Friday, October 31, 2008

New Media and the Presidential Race

With the General Election only four days away, I thought it would be interesting think about how this year's Presidential campaign has changed from year's past.

I remember back in August before Democratic nominee Barack Obamma selected his vice presidential running mate that supposed leaks were text messaged to his list announcing his selection. The announcement came before going public, but it turned out it wasn't true. Once the selection was made, that is how he made it then with the public announcement.

Who would have thought just four short years ago that Presidential candidates could and would use such a new media to get the word out!

Along the same lines, I viewed something today that I thought was pretty humorous. It was the late night talk show circuit discussing the candidates' use of product placement. Here is the link - - It's pretty funny. Also, notice that we must view an ad before being able to watch the video.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Email to Get Their Word Out

Because I am a subscriber to Publishing Executive magazine at work, I receive emails from them from time to time. In the past seven days, I have received two emails advertising their professional development services.

The first one I received was an invitation to register for its virtual Conference and Expo, scheduled for November 13 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The topic is on interactive messaging including text messaging and cell phones and how they are impacting the volume and use of email. Basically, this virtual expo is promoting the use of email as a marketing communication tool. What I find interesting is that they could have snail-mailed me the post card, but seeing the topic is on email use as marketing communications, they are practicing what they plan to preach. And they are saving money as no postage is required and reaching their audience much faster.

Looking at my calendar, I am free and so is the event. I just may join in to see and learn more!

The second email I received was promoting a webinar on how to use your website to increase donations to your organization. As last week’s discussions revealed, websites were the favorite among marketing communication tools and this webinar will tell me how to get the most out of my greatest business asset - my website. While this session has a cost of $65, it seems interesting enough, but I am not available. Guess what! It’s archived for 90 days. While I won’t be able to participate in the live Q&A session, my registration will allow me to view after the event.

These two simple emails were delivered to me in sufficient time for each event. Publishing Executive does make attending their events simple. They are alerting me to events that are relevant to me and my association. I think they are taking a step in the right direction in marketing communications.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Marketing Communications Opens a New Toolbox!

It seems as though marketing communications has taken a digital turn over the past two decades. With the growing popularity and use of the internet and World Wide Web, it seems these are the places consumers go first to receive their first bit of information about a brand’s produce or service. I know I do.

In an article from the Harvard Business Review, author John Deighton pointed out that the term interactive points to two features of communication – the ability to address an individual and the ability to gather and remember the response of that individual. With these two features a third comes into play as the ability to address the individual that takes into account his or her own unique response. (J. Deighton, 2000).

In a recent discussion in IMC 619, we were posed the question of what we thought was the most effective type of new media. Websites was the mentioned the most as the most effective form of the new media. Some of the students claimed it was because that is where we now go to learn more. It’s quick, immediate (well, for the most part) and we can learn more about it than just an ad in a magazine, newspaper or television ad. It’s there at our convenience whenever we want it. And I agree! When purchasing a home theater system, my husband and I did our research. With the different websites, we were able to look at options we wanted with the price we could afford.

Secondly, websites are the foundations for other types of marketing communication tools – podcasts, RSS feeds, etc. We must have websites to make these others work.
That same Harvard Business Review article noted that there is a reasonable chance that interactive media, which includes websites, can transform the way we build brand awareness and communicate to the consumers (J. Deighton, 2000). What I find amazing about this is that this was written 12 years ago. What foresight!

Word of mouth advertising has taken on a new sound, if you will. Social networking sits such as Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, etc. have grown over the past few years. In a recent study by Neilson/NetRating, it was revealed that sites such as these experienced a 47 percent increase in traffic in 2005-2006. MySpace alone noticed a 367 percent increase in the number of visitors (Marketing Leadership Council, January 2008).

The Marketing Leadership Council noted that advertising on social networking sites is expected to increase from $900 million to $2.5 billion from 2007 to 2011. This is all going on while we make new friends and keep up with our old friends.

While I selected blogging as a least effective form of new marketing communication tools, there were a few who disagreed with me and presented valid arguments – afterall, that’s what these discussions are supposed to do – present other and new ideas. Blogs provide more personal insight into a product or service, and provide a new level in customer relations. While blogs are still considered new, they seem to be a new form of communication that is taking off. Through this discussion, I learned more about blogging and can now look at it differently.

Deighton, J. (2000) The Future of Interactive Marketing. Harvard Business Review. P. 151-152.

Marketing Leadership Council (2008). Leveraging Social Networking Sites in Marketing Communications. Retrieved on October 25, 2008, from

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jen's Life and What Not

It's funny what a three month stint of unemployment can bring out in a person. That's what happened to me during the summer of 07. I had worked under a grant and my position was cut. Well, after working since the age of 16, I thought, "You know what? I can take a month off."

So...what to do. Apply to graduate school and find work. I earned my certification to be a substitute teacher and did some teaching. I actually enjoyed it. I was accepted into the IMC Program at WVU. After three months (to the day!) I was hired by the Black Diamond Girl Scout Council as their communications specialist. I really enjoyed that position, but when you have two teenaged mouths and a 95 pound black labrador retreiver to feed, I needed something more.

After two months with the Girl Scouts, I moved on to my current position with a trade association. With this job, I oversee the day to day operations, budgets, their public relations, promotion projects, communications, lobbying and more. It's me and my secretary so I wear a lot of hats. While this is not my dream job, it will do for now as I am always looking.

That's it about my professional life. Now for my personal life. I was born and raised in Charleston, W.Va., graduated from WVU in advertising. I am the youngest of three daughters (God, help my parents!) and I have three nieces and a nephew. I am happily married to John. We will celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary on December 7th. Yes, Pearl Harbor Day...the Day that will go down in INFAMY! He has two children from a previous marriage and I am lucky that the kids and I get along so well. They are both in high school so all good luck fairy dust can be blown my way :). As mentioned earlier, I have a black lab named Josie. I have to say, she is the smartest dog I have ever come across: Here is her pic at the beach this year.
That's it about me.