Saturday, October 27, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
RoadShow HollywoodSeptember 18-20Hollywood, California
"The entertainment industry is one way to predict what the trends are going to be," says Mitch Litvak, RoadShow founder. At this conference, entertainment execs premiere the next 6 to 18 months' worth of movies, TV, music, and gaming products so brand marketers can hunt for opportunities to develop Happy Meals and other tie-ins. Last year, New Line Cinema pitched its movie adaptation of the Broadway musical Hairspray. It ultimately led to Carnival Cruise Lines creating "the Hairspray experience." "We have karaoke nights, and dance instructors teach moves from the film," says Lance Still, an executive VP at New Line. Nickelodeon, Universal Music, and Warner Bros. are among this year's presenters. "We'll be highlighting Speed Racer, Steve Carell's Get Smart remake, and Where the Wild Things Are," says Warner senior VP of domestic promotions Mimi Slavin. --Aimee Rawlins
Monday, October 22, 2007
That and more news as the Commonwealth announced a change in their department name.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Two of the more engaging speakers at the conference were Procter & Gamble (http://www.pg.com/) Global External Relations Officer Charlotte Otto and James Greathouse, Director of Internal Communications for Starbucks. While both groups are known for innovation, Otto advised that the venerable corporate giant has been cautious in being transparent to consumers. For P&G, that opaqueness comes in the form of revealing details about product ingredients, something unthinkable even a few years ago.
Consumer brands face a hostile and skeptical market today, she added (citing Dan Yankelovich's book Profit With Honor in which the author details America's third wave of public distrust--following the Depression and Vietnam--coming in the form of 911, corporate scandals and the Iraq War (http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=0300108583). Otto says P&G's goal is to be authentic and interesting but safe to advertisers. "We have to respect consumers as co-creators acknowledging their control over the message."
If the coffee doesn't give Starbucks (http://www.starbucks.com/) executives the jitters, the problems created by the organization's growth might. Greathouse says seven new Starbucks a day are opening creating hundreds of new jobs for partners and baristas but also keeping busy about 1,200 employees in real estate, store design and construction as well as 150 HR people and regional Vice Presidents, Directors and District Managers. Imagine the potential for communication chaos with these swelling numbers. And Greathouse says the cost is potentially enormous. He reported that a single poorly written headline on an intranet home page amounts to $1,000 in wasted employee time (think about pondering a headline, clicking through it even though it's useless, taking time to decide whether it's useless, you get the picture). How to deal with this? Greathouse has pulled together a multi-department task force predicating their work on what the audiences need, or as Greathouse so succinctly phrased it, "Do things because the audience wants it not because it's cool or because (as the IT department might boast) 'we can.' "
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
This lack of competitiveness got me thinking that while marketing and PR professionals complain about how difficult it is to stay on top and be innovative, the alternative is to become irrelevant and have potential customers lose interest in your product. It compels each of us to rise above the mediocrity we see within our industries and sometimes within our organizations. What can we do to differentiate ourselves? How can we, as author Andy Sernovitz, writes in his book Word of Mouth Marketing, create a topic about what we do to enhance and prolong the conversation about what makes our organization, our industry great. We should even prod our competitors to do so the same so we can all elevate our industry in the minds of our customers. Something to think about.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
- Widget Ads (really mini website ads) are the latest phenomenon in effective online advertising. One example I found is boo-box (http://boo-box.com/site/) which promotes relevant marketing;
- Video ads are a must in your advertising budget. Tim doesn't advocate eliminating all traditional advertising but he says that the majority of your advertising should be Internet-based;
- Optimization doesn't cut it. He says about 95 percent of your online advertising budget should be directed to paid placement on search engines which he says is much more effective (with only about five percent put towards optimization).
Finally Tim said marketers need to remember they are in the "pain relief business." And he advised that Internet marketing that works allows buyers to find an exact solution to their search query, a phrase he used to define Contextual Advertising.
Tim is certainly not alone in his bullishness. A new report from the Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers found that Internet advertising revenues reached a combined total of nearly $10 billion during the first six months of this year...a 27 percent increase from the same period a year ago-driven largely by interactive advertising revenue.
Friday, October 5, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pat Frew, Director of Communications
GREEN AND SAFETY ARE THE KEY TOPICS FOR REGIONAL
CONFERENCE FOR COLLEGE FACILITIES MANAGERS
Covington, KY/September 28, 2007—People who manage facilities for more than 50 colleges and universities throughout the Southeastern United States as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands will be attending an upcoming conference hosted by Northern Kentucky University at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center October 6-9.
Two of the major topics explored by members of the Southeastern Regional Association of Physical Plant Administrators (SRAPPA) will be “green” or initiatives to make school buildings more environmental friendly and preparing for disasters such as pandemic influenza.
Steve Glazner, Director of Knowledge Management for SRAPPA’s national organization the Association of Physical Plant Administrators (www.appa.org), says SRAPPA’s 56th Annual Conference in Covington continues its long-standing tradition of high-quality educational programs and networking opportunities for its membership.
“The issues of sustainability and ‘green design’ have reached a true tipping point. Educational institutions are taking the lead in developing, integrating and educating sustainability concepts into their facilities’ operations, design and engineering curricula and through student involvement,” said Glazner.
Presenters will lay out details of a process called commissioning, prevalent the past two decades in the military and industrial sectors, which allows for greater cost-savings in construction and design while maintaining high-performance buildings.
One topic which is generating pre-conference interest relates to making campuses more environmental friendly. Monday, October 8 at 9:30 a.m., Project Engineer Megan Hawk of Facility Engineering Associates of Fairfax, VA will co-present the topic When Green Alternatives Make Sense. She says it’s important that university leaders don’t approach green programs too quickly.
“Sustainability without strategy is a mistake. In order to be successful, facility managers need to define their sustainable goals, develop a sustainable plan, and implement that plan. Without a strategy, universities can end up wasting valuable funds.”
The World Health Organization reported as of September 11, 2007 there have been 328 lab-confirmed cases of pandemic flu, originating from close contact with wild birds, mainly in Southeast Asia. Two hundred of these cases have resulted in death. Kate Van Sant serves as Vice President for Communications, SRAPPA and Assistant to the Associate Vice President of Facilities and Services, West Virginia University. On Tuesday, October 9 at 3:15 p.m. she will co-present the topic Pandemic Planning For Colleges and Universities, presenting resources and sample outline plans for combating the problem should an outbreak occur.
Van Sant says pandemic concerns relate to the responsibilities of facility managers. “Institutions of higher education function as small cities. In the event of a pandemic of avian influenza, you may need to shut down offices, classroom spaces, transportation systems, dorms, restaurants, even large athletic and cultural event centers. Students could become stranded on campus as well as employees assigned to serve the needs of students and to maintain facilities. Also, you have a high need to constantly communicate with all populations effected by the institution including parents, faculty, the surrounding community and emergency agencies.”
The SRAPPA region encompasses Northern Kentucky University as its northern most tip and goes as far south as Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, as far west as Tennessee and Alabama and to the east the Atlantic Coast region. About 350 professionals are expected. Walk-in registration is available for the two-day educational sessions ($250) or for all four days ($500). For more information about the conference: www.srappa.org.
Monday, October 1, 2007