Creating a Successful Ending

By Cathy Looze

Last Forever: Part One

Source: Variety.com

First, let me say, I liked the ending of How I Met Your Mother.  I was not among those vocal fans who felt betrayed by the creators.  Nor do I think the creators of that or any series “owe” it to the fans to have stories go the way they want.  All fans are owed is a solid storyline that is well-written, engaging and supported by good acting.  Imagine if fans dictated everything ever written or products that are produced.  Would Ingrid Bergman have gotten on that plane, leaving Humphrey Bogart on the tarmac?  Would Rhett have said “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” to Scarlett?   Would disposable diapers have attained market share if the environmentalists had their say when Pampers was introduced?  There’s a point, I promise.

As social media has evolved, it’s given people a chance to express themselves while engaging with the brand, and in doing so, they expect the brand to address their concerns.  And many brands do take notice.  Some go to the extreme, like the HIMYM creators who put together an alternate ending to their finale to address their fans’ complaints, but many embrace it as a way to gauge what their buyers are thinking. Social Media Marketing research reports that 58.4% of companies use Twitter to monitor their brand.  But the question is: Does a company or brand know that these comments/complaints reflect the majority of what their customers think?

One issue with Social Media is that despite the constant references to it in the media, a relatively small percentage of the population uses it on a daily basis.  Numbers can vary depending upon which research company is quoted, but as the Pew Research Group is a non-partisan entity, let’s use their numbers.  According to their 2013 Social Media Update published in December 2013, Facebook is the undisputed leader, used by about 71% of online adults with 63% accessing it daily. 18% of Americans have a Twitter account with 46% of those accessing it daily.  Pinterest, Instagram have levels similar to that of Twitter.  So, yes, companies that talk to these people on social media sites reach an audience that is engaged, expressive and influential, but they aren’t talking to those who don’t use these outlets.  In other words, on social media, you’re talking to people who already know you – but those outlets don’t invite others to get to know you.

Told you I’d get to the point – which is that any marketing plan that uses only Social Media is excluding those that aren’t on Facebook or use Twitter.  A truly integrated plan must not only talk to your core customer, but encourage and invite others to try your product, service, TV show, in order to continue to grow and succeed.  Look at the big guys and you’ll see they already know that – McDonald’s, Coca Cola, The Gap, Wayfair.com – all use traditional media in addition to Social Media, to help move their brands forward.

So, when you come to us saying you want to put all your marketing efforts into Social Media, don’t be surprised if we respond with, “that’s a good idea, but….”

7 signs your PR efforts need a reboot

By Dorothy Crenshaw, PR Daily

One of the exhilarating things about working in PR, particularly on the agency side, is the variety of what we do. It’s ideal for those of us who are easily bored and don’t want to get into a rut.

Yet, we, too, can fall into routine, and even the best-conceived plan can become outdated or stale over time. Here are seven signs that your PR plan might need a reboot:

You’re relying on press releases. They still have their place, of course, but they shouldn’t be a crutch. Outreach to important constituents, including journalists, should go far beyond “broadcast news.” Of note, the rise of digital and social media and electronic news distribution has placed a higher premium on personal relationships and handcrafted outreach.

Your PR is a one-way street. Some blast out press releases. Others, even large, sophisticated brands, use social media channels as broadcast platforms (hence the term from above “broadcast news”). Wrong. These tactics will limit your return on investment and may even turn off your target audiences. Digital and social channels should invite feedback.

Read the entire sorty here- PR Daily

Father’s Day Marketing Ideas: Father’s Day Provides Entrepeneurs and Opportunity to increase Sales with Creative Marketing Ideas

(PRWEB) June 06, 2012

Father’s Day is not just a national day of gratitude for dads everywhere; it also represents a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to use creative father’s day marketing ideas to increase profits. Marketing expert, Charles Gaudet, founder of PredictableProfits.com, encourages business owners to leverage this holiday to create a marketing event aimed at driving more sales to businesses.

“Spouses, children and grandparents will be actively looking to buy something for ‘the guy that has it all.’ As entrepreneurs, it’s our job to think of creative Father’s Day marketing ideas to help our customers’ buying decision easier as well as make the day as special as possible for their dads,” says Gaudet. “A properly executed marketing idea could produce a windfall of profits for a business.”

Restaurants, clothing retailers and sports stores commonly are the first to come to mind when looking to spend money on dad; however, Gaudet suggests creative entrepreneurs any industry can use this holiday to boost profits regardless of the business.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/06/06/prweb9577411.DTL#ixzz1x2VYP9tL

PRSA Chair Quoted in Ad Age on the Senate’s Investigation of Government Agencies’ Use of External Public Relations

NEW YORK (May 8, 2012) — An April 23 article published in Ad Age explores the current Senate Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight investigation into the use of external public relations and advertising services by 11 government agencies.  Read Entire Story Here-  PRSA

48 Significant Social Media Facts, Figures and Statistics Plus 7 Infographics

Written by Jeff Bullas
I came across some interesting statistics that has me quite concerned about the dental hygiene levels on this planet.
Apparently there are 600 million more people that own a mobile phone compared to those who own a toothbrush.

Some research reveals that there are 4.8 billion mobile users but only 4.2 billion people with a toothbrush.

Does that mean that every mobile should be sold with a free toothbrush or should you need to produce your toothbrush before you are given possession of your new mobile phone to ensure that future personal close encounters are engaging and pleasant?

Another interpretation of those statistic is that toothbrushes are too expensive.

Read the entire story at- www.jeffbullas.com

Things to consider when choosing a Media Monitoring Company

1. Make sure the service fits your needs. A free service like Google News can sometimes track what you need. However, you have no control over what publications they cover. It can sometimes be more than what you need and other times can miss what you are really looking for especially with television and radio. The paid services offer many good options but they all have their strengths and weaknesses. Get free trials from the well-established news monitors like NDS, Cision, Vocus, Lexus-Nexus, National Aircheck, CyberAlert, and Critical Mention .

2. Check Your Coverage. Almost all monitors vary on their coverage. Some may only do the top 50 or 100 markets. Some may not have a local office in the markets you are interested in which can be helpful. Some monitors may just do local and not national news. There are some that do just about everything. Radio coverage can greatly vary depending on the monitor. Some monitors will get their content form a newspaper’s website and some actually have the complete printed content. Some monitoring services offer a really nice user interface with very little substance. So it is important to take a test run before making a decision.

3. What do you want to get back? Many monitors offer useful information like Audience Numbers, PR Values, run times, tends, etc. This can be useful especially to justify the cost of a Public Relations Campaign. In some cases client may be interested in the video as well. Check with the monitor and make sure they can provide you the format you need. The clips can used in PowerPoint’s, DVD players and on websites. Make sure the monitor can provide the format(s) that work best for you. There are many options with varying quality and file size.

4. How fast do you need it? Many monitors now offer online access to coverage shortly after it runs. This can be a premium feature for someone who is constantly in the news and needs to be able to react fast to coverage. In some cases you may only need daily, weekly or monthly reports and don’t need the extra cost of the online dashboard. Some monitors can get you a clips within the hour and some may need till the next day.

5. How much? They all have varying price tags. Once you take your free trials, you will need to access what you really need in a monitoring service. The costs for subscriptions and clips greatly vary. Don’t be pressured into signing any contracts. A good monitor should give a good 2-4 week trial before you decide. It’s always best to do a side-by-side test using the same search terms for the same time period.

Griff Madigan

Ad space for equity

Air for shares
Could an unusual venture-capital model be taking off?
Apr 7th 2012 | BERLIN | The Economist
IN AMERICA, venture capital is plentiful. Not so elsewhere. In Europe, a handful of companies are helping struggling start-ups with an unusual model: investing advertising space in them instead of money.

Start-ups usually get their initial seed funding—a few tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars—from family or friends. A venture-capital firm won’t step in until the firm is ready to raise maybe ten times that amount. In America, intermediate sums tend to come from informal “angel investors”, typically entrepreneurs who have made a decent bit of money from their own start-ups and want to invest some in projects they like. But outside America’s technology hubs, such people are rare.

However, start-ups of that size are often making their first baby steps into the market and need publicity. Aggregate Media Funds, a Swedish firm started in 2002, pools excess advertising space provided by 15 Swedish media companies that are shareholders in the fund, and gives it to start-ups in return for an equity stake (it also plans their marketing for them). If the firms do well, they buy back the equity in cash, which goes to the shareholders, with a cut for the fund. Patrik Rosen, Aggregate’s boss, says it has made some 120 investments—in both start-ups and established firms that want to advertise a new product or a stock offering—and completed around 80 “exits”, though he won’t disclose how much money has been made.

Read entire story at The Economist

Substantial Growth in Ads Is on the Way to Facebook

By TANZINA VEGA, NY Times
Published: February 29, 2012

Facebook’s hundreds of millions of users could soon be faced with a lot more advertising — in their newsfeed, on their mobile devices and even when they log off.

On Wednesday, the company announced a new suite of advertising products intended to insert more ads into Facebook’s traditionally clean interface and to take more advantage of mobile ads, where the company has struggled. The announcement was made at its first marketing conference, held at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan.

For users, the announcement could mean many more ads on Facebook. For advertisers, the effort offers a chance to reach more users in more places.

Despite aggressively courting Madison Avenue for the last few years, Facebook has been an anomaly in the world of digital advertising. The ad units offered less creative options for advertisers who want to, say, take over the site’s home page or add moving text to an ad. Rather, the value in Facebook’s ads was in their data and personalization.

The potential for more ad dollars was reflected in the company’s first filing for a public offering in February. At the time, analysts said the company was expected to be valued at $75 billion to $100 billion. But according to the filing, Facebook made only $3.7 billion in revenue last year, the bulk of that from advertising.

Read the Full Story at New York Times

PRSA Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter Elects Officers for 2012

PRSA Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter Elects Officers for 2012

MILWAUKEE – January 18, 2012 – The Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) has elected a new slate of officers for 2012.

They are:  
President – Michael Pflughoeft, APR
Vice President – Don Klein, APR-pending
Secretary – Laura Krinke
Director at Large – Alan L. Gaudynski, APR,
PRSA Fellow Assembly Delegate – Mary Scheibel, APR  

Previously elected and continuing to serve will be:  

Immediate Past-President – Laura Monagle, APR
Director at Large – Brenna Kriviskey Sadler, APR
Director at Large – Jerry Topczewski, APR
Director at Large – Kelly Skindzelewski, APR
Assembly Delegate – Samantha Andrews, APR
Assembly Delegate – Chrissy Kruger-Gruendyke, APR
Membership Officer – Keith Lester, APR
Treasurer – Karren Jeske, APR  

The officers were elected at the chapter’s annual meeting and holiday gathering. In addition to these officers, the 200-member organization benefits from leadership provided by committee members, the PRSA Young Pros group, and many other supporters.            

“The economic challenges facing many businesses over the past few years have had a detrimental impact on many professional organizations,” said Pflughoeft. “It’s a testament to the value PRSA provides to our members as well as the leadership and support of local PR professionals that the SE Wisconsin Chapter remains a strong, healthy resource for communicators in the Greater Milwaukee area.  

The Public Relations Society of America Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter is the pre-eminent forum to advance networking and educational opportunities for area communications professionals. It is one of the most active chapters of the Public Relations Society of America, with numerous events and programs that help members connect and further their professional skills. For more information, go to www.prsawis.org or visit the chapter on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  

Case Study: CREATING FOREVER

When we were first approached by Rogers & Hollands Jewelers to develop a new sub-brand for their engagement ring sales, we wanted to come up with something that would resonate with the target audience, but that wouldn’t be a typical wedding cliche. We brainstormed over 100 names and then held a focus group to narrow the choices down. We then took the top three and presented them to the client at their corporate headquarters in suburban Chicago. Happily, they selected the one we all felt was the best, CREATING FOREVER. We then went on to create all the deliverables, from billboards to store case cards, necessary to launch the new sub-brand in their five Milwaukee area stores. Now, almost two months into the CREATING FOREVER campaign, engagement ring sales are up, with hundreds of couples taking advantage of the free $500 gift package they receive with the purchase of any engagement ring of $1500 or more. This campaign is a great example of how clients and agencies can work together to cover all the bases, from great creative to compelling promotions, giving themselves the best chance for success.