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

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Personal Branding

Here's a site to know about: Mashable, The Social Media Guide. April 30, 2009 Mashable posting by Dan Schwabel: 5 Ways to Take Control of Your Personal Brand Today. Read, and get tweeting! It's five simple ways to ensure your image, your way. For all of us "younger peoples," a big Personal Branding suggestion would be deleting college photos on FB (at least removing the photo tags, yes all 812 of them), or creating friend categories with limitations. This is not lying, it's being smart. Plus, you're becoming more professional than you were in college, so it's re-evaluating yourself in a way! The job market today is just like the housing market, A Buyers Market. Why would an employer not take a minute to Google your name, college, home town (information on resume) and start learning about you via social media sites? It is as easy as it sounds. For those of us with jobs, let's keep 'em! Start by reading about Personal Branding in the link above, and then start using that lil' head of yours! Question: How many times have you read or herd about an employer reading employees social media sites to see their tweet, during work hours, of how bored they are? Anwser: Too many. Here's an example from the HUB, posted on April 16, 2009. Not OK. Let's start using these great digital marketing tools with better intentions. Get professional and network, sell, learn, discover and promote with taste!
-Jacq (@jacqsmith)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Citizen journalism: Fox News's uReport

Blogs have given rise to a new class of citizen journalists, and Rupert Murdoch hopes to ride the wave. Last week, Fox launched uReport, which allows MySpace users to upload and tag photos and videos for possible use on the news network. The major news networks were already getting a lot of help from citizen journalists. Often, anchors will ask multi-media armed viewers to email tips, photos or video from the scene. Although Fox's uReport has fewer capabilities than CNN's iReport, this represents a meaningful push to take advantage of the journalist in all of us. It also shows a trend toward grassroots journalism, where viewers tell news professionals what's news, instead of the other way around. So what does that mean for us public relations professionals? It means it's more important than ever to get your customers passionate about your brand. Hook up with 100,000 fans through MySpace, mobilize them to uReport news about your product, and suddenly you're on Fox News. Power to the people.
-Adrianne (@msfener)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pizza Hut, possibly taking a lesson from Domino's, to hire Twintern

So this tickled me a bit. After the devastating YouTube video that will possibly forever link Domino's with food desecration, we get this announcement from Pizza Hut, which appears to be trying to shape up its social media presence in a hurry. Ta-da! The Pizza Hut Twintern will begin June 1 and “bring an outside perspective” to promotions, tweet about pop-culture news of interest to Pizza Hut consumers, and monitor Twitter for negative communications. Pizza Hut insists its program was developed before the Domino's fiasco.

The Twintern role was initially pitched by the Zeno Group, Pizza Hut's PR agency of record. The Twintern position will also be used to create an authentic voice that college students can identify with, and to provide an outsider's perspective of how the company works.

“Right now, there may be emerging media, [college students are using], we're not aware of,” said a Pizza Hut PR manager. “That's why we want someone from that age group to fill that role and keep an eye on what's coming up as well as what's popular right now.”

Hopefully the new Twintern will bring some pizazz to the company's boring Twitter feed, http://twitter.com/pizzahut.

-Adrianne (@msfener)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Google Trends

Google Labs is a great tool - and Google Trends is even better! I was doing a website audit for a potential client and found Google Trends to be a very useful tool for such a project. I dove a little deeper and started to do some of my own research, just to get some insight into the numbers of social media. You can do the same with your company and its competitors; just use a comma to separate the keywords. The above image demonstrates the trends and correlations between MySpace, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
-Jacq (@jacqsmith)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Disgusting Domino's People: When social media crisis strikes

There are many constructive reasons to get involved in social media -- connect with customers, do market research, and reach out to the younger generation of consumers. But there are companies who still say, "Social media won't work for us -- why should we pay any attention to it?" Here's why. Last week, two Domino's employees video-taped themselves doing unspeakable things to ingredients before putting them in a customer's pizza -- and put it on YouTube. "In about five minutes these will be sent out and somebody will be eating these -- yes, eating these," one employee says in the video. "And little do they know that the cheese was in his nose and that there was some lethal gas that ended up on their salami. Now that's how we roll at Domino's." As one spokesperson for Domino's said, "Any idiot with a webcam and an internet connection can attempt to undo all that's right about the brand." Dominos has 125,000 employees in 60 countries and a loyal following, but two immature employees and one three-minute video did arguably irreversible damage to the brand. It was only one video, but how long do you think the association between Domino's and idiot employees doing nasty things to food can last? We're betting the stigma will be around for a long time. So the lesson is this -- you may not think social media is the most productive venue for your company's brand, but it can't be ignored. Domino's only got around to creating a Twitter account the day after this crisis broke -- and the company's public statements about it made it obvious that it had never occurred to them to do so before. If Domino's had a handle on what was going on in the social media world, they would have been monitoring YouTube for Domino's-related videos and been able to get the video removed and the employees fired before it spread virally. Catherine Taylor chastises Domino's for dropping the ball in this MediaPost article.
-Adrianne (@msfener)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Design and Content

One of my favourite blogs I've found to date is ISO50 Blog. Today I was reading through previous ISO50 postings for some daily inspiration, and came across one that caught my eye. The video was originally posted on TED.com, and is about designers and their current/potential contribution to newspapers. The posting is entitled, "Can Design Save the Newspaper?" If you are looking for a bit of hope, artistic inspiration, or just some good words from a great designer - click on the link above. Words I took from Jacek Utko include the following, "I took an architecture rule of function and form and translated it to the newspaper of content and design," and "Improving the product completely, not just the design." The video runs 6:05 and is worth the time to watch. Enjoy.
-Jacq (@jacqsmith)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Unleashing your business communications

I took my newest dog, Watson, off the leash today. Yep, that's right. I threw caution to the wind and let him frolic freely in Bend, Oregon's public land for the first time since bringing him into foster care four weeks ago. His self-expression shone through. He jumped and ran and played. He barked and squeaked with joy. And yet, amidst his enthusiastic antics, something happened. He kept coming around to check on me. He'd look up briefly to make sure everything was alright; he wasn't quite comfortable in his freedom. He was unleashed, but still engaged. As I struggled through the rest of my run, I thought that Watson's behavior had a lesson in it that we could apply to the new world of business communications. Employees, consumers, businesses, marketers, communicators have been "unleashed" in the social media and social networking world. Everyone is blogging, messaging, Facebooking, tweeting, digging and more - it is a happy festival of content and information. Businesses can engage with their audiences on a personal and real-time level, while also gaining valuable, current feedback. Gone are the days of strict messaging rules and carefully crafted communications documents. Even the most gifted and targeted marketer may have trouble following the "rules" when fitting thoughts into a 140 character tweet. So the online conversation goes - it becomes real, engaged and vital. There is a fine line to be walked between corporate messaging and creating real relationships. Too corporate = alienation. Too casual = undermining the brand. So maybe a Watson-like approach is best. Unleash the personality of your business in the online world, but don't forget to check in with your brand and with your business to remember what your goals are.
-Jacq (@jacqsmith)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Deschutes Brewery Sagebrush Classic Website

Phew! I just spent the weekend updating the Deschutes Brewery Sagebrush Classic web site in one big blitz. Updating a web site is a huge pain (for me, at least). I can write a press release in an hour, but HTML drives me crazy. You misplace one "<" or add an extra space and the whole thing is ruined.

But my reward? An email from one of the Deschutes guys, thanking me for my work ;) It made me feel warm and fuzzy.

All that aside, I'm really excited for this event! Can you imagine wandering around the gorgeous Broken Top Meadow on a summer day, drinking Deschutes beer and tasting food from some of the world's greatest chefs? Then after the sun goes down, dancing and rocking out to live music? It sounds so fun and relaxing. Of course, there's the epic golf tournament too -- and all the afterparties and preparties -- it just sounds like a crazy good time all weekend. But massive parties like Sagebrush require a lot of planning. And a lot of web site updates. We just added a blog to the site, which Renee and I will be updating frequently. All this work for Deschutes is making me want a frosty glass of Black Butte Porter -- one of my absolute favorite beers even before I started working on the account.
-Adrianne (@msfener)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Facebook's Electricity Bill

According to a recent article in Current, Facebook Spending Over $1 million on Electricity per Month, is just the beginning of another financial mess due to substantial growth and limited space to store massive amounts of information. Storing OUR photos seems to be where Facebook's money is going. "More than 850 million photos uploaded to the site each month, and these things chew up bandwidth and storage like crazy. And it’s even more expensive to serve photos in poorer countries where FB is getting all its growth (and little revenue)." FB is almost the largest photo app on the web, besides ImageShack, according to a similar article posted on Treehugger.com. It was stated that FB is working to problem-solve by creating a storage system dubbed Haystack, but until the solution is implemented - we all should pitch in. What can you do to make your FB profile a bit greener? Delete some of those photos you posted! Really. To read more about Haystack, here is an interesting article on Computer World.
-Jacq (@jacqsmith)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pitching bloggers

As many of you must have read, the latest in the ongoing saga that may or may not be the death of print is that the New York Times has threatened to shutter the Boston Globe if the paper's unions don't make $20 million in concessions. Print may be dying, but journalism is not. Journalism is only changing. Nobody knows how it will look when it emerges from the current crisis, but a fundamental restructuring seems inevitable. That's why Campbell Consulting has been increasingly emphasizing new media outlets in our campaigns for various clients. Just this weekend, I compiled a media list of influential beer bloggers in Texas who might be interested in writing about Deschutes Brewery's foray into the Texas market. A media list of bloggers looks very different from a traditional media list. Instead of circulation numbers, we find out the site's Page Rank and how many pageviews and unique visitors the blog receives each month. Often, we don't have contact information for the blogger. It may be difficult to even learn the web master's real name. But this is no less challenging than cold-pitching a reporter at a traditional media outlet. With blogs, there is always a way to get in touch with the authors. We may have to contact the blogger through Twitter or by posting a comment on the blog and waiting for a response. Bloggers are often a pleasure to work with. Reporters at traditional media are often numb to pitches from publicists and may refuse to accept product samples because of ethics policies. (Side note: Never send product samples to USA TODAY. When I was there in 2006, reporters were not allowed to take home or write about any of the zillions of unsolicited freebies that get sent to them. The policy meant even the unpaid interns were barred from taking anything -- the stuff was donated to charity at the end of the year.) In contrast, we connected with a tea blogger who was thrilled to get review samples of Oregon Chai, Stacia wrote me a note: "They are so NICE! Unlike traditional media." That connection resulted in three very kind reviews on a site that got more than 770,000 page views in March. The moral is, cultivating relationships with bloggers is just as important as cultivating relationships with traditional reporters.
-Adrianne (@msfener)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Say goodbye to 411

Filmed in December 2008, and recently posted this March 2009 on TED.com is a video entitled "Cool New Things You Can do with Your Mobile Phone" featuring NYT Tech Critic, David Pogue. The video runs 27:03 and is only worth watching the full video if you have an iPhone (he loves all the shiny little applications). Otherwise here is the jist for us BlackBerry users: 411: We've all used it at one time or another. If you have a phone with internet, maybe you're saving the $2.00/call and just Googling your question. If you don't have internet or a Yellow Pages lying around, and you're looking for a near-by gas station, coffee house or gym - text what you're looking for to the number 46645 (GOOGL). Yes, the 'E' on Google is left off intentionally. A text(s) message will be sent back immediatly with the results. This service is run by Google and it's free! Voice Messages: Understand that when you call your voice mail-box to check your messages - you're using your minutes (unless it's after 9 p.m.)! If you would rather not pay to listen to the "Third grade teacher on Ambien" as Pogue refers to the Voicemessage greeting - then use a service like PhoneTag and have your voice messages transcribed and sent to you as text messages, emails or both. There were also some great mentions about using Skype on your phone (without using minutes) and other fablous ideas! To get all the details visit the hyperlinks above or watch the mentioned video on TED.com here.
-Jacq (@jacqsmith)
Posting by Jacq of CC Team