Category ArchiveAnn Arbor, Michigan PR Firm



Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Corporate Communications &Journalism &Social Media 29 Mar 2011 04:54 pm

A Big Step Forward for Newspapers

On Monday March 28, The New York Times announced that it would instill a pay wall into its online content. Content that readers used to receive for free from the paper’s website, on smartphones or tablet apps will now be charged as subscription packages. If the pay wall is successful for The New York Times, it could mean that future changes lay ahead for other newspapers as well.

Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the paper’s publisher, announced the launch of the digital subscriptions and explained its parameters. Home delivery subscribers will have access to all of the Times content both online and on a cellular device. International Herald Tribune subscribers will also have full access to content. Yet non-subscribers will be required to pay 4-week packages based on the amount of content they wish to access. Additionally, readers will be limited to 20 Times articles a month if they don’t have an online subscription.

In my communications class Monday, we discussed the pay wall and what it might mean for the Times and the survival of other newspapers. My fellow classmates both argued in favor and against the pay wall, some saying that they wouldn’t pay for news content that used to be free, while others said they would be willing to begin paying because of the paper’s superior qualities.

The Times appears to be targeting long-time readers of the paper and readers who value and often read its content, and therefore are willing to pay the subscriptions. The new pay wall will certainly be a test of whether the Times will benefit financially and long-term from the online subscriptions, or lose readers to other publications.

If the pay wall is successful, other newspapers and news outlets may follow suit and charge for their content. Publications that cannot retain their readership after implementing similar pay walls may fail completely, since online advertisements are no longer sufficient sources of revenue. Free access to news online may soon become a thing of the past entirely, and although the Wall Street Journal has been charging readers for a while now, the success of the New York Times online subscriptions could be a big step forward for newspapers in an increasingly online and digital society.

By Dana Prainito

Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Code of behavior 15 Nov 2010 06:06 pm

What Not to Do On Facebook

The growing success of Facebook has been accompanied by waves of concern over privacy rights and sharing too much on individuals’ pages. Numerous news reports have come out in an attempt to teach people what type of information is smart to post and what is not on their personal page, all to avoid a range of problems such as being fired from a job, getting hacked, and even legal problems. The Huffington Post recently came out with a similar list of “13 Things You Shouldn’t Tell Your Facebook Friends,” which included helpful privacy tips that I had never before heard of, obvious tips, and some that were a bit absurd, bordering on paranoia of the internet. Here are a few from the article:

1. Do not post your full birth date and place of birth. Sounds like simple information, but thieves can actually find your social security number simply from entering your name, birth date, and place of birth. I had no previous knowledge of this threat, and even though I feel comfortable assuming none of my college or old high school friends would want to steal my identity, I did check to make sure that my place of place of birth was not listed. The article suggests posting a fake birth date a few days off of your own to still receive birthday messages. But in all fairness, who wants to receive well-wishes two days prior or post to your actual special day? Not me.
2. Do not use your mother’s maiden name as a security answer. The article suggests not using the question “What is your mother’s maiden name?” because it is the same security question many other sites use, such as bank and credit card accounts. I knew when reading this that my mother’s maiden name is a security answer to my bank account, and sure enough it was also a Facebook security question. I changed the Facebook question immediately. As a college student, I can’t run the risk of anyone gaining access to my small, but precious bank account.
3. Do not post your phone number. This tip may seem obvious to most people, but what many don’t realize is that posting a cell phone number on a group or event page can be just as dangerous as posting it on a personal page. Facebook groups created to collect people’s cell phone numbers after losing or getting a new phone are very common, and very often are set to “Public.” In Facebook terms, this means that everyone on Facebook, and even those not on Facebook, have access to view the page, and therefore your cell phone number. So, if a friend has recently lost his or phone and requests your number, send a private message so your number will remain private from the entire Internet.

As you can gather from this short list, personal security and privacy are nothing to mess with when dealing with social networks and the Internet. Threats range from minimal to very huge with a lot of repercussions. Yet tools like Facebook should be fun; a way to stay connected and in-touch with friends. As individuals using the Internet, we have to recognize the balance between sharing too much information and using it as the social tool it has become. But most importantly, we have a responsibility to self-monitor and censor what we post in order to protect ourselves in such a viral world. After all, what is broadcast out into the Internet remains somewhere in cyberspace forever.

Dana Prainito

About Eiler Communications &Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Biotech 04 Nov 2010 10:50 am

Infuriating!

Breast Cancer Action
You told Eli Lilly loud and clear that they need to stop Milking Cancer, so we went to deliver your message via a billboard in their hometown. Here’s the lesson we learned: A pharma company can increase our risk of breast cancer, but a breast cancer advocacy group cannot get billboard space to let the public know about this public health risk. Because we don’t have the money? Nope. Because the billboard companies in Indianapolis won’t carry this message. Barbara A. Brenner says: “When corporate influence runs this deep, the public should be outraged. We certainly are.”
See press release

Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Healthcare 18 Oct 2010 04:22 pm

“Think Before You Pink”

When I was diagnosed 21 years ago with breast cancer the activist within me was ignited. I was shocked that my world was not more aware of this insidious disease that in 1989 1 in 9 was the rate of this disease.

I worked tirelessly with all types of organizations, several in the San Francisco Bay Area as that seemed to be the place where the most noise about the disease was being made. Pat Anstett of the Detroit Free Press introduced me to Elenor Pred, founder of Breast Cancer Action, one of the first activist groups in the country.

My plastic surgeon and I developed hangtags that described how to do breast self-exam (BSE). We contacted bra manufacturers and were told by all that they did not want to alarm women that they might get breast cancer.

Then came the Pink Ribbon and then Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Astra Zeneca the manufacturer of Tamoxifen an estrogen-blocking drug that is routinely prescribed for women post-treatment started Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Astra Zeneca is also the largest producer of PCB’s and Agent Orange.

It is now October and I am surrounded by a sea of pink. There are pink shoes for the football teams, pink pens, purses and even pink rubber duckies. It goes on and on.

I’m certainly happy that the awareness has increased but I question the motives of the “cause marketing.” There should be more transparency and more accountability by the companies that are running their campaigns for breast cancer. Where is the money going? Are they gaining more profits by the sympathetic well-meaning public’s purchase of their products? Consumers need to be encouraged to ask critical questions about pink ribbon promotions

Some interesting postings on Wikipedia:
Business marketing campaigns, particularly sales promotions for products that increase pollution, have been condemned as pinkwashing (a portmanteau of pink ribbon and whitewash). Such promotions generally result in a token donation to a breast cancer-related charity, while exploiting the consumers’ fear of cancer and grief for people who have died to drive sales.
San Francisco-based Breast Cancer Action has renamed the annual awareness campaign “Breast Cancer Industry Month” to emphasize the costs of treatment. Their “Think Before You Pink” campaign urges people to “do something besides shop.” After explaining that some “pink” sponsors are polluting industrial giants or spend more money on breast cancer-themed advertisements than they actually donate towards research or treatment, BCA asks consumers to reflect thoughtfully on questions like, “How much money was spent marketing the product?” or “What is the company doing to assure that its products are not contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?” This group has particularly excoriated major cosmetic companies such as Avon, Revlon, and Estée Lauder, which have claimed to promote women’s health while simultaneously using known and/or suspected cancer-causing chemicals, such as parabens and phthalates in their products.
I just want to urge people to be cautious and to be looking at and supporting the prevention of this disease whose rates are now 1 in 8.

Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Business and Economy &Business of PR 29 Jun 2010 03:29 pm

Michigan’s Backyard Economic Gardening

It is a well-known fact in business that it is far more cost effective to retain existing customers than to recruit new customers. However, the state of Michigan has been trying to recruit “new customers” for decades by showering big incentives on companies from other states or countries to invest here. Instead, Michigan should take up “economic gardening” in their own backyard as suggested by the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM).

Economic gardening is the cultivating of existing small to mid-size businesses and growing them into much larger organizations. A majority of local business owners admit that they sometimes feel ignored by the state. This is attributable to the fact that the Michigan Economic Development Corp. has been focusing its efforts on searching for outside investment, not helping small, local Michigan businesses grow.

It is for this reason that the SBAM is a strong advocate for economic gardening. At SBAM’s annual meeting this past Thursday, the group educated its members and the candidates running for governor on the reasons why the state should be pursuing this strategy. They shared the success stories of the various pilot programs they are running with 24 companies across the state. SBAM plans to follow up with a white paper and a plan for fully implementing economic gardening by September.

Between the years 1995 to 2007, almost all of Michigan’s new jobs came from small firms with less than 100 employees. While at the same time, employment at companies with 500 or more employees declined by 15%, or 230,000 jobs. According to these results from the Edward Lowe Foundation and the SBAM, it makes far more sense for Michigan to expand from within by focusing on the small, homegrown businesses.

Emily Rozanski

Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Business and Economy &Contributors &Social Media 25 Jun 2010 12:20 pm

Vote for Operation Never Forgotten to Receive a Donation from Chase Community Giving!

Eiler Communications has been providing pro-bono PR services to Operation Never Forgotten (ONF) since 2008. ONF is a national non-profit, non-partisan awareness campaign to commemorate fallen heroes, wounded warriors, deployed troops and the families that love them. The organization helps bridge the gap between our military and civilian world through public service announcements (PSAs) which can be seen and heard in the Mall of America and International airports across the country, on highway billboards, through television commercials and on the radio.

ONF has had to recently turn down troops and their families’ requests for PSAs due to an overwhelming workload and shortage of funds. Realizing that they were only scratching the surface to ONF’s mission and what our heroes deserve, the organization solicited Eiler’s expertise in social media marketing. Eiler is hoping to capitalize on a donation opportunity for ONF presented by Chase Community Giving. Through a Facebook voting application, Chase is giving away $5 million among 200 deserving charities. We need your help to ensure that ONF secures a spot in the top 200. Anyone can vote by simply clicking the link- Vote Now. Polls close July 12. Please help this worthy cause!

Emily Rozanski

About Eiler Communications &Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Blogging &Code of behavior &Social Media 10 Jun 2010 04:00 pm

Online Content Management: Does an Age Divide Exist?

Ann Arbor, MI, June 17, 2010 — In a day and age where people are leading parallel lives via the Internet, it’s not shocking that researchers are frequently finding new trends pertaining to social media. It’s also no surprise that with so much new information available to the public, controversy surrounding Internet privacy has surfaced. Eiler Communications finds that with the social media being such an important tactic for marketing, it is imperative that company employees manage their online content. Failing to do so not only puts your personal reputation at stake, but your company’s as well.

“As new media is evolving as another public relations tool it is imperative that clients are educated on proper usage,” explained Larry Eiler, Chairman of Eiler Communications.

With that said, the younger half of the millennial generation has been accused of putting too much information about themselves on the Internet. However, new research from the Pew Research Internet and American Life Project suggests that part of this age group (18-29) is savvier with regulating their online content than their elders.

Not just bosses and friends are interested in checking out your photos, lifestyle approach and posts online. Given that the younger millenials are putting a ton of information on display, they are limiting what other people can see. They are more likely than any other age group to remove names from photos with beer cups and delete embarrassing rants with friends.

The study done by Pew found that 44 percent of young adult Internet users limit their personal information online, while only 33 percent of users ages 30-39 claimed they did the same. The numbers lessen as the ages of users increase. In the same study, 71 percent of 18-29 year-old social networking users surveyed said to have changed their privacy settings, almost 20 percent more than those surveyed aged 50-64. The youngest age group also beat out the other age brackets in other categories such as deleting unwanted comments and removing names from photos.

At Eiler, we endorse monitoring your online content. Although privacy settings differ with each social networking sites, and some privacy policies can be complicated (Facebook). It’s an area worth looking into. Just because young Internet users have grown up using social networking sites doesn’t mean that older users aren’t capable of limiting their personal information too.

It seems Internet users ages 18-29 are motivated to manage online content because they are likely trying to find a job, internship or other work-related gig. This means that these users are consistently aware of what content their potential employers could find. In fact, 26 percent of working Internet users have employers that instill policies about online content.

If you’re not changing your privacy settings out of caution, do it for love. The Internet makes it
simple for everyone to do scouting reports. People are checking up on their love interests. According to a study done by McKinsey, 1 in 8 of couples married in the U.S. in 2006 met online. Pew’s study shows that 16 percent of all Internet users search online for additional information about somebody they are dating or in a relationship with, and about one-third of those using dating Web sites check out their dates online as well. If you wouldn’t want your potential mate to see it, it probably shouldn’t be online.

Hats off to the young millenials; they’re keeping their content controlled- and it’s for their own benefit. Let’s commend them and copy them. It won’t hurt.

Rachel Krasnow

About Eiler Communications &Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Blogroll &Social Media 02 Jun 2010 09:56 am

Facebook Privacy: Do We Have the Right to Complain?

Using Facebook used to be so simple. I would log in, check my news feed, write on my friends’ walls and post photos without worrying about everyone knowing where I lived, what my interests were and how I felt at that very moment.

Facebook’s new privacy policy is unnervingly complicated. What’s different? A multitude of your interests and basic information is now public by default- including where you live and causes you support. In fact, anything that you like is linked to a public profile page. Do you like McDonald’s? The world knows you do. Do you like long walks on the beach? Hamsters? Jelly beans? Everybody knows, including your boss.

Another issue: your status updates and wall post aren’t just for your friends’ eyes. If you post something that says, “I hate the police!” your post will show up on a specific Facebook page for police. We’ve got to be more careful than ever. The problem is that we’re so used to be able to share our information; it’s hard to start putting it on lockdown.

The new Facebook privacy policy has lead to outrage. Users even created a May 31 Web event that investigated the problems with Facebook called “Quit Facebook Day.” The event only drew in only 35,000 of Facebook’s 450 million users and provides an example to how truly difficult it is to quit Facebook.

Yet, we don’t pay for Facebook (but rumor has it we may have to start paying soon). We don’t own Facebook, either- so we have the right to complain? Has Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made it too hard for us to privately create content or are we making it too easy for our content and profiles to be taken advantage of?

Rachel Krasnow

Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Business of PR &Electronic PR &Marketing &Marketing Communications &Public Relations Tools &Social Media 26 May 2010 09:14 am

Surprising New Uses of Social Media Found in Survey

The use of social media has revolutionized the public relations and marketing world. According to Facebook, its users spend 500 billion minutes per month on the site sharing more than 25 billion pieces of content. Other social media sites, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, have reported similar results. Re:NEW Michigan, a trademark of Eiler Communications, conducted a survey in April to further investigate the growing prevalence of social media sites among Michigan businesses.

The survey compared to a similar survey from December 2008. Not surprisingly, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn all saw dramatic increases in usage in the time period between surveys. The biggest leaps came from Facebook and Twitter. Facebook saw a 28.5% increase in usage, and Twitter saw a 30.3% jump.

A more unexpected and enlightening trend was revealed by the results. Michigan businesses reported heavily using social media websites in seeking news and information.

This is most likely due to news sites directly posting on social media sites or links exist between these social sites and news sites.

Whatever the reason, survey respondents admitted to using Facebook, Twitter and blogs just as often as they use more traditional news sites such as CNN, MSNBC and The New York Times when they seek news and information. Many even reported using social media websites as their primary source of information.

This information poses the question of what the future holds for this evolving issue, both social media and news information websites. No answers yet, but here are some observations.

The benefits of using social media websites for seeking news and information are obvious. They provide the instantaneous results demanded by people’s quest for instant gratification of information. The large amount of time spent on these sites and the great amount of traffic to these sites is favorable for spreading a story.

But are social media websites sufficient in providing a business with all the information it needs, or are they simply being used to find leads that require further investigation? Do social media websites have the potential to make news information sites obsolete? Re:NEW Michigan plans to address these questions and others involving social media websites in our next survey in October.

Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Rescue &Wildlife 01 May 2010 01:03 pm

Clarise’s Ducklings

We arrived at the office yesterday to discover that the nest was empty. Just cracked eggs. I was terribly disappointed as I really wanted to see the ducklings. I was in the middle of the ivy, taking a picture of the nest. I hear peeping and look behind me to see four tiny ducklings underneath the ivy.
Clarise is no where in sight. The ducklings are non-stop noise and walking all over the patio. They finally huddle together and Larry has to shoo way a huge black crow. We keep expecting to see Clarise arrive. I Googled animal rescue to see if I could get some advice as to what to do. I found this wonderful resource Mallard Marsh. Carole tells me that if Clarise is not around, I should bring the ducklings to her immediately and to keep them warm. If there are any warm eggs in the nest to bring them as well. I gather up the ducklings and take them to Carole. This lady rescues 200-300 ducklings a year. My research told me that the ducklings would swim immediately. Carole will not let them swim for 6-8 weeks as they would get to cold. Apparently, a mother duck only lets them swim for short periods and then keeps them warm. Carole will keep them under a heat lamp. I was amazed at the dedication of this woman taking care of all of these ducklings for over twenty years. I told her that maybe I’d see her next year and she told me maybe this year as Mallards have two clutches a year. On her wish list was kiddie pools, so I mailed the one I had bought to her today.

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