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    Online observations of public relations, marketing, advertising and social media; the occasional frivolity; and The Rundown show notes. Jump in, the water's fine.

    Please Note: Everything posted on this blog is my personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of my employer or its constituents.

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Live Forward Podcast 12/15

I’ll be hosting Forward Podcast 37 “What Are You Doing to Address Globalization?” over at BlogTalkRadio on Saturday. We put out podcasts on the 1st and 15th so this month we’re doing a live show about globalization.

Show goes live at 7 p.m. GMT / 2 p.m. Eastern / 11 a.m. Pacific on the Forward Podcast Channel. Since it’s live, we’ll be taking your calls at US +1 (646) 716-9941.

Who: Richard Bailey, Robert French, Paull Young, Luke Armour and YOU.
What: Forward Podcast 37 Live
When: Saturday, December 15th 7 p.m. GMT / 2 p.m. Eastern / 11 a.m. Pacific
Where: Forward Podcast channel on BlogTalkRadio

Tentative topics of discussion:

  • Learning of languages
  • Work experience overseas and in minority communities
  • Issues like trade, aid, labor, climate change and religious fundamentalism
  • What are you reading and watching?
  • Whatever’s on YOUR mind

Join us live or catch the archive on the Forward Podcast Channel archive or through the Forward Podcast RSS feed.

Listen to the archive from BlogTalkRadio: 

Reforestation, Great Social Media Work, Hear Me Roar

Update: An update on the Converseon blog site has some interesting lessons learned about this project. As we pave the way in the new media landscape, we should pay very close attention to the successes and mistakes of others. One thing they don’t mention is that there were two Members Project reforestation initiatives and this one didn’t make the cut. The other one did – with surprising results after little marketing. People need very specific directions and no matter how much planning you do, one single distraction (such as registering) will derail the train.

Paull Young‘s agency, Converseon in NY is doing some great social media work. Here’s something that’s a great cause that really shows their mad skilz. Yes, I just wrote mad skilz. His project is one of the 50 remaining American Express Members Project (you’ve seen the tv commercials) projects. If you hold an American Express card, you have to vote by July 15th in order for this project to go on to the next round. It’s (as far as I know) the only Second Life project in the remaining 50. It’s a virtual reforestation project that also plants real trees in rain forest areas. If this wins, 1 million trees could be planted. Pretty cool. Vote here.

As an added bonus, you get to hear the melodious crackling tones of my voice through a junky mic on the embedded video (rss readers, click Second Chance Trees). I was honored to do it, I just wish Paull had given me a bit more warning so I could have had better equipment more readily available.

Anyway, read Paull’s post about the project that has some excellent lessons on dealing in the social media space. Not only is the project cool, Paull’s really educating us about the process. Kudos. Well, good luck, remember, voting ends this Sunday, July 15th!

Interactive, digital, whatever – it’s here. Will your agency survive?

4asdigi.gifI mentioned some time ago that I was on my way to attend the 4As Digital Conference for Agencies of All Kinds in NYC in mid June. I hopped an early morning flight with my CEO and our web and creative directors to Manhattan for the day. The conference was well done except for this – no wireless. What kind of digital conference doesn’t have wireless?! Although, I was probably one of maybe five people there with a laptop.

Some unsurprising, but healthy headlines from the conference included:

  • Agencies need to be willing to try things and be passionate about the online space. Creativity in strategy, creative and analytics are a must.
  • Silo-free is the agency of the future. Look at every campaign from every angle. Look across all channels of outreach that best fit the product. Digital does not replace traditional, it complements it.
  • Agencies must find creative ways to reach that lost audience and they must allow the consumer to engage with the brand on his own terms. Find creative ways for that to happen.
  • Additional web-based interactive complements traditional campaigns. Feedback from consumer and analytics are critical. Pay attention and use them well. Chicks fighting can be a popular interactive campaign (don’t ask).

A nifty panel discussion on the Ad agency of the future wrought some interesting comments. Claims that boutiques will not survive, like the small web agencies of yesteryear. Slowly clients start to realize that boutiques don’t have the communication experience necessary. Digital boutiques are making a lot of noise, and making a lot of “cool” things, but are they fulfilling the goals of the client? Agencies will need to develop their own in-house digital to survive. You cannot NOT know the digital space, but you also have to know traditional communication strategies and tactics. I don’t know, what do you think? Will the digital, interactive advertising agencies of today wane?

 

 

Chris Weil of Momentum Worldwide presented on how digital works in experiential marketing. Pretentious, but really fun to view. Great presentation. He said digital is not about agencies or a tactic that you add on. Digital embodies everything we do in marketing. Customers don’t segment experiences. We need to understand and orchestrate the experience that the consumer has with the brand across all channels. We must inspire consumers to lift their heads, to disengage their digits and get engaged with interaction. Effectiveness of brand experience plus the stickiness of brand interactive is huge. Number one for all consumers is experience; number two is word of mouth.

John Bell, managing director & executive creative director at Ogilvy PR Worldwide, was understandably my favorite presentation. Hey, what can I say, I’m a PR guy. I was impressed with Ogilvy’s 360 Degree Branding approach, but will have to keep an eye on what they do to see if it’s walking the walk. John mentioned typical things like authentic conversations with consumers is critical, is engagement. People are resonating with other people, they don’t trust corporations or marketing or advertising. Ogilvy is following trends in the digital space and tying messages to those online trends. Same as traditional PR, just in a different space, stripped of the corporate speak and hype. Conversations are ruling this space.armour-young.jpg

Other special highlights of the day were meeting John January from American Copywriter and having lunch with the infamous Paull Young. Funny story, I called Paull on my lunch break and said “I’m done, where do we meet?” He was like, “I don’t know, just walk down the street you’re on and we’ll meet up.” Mind you, I haven’t been in NYC since I was 5 and Paull just moved there a month ago. So, it finally dawned on us, where would be a good place to meet up on NYC that we could both find? How about the Empire State Building!? D’oh…those silly country boys.

Oh, How Small the World has Become

connections.jpgPhoto by Daycha Kijpattanapinyo

Here’s a little story that demonstrates the connections we’re all making online through this crazy social media network. It never ceases to amaze me.

Follow along closely, ’cause this is intricate.

Most of you know that being a part of the blogosphere means you’ll run into the same characters over and over again, especially in niche corners of the blogsphere’s web such as communication pros, cat fanciers, and lactivists. So I knew of Erin online about 18 months ago and met her online shortly before she started Forward. She invited me to contribute to the Forward blog not long after. Somewhere along the line I met Paull. It wasn’t long before I knew Erin and I shared the same passion for PR and social media and that Paull and I had the same questionable sense of humor.

Fast forward to my job, where we hire a young woman who finds out I’m a social media freak. She tells me not long after her hire that her former professor started a blog. So I checked it out. His name is Bill, his blog is ToughSledding. I check him out, I subscribe. I mean, he’s the only other NE Ohio PR blogger I know of.

Fast forward to Paull’s world tour, where he leaves Australia and travels the world, New York, Washington DC, Toronto Canada, Ohio, Norway, Denmark and more. He and Erin spend some time with me here in Ohio. It is amazing to think how it all transpired for them to be sitting in my living room one day. But then he and Erin headed out and things were back to normal here.

Then I get the following email from Bill at ToughSledding:

I’ve been conversing with Paull Young (through Facebook) and learned that he’d been in the area to visit his “mate” in Ohio. Thought maybe it was time I introduced myself, since we’re both blogging on PR topics and we’re both in the neighborhood.

I was floored. Kent State University is about 50 minutes from my house. Bill had made a comment to a post at Forward, started chatting with Paull on Facebook. Paull sent him a video of him speaking at a college in Toronto and Bill emailed me because of Paull.

I tried to get people at work to recognize the sheer brilliance of a medium at work when a fellow visiting the states from Australia can meet up with a guy in Ohio who works with a graduate of a school whose professor happens to have begun a conversation with said Australian, causing the professor to email the guy in Ohio who lives/works nearby. Bill understood the complexity of it. We agreed to find a time to meet up, but had never found time.

So I went to a PRSA luncheon in Akron on Thursday to watch Sage Lewis teach PR folks about SEO and Web 2.0. I got there a little later than most and there were only a few chairs left. I found a seat, went to introduce myself to the table when it dawns on me that the person I’m about to shake hands with is Bill from Toughsledding.

Absolutely amazing. It came full circle around. Bill thought it was amazing as well, and told the assembled crowd about it. It’s a medium at work. Always. Recognize it. Realize what it can do for you, your business, and your clients.

Forward Meet-up

Well, after faking a geek dinner with some of my PR heroes, I finally had the opportunity to really meet some of my PR folk face-to-face this past weekend. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. WAY more.

In what turned out to be the best Forward meet-up in Ohio this year, Erin Caldwell, managing editor; Paull Young, director of the Forward Podcast; and I, principal contributor, got together to discuss the state and future of young PR professionals; share some great dinners; and enjoy each other’s company. Forward, of course, is the on-line springboard for up and coming young PR professionals. Paull stopped by on his way back from Canada and Erin made the journey direct from DC. My ever-patient wife and I hosted the Forward meet up.

We spent some time wandering aimlessly through the rolling eastern Ohio landscape surrounded by horses, buggies, and our own voiced ruminations.

It was a great moment of social media flexing the social aspect of its name. Real people with real relationships from places in the world real far away meeting face-to-face to discuss the things that brought them together in the first place. No one knows this better in this space than Paull.

If you’ve not had your first meet-up with on-line faces, it’s all true what they say. You feel right at home. Of course, I was at home, but you know what I mean.

After a fresh change of batteries, the three of us recorded hours and hours of audio of our groundbreaking, intellectual discussion that was only interrupted by the sound of my wife pointing out that we’d been talking into the TV remote for three days. As it was too late to record any more, I dropped them off at the airport.

Thanks for the visit, Forward team, next time we’ll try to choose our recorders more carefully. Enjoyed every second. Peace.

Friday Frivolity – Aussie Humour

As many of you know, Paull Young is on his world blogging tour. Having been all over the east coast, he’s now in Canada enjoying some of that fine Celcius weather. Not to worry, he informed me that he had the proper winter sandels on, so he’ll be fine.

I’m thrilled to announce that Paull and I are going to meet-up today in an undisclosed location, share stories, have a few beers, and probably do something stupid.

In honor of my inevitable and real meet-up, I’ve found a website about everything Australian that I’ve enjoyed reading over the last few days. It’s called Convict Creations: The hidden story of Australia’s missing links (no comment from me) and I just stumbled upon it one day. I have no idea if it’s accurate, I’ll have to ask Paull, but I’m certain that at least some of it is. Either way, it’s brilliant and I’ve enjoyed the information.

This website is huge, and you can get quite lost in it. It’s fun, though, and I’d be interested in knowing others opinions on it. I, personally, have a “thing” for emus.

I’d like to leave you with a few quotes out of the Austrialian Humour page.

  • It is proper to refer to your best friend as “a total bastard”. By contrast, your worst enemy is “a bit of a bastard.”
  • Historians believe the widespread use of the word “mate” can be traced to the harsh conditions on the Australian frontier in the 1890s, and the development of a code of mutual aid, or “mateship”. Alternatively, we may all just be really hopeless with names.
  • If it can’t be fixed with pantyhose and fencing wire, it’s not worth fixing.
  • If there’s any sort of free event or party within a hundred kilometres, you’d be a mug not to go.
  • If invited to a party, you should take cheap red wine, but then spend all night drinking the host’s beer. Don’t worry, he’ll have catered for it.
  • When tipping in a restaurant, we add 10 per cent, and then round down to the nearest large-denomination note. Yet, miraculously, we still believe we’ve tipped 10 per cent.