A commencement speaker in Texas gave some solid advice to graduates recently. The comments came from Navy Admiral William McRaven, a NAVY Seal and currently commander of the U.S. Special Operations, likened life experiences to his military training…He said it best himself. See it here:
This short video by producer Gary Turk has gone viral in the last 7 days. It supports the theory I’ve proposed that the digital technology we surround ourselves with creates barriers to interpersonal, face-to-face communication. His message is a source of inspiration to promote a Kickstarter campaign to get at the heart of this problem. My idea is to travel the country–over the course of 1-year–and interview people from all walks of life and gather suggestions for how to deal with this disturbing trend. My goal is to produce firsthand research and a documentary film that will inspire people to think and act differently. I have observed that far too many people are missing out on meaningful relationships that begin with learning the art of simple conversation. How do you feel about it?
Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson is known around the world almost as much for his publicity stunts as his corporate (Virgin Airlines) pursuits, philanthropy and epic adventures. In a recent hour-long conversation in Australia, he described the need for all good companies to have a PR person: “The head of PR is perhaps one of the most important people in a company and a good chairman will have them by their side. They are critical for managing the brand and save millions in advertising; people talking about your company is much more important than anything.” Naturally, I agree.
A horrifying tale made headlines this week after three women, held captive for decades, were abruptly freed in an escape aided by a neighbor. What we know about the event is that a concerned neighbor, hearing the cries of one young woman and suspecting domestic abuse, kicked in a door to free her. Her subsequent 9-1-1 call and rescue of her and her companions by police made national headlines. The story is still unfolding. The man, Charles Ramsey, is a colorful personality who seems to have a knack for creative sound bytes in news interviews. Even fast-food chain McDonald’s, prominently mentioned as the food of choice by the local hero, restrained itself in turning it into a publicity opportunity–likely out of respect for the families and their privacy. Internet sensations like these seem to pop up regularly and oftentimes a company must decide whether to jump on the publicity bandwagon or to pass up the opportunity in the interest of courtesy or human dignity. As we watch this play out in national media, let’s see who takes the high road.
P.S. In a recent update, McDonald’s confirmed it will offer him free burgers for a year. (Sensitively handled very well by their PR team.)
Product promotions have risen to a new level with the pending launch of the new video streaming and Internet enabled glasses from Google. According to the company, a limited number of customers will be selected to later purchase the $2500 glasses (for a discounted price of $1,500) when they Tweet about how they would use them or make a post to their Google+ account. A NY Times blog piece describes it here.
The “select” few who are chosen to receive glasses before the public launch will certainly have bragging rights. I suppose if you’re one of those people who constantly shares every aspect of your life on Facebook, you can do it now with video and stay connected with a pair of glasses that documents what you see! Hurry, the deadline is February 27th and in your Tweet you should use the hashtag: #ifihadglass
More ideas are found on the Google video here: http://www.google.com/glass/start/how-it-feels/
Clients often ask what is the difference between advertising and PR. The short answer is advertising is a paid message that you control. PR is unpaid, sometimes referred to as “earned media.” What both of these unique disciplines have in common is summed up best by one word: Persuasion.
Ultimately, you want people to feel, say or DO something when you communicate with them. Something I learned not only in the classroom at BYU, but over years of experience is that clients expect results to their bottom-line. Whether you use advertising techniques or PR, top management realizes that both disciplines are very powerful–albeit a necessity in today’s world.