In Tim Adams article in the Observer entitled “The Best Chance You’ll Get” (Saturday January 6 2007) Tim talks the animal and human nature to gamble. It was both an interesting and depressing article all in one. It was interesting when he was talking about the research done on rats where they found that an element of chance introduces onto the rats lives. Then they change their normal behavior to try to hit it big one last time. Las Vegas is a city built on that same idea. Look at Las Vegas’s own slogan of “What Happens In Vegas Stays in Vegas” and people travel to Vegas every day and do things that are not a normal part of their life.
The part of the article that I found depressing is when he was talking about the rise of gambling in cities all over the world and online. The first comment he made that got me was as follows “Why has this revolution come about? In the first place, the government is encouraging it.” He was talking about the government in England here, but I see much the same thing happening here in the US as well. Wow, think about that statement for a minute. The government is encouraging it. To me, it is not different than the credit crisis the USA has been and still is facing today. Government made it to easy to get credit, because it worked for them but turns out was not good for the people. Tim went on further to say “I had cracked the mystery of Labour’s economic policy: create as many students as possible, encourage them to live in blighted city centres, surround them with cheap drink and all-night licensing hours, allow them heavy debt, and let the consequently rampant ‘leisure industry’, in league with property developers, rebuild your cities.” This statement scares me because it sounds too much like the truth.
For me, myself and I, I tend to not take blind risk and really think out things before I take the plunge. Being married with kids has made me more critical in my thinking about risk, but I also find that I am looking for the pay offs of calculated risk to take care of my family. In life I have had some risks pay off and some burn me. Being an older college student with a family to support was a risk that I put a lot of thought into and the benefits of taking the risk won out and I feel the risk has been worth it so far. New opportunities have come up for me and are looking to be paying off and that’s on top of the education I am getting.
All in all, I will always be willing to take some risks that I have carefully considered, but am still disgusted by the blind risks that government and the world put out there for those poor souls that are unprepared and to trusting of things that look to good to be true.
Tim Adams ,The Observer, Saturday 6 January 2007
Public Relations in our ever-changing world of real time and real life go hand in hand more and more with our ever-increasing bandwidth. The Internet more often than not spreads information faster than gossip around the water cooler. As a PR professional this means that it is critical to be able to not only know what is being said about the companies we represent in real time but we have to respond and join the conversation as it happens. Long gone are the days of waiting for a problem to just go away. We must be well-informed and ready for action as it happens or mole hills will become mountains.
In our fast moving cyber world I am seeing a blend in roles between PR and customer service. In good customer service one of the big items on the punch list is that of building relationships with our customers, getting to know them and to be able to anticipate the customers needs. With good relationships if a problem does arise then the customer is more willing to give us a chance to fix the problem and make things right which is a huge plus because if they don’t let you know there is a problem then it is hard to resolve. It is always harder to fix a problem that you find out about second hand than it is to take it up with the source directly. With PR needing to happen in real time, having built a solid relationship with our audience is one of the keys ways to stay ahead of the game.
I love Pandora. I love that I can create my own music station and it will introduce me to new music based on the music I selected to listen to. I find myself listening to Pandora all the time and I love the fact that when I hear a new band or song that I like I can see who the artist is, give it the thumb’s up so I can hear more of it and there are these brilliant buttons that I can either share or buy the music I am liking right now and not even miss a beat. To me this is great marketing–show me music I might like based on what I already said I like and then give me the opportunity to own the new music. Great Marketing.
Tonight I was listening to Pandora and as I looked at the screen to see who was playing I noticed the advertisement that Pandora had posted on the page. Now the music they were showing me coordinates with the music I like so I was kind of shocked that the ad did not have any relation to anything. I was listening to Soundgarden, a grunge area rock band and Pandora was showing me an ad for accepting credit cards via a smart phone. If I was using my smart phone to use Pandora that might make some sense, however I was using my MacBook. Next I see an ad for groceries, I guess I eat so it could make sense there, however I don’t really see a correlation between grunge rock and food shopping.
I guess what I am saying is marketing new music to me on Pandora makes a lot of sense. The other adds that Pandora shows are more of a classic interruption advertising style much like TV commercial and well I skip TV commercials as often as I can. For my own marketing efforts for my job I think I am going to stick with the first example of using like items or complementary items to market together and stay away from interruption style marketing. I feel I will have better results for my effort that way. That being said, if this type of marketing is working for Pandora then they should keep doing what is working for them.
Public Relations, for most companies, seem like it’s easier to handle for external customers than internal customers. That could be in part to companies forgetting they need to take care of their internal customers or more commonly known as employees. I have worked for companies that have been great with internal PR and I have worked for some that ignored the issue all together. Experience has shown me that by having good internal customer PR, external PR becomes good by default.
The factors to good internal PR, for me, have come down to a couple key activities: Communication, Highlight the Positive, Honesty and being Proactive. Communication needs to be in real time thus keeping pace with events as they happen. Good, clear and honest communication is necessary to keep staff informed so they know what you need them to know and not guess as to what is going on. Quick and positive feedback will help keep morale up and people focused on the task at hand. Remember repetition is the mother of all learning. It will always hurt you more for your staff to find out on their own what’s going on vs. being proactive and being the one to bear the news, good or bad and clear things up as they happen. It’s simple–give internal customers the information they need to do their job, to keep them focused and keep them form wondering.
In my current duties at my job I, am in the process of building a sales and marketing floor to handle new business. We are still small in numbers so it gives me the time and ability to set up internal communications and Public Relations using the activities listed above, to learn from the past and do things right the from the start.
I have used a couple social media applications such as Tweetdeck and Filpboard on the iPad. I am not a fan of Tweetdeck because it only handles Twitter and Filpboard for the iPad. However I find that is more for casual reading verses a hard working social media tool. Then I came across Hootsuite.com and found a tool that I like and can and will use.
Hootsuite is a tool that lets me track all my social media accounts and with the free account I can have up to 5 of each type of social network account that I can have all in one place. I am starting my track other social media accounts for work and this web application allows me to do just that. You can upgrade your account for a reasonable monthly fee and add unlimited accounts. From a business standpoint this is a huge deal. I only have a few accounts I am working with now and until I found this site was wasting time logging in and out of accounts on all the different sites.
Not only can I see them all but I can publish, schedule posts and see analytics for my accounts among other things. What a time saver. I love this thing. I also like that I can add my WordPress blog as well. I have never seen a tool for social media add the blog aspect in before, but that could have just been me.
The only thing I do not like about Hootsuite.com is the application for the iPad. It only has access for Twitter and Facebook. I wish it were the same as the web version. So if anyone from Hootsuite.com sees this I hope you take this and do something about the iPad application.
For this post I took a look at Alexa.com, a web information company that offers free global metrics on websites using keyword, category, country or you can just look at company by their website. The site is very easy to navigate and easy to understand. One of the things I liked about the site is that they have navigation tabs for things like “Top Sites” and “What’s Hot”. I found that information helpful to start gathering ideas not only about what sites to look at for metrics but also as a place to find out what’s on top and information about tops sites as a place to get ideas to help me out for searches I am doing and how to help them become more like the top sites.
The one thing I found lacking is lack of depth of companies you can search. I tried to look up any data I could find for a fishing lodge in Alaska called the Cedars Lodge that my wife’s uncle owns. The search came up empty. I was not expecting to find much but nothing is what I got. I guess one way I could look at it is a small company with a hard to find website is hard to find for a reason.
So the search I did find metrics on using the Alexa wed site was a search on SEO. I was looking to find information on a Utah company, SEO.com a SEO company I am l looking at applying with. On this search I found pay dirt, right off the bat I found the sites global and US rankings. The information I found was not only useful but also abundant. For site stats they have metrics such as: traffic rank, page views percent and bounce percent to name a few. I also found useful information about search analytics along the lines of audience and clickstreams just to name a few. With all the data and variables such as age, education and gender for web user that use SEO.com it gives me an idea about what their users are like and this information can be used to do more targeted web design or content among other things.
Using information like “Top Queries for Search Traffic” along with page view percent and bounce percent you can start to get a picture of what is working for them and what might be off the mark. This information is giving me an idea on how well SEO.com is doing and in return how they might be doing for their customers. Also this information is very valuable when trying to improve their website and how to convert page views into customers. I can see using a web tool like Alexa.com in my Internet marketing efforts to great advantage. I mean, if you don’t know how your site is doing how do you know what to do to make it better. It’s like the INXS song “Welcome to Wherever You Are” says (in a nutshell), if you don’t know where you are you will never get anywhere better.
In conclusion I liked this site and found it very useful.