Logo Twitter accounts are fine if they meet your audience’s needs

At a recent conference, I heard a highly-respected (and respectable) PR professional argue that Twitter accounts should always—always—be a real person with a real-person avatar. Logo accounts, he said, shold be avoided.

It’s not the first time I’ve heard this argument. In Shel Israel‘s book, “Twitterville,” Department of Defense consultant Mark Drapeau is quoted (from a Mashable.com post) saying, “Twitter is about people sharing information with other people. So how do one-dimensional organizational brands fit into the mix? When you think about it, they don’t.” Drapeau concluded: “Ban them altogether.”

Drapeau told Israel that real… Read More »

The complete Marketplace interview

On Wednesday, I was interviewed by Stacey Vanek-Smith, one of the correspondents for American Public Broadcasting’s “Marketplace.” The story covered the Downy fabric softener campaign to promote the product’s sleep-supporting qualities and, in particular, the social media dimensions of comedian Mike Birbiglio’s week of living in a New York Macy’s store window.

(My coverage of the Downy/Macy’s stunt is here; the comments are particularly interesting.)

My contribution to the story wound up being very brief, just one sound bite, but the actual interview ran nearly 17 minutes. With Vanek-Smith’s permission, I’m posting the audio of the… Read More »

Comic’s week in a window display: How short-term social campaigns can pay off

Earlier today, I gave an interview to American Public Broadcasting’s business show, Marketplace, about the role of social media in marketing campaigns. (The transcript and episode are here.) The story (which I believe is running tomorrow) was prompted by reports that fabric softener Downy was launching an interactive campaign featuring comedian Mike Birbiglio.

There’s nothing particularly new about the stunt that underlies the campaign. Starting today, Birbiglio is spending a week living in a Macy’s window display in New York sleeping on sheets washed in Downy. Birbiglio has incorporated his sleepwalking problem into his standup… Read More »

Eight ways to improve employee brand literacy

Shel HoltzCountless articles and blog posts have been written listing ways to encourage employees to become brand ambassadors. A lot of companies already engage in many of these practices, but that doesn’t stop most employees from ranking among the company’s detractors. As I reported earlier this week, a Forrester study found the Net Promoter Score among information workers is a disheartening -23%.

The problem is that the brand ambassador efforts most companies have in place are designed for those employees who are already inclined to recommend their employers’ products or services to friends or family. Detractors aren’t likely to take advantage… Read More »

Lessons from The Gap logo debacle

UPDATE, 10/12/10: While The Gap has announced that it will scrap the new logo in the wake of online criticism, a survey of Gap customers revealed that 17% even knew the company had posted a new logo. For details, take a look at the eConsultancy post that raises the same question I did: Is the online reaction to a design change really representative of your audience?

People don’t like change, or so the old saying goes.

In general, I disagree. People love change. They buy new cars, new clothes, new houses. They try new hair styles, grow mosutaches or beards, get better jobs, want their teams to play in new stadiums. What people don’t… Read More »

Apple-free: Step 1

Shel HoltzI have made the decision to go completely Apple-free.

This is a personal decision. I have no intention of trying to start a movement or get others to join me. Personally, though, I have enough problems with Apple and the way it conducts business that I’ve concluded that I simply don’t have to support these practices with a nickel of my money, nor do I need to show tacit support when I’m seen using an Apple product.

It shouldn’t be that difficult. I stopped using Apple computers a couple years ago after the hard drive failed in my PowerBook Pro. With only a couple days before I had to leave on a business trip, Apple refused to replace… Read More »

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