Monthly Archives: July 2009

Air New Zealand’s paint job can teach us something

Memo to those producing corporate training videos: Find out what might prevent a captive audience from falling asleep.

I suppose there are a dozen ways to skin this cat when it comes to making inflight announcements. Anyone who’s flown Southwest Airlines knows how a statutory script about flight safety can be given a twist, or a certain delivery to make you pay attention.

And then there’s this clothing optional approach.

Whoever thought a boring safety video would have a chance at serving a marketing function, by going viral. The best part, it’s in sync with the campaign about being up-front, and having nothing to hide.

Thanks to Yang-May Ooi,who featured this on her cross-cultural communication blog, Fusion View.

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Posted by on July 30, 2009 in Communications



Twitter traffic machine makes me sick

It makes me want to shut up about micro-blogging.

For $27 bucks this guy is selling you five CD’s that will help you make money on Twitter by building 16,000 followers in 90 days. It’s called the Twitter Traffic Machine.

The pitch video is really sleazy. And what’s with the sign up page? Those red arrows give the whole game away, don’t they? Welcome to the automated snake oil salesman.

Now if this was a joke, a way to prove that there are enough dumb people who will actually pay to have followers, more power to Bill Crosby. If not, will someone remind Mr. Crosby that the broadcast model of ‘monetizing’ eyeballs and traffic have crashed and burned?

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Posted by on July 29, 2009 in Marketing



Losing sleep over keyword ranking?

I recently met Chase Granberry, the founder of Authority Labs. His company is competing in the SEO space — in a business category known as ‘rank monitoring.’

What’s that,” I asked.

It’s all about knowing how your web site ranks relevant to how people use keywords, he said.

“Competitive intelligence” in other words?

It’s also about usability, too, he reminded me. Are people finding what they need on your web site?

Competitive intelligence gathering is not something many of us do on a day-to-day basis. What I found interesting is how this kind of monitoring and optimization could be done by the rest of us –and not just the chaps in IT or a back office in Mumbai.

Granberry told me that his users range from bloggers to agencies PR types, to the web team. Why? Because people are getting more conscious about keywords, and are creating content aware of the way Google, Internet Explorer, Yahoo and Bing are indexing it.  PR and Interactive agencies are using the service to analyze the data and report back to their clients, he says.

“You mean the average PR person can actually understand this stuff?”

I took a peek at some of these reports, expecting to see a lot of geeky stuff. But they were really clean and well coded (up and down arrows to show a change in ranking against the previous day etc).

How do organizations spend on something like this in a downturn, I asked.

They need to think of search engine optimization as a A_Labs_ASUDTlong-term investment he said. Especially for those who seek ROI in terms of increased traffic and conversions. He mentioned ‘continued insight’ too, and it brought to mind recent cases of how lack of monitoring resulted in PR disasters such as this and this.

We increasingly hear how dangerous it can be when  PR and Comms take its eye off the ball. Competitive intelligence monitoring is like putting matchsticks between your eyelids and staying alert

There’s a free account if you want to give it a try.


Quotes for the week, ending 25 July, 2009

“Combine the ‘show don’t tell’ and ‘report with your senses’ rules to gather details that will paint pictures for your readers.”

Rosland Gammon at, on reporting details to paint a picture

“When it comes to influencing brand perception and purchase decisions… social networking… has a long way to go.”

Stephanie Molnar, CEO of WorkPlace Media, commenting on a study of social network usage in the workplace.

“When most people say, “prioritize,” I think they really mean to say, force-rank.”

43 Folders, on Mud Rooms, Red Letters and Real Priorities

“They have no friends left.”

US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, commenting on North Korea, during her visit to Asia

“Twitter Generates $48 Million of Media Coverage in a Month”

Abbey Klaassen, in Ad Age, in a story that details how Twitter received almost 2.73 billion impressions in the past month. TV contributed to 57% of the PR value; newspapers 37%; magazines 5%.

“Employers hire winners, someone with demonstrated success in previous positions, and someone that inspires confidence from the get-go. Wallowing in self-pity isn’t remotely attractive. Neither is desperation.”

David Mann, former dir. of corporate communications, about maintaining a positive attitude during a job search

“Twitter is not a huge page-view driver, but it does bring in new people.”

Robert Quigley, in Media Bullseye on lessons learned from using Twitter

“He had this bizarre idea that he would ad-lib the newscast without a script … it lasted two days.”

Sanford Socolow, on Walter Cronkite, at the legendary anchor’s funeral.

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Posted by on July 25, 2009 in Social Media


Twitter interview with Jessica Hansen

Welcome to the fourth ‘Twinterview’ here at HoipolloiReport, and welcome to Jessica Hansen, who’s agreed to participate / be grilled in this compressed, live format.

Others in this series have been:

It’s going on live at 9.00 am today at

AF: @JessicaLHansen Good morning Jess. Thanks for agreeing to do this Twinterview. Did you know you’re the fourth ‘victim’?

JH: @heyangelo I’m honored to be the fourth Twinterview ‘victim’ 🙂

AF: @JessicaLHansenYou’re a very big Twitter user. What do you make of compressed interviews?

JH: @heyangelo I’ve been using Twitter since ’07 & love it! Twinterviews are a great way 2 quickly share concise bits of info w/ a lrg audience

AF: @JessicaLHansen For a moment I thought you said since you were 7 🙂

JH: @heyangelo HAHA! No, the Internet wasn’t even around when I was 7 — Let alone Twitter 🙂

AF: @JessicaLHansen If you were to choose between blogging and micro-blogging, what makes more sense to you and how you work?

JH: @heyangelo I don’t know that u need to choose btwn blogging & micro-blogging…

JH: @heyangelo I’d use a blog to share more in-depth info or maybe info just about one subject (which may only appeal to a smaller audience)…

AF: @JessicaLHansen Some people think Twitter is just mindless ‘brain noise’ Wher and blogging is the new long-form journalism

JH: @heyangelo Use micro-blogging 2 not only share bits of info (& link 2 in-depth blog posts if u want), but also engage more & listen 4 info

JH: @heyangelo I’m going to have to check out The Hobson and Holtz Report – Podcast ( for the piece about ‘brain noise’

JH: @heyangelo There are def. still Twitter users who are posting updates about what they are eating (now famous example), and nothing else

JH: @heyangelo Those same people rarely see the value in using Twitter — It should be a two-way form of communication…

JH: Don’t use Twitter to just push ‘mindless’ info…Listen to what else is being shared, & engage w/ others to get the most value

AF: @JessicaLHansen Such as? Name three people you follow who do a good job at it

JH: @heyangelo You’re putting me on the spot–I have a hard time w/ #FollowFriday because there are so many people who are sharing great info

JH: I enjoy following people who tweet useful info (beyond the ‘yum! I’m eating a grilled cheese’) and share common interests of mine

JH: @heyangelo To be general, I enjoy following reporters to get more insight into their personalities & to learn about what they’re working on

AF: @JessicaLHansen Nice dodge, can u be specific? No harm giving a shout out to someone

JH: @heyangelo For a great list of communicators, I turn to the ‘IABC on Twitter’ list (

JH: @heyangelo Most of my #Mindspace colleagues are on Twitter–If I pick 2 who use it regularly & do a great job, follow: @BDiggs @JeffHechtAZ

JH: @heyangelo And of course u do a great job at using Twitter–engaging w/ your followers, & sharing links to interesting artices #FollowFriday

AF: Ah, Flattery! Won’t let you go off lightly, though. Let’s talk about jobs.

AF: @JessicaLHansen Let’s talk about your job. You were immersed in digital media and were laid off. Were you taken by surprise? Why?

JH: @heyangelo Yes, back to your question about jobs, and being laid off while being immersed in digital media…

JH: @heyangelo I think the best thing people can do right now is realize the power of having a strong network, esp. when u don’t think u need it

AF: @JessicaLHansen I want 2 go bck 2 that week. Did you pull out your resume? Log into LinkedIn? Posted a status update on FB? What did u do?

JH: @heyangelo When I was laid off, I had already been actively involved w/ @IABC_Phoenix, was volunteering w/ ADA, & building a Twitter network

JH: @heyangelo First thing I did after being laid off was update all of my online profiles — LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter…

JH: @heyangelo You always want your online profiles 2 be current, but I was surprised by just how many peopel reached out after hearing the news

JH: @heyangelo I’m connected w/ family & friends on LinkedIn & FB & know I have their support…Was overwhelmed by generosity of Twitter friends

JH: @heyangelo I was already on Twitter sharing info. w/ people–Then, when I needed support, had people offering advice, help w/ my resume, etc

AF: @JessicaLHansen How about networks in the Valley? Did you do a lot of face-to-face meetings or were you all digital?

JH: @heyangelo That’s an important point, Angelo. I connected w/ a lot of people online, but I made a point of having face-to-face mtgs as well

JH: @heyangelo @IABC_Phoenix is a great network, & there are some other chapters organizing support groups 2 help collaborate in tough times

AF: @JessicaLHansen Were there any hiring managers that found you because of your social media footprint?

JH: @heyangelo Yes, I heard from a few hiring mgrs because of my social media footprint–Scheduled in-person interview w/ @cplanchard via DM 🙂

AF: @JessicaLHansen What do you think job seekers do badly?

JH: @heyangelo Job seekers who have a strong network of pros are going to be a step ahead when it comes to finding the next career opp

AF: @JessicaLHansen And from the other side, what do you think companies seeking great employees do badly?

JH: @heyangelo HR depts are getting bombarded by resumes from job seekers right now–It’s important to connect w/ people & build relationships

JH: @heyangelo Hiring mgrs are missing out if they aren’t joining the convo on Twitter–Great way 2 find talent & learn a lot about candidates

AF: @JessicaLHansen Let’s switch to IABC. You’ve taken on the presidency this year for IABC_Phoenix. What are your three big goals?

JH: @heyangelo Yes, I’m honored 2 serve as @IABC_Phoenix President this yr. We are focusing on having our members Be Heard more than ever…

JH: @heyangelo @IABC_Phoenix will be the definitive resource for comm practices & engaging communicators at all stages of their careers

JH: @heyangelo @IABC_Phoenix will enable our members’ success in performing their jobs and advancing their careers

JH: @heyangelo Personally, I’d like 2 connect w/ as many @IABC_Phoenix members as possible this yr–Get 2 know them, hear what they need from us

AF: @JessicaLHansen From recent membership at IABC_Phoenix, attendees at events, what are members seeking most?

JH: @heyangelo From recent @IABC_Pheonix surveys, members want: smart network of comm pros, info on new career opps, & more on social media

JH: @heyangelo @IABC_Phoenix will enable our members’ success in performing their jobs and advancing their career

AF: @JessicaLHansen How do you see Phoenix positioned in terms of Communications opportunities?

JH: @heyangelo I think there are a lot of opps 4 comm pros in #Phx, but it’s also 1 of the hardest hit by this economy–We need to work together

AF: @JessicaLHansen #On that somewhat optimistic note, I’ll let you go. I know you have to run. Thanks for your time!

JH: @heyangelo Thanks so much, Angelo! I enjoyed the Twinterview (thanks for the opp!), and hope I was able to share some helpful information.

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Posted by on July 24, 2009 in Best Practices, Social Media


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The road becomes a canvas, with Chalkbot

A few days ago, someone asked me for an example of how to use social networking or blogging tool in a really different way. I had a couple of personal examples. I wish I had seen this.

  • Not just a short message, but a digital-to-chalk application of micro-blogging.
  • Not updates about ‘what I had for breakfast,’ but why I support your cause.
  • Not yet another cancer ribbon, but a ground-up message supporting Livestrong

This is a really fascinating example of how people send a message to others, using a ‘platform’ we take so much for granted –the road.

I found it via the Nike Tour de France microsite, where people can upload messages that get printed on the road via a bot. They send their message via …. you guessed it, Twitter.

How does it work? The device uses a 48 nozzles-spray to write with emulsified chalk on the street. If you like to participate, send a message to the Chalkbot Twitter account.

Check some messages, here.


Twinterview on Friday with IABC Phoenix president

One more in this Twitter interview series. (Following Johna Burke, Nina Miller, and Mitch Joel)

Indeed an interview on Twitter can be looked at as too compressed or a fascinating use of a real-time tool, especially since it is tied to a micro- social network. It poses some challenges, not so different from those I run into using VOIP (Skype) or a cell phone.  In the process, the ‘twinterview’ teaches us other things as well. How to hyperlink responses, cross-post to a blog, and use a back-channel or direct messaging feature.

Friday’s guest, Jessica Hansen will be interesting. She was deep into social media when she was laid off, and has been using face-to-face and online networks to bounce back. Jessica is also taking over as pres of a chapter that has been consistently doing great things for communicators here in the Valley. Can we fit all this into a compressed micro-blogging format? Let’s see!

Who: Jessica Hansen, president IABC/Phoenix

When: 9.00 am (mountain/Pacific)

Where: Here at this blog

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Posted by on July 22, 2009 in Social Media


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