Posts Tagged 'PR'

Find Waldo, er Maggie

I’ve been missing in action in the blogosphere, as my one remaining reader can attest. I have to apologize as I’d like to say I’m a great role model for my clients.

Well, I might be a crummy role model, but I have been a great coach. For example, my clients Scott McDonald and Kazuyo Iga of Rocky Mountain Soap Company have embraced both social media and PR to become superstars here in Victoria. In just a few short months, they’ve sponsored events and supported fundraisers, launched a Facebook page and Scott (@FootButterGuy) has 673 followers on Twitter. More importantly, the store’s sales are skyrocketing! More on this in a following blog.

Then there’s our client Moss Development who have built 24 gorgeous waterfront condos in Tofino. What with online ads, bloggers and traditional media, The Shore only has 7 condos left.

And then there’s the whole training thing. We had a wonderful co-op student Linnaea whom I enjoyed mentoring as much as she enjoyed learning. Below is a photo of her at the awesome event we did at Church & State wines when they were presented with the Lieutenant-Governor’s award of excellence in wine making.

Linnaea at Church & State Wines

Linnaea at Church & State Wines

So, dear one remaining reader, I’m back in the writer’s chair and I promise I’ll keep up the work.


Can PR save the Vancouver Olympics from embarrassment?

The Vancouver Olympics committee needs another $30 million. Can any PR help them now? What do you think? I really want to know.

Wherefore art thou, Canadian media?

CTV cuts 118 jobs

CTV cuts 118 jobs

Last night I attended an excellent evening hosted by Douglas business magazine in Victoria. Highlighting the Top 10 businesses to watch in Victoria, publishers also announced their new city lifestyle magazine YAM.

This is interesting news in challenging times. Earlier the same day, CTVglobemedia Inc. announced the layoffs of 118 staff at stations across Canada, including 18 at A Channel in Victoria. Just three months ago, Victoria’s other station, CHEK, layed off 19 staff and is for sale.

What’s the underlying story? Well at last night’s  event I ended up in the corner with a knot of local journalists and the subject naturally strayed to the current state of the media. It didn’t take much to agree that media is in decline, but we didn’t all agree on what’s next.

I fear newspapers are soon to be dead. Too bad, because I love spending weekend mornings in bed with a pot of tea and a stack of newspapers. But during the week, I depend on RSS feeds and my favourite news sites. Citizen journalists aren’t just a bunch of yahoos…many are professional journalists who are contributing to news sites as events unfold from around the world. This may be the new economic model, and the new social model. Heck, you’re reading a blog, aren’t you?

What does this mean for PR? More social media, yes, but we need to integrate these tools into other areas of PR. We also need to ensure that we remain accessible to ALL  people we need to consult and inform, otherwise our results are seriously skewed.

Top five things clients can do to help their PR agency succeed

1. Keep your PR company informed of business developments, HR successes and just about everything else. They will likely see opportunities you may overlook.

2. Be upfront about your expectations for PR. What do you want your PR campaign to help you accomplish? This will ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.

3. Understand that no PR campaign can be successful if it its claims are unfounded. A dishonest campaign, or one that “spins” the truth will only discredit your company.

4. Be open to new ideas and methods. A good PR firm will have reasons for their ideas and you should seriously consider them.

5. Understand that building or managing a company or product’s reputation takes time. Give your PR firm adequate time so they can do their work right.

Great books on social media

Hey there! Tonight I had a lot of fun speaking with PR students from Royal Roads University and University of Victoria at a CPRS student mixer called “Get Connected.” As well as me were three other PR pros – Katie Josephson, City of Victoria; Deidre Campbell, Tartan Group; and Marisa Adair, BC Public Affairs Bureau – and we had a great debate and discussion going about what it takes to be in PR, and probed the interesting and evolving world of social media.

I promised I’d post the name of two books I’m re-enjoying, so here they are to share.

The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting,
Viral Marketing and O
nline Media to Reach Buyers Directly,
by David Meerman Scott

Marketing to the Social Web: How Digital Customer Communities Build Your Business, Larry Weber

New Rules to Marketing & PRMarketing to the Social Web

I look forward to hearing from you about what books you’re reading. I also would be pleased to continue our discussion, “What is PR about these days?”

Why cutting back on marketing in a bear market is bull

I won’t say the R word, but we all know these are shaky economic times. Doom and gloom financial reports are making people nervous, and consumers and companies alike are cutting back spending. During an economic slump, budget cutbacks are a necessity, but experts warn companies against lumping marketing, advertising and PR budgets into their “discretionary spending” category.  And for good reason: it’s harder than ever to maintain your client base and reach new customers. Now is not the time to let marketing fall by the wayside.

No matter what kind of business you are in, now is the time to communicate to your customers that you still have a service/product they want/need.  A strong brand will always put you ahead, and an economic downturn can even present an opportunity to outsmart your competition. Many of your competitors may be cutting back on their marketing expenses, leaving your brand to standout in the minds of wary consumers looking for high-value products and services. Now may be the time to re-vamp a tired brand.

Companies with strong brands have historically outdone their competitors, in strong and weak economies. A 1998 PIMS study showed that increased marketing spending during the last recession achieved an average return on capital employed of 4.3%, compared to 0.6% for those that maintained marketing spending, and -0.8% for those that cut spending.

Top five ideas for brand management in an economic downturn:

1. Just do it.  Nike did it during the economic slump in the early 90s.  Reebok didn’t.  Nike upped their marketing budget and created one of the most recognized brands in the world.  When’s the last time you bought a pair of Reeboks?
2. Through good times and bad.  Recessions go away.  A strong brand won’t.
3. Spend wisely.  Just like your customers, your business is looking for value. You need sound business reasoning on all of your investments. The right blend of marketing, advertising and PR can promote your brand and reach your target markets, keeping your business afloat during hard times. Savvy marketing is worth its weight in gold.
4.  Get smart. Pay attention to how your target market is reacting.  Have you noticed a decrease in business?  What can you do to increase customer confidence in your brand and increase brand awareness?
5. Get noticed. Don’t be a wallflower!  Hiding in the corner won’t bring in timid consumers. Reaching your target market with a brand that reflects the strength and uniqueness of your organization will.

National Post Launches Canadian Terrorism Campaign

Terrorism: [teruh-riz-uhm] – noun

1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization

I received a phone call at Artemis PR & Design today and the conversation that followed went roughly like this:

Caller:    Hello Mrs Kerr? (sic)

Me:        Uh, yes.

Caller:    This is mumble, mumble from the National Post calling.

Me:        Oh, yes.

Caller:    Would you like to reinstate your subscription now?

Me:        No, thank you.

Caller:    Oh, well, when will you reinstate?

Me:        Thanks, but I’m not planning to renew.

Caller:    May I ask why not?

Me:        Well, we don’t need the paper version of your publication here at my business anymore.

Caller:    I see, well, you know with the northern advancement of the US Air Force and the lysteria outbreak spreading west, I’d think you would want to keep up on current events…

Me:    Good-bye.

What the heck? So if I don’t subscribe to the National Post, I’m going to be bombed by the US Air Force right after contracting listeria? Will this being happening anyway, or is the National Post going to send me these evil threats. (Sort of like when Time magazine sent me a calculator with a little solar clock. But much creepier.)

The Post’s tagline is A Better Read; more like You Better Read.

As if striking fear in my heart is the only way to sell their newspaper. It’s like newspaper terrorism. When I was the editor of a women’s magazine, we tried to boost subscriptions with contests and free books. Our subscription desk never threatened anyone with unibrows or varicose veins.

The National Post should be ashamed of supplying their telemarketers with scripts that contain this crap. It’s not selling; it’s just bad PR, crass marketing, offensive, rude, and a desperate attempt to sound relevant.

Kinda like its former chairman.