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Buick’s all about creating impressions

Posted by Taylor Thomas on July 31, 2015 in Marketing

If a car company gave you the opportunity to test drive a car overnight and included a company-themed yoga workout, mix-at-home company fragrances and a “company meditation map,” would that make you more likely to buy one of their vehicles?

That’s what Buick hopes, as its “24 Hours of Happiness Test Drive” marketing campaign was released last week. The company hopes this idea not only shows their interest in their consumers but creates an impression that Buick trusts their shoppers.

Typically a brand for an older demographic, Buick is now targeting a new generation of buyers and combined that with the trending topic of wellness.

This campaign notion reminded me of the quotation, “if you’re not innovating, you’re going backward.”

So ask yourself, how are you/your company innovating and constantly improving to the ever changing demands of today’s society?

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Salt on the wound

Posted by Brian Lee on July 28, 2015 in Media

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Like many public relations practitioners, I’m frustrated by people in an organization who leak information (confidential or otherwise). However, journalists’ lack of computer security makes leaks even worse.

According to a ScienceDaily article, journalists aren’t doing enough to safeguard the info they obtain: “Despite heightened awareness of surveillance tactics and privacy breaches, existing computer security tools aren’t meeting the needs of journalists working with sensitive material.”

Media outlets are constant targets of hackers, according to Computer Business Review. This could mean leaked info that a journalist intended to only partially report on could still be published in its entirety due to hackers.

That’s another reason to stop leaks in an organization.

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Wallpapers Deleted by Twitter

Posted by Emily McGuire on July 24, 2015 in Social media

This week Twitter removed users’ customized backgrounds and replaced them with a simple off-white background.

Social media is a tool for branding yourself, many users felt that personalized backgrounds on Twitter were a form of self-branding. Now, background images are only available on Tweet pages, list pages and collections pages, according to Twitter.

Many Twitter users are upset that the option of creating a customized background is now gone. But there are more ways to build your brand, whether it is a personal brand or a company’s brand, on social media other than customizing the background of your twitter page.

To build your brand on social media be sure to post frequently, interact with other users, catch the attention of influencers, use the social media sites that your audience uses and post valuable and shareable content. Doing these things on social media will display your brand in an interactive way that is much more effective than displaying your brand in a stagnant background image.

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Instagram Moves to the Web

Posted by Taylor Thomas on July 21, 2015 in Social media

We know that Instagram is a mobile app, but the company recently announced it’s bringing searching capabilities to the web. Users will now be able to search for hashtags, profiles and locations on the web using Instagram.com, which is continually looking more and more like the mobile version.

According to Instagram, users drove their web embedded content to the website, causing the company to improve their web-based page. After doing this, it resulted in 5.3 billion impressions in the month of June. Since then, the company realized how important building a cross-platform experience was.

In addition to creating the search capability, Instagram also created landing pages for geotags and hashtags, seeing some of the top posts when you search both.

These features will benefit businesses because it’s another way companies can target their current and potential clients. Also, by searching for the top posts in a certain subject, companies stay up to date with the latest trends in their industry.

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Pluto brings NASA to headlines

Posted by Emily McGuire on July 17, 2015 in Media

A mission that has taken more than nine years brought NASA to headlines across the globe this week for the first time in a long time.

The New Horizons Spacecraft achieved the first ever flyby of Pluto and sent photographic evidence back to Earth. This long mission will continue on until the spacecraft runs out of power around the year 2030. We can only imagine the other spectacular images the spacecraft will send to us during the remainder of its mission.

This headlining mission is a great example of how long the placing process of media coverage can take. Although NASA had the luxury of creating their own timeline, getting your story published involves patience, persistence and perfect timing. If you’re wanting to place a story, press release or guest blog post, be willing to dig deep, think hard and be mindful. Good things come to those who wait.

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Project management, revisted

Posted by Brian Lee on July 10, 2015 in Apps

A year ago I wrote about testing Wrike for project management. My staff and I eventually abandoned it, only to give it a second try a few months later. In the end, we still disliked Wrike for the terrible user interface, useless smartphone app and lack of features. We assume there would be more features with the paid version, but the free version was so bad that we didn’t even bother with any kind of trial.

Now we’re onto Trello, another freemium project management software. After several months, we really like the ability to create client accounts (in this case, boards), project categories (lists) and individual projects (cards). We also can easily assign staff members to the projects, share notes and set deadlines. We also can share boards with people outside our network (e.g. clients).

One missing feature–apparently something many other users want, judging by the forums–is a way to mark a card as complete. Right now, you can either archive it or move it to another list (e.g. “Completed”), but there’s no notification feature.

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Timing is key

Posted by Taylor Thomas on June 26, 2015 in Branding
iDough-iDough-pint

In light of today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling to legalize gay marriage, Ben & Jerry’s renaming of its staple “Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough” ice cream couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Vermont-based ice cream shop, a long-time supporter of LGBT rights, changed the name of the carton to “I dough, I dough” for a limited time, with all the proceeds benefiting the Human Rights Campaign.

When you’re thinking about rebranding a product, do your research. Know what’s going on in the world. Also, be smart in the way you market your product. Not only did Ben & Jerry’s change the name, they also changed the image on the container.

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Be real

Posted by Brian Lee on June 12, 2015 in Branding

I was really disheartened earlier this week. A person in the world on PR–I’ll keep him nameless–seemed like a affable guy. I had attended a presentation of his, and I read his book. His theme was “I’m approachable. Call me. Email me.”

However, that was anything but the case. After he sent me some curt responses to my emails (I assumed he was just busy), I tried to chat with him in person on Monday at an event we both attended. After I introduced myself, he said hi and then immediately walked away and started a conversation with someone else.

The situation reminded me of an instructor I had in college. In class, he made tons of jokes, and he was friendly at a party he hosted at his house. But in office hours, he was a real asshole (an opinion I shared with many of his students).

Whether you’re branding an individual (including yourself) or an organization, it does no good to put lipstick on a pig. Doesn’t the public always find out? I think it’s better to be known as a jerk than a liar.

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Welcome Emily!

Posted by Brian Lee on June 2, 2015 in Doing business

Say hello to Emily McGuire, Revelation’s intern this summer. The rising junior at UW-Whitewater is an active member of PRSSA. A native of Dodgeville, Wis., Emily previously interned at Lands’ End.

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Another ICD-10 delay ultimately hurts patients

Posted by Brian Lee on May 29, 2015 in Branding

Make no mistake. The U.S. healthcare system is broken. In fact, you should be amazed that the care you receive is as good as it is, meaning that it could be even worse, but it should be a lot better.

What I find particularly laughable is the ongoing delays to the deadline for ICD-10 to be adopted officially. ICD-10 is the latest international classification of diseases and health problems. As I’ve discovered in researching this for a client, its mandatory implementation has been delayed before, first six years ago from the original deadline of Oct. 1, 2011 to Oct. 1, 2013, then again to Oct. 1, 2014, and then again to Oct. 1, 2015.

Now comes news of basically another delay. The endless push for delays stems from healthcare and medical trade associations spending money to lobby for more and more delays instead of spending that same money on implementation. Here’s an example from the Texas Medical Association.

“One of the major things that is different this time around is that the big hospitals feel ready and we’ve moved into the reality that any further delay is just costing us money,” UMMC Dr. John Showalter said in an interview with healthcareITnews.com.

Did you know that ICD-9 was published in 1977 (though not adopted in the United States until 1995)? It’s so old that 50,000 existing codes can’t be used, most of the terminology is outdated and no new diseases can be added to it. That means healthcare itself can’t improve without the new codes.

“This freezing of ICD-9 does not allow for improvements in the disease specificity that we need to measure outcomes,” Dr. James Kennedy of FTI consulting told HC Pro.

Hospitals and other healthcare providers, as well as groups like the American Medical Association, need to stop whining and begin the implementation process. Otherwise, we can continue to say goodbye to innovation, cost savings and most importantly, patient safety.

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