IMBINGE: 1/31/12

Me: #thilksonit

Him: You just referred to yourself in the third person with a hashtag

Me: Yes…and it was magnificent

Hashtags in Super Bowl ads (Video)

Trying something new and recorded a video with my thoughts about including hashtags in advertising and marketing efforts. This is very much an experiment right now so there’s no editing that’s gone into it. If this continues I may try to pretty it up a little but for now just wanted to see how it felt.

CES 2012

Last week I had the experience of attending the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, my first time at CES. I was there assisting a client who had a major presence there with their live publishing from the show floor to their blog, Twitter and Facebook platforms. Client responsibilities meant I didn’t have a chance to check out much – really any – of the rest of the show outside of one of the main hallways which I used to get from Point A to Point B and which contained a Sbarro’s that served as my lunch stop two of the three days I was on the ground.

My impression of CES is that it’s extremely well organized, with lots of big booths that are assembled in the convention center that still provide for halfway decent foot traffic patterns. While the two Comic-Cons I’ve been to (in support of a different client’s similar activities) have a similar number of large-scale booths it’s the foot traffic that kills you. Maybe my perceptions are skewed since I did far more walking around at Comic-Con than I did here but it seems like things just flowed better.

Speaking of Comic-Con the other big impression I got was that the business-to-pleasure ratio among the attendees was flipped. Where at Comic-Con it’s probably 80% of folks who are there just for entertainment and because their fans with 20% then there to transact some sort of business it was, at CES, likely 80% business-oriented attendees and 20% people just there because their technology and gadget enthusiasts. This is based largely on the dress of the people I saw walking around, with most of the women in some sort of business attire and most of the men in suits with or without ties.

While my aching feet would certainly disagree with this statement I also found CES to be a lot less stressful. That’s due largely to the fact that, unlike when rendering similar services at Comic-Con, there weren’t nearly as many events/panels that happened off the main show floor. So while I didn’t feel quite as much like I was running around with my hair on fire at any given moment it also means there wasn’t quite the adrenaline rush that kept me going the entire time.

So there was good, there was bad (you have to tip *everyone* in Vegas apparently) but all in all I think the event went off as smoothly as it could have. And, at least to the best of my knowledge, we came away with a happy client. That’s the true measure of success in a situation like this.

“Who am I, Haslam?”

My response to Voce’s Matt Podboy when asked whether I knew which movie he was quoting.

Piling On

The other day Gini Dietrich was wondering if more harm than good is done when writers regurgitate someone’s latest failings in the realm of public relations in general and social media public relations specifically.

I’m going to come down very much in the “harm” column on this topic. There are lessons to be learned by looking at someone’s failures (mostly by the person that failed assuming they’re not a massively un-self-aware sociopath) but more often than not the posts, columns and other diatribes that result from a public misstep aren’t so much about those lessons and more about one or more of three other topics:

  1. How someone as wise as the writer would never do such a thing. Because the assumption always is that the writer believes they hold the keys to true wisdom and would never in a thousand years be guilty of accidentally CCing a press list on an internal email, of advising the client to create a commercial that is blatantly offensive to motherhood or managing a Facebook page in such a closed manner. These assumptions are, of course, naive since we all make mistakes, have lapses in judgement or otherwise slip up.
  2. How if only the company had read their book/blog post from 2009 this never would have happened. There’s more than a little hubris behind this particular focus and, again, is designed mainly to make the writer appear to be all-knowing and someone who can lead the injured company back to the arms of a public that feels scorned.
  3. How the failure represents a failure to “listen.” I’m fairly certain that in what’s now 2012 very few companies – particularly not those of any size – actually need to be convinced to have a conversation monitoring program in place. So I’d hazard a guess that “listening” isn’t the problem. It’s the next step of acting on what has been heard that sometimes trips companies up. Even then it’s not tone deafness that’s usually behind the fact that a company isn’t immediately rushing to fix the relationship, it’s that there likely other, more pressing reasons for *not* doing exactly what the angry mob wants done. But that doesn’t make for such emotional headlines and feelings of self-righteousness.

I will admit to writing some blog posts that are based on some sort of failing in the social media or PR worlds. But I hope that those posts come across as taking a broader view and offering more universal and constructive advice as opposed to just gleefully pouring salt on an open wound. I’d rather stay silent on an issue than come across as simply mean, largely because should I be the one behind the next foul-up I don’t want people edging their way toward the front with stones in hand, ready to strike. But that’s just me.

I’m all for open minds and discussions of the issues around what happened. We all learn from our own mistakes as well as those of others. But too often these conversations devolve into “well they made a mistake because they’re not as smart as I am” territory and the overall topic is not well served when things veer into that territory.

The End

As I announced yesterday on CT.WP, what was originally intended to be a month off for reflection has quickly turned into the decision to shut down Movie Marketing Madness. I’ve decided that my energies are best put elsewhere at this time and MMM will not be operated as an ongoing concern. Even more dramatically, I’m going to just let things expire and disappear over the course of the next couple months.

The content I’ve published here over the course of the last nearly eight years will be archived over there for posterity and I may revive the concept from time to time if things allow and the spirit moves me. But overall I feel things have run their course and the beginning of a new year offers the opportunity to put a nice, tidy bow on things.

Thanks to those who have been faithful readers, those who nurtured MMM through the early days and everyone else. It’s been fun but lately it’s been less so, feeling very much like an obligation, which is part of the reasoning behind my decision.



Closing the book on MMM

After doing some thinking about priorities, time available and generally what I want to be spending my time on I’ve decided to, for all intents and purposes, mothball and shut down Movie Marketing Madness. Sometime in March will simply cease to be (a stark reminder of how transient web content truly is) and I will more or less be closing the book on writing material that would have been published there.

The material I’ve published over the course of the almost eight year existence of MMM will be archived here at CT.WP for posterity’s sake. This is both because I didn’t want to let it completely disappear and because it nicely achieves the goal of consolidating more of what I’ve written online into one handy place, something that appeals to my organizational tendencies.

Over the course of the last few months my schedule has been simply too busy to keep up with MMM as I thought I wanted to. Between the every day responsibilities of a job that I absolutely love, the fact that I was unwilling to sacrifice time on the weekends that would otherwise be spent with my family to write for it, a busy travel schedule that took big chunks of time out and more, MMM was getting back-burnered more often than not. And I slowly came to realize that not only was trying to publish there starting to feel very much like a job but that it wasn’t even that fun of a job anymore. So I’ve made the decision to essentially kill it as an ongoing effort.

That means this site will, combined with Voce Nation, become my main online writing outlet. So look for more here and there as I take the opportunity to reboot the system and make some changes to how things go down in the new year.