Vonage Convinces WSJ to Run Ad With Visible Censorship

Starting with the result, Vonage convinced the WSJ to run the image at right (from gigaOM blog) exactly as shown. This clearly makes one curious about the lines marked out. And bloggers ran with it putting the WSJ in a deserved difficult spot for censorship.

For how the events unfold please check the Vonage/WSJ GigaOM post. I am only commenting on the PR/Ad aspects.

Reading between the lines it sounds to me like:

  1. Vonage bought the ad space in the WSJ to promote the FreeToCompete site. The site is about Verizon trying to "screw" the competition with patents BTW.
  2. Vonage submits the creative with copy to the WSJ.
  3. WSJ objects to the "Verizon attacks Vonage" line and asks for it to be removed. Specifically they object to the somewhat disingenuous line:
    1. "Now, Verizon has chosen to attack Vonage in the courts. Why? Could it be all about the money?"
  4. Vonage (this is me proposing one scenario of how it might have happened) likely says "hey, we don’t have time to redo the creative so we will just line it out. Given you, Mr. WSJ, didn’t give us time you need to run it as is."
    1. Alternatively, and even worse for WSJ, is if one of their people actually did the line out before sending it to the presses! Oh that would be rich.
  5. WSJ editors says "OK" to amateurish revision of the ad and approve the run regardless.
  6. Bloggers blog it, making the WSJ censorship painfully visible and;
  7. Generating free PR AND BUZZ FOR FREE TO COMPETE!

You have to know the PR folks at Vonage are smiling ear to ear about getting this one live. Talk about turning an advertisement into PR about your brand!

So to the clever folks at Vonage, nice one. To the editor at WSJ – you got 0wn3d!

Continue reading “Vonage Convinces WSJ to Run Ad With Visible Censorship”

Bring on the Class Clowns – Short Form Video Rules!

From Accenture on Consumer Generated Content (thanks for the link Dan)

Asked to identify which type of content offers the highest growth potential for their industry over the next five years, the greatest number of respondents “”

  1. 53 percent “” cited short-form video, followed by
  2. videogames (13 percent),
  3. full-length film (11 percent)
  4. music, (11 percent),
  5. consumer publishing (9 percent) and
  6. business publishing (4 percent).

Numbered bullets added by me because I like lists. Lists are simple. But back to the topic – this is a very interesting list indicating what is already very apparent. Video, short form, is the future. Bring on the class clowns!

The video at right? Just a cool consumer generated video tribute to smilemaker that I like.

How Not to Get Indicted: Get Out of PR

I haven’t linked to Amanda Chapel in a while, cause, well she can be kind of a bitch. <grin> But this is just too real world of a PR cynical scoop by Doug Dowie. From the Strumpette article:

How Not to Get Indicted – by Doug Dowie

  • Get Off the Public Teat
  • Stop Sending Email
  • Never Delegate
  • Buy a Stopwatch and Clipboard
  • Spy on Your Staff
  • Ignore Your Financial Targets
  • Never Trust Your Boss

What strikes is that you can’t actually DO that. Sure you can "get off the public teat" but "stop sending email"? I think not. Which is the authors point. So you have three options.

  1. Don’t take public accounts or;
  2. get out of PR or;
  3. be a big agency and make sure middle managers take the fall.

There it is. On that note, I can’t believe we don’t have a Douglas R. Dowie wikipedia stub btw – not that I am suggesting y’all create it.


Grand Prix: Sebastian Bourdais

  Grand Prix: Sebastian Bourdais 
  Originally uploaded by eschipul.

How Social Software Works. First I paid to attend the Grand Prix of Houston.  My whole family. Then I took creative commons photos and posted them on flickr. Then I noticed there wasn’t a flickr group for the Grand Prix of Houston so I created one. And invited others to join.

Cost to the Grand Prix of Houston? Nada. Benefit? A great deal long term by engaging the Houston Racing fans. All facilitated by flickr. All of our brands should be so lucky.

And oh ya, one thing y’all could do to help would be to click through to my flickr photo (to the right of this post) and post a comment. Comments are cool. Thanks!

Friending is Not the New Ad, It is the New Advertising-Denial

I think this post on friending being the new advertisement misses the point. Friending is the new advertising-intrusion-followed-by-rejection-with-a-few-accepts. Think Telemarketing. When a brand says "You don’t know me but I want to be your friend", and they have not contributed in any meaningful way to my network, that is an intrusion.

Ahhhhh, the attack approach and get rejected method. Isn’t that what banner ads tried to do before we all installed pop-up blockers? Just asking..

NBC has the blood of future victims on their hands

Q: Should NBC have run, or even distributed the crazed manifesto of the Virginia Tech killer?

A: No.

Let’s be clear. The guy was crazy. And hateful. And he wanted fame. And he succeeded because they ran the video. There is only one logical conclusion other crazy hateful people who want fame can draw from this. Record it, distribute it, and you will get your 15 minutes of MSM coverage.

Dave Winer, at scripting news, uses lots of words in a subsequent post to talk around the issue. But his original call for the release of the videos was wrong. There is right. And there is wrong. And that is wrong.

My Dear Wormwood indeed.

Twitter as a feature for crisis communication

Twitter = one-to-many opt-in SMS. That should be in all social networks. Especially facebook to help students with crisis. And soldiers. And everyone who forms in groups – which is all of us.

The "use twitter for crisis" concept has been oft-repeated. My point is that like the Internet you can’t use one site for something so important. So it has to be distributed. So it is a feature of the various other sites.

On a side note, I twittered that first sentence first and then blogged it. And now to catch a plane from Chicago back to H-town.

Shoes and 16 Million Views

Shoes. 16 million views of perhaps one of the stupidest music videos I have ever seen. 16 million. Did I mention 16 million?

So, if you are a PR person, what if at the end of an interview your CEO of a quirky brand tilted his head into the camera and said "shoes" in an odd way? Half the folks would think him nuts. The other half would realize he got the joke and think your quirky brand is cool. Weird, but cool. Because they "get it".


kofi annan @ hobby center

  kofi annan @ hobby center 
  Originally uploaded by eschipul.

Houston’s own Brilliant Lecture Series presented former Secretary General Kofi Annan tonight at the Hobby Center.

L. Scott Brogan is the political consultant and driving force behind the Brilliant Lecture series. Given I don’t swim in those circles I am curious about his role. You can’t just drop Sidney Poitier and Kofi Annan without a few connections.

Tying in the previous posts on zoominfo, here is Scott Brogan’s zoominfo data.

Light posting the rest of the week as I am traveling (again). This time to Chicago so I’ll get a pizza and beer for you. Ya, just you.

Last thought – at the event it was no pictures. So you get a picture of the building. Despite everyone using their point-and-shoot cams to take 9999 photos. Frustrating. Why not just be progressive like NYC? Open photos – no flash? How hard is that? Grrrrr.

NYT on China and “Genocide Olympics” Progress

  John Prendergast on Darfur 
  Originally uploaded by eschipul.

Many of us went to see John Prendregast on Darfur with the Houston World Affairs Council. One of the strategies he mentioned was economic pressure on China because China strongly supports the Darfur government.

Specifically Prendergast mentioned an initiative called the “genocide Olympics“ which was an attempt to tie the next China Olympics to their complicity with the government of Darfur. It appears to be working. From the New York Times:

Darfur Collides With Olympics, and China Yields

WASHINGTON, April 12 “” For the past two years, China has protected the Sudanese
government as the United States and Britain have pushed for United
Nations Security Council
sanctions against Sudan for the violence in Darfur.

(full article on Genocide Olympics Progress with China)

Now this is China. So seeing the press in the US may make them reverse directions just as a show of power. But one can hope.


Netsquared Tonight – Chicago Next Week

First, please also go to the Netsquared Site to Vote on the Projects!

And in my neck of the woods, a couple of upcoming events. One in two hours from now with Netsquared Houston.

Houston NetSquared meets with Houston Center for nonprofit social discussion
Tue 10-Apr-07 7:00 PM

And next week I’ll be in Chicago to give a talk for IABC Chicago

Trends in Public Relations Technology – Luncheon and Workshop
Wed 18-Apr-07 11:00 AM

And if you aren’t on twitter yet, what are you waiting for?