Archive | May 2011

A round of applause for Google Chrome

Every now and again, we come across an advertising, marketing, or public relations campaign that’s in a league of its own. A few months ago, it was Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” starring the now notorious Isaiah Mustafa. The campaign’s voice has several imitators including Dairy Queen.

But today we’re tipping our McKinney advertising expertise hat to a campaign with a much different feel: Google Chrome’s “The web is what you make of it.” The campaign mimics Google browser’s 2010 Superbowl commercial, Parisian Love, a heart warming I-just-got-goosebumps-that-was-so-cute spot.

Google Chrome released the campaign’s first spot, “It Gets Better,”  in the height of gay bullying news coverage. The commercial intermixes actual testimonials of bullying with celebrity encouragement and delivers a powerful and uplifting message to the gay community.

The campaign’s second spot, “Dear Sophie,” follows father Daniel Lee as he writes a series of emails to his young daughter, Sophie Lee, in hopes of sharing the childhood moments she would otherwise have forgotten.

And the campaign’s latest release, “Lady Gaga,” capitalizes on the overwhelming popularity of, you guessed it, Lady Gaga. This spot meshes fan videos with clips of Lady Gaga issuing tweets to her inspirational “little monsters.”

If you haven’t seen the ads yet, be sure to click through the links above to watch. You won’t regret it; we promise.

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Company Blogging 101

So you want to write a company blog, huh? Awesome. Blogging is a fantastic way to start conversations and build relationships with consumers and companies similar to yourself. But creating a successful blog takes more than just a wave of your magic wand. We’ve established a few simple musts a company should follow when it creates a blog.

Before we dive headfirst into the tips, please note that blogging is time-consuming. Successful bloggers dedicate countless hours to researching other blogs before they write a single post. Research blogs similar to the one you wish to create with Technorati. Spend time reading through heavily-trafficked blogs and posts to see how audiences are responding. You can even make a comment or two to get your name into cyber space. Also remember that successful bloggers constantly update their material. Posted at least three times a week is essential.

If you’re prepared to do the research and nurture your blog so it can grow to be influential, our best blogging tips are the following:

1. Take time to develop your blog’s voice. A voice is like the narrator in the novel; it’s the personality you hear shining through even though nobody is speaking. The voice for a young graphic design company may be quirky, edgy, or sarcastic whereas the voice of a blog for cancer patients will be much more serious, caring, and possibly somber. But every blog has a voice. How will your blog’s voice sound?

2. Keep your posts short. It’s daunting for a reader to arrive on a blog and see 2,000-word posts. Most readers won’t put in the effort to read a post longer than 500 words. Say what you need to say and be to the point.

3. Keep your posts scannable. Blog audiences tend to read in an “F” shape: They read the first and second paragraph in full, and then they scan the remainder of an article for keywords. Some tricks you can use to keep the audience’s attention are to write in short paragraphs, to include bulleted or numbered lists, pictures, and quotes, and to add subheads wherever possible.

4. Include multimedia. Pictures, videos, or audio soundbites give blog posts a little something extra for your audience to enjoy. Multimedia also breaks up any monotony in your posts.

5. Link to other blogs and articles in your posts. Readers are skeptical; they want to see you back up your opinions with third-party sources. Plus bloggers will be grateful you’re directing your readers to them, and they may return the favor by linking to your blog in future posts.

6. Include an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) widget on your blog. An RSS widget allows reader to subscribe to your blog feed. RSS subscribers will be notified when you’ve published a new post.

7. DO NOT delete comments. Many new bloggers make the mistake of deleting negative remarks from readers. As strange as it may seem, negative remarks are actually good because they may spark a conversation. Negative remarks are also a great way to clear up misunderstandings or misconceptions your audience may have about your company. As a rule of thumb, the only reason to ever delete a comment is if it contains profanity or if it is a random jumble of words and numbers.

8. Remember your readers don’t know and/or understand everything. For example, if you’re a repairman blogging about home how-to’s, you’re reader probably won’t know industry speak. Absolutely no jargon. Write it in plain English.

And as a last general remark always remember that, on the internet, you are (or your company is) what you publish. Be personable, but keep your content relevant and professional and never libel the competition. Happy blogging!

Traditional resume, LinkedIn profile, or both?

It may not be age-old, but, as of late, many professionals have found themselves asking the same question: Has LinkedIn replaced the traditional black and white paper resume?

There are some, Brand Love Hate blogger Jason Whitman for example, who say LinkedIn is all a job seeker needs. Other professionals like Talaentia’s Octavio Ballesta say a LinkedIn profile merely compliments the traditional resume. We agree with the latter- there may come a day when LinkedIn is the only necessary resume, but, for now, both are preferred.

That being said, a stellar LinkedIn profile allows today’s job seeker to stand head and shoulders above other potential hires. Maintaining a LinkedIn profile shows a potential employer that you’re tech-savvy and eager to network.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, we suggest you jump on the bandwagon and sign up today. Sign up right now, in fact! And once you’re a member, utilize the following few tips to make your profile shine:

1. Upload a current, professional picture. For the older audience, we agree that you look foxy in your senior portrait from 1980, but we want to know how you look now. Select a picture from the past few years, please. For the younger audience, ensure that your picture is a straight-on, fully-clothed snapshot. Remember, LinkedIn is your online resume. Be professional at all times.

2. Keep your experience as relevant as possible. If you’ve worked as a waitress at nine restaurants, either include the most current position or the one you’ve held the longest, but don’t list all nine and try to convince me that they’ve all molded you into a well-rounded human being.

3. Be as descriptive as possible with your experience. Just like on your resume, use strong active verbs at the beginning of each sentence. Also be sure to include ROI wherever possible.

4. Make your profile SEO friendly. Under websites, instead of choosing “Personal website,” “Company website,” “Blog,” etc., always select “Other.” This allows you to write keywords in the box to the right. It’s also possible to change your given public profile URL. Just click “Edit” and replace your given jumble of letters and numbers with your name.

5. Ask for recommendations from your higher-ups. Did your last boss absolutely adore you? Let him or her tell the world how wonderful you are. This allows potential employers to get a sense of who you are and how you work. (And if the recommendation turns out too flowery, you can always choose not to publish it on your profile.)

Business Insider has more great LinkedIn tips in its article “10 Things You Never Knew You Could Do On LinkedIn.”