Humans are quite risk-averse, generally. Our propensity to avoid risk when we can is built into most life processes – don’t cross the road without looking, don’t invest all your savings in that new business, don’t leave your ham sandwich…
The post Follow Your Passion Even if It Requires Risk appeared first on Bryan Kramer.
Google said it discovered it was paying some women more than men for similar jobs. This is a man-bites-dog story. It is so unusual that it garnered headlines nationally. While it is never good to have pay inequities, it is a sign of company concern for women that it inadvertently got itself into this position. This comes in spite of multiple claims against it for discriminating against women. From a PR perspective, the company needs to do a better job of policing its compensation policies. It shouldn't be caught on either side of the pay question. Software engineers with the same responsibilities should be getting equal remuneration. It is good PR that the company is examining wage scales at all levels and trying to balance them, but one can ask why it wasn't done before now.
When a company pulls off something spectacular, it is great PR for the organization and its employees. This is great PR. SpaceX has demonstrated flawless flight and docking of its crew capsule that is now locked to the international space station. It was five years worth of work and untold man hours to reach this success. and if the Crew Dragon returns to earth without trouble, the spaceship will be ready for regular service. One can criticize Elon Musk for arrogance and insensitivity but his company has triumphed. That is the measure of the business. Along with reusable boosters, SpaceX has dramatically changed the economics of space flight. Musk's car company might not be doing that well but his space company is hitting new targets again and again.
When a leader publicly criticizes a government agency that regulates him, it is dangerous. The agency can strike back. That is the position Elon Musk is in. He has attacked the SEC and says he doesn't respect it. The SEC in turn has asked for a contempt judgement against him. Musk is arrogant and seems to think that rules for other leaders of public companies don't apply to him. He is about to find out that they do. Will it restrain him in the future? Time will tell. He could find himself outside of the companies he founded and in a wilderness of irrelevance. If it happens, it will be his own fault, but he probably won't see it that way. Those affected with hubris tend to blame others when they fail. "It can't be me." Musk's board Continue reading "Arrogance"
PR and publicity can go only so far. At some point recipients of messages accept or ignore them. One can persuade but not compel. Consider this example. Railroad authorities have repeated ad nauseum a warning to respect gates at crossings and to never, never go around them when they are down. Yet, a driver did. Three people died in the car, a train derailed and passengers suffered minor injuries. We may never know what the driver was thinking but surely there must have been some cognition of the risk that was about to be taken. As a reporter decades ago, I covered a number of vehicle-train accidents. The railroad wasn't at fault in any of them. Some people don't listen. They don't believe warnings apply to them. They will do what they want until tragedy overtakes them. Three people died needlessly Continue reading "Limits"
Major brewers and packaged good marketers in the US are facing a conundrum. Consumers are passing them by and buying other products off grocery shelves and from liquor stores. Sales of Budweiser, particularly, have stalled. Anheuser-Busch is working frantically to turn around. The company is being assaulted by thousands of craft breweries whose production is a fraction of what the A-B produces, but each one is a small slice into its sales and combined, a large cut. It's facing "brutal facts" and developing beverages that might meet the demand of today's millennials. The American consumer's tastes have changed, maybe for good, but A-B is configured to produce millions of gallons of high-quality beer a year. It can't easily switch off bottling lines without sustaining huge losses. The company is not nimble after decades of dominating beer sales. The same Continue reading "Passed By?"
Anyone who uses a smartphone can attest to the incredible power of real-time, in-the-moment discovery that leads to decisions and outcomes. But, now in an age of voice-assisted devices, we are further empowered to command information or purchase on-demand. “OK Google, Alexa, Hey Siri, what are the best bluetooth headphones for me?” Or, “Please reorder groceries from last week for delivery tomorrow afternoon.” Like mobile shopping, voice-assisted behavior is also becoming second-nature. Brands must now reimagine the customer journey and design for always-on, continuous and assistive engagement…dedicated for voice and mobile screens.
Every day, customers are becoming more and more mobile and as a result, more informed, empowered, demanding and impatient. Mobile devices and smart assistants are now the first point of reference for a rapidly growing share of your market. These devices add a new dimension to the shopper journey while also introducing new shopping behaviors. For
Survivors of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy are angry at the pope. They were expecting a specific plan of action to come from a conference of bishops at the Vatican. They didn't get it. Rather, the pope delivered a speech that did not convince those who have been hurt so deeply. They are railing at the pontiff. "He's the boss. Why won't he do something?" Church commentators with an understanding of how the Vatican bureaucracy works say specific rules and regulations will come. It takes time. Survivors want to see cardinals and bishops sacked right now. Today. Immediately. One American cardinal has been cashiered and several bishops have resigned worldwide, but that is not nearly enough to quiet the protest. The hierarchy will remain under fire, and it may take decades for the Church to win back its reputation. Words alone are never enough: It takes doing.
NASA has always been adept in sparking publicity and PR for its mission and for space. This is another example. Naming a facility after a female African-American mathematician who was vital to the early manned space flights is a recognition both of its past and its progress in race relations. NASA started out segregated with black female computers separated from white female calculators. As the movie "Hidden Figures" revealed, it took changes within the agency for black women to be recognized. But, to the agency's credit, they were over time even though NASA remained a bastion of white male engineers. It is great PR for the agency to recognize one of its own this way, but it needs along with the rest of the government to continue working on diversity.
On February 22, I had the privilege of being interviewed by Greg Nibler of the daily video podcast Digital Trends Live about my upcoming book, Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive and Happy Life. (Video at the end.)
Digital Trends is a Portland, ORE technology news, lifestyle, and information website that publishes news, reviews, guides, how-to articles, descriptive videos and podcasts about technology and consumer electronic products. They help readers and those who tune into their programming keep tabs on the fast-paced world of tech with all the latest news, fun product reviews, insightful editorials and sneak peaks.
On the show, I talked about my work over the last 20 years studying disruptive technologies and their impact on business and markets. More so, I focused on the irony that somewhere along the way, I fell victim to those very technologies. The truth is that I was
For the first time, digital ad spending is outstripping ad spending on traditional media. And the gap is expected to widen according to a February 2019 study by eMarketer thanks largely to expenditures on Facebook and Google. Only four years ago, “digital advertising was just half the size of the “traditional” ad industry four years ago in 2015” says Kurt Wagner at Recode which reported on the study.
When launching a digital content marketing project, I often feature photography as a primary storytelling tactic. Optimal content in a smartphone world requires visual media. It’s the old adage, “Show me, don’t tell me.”
Marketing copy bores people. Smart brands delight their customers with more than just a need/solution pitch so that customers notice them. Yet, the Internet is filled with boring text-based marketing drivel:
Social media streams fill up with links to boring brand-centric blogs
Websites offer laden lame product-centric white papers that no one really reads
Promotion and spam boxes annoy with super lame emails, short or long
Beyond boring, many brands simply litter their long text-heavy material onto screens across America. Sometimes, good quality information gets lost along the way.
I’ve read quite a few recent articles in the advertising and marketing trade press suggesting the halo surrounding the magical word “digital” is not only fading, but actually becoming a bit of an albatross.
According to this article in Marketing Week, more and more marketers are disbanding their separate digital departments and teams and folding them into the larger marcom group. Why? Because, just as was the case with social media, digital is no longer perceived as a standalone “thing.” It’s now seen as simply one more channel in the never-ending battle to engage with stakeholder audiences in a holistic way.
And, as the article points out, we all live in a digital world. So let’s move on and get back to calling ourselves marketers and not digital specialists or influencer specialists or CSR specialists, etc. We’re marketers, pure and simple.
This development comes as no surprise to
You can’t control the things that happen to you. A whole myriad of weird and wonderful stuff is occurring all of the time and you can easily get mixed up in it.
Shying away from feedback and creating a negative…
The post How to Embrace Feedback appeared first on Bryan Kramer.
YouTube is learning that, despite its efforts, evil is winning and destroying the video channel's reputation. Major advertisers have left because child pornographers have found a way to penetrate YouTube's algorithms. The company has reacted by "terminating more than 400 channels, deleting accounts, and disabling comments on tens of millions of videos." But, it is not enough. YouTube needs to do more, much more and it has to establish that it is a safe place to do business. The challenge is that those with bad intent will find other ways to get in, and YouTube will need to root them out as soon as they do. That is a huge challenge. Humans are ingenious in inventing new means to get around barriers, and they won't stop trying. YouTube's problem is the web's headache. It is a reminder that evil Continue reading "Evil Wins"
Google committed a technology faux pas by failing to tell customers that its Net Secure Smart Home hub has a microphone built in. People concerned about privacy were unhappy. How could the company forget to mention it in technical specifications? The company says it was a mistake and was never intended to be a secret. When it compiled specs, somehow the microphone was not included. Skeptics are not accepting that explanation. They are chalking it up to one more intrusion into consumers' lives. Congress is on the edge of stepping in with new regulations to protect privacy, and this error doesn't help. Google says the microphone is for home security when enabled, which it isn't. It could capture the sound of broken glass and movement through rooms. However, it could also record conversations and intimate details of people's lives. Google lost Continue reading "Sorry ‘Bout That"
You are not alone…
Somewhere along the way, we have become distracted. Maybe we don’t realize the extent to which our everyday rituals, favorite devices and apps, or where we focus our attention is affecting us.
It’s time to escape from the dark side of distractions to live a better life.
Introducing Lifescale, a new movement to discover what’s really important, break bad habits, establish rituals and learn routines that will help you achieve your goals.
Reading Lifescale is like holding up a mirror, and revealing a new you, as your obsessive relationship with distractions melts away. From simple first steps to reclaiming your attention, to becoming more satisfied, inspired, and creative, this book will lead you through your own journey of lifescaling: redefining success on your own terms.
Who’s in charge of your destiny?
Sometimes transparency is a curse. One is naked to the public and criticized constantly for everything. It would be better to make decisions behind closed doors and to reveal them later. Consider the Oscars and their ongoing mess. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been fiddling with the ceremony in a futile effort to keep it three hours in length since it is losing its TV audience. Every change it has made has provoked roars of outrage. Even naming an emcee has been a will-he-or-won't-he exercise. The Academy has damaged its reputation in the process and there is no guarantee the show will be shorter. It might have been better off if the ceremony and its categories were left alone. It has turned into a PR disaster. But, the show will go on and award recipients will talk Continue reading "Fiddling"
I know how the media feel about PR practitioners who flood them with irrelevant pitches and releases. Every day I get a dozen or so emails from PR newswire. I use none of them. There is one agency that importunes me to interview authors. I don't do book reviews or author sit-downs. Just once, recently, a blogger contacted me about something I had written and suggested a page that makes sense for my blog. It is here. Practitioners have been warned ad nauseum to tailor their approaches, to read what the target has written, to make sure the reporter, even if he or she doesn't do the story, still welcomes the information. They know better yet they still spam. I've concluded that it will never change. It is easier to send 500 emails through a distribution service than 10 requiring Continue reading "Know How They Feel"