22 January 2011

The Blurry Line Between Public Relations and Marketing

I continue to be fascinated by the blurry line between Public Relations and Marketing. Social Media is to blame.

The Difference Between Public Relations and Marketing

For most of my career, PR was something I saw only when working with my client’s corporate communications people on corporate image advertising or usage standards for the company logo. I knew their work was important, but I rarely had to consider it in my own plans. The client that most coordinated PR and Marketing was McDonald’s.

Social Media brings Public Relations and Marketing together

In the past couple of years, however, a lot changed. Social Media forced advertisers to share the megaphone with ordinary consumers. If you think that Social Media is automatically the province of a digital or ad agency, you’re overlooking the role of PR agencies, who understand how to field hot grounders from the general public. You’ve seen a lot of examples play out on Twitter. In fact, some of my favorite people to follow are PR execs such as Steve Rubel of Edelman.

What’s ahead in 2011

I’d recommend two recent articles if you’d like to dig into this topic a little deeper. The Economist had a long article last month describing the history of PR and its increased relevance today. Ronn Torossian, head of 5WPR, also published an article last month, but with a forward view, predicting five challenges for the industry in 2011. (I also posted on this topic in 2009.)

Practical advice for Publicists and Marketers

One naysayer commented on Torossian’s article, questioning the increased role of PR in corporate decision-making. Perhaps we can question whether Torossian’s vision will become real in 2011, but things seem to be headed in the direction he predicts. The key for PR people is to better understand corporate marketing objectives and strategies. The key for Marketers is to better understand how PR can help them connect with consumers.

20 January 2011

Parents and Children, Then and Now

The recent "Your Mom Hates This" campaign for EA's Dead Space 2 (TV spot here, website here, photo at right) is driving some buzz ahead of the video game's release date next week.

It reminded me a little of the campaign 20 years ago from Wrigley's Amurol division for Bubble Tape. You can see two of the spots on YouTube, here and here.

All of us can appreciate that parent-child relationships range from respect to rebellion. When respect is the norm, there is harmony; when rebellion is the norm, there is trouble.

Does this campaign push rebellion? I'll let you be the judge. If you are interested in thinking about it a little more, read this unexpected commentary from a game reviewer who's also a mom. She liked Dead Space 2, but she didn't like stereotypes.

14 January 2011

"Where do you want to be in 5 years?"

I have a standard question when helping employees plan their careers and when interviewing prospective employees: “Where do you want to be in 5 years?”

The answer shows how self-aware a person is, how well they’ve planned ahead, and importantly their capacity to dream a little bit. Some of the answers are very specific, like a job title or a function. Some are lofty, like having achieved something exceptional. Others are developmental, like having learned a new skill or discipline.

It occurred to me last night that this question may be unfair. Our business is changing so quickly that it’s hard to plan five years ahead. So now I’m going to ask, “Where do you want to be in 3 years?” If the answer is about next year, and has substance, I’ll gladly accept it.

You can still dream big about next year or even this year. Rapid change in our business also means that new opportunities arise all the time, and we shouldn’t be afraid to embrace them.

Kevin Carroll, Katalyst

If you want some inspiration, check out Kevin Carroll, self-proclaimed Katalyst. He addressed the annual meeting of Draftfcb Chicago last night and really inspired me. He publishes a blog and you can follow him on Twitter. That's his picture above.

03 January 2011

Vox Populi

Here are the most-read posts on Ad Majorem, subject by subject:

Channel-neutral planning
1. None of us are “media agnostic”
2. Are you a Specialist or a Generalist?
3. Can One Agency Really Do It All for a Client?

1. Online Media is a process, not an event
2. Who “owns” Mobile?
3. Hyper Island: Burn the Ships

1. Reducing Assortment II
2. Reducing Assortment
3. “The changing media landscape” …of Retail

1. iPad’s :30 in Oscars was not its first ad
2. The basis of all great advertising
3. TV is dead – long live TV

1. Should ad agencies and media agencies re-bundle?
2. The History of the Ad Agency Business – in one easy power point slide!*
3. What does the future look like?

Results and Accountability
1. “Oh – were we supposed to prove the results of what we did?”
2. “I don’t know which half of my ad budget I’m wasting – and I don’t WANT to know!”
3. How to know “which half of my advertising budget is wasted”

1. Global assignments are complex, so keep ‘em simple
2. Canada and its consumers
3. Why Global Brands matter

Professional Development
1. 3 keys to (continued) survival in 2010
2. 3 keys to job survival for 2011
3. Why Diversity is important in Marketing, and how you can help achieve it in the workplace

Bubbling Under: 3 posts that didn’t make the lists above
1. 3 reasons you should care about Shopper Marketing
2. Hyper Island II: The Network
3. Have you allowed raisinets in your brand’s portfolio?