Showing posts with label PR. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PR. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Why America Pioneered Marketing And Invented The IPAD

Ever wondered why the US leads the the way in PR, advertising and marketing? 

And why it is that Americans pioneered the great communications breakthroughs of the past 100 years?   Radio, TV, the Internet, smart devices, Google, Twitter, Facebook.  The list goes on goes on and on.

One simple but rarely mentioned reason could be that Americans love to chat, and two events this past week illustrate this. 

Jay Leno, the all American TV compere, retired last Thursday.   I did not know much about Jay.  His 22 years of TV never crossed the Pacific to Australia. Yet judging by the goodwill surrounding his farewell Jay was successful and popular. He could tell a joke and gently encourage his guests to share their stories with the rest of America. He made a career out of talking.  In a country which invented the talk show host Jay leaves as one of the best. 

A couple of days after Jay left TV, I met Jeff, someone else who enjoys a chat. 

On Saturday my wife Barbara and I were visiting historic Wethersfield in Connecticut.  We love the colonial architecture of New England which is so different from Australia. Walking down Wethersfield’s main street we ended at The Cove, a large frozen over section of the Connecticut River. Small groups huddled against the cold and were ice fishing.

I have never seen ice fishing so I ventured onto the ice to take a look. I came across Jeff who has fished The Cove for 30 years.  After a brief introduction he showed off his equipment, displayed his skills and explained why ice fishing is his preferred way to spend a Saturday in winter.  It was a free and easy (and for me an informative) exchange between two strangers.   

Americans love talking.  Whether it is watching Jay or talking to Jeff it is easy to be part of America's conversations.  The British are reserved, Parisians may demand you speak French and Australians often hold back until they know you better. By comparison Americans enthusiastically share their thoughts ... and conversations in America are easy to find. 

Wait in line at a grocery store and someone will start bantering about the weather, the price of eggs or why their team won or lost their last game. In a bar on any Main Street in America you stand beside a stranger and within minutes the two of you quickly work out your common connections through family, work or even going back to school days

Perhaps Americans are the most talkative when it comes to eating. Conversations start early and flow smoothly across the nation's restaurants, cafes and diners.  The waiter introduces himself or herself when you arrive and then patrols back and forth throughout the meal checking on your progress.  Patrons who overhear a snippet of your conversation will chip in, offering directions, advising what sights you should see or proclaiming who should win in the upcoming Oscars.  

We should all value that Americans love to chat.  Perhaps their love of talk is the real reason the great communications technologies and disciplines of the past century all bear the stamp made in the USA.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Strut Your Stuff Gold Quill Style

Last year Canberra communicators created some outstanding content marketing campaigns so how should we recognise that Aussie excellence?  

It's time to enter the IABC’s 2014 Gold Quill Awards which celebrate the best of the best communications and marketing practices from around the world. Entering the Awards can bring international acclaim to a local campaign success.   

Winning a Gold Quill boosts your resume, earns global recognition for your team and is a source of personal pride in your accomplishments.

Entries close on 10 March 2014 so start today by visiting IABC.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Media Relations Is Not a Dying PR Skill

Peter Hilmer leads Flatiron Communications
"...we must be mindful that a great “placement” in and of itself no longer has the capacity to drive a contemporary communications campaign. Stand-alone news stories are simply too ephemeral or lost altogether in the vast ocean of dynamic content. For a story meme to take hold today, it must reside and be amplified across multiple news and social channels even if that means using alternative (e.g., sponsored) means for achieving it."
Peter Himler

You hear a lot about the death of traditional media.  

But I have yet to meet a client who does not want to be on TV, score favourable print coverage or hear the Boss on radio. Few, if any, demand more Facebook and less conventional coverage.

So, it was refreshing to read a recent post about media relations continuing to be important and no way is it a dying PR skill.  

New York-based PR pro Peter Himler says old school media is still critical for success but must be part of a broader engagement program.  He claims many PRs have failed to keep up with changes in journalism which means they are not earning the coverage they previously did in less digitally challenging times.

It's tougher than ever to get media coverage, so Peter suggests a good way to boost your chances is to avoid making the 25 mistakes that drive reporters nuts.

Read Peter's very thoughtful post.

...and while we at it ... a recent Neilsen Poll shows US consumers are more likely to trust traditional media advertising over other forms. So hold the funeral notices for traditional platforms.

Infograph courtesy of Statista Inc.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Celluloid Cowboys and PR People

Yesterday's Hollywood cowboys - Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers - thrilled a generation of kids at Saturday matinees.  

Every week we cheered wildly as we watched them on the silver screen bringing villains to justice. To us kids they were authentic - plain talking and fast acting heroes living by simple frontier values where you helped neighbours and those in trouble. 

Hopalong, Gene and Roy never sought out trouble but they were quick to act if trouble found them. They used their horse riding, gun toting, two fisted skills to right wrongs and restore things to how they should be back at the ranch or in the town. Often they fought outnumbered when those around them had given up.  Yet week after week they prevailed and then rode quietly into the sunset. 

These 50s Hollywood portrayals of good versus evil were highly romanticised and politicised. Yet while the myths of the Old West are no longer be relevant, the essential message of these cowboy heroes - having simple values and sticking to them - are as valid now as when they rode the range.  
Honesty, promptness, balance and a willingness to listen and act in others' as well as our own interests should be our compass points
Solid, positive values underpin all enduring relationships with the people who matter most to us.  That applies especially to professional communicators.  Honesty, promptness, balance and a willingness to listen and act in others' as well as our own interests should be the compass points that guide our communications efforts in the coming year.  

In 2014 there may be circumstances and individuals who challenge our ideas of right and wrong.  Perhaps the silver screen examples of Hopalong, Gene and Roy might help us decide how we should act. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Should Volunteering Be On Your CV

A Linked-in colleague recently asked a question on volunteering after reading our recent post on volunteering.

Hi Bob,

I am seeking some advice on how to best put down volunteering experience on my resume - I have been in both scenarios before and had volunteered my time around Canberra in various capacities and now, having relocated to Melbourne and pending a suitable job offer, volunteering my time as a fundraiser/marketing officer for
(name withheld) something completely out of my previous field but thoroughly challenging and enjoyable.   Your advice is appreciated.

...and our thoughts are....

 It's great you're keeping your PR skills fresh by volunteering. 

Yes, include those roles on your CV. They are an important part of who you are and how you've taken the initiative to use your skills to do something really worthwhile.

I have found presenting volunteer jobs in the same way you present a regular job, works well. The only difference is after the job title add Volunteer Role

And when you land the next job interview, don't forget to tell the interview panel why and how you are extending your skills through PR volunteering.

What do you think? Should your CV list your volunteer efforts?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Infographs: Distraction Or PR Tool Of The Future?

A previous post talked about infographs as a compelling format for presenting detailed information. 

Below is one I was recently involved in.  It condenses a complex industry concept into a simple, one-stop image - at a very reasonable cost.

Will the infograph become a standard PR tool like the media release or will it soon disappear replaced by the next, best toy for communicators?

Are infographs merely pretty distractions? 

Infographs in three easy stages.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Story Telling in 2014

Perhaps Gary Vayerchuk is a bit over the top in his presentations on marketing.  

But Gary's presentation has nailed the need for storytelling (and at the same time promoted  his book.)   

It will give you some ideas so it is worth reviewing it. 

Search for it on Slideshare.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Content Marketing for Smaller Players

I've been in the US in recent weeks, so it's some time since my last post.  So let's start back with something good.

My Canadian colleague Martin Waxman recently gave a presentation on content marketing, storytelling and start-ups.  Here's Martin's simple but very effective approach.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Australia Is Ready For Content Marketing

We're super connected, everyone is now a publisher, we're busy and trust levels are low.  So it's time for a new approach to communicating as Australians move from mass audience to  niche communities. 

(Summary of a recent address by Contentgroup's David Pembroke and myself at the National Press Club in Canberra.)