Category Archives: External Communication

Media Cloverleaf by Edelman

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Our greatest challenge today is deciding where to begin telling a story.

There are four distinct, but related, types of media today:

  • mainstream
  • hybrid
  • social, and
  • owned

Imagine them as a four-leaf clover.

  • In the first leaf, mainstream, we have the traditional delivery vehicles of print or broadcast.
  • In the second leaf, hybrid, are the dot.com versions of traditional media and media that is born digital like the Huffington Post.
  • The third leaf, social, includes Facebook, Twitter feeds and YouTube channels.
  • The fourth leaf, owned, includes a brand or company’s websites and apps—vitally important because every company should be a media company.

Sitting in the middle of the clover is search, the new on-ramp to all forms of media, as well as content which fuels “search rank.”

And there are also new influencers, such as the 25,000 people who provide half the world’s tweets. They’re passionate, fast and prolific, which makes their expertise and personal experience resonate globally.

We must work to stimulate storytelling that creates motion across all of the different types of media. We must ensure that personal stories and ideas are part of our output and that high-quality content – infographics and short-form video – can be easily found and shared to enhance search results.

B2B Advertising

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We often debate in our office about importance of advertising for a B2B company, specially corporate advertising, and not product advertising.

Most of the times we end up discussing generalities. How it will improve brand visibility, improve brand image and ultimately enhance brand equity. But in nutshell we do advertising because we do. I don’t think we have any measurable advertising for B2B. Because there is an advertising budget, and there is a team, and everyone else is doing it, we do it.

As for measurement, how can one single out results entirely attributable to B2B advertising. I don’t even agree to 100 % linkage of advertising to sales in B2C. Because from my personal experience I know there are ads, which have aroused my attention-interest-Desire (AIDA) but when it came to action, the idiotic response of sales staff resulted in me not buying the product/service. So I know which half, or maybe more than half, David Ogilvy was talking of that did not work. And yes there are ads which made me decide not to buy the product advertised. So instead of selling the product, they desold. Even repeated back-to-back insertions of ads also irritates me no end, and the negative emotions get carried over to the product being sold.

When it comes to new media, the B2B advertising becomes all the more unnecessary. The more I ask, the more my view becomes stronger that it is advertising for the sake of advertising.

I am told there are companies like Intel, IBM etc. which have made a mark through advertising. But what I personally feel is that advertising came later to reinforce their stronghold in the market. So to say advertising can push the the B2B sales would be a lie. What maybe you can do is present your market position in an impressive way through advertising.

Would it be wrong if I say, advertising never sold a B2B product, or will it be too harsh.

Media Sellers

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As a PR professional, we get to interact with Marketing rep. from media groups. Some of them are so good that professional relation turns to personal relation. But then there are some.

One of the things I hate about these I-am-too-smart-for-anybody types is when they enquire about a proposal from boss, get the status and then call me up asking about the status, without telling that they have spoken to boss already. Why don’t they understand that they are spoiling their image in long-term by doing these things.

Then there are some who don’t even have an iota of personal relation with you and have the guts to pick up the phone and call you up to ask why I didn’t get that ad, as if it was their right.

Of course there are some who go out of the way and make you realize that they are as serious and sincere about the job at hand as you are, and then there are some who take things for granted, don’t have any knowledge of business, media industry, market, and think they can sweet-talk their way to everywhere.

There are marketing friends who have worked with me till 11 in the night. But then there are others who expect you to pick up their call anytime of the day, but when you call them beyond duty hours, don’t even return the calls.

There are friends from marketing media who have taught me a lot about the industry and then there are those who don’t know their ABC’s and IRS’s. Some even try to bluff about the figures of circulation and readership, and shut up only when you show them latest data available with client.

There are friends who have kept in touch even after they no longer service my firm, and then there are people who come to office ten times, don’t bother to say hi, and when they have some work with me pretend to be very goody-goody and paly-paly. WTF.

There are people from marketing who have showed how to keep professional and personal relations separate, and then there are those who get agitated over professional matters and then carry on with their grudges.

Then I have seen people putting you on speakerphone at their end, without having the decency of telling you or asking you. In most of such cases, they are trying to impress some person sitting with them as to how close they are to client, or how forced-friendly they can be.

So enough ranting for today, but I would end by saying that from these group of people only I have made some nice friendships, and I understand that I would have been at fault many a times, so these are just one-sided views or opinions, which I thought of sharing without naming names.

One instance I remember is where one person was enquiring about a delayed payment. We told him that we were looking for the misplaced file and we even searched for the file in front of him. And the very next day our CEO receives a letter that we are deliberately delaying the payment. Even after 5 years, I have not been able to forgive that person for backstabbing and pretending to be goody-goody.

One generalisation I have formed is that more sweet-talking and oily-smile a person does, more hypocrite and backstabber he is.

Translation jobs

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One gets to learn new things with every new assignment. Recently we were asked to get some 60-page document translated to a foreign language. We explored differnt agencies. One agency said Rs. 1500 per page. Then on asking again, they said font size should be 14. I am sure if we had asked further they would have told triple spacing also.

Aniways, we asked other agencies which quoted in the range of 3-5 Rupees per word in their working estimates. So cost was coming out to be Rs. one lakh plus. Being a govt. company, we then asked them to send sealed quotes. There came our learning point. One agency quoted about 25 per cent less than the others. What they did was removed punctuation marks, and repeat words using some software. So the total number of words came out to be less than the normal MS-Word word count. Learning never stops really.