A blog to complement the Web site of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi-Central Chapter Web site at www.pramcentral.org.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

CEO Defends His Stock via Blog

Link - Jupitermedia CEO Alan Meckler continues to innovate. Last night he used his blog to defend his company against an organization called CFRA that offers a subscription service that focuses on "uncovering aggressive or unusual accounting practices that can serve as early earning signs of business deterioration."

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Because buildings can't dance

Link - CORPORATE BLOG - PR OPPORTUNITY OR PR NIGHTMARE? is "news" released recently and running in PR Leap.

Harvard Business Review: Blogs Influence What People Think, Do, Buy

Link - Traditional media and dot-coms need marketers as much as - often more than - marketers need them. The same can't be said of blogs.

Point of view matters

Link - Marketing (and/or sales) folks have a point when they say that without them, the best product in the world won't have enough customers (although that picture is changing). The engineers have a point that without them, the marketers have...nothing. Who is right? Does it matter?

Cadre grows to rein in message

Link - Ranks of federal public affairs officials have swelled under Bush to help tighten control on communiques to media, access to information

The Seven Habits Of Effective Blog PR

Link - Nick Wreden has a fantastic post on the seven habits of highly effective PR professionals who work with bloggers ...

Cellular South ad amng best

Jackson-based Cellular South's latest television commercial ranked No. 5 in the Top 20 national listing, the company reported recently.

AdCritic.com ranked the Cellular South's spot, titled All Around Us. Other television ads on the list included ones by Saab, Kohler and Nike.

Cellular South's commercial is running on local stations from Memphis to Florida and is part of the wireless company's 2005 branding campaign. Cellular South is a PRAM Central member.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The next brand castaways

Link - What do Procter & Gamble, Home Depot and General Motors have in common?

Ad agencies getting creative with their creative

AdFreak recently blogged about an agency taking out a billboard to attract a client. Last year, an agency took an RV on the road to win the Mississippi tourism account. Is this a growing trend? Or is it just getting more attention now and it's always been there?

Media Measurement Webinar Set for March 31

On Thursday, March 31, PR News will bring together three powerful media relations and measurement experts who will show you advanced methods of measuring media – advanced yet affordable, strategic yet practical. Considering today’s challenging business climate, it’s time to move away from “media measurement 101” and toward the advanced measurement strategies that will truly improve your organization’s media relations, your sales and market share. This webinar is tailored to PR professionals at corporations and agencies nationwide.

For this webinar, from 1:30-3 p.m. ET, PR News has lined up a distinguished panel of experts who will answer your important questions and provide you with strategies, tactics and lessons learned for the “caring and feeding” of analysts. Click here for more information.

PR Still Figuring Out ‘Integrated Communications’

A third of respondents in a new survey say they allocate only between 10% and 49% of their PR budget to integrated communications while just 10% devote more than 75%. The joint survey by PR News and Porter Novelli also found a lack of cohesion between PR execs and their IT counterparts as well as a chasm between PR and legal. “Communicators have to find ways to more deeply immerse themselves in areas they may consider foreign,” says Gary Stockman, president of Porter Novelli. Asked why PR and legal/IT are like two ships passing in the night Stockman say, ”Silos have grown up on their own and those boundaries are not easily crossed.”

Tom Martin, senior vp/director of corporate relations at ITT Industries (and president of the Arthur W. Page Society), adds the IT numbers “should not be as bad as they are because it’s becoming part of the normal way of doing business to communicate [via the Web] both internally and externally.”

To read the whole story and see the results, go to www.prnewsonline.com

Monday, February 21, 2005

All Things Video

Link - All Things Video is a beta program launched by Viewpoint to measure the effectiveness of online video ads. The initiative aims at comparing video ads with other conventional advertsing solutions, Tv included.Several big names (Hyundai, Microsoft Office, Pepsi, and 20th Century Fox) will take part to the program, with campaigns using Viewpoint's transitional, pre-roll, and in-page formats (by Unicast).

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Better Graphic Design

Link - Graphic designers are asked to perform the difficult task of being creative every single day. Often, our main priority is to feed our client's fascination for originality. We experiment with colors, composition, typography, and photography in order to deliver an original visual solution. This sort of free-ranging experimentation is often the expectation of graphic designers. However, this approach is becoming less and less effective.

Deciding what Features to Implement: Go for the Win-Win.

Link - Deciding what features to implement on a site is not easy. It’s not that designers lack ideas, we often have many of them: too many to implement. Somehow we have to sift through these ideas and figure out which ones are the best ones to implement in the scope of the project and which ones aren’t worth the time and effort.

I’ve Heard of Folksonomies. Now How do I Apply them to My Site?

Link - In practice folksonomy includes the tagging of things and the resulting taxonomy that arises from it. One activity is tagging, or adding metadata. The other activity is the creation of a taxonomy based on those tags. Tagging, by itself, does not a folksonomy make.

More on Scoble and RSS

Link - A transcript of a talk he gave to NorthernVoice after he posted his RSS co-worker rant

No RSS? No downloads? No interaction? Fake content? You're fired!

Link - If you don't have RSS, how will anyone who is a connector build a relationship with your site?

Issues Facing Corporate Blogs

Link - Specific issues that corporations will face when they begin including blogs in the marketing mix

Friday, February 18, 2005

Crisis Blogs - Plan Them Well

Link - Don't think you can start a blog when the crisis hits you. Even though Oliver S. Schmidt, Managing Partner of C4CS, has "...yet to walk into a crisis situation that wouldn't have the client partner benefit from utilizing blogs".

Cellular South forms alliance with other carriers

PRAM Central member Cellular South and several independent tier two and three CDMA carriers have joined forces to form the Associated Carrier Group, LLC, an alliance that will collaborate their efforts to efficiently provide timely and competitive value to consumers in member markets while creating efficiencies of scale for manufacturers and vendors. Hu Meena, president of Cellular South, will serve as chairman.

The other charter members include Cellcom, First Cellular of Southern Illinois, and Midwest Wireless Holdings, LLC.

"ACG will serve as a vehicle to harness its members' collective volume and knowledge to work with wireless phone and equipment manufacturers and vendors to increase efficiencies, including streamlining technical requirements," said Meena. "The group will initially focus on improving the widespread and timely availability of CDMA devices enabling member companies to bring the latest technologies and cost savings to consumers in a timely manner."

BellSouth-Mississippi Pioneers win top honors


BellSouth-Mississippi Pioneers pictured with Telecom Pioneers President Mary Manning, from left: Betty Byrd; Clytice Gardner; Margie Sasser; Manning; MEC Chair John McCullouch, president, BellSouth-Mississippi Operations; Patsy Tolleson; Mike Walker; and Mike Hill.


The BellSouth Mississippi Pioneers received several awards at the recent TelecomPioneers annual meeting held in San Antonio, Texas. "BellSouth Mississippi Pioneers are making a significant difference in our communities and setting a standard for others to follow," said John McCullouch, president, BellSouth-Mississippi Operations. "Mississippi Pioneers have created a culture of giving, and we are very pleased to be recognized for our contribution to the communities we serve."

TelecomPioneers, the largest industry-related volunteer organization in the world, presented four awards to the Mississippi Chapter of the BellSouth Pioneers. The group was recognized with two awards for Project Excellence, for the It's a Great Day to Play and Integrating Technology into the Classroom projects. Mississippi Pioneers also received a Chapter Excellence Award. Only seven chapters in the international organization were recognized, and the Mississippi Chapter was the only chapter within the BellSouth region that received this honor. BellSouth is a PRAM Central member.

Volunteer Margie Sasser was one of only two Pioneer partners recognized with a Pioneer Partner Award. Sasser volunteers in the Mississippi Pioneer office more than 30 hours each week. She also coordinates activities for Pioneer projects with the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, WATCH and the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, and the Department of Education's Reading Fair. The Integrating Technology into the Classroom project also received the prestigious BellSouth Region Vice President's Award, which is awarded by BellSouth Foundation President and Pioneer Region Vice President Mary Boehm to an outstanding Pioneer project within BellSouth's nine-state region.

From across the United States and Canada, the TelecomPioneers received a host of submissions for its community service awards. BellSouth Pioneers in Mississippi represent over 5600 active and retired employees of BellSouth. In 2004, the Mississippi Chapter gave 183,993 hours of volunteer time, which has a value determined by the Points of Light Foundation of more than $3 million dollars.

For more information about the BellSouth Pioneers, visit the Mississippi Chapter's web site at www.bellsouthmspioneers.org. BellSouth Pioneers are an affiliate of the TelecomPioneers. Other member companies include AT&T, Aliant, Broadwing, Frontier, MTS, Qwest, SaskTel, SBC, Telcordia Technologies and Verizon.


Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Overextended

Link - brand extension done right can transfer the original product's promise of quality to a new one. Piggybacking on an existing brand is one way to introduce a new product; such an extension can lend instant credibility in the marketplace that could have otherwise taken years to earn. A brand extension is a simple thing, really. It's just a new twist on an old promise. But if the customer has to make too great a leap of faith, you may wind up diluting the value of the original brand. How do you tell if an extension is weakening a brand? Check with the people who aren't using it, not the ones who are.

Ten golden rules for getting great work from a design agency

Link (Free registration required) - Partnering, open communication, collaboration and celebrating success... sounds like advice for any perfect relationship. Well, it is. Only, in this case, that relationship is with your design agency. Building and maintaining a trusting relationship with your agency is key to project success. Many relationships with agencies fail because clients treat them like vendors instead of partners. They don't value agency advice when they really need to get a fresh perspective in solving a communication challenge. You can learn that lesson the hard way-becoming battle scarred in the skirmishes with your design agency. Or you can follow these 10 golden rules-and find great teamwork and stronger results in the end.

Jump Start Your Business Brain

Link - Doug Hall has developed what he calls Book Activated Training - a training presentation to support his book Jump Start Your Business Brain. Posted on-line, his ready-to-go training session - a 110-slide PowerPoint Training Seminar - is readily available if you want to help your organization jump start their brains.

Doug, using the honor system, asks if you use the training to purchase a copy of the book for each of the participants. (via Brand Autopsy)

Q & A on Corporate Blogging

Link - Debbie Weil answers questions corporate types are having about blogging and blogs.

Blogging and other wonders of the Web

Link - Ken Leebow recently spoke to PRSA members about the wonders of blogging. (Excerpts here.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Business Risks With Blogging: A Conversation

Link - How much can you say in your corporate blog ...

Creative Marketing Destruction: Add Water and Blog

Link - The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) recently launched a new Web site for members and prospects. Not perfect, but pretty darn good. It includes lots of content, links to key resources, fields to sign up for key services, e-commerce tools, and much more.

What's the big deal? After all, most Web sites do this.

Well, WOMMA's site is built on a blog. Yes, the same platform powering the "digital diary" and consumer-generated media (CGM) revolution.

Connecticut’s prize fighters

Link - Creatives often feel like they’re fighting tooth and nail to get great creative produced. The Advertising Club of Connecticut took that idea and ran with it in the call for entries for its 51st annual award show.

Put your useless brand knowledge to work!

Link - Advertising people, rejoice. No longer are you a font of useless brand trivia. Today, you are a star.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Coker named Emerging Practitioner of the Year

Shannon Coker, of the Mississippi Hospital Association, was named the Emerging Practitioner of the Year by the Public Relations Association of Mississippi-Central Chapter. This competitive award is given to a practitioner with less than five years of experience.

Lea named Practitioner of the Year


Shawn Lea (left), of the Mississippi Hospital Association, was named the Practitioner of the Year by the Public Relations Association of Mississippi-Central Chapter. This competitive award is given to a practitioner with five to nine years of PR experience.
Posted by Hello

Skipper named Advanced Practitioner of the Year


Sheila Skipper, APR, of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association, was named the Advanced Practitioner of the Year by the Public Relations Association of Mississippi-Central Chapter. This competitive award is given to a practitioner with 10 or more years of experience. Posted by Hello

Gettis given the President's Award


Gail Gettis (left) of the Mississippi Bar receives the President's Award from PRAM Central's 2004 President, Jarrod Ravencraft. Each year, the outgoing president picks one Board member who went above and beyond to receive this special award. Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Oprah-sized ROI

Link - The question is, was Pontiac's mega car giveaway on Oprah last September a "priceless" marketing initiative? Did Pontiac's buzz-worthy stunt on Oprah move enough metal to justify the expense?

Defining the Role of Dialog Facilitators ... How do They Figure In Your Marketing Strategy?

Link - With the growing importance and need for a corporate marketing role to take advantage of the ongoing blog and RSS conversations throughout the internet, we need to actually define these new business roles.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Community Express Loan program to be explained

The Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce is co-sponsoring a conference to introduce entrepreneurs to the SBA Community Express Loan Program and to accept applications for small business loans will be Feb. 24 at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

The SBA Community Express Loan Program is a pilot program designed by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. "The Community Express Loan Program requires no collateral, no tax returns, and no businesss plan," says Adam Murray, director of the Hinds Community College Small Business Development Center, a technical assistance provider. "The loan amount is $5,000 to $25,000. No prepayment penalty and startup businesses are allowed."

The program will begin at 6 p.m. To attend, contact Charlene Brock at 601-857-3536 or fax your name, business name, address, city/state/zip and telephone number to 601-857-3474 no later than Feb. 22.

Funny online marketing spreads like virus (and it's supposed to)

Link (free registration required) - You've probably seen www.subservientchicken.com by now. It's made the rounds on e-mail. There's this person in a chicken suit and you type in a command such as "jump" or "read" or "fly" and the chicken does what you ask. Funny, yes; cute, kind of; creepy, kind of; but what's the point? Viral marketing. The site belongs to Burger King, and it lets you "get chicken just the way you like it." Get it? So you think it's hilarious, and you send it to all your friends, and they send it to all their friends because it is so very hilarious, and before you know it everyone in the world knows you can get chicken the way you like it at Burger King. Furthermore, everyone in the world knows that Burger King is kind of hip, kind of funny, the kind of company you'd like to support with your fast-food dollar. That's the idea of viral marketing. You want a marketing product so clever or ubiquitous your name gets out there practically all by itself. Spreads like a virus, as it were.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The 25 most difficult questions you'll be asked on a job interview

Link - Being prepared is half the battle.

Nonprofit business could bring 300 jobs to Ellisville, 60 to Jackson

Link - The National Association of Government Vending announced plans today to locate in Mississippi and promised to bring hundreds of jobs while saving state, county and municipal governments hundreds of dollars in purchasing costs.

Ultimate Office Makeover 2005

This is your last week to win the $25,000.00 TOTAL OFFICE MAKEOVER from BOBBY BAREFIELDS OFFICE FURNITURE. If your office in the metro-Jackson area is in need of a major overhaul, this is your chance to get some new surroundings for free.

What Websites Do to Turn On Teens

Link - If you're designing a website aimed at teenagers, you'd better not make the text too small. That's not because teens have bad eyes, but because teenagers tend to lean back in their chairs when they're at their computers.

Internet Users Want a Voice

Link - In its latest study of Americans' online habits, the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that a substantial chunk of internet users want to voice their opinions online. Websites that want to remain relevant should strongly consider building in ratings systems that allow visitors to leave input about what they find on the site.

Establishing RSS Advertising Standards

Link - While RSS benchmarks and metrics standards for publishers might still be far, a group of companies has started to lay down the ground-work for RSS advertising standards.

Audio Interview with Paul Chaney: The Pro Bloggers Association, Blogging Transparentcy, Becoming an A-list Blogger and RSS

Link - Paul Chaney, coming to speak to PRAM Central members in April, is interviewed here by marketingstudies.net.

Introduction to Marketing with RSS

Link - RSS has already become a huge marketing power in the world of internet marketing

Bloggers send a warning shot to corporate America

Link - It started with a simplegripe posted on a weblog - the blogger was unhappy that his new mobile phone did not work as advertised. It was not long before other angry bloggers chimed in with their own stories, flooding the "blogosphere" with a stream of complaints that culminated last month in a class action lawsuit against the second-largest wireless network operator in the US.

Corporate Blog Strategies

Link - Rick Short, Director of Communication, Indium, gets blogging. After attending AMA's Blog: Beyond the Website Rick launched 3 blogs. One corporate and two personal.

White paper on word of mouth marketing

Link - The paper states that "Word of mouth can't be faked or invented. Attempting to fake word of mouth is unethical and creates a backlash, damages the brand, and tarnishes the corporate reputation. Legitimate word of mouth marketing acknowledges consumers' intelligence -- it never attempts to fool them."

Monday, February 07, 2005

Blogging, Hugh Hewitt and Martin Luther

Link - My first "official" book review for 800-CEO-READ.

The Art of Listening

Link - As PR professionals, we are trained to talk. We use phrases like messages, delivery, outreach and response. Think about the tools of our trade – press releases, media briefings, pitch letters – every single one of them address outbound communication. Now we have weblogs. But before running off and starting to publish, online communicators need to instead spend more time using blogs to listen and learn from the market. It’s the consumers control our message now. We must pay attention to what they say.

Rethinking Marketing's Conventional Wisdom

Link - Making advertising hard to find is just one way companies are rewriting conventional marketing strategies, says Harvard Business School professor Youngme Moon.

Hottest Branding Trends for 2005

Link - What will be the hot branding trends in 2005? Here are five developments that will affect clients, customers and budgets.

New Ways of Working Need New Communication Tools

Link - Whether you work at a large company or a small one, it is becoming increasingly likely that you or your employees are spending at least some part of your time working outside of the customary office water cooler/coffee maker/elevator speech matrix where you have traditionally had many opportunities to talk to your colleagues.

PR and profit

Link - Jim Horton's latest white paper (pdf file) discusses the disconnect between the 'hard' business objective of making a profit and the 'soft' public relations goals of relationship and reputation building.

What Is Open Source Marketing?

Link - The love affair between big brands and mass media is over. But where do marketeers go next? Open Source Marketing has the answers.

Branding: Five New Lessons

Link - The P&G purchase of Gillette shows that innovation is key, and marketing is more diffuse and personal

Friday, February 04, 2005

How to pitch an idea

Link - Coming up with good ideas is hard enough, but convincing others to do something with them is even harder. In many fields the task of bringing an idea to someone with the power to do something with it is called a pitch: software feature ideas, implementation strategies, movie screenplays, organizational changes, and business plans, are all pitched from one person to another. And although the fields or industries may differ, the basic skill of pitching ideas is largely the same. This essay provides a primer on idea pitches, and although most of my experience is in the tech-sector, I pitch to you that the advice here will be relevant to pitching business plans, yourself (e.g. job interviews), screenplays, or anything else.

Culture of Complaint

Link - Here are some of the places you can keep tabs on what people may be saying about your company...

Condé Nast Makes the Case for Old-School Advertising

Link - Tabout zigging when others are zagging: On the Monday after the biggest day of the year for television advertising (otherwise known as Super Bowl Sunday), a leading publisher will begin what it is calling its largest effort ever to promote the power of print as a medium.

Marketplace Radio: "PR Goes Blogging"

Link - Marketplace Radio on Feb. 2 featured a segment on the application of blogs in PR. The piece starts at the 4:35 mark.

Upholding PR Standards Starts With The Small Things

Link - Will you join with me and other PR bloggers in a grassroots blogging campaign to help raise the perception of the public relations industry ...

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Beware the Blog

Link - In his keynote address at the 30th annual Folio: Show last November, Time magazine editor-in-chief Jim Kelly said the legitimacy of the blog in an election year was one of the year’s biggest news stories. “The growth of blogs managed to undermine mainstream media” and during the election, they became a news source “without the editing filter,” Kelly said.

Businesses Find Ways to Manage E-Mail Overload

Link - Anyone who uses e-mail probably knows the perils of an overloaded inbox. Participants at a recent seminar learned more about how to manage their e-mail.

Blogs and public relations

Link - As competition for available media coverage tightens, in a sea of press releases and attention stealing publicity stunts, it is harder than ever for a business to gain much needed publicity. A business person is often at a complete loss as to how to get media coverage of a worthwhile business story. (via MicroPersuasion)

Customers Want Control

Link - A new survey finds that customers’ control of solicitations is key to the success of marketing efforts.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

World Trade Center, Northrop presenting women's conference

The Mississippi World Trade Center and Northrop Grumman Corporation's Ship Systems sector are teaming up for the 2005 women's business conference titled "Lighting the Way: Women in Industry and International Trade" on March 8-9, 2005, at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi.

The conference will begin with a welcome reception on the evening of March 8. On March 9, a day-long schedule of presentations will be conducted by trade industry experts such as Leslie Schweitzer, senior trade advisor, U. S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. Group discussions, demonstrations and an import fashion show will also be offered.

Marketed to women involved in international trade and business development in a four-state area, the conference is open to MSWTC members and the general public. For more information, contact Jennifer Miller at (601) 353-0909 or jmiller@mswtc.org.