How to run a political campaign in the age of new media

It’s an election year in these parts so it makes sense to toss out some fundamental advice regarding campaigns that make use of social media and new media channels.

First is the recognition of how your messaging will play out across various personas, especially those who will want to either carry it forward or mock it using social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Recently presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, came out with the  campaign slogan, “Win the Future.” When this is broken down to an acronym you get “WTF.” Now most everyone knows that’s not the best acronym associate with one’s campaign. While it gave the candidate a lot of attention right at the point of announcing their candidacy (enviable to be sure), many saw him as stumbling, falling and pronounced dead just as he was leaving the gate. The failing here was not testing the messaging outside of one’s own camp of “yes”-men. I just hope grandma doesn’t show up to church wearing a WTF t-shirt. Continue reading

Not all angry customers deserve to be made happy

In this age of the Internet and people having hundreds of followers on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, an unhappy customer can spread their version of what happened quicker than you can say, “What have you been smoking?”

In most cases, someone or something in your business screwed up and it’s likely you will need to address the incident and make changes to prevent it from reoccurring. But what if you did the right thing and it meant someone got a bum’s rush? That’s exactly what happened when a girl got booted for texting on her phone during a movie. For the sake of the other theatre goers, this theatre pissed her off.

But from this situation came some very effective messaging perfectly packaged to be both informative and entertaining to ensure the problem doesn’t occur again.

Read the full story and hear the message at Movie Theater Strikes Back Against Angry Texting Girl – BusinessInsider.

Or just listen to the theatre’s new PSA here

Exhibit or sponsor an event in Ferndale

Here’s a great opportunity to get in front of people having a good time! The annual Old Settlers Picnic in Ferndale runs from July 28th to July 31st this year and they are still accepting Vendor Space Applications (near bottom of the page) for craft vendors and “informational type” booths.

Sponsoring an Old Settlers Picnic event is another great way to demonstrate your brand’s support of community in a visible way.

 

Whatcom Sheriff Tests Online Crime Reporting

Anyone who has a web site that allows visitors to leave or submit messages knows there is an amazing number of people and automated processes (bots) scouring the Internet 24/7 looking to post messages anywhere. These range from rambling political rants to over-the-top advertising for pharmaceuticals. It’s very disheartening to say the least.

So it will be interesting to see how the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office’s new Online Crime Reporting service will cope with the noise. Granted, taunting law enforcement sites doesn’t demonstrate much intelligence but people will do so cloaked by proxy’d IP addresses and the like just because. Site visitors won’t see this but the workers on the back end will and they will need to be able to somehow filter out the mischevious from the valid without running the risk of ignoring bonafide reports.

I also wonder how long this has been in the works. The current Sheriff is facing re-election challenges from within his own ranks and not making use of low-cost technology to address an ever-increasing workload have been high on the list of election talking points. Regardless, this hopefully will work as intended since it definitely is a step in the right direction.

How to know when to advertise

I had an interesting sidewalk conversation with a friend recently that I’ll share with you. We were standing in front of a retail store-front business that was shuttering after a short (few months) attempt at launching. We both knew the owner and the issue of their lack of advertising came up. It’s good to know at this point that my friend has been quite successful selling print advertising for many years.

My friend pointed to the lack of advertising as their downfall. I said that there had to be much more to their situation than that. I went so far as to suggest it was probably best they hadn’t begun advertising during the early stage of their business anyway. That comment was met with a jaw-drop.

It’s probably good to know at this point that I have been referred to many times as the “unmarketing marketer.” That’s because I have never bought into the “you have to be doing something and a lot of it” reasoning that can be found behind a lot of wasted marketing budgets.

The conversation was over quickly and I believe it was punctuated with a statement ending with, “agree to disagree.”

So when do I, the “unmarketing marketer,” think should you advertise? Here’s my short answer: Continue reading

Using press releases to announce tough decisions

Graphic credit: nimbusrestaurant.com

Times are tough for a lot of industries, especially restaurants. So what do you do when the time comes to consider cutting your losses or changing your direction? Josh Silverman, owner/chef at Nimbus Restaurant, took the high-road of total transparency and issued a press release posted a letter on Facebook. He even did it a month ahead of time.

For many business owners, going public with less than upbeat news is right up there with volunteering for an IRS audit, scary stuff. But Silverman or his hired public relations professional (I would love to know who) did this very well. Continue reading

National sustainable business conference – June 14-17

“The 9th annual Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Conference will be held in Bellingham June 14-17 at Western Washington University, and will bring dozens of renowned speakers from across the United States and more than 600 business owners, government officials and network leaders from business networks similar to Sustainable Connections.”

WM NOTE: Do you have a product or service that would appeal to the hundreds of attendees at this event but can’t afford to attend or exhibit? Consider a sponsorship, distributing reuseable door hangers with your message on them at the hotels (I’m spit-balling here and have no idea how well the hotels would entertain this idea so don’t take this as proof of feasibility), and/or advertising on the WTA buses they get to ride on for free.

 

Read the full story here –> National sustainable business conference in town June 14 | BBJ Today.

Bellingham Chamber of Commerce | Strictly Networking

Increase your People Power and join us at the inaugural Strictly Networking Event! If you are looking to increase your visibility and meet some great people then we have your place. The Strictly Networking is speed dating for networkers. Full of high-energy, hard-hitting, relationship building networking. This event is designed to provide local professionals with the best opportunities to expand their networks, build relationships, and grow their businesses in Bellingham. Bring plenty of business cards every 4th Tuesday of the month.
When: Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Time: 3:30 – 5:30pm
Cost: $5 for members and $10 for non-members