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Reading Between the Lines; Movie Rentals Come to Facebook ** Updated **

After thinking about the news that movies are going to be available for sale and rent on Facebook, I think there's a new battle brewing in the content distribution business.  Sure this is just one announcement by one studio, but rest assured Facebook is seeking to identify and develop similar relationships with other movie studios and music labels.  For Facebook, this is a natural fit, because so many of today's social interactions about pop culture are held on the social networking site.  So, why not establish relationships with the content owners, and monetize those discussions.  The relationship between Warner Brothers and Facebook does just that, it places movies in close proximity to the dialogue by Facebook's users about them.  For example, a user can comment that they saw a movie and loved it; while another can disagree, but in-line with that discussion and available for all users can be a simple one-click option to purchase the content.  Gone are the barriers of now heading to a brick & mortar location, or searching for the content on another site.  This relationship provides for a simple integrated experience.  Further, Facebook can foster those conversations and extend it's relationship with it's users while keeping them on the site longer. In a sense, with this news Facebook is reverse engineering the immensely popular iTunes store…where Apple is trying to build-out a social network with it's Ping offering, instead Facebook is bringing the content purchasing experience right into their site.  In an age old chicken or the egg type of debate, we're left to wonder which will prove to be the winning strategy: first...

What @CharlieSheen Can Teach Communicators About #Winning

In looking beyond the circus that has surrounded Charlie Sheen's every waking move this past week, there are actually some lessons that communicators can take away.  Despite Sheen's unique and controversial tirades, his campaign was carried out via an on-slaught of traditional broadcast interviews, married with his adoption of Twitter, and then the use of online video technology.  The combination was uniquely powerful and successful in both engaging the audience and feeding today's never-ending news cycle.  Now, while these lessons don't include adding #tigerblood to your campaigns, they highlight the opportunities that can be leveraged for your campaigns & provide some strategies to consider as you plan your next outreach efforts… Go Social – It seems hard to turn in any direction these days without seeing a mention of Twitter or Facebook, Sheen's outbursts are a vivid reminder of both the importance and extent to which social tools can help disseminate a message and propel a story.  At one point over the weekend Sheen related hashtags took over 4 of the top 10 trending topics on Twitter.  While the initiatives that many work on day-to- day may not be as polarizing or generate this extraordinary level of traction, the lesson is still valuable and reminds of the importance of integrating and promoting social components to PR & marketing campaigns, as there is power in these avenues to disseminate our messaging and reach new eyes & ears along the way. Tell Your Story With Video – In broadcasting live on Saturday night, in what was dubbed Sheen's Korner, the actor was able to take the steering wheel and control the...

The Shift: Syndication It’s Not a Dirty Word

Tear down those walls. In today’s social media infused PR & Marketing environment it’s no longer to your benefit to only publish content to your campaign website. No, in fact in today’s iPhone wielding, Twitter, & Facebook obsessed world it’s to your advantage to Syndicate your content to as many platforms as possible. Such a concept of sharing content used to be a dirty thought, as you wanted to control your content and simply drive audiences directly to your website. However, while that is still true today, the strategy for obtaining and reaching consumers of your content has shifted; and the focus is now on spreading your message as widely as possible and having the audience further disseminate your content and propel new eyeballs in your direction. As audiences become more and more fragmented it is increasingly important to share your content and extend its reach in order to help meet the increased diversity with which content is consumed. Sharing your content and syndicating it benefits your campaign in a number of innovative ways: By increasing the availability of the content, creating more pipes that lead back to your website & allowing you to reach broader audiences. Engaged audiences take ownership and will proactively share your news, and spread the message on their own to their own friends and contacts. Allows target audiences to opt-in and manage both when & where they interact with your information. Beyond these aspects, there are other advantages, not the least of which is having the opportunity to syndicate any type of content from the latest news release, to a Podcast interview with your...

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...