June 28, 2005 by Colin
Everybody working in corporate communications raise your hands. Everybody who has an RSS aggregator step forward. Now, who actually asked the corporate IT guys about authorized software and loads before installing it?
Most corporate IT shops (in traditional industries and smaller companies) haven’t quite cottoned on to RSS. It’s probably taken goading by early adopters to have them even look into the area. That’s why the news that IE7 will support RSS should make them nervous.
Chad Dickerson remembers the load problems that developed with IE4′s Active Desktop: preprogrammed calls to the web driving loads up, even when users weren’t at their computers.
IE7 will certainly force the corporate IT team to look seriously at RSS.
Thanks to Steve for the link.
June 28, 2005 by Colin
Nic Harcourt is the host of Morning becomes Eclectic on KCRW, an LA listener-supported radio station. The show has long been a platform for emerging and aspiring musicians, but elements of Harcourt’s playlists have increasingly found a home in more mainstream music.
This, the NYT Magazine notes, makes him an influential (and much pursued) element in LA’s music industry:
“Harcourt, whose show is broadcast daily from 9 a.m. to noon, has a knack for finding interesting new music ahead of everyone else: he was the first in America to play Norah Jones and Coldplay on the radio; like Jesca Hoop, the platinum-sellers Dido and David Gray were unsigned artists whose demos Harcourt originally spotlighted on his show; and more idiosyncratic unsigned acts like Damien Rice, Sigur Ros and Jem have all also become the object of record-company bidding wars as a result of Harcourt’s championing.”
At first glance, Harcourt may fall squarely under the marketing tag of an “influencer.” But, as he told Frontline last year, ”
“I’m apparently unworkable, is what I’m told by various people …”
The usual promotional efforts, side deals and exclusive releases don’t seem to work with KCRW. Surprisingly, it seems that traditional PR tactics may be the best approach: study your audience, target your pitch, and demonstrate relevance and benefits. Harcourt again:
“I’ve worked in the commercial world as well, so I understand that side of it. But I think what I found is that people in the business who understand what KCRW is, and what “Morning Becomes Eclectic” is, and maybe have a sense of who I am, realized that if they’re smart and they’ve got good music, and they’ve got an artist who deserves to be heard, then this is a place that they can launch that artist. And there’s numerous examples of that.” (Frontline)
June 22, 2005 by Colin
I can understand the idea that publishing the home addresses of prostitutes caught working the streets of Chicago might cause them shame and prompt a change in activities. But publishing their arrest address, most likely where they regularly ply their trade?
Taken together with the pictures posted online by the Chicago Police, this might be a form of advertising!
June 21, 2005 by Colin
Sarah Sands is the new editor of the Sunday Telegraph, and she spoke to Roy Greenslade about her new job:
“My rather trite observation is that I’d like the paper to be like your iPod, containing all your favourite things. If we can have a sense of gaiety, that will be a quality that sets us apart. I want people to treat it like a party, a nice place to hang out. I know this is a nebulous idea, but I think we can get there.”
What? You want your newspaper to be chock-full of:
- Paul Anka covers of 80s hits?
- Stewart Brand interviews?
- Arcade Fire bootlegs?
- recordings of old John Peel shows?
- that one Jeff Foxworthy routine?
- Malcolm MacLaren’s mid-80s pop/rap hits?
- one country music song?
- and, to bring this post back around, both of Rick Astley’s hits?
Why Rick Astley? As the Guardian further tells us, Shaw:
… In her very earliest days as a cub reporter, in her early 20s, she was regarded as a bit of a “Sloane Square punk” …
Uuum. Don’t you mean Sloane Ranger?
Ah, dear reader. Are you still sooking for a weighty and intellectual analysis of the benefits of her iPod analogy? Let’s cut this short. I have seen the bastard child of the iPod and the traditional newspaper, and it is called USA Today.
June 20, 2005 by Colin
They have a difficult job. Responding to newspaper ads or flyers on telephone poles, these poorly-paid workers show up at non-descript offices in suburban office parks, or even meet for work at a designated street corner. Their ostensible “bosses” have no real empathy for them, nor do they have any job security.
Their job? To work street corners, conventions and malls, raising awareness of their brand among a defined groups of consumers, suggesting ideas and helping sketch out benefits to convert reluctant or inhibited prospects into buying customers.
Sometimes a costume helps. Other times – free samples.
But there’s a hitch in this narrative. I’m talking about the members of the Canadian National Coalition of Experiential Women.
And they’re sex trade workers.
Better watch out – looks like there’s one marketing buzzword that’s going to lose its lustre.
June 17, 2005 by Colin
The White House has been none too subtle in its 1970s attitude towards the dangers of climate change. So it comes as little surprise that one of the lead Administration officials on the file has “gone to the dark side.”
“… White House Council on Environmental Quality chief of staff Phillip Cooney, left the administration last Friday to take a public relations job with oil giant Exxon Mobil, a leading opponent of mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions …” (WPost)
June 16, 2005 by Colin
YoungPRPros, a YahooGroups email community aimed at PR folks under 40, has launched its first ever Compensation and Job Satisfaction Survey, focusing on North American practitioners and customized by work environment.
Take part now for access to a great resource when it comes time for your next career move or salary review. Respondents will receive the results free.
June 13, 2005 by Colin
They’re preparing for an internal event downstairs. It might just be me, but I don’t place much faith in a speaker who relies upon a podium like this one. Black, grey, built-in speakers, recycled ABS, adjustable height. It may be environmentally friendly and easy to store, but doesn’t it really look like a couple of beer coolers stacked on their ends? Or maybe a prop from Star Trek?
June 13, 2005 by Colin
I had NO IDEA you could make up to $350 a day working the beer cart on a golf course. As Nicole Kallis told Golf Digest this month,
“… a sense of humor really helps my tips. Golfers eat up any kind of flirtation. I was told once: “The cart girl is every man’s fiancee before he takes a wife.”
Unfortunately for Nicole, she didn’t manage to get a mention of her new book, Secrets of a Tee Time Girl, into the column. But her publicity campaign seems to be going well nonetheless.
Sauciness and frivolity aside, Nicole obviously recognizes that the beer cart is a unique retail outlet: it’s a near-monopoly in an isolated area with constant demand and fixed prices. The only variable that would affect her pay seems to be customer service. As one of her fellow cart attendants told a local paper:
“She bakes cookies and brings licorice for the customers. Everybody goes, ‘I don’t know how she does it.’ She brings a lot of revenue out of her cart.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)
And THAT’s the sign of retail success!
If you’re interested, here’s some econometric work on a hedonic model of supply and demand for golf.
The authors, though, seem to love their model a little too much:
“We offer one other observation worthy of additional study. In our database, 63 percent of golf clubs price differently during the week and weekend. The average weekday discount is $4.41. The question is, what factors determine this discount?”
I’ll tell you what may prompt a discount: cheap seniors wanting to play 90 holes then hit the early bird buffet during the week. As for raised prices on the weekend – prices naturally go up when you have almost unlimited demand and limited supply – as you do for early morning tee times on the weekend.
June 9, 2005 by Colin
What’s better than pictures of ice cream trucks? How about MP3s of Ice Cream Truck Music!
I know some people don’t like the music – but it’s an essential part of summer! To paraphrase Eddie Murphy: “Mr. Ice Cream Man! Mr. Ice Cream Man! … I got some ice cream, and you dooon’t …”
Roc-A-Fella records capitalized on the urban desire for ice cream last summer, wrapping six ice cream trucks to draw fans and promote their artists and tours.
Need nutrition for your soul, not your stomach? What about the Dub Reggae Ice Cream Truck?
Maybe you’re in the market for a truck?
Most unfortunate blog comment on the subject: “Not all Mister Softee trucks try to stiff small children and adults.” No. Just some of the drivers.
June 9, 2005 by Colin
An information booth is not an inspiring 100 square feet at the best of times. The worst of times? Take an organization from inside your company, hand them a bunch of promo literature, and point them to the building’s atrium.
Here’s some pointers for the people working that gig in our atrium today.
- fan all your corporate brochures out flat on a folding card table.
- use corporate brochures (they’re very boring)
- spread your card tables out so they take up more space
- use folding card tables (they’re too low!)
- set up your booth in the traffic flow between the ATM and the food court
- have the hot guy and girl on your team standing at the back of the booth
- let the hot girl – or anyone – eat while on duty. Especially not a sub!
- stare blankly at everyone walking past.
- forget to do ANY in-house promo. Nary a peep in support of the booth today.
- forget ROI.
3M’s hints on how to present at a trade show.
Peter Shankman’s Talking Smack About Trade Shows.
June 7, 2005 by Colin
So. you’re asking yourself: where can I find a step by step guide to building influence in a school setting? How about the US Army recruitment guide?
It’s full of practical student activities (tactics), promotional opportunities for Army reps (brand building), and a detailed explanation of how to track school performance, recruiter visits and identify potential recruits (research and evaluation). For instance, the Army is certainly up-to-date on current marketing lingo:
Know your student influencers. Students such as class officers, newspaper and yearbook editors, and athletes can help build interest in the Army among the student body. Some influential students such as the student president or the captain of the football team may not enlist; however, they can and will provide you with referrals who will enlist. More important is the fact that an informed student leader will respect the choice of enlistment and, in turn, future Soldiers will feel good about their decision to join. Something as simple as an Army promotional item can help produce positive results.
From a handbook for US Army recruiters visiting high schools, excerpted in Harper’s Bazaar this month.
The entire handbook can be found on an Army website.
June 7, 2005 by Colin
A colleague is giving a presentation today, and she was kind enough to forewarn me that Canuckflack would be featured.
So this is a shout-out to all the Ops people in the hizz-ouse!
And here’s IBM’s corporate blogging policy, so that this training session isn’t wasted.
And here’s Sun’s policy.
June 3, 2005 by Colin
Andy Budd has a great list of 10 signs you’re about to take on a bad project.
Thanks to xblog for the link.
June 2, 2005 by Colin
It’s summer – even here in the frozen north – and every event planner’s fancy is now turning to outdoor parties. Big white tents. Catered BBQ. Cold ones. Discretely disguised boxed zinfandel for the senior staff, two buck chuck in plastic cups for the AAEs.
And a sound system. Most likely manned by one of the AAEs – or her cousin, who “knows music.”
What to play? Michael Buble? God no! Sarah MacLachlan? Not quite party music. The Pogues? Ah, do you really want a barfight at the company picnic?
We can all imagine a set list. But do we really know which songs to avoid – the ones that make the Senior VP hit the dance floor, shaking her legs in horrible rhythm.? That mid-80s hit that prompts your boss to dance the white man’s overbite?
Let me suggest some songs to avoid:
- Lose My Breath by Destiny’s Child
- My Prerogative by either Britney or Bobby
- Smooth Criminal by Alien Ant Farm
- Push it by Salt-n-Pepa
- Hey Ladies! by the Beastie Boys
- Anything off the American Idol 4 soundtrack
- C’Mon and Ride it by the Quad City DJs
- Rico Sauve by Gerardo
- Rockit by Herbie Hancock
- Our Lips Are Sealed – by either the Duff Sisters or the GoGos