Category Archives: public relations

it’s all about the buzz

cycle world sold – again: to bonnier ab

The saga of Cycle World’s future existence continued today on news of the venerable publication’s sale to Field & Stream publisher Bonnier AB, a family held privately owned media group headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. Self-described as, “… a culturally progressive, humanistic organization (with) knowledge-sharing goals,” the European publisher is also involved in book publishing, broadcast, digital, cinema, cultural events and educational efforts.

Many of the company’s best known titles were acquired as part of the Time print selloff in 2007.

News of Cycle World’s (re)sale was predicted before the ink was dry on the June, 2011 sale by HFM to Hearst. Shortly after the transfer, rumors began circulating that the familiar CW brand was for sale by owner, no reasonable offer refused. Bonnier’s titles also include Popular Science and Parenting. In a statement announcing the sale, Cycle World is slotted for Bonnier’s special interest Outdoor channel. The amount of the sale was not disclosed.

Bonnier’s portfolio of titles is impressive, and includes such special interest lifestyle nameplates as Saveur, the Transworld active collection, Motorboating and Yachtbroker. Given the production quality and editorial value of their offerings, Cycle World seems likely to maintain their leadership in print while enjoying a much needed web makeover that could be transformational.

bottleneck! your social media workflow

pick and choose what’s manageable

Edelman Digital’s recent post (via David Armano’s typepad driven feed blitz distributed Logic+Emotion blog) announcing their new SlideShare presence adds another layer of social versatility to their expanding toolkit of content sites.

Armano is Edelman PR’s widely followed social guru, operating out of their Chicago office where he spreads knowledge and opinion across the twitter/facebook/linkedin universe. A July post, for instance, presented the case for Google Plus in an extended essay piece that positions the new service as a layer, rather than a channel, then goes on to count the degrees of difference.

so many channels; really, so many channels

But regardless of worthiness, for me it’s yet one more dedicated channel to tend in a garden of tasty greenery run amok. For the small shop and independent practitioner, your fulltime job can easily become a sideline to the babysitting necessary for even basic online maintenance. The connect options presented on their Edelman Digital space (above) include RSS, email, Scribd, SlideShare, LinkedIn, YouTube and Flickr channels: and that’s just the tip of their social channel spear.

As Delicious prepares to roll out a much needed overhaul courtesy of new owners and YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, I’m split between excitement about what’s to come and concern over management issues. There are no best answers for any one situation. It’s clear, though, that too many channels quickly add up to a weedy, overgrown online presence where your last visited update is months old, stale and reeking of abandonment issues.

aeron chair repair customer service

How Do You Repair An Aeron? Just Call — It’s Covered

Industrial designers Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick describe the original Aeron prototyping at Slate.com.

download Herman Miller’s Aeron Chair Adjustment Guide PDF.

In 1999 I graduated from a comfortably traditional chrome and fabric no instructions needed Steelcase to a revolutionary and slightly intimidating Aeron Christmas present after a test-sitting at the local Herman Miller showroom. This after the realization that my future did not include a drawing board and the transition to full digital was complete.

I didn’t give much thought to warranty coverage at the time. As daily use stretched well into the aughts, however, I started wondering if there was a Herman Miller policy for repairing wear and tear over time.

A Google search quickly turned up warranty details – all out in the open, displayed in large print and written in language anyone can understand. Turns out, their warranty covers parts and labor for 12 years, up from the original 10, from the date of purchase.

How Can We Help You? When A Brand Values Their Reputation

First, when you purchase an Aeron, there’s not one whisper about shelling out for an additional “extended care” warranty. And even though Office Pavilion, the original dealer, no longer serves my region, their replacement, Workplace Resource of Florida, didn’t miss a beat.

My simple email request for info was quickly answered with the necessary (minimal) paperwork attached: a warranty request form that asked for only basic information, mainly the proof of purchase serial number and birth date, both on the chair as shown in the top photo.

I filled it out, waited for a response, and two days later I was in business. No beat down, no obfuscating. Their response in totality: you’ve got a problem, and we’ll fix it.

One month later, I got a phone call from the tech to confirm the repairs, which would be performed onsite. Granted, the chair’s not cheap, but I’d assumed that for a piece of nearly 12-years-old well used furniture, whatever coverage I had coming would be carried out after drop-off to the nearest point-of-sale for the six to eight weeks necessary to complete repairs.

No User Parts Accessible? None

Bob the Tech showed up as promised, on schedule, wheeling in his portable work bench, toolbox, and a couple of cartons of repair parts. An hour later I had what essentially was a completely rebuilt chair. And not just the visible wear and tear that’s bound to occur over a decade of daily use, either. My Aeron rehab visited every nook and cranny of my well used furniture.

Red tape? None. Superior service? Yes. Brand reputation? Polished to a blinding brilliance. Thanks, Herman Miller, for designing, marketing, and standing behind a best-in-class product. If you visit the web site, and I hope you do, please enjoy the reference to design integrity in the making of video on the Aeron home page.

business needs rich media pr talent

manship prssa class of 2010

Mark Ragan’s PR Daily post by Arik Hanson highlights perfectly the growing demand for well rounded PR practitioners in the Twin Cities, a need that’s extendable throughout the country.

In it, Mr. Hanson cites employers scrambling for capable content providers or, as he phrases it, media producers. To me that translates into photojournalists, storytellers, videographers and to a lesser extent verbal audio specialists. Add to that list basic graphic design awareness.

facebook’s not enough to make me look

When I visited LSU’s Manship School of Communications (above) as a guest portfolio reviewer for the PRSSA Class of 2010, I was surprised that the current generation – fluent in texting, IM and facebook – was by and large incapable of producing a rich media story on their own. Continue reading

top cannes PR prize goes to ad agency

But overall, judges panned the lack of results oriented campaigns that can show behavior change as opposed to awareness as the main metric.

Just two years ago the tables were turned when an Aussie PR shop picked up top ad honors for their “dream job” campaign in what many forecasters thought at the time was the resurgence of the Golden Age for PR practitioners in an age of social media dominated communications.

This year’s Cannes results are another important reminder that above all, the core definition of public relations is to physically shift public behavior: bacon with breakfast, a/c not d/c as an energy source, etc., in a look back at what made Ivy Lee and Eddie Bernays pioneers in opinion.

Ad Agency Wins Top PR Prize at Cannes | Special: Cannes – Advertising Age.

hachette sale to hearst complete; ax falls

Tuesday’s official announcement from Hearst Corporation finalizing the sale of Lagardère Group (Hachette) media assets – nearly 100 titles, plus 50 websites – didn’t contain any surprises. As managment teams passed in the hallways, our main interest was focused on whether or not any changes for Cycle World were in the offing, as corporate control shifted from Paris to New York.

With the sale officially complete, Hearst’s total domestic circulation now exceeds 30,000,000. Elle, Car and Driver, and Road and Track were the titles most frequently mentioned in releases from both camps.

Changes in store? In addition to plans to move the titles to the glam Hearst Tower “…within six to nine months,” Hearst yesterday got out the ax in announcing the first staff cuts following the $900-million plus takeover. In round one, nearly 20 percent of the former HFM personnel have been let go, including most of Steve Goldner’s social media staff, according to an article in today’s NY Post. Whether the latter was a vote of no confidence in adminstration, message or perceived value of the social media channel isn’t yet clear. HFM had always played catch up in developing their digital assets. For now we’ll assume the goal is to reboot.

social strategies: tech talk in tampa

social media strategies matter

(TAMPA) The Tampa Bay chapters of Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) co-sponsored a half-day professional development social communications meeting that spotlighted the intersection of mobile, social and point-of-purchase (POP) media. Read more about how POP can deliver a targeted message here.

Presenters included Pinstripe Marketing’s Ginger Reichl, Bryan Marks from Irvin Steel, Mad Mobile’s Greg Schmitzer, and newly named Public Relations and Marketing VP for Moffitt Cancer Center Joe Hice. Continue reading

newsletter marketing: old dog, new tricks

 designing for success

When the Tampa Bay chapter of PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) parsed the results of a 2010 member poll, one tool that stood out as a bulwark against membership drops that could also be used to attract new sign-ups: the bi-monthly newsletter. (Download your copy here.)

Overshadowed by the online glamour of social media, just the word “newsletter” seems like something out of an era of television before cable. In all too many organizations the newsletter is treated as a neglected stepchild before being thrust upon a skeptical public, doomed to languish in the backwaters of committee paralysis rather than being deployed as a dynamic marketing tool on the communications frontline. For more newsletter production tips read my Top Five Digital Newsletter Basics.

Continue reading

clever cause pr marketing

graphic design stars in this video

Much of the charm of this effective cause pr video for the Marin County California School District is due to its simplicity, but there’s nothing simple about the concept, great graphic design or production quality. The quick pace and easy to follow graphics are perfectly on target, delivering a powerful message on the importance of public education in a budget challenged environment. Bonus points for a soundtrack that taps into Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring for emotional nudge.