Archive for the ‘PR- Public Relations’ Category

Even Ad Age Says Traditional Marketing Is Dying

April 8, 2009

We believe that, while some traditional media has its place, social media and the web is the best way to reach many demographics.

But it’s not as simple as just buying online ads or setting up a Facebook organization page. You have be genuine and authentic – and have something original to say. The good news is that, if you have the goods (i.e you know what you’re talking about or have a really good product or service), you stand a good chance at success because Earned Media is overtaking Paid Media in terms of impact.

Check out this article from Ad Age that helps prove that point.


Advertising and Social Media

December 18, 2008
the Brooklyn Museum's ArtShare application on Facebook allows users to share art and connect with museums.

the Brooklyn Museum's ArtShare application on Facebook allows users to share art and connect with museums.

Over the weekend, the New York Times ran a good article about the current state of advertising on social media sites. The upshot: the average person goes to a social media site to be social, not to consume advertising or befriend laundry detergent.

I think one thing that is frustrating traditional “advertisers” is the fact that social media works much more on the old PR model, and that marketing/advertising/PR are becoming less and less distinct disciplines in this environment.

For real though – who is going to be an active contributor to Tide’s corporate page? Who has the time? The challenge for brands is being creative and delivering – yes, I’m going to use those two magic words again – valuable content. Apparently that doesn’t include a gallery of “America’s Favorite Stains.”(ps it’s a work-safe link.)

On the other hand, it will take a while, but behavior on Facebook will likely include shopping one day. I came very close to shopping at the Met’s store for a Christmas present because of an ad on Fb. I clicked through to the site and browsed. For me, that’s as much of a conversion as they’ll ever get because I am, at the end of the day, very cheap. I’ll go back after the holidays and buy ornaments for gifts for next year. I’m in that, much reviled-by-my-own-profession demographic.

And while Tide’s stain-o-rama page has fewer than 500 fans, the Met’s page? More than 35,000, including me. And I get valuable information about events and exhibits right there in my notifications, without having to search it out.

And if you want to talk about being really valuable to your constituents, look at the Brooklyn Museum’s ArtShare application, which allows people and museums who are passionate about art to share it on Facebook. It’s that kind of thinking that will win you a Groundswell Award, as well as distinction as an innovator in your field and exposure to an audience that might never have heard of you otherwise.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to share some Hopper with friends.

7 Tips for Writing a Press Release

October 11, 2007

You should be writing a press release right now.

Over the weekend, one of our clients hosted an open house at their sales facility, and wanted help getting the word out. This wasn’t a high-budget event, so there weren’t going to be billboards or television spots to promote it. What the client needed was a cost-effective method of spreading the word to as many existing and potential customers as possible.

The solution was clear: Press Release.

A well-crafted press release can put your name in the media, introduce you to key players in your industry’s trade publications and – best of all – act as free advertising.

Our content developer, Elizabeth Buchinger, researched media outlets within 100 miles of our client’s sales facility, and compiled a contact list of nearly 50 media professionals to target. She then worked with the client to hone the message they wanted to convey both about the event and the company.

She collected images, wrote the press release and distributed the material to newspapers, television, magazine and radio outlets.

The event was well attended, and the organizer definitely got the sense that people had heard about the event in a variety of media.

But the best return was that, the day before the event, an area TV reporter and camera crew came to the business and spent two hours interviewing the owners.

You literally cannot buy that kind of coverage because it’s just not for sale.

Here are seven tips to ensure that your next press release brings results:

Target your audience. A scattershot press release is a waste of your time and a nuisance to the person who receives it. Take the time to create a media list of outlets where your audience spends time. A company that is opening a lakeside resort might target newspapers, travel magazines, and television programs. A teen center, on the other hand, would do best to form relationships with popular radio stations, alternative weekly papers and social networking web sites.

Make it newsworthy. Think of your press release as a pitch for a magazine cover story. Find an angle that makes your organization so newsworthy that the editor who receives your release will be inspired to give you great coverage and will thank you for sending it.

Write it well and keep it brief. Good writing will spark interest, but that doesn’t mean sending a novel. Editors and the like receive hundreds of press releases a week. If you can’t convey your story and give a call to action within five short paragraphs, you’ll lose their interest, and you won’t get coverage.

Include a photo or other image. Good quality images grab attention and enrich your story. Make sure your images are of print quality, and include caption information.

Follow up by phone or email. PR isn’t about one-shot media coverage; it’s about building long-term relationships that will bring repeated exposure for your organization and build your public profile. Get to know the people at the outlets where coverage is most natural, and learn how you can make their jobs easier. Maybe they’re looking for expert sources in your field. Maybe they want a guest columnist. It can be time consuming, but in the end it pays off.

If you have any questions about designing a PR plan or you would like to talk about PR solutions, you can contact our content developer, Elizabeth, at or 607.433.8837 x206.

‘Marketing’ is just another word for “Storytelling’

September 20, 2007

After seeing the new Wal-Mart ad campaign, created by The Martin Agency based in Richmond, Va., I’m impressed.

Turning around the image of a corporation that everyone loves to hate (even if they simultaneously patronize it) was an unenviable task. How do you go about replacing the public image that your business is a behemoth with bad employee and community relations?

The Martin Agency – which is also responsible for the Geico “Caveman” ads – struck at the heart of what all good marketing should be: They told a story.

One ad features a family on a typical vacation. Clearly meant to tug at the fond childhood memories of parents (or childhood fantasies of what life should be like), the commercial follows a family of six as they load into the minivan for a road trip to Florida. But not without a quick stop at Wal-Mart. We see them stop at tourist traps. We see the kids getting on each other’s nerves. We see them making memories to last a lifetime.

Then we see these words:

“Wal-Mart saves the average family $2,500 a year. What will you do with your savings?”

The tag line is “Save Money. Live Better.”

Wow. That’s a story. It’s a story I want to be my story, even if I don’t particularly want to shop at Wal-Mart.
When it comes right down to it, all marketing is storytelling. Your business story may be that you came from humble beginnings and grew a fast-food empire to compete with McDonald’s. Your story may be that you love ice cream almost as much as you love peace, the environment and your employees.

Your story may be that little savings add up to once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Everything your business or organization puts into the world adds a line to the story – from something as simple as your business cards to something as complex as your employees’ satisfaction.

Good marketing helps you take charge and craft the story you want to tell.