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Posts Tagged ‘Forbes’

Forbes Study Says Forbes’ Branded Content Totally Works

oh-no-justin-bieber-is-on-the-cover-of-forbesfor-investing-in-startupsSo we’re all busy talking about “branded content” right now, but we don’t really have much in the way of research demonstrating how effective if can be. Forbes has been in that game longer than most, and they just commissioned a study from IPG Media Labs to prove that their stuff is worth the money. Let’s review.

After customers read five pages from the Forbes online BrandVoices project, IPG concluded that they were:

  • 41% more likely to express an “intent to buy” the brand’s products
  • 28% more likely to report having a favorable view of the brand

Here are the key numbers in our minds:

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Did ‘Grand Theft Auto 5′ Just Give Dodge $1 Billion in Earned Media?

That headline may be a slight (read: huge) exaggeration, but two things are clear: Grand Theft Auto 5 made a cool billion bucks in three days last week and one of its three main characters drives a car that looks a whole lot like a Dodge Charger. Here’s Franklin’s “Bravado Buffalo”:

Crime spree...

And here’s the latest Charger model:

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7 Takeaway Tips from the Latest Forbes ‘Why Journalists Hate PR’ Story

In case you—like most people—missed it, last week Forbes ran yet another inflammatory story about how much journalists can’t stand public relations people. We know, we know. Ugh.

This one (surprise!) was a bit of a pitch for interviewee and reporter-turned “PR maverick” Ed Zitron‘s new endeavor EZ-PR, with which he plans to break all the rules of traditional media relations and revolutionize the industry. Or something.

Zitron’s first question to Forbes reporter Karsten Strauss was not “would you like to write about my client?” but “what would you like to write about in general?”, which is certainly a step in the right direction. But you knew that.

Here are his main pointers and our thoughts on the same:

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Target Responds to Plus-Size ‘Manatee Grey’ Dress Fiasco

A Target shopper recently noticed that the color of a grey plus-size dress was listed on the store’s website as “Manatee Grey” (and the image of a manatee may not be the most flattering one to conjure up when trying to sell clothing). To be fair, manatees are, in fact, grey — so while this incident certainly doesn’t demonstrate marketing genius, it’s not necessarily a major issue. The thing is, said shopper also noticed that same dress in regular sizes was listed as “Dark Heather Grey.” Aaaaand now we’ve got a problem.

Would-be Target customer Susan Clemens voiced her disgust on Twitter:

To Target’s credit, the retailer’s response was swift and appropriate:

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Mexico Rebrands Itself As ‘More than Margaritas and Mariachis’

Here’s a basic fact: Mexico is America’s number one tourist destination (and its formal name is The United Mexican States). At the same time, the country’s tourism board believes that many Americans don’t see the whole picture when it comes to our southern neighbor. In short, Mexico isn’t just about stereotypical Spring Break trips to Cancun and the requisite tanning sessions and tequila shots.

The country’s representatives want to change all that with an extensive rebranding campaign designed to focus on the more exclusive and luxurious elements of the Mexican tourism experience with the tagline “Mexico: the place you thought you knew.”

The campaign and tagline aren’t new, but we recently had the opportunity to speak to Gerado Llanes, CMO of the Mexico Tourism Board, about the latest elements of this countrywide shift in marketing and public relations strategies.

What is the primary goal of this campaign?

We want to convey the fact that Mexico is a lot more than beaches, margaritas and mariachis. Of course we are a spring break destination, but we want to more aggressively push the message about our luxury offerings.

For example: if you put all the hotels in North and South America together, you still wouldn’t have as many five-diamond locations as Mexico. We also have three of the world’s top 100 golf courses and the number one and two ranked spas in the world. Mexico also has many four-star restaurants that some people may not know about.

From business standpoint, we want to increase the average US spend in Mexico. We’re aiming for high-level consumers by saying “look and see what Mexico has to offer.”

How have you changed your marketing and PR strategies?

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5 Ways for Journalists to Build Better Relationships with PR Pros

Yesterday our friend and PR veteran Peter Himler wrote a Forbes article with an intriguing headline: “The Journalist and the PR Pro: A Broken Marriage?” Given the chatter over Monday’s guest post by a former journalist turned PR master, we thought we’d explore the idea a little further.

Himler’s main point: a significant number of the students in the journalism program where he spoke last week don’t want to write for The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal–they want to go into PR and advertising. They want to write sponsored content, not investigative journalism. Of course this makes sense, because journalism can be a very tough and often underpaid pursuit.

Himler, like many in the industry, believes that the always-challenging relationship between hacks like us and pitchmen/women has taken a turn for the worse. Yet we agree with his conclusion: this marriage may be strained, but it’s hardly broken.

On Monday Lindsay Goldwert called on her journalist friends to make a list of “do’s and dont’s” for PR pros. Himler’s piece includes both sides of the equation, so we’d like to flip the script: how should journalists and bloggers interact with PR folks? Himler’s suggestions and our comments after the jump:

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Move Over, Superman: Starbucks CEO Has His Own Comic Book

Starbucks CEO Howard SchultzIt’s a Bird! It’s a plane! It’s…Super CEO!

We’re pretty sure The Justice League didn’t advertise an open position, but no matter. Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, can stand on his own (and so, apparently, can his comic book).

From the same state that brought you the very first Starbucks comes the inaugural edition of  “Howard Schultz: The Man Behind Starbucks”, written by C.W. Cooke, drawn by Angel Bernuy with cover art by Conan Momchilov and released by Washington-based Bluewater Productions.

Don’t expect any high-flying hi-jinx or otherworldly bad guys in this comic. The ink-and-paper version of Schultz does much of what the flesh-and-blood version does–i.e. serving as the visionary ruler of a coffee empire.

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The Washington Post Jumps on the ‘Brand Journalism’ Train

Paid content–it’s not just for blogs anymore! The Washington Post, currently known as the sad husk of one of our nation’s most influential and respected newspapers, just launched “Brand Connect“, which its editorial team describes as “a platform that connects marketers with the Washington Post audience in a trusted environment”. In other words, paid content. Sponsored posts. Native advertising. Brand journalism. And it’s not in a special advertorial section–it’s on the paper’s home page.

We could all see this coming, of course: print ad revenue at the Post has reached record lows. Sure, we still encounter the occasional impressive Game of Thrones promo printed with ink on honest-to-God paper–but print advertising should probably consider intensive therapy at this point.

You may ask why this is news, because lots of other publications do the very same thing.

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Celebrity PR: Better Off Dead

Finally, tangible proof that there is indeed life after death—as long as you are, or were, a famous celebrity.

The Forbes 2012 Top-Earning Dead Celebrities report is out, and many will be surprised to learn that both Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley have been relegated to the #2 and #3 spots, respectively. That’s right, Elizabeth Taylor snuck into the 2012 lead by virtue of an estate auction which earned a cool $210 million last year. Taylor’s collection of jewelry was legendary, but she also owned works by both Picasso and Van Gogh, and her perfume line White Diamonds remains a top-seller.

The public wants its celebrities to be both exceptional and human, and nothing reminds us of the humanity of the ridiculously talented and fortunate more than death. We all die, after all–and death doesn’t care who we are.

Death can visit us in the shower, on a highway or during a beachside stroll. It has neither remorse nor regret. It simply does what it does when it wants, and dying turns out to be a defining career move for many celebrities thanks to the misplaced nostalgia of an eager public.

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Does PR Have a Creativity Problem?

Our friends at the excellent Spin Sucks blog asked a pointed question earlier this week:

“Will a lack of creativity be the demise of the PR industry?”

Given the fact that our business continues to grow while so many others struggle, we see the “demise” aspect of this headline as a rhetorical glimpse into the distant future. But it’s very interesting. Stated another way: Are PR and marketing professionals so scared of offending someone, anyone that they avoid all things colorful, interesting and remotely creative? And will dull, run-of-the-mill PR efforts grow so common as to negate the value of the service itself? Most companies can write their own press releases, right?

The post primarily concerned Pizza Hut’s recent PR controversy. To recap: The company offered a lifetime’s supply of pizza to anyone who would use last week’s “town hall” debate to ask the presidential candidates whether they prefer sausage or pepperoni. Quite a few feathers got ruffled, and Pizza Hut’s marketing reps quickly backed down, announcing that the campaign would move online as part of a “natural progression.”

Yet Forbes contributor Aaron Perlut called the campaign “brilliant” and claimed that its demise in the face of public outrage was a perfect example of the PR industry’s biggest flaw:

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