Posts Tagged ‘messages’


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!!

Integrating Online Video Into Your PR Campaigns – Tips from PRSA-NY

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Alfred Cox*

Last week, on October 27, 2011, I had the opportunity to connect with industry professionals at the PRSA-NY panel, Successfully Integrating Online Video Into Your PR Campaigns.

The event featured presentations from Joe D’Amico, PopTent; Jake Finkelstein, Method Savvy; Jonah Minton, Ustream; Mark Rotblat, TubeMogul; Eric Wright, DS Simon; Jim Sulley, newscast US; and Larry Thomas, Latergy.

It was followed by a roundtable Q&A moderated by Jason Winocour, social and digital media practice leader at Hunter Public Relations.

Why Digital Video
Fifty-nine percent of Americans get their news every day from online and a mix of broadcast, radio and print sources. In fact, it is predicted that “by 2015, the demand for online video is expected to grow by 81 percent.”

Eric Wright, senior VP of marketing and business development, DS Simon Productions, Inc., offered additional insight on why digital video matters to the media.

  • AOL Newsroom is now bigger than the New York Times.
  • Journalist are using online video on their website.
  • 79 percent will use more online video in their messages.

Interestingly enough, over 50 percent of journalists say that video is vital to their jobs and that HD is the most important format.

For these reasons, among others, it is imperative that public relations professionals use video to engage and build relationships with stakeholders, the media, and the community. However, PR folks have lots of homework before integrating online video in their campaigns. (more…)

Crisis Communications in a Social Media World

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

wwpr-logoSome see social media as helping to create communications crisis situations. But effectively using it to get your messages out ahead of the story is the key to surviving a media maelstrom or crisis; this was the focus of a Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) panel on May 26. The panelists included:

Raj Aggarwal, president, PROVOC
Greg Kihlström, CEO, Carousel30
John Hellerman, partner and co-Founder, Hellerman Baretz Communications
Roz Lemieux, partner, Fission Strategy
Derede McAlpin, vice president, Levick Communications

Moderator: Rachel Henderson, account director, Public Affairs Group, Ogilvy PR

Monitoring The Media for mentions of your company or client and competitors allows you to have an early warning system, says McAlpin. If you start to see a lot of stories or posts coming in, there may be a problem. Lemieux added having a good relationship with your online community and constituents will help any organization to be a step-ahead of a crisis.

The panel offered several tips for social media crisis communications:

(more…)

BurrellesLuce Newsletter: Branding in 2011: 6 Tips to Help Optimize Your Efforts

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
Marketing Funnel resized

March 2011

People typically equate a company’s brand with the company’s logo. But a brand is much more than a stylized name: It is a primary symbol of an organization’s purpose, vision and values. Indeed, the act of branding represents a strategic endeavor that encompasses a range of corporate functions—marketing, public relations, and customer service, not the least, among them.

Branding also includes the way employees present their company to its various constituencies, whether intentionally through the communication of key messages or incidentally through everyday emails, social-media engagement and phone conversations.

Digital’s Impact on Branding

Before the advent of digital technology, buyers in both the business-to-consumer (B-to-C) and the business-to business (B-to-B) space would be open to receiving sales communications from a number of brand ambassadors. They may have been exposed to messages pushed to them from dozens of companies, clients, or products from which they could reduce the pool of realistic choices to those offerings that were closely aligned with their needs.

Marketing and other communications professionals relied on this traditional “funnel” approach, and reached out to their prospects and audiences at specific intervals in the selling cycle—most often at the point of “consideration.” The ball was essentially in the seller’s court.

Things are very different today. “Consumers in both the B-2-C and the B-2-B markets still want a clear brand promise and offerings they value. What has changed is when—at what touch points—they are most open to influence, and how you can interact with them at those points,” David C. Edelman states in this Harvard Business Review article. “In the past,” Edelman explains, “marketing strategies that put the lion’s share of resources into building brand awareness and then opening wallets at the point of purchase worked pretty well. But touch points have changed in both number and nature, requiring a major adjustment to realign marketers’ strategies and budgets with where consumers are actually spending their time.” He goes on to suggest that consumers are now most open to influence at the “evaluate” stage and not at the “consider” stage.

Read more about digital’s impact on branding and learn six tips to help optimize your branding efforts in this month’s BurrellesLuce newsletter.

Latest Social Media Phenomenon: Charlie Sheen’s Record Breaking Success on Twitter

Monday, March 7th, 2011
Image Source: www.sbs.com.au

Image Source: www.sbs.com.au

Charlie Sheen’s record-breaking success on Twitter is the latest news story that is being fueled by social media. Social media once again proves to be an omnipresent indomitable force when it comes to communicating and marketing. When he isn’t calling his bosses knuckleheads or referring to his “Adonis DNA” or having “Tiger Blood” (as he once proclaimed in an interview), Sheen is setting world records for Twitter followers, according to the LA Times.

When CBS decided to cancel the remaining segments of “Two and a Half Men” due to Sheen’s hiatus and reportedly based the decision on the totality of Sheen’s statements, conduct, and condition. Sheen went on the offensive by lashing out at his bosses on radio shows and more recently joining Twitter. As reported on in the Mashable article, within 24 hours Sheen had 910,000 Twitter followers, and was the quickest to reach 1 million followers, a new Guinness World Record.

“With such a huge following, Sheen could make money from Twitter, said Arnie Gullov-Singh, the chief executive of Ad.ly — a Beverly Hills firm that writes messages on Twitter or Facebook for celebrities who, for a fee, endorse products or brands,” notes this Boston Herald article. “Brands lined up to advertise on ‘Two and a Half Men’ because of the show’s reach, and they’ll do the same with celebrities like Charlie because of who he reaches,” Gullov-Singh said.

Through social media (and with Twitter expected to reach over 200 million followers in 2011) Sheen will now be able to communicate with his fans in an immediate and unfiltered way from the luxury of his own home. A bit scary, yes … But entertaining, for certain. Sheen’s first message on Twitter said, “Winning..! Choose your Vice…” and linked to a photo of him, holding a bottle of chocolate milk, and Bree Olson — one of his two girlfriends — holding a Naked Juice fruit smoothie… Only in America.

As Lou, the older wiser sales associate, warned a young Bud Fox in Wall Street 1, “Kid, you’re on a roll. Enjoy it while it lasts, ’cause it never does.” Right know Charlie Sheen is a nice alternative news story to the economy or the Middle East but in a few days are we really going to care what Charlie’s tweeting about? Maybe.