Guest post by Rodney Laws
Businesses come into existence through a complex combination of factors. Sometimes it’s a matter of the right skillset proving value at the right time, and an opportunity coming up to turn its use into a full-time operation. But no matter its origin story, every business needs a defined purpose — a core goal that, while contrived, communicates its style and intent.
Identifying such a purpose though is just the beginning. After that, you face the challenge of disseminating it to the people you need to impress: your existing or prospective customers, and even your potential investors. Your copy will need to be razor-sharp, with polished phrasing and potent messaging, but you’ll also need to make your visual branding a priority.
A picture paints a thousand words, it’s said, and it’s certainly been found that imagery has a far more immediate impact than even the boldest
Show notes by Sam Knowles.
In England’s distant past, long before the spread of wealth and the explosive growth of the middle classes, holidays were a rarity. Overseas holidays were unheard of, except for those gilded few who’d grown fat on the Empire and took a ‘grand tour’ of Europe for months at a time, or else went off to add new lands to said Empire.
The closest most workers got to any kind of holiday was being taken in a charabanc to the nearest seaside resort, where enforced fun would be had on piers stretching out into coastal waters. One of the highlights of such a visit would be an end-of-the-pier show, where metropolitan idols would perform song-and-dance, music hall routines for the masses. The shows were often billed as Summertime Specials.
In the world of the Small Data Forum podcast, this latest episode – 28 already –
Guest Post by Dan Farkas
Social video has moved from nice to necessary. Anyone reading this blog or spending any time with Shonali knows this – or will know it soon enough.
It’s easy to talk about creating more content. How can we do this quickly? There are plenty of apps that promise Spielberg and deliver something more Mac and Me than ET.
So when I had a chance to review the MoShow app, I was hopeful to find something that fits into a larger social video strategy. Here are my unedited thoughts:
The Good: MoShow Is Fast. Actually, MoShow is Super Fast
Before I even opened the app, I decided to time how long it would take to create my first video. Here’s what I put together.
The time: less than four minutes.
Is it perfect? No. Are my kids adorable? 100%
Social video will never replace $200 an
I have the distinct pleasure of being chairman of the Institute for Public Relations and a member of the Arthur W. Page Society.
This past week each organization convened in Manhattan for the IPR board meeting and Page Spring Conference, respectively.
The issue of the day (or week) was the purpose of purpose. Organizational purpose, that is.
I participated in three different purpose brainstorming sessions that included the best and brightest from the worlds of corporate America, academia and the agency world.
The bottom line is that purpose is still very much a work in progress.
For example, it is still seen by some Wall Street-focused CEO’s as non mission-critical (one participant referred to that baffling phenomenon as “the CEO blind spot”).
Others noted that purpose is still being confused by some CCO’s, CMO’s and CHRO’s with the corporate mission.
Most of the IPR/Page members “get” purpose. It’s intended to
With this episode of The Hobson and Holtz Report, FIR 181, Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz embark on a renewed journey every month with conversation at the intersection of business, communication and technology, just as when they first started out in January 2005.
In this episode for March 2019, H&H discuss these stories:
Print is still a viable communication tool; Raspberry Pi is distributing multiple print magazines
Pandora is the first streaming service to introduce a sonic logo
In the aftermath of the terrorist attack in New Zealand, we find ourselves at a fork in the social media road
The nature of a news story determines the trajectory of its lifespan
Gartner expects AI to assume 80% of all project management tasks by 2030
Companies are now mining your voice to learn more about you for purposes both noble and nefarious
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
The February 2019 edition of the Hobson and Holtz Report podcast, aka FIR episode 176, is a show that marks a big milestone for Shel and I.
It’s the 1,000th episode* of a podcast that we began in January 2005.
In addition to recollections of times past and comments from listeners from throughout FIR’s 14-plus-year history, plus special news from Shel about continuity plans, we report on these stories in this episode:
It seems that every new day brings with it another egregious self-inflicted crisis caused by racially and gender-insensitive marketers.
The most recent examples are the truly horrific gaffes committed by Adidas and Gucci, respectively;
How could anyone think this was okay?
“There are somethings that just don’t make sense in life; Adidas celebrating black history month with this shoe is one example”
While the in-house marketing team and agency partners are unquestionably at fault for their lack of social awareness, I think the real genesis of these blunders lies with the designers and engineers.
These are the uber cool and uber insulated types who are constantly trying to come up with the hippest, sleekest and most cutting-edge sneakers, sweaters and widgets.
Having worked with designers and engineers alike, I know they live within their own ivory towers. They obsess over trends, technology and ease-of-use, but are oblivious to the
Achieving five stars on Glassdoor for an organization is the equivalent of a restaurant receiving 3 stars from Michelin Guide.
But based on an explosive Wall Street Journal expose, all that glitters at Glassdoor is most certainly NOT gold.
Here’s Peppercomm Partner Deb Brown’s POV. Personally, I’d give it 4.5 stars:
What happens when your entire business model is questioned? That’s what happened to Glassdoor recently when the Wall Street Journal published an investigative report titled, “How Companies Secretly Boost Their Glassdoor Ratings.” That title has to hurt, especially when on its website, Glassdoor states, “Built on the foundation of increasing workplace transparency…”
Employers flood the ranking site with 5-star postings requested from enthusiastic staffers, leading to unusual spikes, a WSJ investigation found.
To be fair to Glassdoor, employees who are upset at their former or current employer are probably more likely to post negative reviews than content employees
Suspicion about the consequences and outcomes of the #10YearChallenge meme on Facebook kicked off discussion in the January episode of “The Hobson & Holtz Report”, aka FIR podcast episode 172.
Is it just a harmless meme? Or is it a surveillance nightmare? Shel and Neville weight in.
Here’s the line-up of all the topics that caught our attention and prompted lively conversation in this episode:
Lost trust in Facebook led to wariness about a user-generated meme.
Adobe is bringing part of “Minority Report” to life.
The Internet of Things was everywhere at CES.
A picture of an egg is the most viewed Instagram post ever. What does that bode for influencer marketing?
Picture what Google will look like if the EU implements Article 11 of the Copyright Directive.
Brands are weighing in on the U.S. government shutdown.
Dan York reports on the web’s growing complexity, Jeff Jarvis’s Facebook screed,
Guest Post by Heather Caouette
Most companies have gone through them – periods without clear cut news. A product release has been delayed, new customers have paused in the sales pipeline and there are no plans to open a new location anytime soon.
How do you stay relevant and in front of your target audiences when traditional reasons for communicating have temporarily evaporated?
There are several ways to keep your name out there in a manner which continues to build brand equity:
1. Develop a Content Calendar
This is recommended regardless of how much your news is humming. Content calendars help you schedule a steady cadence of materials and avoid the inevitable peaks and valleys. A plan enables you to more effectively leverage evergreen content and make use of it across multiple media venues. This is especially important as companies add additional social channels or other communications outlets. Creating a
No matter how one analyzes Gillette’s controversial new campaign “Is this the best a man can get?” it’s fraught with uncertainties. And it most certainly has further divided an already divided country.
It wasn’t very long ago when staying quiet and avoiding controversy were the tried-and-true PR rules for businesses. But the consumer-company relationship is quickly evolving, along with people’s expectations of companies.
A recent study by Clutch shows that 71% of people expect companies to take a stance on social movements.
Because this expectation is so new, many businesses struggle with what to say and when, always being aware of the risks involved.
Best case scenario? They speak out and their stance resonates with the majority of their consumers, resulting in higher revenue, an elevated brand, and greater awareness for the issue.
Worst case scenario? They speak out and their stance alienates consumers to the point of revenue loss and tarnishes their brand.
Staying silent isn’t safe either. Silence might keep the company out of controversary, but if it’s regarding an issue relevant to the company’s brand, it could hurt the
While it’s a day late and a dollar short, I’m pleased to share this infographic with you.
Created in partnership with BrandFoundations, our longtime strategic marketing partner, the list below analyzed the best and worst managed societal crises of the past year
Note: We define a societal crisis as anything ranging from a mass school shooting and the Southern border chaos to trade wars and environmental rollouts. We’ve also included #MeToo crises and self-inflicted wounds. Traditional crises such as product recalls, financial malfeasance and price fixing were not included in the analysis.
As you will see from the infographic, we chose to grade the organizations based on three criteria:
– Speed: How quickly did the organization take a stand on a societal crisis that either aligned with, or was the polar opposite of, their values?
– Strength: Was the stand taken by the organization unequivocal, or could it be interpreted
Neville Hobson joins Shel Holtz for the December installment of “The Hobson & Holtz Report.” The stories Neville and Shel covered include…
The passing of PR fixture Jack O’Dwyer
Marketers are turning their attention to messaging apps
Not everyone is free to leave Facebook, even if they want to
The death of keywords (or is it?) as audiences become key to targeting in search
Rising Instagram stars post fake sponsored posts to get brands’ attention
What we learned about GDPR in 2018
Research reveals how journalists can rebuild trust in media; could it work in business?
Dan York reports on the Quora data breach, rural connectivity, free (for now) LinkedIn Learning courses, more on Facebook’s woes, Slack banning users with links to Iran, and a new podcast all-in-one mixing desk.
Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.
Links from this month’s episode: