All posts by Jeff Esposito

Flack Wanted – Department of Winter

Over the past few months, you may have noticed that the weather outside has become increasingly colder. While it might seem alarming, it is actually one of the year’s four seasons, albeit one that comes with some detractors.

Unfortunately, the season has been hit by a lot of bad press lately and has not done a great job marketing or branding itself. For every great story, ad or video on a ski resort or some outdoor hockey game, there are three or four negative mentions. These range from a NYC plowing fiasco to newscasts reporting accidents and the Twitteratti claiming the end of humanity as we know it with hashtags for #Snopacolypse, #snoloko or #snowmaggedeon.

Reading the paper during the latest storm in the Boston area, I came across an interesting job listing for a PR person in the Department of Winter that read: Continue reading

Defacto 2011 PR Resolutions

Before we all checked out for 2010, we opened up a challenge to the readership of the PR Breakfast Club – to complete our list of PR New Years’ resolutions. Part of it was out of laziness on my part mixed with my inability to count, but the other part was to hear from you guys to see what you thought collectively that our industry should change.

After all none of us is as dumb as all of us put together, so without further adieu, here is the list of PR resolutions, crowdsourced from the PRBC community (click here to see the original post): Continue reading

Top 10 PR Resolutions for 2011

The 2010 calendar is running out of daylight and the liquor stores are stacking up the bubbly. So that can only mean a few things are going to come into high fashion and range in levels of greatness.

Some of which will even be trending topics on Twitter including the funny glasses, hangovers, kissing at midnight and the ball dropping in Times Square, but those won’t make their way onto the page. Instead we’re going to take a look at some resolutions that will help us professionally as PR folks. So break out the Pepto because these resolutions may be a tough pill to swallow. Continue reading

Don’t You Love a New Toy

Earlier this month, Facebook dropped a bomb on the geolocation space by introducing deals via their Places mobile application. This move was a power play for the largest social network and a potential boon for advertisers looking to tap into the 100 million users of the Facebook mobile application.

In the initial roll-out, there were a number of merchants that partnered with Facebook to roll out the new deals feature, including Gap. Now along with the partnership, these companies gained the cache of being innovative in the social space. Continue reading

What does PR mean to you?

Girl using cookie cutterOver the past few weeks I’ve been trying to get a handle on what PR had become to me.  The industry is in a state of flux and evolution. Instead of the old fare cup of coffee industry that we grew up in the current state is robust with flavors that would make Starbucks blush.

With many PR folks taking the helm of social networking (SN) activities, I’ve also wondered if PR was the correct term for the industry as the space blends PR with many other disciplines like customer service, sales and word-of-mouth marketing.

I asked folks in the #PRBC discussion what PR meant to them and really just got back a handful of generic cookie cutter answers that reflected what the industry used to be. Continue reading

Brains on Fire: a Video Book Review

Young man sitting in chair resting feet on second chair using laptopI read a lot of books and am always looking for a good recommendation. So when I saw Mark Schaefer’s plug for Brains on Fire in his post entitled The Spirituality of Social Media, I figured I’d check it out as I respect Mark’s opinions and the term “profound admiration,” is pretty serious.

After reading the book by Robbin Phillips, Greg Cordell, Geno Church, and Spike Jones I can safely say that Mark’s description was well deserved. Instead of focusing on tactics to increase engagement within social networks, the Brains on Fire team creates movements.  The book encourages readers to embrace their core audience and find out what they are passionate about in order to build a true movement for their company or cause. Continue reading

Would You Pay for Influencers?

Last week I received an email from the folks at Klout informing me that Fox wanted to send me a watching kit for its new television series Lone Star.  I am sure that some of you reading this got the same email.

I’m not required to do anything for them but they mailed me a promotional package and I can talk about the show if I want to. Disclosure – I love free stuff, seriously. The popcorn tin and tailgate beer mugs were pretty sweet. Now don’t take this post as an endorsement – I watched the show and was not crazy about it.  I am also not a television critic so my level of expertise on the matter is also questionable, which is what makes me wonder why I was selected as an influencer for this campaign. I am simply using this as a question of influence. Disclosure #2, I do not see myself as an expert or authority in anything; I am just a guy who loves his job, but if you want to send me free stuff go ahead.  😉 There I said it. Continue reading

Walk the Line

Young Woman Jogging Across StreetI recently read a blog post from Dave Fleet that really put words to something that I had been pondering for a bit. The piece was entitled Are you creating social media scorched earth? It focused on companies that burn bridges with customers with one-off social media accounts.

There is no question that social media is the hotness for the 2010-2011 fiscal years for companies. Communications and customer service folks have been utilizing tools and building communities and brand awareness while driving revenue as a secondary benefit. The dollars brought in from people who are generally not seen as revenue drivers has given marketers a set of green blinders. You know the ones, where money clouds one’s thoughts, especially when the entry point into a medium is virtually free and is a direct outlet to customers. Continue reading

Can non-profits lead the way for mass-adoption or geolocation applications?

Compass on mapAs geolocation applications, like foursquare, Gowalla and SCVNGR, continue to gain integration with the general public and retailers, we are going to see a lot of cool things from companies benefiting retailers; however that is still a ways away. Sure it can be argued that broadcasting check-ins to existing networks like Facebook and Twitter adds to brand affinity, however as my friend Arik Hanson aptly put it in this post, people simply tune them out.  I know I do, at least unless there is a cheeky comment making me want to check out the location, but I still use the applications.

I don’t think it will be long before more brick and mortar stores embrace the platform for customer loyalty and acquisition however it will still take time. With that said there is one group that is ripe to set the standards for geolocation check-ins – non-profits. Continue reading

Is a Social Media Contest Right for You?

Two people playing a pick the straw guessing gameIn last week’s #PR20Chat, there was a great conversation about social media contests. I have run four of these contests for my company and I see them as an opportunity to increase buzz and exposure to potential customers. With that said, social-driven contests are not a good fit for every company.

Is there an audience?

Any good contest needs an audience that is interested in the prize offered. Large brands and companies with established social presences have communities that they can tap into. Brands that are out of the limelight, charities and small businesses looking to add a contest to their repertoire need to determine if there is a strong enough community for the contest. Continue reading