Is Social Media A Fad?

•March 27, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Interesting piece on Media Bistro’s 10,000 words blog about social media and if it’s a fad or not.

Our answer? Maybe, but probably not. There’s been a lot of discussion lately about employers asking potential new hires to hand over their social media logins (for the record, we don’t do that) or poke around their public social media profiles (yes, we do that), so some students supposedly are deleting their profiles rather than being asked to explain what’s on their profile or be penalized for it.

Social media is as permanent as… well, it will be here for a while. Regardless of if it’s in the form of Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or something else, social media will be around for a long time. Think of it this way… fewer people in the US send personal letters now than they did five years ago (we don’t need to cite a source there, we’re pretty sure that’s an accurate statement). At the end of the day though, writing letters to one another is a form of communication. People have NOT stopped communicating… they may do so in different ways, email, Facebook posts, etc., and the communication may be shorter in format, but they’re still communicating.

When it comes to your marketing and PR programs, you need to stay on top of what’s new and next when it seems relevant to your needs, but more importantly, you simply need to stay on top of your marketing.


So You Want Your Video To Go Viral?

•March 8, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It’s really not that hard.

More than a few friends posted a link to the Dollar Shave Club on Facebook and we honestly kept waiting for it to be for something else. Like the LuLu Lemon Sh*t Yogi’s Say video…we kept thinking this would be Gillette poking fun at itself or talking about how $1 blades just aren’t good. Well, we was wrong.

Dollar Shave Club sells razor blades at a discount. Any good? I have no idea, when we wrote this blog post, their site was down so we won’t be ordering them today (and we usually get our razors at CostCo). But 600,000+ views and some major press tells us that a few people are at least interested.

Compared to the Old Spice videos (also great), the production costs on this one is relatively meager, but you don’t need a huge budget to get great results. In this case, creative thinking, humor (always a big plus with content you want to spread virally) and a little edge (no pun intended) is all it took.

Why are we writing about this? Well, often we’re asked about social media and how to take campaigns viral. It’s not difficult, but it’s far from an exact science. It takes some risk and similar with PR (or advertising for that matter), the realization that you may not see any return.

Good job Dollar Shave guys. Here’s the video for those that haven’t seen it.


Simple Steps To Public Relations From A Journalist

•April 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Why do some PR people continue to blast out their releases to everyone in their network? Do ad agencies do that with their creative? Maybe they do and we’re just not on those SPAM lists.

Anyway, we received another “press release” from a brand today. Why, we’re not sure. We’re not a media outlet. In fact, the release was from a competitor of one of our clients! Thanks for the heads up on what you’re doing ;-).

We fully realize why brands keep PR in house. Sometimes it’s budget, often it’s because a company doesn’t see the value of a dedicated team (in house our outside help) and believes it’s ‘easy’, since the hard costs in terms of tools include a word processing program, email and phone, along with the ability to write.

And sometimes, those mass-blast emails do bring results. Great results? Not really, but they do bring results for little investment.

Regardless, PR is not easy. You may be able to get a few hits by leveraging your network or the simple mass-blast. Heck, because of the great work we did for some clients, we know journalists continue to go back to those brands for news on their own, regardless of if we’re working with them any longer. That says a lot.

But to really put together a great, results driven, strategic campaign takes some work. Megan Michelson, someone we’ve worked with more than a few times in the outdoor landscape (in addition to being an all around nice person too), made a Tumblr post a while back offering some tips for PR people. Here are some highlights and our thoughts from Megan’s post:

Totally agree. Story pitching in PR is a little like dating. No response often means not interested.

Mental note: mass PR blasts do not = exclusives. Sometimes you don’t have the luxury of doing an exclusive, but when you do, it can help really get that top tier coverage.

Keep it personal. It may take longer to do this than the mass-blast BCC email, but a little extra effort can go a long way.

Look at the magazine/website/tv show before that email goes out or you grab the phone. You wouldn’t buy a boat trailer to haul your dirt bike… make sure the media you’re sending info to is the appropriate media for your brand!

Some of our favorite portfolio pieces involve the people behind the brands. Those sort of stories take real effort, but they’re worth it (and many times, our friends in the media, like Megan alludes to, enjoy working on them as well).

While the team at BBPR, or the newly launched, website in progress, Remedy Communications ( is good, we’ll acknowledge that we make mistakes too and sometimes don’t follow all of the rules Megan has put out there. Sometimes we don’t have a choice, sometimes… well, stuff happens. But regardless, this is solid, strong advice for anyone who is taking on a PR role.

So, if you can, take the advice of  a journalist on the other side who has had a few stories published and listen to what she’s asking for. Or just send out the mass blasts and be happy with the coverage you get. That works to some degree too.

Branding, TED and Online Video

•April 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

No comments here, except to say that if you’re interested in marketing (or a marketer yourself) this is worth watching.  Not saying you should or should not take the advice to heart, just saying you should watch it. The reactions, from the crowd to those being interviewed, give good cross section of marketers and response.

Charlie Sheen And Social Media

•March 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Charlie Sheen is hot in the news right now.  And we’re not going to comment on his situation besides to say we hope things turn out for the best for all involved.

That being said, there is a marketing lesson to be learned here, social media to be specific, and it involves Charlie’s “Two and a Half Men” co-star, Jon Cryer.

Regardless of if you’re a consumer brand or simply have some level of celebrity, it’s important to squat your profile on the major (and minor actually) social networks.  This also means, that if you’re more famous than the average person, say a pro skateboarder or locally known chef, you should start a Fan page on Facebook so people who aren’t your “friends” can still interact with you and you don’t have to worry about them peering into your deepest secrets or offending them by not accepting them into your friendship circle.

We’re not saying that you have to (or should) be active.  We have a Facebook page that’s inactive (for various reasons we’ll discuss later), but it’s ours.  And having it helps keep confusion as to if it’s this agency or another with a similar name to a minimum.  Even if you’re not active on Facebook or don’t want to be active in social media at all, it’s better to squat and leave a “we’re not here” message than let someone else become the official face of your brand/personality.

If John Cryer had setup a Twitter account, his PR person probably wouldn’t have had to issue a statement.

It May Be Time to Rethink Your Social Media Program

•February 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment

BBPR Facebook Fan Page Upgrade San Diego social media PR

Facebook has a lot of power over people right now.  Internally, we’ve been mulling this around for quite some time… “What if Facebook were to start charging brands for Fan pages?”

Well, right now they’re not.  But they could.  It is their network.  But that’s not the hot social media topic right this second.

The big issue with Facebook this week is the upgrade and redesign of how you can interact via Fan pages.

There are a lot of pros to this, namely the ability to interact outside of your page, as your page.  We’ve been using workarounds for this sort of functionality for a while now, some of which we’re going to keep in place because they’re better, but overall this new interaction is a nice feature.  Being able to see who adds your page and when is a cool bit of information to know.

What don’t we like?

First, this new functionality also allows brands to spam other brands.  Are they?  Not on our clients’ pages, but we suspect for some bigger brands, this could happen in the very near future.  The major thing we’re seeing out in the Interweb is that a lot of brand managers are disappointed in how posts by Fans are coming through.  Instead of coming up in chronological order, you get the below:

BBPR Facebook Social Media Fan Page

As of right now (February 15, 2011), Facebook hasn’t announced plans to change how posts are shown.  And they may never do so.  This may change the way we interact with people on our Fan pages or perhaps, make social media a little less social.

Similar to how we’re hesitant to use the word “social media expert” , despite the certificates we’ve received and previous work we’ve done, we’re also hesitant to say if these changes will be for better or for worse.  Your best option is to play around and see what works for your brand.  Experiment.  Social media isn’t truly “free”, but if you have a little time to spare, it is worth experimenting with to see what works for your brand now and ways you can adapt to the landscape in the future.

Twitter, Celebrities & Aids

•December 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

First, Keep a Child Alive very much seems like a great charity and this is not a slag on it or its mission.  This is a post about the power – and sometimes over importance – of social media, Twitter in this case, and our reliance on celebrity influencers.

It’s not rare that brands purchase the start power of athletes and celebrities for marketing campaigns.  We see it in action sports, we see it in CPG, we see it in advertising for car dealerships.  But is it worth it?  That’s hard to say.

Not too long ago a host of celebs, including Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Usher, agreed to give up Tweeting until fans donated $1 million to Keep A Child Alive. While they didn’t fail, their success did not come as quickly as some thought it would.

Twitter Lady Gaga Celebrities social media BBPR san diego

(sorry for the lousy pic – you can see the image here)

It turns out that one person donated the majority of the funds, which is great for the charity and the children involved.

But what does that say about celebrities, social media and their influence?  Is Twitter just not as important to these celeb’s fans as we thought?  Maybe these celebs are simply too annoying on Twitter, and even though they’re being “followed”, they’re not really following them?

Or maybe the fans aren’t all that altruistic? It’d be interesting to somehow do a comparison and see if a $10 donation meant you’d receive a signed picture from Lady Gaga, versus helping kids survive in Africa.

Again, it’s great the $1 million was raised, regardless of how. But in this seemingly ROI driven world, think twice before you base your decisions on raw numbers… regardless of if those numbers are based on the amount of Twitter followers a person has, their Google page rank or the circulation of a magazine. More doesn’t always mean better.