A blog about new media and it’s role in IMC.

Should foodies use Twitter?

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The other day, I read a story by Shaya Tayfee Mohajer about food companies using Twitter. I meant to blog about it but forgot. Anyway, here’s a link to the full article.

According to Mohajer, Korean-style taco trucks in Los Angeles are using twitter to alert customers to their location and specials.

Mohajer writes,

Kogi’s food is cheap and unique, but there’s another payoff to securing this moving meal: the thrill of the chase.Since Kogi’s launch in November, hungry herds of have been following the pair of white trucks that rove the city selling tacos, burritos and other gourmet tidbits steeped in traditional Korean flavors.

Kate Krader, restaurant editor for Food & Wine magazine, says she thinks the use of Twitter will pick up in the restaurant world.

Is it a good thing? Maybe. But Twitter should be only part of the package. How will people KNOW a restaurant or truck or cart is tweeting? Will it be advertised? How will these businesses raise awareness? And if Twitter just proves to be a fad, what other communication techniques could be used?

Written by fsk50a

May 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Posted in New Media

Google burps, and the dominos fall

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The power of Google was never so clear as this week, when a server in Asia overloaded. According to Craig Labovitz of Arbor Networks, Google’s content represents 5% of ALL INTERNET traffic. Thus, a burp for Google is more like a growing roar.

We learned in my New Media class this week that Google makes money from paid placement and paid inclusion. But plenty of Web sites make money using Google as well. Thus, when traffic slows or is interrupted, the ability to measure hits and collect revenue is lost.

Larry Magid, over at CNet, wonders if Google has become, like many banks, “too big to fail.”

While it’s not in jeopardy of any financial collapse, this latest outage reminds us that it’s not invulnerable to being taken down by technical glitches or possibly even sabotage.

Google, Magid goes on to say, said the outage affected 14 percent of its customers alone, which translates into millions of people.

I’m not sure how much money was lost during this period, but I’m sure it was substantial. A longer lasting or more widespread outage, which is hardly out of the question, could have a severe economic impact.

Nielson Online recently found that more than 60% of all Web users use Google for search. I concur with Magid: Google has become an economic force that is becoming ever more integrated in the way we do business.

What does this mean for marketing? Not only do we need to make sure Google is part of our communications strategy, we must also provide diversify our new media strategy so it is not dependent on one technology or service alone. As companies whose entire sites depend on Google discovered, one small glitch in Asia can have a huge effect on their business.

Written by fsk50a

May 17, 2009 at 2:19 am

Follow up to Mizzou’s iSnafu

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So apparently A LOT of students are complaining about the new iPhone/iPod touch requirement that I blogged about here.

Today I got an email from a girl named Erica, who is affiliated with the Missouri student government group. She’s asking students, faculty and alumni to share their thoughts. You can see her blog entry here

I typed off my thoughts and sent them away. Here’s hoping that the J-school rethinks its plans.

Written by fsk50a

May 14, 2009 at 2:21 am

Oprah and the Colonel

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Talk about buzz!

Last week, Oprah Winfrey decided to announce on her show that anyone could go online to her Web site and download a coupon for the KFC 2 piece Grilled Chicken meal.

Well, when Oprah speaks, the people listen. Have you not seen what the woman has done with her book club and favorite things?

The news spread quickly on blogs and on Twitter. The demand was ENORMOUS. So enormous that KFC ran out of the food in many places. Now, people who download the coupon and present it at KFC are being promised a “rain check” coupon to be used later.


Needless to say, the whole thing has turned into a PR nightmare for KFC. Rumors swept the nation saying riots had ensued at several KFC locations when the eateries ran out. The rumor was not true, but needless to say, it had an effect. According to Advertising Age,:

The snafu wasn’t a good sign for a brand setting itself once again to the daunting task of convincing consumers that it’s more than a fried-chicken joint.

“The combination of free food and Oprah is a tsunami,” said crisis expert Robbie Vorhaus. “Clearly KFC wasn’t ready.” He added to the adage that while one good customer can earn you another and one bad customer can lose you 10, one crisis of this nature can lose you 100 customers for every one turned away

‘Nuff said. Next time Oprah and the Colonel team up, maybe they should plan the battle a bit better so they don’t lose the war.

Written by fsk50a

May 14, 2009 at 2:00 am

Web pages that suck

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So this week in class we’re discussing Web site design. Yay! Design! I love design!

One key lesson: don’t clutter your Web site. Make it clean, easy to navigate, and hone in on your company’s key messages.

I decided to google “ugly web sites” to find some of the worst business Web sites out there. I happily came upon this little gem, Web Pages That Suck. The site daily features uncomely homepages and even ranks the worst of the past year.

Among their favorites for 2008, and my impressions:

Fabricland. Wow! Animated gifs! Haven’t seen those since 1997!
Yvette’s Bridal Formal. What a nightmare. I’m going to see colored blocks in my dreams.
Cheap student removal company.Aside from having a creepy name, this site is navigation hell. Too many words. Too many colors. Rainbow Brite threw up on my computer!

Why are so many of these sites in Britain? Have they not gotten the memo on good Web site design?

Do you have any favorite ugly sites?

Written by fsk50a

May 7, 2009 at 2:20 am

Posted in New Media

Does marketing have a place on the Kindle?

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So the big news today was the release of Amazon’s new Kindle reader. The Kindle DX. According to Business Week,

It features a 9.7-inch screen designed to make it easier to read electronic versions of newspapers, magazines, and educational textbooks.

But what about advertising? Business Week says, “the advertising industry speculated that it might contain space for digitized marketing messages…No mention of advertisers was made at the product’s launch.”

So how can advertisers tend to the Kindle, pardon the pun? Should they look at embedding ads into content, a la Google click ads? What are your thoughts?

Written by fsk50a

May 7, 2009 at 1:59 am

Should the iPhone be required at school?

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I found out today that the journalism school at my alma mater, the University of Missouri, is now requiring incoming freshmen to buy an iPhone or iPod Touch.

What’s the primary reason given? From “The Maneater,”a student paper unaffiliated with the j-school:

Some lectures, such as those for the Career Explorations in Journalism class, will be recorded. Students will then be able to download the recorded lectures to their iPods or iPhones.

Let’s play Really with Seth and Amy….
Really Mizzou? Really, you’re going to tell journalists to use their financial aid to avoid going to class? Really, you are going to require students to ONLY buy an Apple product? Doesn’t this present a really big conflict of interest when these students go to report on Apple, when the school is clearly schilling for the company?

For the past two years, the journalism school has strongly suggested students purchase a MacBook or MacBook Pro computer. Students who do not have Apple computers can still take all the same courses, but (associate dean for undergraduate studies at the journalism school Brian) Brooks believes the journalism school has had great success with all students having the same computer. He said he hopes the iPod touch or iPhone requirement will have similar results.

Convergence journalism instructor Mike McKean also weighed in.

McKean said journalism students have to be taught how to use mobile communication, and the number of applications available on the iPod makes it ideal for students…”TigerTech tells us that 85 percent of music players on campus are iPods,” Brooks said.

Well, really…? For Apple, this seems like a PR DREAM! Mizzou has become a “preferred provider” meaning it strongly encourages students to buy Apple products. Yeah, “PC” is barely mentioned. According to the Journalism school’s own “computer requirement” page, “Last year, 99.5 percent of incoming students chose the Apple option.” Wow! When you strongly discourage choice, look what happens!

What do you think? Should Mizzou let students choose which company they get their technology from?


Written by fsk50a

May 6, 2009 at 2:21 am


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Last week in my IMC class we discussed marketing short films. I decided to type ‘marketing short films’ into YouTube to see what would come up.

I discovered that Ad Age has its own YouTube channel and it presents 3-minute videos on what’s going on in the advertising industry. The video back on August 21 mentioned how insurer Liberty Mutual has gone into the short film business. You may be familiar with its “responsibility” ads. These ads feature random acts of kindness.

Liberty Mutual has launched a Web site called the “Responsibility Project,” where films explore “what it means to do the right thing.” The site features a number of videos from a host of contributors. A blog discusses issues in the news regarding responsibility, such as Octomom Nadya Suleman. Readers can also submit “personal stories of responsibility.”

Does this site help Liberty Mutual with its marketing? I think it does. It definitely cements its association with taking responsibility and its slogan, “Responsibility. What’s your Policy?” I do wish Liberty Mutual did more to market this site, however. I hadn’t heard about it before I went to YouTube. Perhaps the company could feature it at the end of its TV ads.

Liberty Mutual’s commercials are featured prominently on its homepage and you can watch an archive of past commercials here. That’s where you can find a link to the Responsibility Project.

Written by fsk50a

May 3, 2009 at 10:01 pm

The Feds, the pigs and social media

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Today my husband and I picked up a Washington Post as we left D.C. (we were visiting family in the area all last week). On the front page of the Style section, no less, is a story about how the U.S. government has been communicating to the public about the swine flu outbreak.

Not surprisingly, in the age of Obama, the government has taken to online media to spread its message. The CDC, the Post reports, is using a Twitter feed at CDC Emergency. The head of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and the CDC, meanwhile, held a live question-and-answer “town hall” live on and Viewers could send questions to

The CDC has also set up a YouTube channel called CDC StreamingHealth with videos and information about swine flu. Here’s one of the videos playing there now, about the symptoms:

Do you think the government is doing a good job?

Written by fsk50a

May 1, 2009 at 12:22 am

It’s all about the O

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Poor Washington Nationals. Not only are they the heirs of the Montreal Expos, but they annually, well, suck.

Now a little bit of marketing schadenfreude has hit: in the form of misspelled uniforms. Majestic Athletic of Easton, Maryland, which makes uniforms for Major League Baseball, sent the Nationals jerseys that read: Natinals.

Luckily, Majestic was quick to repair the error. The company apologized and gave the team all new jerseys.

Unfortunately, the Natinels weren’t much better than the Nationals: they still sucked, losing to the Marlins 3-2 in extra innings last Friday.

Written by fsk50a

April 22, 2009 at 10:29 pm