Nedra is a social marketing consultant, author and speaker who works with nonprofits and government agencies for positive health and social change using social media, transmedia storytelling and entertainment education approaches at Weinreich Communications.Email me
I got in touch with the very busy Brian to ask him some questions about what he has been doing with the blog and other social media, and he was kind enough to find some time to answer my questions.
- I look forward to the speedy return of this resource, one of the best direct information outlets in the entire city. I have written about the LAFD blog in my blog, as have many others and it is seen as a great, respected resource by many.
- Please bring the blog back soon, I feel closer to my community and Los Angeles with this blog, and have never felt so before. If there is anything we citizens can do to make it happen, I am there to help!
- As a LAFD CERT [Ed. - Community Emergency Response Team] Member, I too love reading this blog which keeps us in the loop of what is going around the city. At a recent CERT meeting other members were also bummed out to hear about the blog hiatus....It's a great source of information.
Pleased to see marketers embrace medium, in a fashion that demonstrates their understanding of social marketing. As is the case in Dell’s recent release of IdeaStorm a community driven blog, where customers tell Dell how to make them buy more. More organizations are exploring the merits Web.20 technologies, including internet tv, podcasting, blogs and online communities, as the numbers deliver.I say, too bad Evolusent doesn't demonstrate their own understanding of social marketing.
Titled Cute with Chris, a new three-minute video blog is using often-irreverent humor to target pet lovers, urging them to save homeless animals in Los Angeles, according to Three Minds.
"Cute" also invites viewers to submit pics of animals to be featured on the show, which also partners with the L.A.-based Glendale Humane Society to allow fans to adopt a pet of their own.
The video blog is optimizing its viewership by being available on all the major web destinatoins: in addition to the video blog site, episodes can also be viewed on MySpace and iTunes.
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The American Lung Assocation, Health Advocates Against Marijuana (H.A.R.M.), several non-profit agencies and local PTAs are staging a sit-in at corporate headquarters to protest this commercial.No information on when the sit-in is happening, though it was generally mentioned in a recent news story about the organizations' demand that the commercial be pulled. According to the report, their main concern is that the commercial promotes pot smoking. My issue has always been with the fact that the commercial shows someone driving under the influence of drugs.
JITB promised viewers last fall they would stop airing this particular commercial. Yet it came back with the SuperBowl and is seen nightly on local channels.
Interesting,considering Jack in the Box's own code of conduct (p. 4, 15, 16)
Contact JITB and let them know that drug use is not "humorous" as they claim.
Ms. Linda Lang, CEO Jack in the Box, 9330 Balboa Avenue, San Diego 92123, (858) 571-2121
In order to be rewarded with the “Record like an idol at a recording studio in Los Angeles, California” reward, one needs to procure and redeem 41,600 points which would necessitate the consumption of 49,920 bottles of Coca Cola Product which, in the case of a non-diet product containing sugar, would give rise to the necessity to consume approximately 7,238,400 calories, which, in turn, would cause a human being to gain during the life span of the program approximately 2,068 pounds. On a daily basis, a participant would be required to consume one hundred fifty-one (151) 12-ounce bottles of Coca Cola, being a lethal consumption of the product.
Friend: California is beautiful, but I could never live there. I'm terrified of earthquakes.I'm not trying to rub it in for those of you on the East Coast, but trying to make a point about our perceptions of risk.
Me: Yes, but you have winter. Many more people die every year from snow and ice-related car crashes than from an earthquake. And you know for sure that snow is going to happen at least several times a year. It could be a decade before another big earthquake hits.
Friend: I'll take my chances.
Me [basking in warm sunny February weather]: Me too.
The elements include:This list would be quite helpful in identifying appropriate bloggers to include in a PR campaign with a social media component. Any one of the indicators of blogger influence by itself would not necessarily provide a full enough picture of whom to target when you need to narrow down what can be resource-intensive outreach. But combine two or more (or all) of these and you will see the degree of influence become clearer.
- Affiliation of blog writer(s)
- Number of links to the blog
- Number of feed subscriptions
- Search engine results position for relevant keyword searches
- Last update
- Industry mentions/lists of top blogs
- Inclusion in Technorati Blog Directory and other online directories
- Discussion Analysis – true discussion or bantering
In English-language, US-centric content, we can generally start the process of identifying potential candidates via search; usually either Technorati, Google or Google Blogs. Then we can refine down into highly linked sites ("most authority" in Technorati lingo).
Social proof can be a powerful marketing tool. If you can get your customers to vouch for your product (or at least make it look like they are) and find a way to advertise it to your potential customers your job as a marketer becomes a lot easier. People don’t want to feel left out and often look to others when making decisions they are unsure of. By being aware of social proof and taking actions to leverage it you can be there when people are looking around to others when trying make a purchase decision.To bring this back to the discussion on influential bloggers, social proof plays a big role in how topics are covered in the blogosphere. When one or more influential bloggers writes about a particular news story or issue, that often sets off a flurry of other posts because the topic has been validated as being important. One influential blogger can provide the social proof that an idea or product has merit, paving the way for many others to adopt it as well.
"The GM ad is insensitive to the tens of millions of people who have lost loved ones to suicide," said Robert Gebbia, the group's executive director, in a statement issued on Wednesday. "The ad also suggests a troubling and potentially dangerous message: that suicide is a logical and rational decision should one experience failure or lose their job."The Snickers commercial featuring two guys accidentally kissing also got pulled after many complaints, including from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Matthew Shepard Foundation, that it was homophobic.
The brain scan data indicates that advertisers went over the top on trying to develop edgy, attention grabbing content at the expense of achieving a positive communication effect for the advertised brand. As I tell my students, attention is a necessary but not sufficient condition for an ad to have a positive effect on the target. The FMRI data reported on this year's superbowl ads indicated that several of the ads evoked very strong response in the Amygdala, an area of the brain responsible for processing threat and anxiety, but very little activity in other areas. Apparently, stimuli that evoke a strong response in the Amygdala are likely to be memorable but the memory is NEGATIVE! Not exactly the best effect for a client who just spent 2.6 million dollars placing a superbowl ad!!! The brand that "wins" the award for demonstrating this negative effect....drum roll please.....Snickers (2 men kissing ad). This ad evoked the strongest Amygdala response in viewers with little other activity in other brain areas.This sounds about right to me, and I would suspect that the suicidal robot ad also evoked similar brain responses -- lots of feelings of threat and anxiety.
With gaming console Nintendo Wii's initial release came reports of people hurting muscles and experiencing soreness due to the physical exertion caused by playing virtual games such as bowling, tennis and baseball. Apparently, that was just one side of the coin.
At first, Nintendo dodged the reports of injuries, saying the Wii was not meant to be an exercise tool. However, that hasn't stopped people like Michael DeLorenzo from losing nine pounds in six weeks thanks to the Wii, according to Time magazine. DeLorenzo has a book deal in the works about his Wii Workout and he's teamed up with Traineo.com, a social fitness networking site to feature his new regime.
Even more amazing is that the Wii is now being used by medical researchers to treat children who suffer from hemiplegic cerebral palsy, a condition that can paralyze one side of the body. The Wii is also helping others bounce back from illness.
Breast cancer sufferer Mary Jane Zamora was too tired to get off the couch, but her daughters brought over a Wii and together they played Wii Sports daily. Zamora has since become the most-improved player in her bowling league.
With studies showing that active videogames, such as the Wii and Sony's EyeToy, can burn three times more calories than traditional games, Nintendo has since embraced the phenomenon. "This huge fitness craze was more than we anticipated," said Wii spokeswoman Perrin Kaplan.
Perhaps now is the time for health and fitness experts to partner with Nintendo to develop more games geared toward getting players moving aerobically without realizing they are exercising.
Photo Credit: wii-family by dcodez
A billboard went up above Cafe Flore in the Castro today (Thursday, February 1) and newspaper advertisements will run all month. The ads are pretty much blank except for text in red ink that reads "(your ideas here)" over a white background. In yellow text the ads ask, "What should we do about METH [sic] in our community?"
The public is then asked to send its "advice, experiences and opinions" to the Web site http://www.sfmeth.org. [The new Web site went live February 1.]
The health department has budgeted $185,000 for the meth campaign, but will not know the total cost for it until the final concept is selected. The billboard alone is costing about $15,000 for the month.
Both Tracey Packer, the department's interim HIV prevention director, and Les Pappas, owner of the ad agency, insisted the approach is not a response to the criticism in recent months of the previous campaigns.
"We definitely, if there are people out there that have ideas and opinions about this, we want to give them an opportunity or method to participate. I know there are some people who probably feel like there isn't enough participation in the development of these kinds of things," said Pappas. "We have a lot of people involved in these projects but nobody really knows about it. This will make it very clear we are interested in people's opinions."
Packer said she wanted to ask for the public's ideas "because the issue of meth in a campaign is not simple and straightforward."
"We would like to see what community members have to say. What should be said about meth use?" asked Packer. "We really hope community members respond to us and it will build a better campaign by getting community input."
With four companies using consumer-generated ads in the SuperBowl on Sunday (NFL, Doritos, Alka Seltzer & Chevrolet), Better World seems to want to get into the act. Not to mention that this approach hinges upon community participation -- something that the ad agency has been criticized for not taking into account in past campaigns.
Is this a good way to create social marketing campaigns? Can citizen marketers be effective in reducing HIV risk during meth use, or is it something that should be limited to less important products like marketing movies or cars?
I think the answer is not clearcut. The approach they are taking seems more like conducting a citywide focus group than like the commercial CGM campaigns linked above that solicited actual ads. They are not leaving the strategy or execution to the whims of the public, but perhaps will get some new ideas from people within the target audience. The risk they take with this approach is that it is not yet seen as a legitimate or accepted form of marketing by many (and especially by public agencies not used to being on the cutting edge).
Supervisor Bevan Dufty called it a waste of money and makes the city, which established a task force on crystal meth almost two years ago, seem stupid and lacking a plan.
"I am dumbfounded," said Dufty after being shown the ads. "It begs the question if we have had a task force operating for two years why would we pay for a billboard that makes it seem we have no ideas or suggestions?"
The key to the campaign will be in how well Better World is able to combine the input they receive from the community with best practices in social marketing. Just because someone has what seems like an innovative or interesting idea does not mean that it will be effective in bringing about behavior change. People love to throw out cute slogans, but a catchphrase does not a strategy make. We'll see what is rolled out in June, when the final campaign is supposed to be ready. I wish them luck in sorting through the submissions and turning them into an effective campaign.
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