Tag Archives: Public Relations

Faceless People Are Causing a Stir

This site has moved. Go to MarketingInProgress.com and read about the Faceless People campaign.

It appears as though there are faceless people making appearances in England these days (be sure to read this post and see the pictures). The latest spotting has been at Wimbledon, with some Blair-Witch-esque camera work adding an especially spooky element (see below).

Ends up it’s a viral marketing campaigned managed by Lotus, the automobile manufacturer. There’s lots of talk regarding these creepy creatures, but the one I’d like to address comes from Samuel, who is skeptical that this type of marketing works, claiming it’s doubtful that he’ll be purchasing one of these automobiles.

It’s dangerous and inaccurate to measure success of a viral campaign in terms of sales. Granted, all marketing must ultimately lead to sales, but not all marketing tactics have to lead to sales directly. Viral marketing must be measured in publicity, buzz and exposure. This exposure, in turn, should then lead to interest, which should then funnel down into sales. It’s not an all or nothing proposition; it’s a step-by-step process in which viral marketing is simply a piece of the puzzle.

Based on publicity, I’d have to say the faceless people campaign is working brilliantly. Just take a look at some of the talk that’s going around, that a simple newspaper ad or TV commercial could have never generated. In the past week, there have been more than 1,600 blog posts on the topic alone. Plus, I have to think this has been a much more economical tactic. It’s genius in how it presents something it knows will be talked about, blogged about, YouTubed and Googled about, leading to this ominous website, awaiting whatever it is they are about to launch.

Will it lead to sales? I can’t say. My main concern is with gaining mass appeal for something with such a high price tag could be a bit wasteful. But it is a successful viral marketing campaign, simply because it got us, the consumer, to talk about them, the advertiser. And today, we are as equipped, or more equipped, to spread the word than the media.

Low Design Gains High Communication

Who said effective design needs to be high design?

Watch this video (PR Web in Plain English), and try to tell me its simplicity doesn’t actually communicate better than a slicker version they could’ve done.

When you care more about the listener than you do the speaker, communication gets better.

p.s. Anybody got any tips on using PR Web before I jump in headfirst?

Similar posts on Brett’s Blog:

  1. “Coming Soon” = Not Our Specialty
  2. The 10 Most “Robust” Words in Marketing


Words, Links, Innovations and Giant Leaps in Wine Labeling

A few noteworthy posts I’ve stumbled on over the past few weeks . . . .

  1. Yes, Words Matter: So when do you use “more than” instead of “over?” Better yet, when does it matter? CommonSense PR has a take on it.
  2. Link/Comment Baiting: Ed’s listed his favorite marketing-ish blogs. I’ve hit a few links, but plan on digging in over the next couple weeks.
  3. 5 Steps to Becoming a Buff: You just can’t go wrong with the ‘Seinfeld on Marketing’ series, but this is one of my favorites. I wanna be a buff!
  4. What Corporations Need from PR in a Web 2.0 world: Lee summarizes a keynote by Mike Moran that makes me feel better about not knowing everything that’s going on in the Web 2.0 world. My favorite Moran quote: “You have permission to sip from the new web 2.0 world, rather than drink from it like a fire hose.
  5. 10 Signs You Should Be Charging More as a Freelancer: A lighthearted but practical guide into making more out of making it on your own.
  6. 7 Things Innovators Do That You Don’t: My favorite one is that innovators aren’t afraid to communicate their crazy ideas.
  7. Peel-off Wine Label: Now this is too simple to be as smart as it is. Why hasn’t this been thought of before?
  8. Why Does Big Mean Bad?: Paul Williams details the process of moving from small to big, and that parts that may be inevitable. Why are people shifting away from Whole Foods now?

Hourly Rates, Eliot Spitzer and Formulas for Follow-Up: 9 Links Worth a Read

Great reading from the past few weeks – enjoy!

  1. Charging By Project, Not By the Hour: If you keep up with my blog on a regular basis, you know I’m anti-hourly rates. The Freelance Switch, one of my favorite new blogs, nails it on the head in this post. In Skellie’s words, “Setting up timers and staring at a clock can feel a little like office work.”
  2. Spitzer Can’t Communicate His Way Out of Sex Scandal: Common Sense PR captures the uselessness of damage control in the Eliot Spitzer ordeal. As Eric begins, There are times when the public is willing to forgive the indiscretions of public figures. This ain’t one of them.”
  3. The Power of Free Samples: Interesting study using instant formula samples given free to new mothers as they left the hospital. I’m not convinced this translates well into many other industries, but it’s still intriguing.
  4. The 8 Types of Creative Directors:FUNNY! I actually like the 8 Types of Bad Creative Critiques more.
  5. The Proper Way to Throw a Golf Club: Because we all need to get better at this.
  6. Advertising’s Legendary Letter by Bill Bernbach: It was 1947, and a young creative director saw the writing on the wall for his now big ad agency in an industry that was still in its adolescence at best. Very inspiring, and still very relevant. My favorite quote: “The danger lies In the natural tendency to go after tried-and-true talent that will not make us stand out in competition but rather make us look like all the others.”
  7. 11 Ways for Web Designers to Gain Exposure: Useful, common-sense tips on how to get the word out if you’re a web designer.
  8. 6 Reasons to become Self-Employed: Wisebread shares some pretty good reasons for doing it yourself in the business realm. I think the most appealing to me is no vacation days.
  9. A Simple Formula for Follow-Up: Ever get stuck in copying and pasting a follow-up email to prospects and clients? Ilise thinks you’re missing out – here’s some good advice on little things that could make a big difference.

Similar Posts on Brett’s Blog:

What Starbucks Should Be Doing Today

I like that Starbucks is closing its doors today for 3 hours to focus on training. Good move, and I actually like the message to consumers. However, they could have taken it one big step further. . . .

They should be encouraging their afternoon ‘regulars’ to donate that $3.25 they would normally drop on a White Mocha Latte toward a single charity of Starbucks’ choosing. They could faciliate it online, or better, just have a piggy bank of sorts outside of stores and drive-thru windows. It wouldn’t have affected their training, and it could’ve made a big, BIG difference in just a three-hour window.

I have no idea how many people normally buy a cup of joe from 5:30 – 8:30 on a Tuesday, but based on this Wiki stat of 6,783 stores in the U.S., if you assume 100 patrons per store, and $3.25 as the average purchase, that’s a quick $2.2 mil. generated. And I bet I’m underselling the 100 patrons part.

It would build awareness of Starbucks getting back to its basics, while also enhancing the community-feel of its ‘regulars,’ while also doing something good and attention-worthy.

7 Sins, a Lack of Logic and Wikipedia-Haters

Here are a few great links my mouse happened to find this past week:

  1. How to Make a Living Writing: This is an excellent series on writing with some practical tips from a successful but obviously approachable writer.
  2. They’ve Ruined Wednesdays: Jim makes a great point on when the best day to send emails is. You gotta zig when they zag!
  3. The 7 Deadly Sins of Management: There’s a lot of power in reading through this short little list. All of us will read it and think it’s obvious that you should do this. But would your direct reports agree that manage that way?
  4. Human Talk: Values: The Marketing Fresh Peel comments on when corporate gets conversational, and just how refreshing it is. Here, it uses Whole Foods as his example.
  5. Why Logic Doesn’t Always Work in Marketing: What’s it mean when a cosmetic product that doesn’t work actually does better than one that does? And for that very reason? Read the post.
  6. Encyclopedia Salesmen Hate Wikipedia: Seth Godin strikes again with another poigent commentary on the mix of business and technology, and which one wins when push comes to shove.
  7. Best Business Advice (short and sweet): Entertaining and helpful collection of one-liners of wisdom. I added my two cents to the original post, but I love the advice on this link to “not be intimidated. You’re smarter than most people, you just don’t know it yet.”
  8. Off-Target Blogging: Did Target really say they don’t consider bloggers part of their core guests? Should I be offended, or just disappointed in the stupidity to even publish something like that?

“Coming Soon” = Not Our Specialty

I stumbled across this New Jersey marketing company’s website as I was surfing tonight. I think it is a pretty informative site that explains the company well until I clicked on this link about PR.

In case you didn’t click it, it just says “coming soon.”

Coming SoonEvery other menu item contains a full description on the area of marketing expertise the company provides. Market research. Strategic Planning. Even Commercial Printing.

But not Public Relations.

So, do you hesitate at all in trusting these guys with your PR needs? I do. If anything, the “coming soon” tells me that PR is what they are the weakest at. In fact, my guess is they’ve just thrown it in there because it rounds out their services; it’s expected of a “full-service” marketing company.

My advice: Write something about how you approach PR fast (I mean, isn’t this kind of a PR opportunity for your company?) or don’t build the webpage.

Better advice: Just drop it altogether. If it’s not your area of expertise, let it go. My impression is you’re really good at the other stuff, so leave it at that. Find someone to refer your clients to. It will actually make you more valuable to them, not less. Providing services that you’re not an expert in is what lowers your value.

Related posts on Brett’s Blog

  1. Getting Away From Your Bread and Butter
  2. Battle of the Grocery Store Websites