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  • dbinkowski 9:30 am on June 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Social Media Spotlight: Brittany "Barefoot Foodie" Gibbons 

    We’re at week three of Social Media Spotlight and this week we’re talking to someone brands may not have heard of, but her 131,000 unique visitors last month should get her some attention. And the good folks at Shamable are about to do just that.

    (More …)

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    • ashley 4:14 pm on June 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      i.am.addicted. i seriously check the blog like 10 times a day while im at work to see if she posts anything new.totally makes work worth it!

    • Aunt Becky 4:42 pm on June 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I'm so proud to see a blogger who uses four letter words featured somewhere. I feel like so many of us with great content get sidelined because we're not cookie-cutter bloggers. Content is content and as Britney is evidence of, just because we swear sometimes, doesn't mean people don't read us. On the contrary, because we tell it like it is, people often like us MORE.*ahem*At least, that's allows me to sleep at night.

    • One Mom (Kristina) 4:56 pm on June 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I started reading Barefoot Foodie about a year ago (a little puzzled by the name since, um, it's not really about food, but I went with it) and it's become a favorite – probably within my top 5. Her writing *is* refreshing and honest and I would have to say it's pretty awesome.

    • dbinkowski 6:25 pm on June 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      We totally agree. And for those advertisers reading this, I won't disclose the actual numbers but the traffic to Shamable today via just mentioning her and a link from her site has been insane.

    • Justmakingourway 6:44 pm on June 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I liked hearing Brittany's thoughts on this subject. She is amazingly funny, and I love that she is totally honest. Hopefully, brands will realize that we want to hear more about someone whose life isn't perfect all the time. Lord knows mine isn't – and having some solidarity out there makes blogging all the more fun!

    • Andrea Chamberlain 6:48 pm on June 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I've wondered about this for awhile now – how do bloggers like Brittany who do not fit into the traditional “mommy blogger” niche, get recognized for their unique voices? If I don't use correct grammar all the time (I don't) and have potty fingers (I do) and drop the occasional “f” bomb on my blog (yep), have I just ruined any and all chances of working with a company who might otherwise have been a perfect fit? Possibly. But if the only way to establish such a relationship is to do so at the expense of my voice and writing style, things I've worked years to develop and which fit me like a well worn glove, then I think I'm happier flying solo. Because really, a world where I'm not free to be myself and start sentences with the word “because” and throw in an exclamation of “for shit's sake, what the hell?” every now and then, is not a place where I want to spend my time.

    • heather... 7:39 pm on June 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      If I was a brand, I would much rather work with someone who is authentic – someone like Brittany. I am a loyal reader and I pay attention to her voice above everyone else's!

    • Carrie Meadows 7:58 pm on June 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Well said! Brittany's blog is great because of her authenticity. Brands are quick to incorporate risque messages into television marketing, but it seems like they shy away from blogs that post real content, because of language that MIGHT be construed as inappropriate. The fact of the matter is, just like with television and movies, people want you to give it to them straight- no candy-coating.

    • shelly (cookies and cups 12:08 am on June 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Great feature! I love the honest POV she offers…far more authentic that most of whats currently out there!

    • MommyNamedApril 2:59 am on June 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      great interview. i think advertisers are doing themselves a disservice by not finding and using niche blogs with devoted readers like brittany's.

    • Shauna 12:15 pm on June 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I think advertisers are idiots if they don't throw wads of hundred dollar bills at Brittany. Hell, I'd probably make her my bride for sure then. LOVE HER BLOG. LOVE HER.

    • Kmills7271 12:34 pm on June 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Love ya, as always, Brit….Karen

    • Allison Zapata 1:31 am on June 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I LOVE me some barefoot foodie! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

    • Anne Younger 8:46 pm on June 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I ❤ me some Barefoot Foodie!!If I was a brand I would be all over her!She is on my must read list.I always know if I am having a crappy day and need a pick me up I can pick a random post on her site and be laughing my butt off!My husband is addicted to her too!

    • Blogfullyyours 9:14 pm on June 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      As a blogger AND someone who works in advertising I'd have to say this interview is spot on! I am a big Brittany fan and I know there is so much the marketing community has to learn from unique voices like hers. PS – I'm passing this link on to my colleges.

    • Melindat 12:13 am on June 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I stumbled upon Brittany by accident a few weeks ago…I have now spent HOURS of my day reading her blogs past and present. I send certain blogs to friends when I think they may find the information useful (like tick removal) or hilarious (her husband trying to kill her with gardening tools)…I can't tell you the number of times I thought “mmmm…..burritos” while reading her blog…proof positive that branding works.

    • Texasholly 12:29 pm on June 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I find Brittany refreshing…

  • dbinkowski 9:30 am on June 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Social Media Spotlight: Brittany “Barefoot Foodie” Gibbons 

    We’re at week three of Social Media Spotlight and this week we’re talking to someone brands may not have heard of, but her 131,000 unique visitors last month should get her some attention. And the good folks at Shamable are about to do just that.

    (More …)

     
    • ashley 4:14 pm on June 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      i.am.addicted. i seriously check the blog like 10 times a day while im at work to see if she posts anything new.totally makes work worth it!

    • Aunt Becky 4:42 pm on June 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I'm so proud to see a blogger who uses four letter words featured somewhere. I feel like so many of us with great content get sidelined because we're not cookie-cutter bloggers. Content is content and as Britney is evidence of, just because we swear sometimes, doesn't mean people don't read us. On the contrary, because we tell it like it is, people often like us MORE.*ahem*At least, that's allows me to sleep at night.

    • One Mom (Kristina) 4:56 pm on June 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I started reading Barefoot Foodie about a year ago (a little puzzled by the name since, um, it's not really about food, but I went with it) and it's become a favorite – probably within my top 5. Her writing *is* refreshing and honest and I would have to say it's pretty awesome.

    • dbinkowski 6:25 pm on June 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      We totally agree. And for those advertisers reading this, I won't disclose the actual numbers but the traffic to Shamable today via just mentioning her and a link from her site has been insane.

    • Justmakingourway 6:44 pm on June 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I liked hearing Brittany's thoughts on this subject. She is amazingly funny, and I love that she is totally honest. Hopefully, brands will realize that we want to hear more about someone whose life isn't perfect all the time. Lord knows mine isn't – and having some solidarity out there makes blogging all the more fun!

    • Andrea Chamberlain 6:48 pm on June 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I've wondered about this for awhile now – how do bloggers like Brittany who do not fit into the traditional “mommy blogger” niche, get recognized for their unique voices? If I don't use correct grammar all the time (I don't) and have potty fingers (I do) and drop the occasional “f” bomb on my blog (yep), have I just ruined any and all chances of working with a company who might otherwise have been a perfect fit? Possibly. But if the only way to establish such a relationship is to do so at the expense of my voice and writing style, things I've worked years to develop and which fit me like a well worn glove, then I think I'm happier flying solo. Because really, a world where I'm not free to be myself and start sentences with the word “because” and throw in an exclamation of “for shit's sake, what the hell?” every now and then, is not a place where I want to spend my time.

    • heather... 7:39 pm on June 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      If I was a brand, I would much rather work with someone who is authentic – someone like Brittany. I am a loyal reader and I pay attention to her voice above everyone else's!

    • Carrie Meadows 7:58 pm on June 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Well said! Brittany's blog is great because of her authenticity. Brands are quick to incorporate risque messages into television marketing, but it seems like they shy away from blogs that post real content, because of language that MIGHT be construed as inappropriate. The fact of the matter is, just like with television and movies, people want you to give it to them straight- no candy-coating.

    • shelly (cookies and cups 12:08 am on June 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Great feature! I love the honest POV she offers…far more authentic that most of whats currently out there!

    • MommyNamedApril 2:59 am on June 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      great interview. i think advertisers are doing themselves a disservice by not finding and using niche blogs with devoted readers like brittany's.

    • Shauna 12:15 pm on June 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I think advertisers are idiots if they don't throw wads of hundred dollar bills at Brittany. Hell, I'd probably make her my bride for sure then. LOVE HER BLOG. LOVE HER.

    • Kmills7271 12:34 pm on June 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Love ya, as always, Brit….Karen

    • Allison Zapata 1:31 am on June 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I LOVE me some barefoot foodie! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

    • Anne Younger 8:46 pm on June 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I ❤ me some Barefoot Foodie!!If I was a brand I would be all over her!She is on my must read list.I always know if I am having a crappy day and need a pick me up I can pick a random post on her site and be laughing my butt off!My husband is addicted to her too!

    • Blogfullyyours 9:14 pm on June 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      As a blogger AND someone who works in advertising I'd have to say this interview is spot on! I am a big Brittany fan and I know there is so much the marketing community has to learn from unique voices like hers. PS – I'm passing this link on to my colleges.

    • Melindat 12:13 am on June 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I stumbled upon Brittany by accident a few weeks ago…I have now spent HOURS of my day reading her blogs past and present. I send certain blogs to friends when I think they may find the information useful (like tick removal) or hilarious (her husband trying to kill her with gardening tools)…I can't tell you the number of times I thought “mmmm…..burritos” while reading her blog…proof positive that branding works.

    • Texasholly 12:29 pm on June 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I find Brittany refreshing…

  • dbinkowski 9:30 am on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    It's Time for Me to Zag 

    Wayne Gretzky has one of the greatest sayings of all time that has stuck with me since I heard it several years ago. When asked what the difference between a good hockey player and a great hockey player was, he said, “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”

    I’m not comparing myself to the Great One by any stretch of the imagination. However, if you’ve read my blog posts and pay attention to the agency world – and most important, listen to your clients – you know the business is changing fast. A few companies are growing larger and larger while others are starting up, shifting focus or being bought. The lines between advertising, PR and digital agencies has been blurred so badly that it’s difficult to really tell what their differentiation really is. The PR firm has hired digital teams, the ad agencies now have PR folks and the digital shops, well, they claim to be able to do everything the other two can do but better. Which totally makes sense given their long time lines, production-shop mentality and outsourcing. Oh wait — it doesn’t.

    I still think PR has the leg up because of their ability to respond quickly with messaging, something the other shops will only see as a “bolt on” solution for clients. “Make this ad (or website) ‘PR-able!'” is a request I’ve heard all too many times from the large players, who are raking in millions of dollars for creative, only to watch it fall flat because the smart sounding British dudes in funky glasses oversold the impact their widget would have. “EVERYONE WILL BE DOWNLOADING YOUR WIDGET!” they’d say. The whole thing has clients heads spinning and this is before you even factor in social media-specific shops, also known as the dodo bird of the agency world.

    Back to large agencies for a second: In certain instances, it makes a lot of sense for a multinational business that spans many continents to hire a large agency because they need the scale and as such can negotiate competitive rates. This makes procurement happy because it’s one contract with one holding company and theoretically they’re saving a few bucks. I’ve yet to see this model work flawlessly as typically campaigns are customized and executed differently in local markets, but I digress.

    Conversely, there are companies (and marketers) looking to smaller firms that can be nimble, provide senior level thinking and attention on a regular basis to help guide them through the ever changing business and marketing landscape while providing the creativity and speed that their multinational counterparts can’t offer.  I truly believe the agency world is changing and that while for the past several years I’ve worked at the former, it’s time to go where the puck is going. It’s with that that I’m happy to announce that I will be joining an independent, smaller firm next week where I will have control and authority to do some pretty remarkable things beyond what one discipline with a bolt-on solution can offer.

    Which one? Well, I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag just yet. Needless to say that after six years and four months with the only agency I’ve ever known it’s going to be a different world for me. I’ve had a lot of great opportunities with MS&L and got to show the world’s largest companies my marketing chops and for that I will be eternally grateful. I’ve worked with some brilliant people and have had access to C-level executives, brand managers, marketing directors and clients that most agencies dream of. The journey has been difficult, long and at times extremely challenging but it’s one that I believe has prepared me for this new opportunity. I’ve played “intrapreneur”, if you will, for years, within a big company — so it will be a lot of fun to build a business again, this time on a much different scale with new partners and clients.

    I’ll spill the beans soon on where I’m headed once the time is right. Until then, I’ll continue to zag while everyone else zigs.

     
    • Vinny 1:35 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Congratulations, bud. Looking forward to seeing what's next for ya!

    • Betsy Shilts Smith 1:44 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      congratulations to you and your size 16's 🙂 – best of luck in the new role! i'll be watching the twitters for those spilled beans.

    • Tonja Deegan 2:19 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Go shake 'em up, Dave!

    • Eric Walker 2:30 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I don't know you and I've never been to this blog before. I followed a link from Shannon Paul at Twitter. I played “intrapreneur” for a lot less of a time than you, and our stories are much different, but I understand where you're coming from in this post. Nicely written. I'm in month two of developing a new internet business. I'm going with small is better. As you say, “nimble” and flexible. Best of luck

    • Backpacking Dad 4:28 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Gretzky's other great expression is: “You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” Good luck.

    • Tom Biro 6:53 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Congrats, Dave! Really psyched to see where you land and what you get going next!Also, is this the place I should be pointing out that Gretzky's dad said that?#shootsmessenger

    • dbinkowski 8:00 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Tom.Are you telling me that Brainy Quotes.com lied to me???http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/wayn

    • dbinkowski 8:01 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Also very applicable. Thanks!

    • dbinkowski 8:01 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Eric!

    • dbinkowski 8:02 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Vinny!

    • dbinkowski 8:02 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      ha. Thanks… Betsy?? 😉

    • dbinkowski 8:02 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      That's the plan… I might need some help, ya know! 🙂

    • Joe Chernov 4:44 pm on June 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Great post, man! Dying to know where you land. One of my favorite sports quotes came from a fading Reggie Jackson, in an interview I remember from when I was 11 years old. The reporter asked him if he felt he had a good season, and as he began reciting his decent but unremarkable stats he interrupted himself and said, “If you have to look for stats to prove you had a good year, you didn't have a good year.” Sometimes we all need to know when to jump. Here's to a good year for you.

    • ShannonNelson 12:41 am on June 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      So I shouldn't really post a comment, since I really owe Shamable a lot of posts….But wow, I had no idea about this new turning point in your life. Excited to hear where you are going next!

  • dbinkowski 9:30 am on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    It’s Time for Me to Zag 

    Wayne Gretzky has one of the greatest sayings of all time that has stuck with me since I heard it several years ago. When asked what the difference between a good hockey player and a great hockey player was, he said, “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”

    I’m not comparing myself to the Great One by any stretch of the imagination. However, if you’ve read my blog posts and pay attention to the agency world – and most important, listen to your clients – you know the business is changing fast. A few companies are growing larger and larger while others are starting up, shifting focus or being bought. The lines between advertising, PR and digital agencies has been blurred so badly that it’s difficult to really tell what their differentiation really is. The PR firm has hired digital teams, the ad agencies now have PR folks and the digital shops, well, they claim to be able to do everything the other two can do but better. Which totally makes sense given their long time lines, production-shop mentality and outsourcing. Oh wait — it doesn’t.

    I still think PR has the leg up because of their ability to respond quickly with messaging, something the other shops will only see as a “bolt on” solution for clients. “Make this ad (or website) ‘PR-able!'” is a request I’ve heard all too many times from the large players, who are raking in millions of dollars for creative, only to watch it fall flat because the smart sounding British dudes in funky glasses oversold the impact their widget would have. “EVERYONE WILL BE DOWNLOADING YOUR WIDGET!” they’d say. The whole thing has clients heads spinning and this is before you even factor in social media-specific shops, also known as the dodo bird of the agency world.

    Back to large agencies for a second: In certain instances, it makes a lot of sense for a multinational business that spans many continents to hire a large agency because they need the scale and as such can negotiate competitive rates. This makes procurement happy because it’s one contract with one holding company and theoretically they’re saving a few bucks. I’ve yet to see this model work flawlessly as typically campaigns are customized and executed differently in local markets, but I digress.

    Conversely, there are companies (and marketers) looking to smaller firms that can be nimble, provide senior level thinking and attention on a regular basis to help guide them through the ever changing business and marketing landscape while providing the creativity and speed that their multinational counterparts can’t offer.  I truly believe the agency world is changing and that while for the past several years I’ve worked at the former, it’s time to go where the puck is going. It’s with that that I’m happy to announce that I will be joining an independent, smaller firm next week where I will have control and authority to do some pretty remarkable things beyond what one discipline with a bolt-on solution can offer.

    Which one? Well, I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag just yet. Needless to say that after six years and four months with the only agency I’ve ever known it’s going to be a different world for me. I’ve had a lot of great opportunities with MS&L and got to show the world’s largest companies my marketing chops and for that I will be eternally grateful. I’ve worked with some brilliant people and have had access to C-level executives, brand managers, marketing directors and clients that most agencies dream of. The journey has been difficult, long and at times extremely challenging but it’s one that I believe has prepared me for this new opportunity. I’ve played “intrapreneur”, if you will, for years, within a big company — so it will be a lot of fun to build a business again, this time on a much different scale with new partners and clients.

    I’ll spill the beans soon on where I’m headed once the time is right. Until then, I’ll continue to zag while everyone else zigs.

     
    • Vinny 1:35 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Congratulations, bud. Looking forward to seeing what's next for ya!

    • Betsy Shilts Smith 1:44 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      congratulations to you and your size 16's 🙂 – best of luck in the new role! i'll be watching the twitters for those spilled beans.

    • Tonja Deegan 2:19 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Go shake 'em up, Dave!

    • Eric Walker 2:30 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I don't know you and I've never been to this blog before. I followed a link from Shannon Paul at Twitter. I played “intrapreneur” for a lot less of a time than you, and our stories are much different, but I understand where you're coming from in this post. Nicely written. I'm in month two of developing a new internet business. I'm going with small is better. As you say, “nimble” and flexible. Best of luck

    • Backpacking Dad 4:28 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Gretzky's other great expression is: “You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” Good luck.

    • Tom Biro 6:53 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Congrats, Dave! Really psyched to see where you land and what you get going next!Also, is this the place I should be pointing out that Gretzky's dad said that?#shootsmessenger

    • dbinkowski 8:00 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Tom.Are you telling me that Brainy Quotes.com lied to me???http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/wayn

    • dbinkowski 8:01 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Also very applicable. Thanks!

    • dbinkowski 8:01 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Eric!

    • dbinkowski 8:02 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Vinny!

    • dbinkowski 8:02 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      ha. Thanks… Betsy?? 😉

    • dbinkowski 8:02 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      That's the plan… I might need some help, ya know! 🙂

    • Joe Chernov 4:44 pm on June 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Great post, man! Dying to know where you land. One of my favorite sports quotes came from a fading Reggie Jackson, in an interview I remember from when I was 11 years old. The reporter asked him if he felt he had a good season, and as he began reciting his decent but unremarkable stats he interrupted himself and said, “If you have to look for stats to prove you had a good year, you didn't have a good year.” Sometimes we all need to know when to jump. Here's to a good year for you.

    • ShannonNelson 12:41 am on June 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      So I shouldn't really post a comment, since I really owe Shamable a lot of posts….But wow, I had no idea about this new turning point in your life. Excited to hear where you are going next!

  • dbinkowski 9:30 am on June 4, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: blogger spotlight, heather spohr, the spohrs are multiplying   

    Blogger Spotlight: Heather Spohr 

    Earlier this week I wrote a post about working with bloggers and how brands can find the right one. The Shamable team thought it would be a great idea to start highlighting bloggers from different verticals each week so marketers can meet some of the faces behind the names. This week we’re talking with Heather Spohr from The Spohrs Are Multiplying.

    (More …)

     
    • Anna Viele 1:57 pm on June 4, 2010 Permalink

      Nice interview. Impeccable taste in blogs.

    • dbinkowski 2:07 pm on June 4, 2010 Permalink

      I concur!

    • A Whole Lot of Nothing 2:07 pm on June 4, 2010 Permalink

      Heck of a gal, I say. HECK. of. a. gal.

    • amandamagee 2:10 pm on June 4, 2010 Permalink

      I have such a crush on Heather! Beautiful choice.

    • TheNextMartha 3:01 am on June 5, 2010 Permalink

      Who doesn't love Heather? No one. Do you know no one? Me either.

    • dbinkowski 4:12 am on June 5, 2010 Permalink

      Thanks! I'm a big fan and was fortunate enough to meet her in person last year at a conference. 🙂

    • brittany 1:41 pm on June 5, 2010 Permalink

      As do I! Huge fan!

  • dbinkowski 9:30 am on June 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , clients   

    Five Agencies Brands Should Avoid 

    Yesterday I posted a piece on matchmaking between bloggers and brands that seemed to go over pretty well. Today’s focus is going to shift to the relationship between a brand and their agency. In particular, there seem to be a few tried and true ways of weeding out those who’ll constantly disappoint or, at the very least, annoy the hell out of you.

    (More …)

     
  • dbinkowski 9:30 am on June 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , brand equity, shauna glenn   

    How To Select A Blogger For Your Brand 

    I’ve been working online with communities for the past 6 and a half years, a time when message boards and Yahoo Groups (remember those?) were as social as it got. This was an era where blogs were the Wild Wild West and most folks weren’t too keen on the idea of companies talking to them. You had to be extremely selective as to which blogs might want to engage with your clients and which you’d want to align your client’s brand(s) with. Clearly the blogosphere has evolved since 2004 but while some things have changed, some have stayed exactly the same. Here are five tips for PR and ad n00bs and vets alike when selecting which blogs to work with.
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    • @KimMoldofsky 2:10 pm on June 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      These are some good tips for brands who are first dipping their toes into the momspace. I cringe when folks ask how they can get Dooce to be a part of their campaign.I'd caution that blog traffic does not equal reach. It's important to look at the overall digital footprint. For example, does this blogger contribute to group blogs, which means greater visibility as well as connection to a larger blog community. Is she active on Twitter- again look beyond followers and see if she adds value to the larger through her tweet stream. Is she @replying or merely broadcasting? Does she have a presence of (take your pick) YouTube, Whrrl, FourSquare, Plurk, Facebook, etc.You may also look to see if this blogger has been able to attract mainstream media attention, whether from the local paper or New York Times. Look to see if she has offline/real-life influence, like heading up the PTA or a mom and tot group. Does she speak at conferences?As you note, numbers can be fuzzy, so it's important to look beyond them.

    • dbinkowski 2:16 pm on June 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Great points, Kim. I would say that to an extent a lot of those means/tactics are reaching the same people, especially in the tech and Mom blogging communities. Most brands I work with want to know how they can expand their footprint vs. going really deep within a niche time and time again.

    • Jen @ BigBinder 2:20 pm on June 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Big fan of your first point – I can bring the horses to the water, but a compelling, click-able ad has to make them drink.

    • A Whole Lot of Nothing 2:34 pm on June 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Or you could also just pick bloggers who bring the Awesome to everything they touch. (see: me)

    • cebsilver 2:54 pm on June 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Tip #6 Bloggers who will work for free swag, pretzels and RC Cola. I'm not saying there are bloggers who won't work for Pepsi or Coke products, but never underestimate the power of RC Cola. The classic RC Cola taste, loaded with sugar and what I can only assume is pure blood of a demon, will act as a mind control device for the blogger enabling you to feed them whatever trash you are selling. None of that makes sense. Because I'm drinking RC Cola. Did I mention it also contains at least 200mg of anthrax? It's good for you. Builds immunities. I have no real point.

    • riverhed 3:13 pm on June 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Kim beat me to be the first to invoke Dooce, albeit for a different reason. One of the reasons I've kept up with her blog for so long is because of the quality of each post. At times, I've wished she published more often, but if the result would be anything less than what she gives now, I'd rather wait for her best.When I first started blogging a few years ago, I tried to keep myself on a once-a-day minimum, which I ultimately gave up because I realized that just filling a quota doesn't do anyone any good. I had a professor in college who told me that he was giving me a B instead of an A for my class blog because “while the quality of each post is excellent, you're not posting enough.” I guess I'm glad I'm not the kind of person who always agrees with his professor, though that's not to say I'm not still blogging in obscurity (or, who am I kidding, I haven't touched my blog in ages…).

    • Anna Viele 4:29 pm on June 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Great article. Also look at the community involvement the blogger has — do they interact with their readers, or is it more of a broadcasting kind of thing? This can affect the kind of product/brand you're likely to be able to pitch with them. E.g. broadcasters are not necessarily going to be able to sell the products that they themselves use.

    • Kelly Whalen 8:05 pm on June 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      When I work with clients I talk about overall audience fit and not numbers specifically, especially since many of our clients are small businesses they can want Dooce all they want, but they can't afford her. When I'm working as a blogger I try to show companies and PR people the whole picture. I'm not just a writer (though I think I do that pretty well despite the lack of degree 😉 ). I have some media experience, a weekly show, use a variety of social media platforms, blah, blah, blah. Not everyone “gets” these points though-that's why I like working with people who do, because they tell me how I can do better, and support me as much as I support their brand.

  • dbinkowski 12:19 pm on January 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    A Great Debate on Gaming the System: Social Media Shilling 

    There’s a good discussion going on Twitter right now about social media shilling, aka “please tweet (blog, lifestream, status update, fan, etc.) this for a client” and the big “what if big agencies did this” en masse. Todd Defren started it off with his post called “Slippery Slope“. Laurel Hart, an adjunct instructor at NYU, asked if it was unethical to impose said coordination across an entire firm. My response is that it’s not unethical for employees to participate in social media on behalf of a client provided they disclose and do it of their own free will. It is unethical if mandated.

    (More …)

     
    • Marc Meyer 6:26 pm on January 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      You are dead on with this and I blogged about it yesterday. I got away from my original thought on the piece and started harping on privacy on Facebook, but my point was this. Every conversation that takes place on Twitter and to a certain degree on other social nets, has a baseline purpose of extracting a price, a fee, or of completing a transaction. Conversations are transactional. Some will converse but deep down its with the the hope that something will be derived from that conversation. Few will admit it, but it's true.

    • Jeremy Weiland 7:36 pm on January 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      “Go ahead and say you’re just there to make friends – and I’ll call you a liar.”But that's what real people do. That's the “connection” that you're trying to avoid naming because you want to view fake people (organizations) as legitimate participants. That's fine as long as *you* are transparent about your views and biases going into this question. But real people – those who want to do silly things like make friends – will view such participants as intruders most of the time, because they are. Marketing cheapens everything on the web and this is no different. It's the same old game; people flock to a new social network or way of sharing their lives with each other, marketers and other business interests see a chance to make a buck (nothing wrong with that, but let's distinguish it since you see “making friends” as a marginal activity) and they end up creating so much noise that it becomes useless for non-experts to participate.Twitter was not created for marketers. It's pretty obvious when somebody is shilling, and unless it has personal value at least now you can shut those annoying people down most of the time.

    • PRGully 1:52 pm on January 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Good post Dave and I agree. The early adopters and pureists on Twitter will fight its commercial use but that's how it will make money and keep relevance.To think otherwise is stupid or naiive.

  • dbinkowski 2:06 am on June 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    The New Breed of PR 

    Last week I spoke at the Council of PR Firms “Internfest” on a panel about being a “Specialist” in a PR firm. The lovely Melinda Zurich followed up the presentation with a few questions, which I’ve answered below, for their weekly email.

    I wanted to write about how this new breed of young PR professionals (digital natives) are changing (or not) the face of the industry through their innate online/social media skills. I wanted to know what some of your thoughts were as a senior-level person working in the industry.

    Do you think the new crop has a leg up when working on new media projects?

    As it relates to the actual use of technology among their peers and the ability to adapt, I would say “yes”. It doesn’t mean that they all understand how new media can be utilized to target their demographic, but at the very least they are a keen focus group for targeting Gen Y.

    Do you think the use and impact of digital/social media in public relations is just another tool, just another fad/trend, or will change the industry forever? Are we making too much of it? Why?

    I think it has changed the industry forever, and the PR professional needs to adapt. Will the “big hit” in the NYTimes or on ABC News still matter? Yes, to some. As the Atari generation showed us, digital is not just a fad – it’s become part of life, and with Gen Y it is life. Newspapers and “the news” aren’t how kids consume. The Daily Show was their number one source of news during the last election, if that’s any indication of their consumption.

    The reality is that the ability to publish, share, create and comment has turned everyone into a broadcaster. The question is, “Will PR get out of the ‘Top 10’, ‘Billions of impressions’ mindset fast enough to realize that this is about niche and micro?”

    Do you see senior-level PR people going to these youngsters for guidance on client-related work because of their new media skills?

    They already are doing it. Smart folks listen before speaking, regardless of their seniority, and those with clients targeting people online need to first see what the reality is vs. the aspirational “messaging” that we want to achieve. This isn’t exclusive to PR, as typically we are about conversation whereas advertisers will put forth their creative platforms, developed in brainstorms and behind the iron gate of the “agency”.

    The senior PR practitioner still brings the relationship, trust, client, brand and specific industry knowledge to the table, and if you’re up to date, the online knowledge is in there as well.

    Other observations

    Realistically the medium and expectations have changed drastically for the PR industry from one built on words to one based on real actions. Forget about asking people to deliver “on message”, because that’s aspirational. It also provides brands with the biggest opportunity, which is to take people from reality – how they’re talking now – to the aspirational of “delivering your message”.

    The crucial issue is trying to train all PR pros to understand that real measurement for our clients doesn’t lie in delivering messages or happen en masse, at least not at first. If you treat people right, engage and truly understand their wants and needs and speak to them in their own language, you will see a noticeable shift in attitudes, opinions and behaviors.

    digg_url = ‘http://digg.com/business_finance/The_New_Breed_of_PR’;

     
    • Leo Bottary 3:38 am on August 19, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      David, I think your answers are spot on. It’s also important to note that customers and other stakeholders are watching their favorite brands closely for HOW they interact and engage with them. They’re asking, “Do they want to just push information on me, or do they want real dialogue?” To your point, actions not just words.

  • dbinkowski 1:28 am on June 4, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    A week’s worth of random thoughts 

    If I thought anyone read Twitter posts (no long tail on this one, folks) I would have thrown these on there. Regardless, here are a few nuggets from the past week or so:

    1. The RIAA sued more University of Michigan students last week by IP address. The U issued a response that they were investigating. I’m not saying they shouldn’t protect their copyrights, but I’m not sure going after some of the best and brightest are the long term solution to extending the business model.

    2. Q: What happens when an outdated product/company tries to make itself relevant?
    A: Pay a few bloggers to write a code for you, then go against their Rules and spam people with it. People said they received spam email from Vocus regarding their “5 Golden Rules For Blogger Relations”. Vocus issued a response. I’m not buying it. You don’t get it, please don’t try to pretend. You paid for your company to become relevant and then botched it. Eat the $$ on this project and start over by bringing people in that get it and let them evangelize.

    Bottom line: While their points are dead on, they aren’t anything new. And instead of sending attachments they could’ve sent this:

    Subject: Want to work with bloggers?
    Body: Use common sense.

    If you’ve seen my presentations you’ll know that I’ve given these hints before. Kudos to Vocus for trying to push the standards, but in my opinion you’re a bit late to the game.

    3. Finally, I noticed that Gmail has overtaken all mailto: tags. I mentioned earlier that I use Yahoo for all commercial-related emails and Gmail is for bidness… so I’m not exactly thrilled to have this option forced upon me. I understand that they want to push their web mail system on me, but it’s a bit much.

    Wow, I feel much better now that I have that off my chest. 😛

     
    • Anonymous 5:30 am on June 4, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Why use Yahoo Mail at all? Such a spam hellhole

    • David Binkowski 1:56 pm on June 4, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not sure… It’s like a bad habit that’s part of my daily bookmarks that I open once I get in to work. Maybe it’s because some friends are too lazy to update their address books and still send stuff there.

      I’ll tell you what — I’ll abandon it for good once Google offers Fantasy Football.

    • David Meerman Scott 2:34 pm on June 4, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hey David,

      Just for the record, Vocus did not pay me to be a part of the white paper that they sent out. In fact, I didn’t even create anything net new for the project. The authors at Vocus drew from my existing works including my book “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” and my blog posts.

      That being said, I am being compensated for speaking at their user conference later this week.

      Cheers, David

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