Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 Another Year Shot to Heck!

Christmas 2010
2010, The Year That Was… 

Its time to bid 2010
Adios, so-long, bye-bye
Some say it was just rotten
A year that’s gone awry

Health care laws get re-hashed
Foreclosure leaves us bleak
Lady Gaga’s unsurpassed
And Twitter’s at its peak

Trillion dollar deficits
Hit obscenely new sky highs
Our living standard is the pits
We have to roll our eyes

In Afghanistan the battles rage
At peace can we excel?
It’s really hard to disengage
Don’t ask, and please don’t tell

The jobless rate is much too high
It’s stuck near 10 percent
Optimism’s in short supply
Sarah Palin for president?

Global warming, I feel a chill
Melting glaciers in retreat
Our pensions sliding down the hill
North Korea’s bringing heat

Despite the woes we surely face
There’s still one thing to Love
We’ll all survive if we embrace
The higher power Above

Check out my LinkedIn profile:

Copyright 2010
all rights reserved by the author

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Guerrilla Marketing Meets the Christmas Spirit

Bah Humbug!  Here's a Holiday feel good story for you.  As you might recall, I've been doing some volunteer PR work for a large animal shelter. (Centre County PAWS)  Recently I was asked to help decorate a Christmas tree for the annual "Festival of the Trees".  It's a big community event sponsored by the YMCA- local businesses decorate trees to show their holiday spirit. (And get some attention too!)

     Usually, the animal shelter sets up a pretty typical animal shelter tree- using dog bones, leashes & stuffed dog and cat toys for ornaments.  It's very nice- and a good theme.  But this time we decided to try something different.  So we contacted a local elementary school and asked if any students would be willing to make ornaments- illustrating their desire to help homeless animals.  A German teacher and an Art teacher said they'd do it.

     I'm thinking it's a win-win.  We get a tree loaded with handmade decorations. We demonstrate the animal shelter is involved in the community.  And we get some good PR for the animal shelter.  And who knows, maybe we can even get PAWS a mention in the newspaper.  We can use it- money is tight and we desperately need volunteers.  

     Frankly, I wasn't expecting much in the way of student-crafted ornaments.  Maybe some paper mache glops with whiskers on them?  What I got was definitely not The Usual.  When I picked up the ornaments last night I was floored.  These are really  good!
     The kids made dozens of regular round glass ornaments- decorating them to look like dog faces complete with snouts.  They made dozens of cat ornaments out of wooden spoons with pipe-cleaner tails.  They tied ribbons and bells to dog bones.  And all of the ornaments are really cute.

     But the most amazing part- kids took photos of our homeless animals, etched them onto foil, and painted them.  You can actually recognize the dogs and cats- except that now they're works of art!  They even made a tree-topper out of a dog dish- filled with biscuits- emblazoned with the PAWS logo.  Unbelievable!
     The tree is amazing.  So, we're contacting the newspaper and TV stations to tell them how these wonderful, talented kids are helping animals in need.  We're contacting the school district's PR department so they can do a story on these terrific students.  I'm even blogging about it!

     Here's the take-away.  This could have been a run-of-the-mill event for us.  But by trying something different we got something unusual.  I'm not saying we're geniuses- we just tried something different.  Suddenly this is a fun, somewhat exciting, semi-high-visibility production.

What mundane PR events are on your calendar?  How can you replace the Ho-Hum with a burst of HoHoHo?  My Grandmother always said, "Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid."  So get out there and be bold- get creative.  And your client just might think you really are a PR genius!  How's that for a Holiday feel good story?  I leave you with a video clip of our magnificent Christmas tree!

Check out my LinkedIn profile:

Copyright 2010
all rights reserved by the author

Friday, December 3, 2010

Yahoo's Top 10 Reasons You Should Care

     I'll admit it.  The excitement here at Steve Bauer Media is palpable.  We're all atwitter because Yahoo just released it's list of "Top 10 Searches" for 2010.  And The List says a lot about the world we live in. The giant search machine claims 631 million people used its service- making billions of searches.  Drum roll please.  

     Not surprisingly, you and/or your firm's name are not on this list.  Unless you work for BP.  Yahoo says this year's most searched term was "BP Oil Spill".  There's a classic lesson in bad PR.  On the other hand, BP is #1!  You could argue that any publicity is good publicity- as long as they spell your name right.  B-P, Got it. 

     On the other hand, the #2 spot goes to "World Cup" a stunning PR success for South Africa, Soccer, and the makers of those awful vuvuzela horns

     But here's where it gets interesting;
3) Teen Singer 'Miley Cyrus'
4) Reality Show Royalty 'Kim Kardashian'
5) Pop Princess 'Lady Gaga'
7) Actress 'Megan Fox'
8) Boy Toy 'Justin Bieber'
9) American Idol
10) Britney Spears

     Lost in the sea of entertainment luminaries is #6- the iPhone.  We'll dial up the iPhone in a sec.  So what does this top 10 search list tell us about America?  We're apparently very interested in young pop stars/entertainers.  This suggests that most Yahoo users are also young pop star/entertainment-crazed internet users.  You might recall that a few years back Britney Spears was a perennial #1 on Yahoo's list.  Now that she's getting older Britney has plummeted to #10.  So if I'm selling Geritol (you kids will have to ask your parents) I'd stay with Lawrence Welk reruns.  If I'm selling Red Bull (the 2010 version of Geritol) Yahoo might be a great place to use your PR/marketing dollars.

     Which brings us back to #6, the iPhone.  That's not a big surprise.  I mean, what do you think these young people are using to search Yahoo?  Still, I am surprised the iPad, iMac and iNausea aren't also on the list.  Steve Jobs seems to be a one-man marketing machine.  So if you want to target the youth/tech market, developing an iPhone "app" for your product or service might be a really good (cost efficient) way to reach your audience. 

     So what is the take away from all this?  Despite all the polls and surveys reporting that record numbers of older people are using the internet, I'm a little skeptical.  Sure, Grandma is finally learning to send e-mail.  And in some cases she's even on Facebook.  But Twitter?  Not so much.  I'll bet the vast majority of internet users skew towards the 30-and-under set.  Just saying.

     Another thing I'm just saying.  How come Yahoo users care more about teen singers than they do about the real world?  I said real world, not reality world.  My guess?  Younger people want to feel good- not depressed.  Otherwise, Yahoo's list would look like this.

1) Wall Street Bailouts
2) Unemployment
3) Budget Deficit
4) 2010 Elections
5)Global Warming
6) Afghanistan War
7) Sarah Palin
8) North Korea
9) Gays in Military
10) Immigration

     Pass the Geritol.  Lady Gaga is looking better by the minute.

Check out my LinkedIn profile:

Copyright 2010
all rights reserved by the author