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Is @CharlieSheen A Modern @HowardStern

In the 1980's Howard Stern enjoyed tremendous success on the radio, and as portrayed in his 1997 film Private Parts, a lot of that had to do with people tuning in because they wanted to hear what was next. Fast-Forward to today where the paths of communication have expanded and outlets like Twitter give everyone a platform through which to speak. In terms of large-scale movement and attention, sure there was the Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) vs CNN (@CNNbrk) experiment to see who could reach a million followers first.  And it has become commonplace in this current landscape to hear tweets from celebrities quoted in media coverage.  But until now we have yet to witness a breakout personality that has moved both the online conversation, as well as traditional press coverage.  That's changed with @CharlieSheen in the past week.  Sheen's Twitter fueled campaign has been rather divisive, yet it has attracted so much attention across online and off-line platforms, it begs the question: is Sheen a modern Howard Stern? Perhaps previously an unlikely candidate for this role, Charlie Sheen has captivated audiences, who are simply wondering what he'll do next…and now that he's shown the ability to build an audience and keep us on the edge of our seats.  So with that in mind, could Sheen become the next hot media personality?  How does Sheen capitalize on this success, perhaps with a multi-platform approach unlike anything we've seen before?  Maybe a certain satellite radio provider would be enticed to offer Sheen a show, he could continue to use the web to encourage new subscribers to sign-up, while continuing to build...

Thinking, Saving, & Communicating Green

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, a day set-aside for citizens of the world to take a moment and think about important topics such as global warming, ozone depletion, & our own interaction with the planet.  These are some weighty issues to say the least, especially as we seek to preserve the Earth for future generations.  So, for those of us in the field of PR & Marketing, as we go about our daily activities today, there are any number of ways that we can contribute to help on these fronts. Specifically, as communicators we can each play a vital role in Earth Day in a number of ways: 1)   We can use our skills to showcase what our clients are doing for the environment: Use this as a story angle to help your clients get more press, showcase the efforts that they make locally to improving the environment & being a good corporate citizen; while earning points with their target audiences. 2)   Make our own businesses Green: There are a range of things that we can do in our own offices to help with the environment.  From maintaining a paperless office, to using recycled materials, adopting new energy efficient equipment, turning off our computers at night, & sorting our trash into recycle bins.  While each of these are small modifications, together they can add up to help make a difference in the overall well-being of the environment. 3)   Introduce Green communications tactics: By using new tools that allow you to communicate online, you can tell your story directly to target audiences with rich audio & video...

The iPadization of Content is Upon Us

Both leading up to, and of course, after Apple’s January 27th iPad announcement the interwebs were, and have been, a buzz about the tablet device that will now debut in less than a week.  It’s certainly been an interesting development to observe, and follow, as the implications could potentially run far and wide – both for the computing industry, as well as those in the content creation business. Personally, I think the iPad taps into the power of the iPhone platform but serves it up in an even more tangible size and for that matter a size that will likely in time become more palatable to a wider breath of audiences.  The iPad unlike the iPhone will have no expensive cellular contract or service usage agreements, it will simply work on any WiFi connection, or those users that wish can opt in to a month-to-month data service with AT&T.  In terms of the interaction, since the web’s introduction it has been a point & click type of world, but the iPad will change that it, and it will morph into a hands-on environment.  We’ll be able to look past the device and become fully consumed with our music, movies, and of course text-based content – or more poignantly those delineations are going to continue to become harder to make.  We’ll see magazines with embeded Podcasts, and electronic books that offer videos about their subject matter, and newspapers that will strike us more as the local television channel than the traditional paper. In the process, this iPad-ization of content is going to further drive consumption, alter the media landscape, and...

How Tablets Will Help Communicators

Amidst the latest news of impending tablet like devices, including Apple’s newest creation, lies a new and important path for communications campaigns and the practitioners that coordinate these efforts. First, in terms of the technology, the day of the E-Reader is upon us. Both the Amazon Kindle & the Barnes and Noble Nook experienced extremely successful holiday sales to wrap up 2009. While 2010 is staring off with numerous competitors announcing their own E-Reader efforts at the annual Consumer Electronics show, and mounting speculation as to what Apple will unveil in this space later this week. The growth of this “reader” type of device in an arena already crowded by Notebooks, Netbooks, iPhones, & Blackberries is interesting; and yet it is an evolution of those devices. The e-reader, despite its name, I believe will extend beyond just electronic forms of books. This type of device, when done correctly will allow for easy consumption and navigation of content on a sizeable screen, in a format that is easier on the eyes (no backlight or optional backlight) and unites a variety of content types including audio, video, & text. Specifically, with the web’s maturation we are now observing two different types of internet audiences… the first being the desktop/laptop space in which you interact with the web, collaborate with colleagues and essentially get work done. For most of us, that categorizes the vast majority of our day…but the second audience is more concerned with consuming content that is available online from the comfort of their family room, or along their commute. We saw the early evidence of this type of behavior...

The Key To Moving Beyond the Recession

Over the past year, as a Nation we have witnessed a financial meltdown, which has been unlike any other series of events that many of us have lived through. Millions have lost jobs, and confidence in the market has eroded. Certainly, it is normal for the market to have fluctuations and for corrections to take place from time to time, but the last year was beyond what anyone including the “experts” had envisioned. The repercussions from these recent events run deep and have impacted millions; leaving many wondering what tomorrow will bring. As organizations look to the future and to moving forward beyond the financial crisis, and as markets strengthen and projects move forward, perhaps the most important component to the recovery is Communications. I do not write that flippantly, nor because it is the arena in which you or I practice. Instead, in order to get our Nation back to work, and to ease everyone’s concerns we must leverage the opportunities before us in today’s new media landscape to openly and honestly communicate and share the direction that our organizations and clients envision. Whether that means sharing notes and information via today’s social media tools such as Twitter, or Facebook, or doing a periodic Podcast interview with members of the C-Suite, or doing a media tour to promote events and campaigns. Utilizing these tools affords us the opportunity to share where our organizations (and our client’s) are heading with both internal and external audiences. Further, sharing our message will help to ease people’s fears, and instill confidence in the greater business environment and to our customers. While the...

The Communications Treadmill

In the past few years our communications paradigm has evolved almost overnight, giving communicators a new set of tools with which to tell their stories. On one hand, traditional media has evolved; in the post-digital TV switch broadcasters have multiple channels to fill with content, while newspapers and publishers are experiencing a decline in readership and many are looking for new ways to do business. While on the other hand, the online space is rapidly evolving as new social networks emerge, new media distribution options abound, and audiences are able to connect with the news and information in which they are most interested. Through that evolution though the communicator’s job has also evolved from a practice of press releases, pitching, and media opportunities – into one that combines those tasks with the integration of new media opportunities and strategies. Today, in addition to traditional tactics communicators have to think in terms of blogs, local websites, Podcasts, Facebook, and now even Twitter. So with all of these new tools, the question is which one’s are right for your organization (or client)? Well, since it’s sometimes difficult to stay on top of these new tools given the brisk pace of the proverbial communications treadmill, here are a few tips that can help guide your decisions on what direction to take for your particular initiative: 1) Timing is Everything: Some campaigns will naturally lend themselves to using these new outlets, while others will tend to be best suited with more traditional outreach methodologies. The fact is there is a time and place for using these tools, and by no means should communicators...