Mobilizing Blogs to Reach Millions (maybe)

  Generations of Flight 
  Originally uploaded by eschipul.

Getting ready for this week I have been reviewing Blog or bust: “The Scobleizer“ on mobilizing blogs to reach millions which was originally linked to me by Keeney PR. I highly recommend the article.

The reason? I have a couple of fun talks coming up for PRSA chapters later this week.

Northwest Arkansas PRSA
Integrating Social Media/New Technologies into Your Public Relations Plans

on Wed 25-Oct-06 8:30 AM


PRSA Tulsa
The Latest High-Tech Gadgets for the PR Pro
on Thu 26-Oct-06 12:00 PM

The photo? That is from Wings Over Houston last weekend. I learned about the airshow through the Houston Metblogs appropriately enough.

Continue reading “Mobilizing Blogs to Reach Millions (maybe)”

Photographers You Should Know Of: Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir

  time flies.. 
  Originally uploaded by _rebekka.

If you have not heard the name of Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir, or at least read the name given the spelling, you will. She is perhaps the top photographer on flickr, the new media photo sharing site. Rebekka has accomplished this while living in Iceland and being a student.

_rebekka as she is known on flickr composes beautiful and impassioned shots using nothing more than a great camera and an even more amazing imagination. Talk about doing more with less, one of her most popular shots is of an apple tossed in the air in front of her. Sounds ho hum, until you see the photo. I love seeing ingenuity.

And of course don’t miss her multiplicity set. Creative talent at its best.

Another write up on the photographer here.

Your challenge, if you are in public relations, is to help out these rising stars in the hope they will remember you later. If they don’t, but you have helped grow more talent for the planet, is that such a bad thing?

Marketing is More than Flipping Over Backwards

Frisbee Dog
Originally uploaded by eschipul.

I love this picture from the AKC World Series in Houston last weekend. This dog was amazing. Mainly in the relationship between the dog and the trainer. And yet this post is not about dogs.

Specifically I’d like to give props to HorsePigCow for two huge posts recently on marketing. Given I am working on internal training on persuasion architecture they both resonated with me.

The first marketing post is on Nash’s theory. The visual on the site is amazing – cleavage is compelling for everyone after all – but the money quote for me is:

… the brunettes represent the niche markets – the under-served,
underrepresented sectors that may not be as ‘big’ but have needs, too.

every client and company I’ve ever worked with has ached to reach the
“blonde”, but I continue to advise them to pay attention to the
brunette (and redhead and all the other variations of hair colour). The long tail is chunky and has more possibilities than anyone can imagine.

If that seems out of context please read the original post   with visuals.

The second Tara post to highlight was more recent.

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Geometry and the Munduruk̼ РAnthropology and Geometric Understanding

A very timely post in Slashdot on geometry and visualization today.  It relates to an anthropology study on the human interpretation of visual information through geometry.  It is timely because at the end of January Edward Tufte is presenting in Houston this month and I hope to attend! 

More on the article on geometry and the Mundurukú people.

Munduruku_geometryWe’re hard-wired for geometry (By Daniel B. Kane)
Tests with Amazon villagers hint at innate geometrical sense

WASHINGTON – Even if you never learned the difference between a triangle, a rectangle and a trapezoid, and you never used a ruler, a compass or a map, you would still do well on some basic geometry tests, according to a new study.

Using a series of nonverbal tests, scientists claim to have uncovered core knowledge of geometry in villagers from a remote region of the Amazon who have little schooling or experience with maps and speak a language without the mathematical language of geometry.


the authors of the new study conclude that they have uncovered evidence for a basic understanding of geometry among people without much formal education. Future research may clarify if humans are born with these intuitions or if we acquire them early in life.

We spend a great deal of energy and time with Tendenci reporting trying to create visualization of Munduruku_rightangle the actions taking place on the site to communicate back to the organizations.  Beyond basic network diagrams which are still best assembled by hand, it is a frustrating process.  Not to create the chart, but to create a chart that is easily comprehended. And it is far more complex than visualization of explicit social network connections

I like the visualization discussion at the bottom of this post regarding implicit networks as opposed to explicit networks.  That is a post for another day.

Saint Arnold Fermenter – Naming Rights on eBay is Great Public Relations

SaintarnoldbeerfermenterSome brands enjoy a disproportionate amount of warm fuzzies.  It helps if you sell beer and your product literally makes people happy.  So no surprise that St. Arnold Brewery is one of those brands that enjoys love from their customers. 

Saint Arnold is well known in the Houston area for their brewery tours where everyone gets a free "half cup" of beer.  But if it is a St. Arnolds mug it doesn’t matter how BIG your beer stein, you still get a "half cup."  So basically what you have is repeat offenders showing up with giant mugs (portable barrels with handles?).  Very odd for a first time attendee who of course wonders what the heck is with these people!

Saint Arnolds is now auctioning off the naming rights to their new fermentation tank.  Great public relations and with the bid at $1501 as I write this that is real money.  Here is the eBay listing.

Naming rights to new Saint Arnold fermenter

Become a saint! Win the naming rights to our newest fermenter. It is our first 120 bbl fermenter (that’s 3,720 gallons), twice the volume of our existing tanks. To put that into terms you can understand, that’s 1,653 cases of beer. The tank to be named is prominent to the tasting area. This means people will be thinking of you while enjoying a good beer. Then you can join the previous winner, St. Gonzo, along with our other saints Adrian, Brigid, Columbanus, Dorothy, Edmund, Florian, Gall, Hildegard, Idesbald, Jacobus, Lawrence, Matthew and Nicholas (all are actual saints of brewing). The proceeds will assist us in purchasing even more fermenters so we won’t run you out of beer.

In the disclosure category, Dan Keeney (a client of ours) sent me the link to St. Arnold as I believe they are a client of his.  But hey, if I could afford it, I’d be all over that fermenter.  Of course I’d probably have it signed with someone else’s name for fun, but what the heck?!?

update: And the winning bid was US $4,002.00 by elsambomeister

Images for advertising for mapping services

TargettargetmapFrom BoingBoing, a Target store has painted a giant red target logo on their roof for the mapping service satellites to display when they take overheads. 

To a bomber of course this looks like a giant target, but that is a different conversation.  I am sure Target’s pay rates are such that the employees don’t mind literally having a target painted over their heads.

We proposed previously a similar geographical advertising concept for the A9 block-by-block photo mapping service.

Walmart – Crisis Communications

WalmarthighcostoflowpriceOn the state of public relations and crisis communications.  Michael Moore is going after Wal-Mart, and perhaps someone really needs to to reduce the poverty level employees dependence on tax dollars for indirect health care subsidies.  What is interesting about this from a PR perspective is the War Room Wal-Mart has set up to handle crisis communications.

I’d love to know the RSS feeds they are watching along with a copy of their Google Alerts.  Now THAT would be interesting.  Plus a story like this is nothing but post-bait for a site like BoingBoing.  Hmmm.

I guess we will have to wait, but at some point I’d love to see a write up about the configuration of the room, the decisions that led up to the crisis communication team members, and the response methodology from a public relations perspective.

Wiki’s beyond authoring

Rob Hoff wrote an interesting piece on wiki’s called Learning to Work with Wikis about the Business Week news team using a social text wiki to collaboratively compile their Best of the Web list.  They did a number of things right:

1) They waited until he had an actual need, to compile a collaborative list and keep work efficient, and then sought out an appropriate social software tool; a wiki in this case.
2) He limited the authoring on the wiki to a group of interested people, or knowledge-matter-experts.
3) They sound like they approached it with a sense of playfulness.  Social software does not work in my opinion without a sense of "what if" and "wouldn’t it be cool if" is behind it, at least initially.

Some observations on what he could have done to improve the use of the wiki.

1) Rob noted that he probably limited the authoring a bit too much.  Not enough authors, or editors, and you lose the creativity of a free flowing group.  Too many and you wind up with a spawiki (spam wiki).
2) Did not use, or at least did not mention work flow.  My personal belief is that wiki implementations need better work flow management.  He may have used work flow, but I’d sure love to hear about the work-flow even it the implementation of the work flow was social (verbal, email, offline, whatever).
3) He chose as a wiki test a topic that lends itself to opinion.  Not everyone is created equal despite the wisdom of crowds and when compiling a "best of" list you obviously have opinions which prevent the use of NPOV (Neutral Point of View).  So from a proof of concept point of view this was a tough selection.  Sort of like you really should fly an RC airplane before trying an RC helicopter (different story…)

Overall I’d like to see more journalists working with wiki’s internally or in a controlled but enthusiastic fashion to help move the media past the LA times wiki fiasco