Tuesday, September 29, 2009

West Coast surf's up
Thought it would be an earthquake
Making Yuma ocean front property
Not tsunami
Say your prayers
Goodbye Y'all

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Federal experts have now issued a tsunami advisory for possible dangerous currents in coastal areas of California and Oregon following a magnitude-8 earthquake in the Pacific Ocean near Samoa.

Is your business closing like Arizona race track
Due to lack of new marketing ideas?

Arizona’s largest dog racing track is closing in December, after operating for 55 years. Attendance has fallen 14 percent in the past year and nearly 60 percent in the last 10 years.

This is classic of an organization that doesn’t know how to market itself. For a decade they avoided any new ideas until the company ran out of steam. So many organizations are run this way.

There is not a bad economy in the U.S. today. There’s lots and lots of money floating out there. Ask all the 21st Century marketing companies building MySpace, Facebook and Twitter accounts for major corporations. They’re awash in green.

For half the 21st Century I have been advocating 21st Century marketing tools many call social media. In late 2006 and early 2007, I was thrown out of offices for offering something other than traditional press releases that public relations practitioners have plied for more than 100 years.

The fifth annual O’Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference costs around $5,000 and is being held in San Francisco in a month. It is on-track to being one of the most attended conferences in its history. The only problem, from a public relations standpoint, is there is no theme or slogan.

In six weeks, the Public Relations Society of America will have its “international” (then why is it called “of America”?) conference in San Diego. None of its literature tells how many years the conference has been held and that information is not readily available via a Web search. Bad public relations. Yet it does have a theme, “Delivering Value.”

It costs about a fourth of the Web 2.0 conference, yet preregistration is reportedly at one of its lowest levels is history – indicating the field of press releases (that’s what PR stands for, right?) is dying.

The Arizona dog race track could have been saved with new marketing thinking. There is a popular radio announcer currently out of work. If the track had hired his Sex Machine Band to play every Friday night, they’d be reeling in the bucks. There are many other marketing ideas they could have utilized. They never returned Marketing Sociologist’s calls, so now they’re closing.

If your company is not rolling in the green, act now by activating the “call now” button on this blog, or visit MediaRelationsExpert.com for ideas that can help you.

It’s not a bad economy
The world has changed
Not your business

Less than 25 years ago I remember having milk and orange juice delivered to my home.

Five years ago people in Albuquerque and Tucson had an evening newspaper. Meanwhile, in Denver, what was the evening paper in 1980 is now the sole daily.

Five years ago had you heard of Twitter or Facebook? (For some stuck in the 20th Century, they still are clueless.) How about the Jonas Brothers or Taylor Swift?

I’ve heard cobblers, or shoe repair, is a dying industry. I also am seeing fewer dry cleaners – that one I’m at a loss for what I’ll do. I now travel about 20 miles to get one.

Just 10 years ago the main stock-in-trade for any public relations professional was media relations. I had – and still have – a 95 percent placement rate I’ve held for 40 years.

Yet half the 21st Century ago I started advocating a YouTube and MySpace presence. Even this very day, if you go to social media sites like LinkedIn, you’ll see people saying Twitter – the world’s third most frequented Internet site – is “too early” or irrelevant..

Questions on how do I get my press release used shows how out of touch PR people are. There may be people still delivering milk and eggs, for all I know.

Sometimes hiring an outsider from your industry
Is more beneficial than an insider
Centuries begin in 01; decades aught

In 1988, three million students entered the first grade. I was relatively new as Arizona’s public relations director for the American Heart Association.

When I joined the staff in the mid-‘80s, the AHA had already established a coalition with the American Cancer Society and American Lung Association to promote a project called Smoke Free Class of 2000. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop (appointed by President Ronald Reagan) was the celebrity of the campaign.

The idea was to eliminate smoking in youth by the time they graduated from high school, “at the beginning of the century.”

Here was an organization that had planned everything out for 12 years (the program was dead by 1991). They had enlisted state and local government agencies from all 50 states.

This organization was comprised of thousands and thousands of staff and volunteers, “There’s a reason Stanley Kubrick called his movie ‘2001’ and not 2000,” I said. This organization had spent millions on literature, videos, and clothing. Yet I was the only one to explain decades begin on “aught,” but centuries start on 01?

The good news is cigarette sales over the 12 year time period fell more than 40 percent. The bad news was falling sales were more the result of escalating tobacco taxes than education programs by non-smoking advocates.

There is a Facebook page of roughly 10,000 members of the Smoke free Class of 2000.

How do you treat your new hires?
Another Marketing Sociologist key to $$$$

How do you treat your new hires? Do you go on vacation the day they start? I’ve actually heard of that.

Do you say, “There’s your desk” and that’s it? I once did work for a Native American tribe who pointed me to the building I’d be working in. They had informed no one in the organization – including those reporting to me – they had hired a consultant. That spelled success.

AT&T had a three day training program that threw everyone from vice president to customer service (their term for sales staff) in the same program. It was good.

MCI had the best new hire training in the world. Better than ITT or Xerox sales program. For two weeks it taught the company history, what was expected on the job, how to dress (men had to wear black ties and white shirts – color of pants was optional); computer operation and the programs you’d be working in. How everyone in the organization was responsible for selling; even the IT people.

Worst thing you can do is have no direction for the employee. You should have a job description, plus explain the review program – three months, six months and a year. You should outline the goals you want the employee to achieve in the first three months and second three months.

Do you hover over the employee, telling them what to do? That’s called micro-managing. Why’d you hire an employee if you don’t want them contributing their ideas to your organization? Were you looking for a clone?

Do you leave the employee to learn about the organization from office gossip?

If it is your company, you should want to ensure the success of each employee. This starts from the interview, hiring and first minute of their first day. It is up to you, not the new employee.

You create success for each and every employee. Nine out of 10 times, when someone leaves, it’s not them, it’s you!