Friday, February 27, 2009

Today's Question: Can a Liberal Arts Education Prepare You for Your Career?

Today's post is really just for fun.

Check out this article from Business First of Columbus. I believe that my liberal arts education from John Carroll University prepared me perfectly.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Today's Question: How Did You "View" the Presidential Address?

Whether it was on a major network, over a cable news station, online or even via facebook, chances are you "viewed" last night's Presidential Address. And if you didn't watch it, you will still be surrounded by the ongoing media coverage--in newspapers, on the radio, in conversations with friends and co-workers, via email, through status updates on social media sites--the list goes on and on.

When a major national event happens--we "view" it. Although the way we view these things has changed dramatically. Can we actually imagine gathering our families around a radio and listening to fireside chats? It sounds so archaic and time-consuming.

And now we do more than just watch or listen--we participate! We watch the Address on facebook while twittering about the President's comments; we text our friends while we listen to the Address on the TV; we attend virtual events to show our support for the President's message; we vote in online polls rating his performance--heck, some of us even blog about it!

So, it's time to stop viewing and start acting--you can try not to, but it's nearly impossible--and would we really want it any other way?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Today's Question: Isn't it Really Just About Common Sense?

There's been a lot of online and offline chatter about the do's and don'ts of social media. You can find the five things to do on Twitter to get 1,000 followers in 36 hours, as well as the rules of engagement with friends and colleagues on Facebook.

We struggle with who to friend, who to follow and who to link to...we seek information on how to use this extremely addicting and completely transparent form of communication. Should a colleague really see that I had a few drinks over the weekend, would a client be upset if I tweet about an upcoming event, do I really want my boss to see photos of me from high school.

I think that it just comes down to common sense. If you wouldn't complain about a colleague to their face in the office, why would you use your status update to vent your feelings when he/she can see it later--and what's more, comment on it!

Social networking can be fun because you will probably learn something about others and yourself along the way.

Just remember, think before you type!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Today's Question: Given the Choice, Would You Rather Play Offense or Defense?

With the quest for Lord Stanley's Cup heating up, what's your role on the team? Do you prefer to be the superstar or the protector of the goal?

The offense, the center and wings, are always on the attack and look for the next opportunity to break away and score a goal. These players are always in on the action looking for the next one-timer or perfect shot that gets by the goalie. These skilled players have speed and precision on their side. They have to think on their toes, lead the team and are often the center of attention.

On the other hand, the defense, the defensemen and goalie, hold the team's position. A good defense is often the key to victory. These players are dependable and reliable. It might appear that they are hanging back from the action, but they are always in the right position to help their team stay ahead.

In business, you need to be able to play both sides. Sometimes you need to lead--your ideas and skills will result in a win. And other times, you get forced to react--you have to defend your position, your brand and your budget.

You have to be ready for anything, especially when the puck's about to drop!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Today's Question: What's so Great about Orange Fireworks?

In my opinion, absolutely nothing. Orange fireworks lack a certain creative element--come on, fire is already orange, so what do orange fireworks bring to the display?

Without your own creative element, you run the risk of not bringing much to your company or future company. Creativity is especially important in today's economic state. A little creativity can do anything, such as help your company save money through a recycling program; produce stronger communications results for your clients by reaching target audiences through social media; or develop your personal public relations plan by spending time exploring new opportunities and networking with new people.

Creativity can come from anyone--you don't have to have a "creative" job description to be creative. Your unique point of view can be creative. Think of your interests and inspirations and draw creativity from those things.

Just please, don't allow yourself be orange fireworks!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Today's Question: What is Your Facebook "Face"?

I'm not a self-proclaimed expert at anything, I am, however, a self-proclaimed student of everything. As I explore and practice in the social media world, I've been trying to figure out my face. How am I using the social media, what image am I portraying to others, am I doing it right?

I thought I would take a look at the "faces" of Facebook that I've noticed along the way.

1. The Therapy Seeker-This person provides status updates on everything--from break ups to break downs. You know the status "can't believe the day I'm having, and it started with my dog eating my plane ticket" or "Hope I make it through the day" or "I've been up for 68 hours straight." Sometimes, it slightly crosses the line of TMI.

2. The Self-Promoter-This person is using facebook to promote their cause, their views or their personal brand. The status updates read "Check out my blog to see what I think of the stimulus package" or "Come by my office and I'll give you 20% off of teeth whitening if you say, 'Super Duper Day'" or "It's tax time-let me help you."

3. The Incognito-Not much to say here--no updates, no photo, no online personality.

4. The Social Butterfly-This person floats from one social engagement to the next. Common updates "Heading out to the movies with my girls" or "Running to the gym" or "Doing lunch with my bff, movie with my mom and dinner with a new guy."

But, here's the beauty of social media and online interaction--you can start your day as a self-promoter and end as the social butterfly.

Right now, I'm a social promoter seeking to be incognito. What's your face?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Today's Question: Really?

Today's post is just for fun. I'm a huge SNL fan and thought this was a great skit.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Today's Question: Can You Turn Lemons into Lemonade?

Yes, we can all turn lemons into lemonade--however, sometimes it takes some sugar to make it drinkable.

Last week, one of my clients had to deliver some bad news--a trade show was cut from the budget. While this is a setback for our media relationship development, we actually have another opportunity this year to engage media. When I reminded my contact of this he said that I can "turn lemons into lemonade." And I said, "Sometimes, we still need sugar."

Sugar to me is collaboration. The key ingredient to making any agency-client relationship work. Whether it's developing an annual plan, setting a project's scope of work, developing the measurement and goals, or just working together each day--collaboration is necessary. It also leads to long-term relationships.

So, set up the lemonade stand and let's get to work!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Today's Question: If You Build it, Will They Come?

The communication manager's answer to the this question is a simple, "No." Sorry to disappoint farmers in Iowa, but multiple communications touchpoints are what drive target audiences to what you build--whether it's a bricks-and-mortar location or a virtual destination.

With any building you need a strong foundation. For marketing that foundation consists of research which provides insights into your target audience. This needs to be more sophisticated than general demographic information; explore the habits, feelings and beliefs of your audience.

The real dilemma then becomes how to reach these audiences. Some audiences still respond to traditional methods, I'm not talking smoke signals and carrier pigeons, but rather print ads, direct mail and earned rint and broadcast media placements. Other audiences might consume their information online, so email marketing, Web banners, blog postings, YouTube uploads and microsites are necessary. Finally, your audience might be tech junkies and they probably aren't the tech nerds you automatically think of..the world of Twitter, Wikis, Widgets and mobile apps has no audience boundaries!

Maybe it's time to change the mantra to: If you market it, they will come!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Today's Question: Has Shoe Throwing Become the Latest PR Tactic?

It all started with the shoe thrown at former President Bush by an Iraqi journalist--an offense that can carry a hefty prison term. In less than one week, Bayden, the shoe's cobbler, needed to hire 100 additional employees to keep up with the orders. The style was renamed the "Bush Shoe"; the incident launched a political fashion trend as videos of the shoe throwing act were posted on YouTube. And, one Saudi offered $10 million for the pair of shoes thrown at George W.

The trend seems to be catching on, yesterday a protester hurled a shoe at the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. People around the world tweeted about the event and the media reported the incident immediately via online sites. In fact, an AP photographer quickly snapped a shot of the shoe which will be available through AP images for people to upload, download, publish, etc.

With a little bit of spin, this has become a great media outreach tactic. How else would this basic clothing staple get international coverage? And what's more, double orders and open up companies to a global marketplace.

So, even if the shoe fits, throw it!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Today's Question: Is NBC bringing the "Super" back to Super Bowl?

With an estimated 100 million people watching tonight's match up between the Steelers and the Cardinals, NBC is doing whatever they can to keep viewers all day long. The network is planning on 8 hours of pre-game coverage--a special edition of The Today Show, a Road to the Super Bowl special and then Pregame starts at 1pm! Eight hours is twice as long as the game itself, including the half-time show. Oh yeah, and I nearly forgot the super-sized episode of The Office which follows the game.

With that being said I got sucked in, I watched the segment where Meredith got dressed up as a Buccaneer and the one that included a chippy dialogue between the governors of Pennsylvania and Arizona.

And, of course, the highlight (sometimes) of the Super Bowl--the ads! At the asking price of $3 million dollars, the ad spots have sold out. Many experts will provide commentary on these ads before, during and after the game--and you can too through a Twitter survey. This might be the first year I watch the game with my laptop!

So, is "Super" back? Put the beer on ice and spice up the hot wings, let's get ready for this Super Sunday!