Tag Archives: google

“Disrupted” Should Shake You, Wake You

For years, as a PR professional, I’ve been trying to figure out how to get to high school and college students. I imagined them surrounded by a bubble I couldn’t pierce.
Stefan Pollack explains this generation’s communications world in Disrupted. It’s clear, direct and commendably presents his findings without offering “easy”  answers.
The iGen generation, as he labels it, has created the biggest shakeup in communications in generations. The iGens are those born after 1994 who have never known a world without computers,  parents without mobile devices, and who want their information now and know how to get it instantly.
If it takes more than an instant, it’s too long.
They don’t need to memorize old facts because they curate.
Pollack credits Apple for changing the way we communicate through the introduction of the iPod, which revolutionized the way we buy music and ushered the downfall of record stores, iPhone, and the iPad which signaled the downfall of desktops and laptops. He doesn’t give enough credit to the almost simultaneous appearance of Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and Netflix, which share in the apocalyptic shift in the way we buy, read, listen, communicate and overthrow countries.
This is a minor complaint. Pollack is right. The revolution has happened.
iGen was born into the technology and with unwitting naturalness changed all the rules overnight.
Radio ruled for decades, dictating music we should listen to, infested by commercials. TV fed us nightly shows interrupted by commercials. Newspapers and magazines created cover and inside stories dotted by ads. The book industry told us what we should read. Period.
All are now in death gasps.
The traditional media, gatekeepers of news and scripting what’s important, are gone. iGens, now their own gatekeepers, allow in what’s relevant to them. If they accept it, they share it with their friends, the “infinite touch points.”
If they find you relevant and approve, you may succeed.

If they find you irrelevant, or worse, dishonest, they can injure or even destroy you by simply and instantly spreading the word.
Blasting ads at this generation is a waste of time and money. Relevance and interactivity is the only way to communicate.
And they want humor.
Over the past couple months I’ve found myself recommending Disrupted to members of various boards that I’m on, to my university president, to colleagues. All of us in the marketing world know traditional media is dead to those under 50. Disrupted presents its findings and explains how iGen is  communicating and if you don’t get on board – not just with the social media but understanding the way they’re  thinking, seeing the world and acting in it – you are a historical footnote.
At lunch recently, I ran these ideas past a 17-year-old female songwriter who’s going to college to major in philosophy. She nodded in agreement and added: “I Google things I’m interested in so I’ll get Google and Facebook ads about them.”
Read that sentence until it sinks in. They don’t complain about advertising. They invite brands that interest them.
And Brand, once you’re in, you’d better be real, relevant, transparent, have a sense of humor and a social conscience.
Disrupted passed the iGen test.  It’s the Bible for today’s marketing.


Marketing in a Post Media World

While I spend my time and research on what’s happening with traditional media and how I can best market our college to our various audiences in the wake of media implosions, here are a few articles that give some insights into the near future of marketing and advertising.

In the April 2 issue of Advertising Age, Steve Rubel interviews Jeff Jarvis on his new book What Would Google Do? While Jarvis mainly talks about the role of ad agencies and PR agencies, the insights for all of us into the direction that marketing and advertising is taking is fascinating.

“Google sells performance instead of scarcity (a lesson the rest of media must learn in this post-scarcity economy),” Jarvis says. ” Because it rewards relevance, it encourages better, more effective advertising.”

While author Bob Garfield’s commentary piece is long, “Chaos Scenario” gives a great overview of the demise of traditional print and broadcast media, as well as the slight decline in value of such online monsters as Yahoo and Facebook.  There are a lot of good –and startling– insights into what’s happening and what’s about to happen.

Meanwhile, if you ever wondered if blogs would really replace newspapers, here may be the answer, or at least the direction.  The Huffington Post says it plans to hire a group of investigative journalists.  Thier first job will be to develop stories about the economy.  It’s not hard to envision thousands of laid off reporters virtually lining up for online journalism jobs that actually pay.  I found this report in Podcasting News.

Finally, Google is using Twitter to sell ads.  After you read that, you can visit writer David Berkowitz’s musings on why  Google should buy Twitter.  Both are in the April 4 issue of Ad Age.

NOTE:  I posted this Sunday, April 5.  On Monday’s  The Times Leader ran a story that CBS affiliate WYOU in Scranton, PA is scrapping its news department, laying of 14 reporters, production and promotion people.

Newspapers, Twitter, Facebook and Blogs

Just a quick post about some things that I follow and think about.

(It also gave  me an excuse to use this title which has a nice rhythm to it, kind of like “lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”)

Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, D.-Md has introduced a bill to make newspapers tax exempt.  If newspapers chose nonprofit status they would have to refrain from making political endorsements.  It’s all a nice thought but it’s too little too late.  Newspapers’ decline is not a good thing for democracy, but the industry shot itself with its long-time complacency and arrogance, feeling as though it was important enough that circulation would never drop, people would always buy personal ads and businesses would always take out the too expensive display ads.

Most of us in the business have seen the signs of print faltering for some time but now the industry looks to me like an old man in a Model T Ford, pedal to the rusting metal, clutching the wheel as he tries to navigate a NASCAR race.

And so we turn to new media, social media, whatever we want to call it.

Good article on why Facebook redesigned itself and the users’ reaction to it.   Users hate the new Facebook, but blogger guru Robert Scoble has a different view.

It’s still amazing to me that a company a little more than five years old could try to buy another company (Twitter) for $500 million last summer.

Contrast  the print industry’s implosion with the explosive growth of Facebook, Myspace, Google and others and you can see the writing on the wall.  It’s written in billboard size fonts.

Problem: As professionals who disseminate information, as people who promote and market, we still haven’t found our footing in this new territory.

Finally, here’s a blog with 10 tips for using Twitter to build your blogging community.  It’s good, concise and helpful.  In fact, I’ll probably bookmark ShoutEm.

Little Deaths and Scattered Thoughts

Lying on the couch at 12:40 p.m. watching the oak leaves outside wistfully sigh from green to yellow.  Week seven recovering from the car accident I chronicled earlier. While I occasionally get antsy I’m never bored.  Too many books and blogs to read, podcasts to listen to, applications to try, plug-ins to play with.  And now, with Hulu, http://www.hulu.com there’s a new world of programs to watch–Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock specifically. Great article in Oct. Wired on how Hulu is yet another step in changing how we live.

(Feel the synapses crackle in joyful rearrangement).

A friend loaned me season four of The Office, whose characters had to have been based on real people on my campus.

We were just featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and in USA Today and I decided to produce a radio spot around it

I’m now allowed to walk up and down steps so I hiked slowly upstairs to my studio and wanted to hug my mic. It felt good to record and mix again.

Last night I played with a set of new Giant Squib omnidirectional stereo mics, hand made for $65 and outperforming mics that sell for 10 times the price. They’re designed with the Zoom H2 in mind and they’re perfect.  Take this as an unabashed endorsement.

Reflecting on how the embodiments of the 20th and 21st centuries debated last Thursday. McCain was smug and kept falling back on war, security, fear.  Obama was realistic, hopeful and referred to Google. Talk about brands!  Up to the mid-20th Century, Mississippi was openly segregated. In the early 21st century in a debate in Mississippi, moderator Jim Lehrer pointed out  to the two candidates:  “One of you is going to be the next president of the United States. . . .”


The breeze outside gently detaches a little army of leaves that spin downward, not seeming to mind their little deaths, their return to earth.

Sunday Afternoon Thoughts 17

Deborah Saline, chief operating officer at PR Works in Harrisburg, PA, taught a PR class at Bloomsburg University this semester and shares her observations of college students in Nexters Enter the Work Force Oh


Ad Age blogger George Parker is catching up with the new wave of un-conferences, concluding that marketing conferences are becoming irrelevant.


An interesting article in Advertising Age about adults spending more than half their media hours with TV. According to the survey, Internet advertising still is not faring very well. At the same time Wall Street marketers are ditching radio,TV and print for the Internet. What the survey doesn’t cover is the market that we’re interested in – the teens. And it does not address social networks. While it’s good information for what it’s trying to do, it does show that Advertising Age and traditional media are still catching up with what’s happening in communication today.


Well, almost out of touch. They skim the market with this article, Is Your Consumer Using Social Media? They’re talking about a different marketing than what we’re looking at, but it’s worth the read.


Interesting to see how Simmons Research breaks consumer categories into the “socially isolated,” “approval seekers,” etc. Don’t laugh. You’re probably in one of those categories yourself.


The survey also showed that TV advertising overwhelmingly remains the most influential with 81.4% of the 25-54 adult segment, compared with advertising on internet (6.5%), newspapers (5.8%), radio (3.9%) and magazines (2.3%).

Those surveyed also overwhelmingly reported TV has the most persuasive advertising (69.9%). Only 9.5% of respondents said newspaper has the most persuasive advertising, followed by 8.1% magazines and 7.5% radio. Wow. Don’t tell the Wizard of Ads that.

To be honest, I don’t think the survey is even relevant. I’ve read too many articles that say the TV audience is bailing. The remaining are fragmented. What does it matter who’s the most persuasive in markets that are shrinking.

It overlooks a large and growing culture of people seeking information on products they’re interested in, comparing products and making their own decisions. How does nearly everyone find what they’re looking for? They Google. Google search. Google ads. Google world.

Traditional media and the corporate world are having a hard time making the transition from incessant message shouting to seeking consumer input and sharing information. (Am I too harsh here?)


Two blog series I did – Drug Bust and Raging DJ – continue to be viewed, making me think that crisis PR is an in-demand subject. Over the years (oh, God, decades), I’ve dealt with a variety of crisis PR situations. I’ll do more posts on the subject in the future. In the meantime, if you don’t have your own blog and want to share your crisis PR stories, send them to me and I’ll publish you as a guest blogger.

Really! Give it some thought. Do it.

Email me at theperfectsong@gmail.com with “crisis PR story” in the subject box.

Sunday Afternoon Thoughts Part 12

Just when I think I have things figured out, somebody comes along . . . .

From everything I’ve read, the radio industry is imploding. I’m still placing regular spots both regionally and state-wide but have planned within a few years to shift all promotion to the Web.

Then Wizard of Ads guru Roy H. Williams comes along calling radio “the best value” of any type of media. “I believe 2008 will be a major growing-up year for radio and readers of the Monday Morning Memo need to understand what’s going on,” the Wiz says in a recent post. I respect Williams a lot. I’ve seen him person twice. On stage he’s dynamic, electric. In person, he’s quiet and shy.

He’s also an advertising visionary.

Check out his thoughts and see if you agree.


I had also concluded that there’s not more of a handful of kids in the civilized world that read newspapers. Then last week a business professor friend stopped me on campus and said he had taken his class to New York City for a competition. He took pictures of them. “Several of them asked me if the picture could be in their hometown newspapers,” he said.

Maybe it was a fluke or maybe I’m off base on this one, too.

No. It was a fluke.


Check out Advertising Age’s article, Yahoo Makes Goo Goo Eyes at Google. There’s a strange dance going on among Microsoft, Yahoo and Google and it’s going to affect us all. Oh, and there’s Rupert Murdoch pacing along the edge of the dance floor.


Good article in Podcasting News on podcasting, Madison Avenue’s Worst Nightmare and the phenomenon Willitblend which increased its business 500% with its zany videos.


Also through Podcasting News I found a cool site entirely devoted to microphones. (Umm, yes, I love mics). Professor S.O. Coutant’s features information about a large variety of microphones used in broadcasting and recording studios.

The site delves into the most commonly used mics in broadcasting, as well as articles on communication pioneers. There’s also a page devoted to early celebrities and the mics they used, including the first host of the Today Show in 1952.

My favorite feature, however, is the play button below each photo which lets you hear how each mic sounds in the studio.

A lot of work went into this site.


100 college presidents and athletic directors are lobbying NCAA President Myles Brand to rethink the presence of alcohol ads on broadcasts of games. They feel that college sports and beer advertising are a “bad mix.”

I gave this one some thought and, concluded: yes, I’ll drink to that. . ..