Posts Tagged ‘culture’


Christmas Tunes, an intentional time warp or just merry messages from yesterday’s Golden age of Radio and TV?

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

I can’t remember where I heard this season’s “first” Christmas pop song. But like hearing the first birds of spring, suddenly there it was blaring from some outdoor mall or airport …and before the World Series was even over! So why is it that songs about a reindeer’s red nose, silver bells, or a dream of a white Christmas fill our ears year after year (whether we like it or not)? I love these songs and I have fond memories of these songs as a kid. I’d just prefer to remember them from a time where I was butchering them in a school play or caroling door to door, rather than hearing them in these public places.

Christmas classics like Drummer BoyRudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Silver Bells, and Blue Christmas have been playing in retail stores, gas stations, hotel lobbies and over the radio waves for more than 60 years. Recently, these songs and many other holiday pop classics were highlighted in a popular web comic strip XKCD. The illustration points out that many of these songs, as well as other Christmas blue chip classics, were published and recorded around the 1940s and 1950s. Hint, it’s the baby boomers that we have to thank for keeping these songs in the mainstream for so many years.

Eric Harvey, a PhD candidate in Indiana University’s Department of Communication and Culture claims during a very specific time in American history (1940s and 1950s), culture and technology played a big role in the release of many of these holiday classics. During that time millions of young baby boomers were enjoying holiday films like Bob Hope’s the Lemon Drop Kid which gave us Silver Bells, and Bing Crosby’s Holiday Inn where he famously croons as a WWII soldier returning home with “I’ll be home for Christmas.” In the late 40s radio began to converge with TV and it was commonplace for families to be huddled around their living rooms enjoying holiday musicals, the songs forever etching memories of Christmas past in their minds.

With over 76 million babies born between 1945 and 1964 (who today make up more than half of all consumer spending in the US), it’s no surprise these songs are being used intentionally by retailers to recreate Christmas past and market to today’s multigenerational audiences – hopefully stimulating spending around the holiday season.

Harvey also points out, however, that “While it’s true that the majority of Christmas pop music played on mainstream radio stations was originally published and recorded in the 1940s and 50s, and naturally the culture of that time will permeate these songs, that does not directly equate to a modern nostalgia for that era.” In other words, what if you’re not a baby boomer? What if you didn’t see the movies, the TV show or are just too young to identify with these songs?

With the sheer repetition of these songs being played during today’s stressful holiday seasons, will these songs eventually condition us to equate them with long lines, holiday traffic or the dreaded visit from you’re annoying brother-in law? Very doubtful. After all, every generation has their favorite Christmas songs, and with today’s limitless choices and devices to hear them, it’s sure to be a Rockin’ Holiday Season for all generations! My personal favorites are Father Christmas by The Kinks, Greg Lake’s Do You Believe in Father Christmas? and Joan Jett’s Little Drummer Boy. What are yours?

Happy Holidays from all of us here at BurrellesLuce!!

Media Outlets Leverage Mobile Apps

Monday, November 29th, 2010

by Carol Holden*

Surpurised young woman holding a mobile and shopping bagsFor me, it’s official – the world has gone totally mobile. The other night a commercial, on a kids’ cable channel my daughter watches, featured a Grandmother giving her little grandson (he looked about six to me) a tablet-reader for Christmas. I’ve been forewarned and won’t be shocked if my eight year old asks for one.

No wonder the rush continues for traditional media to expand to mobile devices, with some innovative apps already rolled out and others on the way:

  • The Economist just launched an enhanced version of its publication for the iPad and iPhone. Readers can tweak the layout and graphs so they can receive all the robust content of the magazine, but in a format that makes sense for a small screen. “You’re trying to recreate your print magazine but redesign it to make the most of the medium,” said Oscar Grut, managing director of digital editions for The Economist.
  • Oprah’s O, The Oprah Magazine has just released its iPad app to much fanfare. As described in the Marketwire release, “’I love the written word, and I love the iPad — to me, it’s another way to experience the intimacy of this magazine and its part of the future of the business,’ said Oprah Winfrey. ‘It’s a new way to connect with our readers, who are on a path of becoming their best selves.’”
  • New Corps’ Rupert Murdoch and Apple’s Steve Jobs recently announced they would be teaming up to create a new iNewspaper. “The collaboration, which has been secretly under development in New York for several months, promises to be the world’s first ‘newspaper’ designed exclusively for new tablet-style computers such as Apple’s iPad, with a launch planned for early next year,” writes Edward Helmore in this Guardian UK article. “According to reports, there will be no ‘print edition’ or ‘web edition.’”

In fact, there are already enough publications with apps (over 700) available to audiences and readers on the iPad that strategic research company McPheters and Company was able to put together a ten best list. “McPheters ranked the print-to-iPad products based on design, functionality and use of rich content.” The list presents an interesting mix of both newspapers and magazines covering the gamut of lifestyle, culture, politics, news, sports, food, fashion, etc. The number one spot went to The New Yorker app, with apps for newspaper circulation heavy-weights USA Today and The Wall Street Journal making the list at number eight and ten respectively. Fashion entrant Net-A-Porter made the list at number five.

Mobile applications are becoming such an integral part of the media landscape that other industry organizations are taking notice. The American Society of Magazine Editors announced that among the changes to the National Magazine Awards 2011, they will include a new award for mobile editions.

In this age of PR 3.0, how are you using mobile apps to connect with your audiences? If you use a mobile device to read newspapers and magazines, what outlets would top your list of best media apps? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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Bio: I’ve been in the media business all of my adult life, first in newspapers before going full circle and joining BurrellesLuce, where I now direct the Media Measurement department. I’ve always enjoyed meeting and especially listening to the needs of our customers and others in the public relations and communications fields; I welcome sharing ideas through the Fresh Ideas blog. One of my professional passions is providing the type of service to a client that makes them respond, “atta girl” – inspiring our entire team to keep striving to be the best. Although I have been lucky enough to travel through much of Asia and most major U.S. cities for business or pleasure, my free time is now spent with my daughter, visiting family/friends, and of course the Jersey shore. Twitter: @domeasurement LinkedIn: Carol Holden Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Sales + Everyone = Success

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Valerie Simon

How do you get everyone – from your maintenance team to your CEO – participating in the sales process? During a special Twitter chat last Wednesday evening, Heather Whaling and Justin Goldsborough, co-moderators of Twitter’s #PR20Chat, and Beth Harte and Anna Barcelos, leaders of #imcchat asked this question to more than 100 participants. 

Here are a few takeaways every business should consider.Teamwork

Top down and bottom up, goals must be aligned.

AdamSuffolkU:  First step, make sure goals are aligned and input is asked/received from all-bottom on up

SuperDu:  It starts w/ CEO creating top-line strategic plan. ALL divisional plans & emp. objectives feed into that one plan

 jeffespo:  It should be the trickle up effect. Everyone knows the brand and wants to sell it and make more money.

Create a customer-centric team environment

BethHarte: If all employees understand the customer is #1, they will all work to make sure they work hard from top to bottom

LoisMarketing:  Communicate successes and celebrate at all levels. Make all staff aware of “wins,” new clients. Sincere appreciation. 

Transform employees into evangelists

kimbrater:  It’s more than the sales process, everyone has to internalize +evangelize the brand in order to sell it.

CASUDI:  everyone has to be in love with, believe in the product ~ everyone will have the desire to sell

IABCDetroit: Engage employees thru educational, relevant communications so they’re empowered to relay company message, align w/ company goals

Everyone can have an impact on sales

BethHarte: Sales starts the minute someone walks through the front door. Better hope the receptionist isn’t cranky/mean

rpulvino:  Everyone in the company is involved in sales in some way. Employees are the most important spokespeople for an organization.

And my respond: ValerieSimon: Education. When you take pride in, and understand your organizations strengths, you’re compelled to share the story!

Beyond 140 characters, I’d also emphasize that a strong and positive corporate culture is an investment that will not only pay off in increased productivity but sales. As I’ve mentioned before, I am a firm believer that everyone in an organization, regardless of title or department, should consider themselves a part of the sales team. Here are some ways organization can provides the training and follow-through to make the most of this extended sales force:

  • Make certain that ALL employees are educated on your products or services and the benefits of these services to your clients and customers.
  • Keep employees updated with a daily report of news for and about your organization, the competitors and the marketplace.
  • Create a simple process whereby all employees can easily submit referrals through to the sales team to close.
  • Share success stories. Recognize and reward those who are referring business, as well as the teamwork with sales that helped to win the new business.

Do you consider yourself a part of your organization’s sales efforts? What does your company do to harness the sales power of all your employees? Please share your thought with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.