Thursday, August 25, 2005

Think I've sorted this out

First off let me just say thank you to the many people who responded to me as I tried to sort out this whole blogging mess. Your input was greatly appreciated and did influence my thinking.

So here's what I've decided:

  • Movie Marketing Madness is staying where it is on Blogger. It's fine and the functionality of that platform meets my basic needs for it.
  • Nothing Good Will Come of This will be put out of its misery. Chalk it up as an experiment that did yield results, just not those that were intended.
  • Public Relations Ramblings, though, has found a new home. You can now find it hosted on Robert French's PRBlogs.org so update your bookmarks and RSS subscriptions because here's the new URL: http://prramble.prblogs.org/. The PRBlogs domain gives me what I was looking for for PRR - a bit more features while not costing much (or anything for that matter). I'm not going to delete this Blogspot URL but will not be updating it further. It will remain - and be linked to off the new site eventually - as an archive.

Special shout-outs to Blake and Constantin for their leading me in that direction.

--Chris

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Getting restless: Part II

First off, thanks to those of you have have commented or dropped me an email. Believe me, I'm taking them into consideration. I did want, though, to clear up exactly what I'm looking for and what my concerns are.

GOALS
Combine, not eliminate, the content from Movie Marketing Madness and Public Relations Ramblings (can you tell I have a thing for three-word alliteration?) under one blog.
Do so on a blogging platform that supports categories.
Do so on a blog that would allow me to put AdSense listings and other affiliate links like I have on MMM. That means HTML editing is needed.

CONCERNS
Would the PRR content bore MMM readers and vice versa?
In my quest for one home for this stuff am I organizing myself right out of an audience?
TypePad only allows HTML editing for their Pro-level users, which I can't afford right now.

So there you have it, my intents and question marks. Thanks again for listening to me ramble on about this.

--Chris

Quick Takes: 8/24/05

  • It's vitally important that everyone realize that, no matter what Microsoft or Google might want to call it, that influencers use RSS. That's why it's so frustrating whenever I come across a website that doesn't offer it - it's like they're willfully ignoring an important segment, which is not a great way to do business.
  • "Blogger block" has probably affected us all from time to time (unless you're Steve Rubel).
  • Jeff Jarvis really lets us know what he thinks of the arguement that power lies in content ownership. I tend to agree with him that it's the creation of that content that's the important part. That's especially true since Mark Cuban decided to pull away the curtain and give us the unedited text of a recent interview.
  • I'll definitely downloading Google Talk tonight.
  • MediaPost is podcasting. See my points below about the L.A. Times podcast and insert "MediaPost" where I write "L.A. Times". Oh, and I poked around on the MediaPost site and couldn't find the link so without Steve Rubel's announcement I wouldn't have known about this. Good job, guys.
  • Click through for one perspective on what PR should do.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Getting restless

I've so far been very happy with Blogger's functionality. Sure there's some room for improvement but overall it's worked rather well for me. The thing is I am, as I said to someone earlier, an organizational drifter. I always think there's a better way to do stuff, a prettier way to present it.

Right now I have two primary blogs that I run myself, not counting the outside ones I write for. So I got it in my head to bring those two under one roof, preferrably one that has categories. As an experiment I've created a blog over at TypePad called Nothing Good Will Come of This. It's purpose would be to see if it's practical to combine my MMM content with that of Public Relations Ramblings along with whatever else I felt like writing.

If you'd like to surf on over there and let me know what you think it would be greatly appreciated. I'd be very interested in getting some feedback on this experiment since TypePad does cost some $$$ as opposed to Blogger's free service.

Thanks,
--Chris

Monday, August 22, 2005

Quick Takes: 8/22/05

  • I'd be more excited about the L.A. Times move toward podcasting, but the fact is the podcast is the only part of the website there's an RSS feed for. As my grandma used to say, come in or stay out but shut the damn door already.
  • Even more rational for Microsoft's proposed shift away from the "RSS" moniker even as it finally embraces the technology. I never thought the term "internet" was all that explanatory but it surely didn't make me afraid of it or hesitant to use it. Make no mistake that this is all about Gates & Co. trying to brand the technology as their own and not out of any philanthropic goal of pleasing the consumer.
  • Oh, and Google doesn't really like the name RSS either.
  • I could not agree with Mike Manuel's call for a mash-up of PR, Marketing and Advertising sensibilites if I tried. Without a fully rounded perspective of how to create and disseminate a message you're lost.
  • Sometimes I too suffer from Irritable Male Syndrome.
  • Jeremy Pepper revisits his "Can Blogs Be Sued For Libel?" musings.
  • What is the future of podcasting?
  • Speaking of which, the Oxford English Dictionary has added "podcast"
  • Always an important rule of thumb: Engage brain before hitting "Send", especially if you're trying to pitch something to an e-mail weary blogger.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Wikipedia's place in marketing

As some of you know in addition to PRR I also write the Movie Marketing Madness blog. Well the other day I posted by thoughts on the use of the Wikipedia and other communal information outlets for outright marketing. Since it might also be of interest to this audience (all five of you) I thought I'd repost it here.

Before I do that, though, I wanted to call out Eric Tatro, who posted something similar here. His PR Nerve Center blog is a great read and you should definitely check it out. Anyway, on with the post...

Using and abusing the Wikipedia

I've been sitting on this one for a while but still wanted to address it. Chris Abraham wondered whether the Wikipedia would be the next front for promoting new TV shows, movies or other popular culture. For anyone who may have read Abraham's post and thought it sounded like a good idea I have one word: DON"T!!

The Wikipedia is supposed to be a community effort where people can go for unbiased and factual information untouched by spin and promotion. In fact, the guidelines for submission specifically state this. There's a difference between viral marketing, where you plant something that gets passed around via word-of-mouth and grassroots marketing, where there's a popular groundswell over an issue. The difference is who's in control. With viral campaigns the guiding hand is still those "officials" who created or are overseeing the campaign. Grassroots efforts are firmly controlled by the general citizenry. It's best to make sure official sources don't interfere with grassroots efforts since often they do nothing but muck them up.

If someone starts a Wikipedia entry, a fan-blog or any other sort of communal or citizen effort because they enjoy your TV show, movie, record or anything else you should reach out to them and acknowledge their support and hard work - even link to them off of an official site. But don't get involved in creating them. It reeks of the old days where movie marketers would leave breathless praise for a movie on a message board, only to be outed and discredited within days (or hours) and have whatever good will the movie may have engendered smashed to bits. Let the ordinary folk have their tools for spreading enthusiasm and fan excitement.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Quick Takes: 8/16/05

It's been a while but thought I would try and relaunch this feature.

  • Of course Microsoft wants to rename RSS: They didn't invent it but they need - I mean need - to make it their own in order to claim ownership and get everyone to use it. If people who aren't using it now think it's a non-MS technology they might be scared of it.
  • Mark Cuban thinks people using Blogger's Blogspot domain (such as myself) run the risk of eventually being banned. The reason is the ease of creating spam blogs designed to skew search engine results. I don't think this is likely to happen for reasons I may get to later.
  • IBM will help make the Firefox browser easy to use for people with disabilities.
  • More surveys to ignore on blog/RSS market penetration.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Google hops on the RSS bandwagon

Google News is now offering content in both RSS and Atom flavors. For some reason I have the image from Die Hard of John McClane screaming "Welcome to the party pal!" as a terrorist falls on the police car.

[Via Blog Herald]

Ignoring the surveys

Let's not make too much of the latest study by Forrester Research stating only 6% of Americans have read blogs and only 2% use RSS. Give it two weeks and someone else will come out saying 25% of Americans have created their own podcast or that 70% of the state of Rhode Island subscribes to Steve Rubel's RSS feed. These are meaningless if you are a decision maker or communications professional.

What's important isn't the percentage of the population is reading a blog, it's what share of your audience is reading your blog. More than that, it's what share of your audience is looking for information on your company or client. When you know those numbers you can plan how to better reach them with the message you want them to see. You know how you do that? By engaging in a conversation.

If they're looking for RSS feeds, figure out how you can provide them. If they're looking for e-mail notifications, talk to them about what they want in those e-mails? Make a variety of delivery methods available so each person can get the information they want in a way that suits their needs. Just like not all journalists want to be contacted in the same manner, not all the members of any group are going to have a one-size fits all universal preference.

PR and communications professionals would do well to stop wringing their hands over the habits of the many and concentrate on, as Shel Holtz put it, "skating to where the puck will be", meaning being ahead of the curve. Holtz uses the analogy when talking about RSS but it's a concept that has broader application potential. Where the puck will be is where your customers or other stake holders are. Look there, and figure out where they're going, and you'll be much more effective in your communciations efforts.

UPDATE

See, this is why I stopped paying attention to surveys. ComScore reports roughly 1 in 6 Americans have visited blogs in the first quarter of 2005. That's about 16.5% which - and I'm not even a math wizard - is more than Forrester's reported 6%.