May 31, 2011
Stanchak and Cohen Comb the #BWENY Floor
Below is a great shot of industry writers and thought leaders Jesse Stanchak and Heidi Cohen.
May 30, 2011
Snapshots from BlogWorldExpo New York: #BWENY
Below are a few random shots from BlogWorldExpo New York at Jacob Javitt's Center last week. Below Gary Vaynerchuk, Jeffrey Hayzlett, H.P. Mallory and Stephanie Agresta on the Social Media Game Changers.
Amanda Coolong interviews Webdoc's Vincent Borel on Techzulu
Below Webdoc's Olivier DeSimone and Oz Sultan
Social Media Game Changers: Vaynerchuk, Hayzlett & Mallory Take It OnBelow is a two part video of the opening keynote panel at BlogWorldExpo in New York City with Gary Vaynerchuk, Jeffrey Hayzlett and H.P. Mallory. The discussion? Social Media Game Changers: how social media is changing the roles and rules for sales, customer service, product development and marketing. How social media is propelling leading companies and radically changing the face of industries. More in their chat below:
May 21, 2011
All the Reasons Users UNLIKE Brands on Facebook
April 16, 2011
AdTech San Francisco Keynotes, Takeaways & Notes to Self: #adtech
John Bax says their focus is on "local" and that local ads obviously do the best locally since there's more of an understanding of what their brand is about when you have regional sales guys. "Intimacy works," he says.
Mobile is also an important strategy for them according to Bax. He gives a few examples including a local merchant in Virginia who has a B&B. Within 15 days, they sold all the rooms the vendors wanted to book in advance, focusing on a different strategy for how they promoted weeknights versus weekends.
He also noted that people signed up for things they weren't necessarily searching for. For example, those who signed up for a sky diving promo they did were not proactively looking to go sky diving. Their strategy works if you look at their stats and results - they apparently also sold 2 million movie tickets with Fandango.
Manny Anekal from Zynga came at his presentation primarily from the angle of giving back, i.e., "here's what Zynga is doing to give back to the world." In addition to listing all the things they are doing for social good, he ended with a leave behind for brands wanting to do a campaign with them: "We can get you up and running quickly. We were able to get a major brand up and running within six weeks," he says. He also shared stats and insights into their Frito campaign, which grew their fan base to over a million.
He started with the Pepsico pitch of products and services under their umbrella, reminding people that they operate in more countries than the UN. Then he proceeded to go primal on us and show a slide of dinosaurs and early man's progression.
"Why we are all dinosaurs?" he shouts out to the audience. His key takeaway was about adapatability in a world that is changing so fast with exponential technologies hitting us year after year making it harder to keep up.
"Adaptability is key to survival and success moving forward," he notes. “If you cease to adapt, then you cease to survive.”
While I missed Guy Kawasaki's keynote, I did not miss his book signing of new book: Enchantment, which was proof that he nailed it on stage. The line was so long for both purchases and signing that they ran out of books.
ESPN's VP Carol Cruz introduced this year's Achievement Awards right before Arianna's keynote. This year's award went to Mars' Carol Walker, who shared the award with Kathy Reardon in a 'classy moment.'
My tweets during the presentation below including AdTech's Brad Berens' share of where advertising numbers have gone up this year. Kudos to Brad and his dynamic team for pulling off yet another incredible AdTech this year.
- Carol Walker in touching classy moment shares #achievement award with Kathy Reardon on #adtech stage this AM:http://ow.ly/i/ajSA9:22 AM Apr 13th via HootSuite
- ESPN's VP Carol Cruz gives Carol Walker industry #achievementaward at #adtech -- http://ow.ly/i/ajRS9:15 AM Apr 13th via HootSuite
- Brad Berens on the #adtech stage sharing advertising numbers & stats all going up inc attendance: http://ow.ly/i/ajRf
I covered Arianna's keynote in depth here including a two part video. Below she powerfully nailed her talk, which primarily focused on humanity, sleep deprivation, hyper local and hyper connected and balance.
April 16, 2011 in America The Free, Conference Highlights, Events, On Blogging, On Branding, On Journalism, On Mobile & Wireless, On Technology, PR & Marketing, San Francisco, Social Media, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
April 05, 2011
With 1,323 Brands Using Foursquare, Pages Gallery Comes to the Rescue
Foursquare just launched a new section on their site to showcase major brands on its network to make it easier for users to find and follow them. With 1,323 brands using Foursquare today adn the number growing, it's a natural fit for the most renown location-based service on the market today.
The struggle brands are having apparently is that they're not easily discoverable on Foursquare so they're trying to help brands by with a new section called: Pages Gallery, which is a gallery loaded up with company Pages on Foursquare so you can more easily discover them and and follow them if you're interested in what they're doing and have to say. More more in-depth on this announcement and for some examples, check out the Mashable story.
March 18, 2011
Facebook's Emily White Talks Hyper Local at SIGNAL Event in AustinFacebook's Emily White talks about the use of social media and social platforms' value in targeting smaller regions. She gave her talk on "hyper local" marketing and social at the SIGNAL event in Austin last week, which was held the day before SXSW kicked into gear.
March 09, 2011
Defining Public Relations: From Your Heart or From Your Head?
A week ago, I was asked for my definition of public relations by Heidi Cohen who was working on a blog post about what it is, as is how people define it. Here's her blog post in its entirety here which includes 31 definitions including her own.
What's interesting is how I 'felt' when I got the email....meaning I had a physical reaction to being asked for a definition as if there couldn't be a definition to something that was all about human emotions, connections and relationships. Somehow it was like being asked to define love as ridiculous as that sounds. I thought about the last time I had to write or give a definition of public relations and it was when I was in college in London many (many) moons ago.
She writes: "traditionally, public relations referred to the art of getting mentions of a person, company or other organization placed in the media, namely print, radio and television."
Here's an observation I had in reading that statement: where I studied public relations in the UK, it was primarily not about the media, but about a number of very broad constituencies and the media was just one of them. This could be because the UK was a tad more old school about the way they viewed public relations. It could also be that one of my mentors was a professor who was a master at in-person relationships where coffee, tea, scotch, wine, a meal, golf or croquet were part of nearly every conversation. Lobbying was often part of the process too depending on what the end-goal was, but the media was always just one integral part of the strategy, not everything.
When I moved back to the states, the media was a much larger part of the 'game,' although given that I worked at one of the top crisis communications firms at the time (Cone), we managed everything from roundtables, speaker series, thought leadership boards, crisis communications plans, events and guerilla marketing. And, media, of course, was a part of each plan.
It wasn't until I moved into the world of technology (much more niche back then than it is today), that our teams were primarily focused on media relations and not a whole lot else. This isn't to say that we didn't have a strategy in place, but the focus was much more tactical than it had been in the UK and at Cone. The same applied later on in my life when I did a stint in South Africa where it was 80% strategic and 20% tactical for obvious reasons. (South Africa in the early nineties: you can only imagine)
So, early on, I was 'conditioned' to think about a large number of audiences outside traditional media and perhaps that's why when I was 'forced' into an all media relations role, it became easier to execute. It wasn't long before it became increasingly crowded and the PR industry started losing credibility because so many junior folks were thrown on the phones before they really understood the product or service they were pitching, or more importantly, 'cared about it.'
When I hired agencies, the first thing I would do, was throw the team into the product. If I didn't sense they could live and breathe what they were repping, I asked for another exec to replace them. Seriously, why work on something if you don't love it and really believe in it?
When you're coming from a place of passion, it really isn't pitching at all is it? It becomes 'having a conversation' about something you care about and in the process, you get to magically build a relationship with that person. Imagine that? Isn't that exactly what social media (et hem, I mean public relations) is? Engaging with people?
I sent poor Heidi a rather long definition so she obviously had to edit it down, but here's my original submission. BTW, its long because I had such a hard time 'definining it.'
"Public Relations in its true sense is about human connections and the art of mastering human connections at a deep level. In the early days of the PR "playbook", it was about relationships with not just the press but communities in various forms - the difference was that these audiences were not online. While some argue that the value of public relations has diminished in the world of social media where everyone can be an author and content creator, I would argue that someone who not only knows how to master human connections and relationships, but thrives on it, is more vital than ever. True mastery of anything comes from a passion to serve in some way shape or form. The publicists who will matter in the 'new' world of exploding content will be the ones who thrive on communicating via countless channels not because they have to, but because more than anything else in life, they love engaging with people. From this place, authenticity is guaranteed to come through which can only help the products and services within their social sphere shine.
When public relations thrives, its because those who are 'gifted' with this skill are at the helm. When played from a place of passion and purpose, public relations in the new world will not only take social media, branding and marketing to the next level, but will elevate the people and products that are changing the world." - Renee Blodgett, Magic Sauce Media
As for the other 30, they're all pretty interesting and because each of us were asked for a definition because that was the exercise (I had to admit, it was cool exercise btw), nearly every submission reads like a definition. There was of course this very amusing one below that reminds me of Mad Man and how in many ways, a lot really hasn't changed; its just that the packaging and perception has.
"Advertising: I walk into a bar and tell the first hot girl I see how amazing I am in bed. The hot girl doesn’t go home with me. PR: I walk into a bar and a friend of the hot girl sees me and tells her friend how great I am in bed. The hot girl goes home with me. Peter Shankman"
It also reminded me of my days at Saatchi & Saatchi in London during a year that will inevitably tell my age, so I'll leave that part out. :-)
Definitions aside, how about this one which came to my head only a few seconds ago as I thought about a close to this post:
"Public Relations is the art of truly connecting with people. When the public relations master truly connects, they are sharing a 'gift.' Being a master of public relations means that you love people and building relationships so much that every exchange is seamless, authentic, honest, gracious and empathetic. And, over the course of a thousand seamless conversations, the journey becomes a joyous one of learning and deeper understanding, not just of the people you're pitching to and for, but the products and services in your web. Then, my friends, the public relations 'artist' is nothing other than a storyteller who conveys a series of beautiful and compelling stories over a lifetime, ones that inevitably have a tremendous impact on people and help change the world." - Renee Blodgett, Magic Sauce Media
Ah yes, the story. I prefer my new definition, one that came to me within seconds. I prefer it because it came from the heart and when asked for a definition, it came from the head. Living through the heart is the only way to live our lives regardless of industry.
This is how I think about my life anyway and I've been doing this for uhhh, 20 years.
Photo Credit: contentfactory.
French Filmmaker Previews URBAN WOLF
I had an opportunity to meet URBAN WOLF director LAURENT TOUIL-TARTOUR in Los Angeles this past weekend, a French filmmaker whose new film premiered recently on Sony’s multiplatform website Crackle.
URBAN WOLF is a 15 part international mystery thriller that first premiered at last year’s Comic Con and the AFI Digifest, and won the award for Best Drama at this year’s ITV Festival. The story is told in a cutting-edge visual style with no dialogue.
URBAN WOLF is a prime example of the emergence of digital media as a platform for premium content as well as unique distribution and monetization strategy. URBAN WOLF is creating new models for production, sponsorship and content strategy for media companies and consumer brands.A few links:
February 12, 2011
Leaving Fear At the Curb So Your Real Life Can Show Up
We all have to dive into something we don't want to do from time-to-time, and one of the emotions that can come up in the process is fear, particularly if its something we don't perceive ourselves to be good at or avoid because the 'act' brings us into an energy we're not necessarily comfortable with.
Fear is a powerful word; when I think of living in fear or going to a place of fear, I think of darkness. In other words, fear is the the opposite of the energy source that gives light, love or connectedness. Its at the base of the very things that create friction in the world, such as war, racism and corruption.
But there's a joy in the process of embracing fear, because once you embrace it, you can unmask it right before its ugly clawing eyes. We can strip it down to such a granular level that we force it back into its rightful place....that nothingness place, where it cannot take ahold of us, it cannot grasp us by the throat, it cannot take control of our minds and our lives. Fear is the drama that we 'think it is,' not the actual situation itself.
I love these words by Leonard Cohen: "Dance me to your beauty....with a burning violin. Dance me through the panic....till I'm gathered safely in. Lift me like an olive branch...and be my homeward dove. Dance me to the end of love."
Then there's Ken Wilbur: "Whenever we split seamless awareness into a subject versus an object, into a self versus an other, then that self feels fear, simply becasue there are now so many 'others' out there that can harm it."
A friend of mine said as she stepped out on stage at a presentation she was giving recently, Let me introduce myselves. We often joke about how many of our selves inside our head there is at any given time and which self decides to show up at any given time. When we decide to surrender control to all of those selves, then the only self that is forced to show up is our 'true self,' the essence of who we really are, the self who operates from a place of love and connectedness, not fear and darkness.
Steve Chandler writes this amusing and touching snippet in a chapter of one of his books called This Insane Posse of Clowns: "there's a spooky imaginary source for much of my fear. It's the fake construct that pretends to be true. It's an unreal thing. And, because its not real, it is impossible to protect it from harm. It is what I call my personality. I'm frightened and defensive because of it. It feels like a costume I'm sewn into. What was once hastily formed in my childhood mind to give me a sense of a safe identity and separation now, in later life, becomes a trap.
Like being imprisoned inside a puppet; or stitched into a clown suit." Later in the same chapter, he says of being fearless, "It's a dropping of personality. It replaces it with the fierce thrill of doing what ought to be done."
Isn't it time you got out of that stitched clown suit, the personality that has you imprisoned inside a puppet and left fear at the curb so your connected life, full of all things possible, can show up?
Photo Credits: Fanpopp & DemocraticUnderground