. My favorite part of every weekened was ripped away from me..... my sleep.

    Although I enjoy playing tennis, waking up at 7 a.m. is not my ideal weekend. Suffice it to say, two days and 13 hours of sleep, five matches and seven more hours on a bus later I am sitting on my couch and am actually looking forward to sleep until 7:30 for my 8 a.m. class.

    Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    Democratizing or Reublicanizing of the Web?

    In Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba's Citizen Marketers, much time is spent analyzing the democratization of the Web. But I ask the question, doesn't it seem that this democracy is being side stepped for the republicanization of the Web?

    I completely agree with the basic tenents of their argument, in which increased broadband speed, availability of more tools and open source data sharing lead to the increased ability of citizen marketers to disseminate both compelling and entertaining information.

    However, does this not reflect America as a whole in that the majority of people THINK we are living in a democratic society when in fact we are more like a republic? Is it not true of both our government and the evolving blogosphere that a small number of elceted representatives are (for the most part) in charge of the country/ blogosphere?

    As with government, when citizen marketers defer much of their authority to several prominent Web figures (like our Digg's and Technorati's) they have transferred a great deal of power to a select few.

    Understandably, many would argue that I am way off base, and that Web sites like Digg and Technorati (both of which I have quickly fallen in love with) are merely a representation of what the blogosphere is already chatting about, calculated through numerous complex systems of algorithims and that whole shpeel (like that word? me too). But, as with elected officials, how do we know that special interest groups aren't really running the show behind the scenes?

    Maybe this is just my skeptical nature at work, or maybe I'm on to something(wishful thinking perhaps?). I would love to hear back from anyone who can support or even better, contradict my statements.

    Monday, September 29, 2008

    Accounting 101, and why you should actually care

    After just finishing my first accounting test, I'm beginning to realize the full potential of a sound knowledge of accounting principles. Not only is a knowledge of accounting good for any future career, but it comes in handy during trying economic times like those we find ourselves in at the moment.

    While surfing for some good Business/ Financial Investment blogs I came across an amazing blog about "sensible personal finance" created by a self proclaimed "...average guy who found himself deep in debt."

    The author of blog Get Rich Slowly discusses his journey out of $35,000 debt, and the philosophies and life lessons he learned along the way.

    In addition to insightful posts, Get Rich Slowly provides the basic knowledge readers need to begin understanding their own and their countries economic troubles.

    One such article I found especially interesting is What is Money? A Basic Economics Lesson from 1947

    This blog is a must read for anyone interested in learning a little more about what they can do to save some $$$$ (aren't we all?).

    Saturday, September 27, 2008

    What to take away from the slideshow

    I Think this slideshow is an excellent introduction to the uses of important networking sites such as Twitter and the like.

    Matt Dickman brings up a great point in his slideshow. Communication mediums are becoming soooo saturated these days the best way to make a real impact is through a MULTI-FORMAT or multi-medium approach.

    As Dickman points out, we are practitioners of the 21st century, and as such we have easy access to multiple mediums of communication inclduing; text, audio, video and photography.

    So what can we do to make the most of all of these forms of communication? And what does a modern marketing mix containing these mediums look like? All questions I wish I knew the answer too.

    But as I crawl my way through this experience I have found a few interesting insights. Once of the most compelling conversations about these emerging questions was posted on The Daily Joe, an interesting blog about "Publishing + Marketing insights in the age of user-generated content from Joe Kutchera."

    Kutchera was able to talk with Technorati CEO Richard Jalichandra about the emerging trends in the blogosphere and where this is all leading. The conversation is insightful and I would reccomen this as a read well worth your time.

    Great Slideshow about Twitter from Matt Dickman

    Using Twitter for Marketing, Branding and Customer Service

    From: mattanium, 2 months ago

    My presentation to the Cleveland Web Association on July 15, 2008. The presentation covers micromedia and its impact on branding, marketing and customer service.

    SlideShare Link

    Monday, September 22, 2008

    One Of Those Days

    I have only finished 2 full weeks of classes and the assignments are starting to pile up. Unfortunately the majority of my course-load falls on very early and late Mondays.

    Starting at 8 a.m. I attended four hours of class, breaking for four hours to read and finish up existing assignments. Then, from 4-6 p.m. I practiced for my first match of the fall season tomorrow. Finally, to cap the day off I attended a 4 hour consumer marketing class. Needless to say, today rocked.

    I don't know who decided making a four credit-hour class once-a-week for three and a half or four hours was a good idea, but I think there is a serious disconnect between student (or at least my) needs and course offerings.

    On the other hand, the freedom granted during "off days" is a nice compensation for the four-credit hour once-a-week class. My "off days" this quarter are Wednesday and Friday; my course-load dilemma stems from physical inability to do ANYTHING on any Friday.

    Fortunately for me, I get to play a match tomorrow and workout some tension. I suggest everyone come out and cheer us on from the beginning of a third straight championship season.

    Sunday, September 21, 2008

    Facebook Heats Up in Chile

    The omnipresent social meedium facebook continues to assert its' importance to the future of PR 2.0 with blistering growth from Aug-Sept. Reported by Matt Dickamn on his blog Techno//Marketer, Facebook experienced major growth in many foreign markets, with Chile leading the pack, gaining more than 1,000,000 new users throughout the month.

    This type of continued growth coupled with the increasingly useful social marketing and trend tracking tools are making facebook more appealing to a wide variety of users.

    According to Inside Facebook, a blog about tracking Facebook and the Facebook platform for Marketers and Developers

    Facebook has just launched a limted test of a new version of Lexicon, the tool for researching what users are saying on each other’s walls on Facebook. The previous version only showed relative volume of terms over time, but the new version has several key enhancements:

    • Actual numbers, instead of just relative volume. Now, you can see how many wall posts are actually being written containing the given term.

    • Demographic breakdowns, by gender and age

    • Geographic breakdowns, by US state, Canadian province, or UK country (no data is available outside of these 3 countries yet). You can also do comparisons between two terms on the same map.

    • Sentiment over time. Facebook has not said exactly how it determines this measure. You can also compare sentiment between two terms.

    • Associations. You can see terms frequently mentioned alongside a given term.
    Tools like these give me hope that the difficulties of quantifying message and campaign exposure that have plagued PR and Marketing practitioners alike, are soon to be a thing of the past.

    Marketing Language

    I was struck by an an amazingly concise, thoughtful observation while reading David Meerman Scott's The New Rules of Marketing and PR. "Marketing language that can be substituted for another company's isn't effective in explaining to a buyer why your company is the right choice."

    At first, I dismissed the line as common sense, but when I started looking around I saw countless examples.....EVERYWHERE, that violate this principle. Just go searching through PR Newswire and browse any industry release; there is a 90% chance (*Caution, fictional statistic) what you've read is a cookie-cutter press release stuffed with corporate jargon about cutting-edge ideas and break through technologies.

    My question is, when did it become out of style to write like your talking to a human and not a biological information processing unit (if that doesnt make sense in context them in clearly not as clever as I think I am). I liken corporate jargon to today's Politically Correct (P.C.) speech. Although it serves a purpose in some cases, the language often detracts readers from the real point of an article.

    SO I ask myself, what can I do to avoid falling into the same traps when I get "out there?" Luckily, Scott addresses this idea a little further in his own blog, and suggests several good texts to help remedy the matter. Hopefully, with a little help we can all eliminate this problem and help rid the world of marketing language.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    Rats + KFC = Bad Press

    Quick follow up to A blog a just posted on; heres a good example of some bad press that doesnt seem to be "spinable."

    Monday, September 15, 2008

    PR Ninjas?

    I was doing a little surfing and came across this slide show and a brief article about the need to translate popular Guerilla Marketing campaigns into the evolving social-media field.

    This brings up a great point; what do PR practitioners (or anyone else for that matter) really need to do to attract A-list bloggers to help spread the word about their latest social-media campaigns? Furthermore, how does a novice to the social-media game gain experience and learn how to obtain the tools to attract the high-profile bloggers? As for now, I'm still in the dark, but I guarantee it wont be for long.

    As for now, I agree with richard.menneveux, the same principles of marketing still apply and clever marketing and shocking facts like those shown in the slide show are a bloggers best bet.


    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    Why is northwest Ohio so windy?: The untapped resource

    As I sat in my living room watching the treetops sway violently, I couldn't help but ask myself, why am I living in the windiest and flattest place in Ohio? I think ONU should feel obligated to let people know they are moving to a giant wind tunnel, and that "The Tundra" isn't really a nickname, but a description of the local ecosystem.

    HOWEVER, this brings up a good point that I haven't thought about in a minute, but has crossed my mind a few times, why doesnt northwest Ohio employ the use of wind turbines for GREEN energy? Somewhat surprisingly, I'm not the first person to think this. Even more surprising, Bowling Green already has several wind turbines that are being used for research purposes.

    I hope this turns out to be a viable resource for everyday people in the area (so living here may actually seem worth it). Fortunately, some positive results seem to be popping up!

    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    See Through Blogs

    When reading the first chapter in Paul Gillin's The New Influencers I was impressed with his analysis of second "truth" to the world of the blogosphere, transparency. I couldn't agree more with his assessment; 99% of the people I know are willing to continue using a product or service even if they find out that the company has been putting out faulty products or has been engaging in some other sort of devious action as long as they apologize and don't lie to the public. I think its human nature to forgive a person or company, we all make mistakes, nobody is perfect, but who wants to continue using the product or service of a company that blatantly lied to them? NOBODY! A word to the wise, if your going to screw over your customers don't lie to them after you've done it. Companies need to face up to what they've done, and if they do this is a timely manner I'm willing to bet they can retain the majority of their customers.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2008

    1st day of class

    The first day of class is always a good one, and I woke up ready to do work son. Unfortunately, I woke up to my dog ripping apart all of the paper towels in my house. Of course, when I decided to be the disciplinarian he was staring at me knowingly (he's smarter than I give him credit for). In the end I cleaned up the paper towels and ended up studying for the GMAT's for a few hours before loosing myself in Crash Bandicoot. All in all, not a bad first day of class.

    Fortunately, tonight I'm celebrating my girlfriend's b-day and I'm looking forward to some delicious mexican cuisine.