Posts Tagged ‘connectivity’

How Technology is Changing the Way We Connect

Monday, November 25th, 2013

by flickr user Eric Fischer

by flickr user Eric Fischer

by Bill Werner*

On November 21, I attended the IABC Phoenix luncheon, where Cisco’s Senior Communication and Marketing Manager Brad Whitworth gave a talk on how technology is changing communication in the world.

Whitworth noted that these days technology is so relevant in our daily communication world that we now notice where we cannot communicate instead of where we can. With widespread wifi hotspots and vast cell phone service coverage, we know where we can’t use our devices, whereas not so long ago, it was the opposite.  Now, we expect service wherever we go. We expect to be connected at coffee shops, bars, restaurants, hotels, and airports. What used to a bonus offering is now a must, and if one of these spots is lacking connectivity, we’re not very happy.

Wifi is also becoming part of activities that usually seem mundane, and becoming a way to control and monitor entire cities and organizations. For example, some cities are implementing systems that notify you of available parking spots. With the ready availability of wifi towers, GPS systems, and apps, one can find a parking spot on a mobile phone. With these same resources, cities are revamping plans for trash pickup, with sensors that indicate how full cans are and routing trucks only to areas with full cans.

The changing roles of technology are also changing the way we network and create our network. Whitworth advised that effective communication is all about building your network and using modern technology to your benefit. To do so, he explained that we must live outside our comfort zone, and not be afraid to use all types of groups and applications, including but not limited to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

A handy rule he recommended is to “build your network before you need your network.” It’s a lot more beneficial to have a network when you can offer people something instead of asking for something. Finally, Whitworth believes that face-to-face networking is still relevant, and that we should always take advantage of it whenever possible, as, he explained, it’s the best way for people to really know you.

This was my first IABC meeting, and I look forward to putting Whitworth’s insights and suggestions into practice. I plan to integrate plenty of face-to-face events into my networking strategy while also building my networking groups digitally. Do you know of or are you part of useful networking events in the Phoenix area? What sorts of networking events have you found to be the most valuable?


Bill Werner is an Arizona native and Business Development Director at BurrellesLuce, where his focus is developing client relations and providing clients with a comprehensive solution to their needs. His background is in the construction industry, where he learned that developing relationships and communicating are the keys to success. Bill’s family of three includes Katie and their newborn son, Gavin, as well as two cats and two dogs.

Great Social Media Marketing or TMI?

Monday, June 14th, 2010

by Crystal deGoede*

Original Images Courtesy of HBO and Diesel

Original Images Courtesy of HBO and Diesel

If done correctly, social media marketing (SMM) can really take your organization to the next level.  With SMM, the unique and innovative ways to target your audience, promote a new product, or engage with fans/clients are endless.  In addition, as more and more organizations realize the benefits they can endure, the more people will embrace SMM.

However, where do you draw the line?  When does a great marketing tactic turn into “TMI” (too much information)?

Imagine you are shopping alone, and you come across a “gotta have them now” pair of Diesel jeans. You go to try them on, but wish you had your best friend there to talk you into actually pulling the trigger and purchasing them. How would you feel if you could just press a button, and instantaneously connect to Facebook, where you could stream a video of yourself in the dressing room trying on the new jeans and get the opinion of your friends? Well that is just what Diesel Jeans is doing in Spain as their current “Be Stupid” campaign.

This is “free” marketing via social media for Diesel. Since everyone that you are connected to on Facebook may see your post, they may also want a pair of those jeans. Then again, does it make us peeping toms to look at people in dressing rooms – even if we’re “friends” with them online?  What if you forget to “push the red button” before changing back into your clothes or the person that was in there before you forgots and the video continues to stream live?  It is a little scary; then again this could be the future of shopping – where every detail of one’s life is made available for viewing (dis)pleasure.

And Diesel isn’t the only brand to put social media connectivity to “good” use. As a huge fan of HBO’s hit vampire series True Blood, whose new season premiered last night, I was intrigued that the newly released second season Blu-ray has a social networking feature. If you are a fan of True Blood then you know the huge presence it has on social media along with the vast marketing strategies of HBO, making fan engagement remarkable. The delightfully fresh (and very HBO on-brand) feel of the whole series was cemented by quirky PR that was infinitely quotable, with taglines like “Thou Shalt not Crave Thy Neighbour” or “It Hurts So Good”?

“HBO’s True Blood is number one in cable and making its debut to the top 25 primetime performers list at number 18, benefitting from fan advocacy and involvement,” according to the Optimedia U.S. Content Power Ratings 3.0

The True Blood live feed that is build into the Blu-ray disc edition gives the viewer the ability to send automatic updates to their Twitter and Facebook accounts. This feature has been described as the most extensive Facebook linking feature in Blu-ray so far, sending updates as you watch the episodes. Additionally, while watching the series, viewers can decide which “True Blood” group they wish to join: Vampire, Fellowship of the Sun, and Follower of Dionysus.

The viewing experience is then customized to that group; for the real “trubies,” they can use a picture and transform it based on the True Blood group selected. For those that choose Vampire, the more they watch, the more pale (and bloody) the picture gets.

“For True Blood, we have such engaged and passionate fans that we really wanted to provide them with a way to extend the fiction beyond what they see in the show,” says HBO’s Sofia Chang, “and share that passion with their friends.”

True Blood has such loyal and engaged fans in the social media arena; this is a great ploy for social media marketing.  In reality though, do most of us feel comfortable letting our friends, family, and colleagues know our true obsessions? I am not sure I would want people that I work with and network with on a professional level, seeing that I watched episode one of True Blood six times over the weekend. I do see the appeal to the ‘trubies” that want everyone to see they are the most devoted True Blood fan HBO has ever had in an effort to maybe win a guest spot on the show or free gifts.  But will it become nauseating to see all of your True Blood fanatic friends cluttering your feed to let you know they all “came out of the coffin” to watch episode one?”

HBO and Diesel have differentiated themselves when it comes to social media marketing. For better or worse, they have used social media as a way of maintaining constant fan engagement and brand awareness. Have you had a chance to try out any social media features on Blu-ray releases yet? Do you think these marketing strategies are innovative or TMI?  How are you using social media to maintain engagement? Share your thoughts with BurrellesLuce and Fresh Idea readers.


*Bio: After graduating from East Carolina University with a Marketing degree in 2005, Crystal DeGoede moved to New Jersey. In her four years as a member of the BurrellesLuce marketing team and through her interaction with peers and clients she has learned what is important or what it takes to develop a career when you are just starting out. She is passionate about continuing to learn about the industry in which we serve and about her career path. By engaging readers on Fresh Ideas Crystal hopes to further develop her social media skills and inspire other “millennials” who are just out of college and/or working in the field of marketing and public relations. Twitter: @cldegoede LinkedIn: Crystal DeGoede Facebook: BurrellesLuce

MySpace vs. Facebook: Which Site is the Current Cool Kid?

Friday, June 4th, 2010

by Lauren Shapiro*

In high school, you have the “cool” kids, the “cool” new song, or the “cool” thing to do. As adults, you have the “cool” office, the “cool” gadget, the “cool” place to have lunch, or the “cool” car.

It seems like such a clear distinction: this jacket is “cool,” but these jeans are not. But who dictates what is “cool” and what is not? I don’t recall how we first learned to determine the cool factor. They were more like a set of unwritten rules that everyone just seems to know and agree upon.

Even though we have left high school far behind us, every organization and professional still wants/needs to be with the “in crowd.” And when it comes to social media, the cool social networking site, theoretically, will provide the greatest reach. So, it is imperative for companies utilizing social networking sites to be conscious and ahead of changing trends. But in the great debate, MySpace vs. Facebook, which site is currently the coolest?

Both sites launched within one month of each other, spearheading a cyber revolution of connectivity and networking that would change the way we communicate on both a personal and professional level.

As shown in the chart below (compiled by me from various sources), MySpace officially launched in January 2004 and grew from a start-up to having 1 million users in only one month’s time. Before year’s end, MySpace reached 5 million users. Facebook started just one month later, but had a much slower growth – reaching 1 million users 10 months after launch and 5.5 million users 1 year later.

MySpace vs Facebook: Who is the current cool kid? (A BurrellesLuce Image)

However, Facebook was first released exclusively to universities who requested to be added to the application, starting with Harvard and expanding to Stanford, Columbia, Yale, and later all colleges and universities, high schools, and eventually to anyone with a valid email address. MySpace, on the other hand, launched as a site open to everyone who cared to join. Perhaps, this could be one explanation for Facebook’s slow but steady rise to the top.

Yet, on paper, Facebook is still the perceived cool site – despite the recent fallout over dubious privacy settings – with almost double the U.S. users. But, just as in high school, there is no clear divide between cool and un-cool. Mimicking the lesson we learn post high school, no one thing is the standard cool for everyone. Rather as marketing and public relations professionals we must recognize that different mediums exist for different preferences and thus attract different users.  Although Facebook trumps MySpace with their overall number of users, organizations debating on which site to use should research the demographics and lifestyles of the key user they wish to target and then focus their message and branding appropriately. Then they can be sure that both their company and clients are “cool” because they resonate with the preferred target audience.

When it comes to Facebook or MySpace, tell us which site you’re using and why. Which is the cool place to reach your target audience and clients? What are some tools for leveraging these mediums? How have these sites helped your client service initiatives? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.


*Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now work as the supervisor of BurrellesLuce Express client services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce