Monthly Archives: March 2010

online networking makes life easier for pr pros

Web-Based Social Networks

This article is in response to my local PRSA Tampa Bay chapter’s Independent Practitioners Group; specifically, how to leverage popular social network sites like LinkedIn to enhance and streamline intra-membership communications.

Once, not so long ago, business communications were handled by A) analog telephone and B) bipedal mail delivery. But like the ad said, this ain’t your Daddy’s Oldsmobile. And those days – like Olds – are gone.

In today’s web-based environment most businesses and organizations require internet strategy and digital familiarity; essentials for maintaining online visibility and communications. There’s basic e-mail, then comes a blog and/or a web site, usually running some flavor of C(ontent) M(anagement) S(ystem) software.

Horizontal expansion’s next and might include a professional LinkedIn (individuals and groups) account and/or a social Facebook page or fan page. Social networking sites are media heavy; MySpace was the dominant destination for years before being overtaken by Facebook. Professional sites seek to emulate an electronic Dayrunner. Continue reading

ps – happy 20th birthday!

PS as in Photoshop, that is.

This year Adobe’s flagship application turned 20. Before, and thankfully briefly, there was bitmapped hell, which didn’t look like a giant killer as far as the graphic arts were concerned. But with the introduction of PS, the brothers Knoll were about to change the course of human history.

You don’t have to take my word for it. What Photoshop did was nothing short of revolutionary in terms of changing the way we, humans, communicate. And by pairing their imaging software with the first editions of desktop publishing in the form of Aldus’ Pagemaker, publishers – at least those able to afford fledgling Mac computers – set sail for an unimaginable brave new world. Continue reading

history repeats – just like before

Oh how the woe continues to flow. And you’d think there was no such thing as corporate PR. We said last August that when brands don’t pay attention, bad things happen. Delays during flight are part of the package. Multi-hour delays while you’re leisurely parked with a full load of frantic passengers continues to amaze.

Imagine finding yourself in the headlines, spotlighted like an upcoming episode of “Lost”. As in, “Starving Passengers Rationed Pringles.” And only one passenger suffers a panic attack? That just has to have major buzz kill written all over it. Continue reading

brands head for sxswi – chevy’s out front

chevy's social media blockbuster broke through at sxswBrilliant, Watson!

The sticker on the hood of this back from the grave Chevy isn’t a wasabi Rorschach test. It’s a QR code, which, when you snap a shot of same with your ever-present smart phone, will transport you to a mini-site where you can see the exact same vehicle you’re looking at in 3D, only a lot smaller and in 2D.

Not a good trade you say? Ha! Start swapping out options and accessories to get a brain bolt as to just how you’d set up profiling down the boulevard in a ride of your own. That’s what Chevy cooked up for their social media experiment March 12-15th at SXSWi in Austin, TX. Continue reading

moving on up

Coming out of stealth mode into the technorati world of discoverability.

but – what about print?

Today, thanks to desktop publishing, four color printing has never been cheaper, crisper, smarter or easier. It also finds itself nearly shipwrecked in channel after channel, helping to drag down the US Post Office along the way.

The June, 2007 issue of Motorcycle Product News ran 108 pages including covers. By March, 2010, the pages had shrunk – along with staff and editorial budget – to 56 and counting. This isn’t to pick on venerable MPN, long a staple in the powersports community – they’re just one among thousands of titles facing real issues of survival. It’s more an open question of what happens next to the communications infrastructure when fading advertising revenue can’t sustain the hard costs print publishing requires.

Continue reading

why i do what i do

Tough to pick a favorite role model from this trailer for Art&Copy, an ad shop darling with an ’09 Sundance pedigree now making the rounds of art theaters and video conference rooms across the land. I’ll go with George Lois; predictably profane and absolutely dead-on in his assessment of what trips peoples’ triggers.

Next would have to be Lee Clow, unforgettable for his “1984” breakout for Apple which easily established the viral category long before there was one.

As the discretionary border between creative wow! and God-awful crap continues to erode, self absorbed ceos, lacky beancounters and DIY afficianados “who think they can” really should stop and think: if your creative skills really are that golden, why hasn’t anyone other than you paid you for them? Come to think of it, where the hell is that beef everyone once talked about?

harley again in the headlights

billy's always riding off into the sunsetIn an Ad Age marketing report out today, staff reporter Judann Pollack shoots – and misses – on a roundup of her Top 15 list of baby boomer brands. She hitches HD in the number two spot, right behind Levis (good call) and two spots ahead of — Slinky. Slinky? The Walking Spring Toy? What the…?

Other head spinners include Noxzema, Frye boots, Clairol, and Club Med. Hey, I’m confused! Just because you can still remember doesn’t make it so.

At least one commenter has already posted up the news that Honda, in the ’60s, was all over the joint with their iconic message of meetups with swell sidekicks.

The topic of which boomer brands deserve top billing is one I’m not going to fire up here. But the contributions by AA posters sure bring back memories, some of which were perhaps better forgotten. (If Boone’s Farm rings a bell, well, too damn bad. My head’s still clanging like a cheap car alarm in a parking lot full of blind drivers.)

The Hollywood adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity is probably safe. Then again, check the list and wonder, as I do, if this doesn’t complicate, rather than improve, TMC’s message.