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Is Your Brand Ready For The Apple iSlate?

January 19, 2010 Leave a comment

The Apple iSlate, otherwise known as the-only-possible-thing-on-the-planet-that-can-save-media, is supposed to be released next week by Apple and the media is scrambling to be ready. But what are you doing to get your own brand in place to take on this new technology?

Not sure? Consider the following:

  • If Apple does in fact release the iSlate, magazines and media companies will be turning to advertisers in droves to fill their new digital properties. This means ads will need to be placed next to interactive content and possibly be interactive themselves. Is your brand ready to be interactive and have multiple campaigns?
  • If you’re brands video is placed next to a Sports Illustrated video recap of last night’s NBA game, how will your video quality compare to the high definition video SI is using? Flip camera’s worked great last year, but now as mobile displays are able to distribute video in full hd will your ad take advantage of that?
  • Advertising, or rather good advertising today, is all about storytelling and providing viewers with a story. With interactive ads, brands can now highlight personalities, product demonstrations, real-world situations and story lines that support their message and engage the viewer. Outdoor brands and travel brands have a strong advantage here. Who wouldn’t want to see yesterday’s snow conditions, check out interactive trail maps, and view 360-degree photos of hotel rooms when deciding if they were going to book a trip that weekend to their favorite resort?
  • Are you still thinking one-way? Or are you using your ads to encourage conversation and participation? Advertising is no longer about putting out a message and expecting it to stick. We all know this, but for some reason advertisers are still approaching ads as if they were ads and not their own branded content. Most magazines have little to no online budget, so ads can take advantage of this and use various mediums to create their own content targeted specifically at iSlate users. For instance, if your brand was a rafting company, approaching your advertisement as a narrative travel story following a select number of guests, engages the viewer more than just a bunch of b-roll video with crappy copyright-free music. If you are thinking like a journalist, your brands advertisements will stick out. Big time.

There are many more ways brands can set themselves up for the iSlate and mobile advertising, but by far the largest step needs to be action. Like podcasting and iPhone Apps, the early adopters were able to grab market share quickly and stay ahead of the game by innovating along the way. So instead of wringing your hands, start small and build from there. Brands that do will succeed and I believe will stand out sometimes even more than the editorial content they are next to.

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Social Media vs. Traditional Media: The Wrong Argument

September 3, 2009 2 comments

After reading a well thought out post on assessing ROI in a social media world, I responded with a comment. To see the original post go here. I have pasted in my comment below, which I think stands for itself.

Great post Jason, I can’t agree more with the Kool-Aid references. From a young professionals standpoint who grew up with both traditional marketing and new media marketing I can’t help but get frustrated with a majority of the conversation today about social media and how businesses are being told to pick “one or the other.”

Social media in my opinion is a tool, albeit a very powerful tool, but nevertheless a tool within a marketer’s toolbox. Too many times I feel we forget marketing is a 360-degree experience. Customers can be anywhere today – TV, print, online, mobile – and it is a company’s job to effectively target and reach their selected customers through each of these mediums utilizing a variety of distribution methods.

When I explain marketing to potential clients I draw a circle and put their brand in the middle. Each part of the circle represents a different part of the pie, and in order to reach each section the company has to push their message out in that direction. Media once it reaches the edge can then flow in a circular pattern – say someone retweets and blogs about a message they saw in print and suddenly customers are reached across the circle – but it’s a complex web that must be built up over time and with the understanding that there is no one simple one answer.

Many times I find companies look at social media as a powerful tool, but then opt to place an Intern or entry-level employee at the helm. A senior executive might oversee the strategy, but the lack of economic investment means the “saving grace” of the companies marketing program is left up to an employee with potentially little allegiance. This makes me wonder: just what value do you really see in this? When I speak to companies I make it a point to not paint a social media vs. traditional media picture, but rather one that involves everyone in a form considered non-traditional.

The other large piece of the puzzle, and one that I consider equally if not more important, is the rise of content creation and understanding how content can be utilized in multiple mediums for the same purpose, but that I’m afraid is another topic.

New Social Capital blog — Worth checking out

December 12, 2007 1 comment

A few months ago, I wrote a post about social capital and why college is a perfect place to build your network.

In the post I referenced a very smart blog I had been reading on the subject of social capital and interconnectedness.

Now that blog has spun off into another blog, and even though I truly hope it can survive, I’m still a bit skeptical about the business model of a blog and if it can make money to support its writers.

Penelope Trunk, the “it lady” of modern Gen-Y blogging, left a great comment on Ben Casnocha’s blog regarding book deals, questioning why more people don’t write blogs instead of pursuing a book.

I agree with Penelope, but only to a point. My blog helped me get my current job as an Intern at a national magazine, but editors still want hard clips that have been printed on someone else’s dime.

Not just digital content that lacks an editor and submission process.

So then why do I continue to write a blog you might ask?

For starters, it allows me to voice my opinion on a wide range of topics in an open forum which can accessed anywhere there is an Internet connection.

Secondly, a potential employer who spends more than five minutes on my blog will see I can discuss several high-level issues regarding journalism, technology, economics, photography and others.

Thirdly, it has allowed me to make connections and build relationships with professionals who were not accessible beforehand.

For The Little Red Suit, that is exactly what building social capital is all about.

So as Tiffany Monhollon breaks away and starts another blog, I can only hope her decision to go digital will pay off .

Which is exactly why I think you should take a second and check it out.

Facebook to blogs – How answering a question landed me on PR Squared

September 13, 2007 2 comments

Proof that anything you put online can be used in a variety of different ways.

I answered the following question on Todd Defren’s Facebook page. “Is the PR industry starting to make the same mistakes as it did during the Bubble Days?”

My answer: I wonder if PR folks are drinking the Kool-Aid too fast when taking on new startups and then blowing it when pitching the media–who for the most part I don’t think really cares about a new party planning site or way to stalk your neighbors.

Then Todd used the answers he got for a blog post on his widely read PR blog.

Since I answered the question late I was at the top. The amazing thing is that you can simply click on my name and instantly be brought to my Facebook account. Thank God I didn’t put anything too bad on there.

Journalists discuss best ways to be approached

August 8, 2007 1 comment

Renee Blodgett, an extremely smart friend of mine who’s taken a bit of her precious time to chat with me personally about life and career development, wrote an interesting post yesterday about the do’s and don’ts of approaching journalists.

Renee commented on a recent panel that included Fred Vogelstein from Wired, John Cook from the Seattle PI, Michael Arrington from TechCrunch, Rebecca Buckman from the WSJ, and Tricia Duryee from the Seattle Times. A video of the panel is also available here.

What struck me most interesting about her roundup was the fact that Rebecca Buckman would rather get a pitch via email than the phone—A concept that has left my stomach turning since I started to work in PR.

To put it mildly, I am a people person. I am able to find common ground usually within seconds. I find a conversation, the two-way kind that includes a high-level of discourse, beats an email any day. But in today’s hyper-connected environment, the ability to get precious face time is a bit like pulling teeth.

Fred Vogelstein from Wired went on to comment that, “Some [Firms] are very well connected to us and a handful of them can invite me to a dinner and because they take their time to choose their clients carefully, I’ll probably go. I get tons of pitches from [PR] firms, most of them come from people who are 23 years old reading from a script. When I ask basic questions, they often can’t answer them.”

I know this to be fact because I was one of those young PR hacks just a short 14 months ago. My first day found myself calling the New York Times, Associated Press and every major newspaper in Florida and New Orleans. In hindsight it was a mistake to put me on the phone—I really didn’t fully understand my client, their space, or their technology—but what I did understand was the aspect of building a relationship and never lying to get yourself out of a hole.

My second phone call ever was o the Associated Press who peppered me with questions. I got through half of them before I had to admit I was new and would need to follow-up. The reporter sounded annoyed, but gave me the chance anyway. I spent the next hour crafting a detailed email answering all his questions, providing a customer reference, trend story angle and several clips that complimented the story, but lacked the ability to tie the entire story togeather. The reporter instantly called me back. He chose not to write the story that day, but it was the beginning of a strong relationship that led him vouching for me to his colleagues, which did turn into a story and mass exposure for my client.

Now just after 14 months, I’ve been able to build an arsenal of reporters who I speak to on a daily basis. We chat mostly about Baseball, mountain biking, beer, kids, vacations and the demise of journalism. When I need to talk about my client they give me the time of day, even if they chose not to write a story, it’s still worth it.

As for the advice of TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington, “If the product is great, you’ll likely get written up.” I want to believe this is true, but the problem lies in what is considered great. Journalists, especially tech journalists, are like critics, and if you break that delicate dance between supplier and consumer, journalists will be the first to pounce, and just like a bad review at your favorite restaurant, they can sink your business.

Categories: Advice, Journalism, PR