Monthly ArchiveMay 2009



Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Business and Economy &Electronic PR &Entrepreneurs &Marketing Communications &Media &mobile marketing 20 May 2009 10:10 am

How Are You Using Twitter?

If you’re at all into Social Media you know about Twitter; but do you know how you can use Twitter to effectively market your company?

One company using Twitter to their advantage is Kogi BBQ, they are a Korean-Style taco vendor that sells their food out of a lunch truck, and they are using Twitter to their advantage. Kogi “tweets” the location of their two lunch trucks throughout Los Angeles as well as extra items not mentioned on the menu. Kogi has only been around since November but is already one of the most recognizable names in the country. They have close to 24,000 followers.

Another company out in Los Angeles using Twitter is The Westin Bonaventure, a hotel in the heart of LA’s financial district. Recently they gave away rooms to twenty-five followers. This created such a buzz that media outlets such as USA Today and The Los Angeles Times picked up the story. Obviously, all their followers knew about it and around 100 of them retweeted the news as well. In an interview with the PR firm responsible, an estimated twenty million impressions were generated from this campaign. Twenty million impressions resulting from a single tweet, you can’t ask for anything better.

As you can see, Twitter can be very powerful. If used correctly, it’s a great way to reach the masses in expensively. Find a unique way to grab people’s attention, and the rest will follow. Twitter is free and easy to use, so if you and your company aren’t already using Twitter, it’s about time to start. Happy Tweeting.

Christian Bittner

Business and Economy &Corporate Communications &Electronic PR &Journalism &Media &Social Media &Writing 19 May 2009 04:55 pm

Journalism on the Silver Screen

Moviegoers were graced with a glimpse into the world of journalism in April with the premiere of two top-notch press-centric films; State of Play and The Soloist respectively. The investigative reporting and journalistic flair of newspaper writers drive the two films. State of Play and Soloist are just the latest in a long line of movies centered on the cunning investigations pivotal to the newspaper world. Remember All the Kings Men? Citizen Kane? Or The Pelican Brief? While the most recent cinematic journalism adventures are far from the first to feature press writers, might they be two of the last?

As newspapers continue to search for new business models, the “Watchdog” function is changing or disappearing. New forms of social media have accelerated the public’s demand for news. Whereas reporters once had weeks to cover an in-depth story, the editorial calendar has shrunk significantly. Instead of investing in investigations guarding public interests, newspapers are forced by high print and distribution costs to watch over their pocketbooks.

Some of the best movies of this generation are marked by newspapers in some way. If newspapers continue the current downward spiral, it will definitely be reflected at theaters…but how much remains to be seen. Five years from now, Denzel Washington may be on stage accepting an Oscar for portraying a Twitter-er. Or M. Knight Shyamalan might be directing a horror flick about Facebook. Enjoy the likes of The Soloist and State of Play while you can. Journalism has been celebrated in our society for many, many years, but the changes on the printed page are usually reflected on the reel.

Case Ernsting

Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Business of PR &Electronic PR &Marketing Communications &Social Media 19 May 2009 10:24 am

Skittles: Taste the Social Media

It’s hip, it’s fun, but most of all it’s entirely original; it’s Skittles new website. If you haven’t gotten the chance to check it out yet, here’s the link www.skittles.com. Skittles created a fresh new site that is nothing but their Social Media pages. Their Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Flickr, and Youtube pages make up the bulk of the website. This is a pretty daring move since they can’t very well control the information being shared. Skittles must have a strong belief in their brand because all it takes is one bad comment to start an avalanche of negativity. Looking at the comments left on their Twitter and Facebook pages this seems to be a success.

Skittles has done a great job appealing to the social media crowd, which, let’s face it, is pretty much everyone now. This website has generated all types of buzz over the website, surprisingly bloggers hate it. This is interesting because everyone posting on the site seems to love the idea.

Here’s a list of a few things I think Skittles could do to better the experience.
1. For it to truly be social media Skittles will need to step in and engage in conversation.
2. For the people who aren’t in to Social Media or just don’t understand it, there needs to be a out-out option that will bring you back to their old website. This way using an analytics site you can track the number of users on the new website versus the old which will tell Skittles when it’s time to switch back to the traditional style website.
3. The widget-like menu needs to be movable.

If they can change those three problems, then all that negative buzz over their website will begin to fade.

An over-whelming majority of blogs out there regarding this subject, seem to think it’s over the top or think that Skittles took the easy way out. Even so, Skittle’s new site has all the information that any other website would have but they did it unlike anyone else.

Kudos to Skittles for being bold and trying something never done before, but as great an idea as this is, I think it won’t last very long. This is a great way to temporarily boost interest in Skittles and learn about their customers; but in the end the hype will wear off and people will want the website back to the traditional style.

Christian Bittner

Uncategorized 14 May 2009 11:33 am

Watchdog Function of Newspaper: Going to Whom?

Newspapers have always been considered the watchdogs of government, the courts, business, financial service. Their reporters use connections and research to ferret out and track down all manner of wrongdoing.

But the evolution of newspapers is changing that watchdog function. To where and to whom?

I suggest that media personalities who are in continuous communication with business, public, government, education, healthcare leaders may have an emerging role as “watchdogs” in the new social media, the growing source of society’s desire for “instant gratification of information.”

The function has to go somewhere. Who better than radio and media personalities who have connections, need content for their work, have access to spread the word via all the new and growing internet social media channels.

Where else can this function of “watchdog” go?

Larry Eiler