A blog by Campbell Consulting Group, based in Bend, Oregon.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Engaging Our Summer Intern

This summer, we've decided once again to engage an intern to assist us with some of our many client projects. It's a win-win, with an extra brain and another energetic presence added to the Campbell mix, while we offer meaty projects for a college student to gain experience in his or her field.

This summer, it's her field, with Jessica joining us from Oregon State University where she has been studying communications and Spanish. Jessica is eager to learn the PR and social media ropes, so we've designed a calendar of projects that will expose her to all that we do. She'll post calendar announcements online for our neighborhood, tourism and brewery clients and develop tweets and Facebook posts to support their events. She'll brainstorm creative ways to engage the media in causes near and dear to our clients' (and our!) hearts. She'll draft press releases which we'll edit as part of her learning process. And she'll sit in as we media train clients we're preparing for on-camera interviews with TV media. A lot to tackle in one short summer, but Jessica is clearly up for the task!

And, with Jessica in the thick of her communications studies at OSU, we're sure to be learning from her as well. After all, it's her generation who uses social media most prolifically, and she's taking classes that teach the very latest nuts, bolts and nuances of this rapidly changing part of the communications field.

It's going to be a great summer. Welcome, Jessica!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Delivering Short, Powerful Answers

One of the best parts of our job at Campbell Consulting is when we get the news that a reporter wants to tell our client’s story. But sometimes, landing that feature spread is just half of the work: what clients say and how they say it can really make or break an interview. Here are a couple of tips we tell our clients to follow when talking to the press:

Tip #1: What You Say (HINT: Keep it Short and Sweet)
One of the biggest problems I encountered back in my reporting days was interviewees that knew too much about what they were talking about…and wanted to share it ALL with me! As a general rule of thumb, at least in broadcasting, most sound-bites will only run between 5 and 15 seconds long. Reading a newspaper, you’ll rarely see quotes longer than a couple of sentences.
If you don’t keep it short, you may get cut off, or worse, not get your entire message across.
Here’s a link to an article written by former journalist and now PR Pro Brad Phillips, with a very useful exercise to help deliver short, yet powerful answers to any media question:

Tip #2: How You Say It
When being interviewed, you want yourself and the services or products you’re selling to be relatable to the reporter’s audience. This can be achieved with colorizing your statements.  Use specific, colorful details and examples to bring your story alive and make it relevant to each particular audience.  Don’t be too general or sound too “official."  One trick I learned back in my TV days was to write the story like you’re telling it to your mother.

For example, I interviewed countless cops as a TV reporter, but most of my interviews sounded the same: “The suspect fled on foot but was apprehended at 0-900 hours.” This would make a much better sound bite: “The suspect ran away but our officers caught up and arrested him at 9am.”

If you come across as enthusiastic during your interview, you’ll grab people’s attention, and they’ll listen.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Campbell PR Is Looking For A Summer Intern!

Campbell Consulting Public Relations (http://www.campbellconsulting.com) located in beautiful Bend, Oregon is looking for a confident intern ready to tackle the PR world.

This is an exceptional opportunity suitable for rising stars. Forget making coffee runs! With Campbell PR, you’ll be gaining the real world PR experience necessary to landing a position post-graduation! Candidates with previous internships or volunteer positions related to PR/marketing are strongly preferred. 

This is an unpaid, part-time, three-month internship beginning in June and spanning through August 2012. Because we realize you also have to make a living, we are flexible in determining the hours and days you’ll work.  

Below are the responsibilities and qualifications we’re looking for.  If you think you’re up for the job please send a brief resume and cover letter in response to this post (please, no follow up calls). Also, because this is a creative industry, feel free to include any of your writing samples including past press releases or pitches you’ve put together. We love people who think outside the box!

Thanks for your interest, we'll be in touch!


Primary Intern Responsibilities May Include: 
o Building and managing media contact databases
o Conducting client and industry research 
o Tracking and reporting client media coverage 
o Drafting press materials
o Conducting industry and trend research
o Assisting with social media accounts
o Participating in creative brainstorms and strategy sessions

Qualified Candidates Should Have:
o Strong grasp of the PR industry and equally strong desire to continue on a PR career path
o Base level communications knowledge; candidates majoring in PR, Marketing, or Communications are strongly preferred 
o College experience; upper lever students or graduates preferred 
o Strong writing skills 
o Creative thinking skills 
o Willingness to ask questions and suggest alternatives when you have ideas to share 
o Desire to contribute to a team environment 
o Upbeat attitude 
o Ability to multi-task 
o Knack for paying attention to the little details, while not overlooking the big ones 
o Ability to think on your feet 
o Proficient in all Microsoft Office applications - Word, Outlook, Excel and Power Point 
o Laser-sharp research skills 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

TEDx Take-Aways

Two days into a busy post-TEDx Bend week, and I'm still feeling the positive effects of Bend's first TEDx event.

My key take-aways are:

1. It's never too late to realize a dream. The NAACP's first female chairwoman, Myrlie Evers Williams, gave a moving speech about breaking barriers and seizing opportunities. Certainly that qualifies as realizing her dreams. But then she was paid a surprise visit by Thomas Lauderdale of Pink Martini. He's helping her make a childhood dream of performing her music at Carnegie Hall come true. And man, can that guy rock a piano!

2. If you show up with passion, others will respond. Mosley Wotta did just that. He got a relaxed and settled weekend crowd of conference-goers to actually raise fists and sing. Loved that.

3. Little efforts make a big difference. Malerie Pratt, fresh out of high school, went to Zambia and instead of staying safe and cloistered behind security walls, stepped out and got involved with local orphans. Her courage alongside her belief that the problem was not too overwhelming to tackle, have contributed to her forming an orphanage and truly changing children's lives. 

And that was just a snippet from the first half of the program! 

What did you learn at TEDx?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

When you look at what’s made news in Central Oregon over the past decade, some rather bizarre headlines come to mind: a pregnant man, another guy who tied a lawn chair to balloons and flew from Bend to Idaho, and what about when doctors discovered a Redmond woman had been living with a 140 pound tumor, after she’d been told to “put down the fork”? Her story made it all the way to Oprah. The others made rounds on Jay Leno, ABC’s 20/20 and Good Morning America. But before the national media firestorm hit, our own Amy Sharman, PR Specialist on the Campbell team, brought those stories to Central Oregonians in her former life as a news reporter for KTVZ.

Amy says that selling the twisted tales didn’t make much effort; the scripts practically wrote themselves. Amy says, “These stories stood out because they didn’t need words to get their message across. It’s pretty hard to beat video of a man lifting off with nothing more than a lawn chair and giant balloons. As a reporter, I saw several examples of stories not given the air-time they deserved, or disregarded altogether because they didn’t have the visuals to match.”

Unfortunately most reporters, TV and print, are underpaid and overworked, often lacking sufficient time to let their ‘creative juices’ flow.  So when I came across the article, Reporters Want More Than Story Ideas, I knew I had to share it, because every single tip is so true, and should help reporters tell your story to more people!

In addition to the tips listed in the link above, here’s one more: depending on the story you’re pitching to TV, still pictures can be substituted for video. Using simple editing software, a reporter (or their editor) can create a slide show from photos you email them. However, if you go this route you’ll need to provide high resolution photos, and tons of them. A common rule is that unless history is unfolding in front of you, you generally don’t want to stay on any shot longer than 4 seconds. I’ll let you do the math on figuring out how many photos you’ll need for a 90 second piece. And make sure the photos are a variation of close-ups and wide shots.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

We love it when our clients call us because they've sold out of products. Nice problem to have, right? Especially in this economy! While we are probably best known as a firm for serving some of the bigger companies in Bend, we also take great pride in helping out the smaller businesses. Angelina Organic Skincare is a definite fav, and she just called to say they're working overtime to make batches of new products, thanks to standing room only traffic generate by the front page business section article we generated in the local paper last week. Way to kick off the holidays! If you care about your skin, check out Angelina's shop - in Bend or online. Bend woman’s business is skin care Angelina Swanson creates, sells products from location near downtown By Rachael Rees / The Bulletin Published: November 29. 2011 4:00AM PST What: Angelina Organic Skincare Products Where: 525 N.W. Hill Street, Bend Employees: Five Phone: 541-647-1655 Website: http://angelinaskincare.com/ For Angelina Swanson, beauty goes beyond the skin’s surface and permeates the body holistically. “Every woman is beautiful already,” Swanson said. “It’s just helping them bring that out in a healthy way.” Swanson, the founder of Angelina Organic Skincare Products, in Bend, said a product needs to not only aesthetically improve skin, but also nourish and nurture it. “The skin is your biggest organ, and it’s your strongest barrier,” she said. “You need to keep that intact and strong.” The company opened its doors in Bend on Northwest Hill Street four years ago. Five employees, including Swanson, work in the on-site store, the lab where the products are created, and the healing garden room, where massage and facial services are offered. The skin-care line, featuring more than 150 products, is sold through local and national spas, boutiques, rock-climbing gyms, natural food stores and other outlets. Products include body butters, masks, massage oils, sugar scrubs, face creams, the new Mojito Mint Pedicure line and the anti-aging line Youth in Bloom. A need for a remedy prompted Swanson’s creation of skin-care products. When working as a rafting guide in Arizona, Swanson said, she suffered from cracked heels. She tapped into her academic roots in botany and biology to make a treatment. “Desperation leads to innovation,” she said. “I couldn’t find a product that worked.” When Swanson, 37, moved to Bend 11 years ago, she worked as a massage therapist, using her own skin-care products when giving massages. As word spread about her products, she began getting requests from spas around town to make custom lotions and oils. Swanson sold her first tin of Skin Doctor, the treatment for cracked heels and hands, about 10 years ago, she said, and started selling online and wholesale in 2003. Over the past seven years, Swanson said, she has been working with Sage Spring Spa in Sunriver to develop various products. She makes all her products in her lab, consulting with cosmetic chemists and dermatologists. Using one of her slogans, Swanson said her products are truly “the alchemy of beauty:” an art and a science, which involves natural ingredients. “Trying to use all natural materials to create the same effect as synthetic materials is challenging,” she said. “You have to know your farmer. We work with farms all over Oregon and Washington.” Tumalo Lavender, off Connarn Road, supplies Swanson’s lavender and sage, while Dancing Bee Acres, in Irrigon, supplies her beeswax and honey. To be competitive in the international skin-care market, Swanson said, she makes it a priority to create products with organic, local and fair-trade ingredients, and to personalize the experience for her customers. One way she gives her customers a little something extra, she said, is by offering free facials on Fridays. Each woman can get one free 20-minute facial, she said. “It’s difficult for women to try a new product line. It can be expensive to switch over,” she said. “(The facials are) kind of a fun way to introduce women in town to our product line ... The customer can make sure they are getting the right skin care for their skin type.” With customers constantly demanding new products, Swanson said, she is always researching and formulating new treatments. “Our customers are very discerning. They’re label readers and are conscious about what they’re putting on their skin,” Swanson said. She said coming up with the perfect formula is no easy task. It can take years, but she said she enjoys the process of making something that not only smells good, but also is effective. “Our local customers are really our biggest testing ground,” she said. “We have pretty harsh weather here, so if our products are nourishing and effective in Central Oregon, then they’re good to go on the market.” Q: Why do you feel using local ingredients is important? A: A huge part of our business is connecting our customers with the source of their skin care. Making the connection with farmers brings more soul into the product we are selling. Our community has been struggling. It’s really important for all of us at the lab to do as much of our business as we can locally because we’ve watched a lot of our friends lose their jobs. Q: Where do you see your business going in five years? A: Our sales have doubled in the past year in the local and wholesale market. We just built a new online store, which we launched Friday, so we can focus on online national sales. Q: How do you decide what new products you are going to make? A: Our customers beg us and then we spend years trying to develop something that works for them. Q: What is the specific target of your skin products? A: Our niche is working with people who have sensitivities, damaged skin or skin that is out of balance. Q: What is your favorite product that you sell? A: The Youth in Bloom firming night cream, because I’m not getting any younger. — Reporter: 541-617-7818 rrees@bendbulletin.com

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Social Media Megaphone

If you’re a woman walking around the streets of 2011, you’ve probably got an opinion about beauty and the media—you might love the catwalk and don’t care about the measurements of the models. Or the sight of one more scantily clad woman bouncing across an ad might make your lip curl.

Either way, you can shout your opinions directly into the ear of the Mad Men through social media. And I just love that. I still get a kick out of it.

Of course, like everyone else on the blogosphere, I’m getting around to the notorious Chapstick ad. I don’t know the ratio of dude vs. chick consumers of Chapstick, but I’d wager their target audience is women. And yet, one of those Ad Men (or Women) decide to stick a girl’s rear end center stage on in an ad, à la American Apparel. It’s a tired old trick.

And yet for some reason, this ad hit a nerve, and the firestorm hit Facebook.

I cruised past the Chapstick Facebook page (for all the bad publicity of both the ad itself and criticism about their lukewarm apology, I’m sure their Facebook hits have been going through the roof) and found their new ad.

Lol, when was the last time you saw an ad that featured a man showing more skin than the lady? The comments on this post focused on the question posed (sand or snow) and few commented on their dress. However, one is worth noting: “I was feeling disgruntled the other day at the comment deletions and what I felt was an inadequate response to the concerns of so many consumers. But I feel that you have redeemed yourself now and will resume buying your product. This ad is great... it is directly relevant to the product and uses an image of a woman that is empowering. I'd be psyched for my daughters to see it. Tx!”

Psyched for my daughter to see it? Yes, we’re entering an age where sexist advertising might become retro. A thing of the past. I’m not talking about the narrow definitions of modern day beauty—beauty’s appeal has always been its fleetingness, the rarity of perfection—I don’t see that changing. But consumers have become too savvy for blatant sexist advertising to work anymore. And parents, those people who purchase products for their tweens and teens—the super-consumers of society—have become aware of the harmfulness of sexist advertising.

Does the vocal few truly represent the majority? Probably not. Do advertisers and marketers need to take this as a warning as they think to themselves, better Chapstick than me? Definitely.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Unplug, Turn Off and Tune Out

It’s satisfying when you get an instantaneous response from a work email via BlackBerry or iPhone, but if it’s 10 at night, you might ask yourself, does your colleague ever sleep? Or read a book/sit in the park/do nothing? Then again, why are you sending a work email at 10 at night?

Business tasks have an insidious way of creeping into every waking moment. Beep-boop: there’s something you need to check: email, twitter, Facebook. This seems particularly true in the world of PR. You might be afraid you’re not doing your job well if you’re not plugged in, ready to respond to your clients 24-7. This is especially true if you work remotely.

Fast Company published a blog post that’s worth re-visiting: What Happened To Downtime? The Extinction Of Deep Thinking And Sacred Space. It explores something artists and creative writers have known for years: some of the best ideas come when the brain isn’t actively thinking. When it’s still, quiet, meandering slowly. Suddenly an answer to a problem, a plot twist or an image worth capturing in acrylic springs to mind inexplicably.

PR involves creative thinking (or it should) and PR professionals need to value, guard and insist on their own downtime, a break from emails and tweets.

Thankfully, I’m old enough to remember the world before the Internet spread its (awesome, revolutionary, annoying) web. I won’t grow nostalgic over typewrites and phones that actually went ring ring, but I will say this: that divide between work and home was invaluable. Your front door separated you and your family from the world—to gab, bicker, read, or of course, watch TV. Try it for one evening: turn off the computer, turn off the phone, maybe even turn off the TV.

You don’t have to trek into the woods to be disconnected.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

PR Professionals Should Think Like Immigrants, Too

When I was a kid, I was taught that people must work to earn their living—doesn’t matter if the job feels “beneath you” or involves manual labor. Working rather than hanging out in your backyard waiting for opportunity to find you, was honorable. It’s a philosophy I’ve seen reflected in immigrant families and first generation Americans. So Glenn Llopis’ blog post in Forbes last week, “How to Survive in 2011: Think Like an Immigrant” immediately caught my attention.

Though his writing can sometimes feel overwrought with excitement, Llopis makes some great points about the kind of attitude that can bring you what he calls “earned serendipity.” The idea is, instead of taking the usual plodding path ahead in life, you seek out new opportunities, seize your chance and leap forward. Yes, it does sound a bit like a Dickensonian plot twist, but in today’s constant twitter feed of gloomy economic snapshots, it’s an encouraging perspective.

Here’s what Llopis says about the immigrant’s mindset, which leads to that earned serendipity, “The immigrant trusts that great opportunities are all around him, in both obvious and not-so-obvious places.” And he lists these ways they find these opportunities:
  • Common, menial tasks
  • Requests for help
  • Small acts of kindness or sacrifice
  • New relationships
  • Everyday conversations
  • Simple transactions
In my opinion, it’s also a philosophy that can inspire PR professionals. In any job, it’s easy to follow a formulaic pattern and justify this inertial by saying it’s “traditional.” As in, “I just focus on traditional media.” In other words, you just send press releases to newspapers and magazines, leave a voice message and then wonder why your client received limited coverage.

A better way to approach public relations is to think of new ways to build relationships. Common, menial tasks? Assist in your community’s local park clean up—you might be surprised who you meet. Requests for help? Actively pursue learning opportunities in areas you know you can improve. Everyday conversations? When you’re open to casually talking to new, different people (and I don’t mean just at a networking event) you’ll be surprised what interesting projects, businesses and opportunities you’ll learn about. Injecting your work philosophy with a bit of the elbow grease that makes immigrants succeed in America could lead to some amazing results, at work and in life.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Oyster Races Gain TV Exposure with Zany Stunts!

One of Campbell Consulting’s newest clients, Merrell Oyster Adventures Races, has given us a fun, rollercoaster of events this summer!

On June 25, The Merrell Oyster Racing Series introduced the Oyster Off Road Adventure Race to Bend. This one-of-a-kind, mountain town race combined pure athleticism with thought-provoking strategy, requiring each team of 2-4 to run, bike, paddle, climb and perform other crazy athletic stunts while answering clues and completing tasks.

If that sounds like fun to you, register for the Portland Oyster Urban Adventure Race, the last of the three Northwest races, to be held in Portland, Oregon August 20.

To help promote all three Northwest races, I wrote an article for Race Center Northwest that’s been circulated on their homepage since May. Oregon Lakes and Rivers also featured the event, along with dozens of other online calendars. The event also made The Source Weekly’s top picks list. The Source also ran a Facebook contest promoting the Bend Oyster.

In the world of radio, 92.9 became the official media sponsor of the Bend Oyster and ran a Find the Oyster contest, in which a giant oyster was hidden in two local restaurants. The person who found the oyster won $100 in Merrell gift certificates. Other fun schwag was given out to radio listeners to create excitement about the event.

Julia Gray of KBND 1110 a.m. also interviewed Jason Ornstein, executive director of adventure for the Merrell Oyster Racing Series, on the radio.

During the Bend Oyster, KTVZ 21 covered the event and interviewed Emily Salberg, race organizer. The local newspaper, the Bend Bulletin published an article about the event and the race results.

Christie Johnson prepares guacamole challenge
I wasn’t able to be at the Bend Oyster, but I did get to travel up to Seattle to help coordinate media at the Seattle Oyster Urban Adventure Race. Jason, Emily and I set up challenges for King 5 reporter Christie Johnson to complete during half a dozen live TV spots, including making guacamole with her arms tied to two participants and eating a cupcake with a clue hidden in the middle without using her hands. I also chatted with the Seattle Times media team, who participated in the race and shared information about it on Facebook.

One interesting aspect of the race I noticed was that participants could take it as seriously – or as casually – as they wanted. Some teams were obviously there to win, but others were more interested in just having a fun time than pushing themselves to their physical limits.

Teams also designed matching t-shirts that usually reflected some aspect of the race or a Seattle theme (think rain). Each participant gets a cowbell on a lanyard when they complete the race, and one team called themselves “More Cowbell.”

I think everyone who finished the race would agree with Christopher Walken when he said, “I got to have more cowbell!”

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

“Brand Journalism” – A Misleading Name for a Great Trend

“Brand journalism.” Doesn’t this term sound like doublespeak? And worse still, combining these terms dilutes the concept of “journalism.” We all know journalism is the profession of writing for news sources, but good journalism strives to not only report the facts correctly, but also to investigate, give context and strive for an unbiased view of both sides of an issue.

Call me old fashioned, but in spite of Fox News, I still believe in the importance of the free press. Just take a look at the journalists under attack every year in other countries to remember why journalism is an important aspect of a democratic society and needs to hold itself to the highest standards.

In spite of all that—I love everything behind the concept of “brand journalism”—it just needs to be called something else. How about this? Simply “good PR.”

A recent article on Ragan.com did an excellent job exploring this trend—basically, the trend of hiring writers with a journalism background (compared to writers with only a marketing background) to write well-written copy, press releases, Web content, blogs, how-to articles, etc.

And this is really nothing new—for years journalists have known that the real money is in public relations; former journalists have been hired by companies for their writing skills; and freelance writers, such as myself, have pieced together a living through public relations gigs and writing journalism articles.

So why all the chatter now about “brand journalism?” I think it’s because, with SEO an important aspect of Web marketing, and consumers looking to the Web to instantly find information about topics or answer questions, quality writing has become paramount.

Is this writing actually journalism? The writers may be using the skills they use working on an exposé for a newspaper or magazine, but writing for a company—even an “article” that will run in a newspaper or magazine—is not journalism. It’s just writing.

And that really does make all the difference.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Merrell Oyster Adventure Races Teams with Campbell Consulting

From the Beard and Moustache National Championship to Bend WinterFest, if there’s a fun, zany event being held in Bend, Campbell Consulting Group wants to be ahead of the race—that’s why Campbell is pleased to announce it will be the public relations agency for the Merrell Oyster Adventures Races, to be held in Bend, Portland and Seattle this summer.

The Merrell Oyster Racing Series is introducing the Oyster Off Road Adventure Race to Bend on June 25. This one-of-a-kind, mountain town race has the uncanny ability to combine pure athleticism with thought-provoking strategy, requiring each team of 2-4 to run, bike, paddle, climb and perform other crazy athletic stunts while answering clues and completing tasks.

The Off Road is similar to its sister race, the Oyster Urban Adventure, an exceptional, high-caliber urban adventure race produced by Team Player Productions, currently held in ten markets across the country and on its fourth successful year in Portland and its fifth year in Seattle. Year after year, the race has remained unparalleled in its athleticism as well as its innovative courses that continue to challenge its growing following of racers.

Campbell will be promoting all three of these adventure races. Already, we've posted information to calendars and sent out press releases. But with races as unusual as these, there are all sorts of opportunities for fun PR campaigns to get the word out about Oyster. Stay tuned to the Campbell blog and Facebook Page for updates!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cycle Pub to Self-Serve Taps: Walking the Line Between Awesome and Gimmicky

More than any other alcoholic beverage – perhaps more than any beverage, in general – beer seems to inspire people to have fun. Not just the kind of fun where you fall off the back of your pick up truck laughing before the game. I’m talking about quirky, inspired ideas from the people who make the beer. For instance, take a recent stroke of Easter inspiration at the 21st Amendment Brewery Pub: they hid cans of beer around the bar and patrons got to have their own adult Easter egg-style hunt. Or a limited edition winter brew created by Deschutes Brewery—they named it Giraffe on Ice Skates.

One contraption that gained some press when it was first introduced in Bend was the Cycle Pub, sponsored by the Old Mill District. The cycle pub seats 16 people at a “bar” and they pedal around Bend while drinking beer.

Perhaps beer inspires fun ideas because of the kind of people drawn to creating craft beer in the first place. Plus, the people who write and blog about beer love their job – they’re quick to report on any new innovation or development. From a PR point of view, that means quirky ideas are sure to bring in some good press.

But when does an idea cross the line into the realm of a gimmick? Pretty simple: when customers find it annoying rather than amusing. Recently I was chatting with Chris Shott, writer at the Washington City Paper in D.C. and he brought up self-serve taps. Three bars around D.C. installed taps at each booth so customers could pour their own beer. My initial thought was, “that sounds like fun.”

But Shott had a much different experience. He wrote, “In the end, despite all this fuzzy math, Redline still charged me the original 55-cent rate. Crunching the numbers, it now appears that sitting on my ass and pouring my own suds cost me about $6.60 per glass. That’s 60 cents extra! One whole ounce of suds and change.”

Perhaps since the time Shott wrote about self-serve taps in December, the D.C. pubs have worked out the kinks and pricing so patrons can enjoy their self-serve beer. Whatever innovative idea a pub – or any business – embraces to encourage patrons to have fun with their product, it has to be user-friendly; and it should fit into the company’s overall vision and brand.

So what about those other beer ideas—21st Amendment’s Easter Beer Hunt, or the Cycle Pub? Well, I doubt we’ll see many Cycle Pubs crawling slowly through Portland any time soon, but what I love about this bar-cum-bike is it’s so purely “Oregon.” What could be more Oregon than drinking and cycling at the same time?

Just make sure I’m not the one steering the dang thing.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What PR can learn from the most influential tweeters

When you’re tweeting for a client, sometimes the way you tweet is just as important as what you’re tweeting. Recently I was asked to craft a set of tweets for one of our clients – a colleague was running into a mental wall: the tweets needed to be fun and hip, a little irreverent but also savvy. But the subject matter was technical in nature—nothing that screamed “we’re having a ball over here!” As I read up on the subject, I could tell why my colleague was struggling: how to make something that is complex, functional—and let’s admit it, dry—sound exciting? In only 140 characters?

I worked on the tweets when I’d usually be working on creative writing projects—a Saturday afternoon after consuming several cups of coffee and reading a few chapters of a novel about poets wandering around Mexico. It put me in the right mood.

But today I stumbled upon a great resource for inspiration for those creative tweets, maybe even better than the rambling prose of Roberto Bolano. TIME’s 140 Best Twitter Feeds. Maybe this is a no-brainer I should have thought of long ago—but PR professionals can learn how to tap into new twitter “voices” by reading tweets by the best, funniest and smartest people around. After poking around TIME’s list, I signed up for some of my favorites. Here’s a short selection of the crème de la crème:

Margaret Atwood
But tho' will not sing Oklahoma song at USAO, will show hardly-ever-seen slide of self & Queen, in which we look eerily alike...

It’s just fun to be connected to Margaret Atwood in some little way without, you know, actually stalking her.

Kanye West
I just zoned on how ill it is to really fall in love... Pimpin' is whatev ... Love is that sh*t!

Can’t wait for that future client whose brand voice includes keywords like pimpin’ and bling.

Conan O’Brien
Thanks @charliesheen for the compliment. To clarify, I'm 7'1", a super genius, and those aren't freckles -- it's male menopausal acne.

By far, best twitter feed I’ve ever read.

Charlie Sheen (Conan’s not the only fan of ‘the Warlock’)
hyaena gallery tonight. Olive Ave. Burbank. epic & most insane tribute to the Warlock. Video commentary by me in bigness form. C

Okay, Charlie’s not on the TIME’s list (they know when to back away slowly) but I think every PR person should be following Chuck—it’s such an amazing train wreck, how could you miss it? Number one lesson: Unless you’re harvesting peyote in South Texas, you don’t get to refer to yourself as “the warlock.”

So don’t take your cues from Charlie Sheen, but do start following people who inspire you in your everyday life—chances are, if they wow you on the page/in a rap song/on TV, they’re going to be writing the tweets worth reading.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy Girls Race is Getting Some Big Attention

So far, the Happy Girls Half Marathon and 5K Run is getting some great press and there's a real buzz around Bend about this upcoming event - already, almost 550 people have registered! It's also been covered on OregonLive and in the Bend Bulletin. So now, Campbell Consulting is helping Lay It Out Events get the word out regionally that Happy Girls is the perfect (and healthy) excuse to come visit Bend with your girlfriends, your kids or you whole family.

If you aren't registered for Happy Girls yet, here are some details:

EVENT: Happy Girls Half Marathon and 5K Run

The scenic route starts along the Deschutes River and is perfect for beginners and seasoned runners. Terrain includes a mix of gentle trails, groomed paths and paved surfaces, the best of all worlds. Run distances include a half marathon, 5K run, a half-marathon relay as well as a Happy Little Girls Run for the under 10 crowd. Walkers are welcome, as well! Register at: www.happygirlsrun.com.

DATE/TIME: The Happy Girls Expo, race packet pick-up and Happy Little Girls run take place Saturday, May 28. The Happy Girls adult races take place on Sunday, May 29, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

LOCATION: Riverbend Park, Bend

PRICE: $20 - $90

CONTACT: Gina Miller, Phone, (541) 323-0964