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

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

From the brilliant PR campaign archive

An oldie but a goodie:

The Lemonade Stand That Umpqua Bank Built Umpqua Bank, an Oregon bank famous for nontraditional marketing and customer service, has created a clever summer campaign to promote its services to small businesses: it is offering children a kit and start-up capital to set up and run a lemonade stand. Dubbed “the lemonaire,” the campaign is aimed at children in the 96 cities in Oregon, Washington and California where Umpqua operates 144 branches. Lani Hayward, executive vice president of creative strategies for Umpqua, said 70 percent of the bank’s deposits and loans came from small and medium-size businesses.
- The New York Times
Right. It's a lot easier to pull off a stunt like this when you already have an established base of 144 stores and hordes of moms and dads as customers. But what about when you're a small startup with nothin' but a great idea? Answer: Think Bacon Salt. Have fun, be clever and use the tools of the new digital frontier.
We're working right now with a little company that meets that description, who we will probably be introducing to you very soon. They have a great story -- it's actually about making lemons in lemonade as well, figurative ones in this case. And they have a great product (not lemonade). We can't wait to introduce them to the world.
-Adrianne (@msfener)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

2010 Deschutes Brewery Sagebrush Classic chefs revealed!

So check it out -- the Deschutes Brewery Sagebrush Classic chef lineup (minus one mystery chef) has been revealed, and it has a few surprises! Along with favorites Mark Kiffin, Roberto Donna and Jackie Lau, this year's event will include Parisian chef Jean Pierre Lelievre and Seattle chef Jonathan Sundstrom plus a few other newbies. Ooh la la! Can't wait to see what they cook up. Today the Deschutes Brewery Classic Feast showcases culinary artistry of national and international star chefs in beautiful Broken Top Meadow in Bend. This food and beer pairing event has evolved into a must-attend event for chefs and party-goers alike. The Sagebrush Classic has distributed more than $2 million to Deschutes County and Central Oregon charities serving children and families. Bios and photos of the full delicious chef lineup can be viewed on the Sagebrush Classic web site here.
-Adrianne (@msfener)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How to get listed on Twitter

We've all been twittering for some time now. My first tweet was in February of 2008, thank you, thank you very much. (Of course my first tweet, like so many new users, was "werkin" and then I didn't tweet for another 10 months.)
But anyway, Twitter's not new anymore. And you've probably started to notice some things about how it works. That, for example, you're probably not reading everything from the people you follow, or even interacting with them at all. Like wearing a t-shirt or slapping on a bumper sticker or joining a Facebook fan page, we use Twitter to identify ourselves by brands that we like or celebrities they look up to. (I'm following @baconsalt, for example.) We also use Twitter to make weak connections with associates. The result is that we also use Twitter in many ways that are *not* interactive at all. I bet you only pay attention to a small sliver of your Twitter stream. Heard of the "million follower fallacy"?
A group of researchers have proven something we already expected to be the case: your Twitter follower count is somewhat of a meaningless metric when it comes to determining influence. To reach this conclusion, the researchers examined the Twitter accounts of over 54 million active users, out of some 80 million accounts crawled by their servers. They then went on to measure various statistics about these accounts, including audience size, retweet influence and mention influence. The conclusion? Those with the largest number of followers may be "popular" Twitterers, but that's not necessarily related to their influence. High follower counts don't always mean someone is being retweeted or mentioned in any meaningful ways. -ReadWriteWeb
Don't tell Ashton. But there is a new metric for evaluating your level of influence on Twitter. Besides retweets, mentions and the unofficial #Follow Fridays, Twitter now has lists. Since users create lists of users in order to make them easier to read -- as in a "news" list for the morning, "friends" list for the weekends and "funny" list for when you need a chuckle -- you can gauge the usefulness of a Twitter feed by the number of lists that user has got herself onto.
I'm on 9 lists, for example, ranging from "Portland tweeters" to "PR tweeps." But @shitmydadsays is on no less than 30,100 lists.
So how can social people like ourselves make use of this new tool? How do we GET LISTED ON TWITTER?
1. Get registered. Putting yourself into directories like Twellow and WeFollow.com under the appropriate keywords will help get you discovered by users who will be interested in your stream and add you to their Twitter lists.
2. Be a celebrity. Obvious. We'll skip telling you how to become a celebrity -- but if you can harness your own personal celebrity or the celebrity of your hometown or brand, you're in! Tweet your hardest and watch your Twitter list count go up.
3. Tweet often about a unique topic or topics. Although the research shows that many influential users could tweet about a variety of topics -- @zappos, for example, whose tweets are very random -- and still get retweeted, this is the easy way to establish yourself and find a place on other users' Twitter lists. Users that limit their tweets to a single topic gain the most influence, fastest.
4. Be an active list-maker. Make your own Twitter lists for related topics and include yourself and other uses you'd like to connect with. This is another way to get users to associate you with certain topics.
5. Stay involved. The researchers who discovered the million follower fallacy found that "influence is not gained spontaneously or accidentally, but through concerted effort." In order to gain and maintain influence over followers and fellow Twitterers, users need to keep great personal involvement. Remember these catchphrases still apply: "content is king" but also "query deserves freshness." You not only need good content, you need to constantly be making new content if you want to be influential and get listed on Twitter. 6. Show your appreciation. Tweet a link to each list you get added to. The list-maker will appreciate it and it turns your followers on to new lists as well.
***UPDATE, 3/26: More good stats and analysis from ReadWriteWeb on how influencers tweet.
-Adrianne (@msfener)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Signs you tweet too much.

We're not admitting anything... -Campbell Consulting (@ccgpr)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Customer service at the IRS

I had my first human contact with the IRS today!
I had registered an Oregon business corporation to channel my freelance activities through, and I needed to file for a subchapter S tax election by the end of the day, so I rode down to the Federal Building in downtown Portland. The bike ride was glorious -- beautiful sunny day, cherry blossoms, 60 degrees -- but the Federal Building is a soulless high rise guarded by a metal detector.
I waited in a longish line for the receptionist in the ground floor IRS suite. I expected the receptionist to look something like this guy:
Not at all. My receptionist was a smiling clerk in jeans and a white collared shirt. "Welcome to the IRS," he chirped. I could tell my experience was going to be easy. I handed him over my forms and he made jokes as he stamped and filed them.
"What do you get when you cross a vampire with frosty the snowman?"
I said I gave up.
I laughed and said, "I think that one's out of season! You need one about the Easter Bunny."
"Well, is it still flu season?" he asked. "What's the difference between bird flu and swine flu?"
I gave up.
"There are different remedies," he said. "With bird flu, you have to tweet it. With swine flu, you need oinkment." He smiled and handed me a copy of my form and sent me on my way.
Seriously, who expected that?
-Adrianne (@msfener)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oregon Chai Slighty Sweet featured in First For Women Magazine

Our client, Oregon Chai, was featured in the March 2010 issue of First for Women Magazine as a slim and satisfying beverage choice in "Comfort Drinks - hold the hidden fat." Read and enjoy!
-Campbell Consulting (@ccgPR)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Deschutes Brewery Releases New “Hop in the Dark” Cascadian Dark Ale

The latest from our client, Deschutes Brewery (@DeschutesBeer).

Deschutes Brewery Releases New “Hop in the Dark” Cascadian Dark Ale 
New “Black I.P.A.” style beer has been under development for more than one year Bend, Oregon - What takes 22 brews and more than a year of experiments to reach perfection? Deschutes Brewery’s newest Bond Street Series release: Hop in the Dark Cascadian Dark Ale (C.D.A.). C.D.A. is a new style of beer that emerged recently in the Pacific Northwest, more widely known as a Black I.P.A. There has been a significant movement and debate in the region to call the style C.D.A., and Deschutes Brewery leads the way with Hop in the Dark. This ominous looking liquid combines prominent Northwest hops with roasted malts to create a black tinted India Pale Ale type beer. Hop in the Dark aromas come from Cascade, Amarillo, Citra and Centennial hops that float over a gentle undercurrent of velvet malt complexities. “We’ve been serving renditions of this beer in both our Bend and Portland pubs for over a year, experimenting on our customers as we perfected the recipe,” said Brewmaster Larry Sidor. “This beer has subtle coffee undertones born from a blend of oats with dark, Munich and crystal malts. Classic IPA flavors and aromas are due to courageous additions of various hops.” Hop in the Dark is the latest to join Deschutes Brewery’s Bond Street Series, which originally rose up from the hundreds of beers the brewery has tried out on friends and critics at the Downtown Bend Pub. These local favorites, old and new, are brewed in small batches a few times a year, displaying Deschutes Brewery’s diversity and creativity. Deschutes Brewery invites beer lovers to take the plunge – a hop, if you will – into this new Dark Cascadian Ale. Many may never even try to swim for shore. Available across the western U.S. in 22 oz bottles and on draft from late May through September. About Deschutes Brewery Located in beautiful Bend, Oregon, Deschutes Brewery is in the business of daring people to expect more from their beer. That's why we started off in 1988, on the banks of the Deschutes River here in Bend, Oregon, by selling Black Butte Porter at a time when others were sure a dark beer would never catch on. Our brewers love to push the envelope, especially if it makes someone nervous. But for us, the highest praise is a raised glass and a toast of "Bravely Done!" For more information about Deschutes Brewery and its courageously crafted beers, please visit www.DeschutesBrewery.com.
-Campbell Consulting (@ccgpr) Please email marie@campbellconsulting.com for images.