Archive for January, 2009
Upon arriving in Memphis James Andrews updated his Twitter account with the following post:
“True confession but I’m in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say, ‘I would die if I had to live here.’”
Vice President, Director at Ketchum Interactive in Atlanta, Andrews was in town to meet with one of the agency’s top clients, FedEx, about social media. Employees within FedEx were following “keyinfluencer” and the post was shared with top executives at the company. Obviously, it didn’t sit well as Memphis is home to FedEx’s corporate headquarters. A corporate communications employee responded to Andrews with the following:
“Mr. Andrews, If I interpret your post correctly, these are your comments about Memphis a few hours after arriving in the global headquarters city of one of your key and lucrative clients, and the home of arguably one of the most important entrepreneurs in the history of business, FedEx founder Fred Smith. Many of my peers and I feel this is inappropriate. We do not know the total millions of dollars FedEx Corporation pays Ketchum annually for the valuable and important work your company does for us around the globe. We are confident however, it is enough to expect a greater level of respect and awareness from someone in your position as a vice president at a major global player in your industry. A hazard of social networking is people will read what you write. Not knowing exactly what prompted your comments, I will admit the area around our airport is a bit of an eyesore, not without crime, prostitution, commercial decay, and a few potholes. But there is a major political, community, religious, and business effort underway, that includes FedEx, to transform that area. We’re hopeful that over time, our city will have a better “face” to present to visitors. James, everyone participating in today’s event, including those in the auditorium with you this morning, just received their first paycheck of 2009 containing a 5% pay cut … which we wholeheartedly support because it continued the tradition established by Mr. Smith of doing whatever it takes to protect jobs. Considering that we just entered the second year of a U.S. recession, and we are experiencing significant business loss due to the global economic downturn, many of my peers and I question the expense of paying Ketchum to produce the video open for today’s event; work that could have been achieved by internal, award-winning professionals with decades of experience in television production. Additionally Mr. Andrews, with all due respect, to continue the context of your post; true confession: many of my peers and I don’t see much relevance between your presentation this morning and the work we do in Employee Communications.”
Andrews later apologized for the incident, claiming that the post was directed at an experience with an “intolerant individual” and not the city itself. Ketchum also apologized, and fortunately for Mr. Andrews, FedEx let the entire thing go.
The takeaway from this event comes from FedEx corporate spokesman Jess Bunn:
“This lapse in judgment also demonstrates the need to apply fundamental communications principles in the evolving social networking environment: Think before you speak; be careful of you what you say and how you say it. Mr. Andrews made a mistake, and he has apologized. We are moving on.”
Aren’t we, as marketers who are helping our clients break into social media, supposed to practice what we preach? Maybe not….
It’s a tricky line, one that came up in a meeting today at Risdall Marketing Group. The conversation was a constant battle of “Those pictures of (X) partying make the agency look unprofessional and are not positive to the image that we are trying to portray.” vs. “You can’t tell people what they can/cannot publish- they should just know better.”
Whether it’s personal tweets on a Twitter profile about how awesome your weekly lunch was at Hooters, or a profile picture on your Facebook that shows you in a compromising situation, there’s more to think about with every bit on information you divulge to the greater public.
With the internet and social media came an unprecedented ability, a need really, to share personal information with people you barely know. And I’m not talking about what you had for lunch- I’m talking about baby announcements, the exact street address of where you will be at from 5-7 pm tonight, and exactly-down to the last minute detail- how you feel about Obama being left-handed. The only problem is who these strangers could be. Are the future clients? Future bosses? Future love interests? I definitely used to ‘Google’ guys when I started to date them (I finally found one who passed the background inspection). And it’s no surprise that recruiters are beginning to look at interviewee’s Facebook profiles to see who they really are.
So what is a marketing pro supposed to do? Is having a private profile no longer enough? I don’t show up in search engine searches for my name, and if you do somehow find me on Facebook you can’t even see my picture when the pop-up box to befriend me appears. Am I just as vulnerable as others? Maybe. Within your network of friends, maybe one of them works for the company that you are applying at (If you are applying at Target Corp, increase that number to 250 friends). To please their friends in HR, you better believe that your ‘friends’ will give up access to your profile or just speak to your online character when your name comes up.
What do u think? Is it as important nowadays to keep your private and professional lives separate? Or has social media made it more acceptable to have a life outside of work? At what point do you censor what u want to say?
Can we still preach transparency?
“I’ll have the autumn risotto with a side salad and a class of your best red from Spain.”
“..And I’ll just have some water.”
So started my introduction to the “Lemonade Diet /The Master Cleanse” – an intense cleanse where your sole source of energy and nutrients is a “lemonade on crack” consisting of purified water, lemon juice, grade B maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Back when I was a waitress at an organic restaurant (see a previous post on how I quit the job via social media) I had a couple of regulars who would always come in and mention their lemonade diet, which they loved and repeated about every month. They told me everything I needed to know and I was amazed at their self control and their love for this cleanse.
Naturally, I went straight to my two roommates and told them everything I had learned, and that I was going to try to do it. They couldn’t believe that a person could live for 7-10 days on just lemonade (yes- over a week!), but I assured them that I had met 2 healthy, mentally stable individuals who do the cleanse all the time. That quelled the nerves and we went straight to the nearest Whole Foods by Lake Calhoun. Apparently, so did the rest of Minneapolis. There was only 3 jars of organic lemon juice left, 5 organic jugs of grade b maple syrup left and there was only remnants of cayenne pepper left in the massive jar.
We chalked the lemon juice up as a fluke, but by the time we saw there the cayenne pepper had run dry we knew- the entire city was on the lemonade diet. As we were checking out the man in the lane next to us commented, “Ah.. Doin the lemonade cleanse?” I was shocked. I had never heard of this cleanse before, and instead of being ahead of the curve i was way behind. The woman checking us out asked, “Are you all doing the master cleanse together? That’s a good idea.” Then the boy bagging our groceries mentioned, “A guy came in today and bought 60 lemons to make his lemon juice for this diet by hand.”
We were floored. We also spent $25 on supplies each (Grade b syrup is expensive) and chickened out and never did the diet.
How did you hear about you most recent diet? I hard about it from complete strangers- who became influencers.
From Twitter to Facebook to LinkedIn and everything in-between, social media is all the rage for communicating these days. That makes sense; after all, everyone likes to know about the new kids (or communication tools) on the block, right? I have been starting to hear about successful media pitches done via social networking sites, and that’s cool.
But let’s not forget about the telephone. I’m not talking about texting; I’m talking about actually picking up the telephone and using it to call someone. To those new to the public relations field, don’t rely on just e-mail or social media to reach reporters. Use the telephone too — it provides for a more human connection, less possibility for being misunderstood, and just might distinguish your public relations efforts from those who consider the telephone antiquated. Here’s to the telephone and its ability to build relationships.
How many diets can you name off the top of your head?
- South Beach
- Lemonade Fast
- The Zone
- Jenny Craig
- Weight Watchers
How are you aware of these? Have you ever looked into researching the different types of diets? Probably Not. In my case, I am aware of the different diets by reading about them in different magazines or on talk shows- usually in the form of “which celebrity is on which diet.” For instance, I can tell you that Jennifer Anniston was a loyal follower of The Zone Diet, and ate the same salad for 10 years while filming Friends. Truth! And who can forget when Kirstie Alley appeared on the Oprah Show in 2008 in her skivvies?
I know everything I know about these diets from reading articles that are the result of some serious PR efforts, not from seeing traditional ads. In fact, I can only remember seeing ads for Jenny Craig …. Just think about that for a second. The power of public relations to bring an issue to light and persuade the normal American that they could spare to shed a few. It’s hard to ignore- especially during “The Diet Season” – the beginning of the new year when New-Years-Resolution-Fever breaks out and all the media is inundated with health advice. Even I fell prey- come back this week to hear about the detox program that I am currently following.
One of our bloggers, Cydney, has just started a detox as part of a last minute hail-Mary effort to shed her winter weight before going to Mexico in 3 weeks. She will be blogging everyday for the next 7 days on the status of her detox and the marketing principles behind diet advertisements. Example: Why is Jillian Barberie so dang tan in those NutriSystem ads in the back of the celebrity mags?
Grab a smaller, portion controlled slice of marketing pie each day this week.
“This is the best version of Windows, ever.” That’s what Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer said yesterday at CES 2009. Windows 7, Microsoft’s new operating system is rumored to replace Vista, the system that always crashes my Dell laptop and gives me the blue screen of death. If that is true, that means Vista was only given 2 years to upset people all over, myself included.
Windows 7 beta comes out tomorrow. If it is the ‘best version of Windows ever“, I’m all for it. I’m PC, and proud of it. Another bad Windows product might have me leaning towards Apple products.
When I first started at RIsdall, there were hesitations in switching from reliable Windows XP to Vista. After my experience with Vista, it makes perfect sense why they didn’t switch. I should have spent a couple hundred bucks in getting my old laptop fixed.
Vista has a good feel to it: smooth, clean, and loves to crash on me when I’m writing long blogs, papers, or emails. I’m very open to trying Windows 7; it can’t be worse than Vista.
Do you have Vista on your computer/laptop? What are your experiences so far? Will you try Windows 7 when it comes out tomorrow? Will Microsoft apologize for creating Microsoft Vista?