Monday, May 23, 2011

Giving reporters the followup they want

Great tip from David Meerman Scott at Web Ink Now: Reporters are going to be looking for the followup, so be ahead of the game and be prepared to give them a followup.

Meerman Scott writes,

The technique goes like this:

1) Something breaks in the news.

2) Then, everyone wants to put some context around the story. The journalists are looking in real-time to find "the second paragraph."

3) Your job is to instantly get your story or idea out there if you can add to what’s being written and provide that perfect second paragraph.

Read more at Web Ink Now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Six verbs describing the large scale trends of new media

Kevin Kelly, "senior maverick" of WIRED magazine, gave listener six verbs describing the large scale trends in new media at last month’s Biola Media Conference.

The conference, titled “Beyond Digital: What Matters Now” and held at CBS Studios, focused on the front lines of change and how that impacts a connected world.

Keynote speaker Kelly said the changes in new media can be described in six words: screening, interacting, sharing, flowing, accessing and generating.

Kelly said the screen has become a common denominator, noting that 20 years ago watching a movie on a phone was unthinkable. Thus, Christians are moving toward becoming people of the screen rather than people of the book. Those screens are also becoming more interactive with cameras on both sides of iPads and software that can track where your eyes give the most attention on a website.

“Everything we make have eyes in them,” Kelly said. “They’re looking out. They’re seeing the world, and that means they can understand where they’re being used. They can see the environment in which they’re being used. They can begin to respond in some ways to not just you, but also your environmental context in which you are watching something.”

In addition to having an interactive nature, Kelly said new media encourages sharing through social media.

“There’s a long line of things we’ve begin to share that people said we would never share,” Kelly said. “When you share, you amplify the power. Anything that can be shared will be shared. That’s where we’re going.”

Power and value also comes in different forms today because things being generated are free more often than not, Kelly said, calling the Internet the “world’s largest copying machine.”

Kelly said information today is flowing, or taking the form of streams of information such as what is found in RSS feeds and on Facebook walls. In a world where everything is so accessible, that very accessibility becomes valuable.

“It turns out that if it’s not on Netflix streaming, we’re not watching,” Kelly said. “Why should I buy if I can have instant access? I’m not buying music, I’m subscribing... purchasing access to the entire library.”

Kelly said there is a shift from ownership to access, and the power will be with those who are providing access, not sales. Value comes in things that can’t be copied such as immediacy, personalization, authentication, findability, embodiment, interpretation, accessibility, attention and connection.

What do you find value in as new media progresses? Are sales important? Or are there other things more important for success?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pros and Cons of SHN Broadway in San Francisco's guess the new season contest

SHN Broadway in San Francisco had a contest to see who could guess the new season. One winner received a free season subscription. They gave four clues, two of them easy, two of them hard. The contest successfully raised hype about the upcoming season. The lack and difficulty of clues, however, as well as the delay in announcing a winner, did not match up with the contest idea when it came to positive marketing. Contests are good ideas, and SHNSF does a great job of interacting with customers on Facebook and Twitter, but as a participant I would have appreciated a personalized email announcing the news season and the winner and pointing me to the website for more information. This is good public relations and it drives sales.

Friday, May 13, 2011

My love-hate relationship with limited video previews of Broadway shows

I know it's a good marketing technique, but I hate that I can't find very much video of new and old Broadway shows. It's all part of equity laws, but it's also a good marketing technique that piques interest and forces the viewer to actually go to the show to see what they want to see.

For example, The Book of Mormon has no video footage of the show available, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying has made an extremely limited amount of video featuring its star, Daniel Radcliffe, available. Radcliffe, also known in Hollywood for playing Harry Potter, is the main star attraction. People go to the show to see him, regardless of whether the show is any good. There has also been a lot of speculation over whether Radcliffe can actually sing, act and talk with an American accent. Therefore, marketers have made very little video of him available, but at same time they have promoted him and used his name to propel the show's success.

What is a reasonable preview of a product?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Popular airline trends in customer service and marketing and why Copa Airlines does not meet those standards

I returned from The Dominican Republic a little over a week ago, and I was less than satisfied with the customer service, public relations and marketing policies exhibited by Copa Airlines.

With JetBlue and Virgin America airlines offering individual video screens for each customer as well as spacious, leather seats for the cabin class, expectations are high, especially for international flights. Based on my experience with these and Copa Airlines, I decided to put together a list of what I expect from a good airline when it comes to customer comfort and service.

Comfortable seats: Not necessarily leather seats, but roomy and comfortable, nonetheless. Copa's seats were comfortable enough, but were nothing compared to other airlines - even domestic airlines.

Free video for each person: Copa had video, but there was only one screen for every couple of rows, and the videos played were preselected. Grant you, it was free to watch them, but considering that British airlines had individual screens for every person back in 2002, I think Copa has had plenty of time to improve. JetBlue and Virgin America offer a cool map feature that lets you see where your plane is, as well as free TV channels and movie options that are on a constant loop.

Pillows, blankets and headphones: On this count, Copa passes. They made these items freely available and easy to access.

Friendly flight attendants: For the most part, Copa passes, but when I asked for an extension seat belt, the flight attended gave me an unfriendly look that made me feel very inferior and stupid.

Not over overbooking flights: On my return flight from Panama, Copa overbooked the flight by 36 people. I understand overbooking by a few people to guarantee a full flight, but 36 people! That's just ridiculous, poor business dealing.

Not making the customer feel guilty/Not forcing the customer to give up seats: Copa tried to convince my group of 15 people to give up our seats due to the overbooking. They pretty much made it look like they had already taken our seats away, even though we had confirmed seats. They wanted to pressure us into volunteering our seats by making it look like we didn't have seats in the first place. Bad public relations, Copa. Try to make a better impression next time.

Reasonable offers for giving up seats: Copa offered to pay for hotel and food, as well as to give each of us $300 in flight credit for Copa. None of us ever planned on flying Copa again - we don't go to Latin America very often. Plus, $300 isn't even enough to pay for a one way flight with Copa, which only offers expensive international flights. Airlines used to offer free flight credit in exchange for giving up your seat. What happened to those days? And if you're going to overbook by 36 people, you really should be willing to deal with the consequences.

So what's on your list of positive airline relations?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Exclusive rights equals great publicity

Sometimes the best way to get the word out is to gain as much publicity as possible. Other times you can build excitement for your product or service by offering something exclusive to one media outlet.

Take The Book of Mormon musical, for example. The cast recording comes out in June, but the entire recording has been made exclusively available at NPR for your listening pleasure. This has subsequently gained the show publicity for its recording via publications like Playbill.com reporting on the exclusive release.

What's the better route? Aiming for wide publicity? Or offering something exclusive?