Archive for December, 2006

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For a limited time only . . .

(Wisdom I learned once from Seth).

A guarantee isn’t always worth as much as you think it is. I heard an ad about match.com on the radio the other day, so I decided to see if there was an ad online as well. (See below).

match.com ad

Guarantees are important, but sometimes they don’t mean much.

Who has Saddam? Media relations at work.

CNN Headline: Reports conflict on who has Hussein

It’s not a conflict by accident, it’s a conflict on purpose. It’s a huge security issue since Saddam is going to be executed “within hours.” They get even more vague and say it could happen “today or tomorrow.” The more confusion they create about who has him and when it will happen, the less likely they are to have problems. Great media relations skills are coming in hand here in an effort to minimize the potential for serious problems.

Sources: Hussein execution nears

But this brings up a question. If disaster can be avoided (potentially lives saved), is it okay for someone to put out conflicting information in order to avert potential catastrophies? What becomes the yardstick on ethics? Thoughts?

DeseretBook buys Seagull, Covenant: A Case study.

This is an interesting business study/media relations case study because of the dynamics of the situation, but Deseret Book has acquired Seagull Book and Covenant Commmunications. Acquired. This isn’t a merger.

What makes it so interesting is that just a few months ago, Deseret Book Publishing came out and said it would no longer sell its books to Seagull Book because it didn’t like the way merchandise was handled/marketed in Seagull Book stores. Deseret Book was very careful to make sure that during the “you can’t sell our stuff” phase, CEO Sheri Dew was never in the news. It was always Jeff Simpson. Smart decision.

This was a wise media relations decision on the part of Deseret Book Publishing because of Sheri Dew’s former role within the LDS Church. Deseret Book/Deseret Book Publishing are part of a separate business, but the LDS Church does own the businesses, and this made the decision look like it had ties to the church. (Technically speaking, this has nothing to do with the church because these companies operate individually). But the perception was there, and I think this was part of the reason the “you can’t sell our stuff” announcement had so much backlash within the community. The very nature of Deseret Book’s role in the community and its ties to the LDS church put it in a rock and hard spot with this announcement because they are a business, and they want to be competitive, but the perception exists that the company is tied to a non-profit religion.

Fast forward to Today
Deseret Book acquires Seagull Book, and guess who is now in the news? Sheri Dew. What happened to Jeff Simpson? Again, Deseret Book is putting the right person in the story at the right time. Congrats to all involved on both sides. It sounds like each of the companies will operate individually, and I think this is another wise decision because it leaves competition in place. I’d like to hear Chris Knudsen’s thoughts on this from a business standpoint.

john edwards

John Edwards runs again

john edwardsJohn Edwards, former candidate for U.S. President, has come back for round two promising “a grass roots, ground-up campaign where we ask people to take action.”

Election season is upon us. Let the PR machine begin.

UPDATE:
Apparently, Edwards is already aiming fire at who he thinks will be his opponent. YouTube. Scan to about 1:22, and you’ll hear him attack John McCain on Iraq.

Favorite blog posts of 2006

Seth Godin – “The story always matters,” and “The problem with global warming.” Seth is the smartest marketing mind I know, and it’s because he doesn’t approach issues with marketing solutions. He approaches issues with people solutions. Every time.

Josh Steimle – “How to avoid bad clients.” This is a gem. I think the business climate for service companies would completely change if everybody lived by this blog post alone.

Clayton Blackham – “Five things you didn’t know about Clayton Blackham.” Clay went out on a limb and tagged Mark Cuban on this, and Mark responded to him and not Jason Calacanis. We learned from Mark that somebody somewhere has a tape of him singing “My Dingaling” by Chuck Berry. Clay (or Focker as we call him) is a fellow Utah PR guy.

Guy Kawasaki – “The art of innovation.” In the words of Guy. “The purpose of innovation is not cool products and cool technologies but happy people.”

I’ll add more as I remember them. CKnud started this thing. What are your favorite blog posts of ’06?

One story. Two versions.

One story. Two versions.

1 – We gave my grandmother a framed copy of the Draper Roundhouse, which was painted by Al Rounds. It was a Christmas gift.

Now for version two.

2 – My ancestors owned the land that the Draper Roundhouse was built on, which has since been torn down, and my grandmother has always wanted the Al Rounds painting.

Since my wife works for an art company where Al Rounds frequently visits, she asked him if he had any prints left of the Draper Roundhouse, which is a limited edition print. A week later he notified my wife that he did have one, and then personally autographed the canvas and helped pick out the frame and matting for the painting before we gave it to my grandma.

The point is, the story matters, and it makes the painting even more special for my grandma knowing all the details. The same goes for our businesses, the services that we offer or the products that we sell, and we need to have different versions of the story we tell about each. Short ones and long ones. The trick is learning when to use each story.

Marketing is story telling, and the better you get at telling the right story at the right time, the better off you’ll be.

Two Questions.
What do you do?
How do you do it?
One story. Two versions.

Utah PR job roundup

Love Communications is looking for an account coordinator.

Backcountry.com is looking for a visual marketing, site marketing and promotions expert. Non experts need not apply.

Hogle Zoo, I mean Utah’s Hogle Zoo, is in need of a community relations coordinator. The salary is actually pretty good, and it sounds like a great opportunity for someone with ninja-like media relations skills. (I think by using the word Ninja, I must properly cite my source for Ninja as an adjective, Blake Snow).

Wheeler Machinery is looking for a marketing specialiast, but it sounds more like a market analyst than anything.

An unnamed “advertising, public relations and public affairs” agency is looking for a public affairs specialist. It’s a “ground floor” opportunity. Does this mean it’s an underfunded startup? :-)

Boart Longyear is looking for a manager of communications, or is it a communications manager? I get those two confused sometimes. The description makes it sound more like a marcom position. But, a cool marcom position.

YouTube helps nab murder suspect

Um, way to go Canadian Police.

Police use YouTube to help nab a murder suspect

- Police have surveilance video of murder suspect at a concert
- Concert was attended mostly by 20-somethings
- Canadian police upload surveilance video to YouTube
- Video gets 30,000 views.
- The media covers it far and wide because the police use YouTube.
- Suspect turns himself in.

Well done.