All posts by Michael Schechter

Social Media Politics

I may be in a minority here, but it’s getting harder and harder to tell when I’m watching politics from when I’m reading the conversations on some of my favorite blogs these days. As things change, money comes into the picture and a new wave of bloggers emerges, the “vibe” inside the social media bubble is feeling a lot less hospitable.

I don’t want to get lost in the who are the Republicans and who are the Democrats nonsense (although it would be a funny post if anyone else wants to write the damn thing), but what I do want to point out is this… At the moment, no matter what your leanings are, it has always been difficult to have a political conversation and it is starting to feel similar in Social Media. Continue reading

Pitch Problems

I recently had the pleasure of seeing my two good internet buddies, Danny Brown and Gini Dietrich, try to get a room full of bloggers and PR folks to play nice. As someone working on the brand side, I was an impartial witness to what is clearly a big, heaping pile of infighting.

Clearly, the explosion of Social Media and blogging has changed the landscape, with bloggers looking to be taken seriously and PR reps not quite sure how to handle this new Fifth Estate. As an outsider in both camps, I wanted to share some unemotional insights into what is clearly a highly charged subject. Continue reading

Would A Rose By Any Other Name Still Be Findable In Google? – 5 Lessons learned from marketing our 64 year old jewelry company

Mid section view of businessman with nametagAfter my recent post, Cog asked that I take the time to apply the same conversation on naming your brand to my family’s jewelry business, Honora.  Now, considering the fact that it is a 64-year-old company and I am only 30, clearly I was not involved in the decision making.  My last post also focused on the difference between naming your brand after yourself or after your niche.  This really does not relate to us as we are the third kind of company name, one that does not clearly denote a person or a category.   From what I’ve been told, my grandfather wanted a blank canvas to build a brand upon, one that was bigger than any one person or limited to a particular niche.  Not wanting to disappoint the powers that be at PRBC, I hope these lessons learned from marketing Honora, a name selected in 1946, over the past few years will suffice. Continue reading

The Social Marketing GAP

Mind the Gap warning on a subway platformI’m guilty; I’ve been making fun on The Gap and their new logo.  It is an ugly, half-assed, badly designed misstep from a brand that hadn’t made a logo change in over 20 years.  In our little world of Social Media, we are having a field day and The Gap is taking a heck of a licking for their latest new design.  As if that were not enough, now I’m taking things one step further and making fun of their mind-numbingly poor decision to leave the design up to the crowd and invite people to suggest better logos via Facebook.  I cannot help but mock their “Fine if you think we screwed up that badly, you do better” mentality.   They are really going to regret ever posting the follow up to what was already a fairly massive branding gaff.

That said, I am done talking about it and I think you should be too.  Here’s why: Continue reading

The Social Media Bubble Is Going To Burst

(CC) N1NJ4

One of the common complaints and fears right now in Social Media is that it is essentially a giant bubble.  As with any bubble, if it gets too big or hovers too long, it is bound to burst.  This can be scary for those of us who have deeply embraced this shift, for many who have created businesses centered around it and for plenty of people who are continually writing about it.  What is concerning to some of us in the social sphere is that more and more it feels as if there are two camps.  Those who drink the kool-aid, who own a Daring Fireball t-shirt and believe in the power of a social web beside others who believe this is either all a passing trend or is simply a nonsensical waste of time.

This lack of a middle ground has its pluses and minuses.  On the upside, the devout talk about the subject with such passion and reverence that they often drag new converts into the bubble.  By connecting, sharing, championing and creating a tremendous amount of content, they help to create new advocates.   Continue reading

Chris Brogan vs. Social Media Explorer

Chair with nametagDon’t worry, Jason Falls and Chris aren’t flaming one another on Twitter or anything…  The Social Media equilibrium is still intact.  However, Chris’ recent post on the merits of Social Media Explorer did get me thinking.  What is better when you are thinking of starting a business:  your name or your brand?

It Should Always Be Your Name!

If I am going to put my time, my effort and my ideas into building a brand, it should be around my name.  While I might be selling around a topic or a niche, at the end of the day I am selling myself, so why not put my best foot forward?  Ensure that people not only know what they are buying, but who they are buying from.  Leading with your identity has the potential to build trust and earn you a reputation; it can get you to the point where customers are literally asking for you by name. Continue reading

What Do Changes In PR Mean For The Rest Of Us?

Michael Schechter - Bio PhotoCuriosity finally got the best of me and I decided to ask @PRCog about the PRBC hashtag that kept popping up in my Twitter stream. He quickly got me up to date, and must have put a little something extra in his coffee as he suggested that I offer up a guest post.

There are a two things that make his offer unusual and somewhat extraordinary. The first is that I don’t know Cog all that well. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve Tweeted a few times and I even caught him with his mask off for a brief moment at #masquertweet a while back. The second (and far more relevant) reason for my confusion is that I do not currently nor have I ever worked in PR. But I am not a complete mismatch. Continue reading