Category ArchiveTechnology PR Insights



Business of PR &Marketing &Marketing Communications &Media &Technology PR Insights 25 Mar 2011 01:11 pm

Markers of Change: From Traditional to Interactive

In 2007, LG released their first television set with DVR installed allowing viewers to skip show advertisements entirely. The worst financial crises since the Great Depression shocked the nation in 2008, which called for innovation in the media industry. And in 2009 Google, controller of two-thirds of the search market, began using Behavioral Targeting advertising, changing the way the industry defined effective ad campaigns. All of these events precipitated a change in the public relations, media and advertising industry.

First, traditional media performance began to level as digital media took root. Marketers and PR professionals have been more reluctant to engage in digital campaigns because of their negligible reach in comparison to television. Still, Internet is showing alluring promise with its savvy capabilities. Furthermore, PR professionals are slowly coming to recognize the importance of fit of the message, over reach, which is where digital may have the upper hand.

Second, traditional media began to adapt to advances in technology and changes in consumer behaviors. The future of television’s 30-second spot is looking at changes toward interactive commercials, which encourages research on the analytics end about consumer preferences. With Behavioral Targeting, digital advertisers have also begun exploring the effectiveness of relevant ads, or ads that focus on fit, to an interested audience.

Still, these professionals may be stuck in the old frame of mind. Jeff Einstein, digital pioneer of the Brothers Einstein, claims advertisers are focused too much on ineffective reach and do not recognize the potential of message fit.

“In an on-demand media universe the right audience always qualifies and declares itself simply by showing up. But in advertising, getting the right audience to show up is the easy part. The hard part is delivering the brand message once they get there because no one ever goes anywhere for the ads.”

As digital marketing and advertising continues to popularize and industry leaders are looking to gain the edge over their competition, the industry may see a move toward campaigns that aim to appeal to their audience through fit, rather than simple through reaching as big an audience as possible. In the future of this industry, it could very well be the case that quality of fit better predicts campaign success than quantity of target reached.

Jackie VanSloten

Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Business and Economy &Business of PR &Clean Tech &Corporate Communications &Ecofriendly &Entrepreneurs &Environment &Marketing Communications &Sustainable Transportation &Technology PR Insights &Thinking Green 17 Jun 2009 10:02 am

Festival Season Goes Green

On June 12, 2009 Main Street played host to the 9th Annual Mayor’s Ann Arbor Green Fair. Underneath the lush green leafy canopy of Ann Arbor’s city center, local eco-friendly vendors and businesses gathered to discuss, exhibit, explain and sell all things Green. Booths lined both sides of downtown Main Street between Huron and William with companies both large and small, profit (Whole Foods) and non-profits (Friends of the Allen Creek Greenway) encouraging visitors to focus on environmental-sustainability for the future. BikeFest, with tutorials and ideas on bicycle transportation was also included in the festivities.

The annual Mayor’s Ann Arbor Green Fair signifies the growth and opportunity the Green Industry represents in our current economic climate. The traditional preservation communities made their appearance at the Fair, but also notably present were industries that do not immediately suggest “environmentalist”. Examples of these include: The Bank of Ann Arbor, Amtrak and Ann Arbor division of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). As a casual onlooker and job seeker, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of activity towards Green initiatives. Also particularly interesting is the governmental support of eco-sustainability. In addition to the Mayor’s continued backing of the Fair (scheduled in the heart of Festival season by the way), Washtenaw County showed off their ecological commitment with exhibitions on weatherization, water resources and environmental health. More on Washtenaw County’ s Green initiatives can be found at their homepage.

“Going Green” is no longer just a fad, but a serious consideration for any business leader or those looking for business or jobs. The sophistication of green-centric organizations was on display at last week’s Fair. A list of companies and businesses that appeared at last week’s Fair can be found here. The city of Ann Arbor listing for the event can be found here. In order to take eco-friendly businesses to the next step in terms of impact and economic stability, I believe it is time for these businesses to enlist traditional marketing and public relations expertise. The audience is ready to listen. Attendance of the Green Fair was bustling and curious. Each booth attracted three to four visitors and musical acts entertained at each corner. The Green Fair even out-paced the turnout of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s First Night gathering just 5 blocks north. “Going Green” is no longer simply the way of the future, but as the Green Fair showed, the future.

Case Ernsting

Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Blogging &Business and Economy &Business of PR &Corporate Communications &Leadership &Marketing &Public Relations Tools &Social Media &Technology PR Insights 24 Mar 2009 04:26 pm

Twitter vs. Facebook Heating Up

“What’s on your mind”? With this simple query that appears on the front page of Facebook profiles, Facebook has thrown down the gauntlet. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has had Twitter on his mind for a while now, and struck back at the up-and-coming social networking site two weeks ago. The much anticipated and incredibly hyped Facebook profile changes appeared on browsers everywhere on March 13. How BIG were these changes? As you can see here, the evolution of Facebook’s façade earned Zuckerberg an invite to appear on Oprah. Clearly, dorm room tech geeks aren’t the only ones noticing the social media frenzy.

Where’s all this buzz coming from? Well, Zuckerberg’s changes mark the latest chapter in the clash between Facebook and Twitter. Twitter has built its reputation on simplicity since CEO Evan Williams launched the site in 2006. Zuckerberg threw subtleties aside when he joined the 6 million on Twitter with a username of his own (thezuckerberg), apparently researching the micro-blog from the inside. (For those scoring at home, add “Espionage” to the list of professions social media has transformed.) The most obvious examples of Facebook’s robbery: When users sign on to Twitter they are greeted with the eerily coincidental question, “What are you doing?”. Facebook’s revamped look helps companies develop a presence on the site beyond the traditional “Fan Pages”. With Facebook’s improved business-oriented functionality, look for Facebook’s membership to spike in the upcoming months.

In the past six months, Twitter has really found its stride attracting celebrities, musicians, politicians, professional athletes, news agencies, businesses, and even President Barack Obama (username: BarackObama). This diverse, informational, and entertaining Twitter population was growing so much (752% In the last year!!) that Facebook looked to purchase the site last year to the tune of $500million in stock. Twitter and Williams rebuffed the offer, proclaiming that “Twitter is just getting started”. Facebook’s offer and subsequent rejection is even more astounding when you discover that Twitter is not a revenue-generating machine. Perhaps these are the changes Williams’ and his team foresee.

What’s the next step in this titanic clash of social media giants? It’s hard to speculate, but definitely fun to watch. Stay tuned.

Case Ernsting

Blogging &Business and Economy &Business of PR &Electronic PR &Marketing &Media &Social Media &Technology PR Insights 26 Jan 2009 06:00 pm

Women Bloggers? A new demograhic in social media/tech?

I was recently reading an article in Fast Company magazine about the most influential women in technology. The article was the second in a series that was originally called,
“ The Most Influential Women in Web 2.0.” The first article became a heated debate on many social media networks, including Digg because some readers felt the article was sexist. Sexist? Come on.

This lead me to think about what a disadvantage that women have had in the technology department by any metric: average salary, top-management representation, board memberships and many geographic areas like Silicon Valley are still just a boys club. In fact, most of technology seems to be a “boys club.”

The fact of the matter is now that social media has taken off with such rapid fire, women are becoming very influential and making a dent in the technology world. For instance, look at some of the executives of large social media and technology firms. Susan Decker, President of Yahoo, Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook, Megan Smith VP, New Business Development of Google.

What about some of the fastest growing social networking sites? Caterina Fake
Co-founded the photo-sharing elephant Flickr and then sold it to Yahoo for a reported $35 million. Everyone is buzzing about her highly anticipated project called Hunch, which is in development.

Women Bloggers? Look at the site http://www.blogher.com/ and you will find over
2,200 women bloggers and counting. This site has become its own community that even has its own blogging conference. Anyone can sign up and have your blog posted. There are even large advertisers on the site such as Cover Girl and Oil of Olay. Wonder what Eilsa, Jory and Lisa (the founders of Blogher.com) made on that contract?

It’s not just about money, although that is a great perk. Blogging allows us the freedom to write and discuss things that are relevant to us and to have them published. Anyone can blog and anyone can use blogging to drive traffic to his or her site, develop their own company or just have an opinion. It has become the way of communicating these days and it would be a shame to not take advantage of this great tool in marketing and PR.

Jennifer L Peak

Clean Tech &Ecofriendly &Environment &mobile marketing &Technology PR Insights &Thinking Green 24 Nov 2008 10:57 am

Implications of mobile marketing and its effect on public relations

Mobile marketing has been around for a few years but we are only now starting to see the global implications of its technology. As a society we are becoming ever more dependent on technology to run our daily lives.

Mobile marketing is an effective tool in connecting the audience to what they want. Two things in particular stand out on their own merit; and they are 1) mobile marketing can be marketed as green technology and 2) it’s instantaneous. Green technology is beginning to take new forms with eco-friendly cell phones and PDA’s. Even the simple act of charging the phone day and night, wastes energy. Although this problem may be harder to fix, one solution is not. By this I mean the paperless result of using the cell phone. With mobile marketing the option of paperless tickets, barcode scanning, and coupon vouchers being taken directly off your phone can greatly reduce the waste in paper.

The second aspect of mobile marketing that is extremely important is the instantaneous aspect of it all. With regards to PR the result can be the same as well: it is somewhat simpler because the product is getting delivered directly to the intended audience. There is no waiting and in most cases it is in real time so the technology follows the persons habits and actions. With information and news already old an hour after we hear about it, instantaneous access is a huge benefit of the mobile market.

Along with these two large points there are a few smaller reasons as well. First, it is personal. It is targeted at specific people and/or consumers and thus the strategy plays around those constituents. Secondly, mobile marketing is an ever evolving and exciting technology. The number of tools and products out there leave a lot to the imagination. This also presents a challenge to a high tech PR company because it needs to be aware of the trends and changes in order to successfully achieve its goals. Lastly, mobile marketing makes it easier to communicate, surf the web, make purchases, advertise, and so on.

With so much information out there, it is hard to denote one from the other as better. With the help of a public relations company and the ability for mobile marketing to reach a vast number of people it is becoming easier and will soon be one of the leading devices in advertising and communicating to the public.

Christian

Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Business of PR &Clean Tech &Ecofriendly &Environment &Michigan Public Relations Firm &Technology PR Insights &Thinking Green 18 Nov 2008 04:09 pm

How is being environmentally conscious going to affect the high tech PR companies and their approach to media?

With the world of technology beginning to think “green,” high tech companies are finding ways to improve their products and promote them to the environmental friendly way of life.

Whether you are a PR firm in Ann Arbor or Michigan, when you are considering your market positioning strategy, one key opportunity today is using “green.”

What PR companies have to realize is that it is not enough to just write a media release saying how good the company is for the environment. It is more about putting words into action that people care about. These clean tech companies are going to have to create products that demonstrate what they advocate (less toxic items in their products, recyclable, etc). And wouldn’t a green-minded public relations strategy enhance the clean tech mindset? The options could include paperless media kits, flash drives, digital releases, media tours that promote both the company and green ideas, getting experts in the field to endorse what you are doing.

In reality, true green thinkers are more adept at picking out the falsehoods from what is fact. With PR, one of the main ideas should revolve around not doing publicity for the sake of publicity. It needs to mean something. Green thinking and clean technology is becoming a cause, like the fight against poverty, or the global food crisis, or even the fight against cancer. It is a hot topic issue among presidential debates or around the local watering hole. And high tech public relations companies need to understand that it is not just talking about the environment but acting upon it as well.

Yes there is a but. The biggest obstacle to promoting environmental organizations actions and services is the lack of creativity on our part. We need to understand that not every story is a “breakthrough” and find that angle that makes it relevant to the public.

Nevertheless, when doing PR for a company that either promotes green living or wants to sell itself as environmentally friendly, it the public relation company’s responsibility to make sure that the business in question carries those values into their own daily operations. Otherwise, it just becomes hypocritical publicity.

Christian

About Eiler Communications &Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Biotech &Business and Economy &Business of PR &Healthcare &Marketing Communications &Michigan Positive &Michigan Public Relations Firm &PR Firm for Economic Development &Public Relations Tools &Sustainable Transportation &Technology PR Insights 24 Sep 2008 03:57 pm

Eiler Communications Diversified PR Portfolio

When I first started with Eiler communications as a Senior Account Manager I had most of my marketing/pr experience in high-end real estate, sales and restaurants. Since my tenure with the company I have been exposed to clients such as; VPSI, Inc, Genetics Squared, NSF International, Google, Silver Anti-Bac, Linux Box and many more in various fields. It has been an incredible experience for me to learn about so many diverse corporations and how they are contributing to the health and well being of our country.

For instance, Genetics Squared is in the process of developing a test that can help doctors determine how to treat certain types of cancers. By using personalized medicine we can possibly save the health care economy over 200,000 million dollars by being able to target the right procedures and treatments for different cancers. Imagine that?

VPSI, Inc is another client of ours that is helping all of us reduce our carbon footprint by providing alternate forms of sustainable transportation in the form of Vanpooling. To find out more about Vanpooling and VPSI go to http://www.pooling-resources.com, which is a blog that Eiler writes and maintains on behalf of VPSI, Inc.

NSF International helps protect all of us from the recent food scare(s) we have been trying to overcome the past six months. Recently, NSF provided a $1 million grant to a Virginia Tech professor of weed science to study the pathogen that causes bacterial speck disease of tomatoes. NSF is another example of a Michigan-based international business that is in the center of international issues. NSF International is an independent, not-for-profit organization.

Not only are the companies that we represent making a difference in the health and
well being of our nation, but I feel as if I can help make a difference by using the resources of a PR agency to spread the word. By using the correct forms of a market positioning strategy, we have found that we are able to get great marketing and public relations results for our clients and I am proud of that!

Business and Economy &Entrepreneurs &Michigan Positive &Technology PR Insights 23 Jul 2008 03:32 pm

New outlooks on entrepreneurism in Michigan

Finding a job in Michigan may be challenging, but it’s not impossible.

Matt Roush, editor of the Great Lakes IT report and technology editor at WWJ News Radio 950, gave a presentation July 17 to Automation Alley and the Entrepreneurial Institute of Southeastern Michigan highlighting some of the positives in the Michigan economy today.

Although large companies and manufacturing industries are consistently losing jobs, small entrepreneurial companies are slowly gaining jobs. The challenge is to know how to encourage more of this kind of growth. Some of the things Michigan has going for it in this area include: engineering talent, great research universities such as the University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Michigan State University and a welcoming environment for business.

There are some steps that can be taken in order to create a healthy environment for these businesses to survive. They include: increasing entrepreneurial K-12 education, increased acceptance and understanding of the risks associated with entrepreneurial businesses and a better understanding of the role of public relations in these ventures.

Many companies in the high-tech, healthcare and problem solving industries are growing and hiring. NSF International, a public health and safety company, is one of those companies. In 2007, NSF hired 117 people in the United States. So far 68 people have been hired in 2008. The company is averaging 31 open positions per month. NSF employees also have opportunities for internal moves – 46 employees were promoted or transferred through the month of June.

High-tech players in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Linux Box and Genetics Squared have also grown and hired this year.

“It’s simply not true that tech jobs are moving to India and China,” Roush said. He went on to say this is what some high school students are hearing from their counselors, despite the inaccuracy of the statement.

The companies who are experiencing growth are often the ones who are able and willing to adapt to the changing economy.

Plexus Systems, a company that provides business software solutions, added 30 jobs in Michigan in 2007. In 2008, the company will create more than 100 more positions.

Want another example? Meditrina Pharmaceuticals Inc., Velcura Therapeutics, NanoBio Corporation and ProNAi Therapeutics have all moved some of their business to Michigan. These pharmaceutical companies have also been adding jobs.

Creativity, high-tech skills and willingness to take an entrepreneurial risk may be one path to success for Michigan.

Beth

Electronic PR &Social Media &Technology PR Insights 15 Jul 2008 11:32 am

Follow up: PR Technology Presentation

CEO of Eiler Communications Larry Eiler recently gave a presentation at Eastern Michigan University entitled PR in Marketing: How the Lines Are Blurring as Technology Grows as a Driver. The presentation discussed how the methods of gathering information and conducting research are constantly evolving and how PR technology is changing. Larry discussed how people rely on the Internet or “Emedia” for news/information. People no longer have to go to the library when doing research most have the technology to do the research from their home or office, and some can even do it on the go through a cell phone or PDA. As a senior in college, I strongly believe that no one uses e-media or social media more than high school and college students. As of lately e-media and social media has broke its way into the PR and advertising world. Major firms and corporations are now using technology such as blogs, podcasts, and some businesses have even used social media outlets such as myspace or facebook for advertising and electronic PR. People are now turning to the Internet for news, research, and information.

E-media has not only helped me tremendously for daily tasks but it has also taken a huge load off of my shoulders. For example, I am 6’10 tall and it used to be impossible to find clothes that would fit me properly. It is funny now that I look back on it because most of my outfits probably looked like I was stuck in the 70’s or 80’s for a good part of my junior high years. When stores started to implement online shopping it was then that I could actually dress normal and try to fit in. With the new online shopping craze, many stores started to carry plus size clothing that would fit me. Not to mention the development of search engines such as Google, this helped me tremendously in my quest for big & tall clothing. Instead of looking through different clothing brand websites, I could now just search big & tall and numerous sites were provided by a single search engine. This was great, not only could I start to dress presentable but the convenience of shopping from my couch rather than spending the whole day at the mall watching my mother shop.

Social media has not only done a lot for me but others as well. Sites such as facebook and myspace have helped a lot of people keep in touch with friends/acquaintances from their past. Blogging has been incorporated into almost every corporation or business website. This helps businesses tremendously because they get live feedback from everyday people. If these businesses receive negative criticism, they get the chance to apologize directly to their audience and state not only their solutions but also an alternate point of view. The main gist of this presentation is that e-media and social media are constantly evolving. In the closing of the presentation, Larry compared these breakthroughs to the Industrial Revolution but in comparison, this is the Information Revolution.

Phil

Presentation

Business of PR &Michigan Positive &Social Media &Technology PR Insights 11 Jul 2008 04:12 pm

Changes in PR Technology

CEO of Eiler Communications Larry Eiler gave a presentation at Eastern Michigan University entitled PR in Marketing: How the Lines Are Blurring as Technology Grows as a Driver. Here is a brief recap…
I. PR in the Marketing Mix
• PR has always been a key component of any quality marketing program
• It has some inherent advantages that gain it recognition as an authoritative independent source
• Third-party veterans of user, analysts
• It use to be one separate element in the mix
• Now it is everywhere because technology has made a new breed of journalist
• The content may be used in any marketing technique
• The Lines between advertising PR and other techniques have blurred
• A company’s reputation depends on trust. Truthful PR stories can build that credibility

Phil

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