Why MotrinMoms matters

Since the whirlwind of activity that resulted in McNeil Laboratories pulling a Motrin ad campaign and issuing an apology, a chorus of naysaying has emerged that downplays the significance of the events. Some of these opinions make good points while others are just downright silly. Ultimately, though, what occurred between the brand and the mommy bloggers who launched the offensive against it is significant.

Shel Holtz

The arguments against it fall into four camps:

The mommy bloggers who were offended were dopes who are unable to laugh at themselves.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t get why some people were offended. Other people probably don’t… Read More »

Speakers & Speeches: Employees Are the Brand - April 23, 2008

Content summary: Shel Holtz presents a breakout session on the blurring lines between internal and external communications at the Society for New Communications Research New Communications Forum in Santa Rosa, California, on April 23, 2008. The session delves into internal communications practices that prepare employees to represent the company in their social media activities.

download For Immediate Release podcast

Download the file here (MP3, 29.2Mb, 1:04). Subscribe to the Speakers & Speeches RSS feed to get these and future podcasts automatically. For automatic synchronization with your iPod or other digital player, you’ll also need a podcatcher such as the free Juice… Read More »

Your Blog: the latest from Dell

Dell, the poster child for a big company embracing social media, has launched a new blog. Dell’s chief blogger, Lionel Menchaca, announced “Your Blog” on Direct2Dell, the customer service-focused blog launched during some of the company’s darkest days.

“YourBlog” will focus on the uses to which people put their computers. Lionel thinks of it as “a little bit Community + Lifehacker + ReadWriteWeb + Gamespy.” Dell employees will contribute to the blog, which features an idea submission field: The blog will steer toward topics about which people want to read.

So far, only an inaugural post with two paltry comments appears on the blog.… Read More »

Blame the law, not the lawyers

Getting a degree in journalism back in the mid-1970s, when I got mine, required a class in journalism law. I suspect this is still true, but I wonder if a parallel class is required for students in PR, marketing, and communications majors. Based on the speed with which people working in these disciplines jump on lawyers, I would guess not.

I was as amazed as everybody else when I read that Hasbro (representing US distribution) and Mattel (which owns international rights) issued a cease-and-desist to the group behind Scrabulous, a Facebook app that emulates the board game, Scrabble. (I’m one of the more than 600,000 people who use the… Read More »

Social media as customer service

I received an invitation a few weeks back to write a post for Brandweek, and was delighted to take Senior Online Editor Rory Thompson up on the offer. Of course, I don’t work in marketing—never have—so it took some thought to come up with a theme that addressed branding. I settled on the impact bad customer service has on a brand and how social media provide companies with a means of improving customer service that involves the entire employee base. I talk about the notion of customer service reporting to one of the company’s communication functions where it can be treated as the first line of public relations. Taken together, these… Read More »

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