Archive for August, 2009

All news is not good news

Have you heard of the expression “all news is good news”? In a nutshell, it’s a school of thought about promotion contending that, no matter what is written about you, as long as you’re being written about, it’s a good thing. Is this true?

Not even close.

In the old days (like 10 years ago), this may have been a more accurate adage, considering that most people still got their news from traditional sources like newspapers, radio, and TV. Today, with the bewildering amount of information choices, everybody has a voice, and everyone is their own network. Heck, even a chucklehead like me can have a forum and an audience for all of my mundane thoughts.

With all of these sources, it’s easy for a company to get a lot of bad press, especially if they create a poor product or don’t utilize marketing/PR. A popular blog can influence a devoted follower, who happens to be the director of a TV show, who suddenly pumps it out to millions of people. Problem is, a huge portion of the new media sources are unreliable, biased, and potentially untrue. If someone’s got an axe to grind against you, they can’t generate a lot of ink, but none of it may be good. That’s a problem. Another pitfall occurs if you try to control the message by either generating your own content and creating a corporate shill, or by moderating others on your company blog. People don’t like the idea of having their thoughts policed, and will inevitably lash out against you and your company.

So what can you do to a) get good ink, and b) avoid bad ink? Answer: not much. Just kidding. You can keep the good ahead of the bad by treating your constituents right: produce a quality product, engage in honorable business practices, provide a quality experience, maintain your professionalism, and constantly dazzle your customers. You can also build and maintain friendly relations with people in the press and blogosphere, creating allies that are willing to say good things about you.

If you like my advice, feel free to spread the good word with one of the bookmarks below. Spread the love, spread the love.

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August 20, 2009 at 10:12 pm Leave a comment

Keep it short, stupid

Regardless of your politics, almost everyone can agree on one thing about President Obama:

He likes to talk. A lot.

We’re currently in the throes of a contentious health care debate. Vociferous town hall meetings, angry Congressman, and new details about the bill are being bled out every day. Obama is trying to assuage concerns about a “public option” by running his own town halls. Unfortunately for him, every time he talks about it, support drops lower and lower. Why?

Instead of focusing on 3-5 main messages that ordinary people can understand, he’s digging deep and talking about arcane elements of the bill that no one, including Congress, understands. Obama has forgotten the cardinal rule of messaging: Keep It Short, Stupid. As long as the message is different every day, and focusing on overly complex issues, he’ll never get traction. If I were advising him, I’d tell him to determine the three most important points, and hammer those suckers home. Stick to one game plan, and don’t let the day-to-day headlines sway you from the goal of selling those key messages.

Bill Shakespeare wrote, “brevity is the soul of wit.” It’s also the soul of a good marketing campaign.

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August 19, 2009 at 11:01 pm Leave a comment


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