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Posts Tagged ‘Intel’

8 Tools to Help Companies Connect With Employees

Socrates, Circuit and Spotlight: you may find these sites while searching online, but you won’t be granted access. Unless, that is, you work at General Motors, Intel, or SunTrust Banks; these are intranet sites for those companies’ employees.

Intranets, proprietary social media platforms, mobile apps and rewards programs were on PRSA Connect13’s conference “employee social communications” agenda in New York on Tuesday, where corporate presenters ranging from industry leaders to resurgent companies shared case studies.

The following connection tips and tools aren’t new, but these companies, as well as SAS and IBM, found interesting ways to adapt them for employees.

1. Intranet: Circuit is Intel’s go-to platform, created to help employees follow company news and post related comments. Intel’s corporate initiatives director Melissa McVicker told attendees that employees use their personal pages to enter countdowns to their sabbaticals (which they earn every seven years).

2. Customized social media platforms: SAS maintains The Hub, hosted by SocialCast. Here employees join personal and work groups and give props to peers with a “thanks” feature. They’re also encouraged to submit ideas — and top-rated concepts make their way to R&D. CEO Jim Goodnight posts content, as do many employees. The Hub also serves as a real-time engagement platform: according to SAS internal communications manager Becky Graebe, two employees met, fell for each other and literally got engaged there.

3. Mobile apps: Intel introduced GoMyBenMobile, an app where its engineers and manufacturing employees have easy access to benefits information and company news without needing laptops.

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Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Justin Timberlake Joins the Dumb ‘Creative Director’ Hiring Boom

Here is a public relations tip for brands that hire celebrities as “creative directors”:

The American public is just beginning to shake the awfulness of a recession that landed many talented and ambitious souls in the unemployment line; millions still yearn for jobs worthy of their hard work and skills.

So when your company decides to invent a job and then fill it with someone who doesn’t even need a job, you’re telling the public “We don’t understand you at all.”

We were surprised when Justin Timberlake accepted a role as Bud Light’s creative director to help the brand “… define Bud Light Platinum’s identity in the lifestyle space.” We like Mr. Timberlake. Though a huge celebrity, he seems like the kind of guy who would help you clean up after a party and crash on your couch.

He’s a regular on Saturday Night Live; he clearly has a sense of humor and a healthy sense of self-awareness. But now he joins the ranks of “people with ridiculous amounts of money who apparently need more money” that includes Alicia Keys (creative director for BlackBerry), Lady Gaga (creative director for Polaroid), and will.i.am (creative director for Intel).

What’s going on? What happened to brands hiring celebrities to appear in commercials and then calling it a day?

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Intel, UPS Pull Boy Scouts Funding Over Anti-Gay Policy

Boy Scouts of AmericaThe Boy Scouts of America is a very traditional organization. Despite the apparent hypocrisy of forbidding membership to gay men while battling a PR disaster over decades of child abuse cases effectively swept under the rug, we can’t imagine the Scouts revising their no-gay policies anytime soon.

Still, the group finds itself in the news again this week in a bad way: Intel and UPS released statements announcing their plans to refrain from giving donations to the Scouts organization as long as it maintains its old-fashioned resistance to reality. And this isn’t small potatoes: the two companies gave more than $300,000 to the Scouts organization in 2010 alone.

We can understand the BSA’s position and the appeal of traditionalism: a decision to abandon the anti-gay plank would probably lead to a serious schism among its biggest fans. And we shouldn’t forget that the Boy Scouts is in most ways an exemplary organization that provides assistance to thousands of Americans every year. But this is an emotional issue for many people. See, for example, this tumblr page featuring onetime Eagle Scouts who decided to return their badges in protest.

We wonder: at what point does intransigence no longer benefit the Boy Scouts? When will they have no choice but to adapt? And how should they go about it?

Spin the Agencies of Record

The stars have certainly aligned for Steve Stoute’s agency, Translation: Hip-hop juggernaut Jay-Z, film legend Ron Howard and iconic American beer brand Budweiser, along with a host of other talents, marketing gurus, PR experts and businesspeople are joining forces to create a film based on the two-day “Budweiser Made in America” film festival to be held in Philadelphia, PA, in September.

Sovereign\Santander has chosen Arnold Worldwide to represent the bank’s rebranding in a review competition that included Mullen and SapientNitro. Santander, the Spanish brand that bought Sovereign—and its 722 branches—in 2009, hired Arnold Worldwide to position the brand and execute its sweeping marketing and advertising efforts.

The Marcus Graham Project, an intensive summertime program designed to help rectify the ad industry’s lack of diversity, is celebrating its fifth anniversary by announcing that the project is going full time. This evolution, named Locomotus, will require $2.6 million in its first year.

Co-founder Lincoln Stephens emphasized the investment will benefit the industry as it seeks to remain competitive in a globalized and diversified marketplace and bolster the careers of motivated, talented, young professionals. Dan Wieden, MGP supporter and co-founder/global executive creative director of Wieden & Kennedy, explains “Locomotus takes the best of what portfolio programs and student-run agencies have and moves it to the next level.”

Stalwart anti-spyware brand McAfee, recently bought by Intel, has chosen Daniel J. Edelman’s Zeno Group as its AOR. This marks an account boon for Zeno, which is expanding its tech portfolio in its Silicon Valley office. Zeno will presumably be promoting McAfee’s digital products which give users the option of customizing their security settings.

Moet & Chandon USA has chosen Miami-based BRPR to head its digital strategies, sponsorship integration and brand communication across all platforms in the USA.

Which Companies Do Social Humor Best?

News flash: Corporate communications don’t have to be dryer than wallpaper and burnt toast, and you don’t need viral videos, scripted scenes or comedic spokespeople to have a little fun with your messaging. We’re all told to “humanize the brand”, and we know that people love a good laugh more than anything, right?

Today Hubspot ran a post highlighting the work of some of their favorite corporate jokesters, and we have to say that we’re encouraged: We’ve been led to believe that PR pros are too uptight to make jokes, but we think Charmin, for example, does a great job with their fearless use of potty humor. Even some inherently humorless tech companies like Intel manage to take a lighthearted approach in making the most of their social media presence.

So tell us, PR folks: How often do you use humor to make your official Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest personas more appealing? We know it all depends on the brand you’re representing, but we love to see well-run feeds that downplay the public’s perception of businesses, especially big ones, as soulless automated marketing machines.

Which company pages and feeds make their brands more approachable? Which do you follow for guidance on how to do humor right?

Intel’s Ultrabook Popped Up All Over L.A.

Intel took to the streets to present The Ultrabook Pop-Up Theater, a stunt showcasing the Ultrabook laptop and some of the cool things it can do when you get 60 people to hold them up in front of their faces. The video was shot in Los Angeles and is meant to highlight the computer’s design and “responsiveness.” Not sure that’s what I think of when I see this clip, but take a look and decide for yourselves.

Separately, The Ultrabook Project sent Will.i.Am all over the world to use the computer to write a song based on the cities he visits. Perhaps a better way to highlight the computer’s selling points, but then you have to listen to music by Will.i.Am.

Dell Targets IT Pros with October Event

 

From October 12 through 14, Dell World 2011 will host IT decisionmakers at an inaugural conference in Austin, TX aimed at this niche group. While some conferences, tech-specific or otherwise, tout their colossalness with attendance figures in the tens of thousands, this conference is purposely staying small.

“This is going to get specific,” said Russell Fujioka, VP of marketing for Dell’s public and large enterprise area. He told us today that the conference is intentionally capping attendance at about 1,200. “Anyone who can attend is going to see leaders in proximity that they’ve never seen before,” he added.

Laser-targeting this group for this event is one of the attractions.

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Intel Turns Down the Volume

After years of marketing and promotions resulting in a 2010 Interbrand ranking at number seven, it looks like Intel is prepared to tone down its presence as it builds its business in the consumer electronics area.  The familiar “Intel Inside” sticker would interfere too much with the design of products like TVs. So now Intel really is just inside.

“Our customers are really trying to deliver industrial designs that are beautiful and elegant,” Jim Nucci, a brand manager at Intel, said in the New York Times. “We don’t want to be an obtrusive element.”

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