Archive for the 'Media' Category


General Mills…to disclose or not to disclose?

General Mills is now using a blog-influencing campaign to encourage over 900 bloggers to try their products and blog about them. The network, MyBlogSpark, is distributing free product samples for the group to try.


Brandweek’s Brian Morrissey mentioned in his article that, “The company (General Mills) suggests bloggers inform readers they receive products for review, although that is not a requirement for participation in the program. It does not compensate the bloggers in any other way, according to David Witt, brand public relations manager for the company.”

Moving forward, I think corporations reaching out to influential bloggers is a good strategy. However, as we made clear in our previous post (CARNIVAL) it is vital that these bloggers clearly disclose the nature of their relationship with said corporation.

At the present time, General Mills does not have a policy like this in place. I feel they should require their members to disclose their relationship in order to participate in the network, instead of taking advantage of the FTC’s sluggishness in putting forth legislation that addresses this issue.

What are your thoughts on bloggers disclosing their relationships with corporations?


social media…does your company “get it”?

Adopting social media campaigns can be quite a challenge for many businesses. Leading executives are often hesitant to allow consumers to control what is being said about their brand. Many times, consumers aren’t looking for complete control; they are looking for innovative companies to meet them halfway.

Lee Odden recently posted an article on the Online Marketing Blog titled, “25 Must Read Social Media Marketing Tips.”  This post provides tips and best practices from major players in the Social Marketing arena, including representatives from Best Buy, Wells Fargo and General Mills.

The post offers great ideas, strategy and direction for companies who have yet to fully commit to pursuing social media in their marketing strategy. Because of the length of the post, I am only going to repost my favorite pieces of advice from Crayon’s president, Joseph Jaffe.  Below he shares five tips for companies trying to make sense out of defining a social media strategy.

1. Don’t cede control completely to your consumers. They don’t want it. Meet them halfway. Partner with them. Work with them.

2. Marketing is not a campaign; it’s a commitment. If you want lifetime relationships with your consumers, you need to invest in them…genuinely…for life. Begin with investing in what we call at Crayon, “commitment to conversation” (monitoring, optimization, response, outreach, etc.)

3. Learn to deal with negativity. You want the love, but can’t deal with the hate. Criticism is not your enemy; apathy and indifference are. Any negative response from consumers (whether by blog, email or customer service inquiry) is a cry for help AND an acknowledgement that they care (enough to reach out to you…).

4. As per my earlier point, think strategically. We’re currently working with some of our clients to define a social networking strategy. (BEFORE cart before the horse deploying a “Facebook App” for example)

5. That said, we also advise companies to invest in “well-structured experimentation”. We distill this into a very real and workable number – 4: 4 experiments over a calendar year. Is one experiment per quarter that unrealistic or irrationally exuberant? I think not.

Joseph offers some really good advice above. Click here if you would like to read more tips that other influencers have suggested.


Media on Twitter

picture-2 Many people have been talking and blogging about this. But in the event you haven’t heard, the Web site provides a free, comprehensive database of media who are on Twitter.

A team of PR pros developed this database, including Denverite and partner at Digital Idea Media Melissa Hourigan, social media PR maven Sarah Evans, HARO founder Peter Shankman, and TrackVia’s Ed Dunigan, among others.

As Melissa said, “…we were able to create the most comprehensive MediaOnTwitter global database available. There were a few late night work sessions but the opportunity to give the Twitter community something useful was driving the team to get it done.”

The database enables users to locate media by beat, location, name or media outlet on Twitter. And did I mention it’s free?!

I’ve already started using MediaOnTwitter to find and follow journalists, and I’ve discovered the database to be simple and easy to navigate. This is a great resource for PR people and media alike. Thanks to all who developed this database.

To learn more about MediaOnTwitter, read Melissa’s blog post on Twitter Attraction here.

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