Posts Tagged ‘Communications’
What would happen if 30 marketing professionals — each accomplished individuals in their own right — had a total of one hour (two minutes each) to communicate their best practices? Sounds like a neat concept, right?
That is the very question that inspired me to register for yesterday’s Future of Marketing webinar, a whirlwind event during which 30 of today’s top marketers gave their tips to Sarah DeLash, the fictitious client who wants to transform her company from an outdated, industrial-era corp. to a modern, relevant, socially conscious brand.
At 12:59 am ET, I sat in front of my computer with bated breath, awaiting the orgy of thought leadership that was about to ensue. This was going to be like TED on speed. Like 2-minute dating with some of the most interesting minds in the business: Guy Kawasaki, Chris Brogan, Brian Solis, Greg Cangialosi and 26 others. What strategic and tactical nuggets would I learn? Would there be any “aha” moments?
And the answer (drum roll please) was no. Well, not exactly. Okay … it was actually quite insightful, but not in the way the organizers were intending. Or maybe it was exactly what they intended. Oh hell, it was great! Let me just tell you about it. Read the rest of this entry »
I am really excited right now because I just saw an example of a pie-in-the-sky idea that I’ve been talking about for years. But before I tell you what it is, allow me to give you some context. I’ll begin with a question that I often ask people: What is your favorite part of the traditional movie-going experience?
If you’re like most individuals, you’re favorite part is the previews. I know, right! I love seeing movies on the big screen, and I love the popcorn, particularly when the butter is real, but nothing is more enjoyable than a quality mix of 4-5 trailers.
Ever wondered why we love our movie trailers so much? Upon quick reflection, it’s not so surprising. For one, previews take the most compelling scenes from a two-hour feature film and boil them down to two-minute, bite-sized nuggets of cinematic goodness. Secondly, trailers are often how we first learn of a new movie, or even better, that a long-awaited movie is close to release (is The Hobbit trailer ever going to come out!?).
But these are the obvious reasons. Push further. What fundamental attributes of movie trailers make them so darn enticing? What grabs us by the psyches and demands “you must see this movie!” What was it about this trailer and this trailer that convinced me to waste my money and my time? I assure you, there is a science to making good sneak previews and it results in millions of dollars in consumer spending each year. Read the rest of this entry »
Recently, I became the proud owner of a 2011 Toyota Sienna mini-van, making my transformation to suburban dad complete. The vehicle came with three free months of XM radio which is really really awesome! When I’m not listening to “Hair Nation” (that would be 80s rock), I’m madly flipping through the other stations. And I’ve noticed that many are simply recycling old content … like the American Top 40 shows from the 70s and 80s.
So it’s in this spirit of recycling old content that I’m reprinting this blog post, which I first wrote for PhilanTopic back in January of 2008. It examines the way we communicate impact, and it’s a topic that never seems to get old.
Most of us agree that foundations need to do a better job of demonstrating and communicating their impact to outside audiences. It’s the how that has everyone so flummoxed. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m certain that today’s blog post (or a flavor of this post) has been addressed a billion times already, but I’m going to write about it again because it’s so important. It’s critically important. In fact, on a Top Ten list of communications “best practices,” this edges out “stop saying ‘um’” for the #1 slot. If you can master this, you will find more success in business and in life than you could possibly fathom in your wildest dreams. You will gain influence, you will be liked, you will engender trust. So what is this magical practice of which I speak? It’s a six-word phrase that you must commit to memory and commit to using at least once per day for the rest of your life. The phrase: “Thank you. I really appreciated that.”
I was reminded of this just a few days ago when I received an email from a client after a particularly trying week. Read the rest of this entry »
As a PR professional, I am charged with being a keeper of client reputation, and an evangelist for their “good works.” As a result, I am consistently on the lookout for opportunities that will allow my clients to shine– which is probably why an announcement earlier this week about a new nonprofit “award” caught my eye.
Blue Avocado and Nonprofit Online News have announced the winners of the first-ever “Just Awards,” one for Abominable Press Coverage of the Nonprofit Sector, and the other for Narcissism in Philanthropy. The panel of judges chose the Rockefeller Foundation, citing the overwhelming and relentless promotion of its president, Judith Rodin for the Narcissism in Philanthropy Award and Stephanie Strom of The New York Times received the Abominable Press Coverage Award for her November 2009 article “Charities Rise, Costing U.S. Billions in Tax Breaks.”
I won’t go into all of the nuanced reasons for their selections (if you are interested, you can read more here), but I do want to play devil’s advocate for a moment, and explore some of questions that were running through my mind while reading about their selections: Read the rest of this entry »
Last month, I teased a new piece I was writing about the similarities between PR in the 21st century and high school. Based on the number of comments my post received, I can only imagine that anticipation for the actual treatise has finally reached a fever pitch! So in order to milk this for all it’s worth, I am presenting it now in it’s entirety. As a reminder, I wrote this article for social media guru Brian Reich, who is compiling a new book of essays, in which folks from different industries tackle the issue of organizational best practices for the future. A fully downloadable version of the piece can be found here.
THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS IS BACK IN HIGH SCHOOL
It’s the human condition to resist change. As familiar systems disappear, we instinctively clamp down on them, making the process of adopting new systems all the more painful and protracted. Welcome to life in the PR industry. Read the rest of this entry »
Last week, Tiger Woods apologized to his friends, family, fans and business partners at a nationally televised speech from Florida, expressing regret for his recent illicit behaviors. Few people will likely ever find themselves in his shoes, but there are several communications lessons that can be drawn from his speech, applicable to anyone trying to communicate effectively:
- Be authentic. In good times, and especially during the bad times, it is critical to be authentic in your communications. It’s tough to judge what was behind this particular speech, and whether it was truly a sincere effort, or one that was thrust upon Tiger by his advisors to help “make good” with the public. On paper, the speech reads as though it could have been heartfelt, but its delivery was less than stellar, and made me question his sincerity. Personal reactions to this Read the rest of this entry »
The old adage about a picture being worth a thousand words can be particularly useful to social-sector organizations looking for high-impact marketing initiatives. Here are three examples from Flickr – a photo-sharing site where in a matter of minutes you can be up-and-running, posting images that illustrate your organization or cause. Just like YouTube, where only a tiny percentage of content virally “finds” an audience, organizations do still need to let their audiences know this content exists, and invite them to share it with others. A few illustrations:
Empowerment International provides education to impoverished children in Nicaragua. Its photostream includes pictures of children learning and playing:
I’m not a fan of the monthly “newsletter.” In general, I toss them upon arrival, and I typically advise clients against using them. There is, however, one monthly newsletter that I read religiously. It’s called Free Range Thinking, and not coincidentally, it deals with effective communications practices. Free Range Thinking is put out by a communications expert named Andy Goodman who has achieved guru-like status in the nonprofit and philanthropy sectors. His seminars and talks feel more like entertainment than work, which means he practices what he preaches.
The cover story in this month’s newsletter is a great piece about how organizations can make compelling Web-based video. The article draws on the expertise of professional movie director Steve Stockman, who is currently writing Why Bad Video Happens to Good People (and how to keep it from happening to you). Chock-full of practical information and real videos to click on, I thought this would be an ideal article to reprint on Communicate Good. I checked with Andy Goodman, and he gave it the green light! Incidentally … if you would like to sign up for Free Range Thinking, you can do so here.
Web Video Worth Watching
A veteran director offers five tips for improving the videos on your website.
Now that you can hold an HD camera in one hand and upload your file to the web with the other, an increasing number of nonprofits are adding video to their sites. The process is inexpensive, easy to learn, and breathtakingly fast, but that doesn’t guarantee a watchable end product. In fact, in many cases the smooth path is more of a slippery slope. Good causes, meet bad videos. Read the rest of this entry »
Last week, I posted about society’s (and particularly PR professionals) abuse of the term “we are thrilled.” The internal response to my post was very positive. So due in part to my obsessive compulsive behavior, my distaste for hyperbole, and the need to generate recurring content for this blog, I’ve begun tracking the “we are thrilled” phenomena in earnest.
Read the rest of this entry »