Archive for March, 2011

A PR Palette

I have recently watched Martin Waxman and Barbara Nixon’s interview. Martin is the co-founder of Palette PR in Toronto. The agency has clients like Olay, Herbal Essence, and more. Through the interview  I learned about the importance of having traditional PR skills , along with social media knowledge. According to Martin, traditional media relations skills are important, even when things are evolving .

I was surprised to learn of his incident with Air Canada; Martin had downloaded an e-ticket before a flight to his BlackBerry. When he got to the airport and showed it to the security, he had to explain what it was. He wrote a blog post about this, and only a year later heard back. This shows that  companies are listening, but they need to know how to use social media well and take into consideration the time frame. I learned that when you type in a name of a company on a search engine and add the word “fail”, a lot of information comes up, but a company doesn’t always have the way to know if the situation is potentially going to develop into a crisis or it is just regular customer griping about services.

The interview shed some light on things that employers are looking for in potential employees. They want you to follow people in the industry, read blogs, and follow twitter. You don’t have to do everything, but have an understanding of the happenings. In the interview, Martin mentioned that he was going to attend the conference South by Southwest. This was the first time I have heard  this, so it was nice to learn about another event that is important and well-known in the industry.

 I would like to know more about how Palette PR is helping its customers gain brand awareness and promote them through social media. I would also like to know how I could use micro- blogging like twitter to my advantage.


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Have you seen this video? It got over one million hits in a few days. It was actually a video that was made by two people who work at a marketing agency to promote the new Bradley Cooper movie, Limitless.

 I thought this video was interesting and was not sure if it was real at first. When I learned it wasn’t, and was only created to promote a movie, I liked the idea.The marketing strategy used in producing this video is clever: creating a video that will go viral is a clever way of breaking through the ad clutter. This is something no one would expect, because many of us watch YouTube videos that go viral.

In the following video, the guy says he did this because he took the pill that is main focus of Limitless.

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Looking for some Girl Scouts cookies? Now there is an app for that! No cash? The Girl Scouts are now using credit card readers!

The Girl Scouts of Ohio and San Francisco Imperial Council are now using credit card readers to sell their cookies. This is a great opportunity for the Girl Scouts to learn about the business aspects of sales. At the same time they are using social media to sell their cookies. This is done in a responsible way -a Girl Scout can use her Facebook page to sell cookies, and if she’s younger than 13-her parent’s. With this free app, customers in various parts of the country can find their way to the Girl Scouts cookies.

 What a great way to inspire young girls to learn even more about entrepreneurship. For now the effectiveness of incorporating the card readers in their sales is still tested, but it looks like customers are impressed with it.  I think it’s a good idea not to be limited to cash and checks in sales, so this can potentially work out for the best for the Girl Scouts.

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Starbucks turns 40

Starbucks is celebrating its 40th birthday this month and I think it has done a great job in maintaining its brand image; the Starbucks logo is, after all, a well-known symbol around the world. I think one reason Starbucks is succesful at this is the fact that it has multiple social initiatives, including environmental issues that are connected to them. It also helped that it has the most delicious coffee beverages.

For its 40th anniversary, Starbucks chose to give its logo a more modern look. The result: there is no mentioning of the brand name and the siren is free of the extra circle it was in. I liked the old logo but I think this change gives their logo a cleaner and simpler look. It is also a smart choice to do this at this point in time, because the siren logo is internationally known. The need to identify the logo with the words “Starbucks Coffee” is no longer a must. Many people don’t agree with the change, but I think it’s a matter of time before people will get used to it.

Along with the logo update, I also liked the recent commercial Starbucks has been using to promote its 40th anniversiry.It shows the brand’s commitment to its customers by showing them what it takes to create that perfect coffee. It takes the consumer through the steps of growing the coffee beans and eventually brewing the coffee to the customer’s custom-made order.

 What new innovations will Starbucks come up with in its future? It will definitely be interesting to watch.

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PROpenMic is a social network for PR practitioners, faculty, and students.  It is a source of news from the industry, discussions, links to members’ blog posts, and a lot more. This site can potentially serve PR students and recent graduates better than other sites because of its exclusiveness and unique public relations features; the site’s administration has to approve a member after he or she signs up for an account, making the social network exclusive.

The site offers its members a chance to connect with fellow PR students and practitioners.  Like any other social network site, it lets a member add friends and connect with them through messages and comments. I was even surprised that PROpenMic has a live chat, yet another way not to miss out on the opportunity to connect with other members.

There are posts and links to internship opportunities.This is very helpful for students and recent graduates who are looking to gain some experience. These are specifically for PR students, so the search for this kind of internship is easier here.The site provides a way to get advice from people in the industry who know what employers are looking for in prospective employees. It gives great tips on all things related to PR. I found the job interviewing skills to be very helpful, as I was just looking for advice of that sort. PrOpenMic has discussions, engaging and inviting its members to a conversation about various topics in PR. This is one that I liked. It raises the question of ethics in PR.

 The site lists upcoming PR related events, another way for students and grads to stay informed of important happenings in the industry. There are also groups on the site, allowing people to become members of specific areas that interest them. There are groups for PR classes, but also for entrainment, Public Relations for non-profit organizations, health issues, and more. Overall I think this is an important social network for PR students as they learn about the international PR community.

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 Why should anyone choose a podcast as a form of communications? Well,podcasting lets you choose content you want to listen to. Podcasts are a way to learn about matters you are interested in by downloading them to your MP3 player. You can listen to your chosen podcast on your way to work, in your car or wherever else you may be. It provides a person with an alternative to radio shows, because podcasts are almost always commercials free, and  they let you have the control over what you listen to. 

Anyone can record a podcast about anything, so for companies or brands recording a podcast and sharing information with their customers is a cheap form of connecting with them. A customer who is interested in a company will look for its podcast and will most likely subscribe to it. This is almost always free and once a customer subscribes to a podcast, he or she doesn’t have to download the next podcasts, because this is done automatically for them. It is easy to stay informed about the brand’s new products, and the customers can get a chance to express their thoughts and provide feedback to the company by calling in and voicing their needs, in case the podcast provides contact information.

 Podcasting is a great way to build a loyal audience; a customer who subscribes to a podcast is sure to continue to receive content from a company. Without this, a company can only trust that customers who visit its website will do so on a regular basis.

Podcasts are beneficial for everyone. For example,Public Relations students will benefit from subscribing to  specific PR podcasts. Listening to podcasts like for immediate release give the student an opportunity to learn about what’s going on in the industry. Podcasts keep students updated with current references to examples of good PR management versus the malfunctions of companies.

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