PR Nonsense Has Moved

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NCP engineering Wins Two Awards

Within the past month, NCP engineering has won two awards for its Enterprise Management Solution.  NCP Secure Enterprise Solution was launched last month around at the RSA Conference.  The awards NCP won are the following:

Network Products Guide: 2009 Best Products and Services

  • Best in Remote Access

Info Security Products Guide: Global Product Excellence

  • 2009 Global Product Excellence – Remote Access Solution
  • 2009 Global Product Excellence – VPN/IPSec/SSL

NCPs AwardsCongratulations to NCP engineering on receiving these awards, and for a successful launch of its Enterprise solution!

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Part and Parcel of the Firm Voice

An article that appeared in The Firm Voice today states that PR may be more insulated from the recession and economic malaise than many other businesses.  It goes on to quote CMOs including long-time client Tideway‘s CMO Kelly Wenzel to back up the point and highlight areas within the PR mix that CMOs are spending their budgets on.

Kelly mentions that even though she’s had to cut the monthly retainer, she is able to supplement it with a project budget to make up for the fewer in-house resources she now has.  Our experience with Tideway has told us that this approach works well if the client and agency take a partnership approach to resourcing, results and remuneration.

Paul King, CEO of Herculese Networks points out that savvy PR agencies that take the time to get ahead of the measurement curve now will be a prime position now and post recession.

Applying science to PR measurement doesn’t work.  We all know this.  Companies and their PR partners need to get around the table regularly to assess the actual outcomes of the PR results (mainly visibility in influential media both social and traditional).  And as part of any customer advisory board a company has put together, measuring the marketing (PR in this instance) output/outcome should be discussed and verified.  This brings measurement down to planet eath.

And is social media the saving grace for PR budgets?  If you visit our site, March Communications, you will see that we do not list “social media relations” on our list of services. Instead, we incorporate social media principles and tools into our client’s campaigns, at both a strategic and tactical level. That way, social media becomes part of what we do for every client, on every campaign.  So, its not only the saving grace, it’s the ticket to PR today.  It’s just part and parcel of PR, so measuring it should involve the same process mentioned above.

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In Defense of Ghost-Tweeting… with Caveats

Friday’s PR Week features an op-ed by Amy Dean titled “Five reasons why ghost Tweeting will come back to haunt you” [subscription required]. Dean makes a reasonable case against letting someone else use Twitter to speak for you and your brand: it’s misleading to customers, it destroys credibility with reporters, and it can cause you to lose followers in an instant.

But the heart of the issue is here:

Twitter is a new opportunity to have an engaging, ongoing dialogue with customers that breeds collaboration that leads to enhanced customer satisfaction. But that can only happen if there is an honest exchange.

There are lots of reasons it makes sense to put someone else in charge of maintaining your presence online – a ghost-tweeter may have more social media expertise than you do, an especially engaging writing style, or the superb organizational skills it takes to maintain a dialogue with your followers. This is certainly not a case for lying – if you’re going to have someone else tweet on your behalf, you’d better be ready to be completely transparent about that (see @RyanSeacrest for a great demonstration of transparency).

But the biggest drawback of bringing on a ghost-tweeter is that you’re depriving yourself of the benefits of one-on-one interaction with your audience, especially the opportunities you can discover and the business insight you can glean from those conversations. One of the most exciting aspects of social media is that it allows brands to remove a layer of mediation and affect consumers more personally. The more you’re able to participate personally, the more you’ll get out of it.

Besides, it can be quite a kick just to be yourself on Twitter. Who could have adequately imitated Shaq‘s reaction to experiencing a hailstorm for the first time?


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Solving Insoluble Problems

Earth Grad Cap

It’s that time of year again:  graduation season.  Like many of you out there, I spent last weekend attending a college graduation.  My little sister graduated from Smith College yesterday, with high honors might I add, and the whole family convened in Northampton, Massachusetts to see her receive her diploma and step into the next exciting chapter in her life.

The Smith College commencement speaker was Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, and her speech was both entertaining and inspiring.  Tammy spoke about the challenge of seemingly insoluble problems, and the importance of working away at them, continually pushing the boundaries of our knowledge until one day, these problems will be insoluble no longer.

One example she mentioned was that of climate change, a seemingly insoluble problem that faces our world today.  In her speech Tammy called upon the graduating class and its generation to lead the world in the fight against climate change and to remember that “our greatest obligation isn’t to each other. It is to the generations of Americans and people all around the world who haven’t been born yet — the ones who will inhabit this planet long after we’re gone.”

Tammy then quoted a call to action from poet Drew Dellinger, which I found particularly moving:

“it’s 3:23 in the morning
and I’m awake
because my great great grandchildren
won’t let me sleep
my great great grandchildren
ask me in dreams
what did you do while the planet was plundered?
what did you do when the earth was unraveling?
surely you did something
when the seasons started failing?
as the mammals, reptiles, birds were all dying?
did you fill the streets with protest
when democracy was stolen?
what did you do

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Bad News (for the) Bears – How You Can Help


As I glance over at my calendar, I notice two things.  One, we’re already half way through May (hard to believe), and two, we’re also half way through National Bear Awareness Week.  Sponsored by the Defenders of Wildlife, Bear Awareness Week includes numerous events across the country at zoos and museums, and it also promotes several ways in which you can help save the depleted bear population.

By simply visiting the website you can let your voice be heard in the fight to have polar bears listed as threatened under the Endangered Species List and urge legislators to support laws that protects wildlife from global warming.  Polar bears are facing the loss of their sea-ice feeding and denning grounds as the Arctic climate rapidly warms due to global warming.  Defenders of Wildlife continues to fight for their protection, and it’s simple and easy to show your support.

For those of you who want to get involved further, the website also offers the option of adopting an animal to focus your effors on a specific species.  You can adopt a polar bear, a black bear, a brown bear, or a panda.

All of these animals are in danger, and your support makes a difference.  There is also a wide variety of adorable teddy bears and other meaningful gifts available that benefit these beautiful animals – something to think about next time a gift-giving occation rolls around.  I know I’d like to get a gift that makes a difference.

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PR Is to Marketing …

This morning, while perusing LinkedIn, I came across an interesting post to the Answers section from Jennifer Lindsay.  She asked for thoughts on the analogy of “PR is to marketing as, _____ is to _____.

The LinkedIn community (and those involved in PR and technology) certainly responded with interesting ideas.  Some of the thoughts that most resounded with me are:

  • A spoke is to a wheel

Public relations is one essential component of a marketing program.  It impacts a company’s objective and helps to get the wheel turning in lead generation.

  • Peanut butter is to jelly

Both PR and marketing are two good, yet different ingredients but are more effective when combined.  The techniques complement each other to achieve many of the same goals.

How would you fill in the analogy?


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