Sunday morning is the perfect time to sit down with a hot cup of "joe" and reflect on some advertising, marketing, public relations and consumer issues/trends over the past week. So, grab a cup and let's go:
Last week the Des Moines Area Regional Transit (DART Bus) served up a public relations opportunity that the Iowa Atheists & Free Thinkers could only have dreamed for. The group had entered into an agreement with DART to have this sign placed on about 20 city buses. However, once confronted by varying degrees of complaints by "The Church" and "church-folk", DART took the signs down saying they had never been "approved". Right... The resulting flap produced loads of ink, television and radio time for the atheists. Something we think never would have happened...had DART not done a "knee jerk". Of course who can blame them. The city department has been involved in seven pedestrian/buss accidents over the past two years amounting to millions of dollars in potential liability. They need a "Higher Authority". Here is the story from the Des Moines Register.
In a related incident involving religion, the Iowa Democratic Party and the Iowa Republican Party have agreed to hold the 2010 Iowa Caucus on Saturday afternoon...the Jewish day of worship. When contacted both parties gave varying excuses from, "Gosh, we didn't know." to "We asked some Jews and they didn't mind.". That the Iowa political system either didn't know or worse...doesn't care is a mind-bending exercise in stupidity. In an e-mail to our long time Republican friend Alan Scherof Algona, Iowa the executive director of the Iowa Republican Party, Jeffrey Boeyink wrote, "We have always understood that regardless of the date selected, there would be some people that have difficulty participating." This from the party of "Family Values" who toots their horn every time they pass religious conservatives. Now they have turned their back on many of those very religious conservatives... We would expect this from the Democrats (they are "proud to involve more Iowans")...but Republicans? Bet the vaunted Iowa Caucus would never have been held on a Wednesday night...traditional "Church Night" let alone Sunday. The atheists are loving it.
If you are into Social Media our friend The Brand Chef posted a great article about the need to engage your customers by talking vs. telling. If you're not engaged in a conversation...you'll never get to the "sale". Worth a read.
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Princess (Claire Celsi) posted a scathing rebuke of The Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press in their bone-headed pronouncements of Social Media. It's clear both companies don't have a clue...and they have proved it.
And, the saga of Billy Mays continues. Not long ago we wrote about how much we liked this guy and were shocked at his very sudden death. This weekend we were told that cocaine use may have contributed to the heart disease that killed the famous "pitch man". Around here the first words out of some of our staff was, "Oh No!! Say it isn't so! Even Billy?"
This past Friday the guests on our daily business radio show,Insight on Business, included agricultural types that are using social media to listen to their customers, expand their customer network and take new products to market. The fact that they are reaching out using Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and their Blogs and being successful in selling more, noting trends and building relationships is just another bit of proof that even in agriculture social media can work. Pictured with me is Craig Dick, Calcium Products, Brent Pohlman, Midwest Laboratories and Jim Milam, NatraTurf. If you would like to hear the final portion of the show...here you go!
Thanks for spending some time with us this morning! You can keep up with us on Twitter @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV and our advertising agency is www.InsightCubed.com.