Two Marketing Guys Walk Into a Branding Storm…

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Ice cream vendor s bicycleFor marketers, 2010 has thus far been a tough year – at least on the branding front. We’ve seen the downfall of several of the world’s top brands, including the ongoing BP oil spill debacle and the ensuing fallout for its corporate image and brand, along with Google’s recent privacy concern issues and several other high-profile branding dustups.

A recent Financial Times article (PDF Version) examined the perils of a tarnished brand. After reading the article, we thought it might be interesting to examine the broader issues and implications from a marketer’s perspective, with Jeff Esposito coming from the point of view of a corporate communications guy working for a global brand (Vistaprint), and Keith examining this issue from the perspective of a PR agency exec who works with SMBs, global brands and everything in between. Continue reading

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They’re’s a problem with are grammar (Part too)

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DictionaryAlright All right folks – let’s try this again.  As a very late followup to part won of this post, presented below are some of you’re own pet peeves when it comes to proper word youse.  And if you haven’t noticed it yet – every underlined word so far is improperly yoused or completely nonexistent.  As a reminder, I’ll repeat the notes presented in the first post – Continue reading

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Where Do You Sustain Relationships

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Two businessmen in a meetingSome people thrive on face-to-face interaction. Grabbing coffee, lunch, drinks with anybody and everybody. Others prefer to email and text. Many congregate on Facebook and Twitter. There’s no question that there are plenty of people embracing each of these mediums to establish relationships. But where do you build your relationships? Transition from acquaintances to strategic partners or friends?

I recently read The 5 Keys to Building Relationships on the Web, which indicated that entertaining, exciting and engaging with people was key to building web-based relationships.  My immediate response was that these rules were equally relevant to IRL interactions. If we are using the same tactics for creating relationships – informing, entertaining, building trust – whether it is through web-based communications or real life interactions, does it matter where you start the relationship? Does its point of origin directly correlate with the relationships value and longevity? Continue reading

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Recruiting Ethics

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Interviewee and interviewer shaking handsIt must be hard to be a recruiter. I mean you might as well go into telemarketing since you spend 75% of your day scoping out potential recruits and cold calling/blind mailing people hoping that you can find the next superstar for your client. Just like telemarketing though, sometimes it’s just a bit out of control and silly. I’m not exactly sure how the process goes for finding candidates, but I wanted to point out something that really annoys me.

Please don’t try and recruit me at my job! I’m completely flattered that I was “confidentially referred” to you for an Account Executive position at some agency. Who wouldn’t want me? Continue reading

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Tips for Ten Minute Interviews

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Clock works' gear wheels, close up, studio shotTen minutes.  That’s all you have to influence your audience.  How do you make sure your messages are communicated efficiently?

One of the most valuable things I learned from my previous job was how to own a five and,  if Iwas lucky, ten minute interview.  I worked as a publicist for a book publicity firm and scheduled  Radio Tours.  For those of you who don’t know what that means, imagine having twenty back-to-back interviews with radio hosts all over the country for approximately six hours….starting at 7:00 a.m. EST.  Sounds exhausting and intimidating right?   Continue reading

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Predicting the Future: Why Trends Matter In an Oversaturated Media Landscape

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Close-up of Indian banknotes of different denomination HorizontalIn a world where there are now thousands of print and digital publications and blogs, covering everything from the nuances of sports law, to the ways in which technology affects our everyday lives and culture and  the joys of botany, securing media coverage for your business has arguably never been easier. On the flip side, there is a vast chasm of noise now coming at us every day, which makes it exceedingly more difficult for your big product announcement, or CEO profile you are pitching, to get the attention you think it deserves.

And it’s only going to get worse before it gets better. A recent study of business media reporting by the ITDatabase found that, in general, the top-8 business publications in the U.S. (The Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesForbesFortuneBusinessWeekThe Economist, the Financial Times and USA Today) were, “follow[ing] the lead of the media at large in focusing on what’s new and where the money might be going rather than where the money is now.” Continue reading

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Your Copy Sucks: The Press Release Mad-Lib

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Pen poised above dotted signature lineDon’t have time to write a press release? Just fill out this mad-lib and send that sucker in.

(name of company) Announces New (product or service) For (current season)

(Major city, state) (date) — Executives at (name of company) have unveiled plans for a new (product or service) just in time for (season, holiday, or major event). Such an (adjective) achievement is yet another indicator of economic recovery and (other good thing). Experts praised the new initiative as (adjective) and ground-breaking. Continue reading

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21st Century Apologies

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AFTER A BIT OF SHMOOSING FOLLOWING A BRIEF BATTLE OVER TERRITORY, THE POLAR BEAR THAT IS SEATED SEEMED NOT TO BE TO CONCERNED WITH THE APOLOGY FROM THE OTHER GUY AS HE BIT A CHUNK OF HAIR FROM HIS BUDDY'S FACE. SCIENTIFIC: POLAR BEAR/URSUS MARITIMUS POLAR BEARS IN BATTLE ONE BEAR BITING OTHERAn interesting exchange occurred on Twitter last week. PRCog tweeted: “Dear Millenials – ‘OMG’ does not replace ‘I’m sorry’.” Debbie Lyons-Blythe followed up with “’my bad’ not enuf either!”

As a Millennial myself, I couldn’t agree more. You see it daily at the gym, the office and just about everywhere else: people have stopped apologizing. I’m not sure when apologizing stopped being the right, not to mention polite and professional, thing to do. There is nothing wrong with admitting a mistake. It’s the best way to learn.

Your boss and co-workers are more likely to respect you, if you own up to your mistakes. When I’ve royally messed up, I’ve walked into my boss’s office, apologized and told him what steps have been taken to ensure the same mistake won’t happen again. Then we discussed it and moved on. Continue reading

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Dear Fairy Blogmother

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Close-up of a girl dressed in a fairy costume with hands over her eyesThere are many nights when I would love nothing more than to twitch my nose, wave my wand and witness the magical appearance of the Fairy Blogmother. You know, that whimsical creature that brings great post ideas, fluid prose and a wealth of creativity. Yet, I’ve yet to track down this mythical legend. Despite my best attempts to coax her out (i.e. cupcakes), she is a consistent no show. And so, I thought it best to have a little heart-to-heart with the Fairy Blogmother.

Dear Fairy Blogmother, Continue reading

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