Marketing with no budget in an uncertain economy

March 25, 2009

feedmeThe experts agree it’s time to get your marketing/pr running full spin and this despite budget cuts and market slow down. These times have happened in the past; the clear winners have emerged in the end from those that have demonstrated leadership by endorsing a simple but winning strategy. This strategy is: raising awareness of their products or destinations with unwavering energy. Showing some panache is not for the faint of heart, but when you think about it, any sign of bright and bushy tail vigor goes a long way when the competition is busy being sorry for itself or is waiting for a handout that is likely not going to happen.

Managers in emerging markets realize that turbulent financial times can be a tremendous opportunity to strengthen competitive position and financial performance — with the right mix of strategy and innovations. – MARTIN S. ROTH and RICHARD ETTENSON

…also watch this video interview. It certainly provides a fresh perspective: a twist on conventional wisdom about retrenching marketing dollars in a downturn.

Having a positive presence out there matters more than ever and is more noticeable than ever. Making the media aware of your story ideas and bringing some fun and entertainment into your postings makes waves and gives value to your offerings like never before. It is not the economists that make the economy, it’s you and me. If the economy is uncertain, it is because we are uncertain.

Why do I know that? In 1983 I started a printing business with some peers at the epicenter of the last downturn. We were so enthusiastic about it that it was infectious to our clientele. Clients shop where they know that their experience is likely to be awesome from start (promotion) to the after-sales servicing. The business did very well and placed itself as a winner locally and was a key player when we saw the marketplace restored. We simply positioned the business to be the leader, ready for the upturn. I have since sold my share in the company. This glorious and successful adventure—I call it my best mistake. This has taught me first hand that, in a downturn, positively engaging your relations with the media, promoting your presence with energy is a win-win proposition and it costs almost nothing, if you are ready to be consistent at it.

This may surprise a few but the Media likes good news.

Marketing with connectivity (part 4)

February 23, 2009

For the next several weeks, the CEO of CleanPix, Nelson Vigneault, will be sharing his thoughts on “Marketing with connectivity”.


For the journalist, provides a platform to discover, pick up content, or elect to receive RSS feeds that meet their specific interests. For our clients, the posting of several, short stories per week creates a momentum that works best. A very good example of use is by Space Coast CVB, where twice a week a new “landing” on of a newsbrief creates sparks of interest from the media. In this manner, stories are picked up and transferred from one Social Media news stream to another. We have also noted some cases where, after a few fervent initial weeks of positive results, clients suddenly slow down their posting activity. Almost immediately the stats register proportional slowdowns on their success score. Again, presence and consistency appear to be key … the “seeds” need nurturing. When asked, “Why did you stop?” The most common answers boil down to: “I ran out of ideas!” or, “I did not believe I needed to keep at it!” Hey!  It’s called s o c i a l  media … you have to keep interacting with it for it to work. Secondly, truer then ever, marketing on the Internet is the business of IDEAS. For success in marketing with connectivity you absolutely have to keep coming up with new and fresh ideas. This means finding new angles, new avenues to tell the story by reviewing and questioning upside down your knowledge about your product, destination or event. A sort of revisiting of your campaign and your product from a Web culture perspective, a perspective where the audience defines how they connect with you and dictates what they are looking for.

Because Social Media is a LIVE medium, its architecture is as digital as it is volatile. It appears that everywhere you look, speed of action is paramount — interaction must be prompt. The need to actualize content (i.e. make the news responsive, attuned to world events, trends and new emerging contexts) puts writing for Web at a premium even if the final destination may very well be print media (i.e. how you write for the Web differs from how you write for traditional media). One must constantly create fresh content.

Check back again soon for part 5 of this series.

Check out part 1 of this series
Check out part 2 of this series
Check out part 3 of this series

How to spam a journalist?

February 6, 2009

The secrets most PR wont tell you.

The art of getting any press—bad press or good press—is hard to master and time intensive anyway you slice it. The usual tips look like:

- Refrain from………
– Pitch in points….
– Do not try to match……..
– Stick to……….
– Consider this…..
– Create brief word sequences to……..
– Thank profusely……
– Do not send email attac……….
– Support material has to……

It takes two for a pitch.

883,000 “creative marketing” entries on Google. It can be frustrating trying to find relevant information to demonstrate how today’s PR/Marketing success is, by far, the result of nothing less than an enhanced relationship with the Media through the social web. Although one needs the proper tools to make the bridge, I insist it is not about technology but rather about a concerted drive to commit serious elbow grease and tons of consistency to learn how the message links with the medium.

This is no longer news: The medium is… THE WEB!  What is not so obvious is that:  the web is media, message, and medium in one. This cluster—cemented with the birth of Social Media—is, I believe, the fundamental shift we are witnessing and has permuted forever our perception of community and everything about it, inclusive of global behavioral laws. For example, with regards to MEDIA PR, the person to person relationship (me and the journalist) is more than ever valuable. This relation begs for a renewed model of “social media” polishing. Media PR spamming is the biggest mischief.

Social consciousness is a pitch

The language is brutal. The methods are new. The shift in attitude is definitive. The risks are real, so are the fears. The risk that the “info-snippets flux” obliterates the need for knowledge based consciousness, is such a fear. Here is what that looks like: Since all info-bits on everything are available for access, the need to juxtapose, compare, analyze, cohort, fuse and confuse may vanish lazily. In consequence, the regression of this human process to consciousness pins the erosion of creativity, that is the fear. Thinking creative!

Ok, here is an interesting take and a creative Robert Proctor word: Agnotology. Or we could call it: The lost civilization nightmare… “For God’s sake what were they thinking?”  But do not worry, looking outside my window I think the loss of civility is more likely to become the disease. The effervescence of Connectivity via the web over vast distances seems to have adversely deteriorated human conduct in close proximity: “Can’t you tell I am twittering on my cellphone… you twit?” We all agree, Social media is in need a of a self-administrated dose of ethical vaccination. It is coming. Vaccination or not, one thing is sure, it is time to roll-up the web sleeves. It is hard work, but smart work, it is time.

So I won’t pitch you any further on Media PR as we have found a few smart authors and entire websites that shed practical light beyond the course of info-snippits. From time to time we will point you toward sites of interest that address squarely the shift in PR/marketing behavior of today’s times. We urge you to share with us some of your best finds.

Further reading:

Famously Hot TRIO from Columbia SC

January 29, 2009

sc-hot-trio-copyNicole Smith, Mandi Engram, and Kelly Barbrey, of Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism graduated from CleanPix online coaching with the greatest honors. That means getting famously HOT media attention for the Midlands Authority, following the posting of only a few consecutive briefs on


“We’re excited to be using this for press releases and all of the PR capabilities!”
says Mandi.

Columbia SC brief:

PR on a Dime with Shawne Duperon

January 29, 2009

shawneduperon1Well known America’s “gossip” expert and EMMY® award Shawne Duperon hosted (January 28/09) a brilliant, live luncheon in Calgary for the Canadian Marketing Association on how to get free press and tons of free publicity.

Among many tips on networking with the media, including a musical chairs marathon she had all of us participating in, here are some key elements that particularly got my attention.
Shawne stressed:

• PR with the media is a person-to-person relationship = know and polish that relationship.
• Be brief with your press release to the media = a few points.
• Refrain from sending email attachments = do not create WORK for the media.
• Tailor your pitch as a spin on current events and no stuff outside their interest.

The first statement that she pinned all her presentation on brought cheers in the room. It went like this: In these turbulent economic times, it is time to get busy and get creative with your PR and marketing skills and efforts. That was music to my ears.

Marketing with Connectivity (part 2)

January 22, 2009

For the next several weeks, the CEO of CleanPix, Nelson Vigneault, will be sharing his thoughts on “Marketing with connectivity”.


Long-established newspapers find it hard to attract advertisers. Is the automotive industry, amongst the largest players and supporters of this medium, also rethinking its effectiveness in reaching targeted audiences? The new reality is that a large sector of the audience gets its news neither from the papers nor even from TV, but from the Internet instead. TV anchors advise, “To find out more, go online”. Obama placed advertising in Xbox  games, courting an important sector of his audience right where they are located. Some say, “traditional advertising is dead” and it may well be. But one thing is for sure: journalism is thriving in the Social Media arena. It is a question of attitude, a definite shift in culture. Creating feeds is the new art and it comes with a magical twist: In Social Media, the audience is now also author — users control the content through full “LIVE” interaction with the information. In turn, this also implies that the traditional 4 Ps of marketing need revisiting (PRODUCT, PRICE, PLACE, PROMOTION) and consequently so do the tools and methods for reaching an audience, or rather I should say “participating with” the audience.


Despite the fact that having a solid asset management service was paramount for our clients, the CleanPix team soon discovered that using it simply as a tool for photo management was not sufficient. The need to act as a seamless visual support for getting our clients’ news out, in a concerted effort to foster media relations, was why the asset management service was created initially. Subsequently, what was critical was the creation of tools to enable our clients to tap into the Social Media space and they needed to do this while making rich media files available on demand.

We did it. is effectively a bridge to Social Media. Clients who use in that fashion get unprecedented results, for a fraction of the cost of conventional means.

Check out part 1 of this series
Check out part 3 of this series
Check out part 4 of this series

Marketing with connectivity (part 1)

January 15, 2009

For the next several weeks, the CEO of CleanPix, Nelson Vigneault, will be sharing his thoughts on “Marketing with connectivity”.

From every side we are hearing the dreaded words: “budget cuts”. This is not all bad news, but certainly an indication that world economy has changed both suddenly and drastically. From a marketing perspective, it means that money is severely restricted for … just about everything.

For reliable results, one needs proof of ROI (return on investment). The problem is, to some extent, that the practices of marketing and PR deal with so-called “soft” measurables — built over time, from a combination of repetition and message consistency.

As a result, when the lack of measurable returns derived from classic tactics combines with steeply rising costs of delivering the message via traditional means, a new breed of SMART is definitely needed — or at least, a new business model — to promote business in challenging economical conditions.


What are the avenues one can take and what are the tools one could use? Certainly a good pointer is the success of the recent Obama campaign. One word comes to mind: CONNECTIVITY. Connectivity is a type of viral information dissemination where the recipient gets involved in enhancing the story path. This, in itself, keeps the news fresh, but best of all it ensures it is READ/VIEWED. Social media is probably the richest, yet least tapped source of connectivity.

The one thing we all have in common is a product or a program to sell or to promote. The unshakable certainty of classic print and TV mediums as the means to reach markets is definitely questionable. The way in which audiences are sourcing content is reinventing journalism. SOCIAL MEDIA is becoming the new playing field. Revamping websites for tens of thousands of dollars, budgeting a mass-media brochure distribution or orchestrating a PR strategy that does not prioritize Web connectivity may be decisions that require serious reconsideration.

Check out part 2 of this series
Check out part 3 of this series
Check out part 4 of this series


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