Archive | March, 2012

Australia Mumbrella

3 Mar\

I am not sure if the United States have a similar site but this website provides bucket loads of media monitoring information, entertainment and marketing. A great useful source for communication professionals!


More on Social Media

3 Mar

Statistics, opinions and social media.

I wonder as a PR professional just how many channels I will have to advise and monitor.

Exploring Custom Content Across Media At The CCC Conference

Social media, social media, social media!

In recent years that has been the mantra many marketing executives have heard as consumers shift their media viewing practices to digital, and as a result marketers have had to adjust their marketing programs.

As channels grew, blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter; marketers looked for opportunities.

As technologies matured; SMS, smartphones, and tablets; marketers started to realize building quality content on their own platforms was going to be much more complicated.

Jonathan Mildenhall, VP Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence at Coca Cola recognizes the need for more content when he said,

“All advertisers need a lot more content so that they can keep the engagement with consumers fresh and relevant, because of the 24/7 connectivity.”

Jonathan’s colleagues recognize the change in the media landscape as more marketing dollars  move to custom content. Content marketing is set to capture a larger portion of the budget in the next couple of years. As the 2011 Roper CMO survey ContentWise Spending Survey reveals, in that 66% of top marketers stated content was set to capture a larger portion of their budget in 2011 compared to 59% in 2006.


CMO attitutes



While according to the same Roper CMO survey,  internet related content channels have increased in frequency of use by marketers between 2006 and 2011.


Frequently Used Custom Content


I think one of the biggest questions in the industry about the rise of more content. Is how does the marketer cope with the new channels, and manage the process of leveraging content across multiple channels?

That’s what the 2012 Custom Content Council’s conference hopes to cover, by discussing how marketers are using “new cross-platform media integration techniques to help [the marketer] build stronger brands.”

The conference is set for March 21st – 23rd in Washington D.C., and speakers from Walmart, Hilton Hotels, Gap, and Cisco will describe how their companies are leveraging content without boundaries.


Protect you brand

3 Mar

How to avoid branding issues like Apple did in China- How to PROTECT your brand!!!!


Lessons You Can Learn from Apple’s iPad Woes

As iPads are being seized by authorities in China, you may be wondering how to protect your brand globally. Here’s what you need to know.


Chinese shoppers check out the iPad 2 at an Apple store in Beijing.


I was recently reading an article concerning Apple’s ongoing battle over the sale of its iPad tablet computers in China.  It seems that the technology juggernaut’s iPads are now being seized by authorities in at least two Chinese cities as a result of an escalating trademark dispute between Apple and Proview Technology.

More specifically, the tablets are being “temporarily impounded” in Zuzhou, a city of 1.8 million in the coastal Jiangsu province, as well as in Shijiazhuang, the capital of the Hebei province relatively near Beijing.  The seizures follow a ruling in December in which a Chinese court ruled that Apple did not own the iPad name in China and, accordingly, may be precluded from using the same by virtue of Proview Technology’s competing prior use of a similar trademark.

So far authorities have impounded only a handful of iPads under the ruling.  However, the ramifications of the order and the potential loss of business in the fourth-largest consumer market in the world have sent shock waves through the industry over concerns begging the question of what could be next?

For a company that spends, on average, up to half a billion dollars per year on marketing and brand developing advertisements, being potentially shut out of China represents a major concern.  Still, Apple is not the only company that experiences this type of dilemma.  As the globalization of our marketplaces continues and we gradually become a one-world showcase for products and services, being locked out of specific territories will become an increasing concern for businesses.

No one wants to call their product one thing in the United States only to have to completely re-label the same for export and sale to Europe.  Marketing synergies would be destroyed, not to mention the eradication of good will developed in the brand name on one continent only to have to start anew on another.

So what can you do to avoid Apple’s dilemma?  Here are a few tips for those of you intending to go global with your brands that will help you along the way:

1.       There is No One-Stop Global Trademark

First, understand that there is truly no global trademark that you can acquire that will protect your brand worldwide.  Many businesses and entrepreneurs alike have heard the rumors of a global trademark, one that once filed will protect your brand in every country on Earth.  Sadly, those rumors are simply that, figments of someone’s imagination.

That is not to say that your brand cannot be protected globally.  It can.  Various treaties entered into by countries around the world have made it far simpler than at any point in history to protect your brand globally.  However, although some filing systems may be linked, some countries formed in “communities” which permit simpler protection across multiple countries, protection of your brand assets remains largely a country-by-country endeavor with country-by-country costs.

2.       Map Out / Determine Your Markets

Second, now that you are aware there will be costs associated with trademark or brand clearance and protection in each country in which you would like to offer your goods or services, it’s time to snap on our CFO helmet.  Few companies outside of the Fortune 500 can simply green-light the protection of their brands on a global scale.  Such an effort will, at a minimum, set you back somewhere in the neighborhood of $300,000 U.S., assuming that there are no hiccups along the way.  Assuming that $300,000 U.S. is slightly above the typical brand protection budget of most companies, you should prepare a more selective wish list of countries in which you truly believe you may one day attempt to offer your goods or services.

Depending upon what your goods or services are, most will want to protect their brand in the largest consumer markets in the world.  Historically speaking, the top 10 are: United States, Japan, Germany, China, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Brazil, Spain, and Canada.  Of note, just on the outside is India and it is rising fast, almost as fast as China.  Your targets may vary.  Perhaps you know that your snow shoes are not going to be big sellers in Brazil.  Be that as it may, you get the point.

Once you have made up your wish list of countries in which you believe you will offer your goods or services at some point it’s time to see if your brand is available.

3.       Check for the Global Availability of Your Brand Name

Checking for the global availability of your brand is easier than ever.  Use a service that can assist you in this regard.  What you are looking for is whether your brand is available in the list of countries in which you may wish to sell your goods or services in the future.  If you find that it is generally available, you should protect it in these countries as soon as possible.  In the alternative, if you find that it is taken, prior to taking the time developing a brand that is only available in some countries, give some thought to rebranding a name that will be available globally, or at least in all or most of the countries that you will offer your goods of services.

4.       Protect It

Finally, when all is said and done and you have decided upon a brand name that is generally available in the markets that you will be using the trademark, it is critical that you protect it.  Register the trademark in those countries and lock up your right to expand your brand globally into your target market countries.

Matthew Swyers is the founder of The Trademark Company, a web-based law firm specializing in protecting the trademark rights of small to medium-sized businesses. The company is also ranked No. 138 on the 2011 Inc. 500 list. @TrademarkCo

A look at campaigns

3 Mar

This may not be strictly PR but I like the advice within this blog.

7 Ways to Make a Mini-Marketing Campaign

Go big or go home? Forget that. These strategies for increasing your brand influence take hardly any time, and very little money.

Let’s say you’ve got some down time between major marketing campaigns. Does that mean your marketing efforts have to go into hibernation? Of course not. You can fill in the downtime in your bigger advertising strategy with some mini-marketing campaigns that are often quick, uncomplicated and cheap—or even free. Experts from top marketing firms share some ideas on things you can do to run a smart—and influential—mini-marketing campaign that might even change the way you reach your customers in the future.

1. Experiment with new audiences.
“Throughout the year, large campaigns rarely stray from their core target audiences. But there are opportunities within secondary audiences. To draw on these opportunities, we usually turn to social first. We monitor social campaigns throughout the year and identify key questions and conversations we want to explore further. Then, when we have time, we survey these audiences, conduct small, targeted promotions, or post engaging messages to see what they have to say. More often than not, we learn something new that we weren’t considering for an upcoming launch or get added validation for a new idea or direction.
—Todd Miller, managing partner, The Archer Group

2. Go big with pop-up events.
“Find a venue where many people who are your customers or prospects show up. Better yet, buy a booth or offer your services for speaking or host a party for customers and encourage them to bring friends. This gives you the chance to speak with current customers to learn what they like/dislike, but mostly it gives you the chance to prospect. Just don’t make the mistake too many business people make after the event: failing to follow up on every lead. If you gathered hundreds of business cards or email addresses then send a thank you and invitation to stay in touch. Offer something of value in this email—a discount, a free newsletter, added features, etc.—then the people most interested will “hand raise” and identify themselves to you for further follow-up and marketing efforts.
—Linda Worrell, managing director, Red F

3. Sponsor conversations.
“People today love to talk and express their opinions. Blogs, chat rooms, comment sections are filled with loads of people expressing themselves. This, if you play your cards right, can be a great opportunity for your product or brand. Why not offer up topics for people to discuss? And make them topics that relate to your marketing efforts. Use Facebook or blog comments to start a relevant conversation where, at some point, your product can play a role. Be careful, however, not to appear to be ‘selling.’ Generate a conversation that is authentic to the topic, and that your brand can become a part of as opposed to a conversation that is about your product. People will happily talk about things that are interesting to them, and brands are not interesting. So make your brand a byproduct of the conversation, not the topic itself.
—Kevin Roddy, chief creative officer, Publicis & Hal Riney 

4. Attach yourself to large events.
“Sponsoring big events can be an effective but expensive way of connecting with industry leaders. Instead of going the sponsorship route, think of interesting ways to associate your product or service with the event to create organic buzz. For example, a cocktail hour at a nearby venue or a social-media driven game that incorporates panels and parties might be more cost-effective ways to leverage an event. Your campaign idea should provide value to event-goers; the reason Foursquare was a hit at SXSW was because it made it easier for friends to find each other. Keep in mind that early adopters can be your biggest cheerleaders, so connect with anyone going to the event who is an admitted fan of your product and reward them for sharing positive stories. People trust the advice of their friends and peers, so keep in mind that one good experience with your product can have a waterfall effect that goes viral.
—Maneesh K. Goyal, CEO of MKG, an experiential marketing agency

5. Emphasize earned media.
“Emphasize ‘earned’ media programs during these ‘dark’ periods in-between your big campaigns. Earned media, in the form of, for example, traditional public relations efforts and social media programs can be a cost-effective way to stay in market even when you don’t have ad budgets. We have found that emphasizing social media outreach and programs just as paid advertising campaigns wind down can be a highly effective way to keep an organizations message in market even after paid ads go away.
—Jose Villa, founder and president Sensis advertising agency

6. Try a new format.
“One of the things you have to look at when you attempt short-burst marketing is how much share of somebody’s attention you can capture for the most reasonable share of money. What I would consider looking at social as an environment to capture market share. There’s not much advertising in social apps. Usually, you get a large percentage or 100 percent share of voice within the application. Within that you’re also getting a very engaged audience. Some offer the opportunity to buy in the stream of social activities people are performing across web and mobile. It’s the most effective way you can spend your money for a short burst of time. The key is buying ‘in activity:’ as you send a gift, perform a mission, check in or set a status, that is when we perform our advertising. You’re reaching an engaged consumer at the right time. As somebody performs a social activity, and you reach that consumer, that’s when they’re likely to share, that’s when they’re likely to ‘like.'”
—Robert Victor, CMO of Appssavvy

7. Revisit old leads.
“One thing to do would be to recontact people that you’ve spoken to that have for whatever reason, in a friendly way, turned you down in the past. Revisit those people. If people have called you to inquire about your product or service but have not bought from you, it’s always good to call those people back and re-pitch them. They’ve already expressed interest in you, they may or may not have been in research mode when they called. It’s a fruitful, no-cost list. You don’t have to spend money to get that list. You know they’re interested in your product.”
—Dan Feldstein, cofounder and chief marketing officer, Red Ventures

Tim Donnelly is a freelance writer and managing editor of His work has appeared in BillboardThe Atlantic, Thought Catalog, and The New York Post@TimDonnelly


3 Mar

I like this blog as it defines the difference of PR, Advertising etc as many believe all are intertwined…


You Don’t Know Jack About Public Relations

Think you’re great at getting the word about your business out there to the world? Think again. Here’s what you’re getting wrong.

receptionist baby public relations

shutterstock images


It seems whenever I explain to someone I’ve just met socially that I’m a public relations executive, I’m typically asked one of two questions:

“So, what did you think of the Super Bowl commercials?”


“So, how many politicians do you have in your pocket?”

When I respond by saying I have no more knowledge of advertising than the average Joe or that I detest politics and politicians, the interrogator always responds with a blank stare and asks, “Well, then, what’s public relations?”

Trying to explain, I get about a sentence or two into my definition before I see the other person’s eyes scan the horizon in hopes of an emergency rescue. Reading the non-verbals, I’ll quickly change the subject and bring up the weather, a mutual friend’s cancer diagnosis or Demi Moore’s addiction to nitrous oxide.

In truth, though, the pervasive lack of knowledge about public relations, and how it differs from advertising, lobbying, and other “marketing disciplines” is troubling. In fact, I believe far too many chief executives officers of the country’s fastest-growing companies have no real clue how truly multi-faceted and more powerful public relations is than its marketing counterparts.

So, here’s a quick primer on the fundamental differences between advertising and public relations:

  • When advertising, an organization selects the precise words it wants to communicate. It also determines the exact page, size and date of the advertisement, the specific media property in which the ad will appear and, critically, the words and visuals that will accompany the corporation’s value proposition.
  • Public relations, which is sometimes referred to as unearned media, is more of a dog’s breakfast. It involves reaching out to an objective reporter, editor, or producer with the facts and figures about an organization, its products or services and hoping the journalist finds the information of interest to her readers, viewers, or listeners. But, and this is a huge but, it is entirely up to the journalist what is written and when it appears.

As a result of these two fundamental differences, advertising is used to create awareness, while PR is used to enhance credibility. In fact, with the advent of the citizen journalism and the simultaneous decline in trust in all of our major institutions, PR now far surpasses advertising as the most-trusted source of information for most consumer or business purchases. Countless studies report that, next to word-of-mouth advice from friends and family, editorial commentary (usually generated by your friendly, behind-the-scenes PR practitioner) carries far more weight than advertising.

It’s not difficult to understand why. Advertising continues to embrace an antiquated, top-down, inside-out way of communicating. It reflects senior management’s view on what a consumer or business-to-business buyer should think is important. PR, on the other hand, depends upon listening to the conversation and understanding the who, what, when, where, why and how of engaging in the discussion. Public relations executives excel in storytelling and, typically, present a perceived problem (i.e. childhood obesity) and their client’s unique solution (i.e. a new type of fitness equipment designed by, and for, pre-teens).

There’s a reason why the monolithic advertising agencies are withering on the vine while public relations, as an industry, grows annually at a double-digit clip. The latter concentrates on the conversation and depends upon a responsible journalist to convey a client’s message. The former represents the thinking of an out-of-touch C-suite executive who believes the world should beat a path to her door.

So, do yourself a favor the next time you tune in a football game or candidates’ debate: don’t ask the PR guy standing next to you what he thinks of either. He won’t necessarily have an informed, professional opinion. But, if you are interested in understanding the smartest, fastest-evolving and most effective ways in which to engage your target audience in credible conversations, buy the poor PR dude a drink. He deserves one after all these years of being misunderstood.

As co-founder and managing partner of PeppercomSteve Cody is responsible for overall agency direction, management, and new business development. He is the author of What’s Keeping Your Customers Up at Night? @RepManCody


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