Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer's here!

summer activities
This week marks the first day of summer. What are your plans? Here are some suggestions for public relations professionals to make the most of summer:
  • Network. In Minnesota, summertime means relaxing by the patio. . .or on a rooftop. In fact, Minnesota PRSA is having one of its Meet & Mingle events this Thursday on the rooftop of OLSON's new building.
  • Attend professional development events. Summer provides the best weather for a road trip, so consider traveling to Chicago for the PRSA Midwest District Conference. There will be speakers from many well-known Chicago companies, plus you can get in some sightseeing while you're there.
  • Recharge. Spend some time outdoors and think about your long-term plan. By reflecting and recharging, you'll be ready to get back on track.
  • Read. While there's time for mindless fiction, also take time for some books to develop yourself professionally. The book that I'm currently reading is "Optimize" by Minnesota's own Lee Odden.
Enjoy your summer!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The changing MO of the CMO

"To say that Public Relations should report to Marketing is blasphemy," said MaryLee Sachs, founder, CEO and CMO of Changing MO LLC, in a recent speech at the Public Relations Society of America Leadership Rally.

social media strategy
MaryLee Sachs, Founder, CEO and CMO of Changing MO LLC
It's a frequent question -- where should PR reside in an organization? Well, it depends. Sachs cited a Marketing 50 One report in which respondents said that PR should be:  (1) Under the Marketing department, (2) A split or dual report under Marketing and another division, or (3) Elsewhere, but aligned with Marketing.

Sachs pointed out that larger organizations' marketing groups have less authority over PR, because they are more siloed.

Next, Sachs addressed how reputation and brand are converging. According to her, there are three considerations to guide the way:
  1. Macro-economic forces and industry-specific factors
  2. Word of mouth gaining strength
  3. A clear relationship between reputation and brand.
As reputation and brand are converging, major changes in marketing are taking place.

First is globalization. Either your company is global -- or you are competing against a foreign company. Second, marketers often are in charge of one of the four Ps (Promotion). (Product, Price and Place are the other three.) Next, the marketing funnel has changed (look at Sachs' Pinterest site for a collection of marketing funnels). Finally, chief marketing officers are needing to engage with new segments and targets.

Sachs, author of "The Changing MO of the CMO," quoted Beth Comstock of GE when highlighting the increased need for analytics:  "If you're a marketer who doesn't like data and insights, you're not going to have a very long tenure. You gotta love this stuff."

Even though Sachs said that PR should not report to Marketing, she wrapped up her presentation by giving advice to PR professionals wanting to take a more active role in marketing:  (1) Get experience in all forms of marketing and brand building, (2) Stake your claim in digital, and (3) Create big ideas.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bing search engine goes social

<a href='' target='_new' title='Search with friends'>Video: Search with friends</a>

In an example of the further integration between Microsoft's Bing search engine and Facebook, Bing now has gone social. (The video above provides a good overview.)

In essence, Bing takes the idea of asking friends for recommendations on things to its search engine.

In short, here's how the new tool, called Bing Sidebar, works:
  • Be signed into Facebook, then go to Bing.
  • In the upper right-hand corner of Bing, click "Connect to Facebook."
  • Then you can post your search on your Facebook timeline, including up to five links, to ask for recommendations or thoughts from Facebook friends.
  • Bing also will identify experts and enthusiasts who might know about the things you're searching for, and you can click a link to go to their website, blog or Twitter feed.
  • The post can be deleted whenever you want.
As of now, to use the Bing Sidebar, you must be at least 13 years old, be a Facebook user, and live in the U.S. Here's a more detailed explanation of Bing Sidebar.
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