April 2012

I was thinking recently about the idea “any publicity is good publicity.” Is that actually true? It seems counterintuitive.

When the movie Supersize Me was realeased, McDonalds received a lot of negative press about their food. The company went to great lengths to fight this. They even created a forum in the UK titled supersizeme-thedebate.co.uk to tell people what criticisms they had of the movie. Unfortunately the site has been taken down (or I’m too foolish to find it).

McDonalds has had their share of negative press in the past. A while back they created a series of commercials involving a young black male named Calvin who worked at McDonalds. Everyone in his neighborhood was proud of Calvin for having a job. This received a lot of negative coverage for racially stereotyping. McDonalds ended the marketing campaign. They exercised copyright laws to take down all videos on the web. (Luckily, Dave Chapelle created a parody.)


But the idea that all publicity is good remains. I think its time that phrase disappeared because people take it too far too often.


What is Project 80? Mike Faga (@michael_faga), friend and professional blogger, gave me some advice on good blog writing skills. “Keep them short,” he said.

Project 80 is a new series I’m starting. I want to give advice on marketing, blogging, social media, and other strategic communications. But every post in Project 80 will be 80 words or fewer.

So let’s begin.

Lesson one: mysterious headlines grab attention.

“Twitter is the world, it reflects the world, and it’s different things to different people at different times and we need to embrace that.” -Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter

Twitter is expanding. Rapidly. Like a Peep in the microwave.

Over the past week I used Twitter more in an attempt to learn why Twitter is quickly taking over the world of social media. I noticed businesses using Twitter in creative ways. Here are some reasons companies use Twitter to reach you:

1. Instant broadcasting. If you need a quick, easy way to talk to millions of people at once, Twitter gives it to you in 140 characters or less. That’s not bad, especially considering the average American has an eight-second attention span and the need for instant information. (Diapers not included.)

Among the tweets are some sales, but most tweets contain details about upcoming events. The ability to create public events and not need to spend thousands of dollars marketing to get people interested presents a golden opportunity for companies. Which brings us to:

2. Cheap. I have a Twitter account, and I’m a college boy. If I can [technically] talk to the world on my income (which is zero), businesses jump all over the opportunity to do the same.

3. Interactive. Businesses don’t want to be seen as large entities that only care about the bottom line, true or not. Connecting with customers ensures loyalty, and Twitter offers a unique way to be involved with them.

Aside from directly responding to people, companies also create personae–apparently the plural form of persona. @thenorthface likes to keep it earthy. They promote outdoor activities and news about outdoor sporting. Switch it over to @Nike, and the entire feeling changes. Nike often tweets things a visionary might say. I can’t imagine it’s an easy job to be so optimistic all the time, but somebody at Nike remains vigilant in the face of obstacles. Or something like that.

Do you like reading tweets from any specific company? Is there that one brand that knows all the right things to say? Share them with the rest of the world in the comments below! Also, if this isn’t the first post of mine you’ve ever read, you should really just subscribe to my blog (found on the home page)  and follow me on Twitter. It takes less time than washing your hands and is actually better for your health. #secretstheydon’twantyoutoknow

Peace. ~Matt

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