PR, Social Media, and Everything in Between

Posts tagged ‘Marketing and Advertising’

Selling At The Big Game

Super Bowl Sunday boasted a lot of great commercials, and some were pretty terrible. There will be those that are remembered, and those that will be chalked up to overzealous ad creatives. Here are the best and the worst of Super Bowl Sunday 2011.

The Best

The Force (Darth Vader)

I have a personal connection to Volkswagen, so this ad really warmed my heart. I think little kids are great, and the best part is that the ad is genderless. Growing up, I would have worn a Vader mask if I could have gotten my hands on one.

Imported From Detroit

Eminem is cool. Detroit is somehow made cool. This ad made me tear up a little. I felt proud to be American. Also… I got the song stuck in my head for an hour afterwards. On the flip side, I don’t plan on buying a Chrysler anytime soon. Still a fantastic ad overall!

The Worst

Bud Light

The Bud Light commercials in general were all lack luster. They just seemed to stop short of the mark. As a legal adult, I will occasionally indulge in a beer or two with friends. However, none of these ads made me want to run out and buy one.

In fact, I felt the opposite way. I’ve recently become fascinated with Miller Light’s Vortex bottle. I point it out to friends whenever I see it at the store:

“Look how cool that is!”

“What does it do?”

“I think the beer comes out better or something…But it’s so cool!”

Maybe Bud Light should try something new with their bottles!


Making light of the people of Tibet just to promote your internet consumer money saving company is never ok. I think they should have added something in the ad like “saving $30 meansyou can donate that money to charity.” They would have received less criticism.

I read an article by CNBC that interviewed the ad exec who produced the spot. Groupon had more than 50,00 new customers the day after the spot aired. So I guess Groupon got exactly what they aimed for. What does that say about the American Super Bowl viewing public?


Chitchat with the Groundswell in Social Media

Forrester Research’s Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff wrote a fascinating novel that examines social media. “Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies” looks at how companies can harness the power of the groundswell.

The groundswell is “a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.”


So everyone knows that companies are willing to shell out millions of dollars to run an ad on tv. Super Bowl Sunday is a prime example of this theory. But what do ads really accomplish? What if you could talk to your customers…

How do you talk to the groundswell?

1.       Post a viral video.

George Wright and Blendtec put together the viral video “Will It Blend?” These videos advertise the product and reach a mass audience the even the Super Bowl can’t compare with. The company even has a “Will It Blog?” area to their website that allows customers to weigh in.

2.       Engage in social networks.

Ernst & Young Careers page on Facebook allows college students to asks questions and get real answers and advice. The company takes time to respond to each comment posted on their wall. Students are exposed to traditional media, but they talk!

3.       Join the blogosphere.

GM’s blog has loads of information on a variety of topics.  Blogging can offer lots of different opportunities, so businesses have to decide their purpose for the blog. You can’t start a blog just to save costs and be successful. Most importantly, you need to use your blog to start and engage in conversation with your audience.

4.       Create a community.

Companies that create and maintain a community can tap into the groundswell with incredible. First make sure your audience will join the community (see Social Techographics Profile). Proctor & Gamble targeted tween girls for feminine care products with the creation of Being Girl gave girls the chance to ask questions and get answers on questions they were too embarrassed to ask anyone else.

If you’re company is looking at social media and aiming to become part of the conservation, then simply start by talking to the groundswell!

The Great Paradox of Social Media

Image Credit: "Social Media Monopoly" By clasesdeperiodismo

An interesting paradox exists between people and their privacy when it comes to social media. The very idea of social media as Mark Zuckeberg has pointed out time and time again is the ability to connect and share with people. We share all kinds of things from what we’re doing to everything we like (and everything we don’t!). We aim to connect with as many people as we can, but in the same breathe try to protect our privacy from intrusion.

Companies that have an interest in scooping up all that data we post on site imaginable turn to social media monitoring services. Social Media Monitoring enables companies to easily see everything we put on social media sites from Facebook to Flickr, Twitter to LinkedIn. These monitoring companies offer a variety services including mining the data and formulating useful graphs and charts on our habits.

The Debate

In light of both our fight for privacy and our need to share, critics debate the ethics of social media monitoring. In “Debating the Ethics of Social Media Research” Jeffrey  Henning outlined the debate.

1.      Cite/obscure identities of commenters: Do you give credit to the source or do you obscure the identity of individuals when using the data?

2.       Seek/don’t seek permission: Do you get consent to use the data or accept that consent is not always possible to obtain?

3.      Engage/don’t engage with commenters: Do you respond to commentators and possibly influence them or sit passively respecting that individual may say things online that are not always true?

4.      Respect/ignore perceptions of privacy: Do you allow the users to think their privacy is being respected or accept that everything on the internet is public?

Weighing In

Image Credit: "3D Character and Question Mark" By 姒儿喵喵

I think that standard PR ethics codes (i.e. PRSA) can adequately address the problems associated with social media monitoring. I think knowing and understanding the target audience is also a big part of the process. Forrester’s Social Technographic Consumer Profiles can illuminate how your target uses social media.

Passion precedes prosperity for PR professionals

Brona Cosgrave wrote on his blog about the “PR Client’s Bill of Rights,” and added two more additional points to the list of eight:

Image Credit: "88 Prosperity_7850" By Daniel Cheah

1.You have the right to measurable results or at least deliverables that can be met.

2. You have the right to be represented professionally.

3. You have the right to be represented by someone that actually knows your food, your book, your product.

4.You have the right to expect your PR professional to understand social media.

5. You have the right to expect your PR person to tailor their communications to the audience.

6. You have the right to a PR person that will not inconvenience the people with whom you are trying to build good

7. You have the right to a PR professional who will be smart about working for you.

8. You have the right to a PR professional that accurately and completely represents what s/he claims to represent.

9. You have the right to be represented by someone who shares your passion and enthusiasm.

10. You have the right to work with a PR team that is fun!

Cosgrave suggests that the PR professional should have passion for their clients.

I think that any job should include 50% work and 60% passion to equal 110% quality work. If you love your job and your clients, prosperity will come your way!

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