The New Rules of Marketing and PR

Caught a great podcast recently featuring an interview with author David Meerman Scott. His new book is entitled The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly (whew! Quite a mouthful.)

ANYway, his premise is clear and well-delivered: "You are what you publish." In the old days, if you wanted to get your message out there you had two options: try and convince someone to write about you (and hope for the best), or buy expensive advertising, trade show floor real estate or spend a lot of money in some other way and hope your message sticks.

With the advent of blogging and podcasting, your business can now take control of the conversation and influence people based on your positive content. Think about the people you are trying to reach. Don’t force your corporate message on them. We get enough of that everyday. As we have said before on this blog and in our podcast, it is not about hucksterism. Rather, write about a problem people are having, and then help them solve it. Once you establish that trust, people will stay with you and rely on you as a source.

The rules of marketing are changing for the better. This is allowing MORE people in and is making things LESS exclusionary. Take advantage. The time is now.

Commercials, and the viewers who skip them

A much-anticipated Nielsen report was released last week talking about DVR penetration, such as Tivo, what percentage of users skip over commercials. The conclusion…Nielsen wouldn’t say. The OBVIOUS conclusion… a lot of us.

The takeaway for podcasters and other new media producers was this:
According to an analysis of Nielsen ratings data by Sanford C. Bernstein, live viewership among 18- to 49-year-olds of non-sports, prime-time programming at Fox, ABC, NBC and CBS was significantly down during the season, owing to more people using DVRs to watch their favorite shows at later dates.

In other words, the time-shifting habits are well-formed, meaning all we need to do is continue to provide more compelling content.

More on politics and podcasting

Today’s podcast episode takes a more in depth look at the role of podcasting in politics. Whether you’re running for dog catcher, city council or the White House, if you don’t embrace technology, you’re going to be left out in the cold.

You can listen live here on the blog or, better yet, subscribe for free in iTunes. New content will arrive to your computer automatically.
Click here to listen

Getting to Know You

We get asked a lot about the benefits of podcasting for businesses. Once again, it comes down to meaningful connections. Advertising and traditional marketing efforts have their place in branding your company or product, but at the end of the day, they are just print or electronic messages that disappear into the ether.

A voice is much more effective at communicating emotion and a distinctive personality. Speaking from experience, we use podcasting almost as an ongoing audition tape for potential clients. The "getting to know you" period can be shorthanded if someone has already gotten a feel for your personality and style of doing business since they have listened to you or seen you in a podcast. Now, more than ever, people crave that one-to-one connection that is often lacking in our digital world. Lift the curtain just a little bit and let your customers feel like they know just a little bit more about you, or your company, than what one might glean from a print ad or TV spot. It can do wonders for your bottom line.

When you lift the curtain a little, you might be pleasantly surprised at how people react. I know we have been.

A very positive development

As we have commented in previous posts, education is an important issue for us, and we are developing ways to continue to use technology as a means of widening the playing field and inviting more people to join the conversation.

We were very encouraged to see that iTunes launched iTunesU, a dedicated area within the iTunes store "giving higher education institutions an ingenious way to get audio and video content out to their students. Presentations, performances, lectures, demonstrations, debates, tours, archival footage…iTunes U enables users to extend learning, explore interests, learn more about a school and stay connected with an alma mater."

Participating universities include Stanford, Penn State, UC Berkeley, Arizona State and the University of South Florida, among others.

While some might see this as a great fall back in case you slept through class, we see it is a great application for the technology.

A different kind of ROI

A critical factor that separates podcasting from other, more traditional forms of communications is the level of engagement between creator and user. It has been referred to as ROI- Return on Influence, or sometimes Return on Engagement. The depth of engagement is the critical factor separating podcasts and other, more shopworn forms of communication. The focus of podcasting metrics is less about quantity and more about quality. The equation is obvious: shotgun approach vs. rifle approach. TV is incredibly effective, if prohibitively expensive, for most. But would you rather have 1000 or 5000 people who are passionately involved in your message and have voluntarily opted in to your distribution platform? Or would it be better to spend the money on a media buy that might "reach" 500,000+ people, but only inspire a tiny fraction of them?

It is all about efficiency.

Podcasting is probably the most cost effective media channel of our time and the qualitative benefits include thought leadership and the ability to build strong and lasting relationships. Among the quantitative benefits are low customer acquisition costs and the aforementioned depth of engagement. Broadband adoption is too prevalent to miss this opportunity.

Organizations of every size now have the ability to become their own media outlet.

Podcasting as an agent for change

On this week’s episode of our podcast, we sit down with author, cultural critic and professor Celeste Fraser Delgado. In a wide ranging discussion we talk about whether the internet does a better job of isolating us or bringing us together, podcasting as an agent for social change and how do all these new media tools affect the average person’s life.

It’s all about starting a conversation, so please post your comments, questions and thoughts. We really want to know what you think. Listen to the episode right here on our blog or, better yet, subscribe for free in iTunes and have it delivered directly to your computer every time we release a new episode.

Click here to listen

Clearcast audio podcast

We are proud to release the first episode of the Clearcast Digital Media audio podcast series. We will talk about how new media trends and innovations affect your life and your business. The changes are coming fast and furious, and we want to help clear out the clutter.

This first episode features co-founder Matthew Chamberlin talking about how we can help you join the conversation and make your business or organization’s voice heard.

Future episodes will touch on a wide range of topics and not be strictly confined to new media. You know what they say about all work and no play, right?

Please use this page to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, check out our other podcasts already there but most importantly, we invite you to post comments on this blog about how media is affecting your life, what excites you, scares you, leaves you scratching your head or maybe what
leaves you totally cold. Everything is in bounds, and we look forward to you joining the conversation.

Click here to listen

Internal corporate communications

Podcasting is the most effective tool for internal corporate communications that has yet to be invented. (External communications, too, but that is the subject for another post.)

Typically corporations communicate with their employees via broadcast voice mail, e-mail or intranet, essentially taking the "one size fits all" approach. While certainly there are times when one message applies to all employees ("We’re closed this Friday"), relevance is the critical factor that gets overlooked when taking this approach. Does a new product launch affect the sales team the same way it affects IT? Besides, the biggest issue that faces all of us, both at home and at work, is time.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a targeted communications method that helped me at work, but didn’t make me have to come to a full stop by reading some e-mail, listening to some voice mail or searching on the intranet only to find out that the message was totally irrelevant to my role in the company?

When is someone going to invent the method of communication that speaks directly to me, allows me to take it in whenever and wherever I see fit and keeps me connected and involved?

When, indeed.

UN Commission on Sustainable Development

On May 9, 2007, the Permanent Representative of
Switzerland, Ambassador Peter Maurer, hosted an event entitled "Clean
Energy for All-The sun21 Adventure" as part of the United Nations
Commission on Sustainable Development.

Click below to see the
video produced by Clearcast Digital Media that was presented during
this event. We are very proud to have been associated with this
remarkable group of people, and special thanks to Ainsworth & Associates for making it all possible.