Archive for September, 2012

  • Friday, September 28th, 2012

  • Changing with the times

    As I’ve mentioned – I like to work out…a lot. The warmer Midwest months are race season for me – and that means there are 5Ks, triathlons and endurance races in abundance on my calendar.  It’s often overwhelming to know what to register for as on any given weekend, there could be five races to choose from just in the Milwaukee area alone.

    So how did I narrow it down? This year, I picked races that differentiated themselves. I decided on the ones that marketed themselves a bit out of the norm and went that extra mile to make your experience just a little bit more fun. And heck, I’m a marketer, so I was sucked in by the abundance of social media that urged me to sign up for them. So, I did all the “trendy” runs of 2012 – the Warrior Dash, two Color Runs and the Glo Run.

    Marketing Principle 101? When you’re in a crowded market – make sure you create a distinctive niche in the field and make sure your brand is known through a variety of channels. It worked on me – and I guarantee it will work for others.

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    It’s a new school year, and I’m back teaching an entry level public relations course, PR Tactics I, for University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. I first taught this course in 1997 when it was called Writing Applications in PR. At the time, students turned in hard-copies of press releases, biographies, pitch letters and fact sheets. They groaned as they took AP Style quizzes on paper, and I corrected them with a green ink pen. Cell phones were not a distraction in class, and the Internet had yet to really penetrate our daily lives. At the end of the semester, students put together an attractive portfolio of their work, complete with resume, in a three-ring binder.

    Boy, times have changed! (more…)

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  • Monday, September 17th, 2012

  • Fun can also be profitable

    One of M&M’s core brand benefits is “Irresistible Fun”. To keep consistent with their image, Mars Canada, maker of M&M’s, wanted to drive awareness of M&M’s online…and figured out a very clever way to execute that mission.

    Mars found out the Google Street View car was coming to Toronto. So they created a digital treasure hunt where M&M’s were hid throughout Toronto inside Google Street View and challenged Canadians to find them. For four weeks, players got clues on the website, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. In the real world, there were QR code wild postings and package UPC codes (through StickyBits) that unlocked special clues.

    In just 30 days, this Canadian promotion got: 8.4 million PR impressions, more than 7 million QR Code poster views and more than 225,000 Twitter impressions. And the average time spent on the site? Over 19 minutes – four times the industry average. To learn more, watch this quick video:

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  • Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

  • Media relations pays dividends at IMTS

    One tried and proven way to maximize your company’s trade show experience is to engage the media.

    One of our clients this week is exhibiting at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, and as part of their PR strategy that we recommended to them was to set up booth visits with the attending media. Although the company has been around for 50 years, it’s now under new ownership (coincidentally celebrating its one-year anniversary today), and we believe this show serves as the perfect opportunity for leadership to meet key members of the trade press. (more…)

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  • Friday, September 7th, 2012

  • Four is confusing

    In creating any B2B communications we all know that it’s important to focus on one singular message. The same is true for the call to action. If you leave your target audience with too many options you may be causing yourself more damage than good. At first blush, options seem good, right? Not so much. It actually can result in your audience taking no action.

    The other day driving into work, I saw a material handling van with decals promoting Yale forklifts. Got it. But what I didn’t get were the four web site addresses listed on the back of the truck. Frankly, I couldn’t remember any of them (without this photo) because it was too much information to recall for a quick, moving billboard. My suggestion, go back to the basics and focus on a singular, strong call to action or way to respond…like listing just one web address.