Southern Californa Professional Magazine Launches 2nd Issue!

Southern California Professional Magazine

Our second issue of Southern California Professional Magazine has just hit the web in both HTML (regular web page) and flash (flippy page) versions! Click here for a link to the HTML version.  Click here for a link to the flash version.

Guest contributors include Sheryl Mazirow of Mazirow Commercial. If you want to know anything about commercial leasing, she’s Southern California’s “go to” expert. Click here to read. Sandy Allen, Technology Director for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) California Chapter, and president of Technology & Operations Solutions, Inc., speaks to the issue of outsourcing. Click here to read.    Davis Blaine of The Mentor Group and Mentor Securities brings his valuation and investment banking experience to the party and discusses maximizing business value. Click here to read.  Bob Green, accounting and financial expert with Singer Lewak, developed our cloud computing article for the issue. Click here to read.  Author (Emergency Public Relations, Crisis Management in a 3.0 World) and PR expert Cindy Rakowitz delivers  tips and techniques for dealing with PR issues in business. Click here to read.And me, well, I wrote a feature on turning young professionals in to new business “machines”. Click here to read.

Hope you all enjoy!

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Listen To Brian Hemsworth Talk Marketing On Stars of PR Radio

Rakowitz-show

Brian Hemsworth, marketing professional and author of this blog will be interviewed by Cindy Rakowitz Thursday on the Stars of PR radio show. They’ll be discussing Southern California Professional Magazine, marketing, and a whole bunch of related topics.

Cindy is the CEO of Blackman Rakowitz Public Relations, and is  a highly respected, award- winning executive with years of experience in crisis management, branding and marketing. Rakowitz contributes as an expert analyst to several news organizations. She is the co-author of the new book Emergency Public Relations, Crisis Management in a 3.0 World and is currently enjoying her speaking tour.

The show is broadcast live at 7:00 am Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica internet radio. Click here for more info: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/971/stars-of-pr.

Why Advertising Has A Brand Problem

I am convinced of it—advertising has a brand problem.

Discussion after discussion, meeting after meeting, experience after experience, it keeps coming back to me: advertising is losing the war.

With big agencies, and big accounts, and big budgets, the word ‘advertising’ is still okay. But in small to mid-sized business, saying ‘advertising’ in conversation makes you sound like you’re completely out of touch with today.

The CEOs, managing partners, and presidents of today’s businesses and organizations don’t like advertising. It’s been drilled into their heads that it doesn’t work, or at least a big part of it doesn’t. That can be argued, but that’s for another blog post.

What can’t be argued (well) is that our terms have changed. Today’s executive is much more interested in ‘marketing’. Now the classic definition puts advertising as one activity under the marketing umbrella, but that’s beside the point. That’s not how corporate America is using the term.

Marketing is now loosely defined as everything to promote your product or service EXCEPT advertising. It’s about social media, personal selling, networking, PR, sales promotion, trade promotion, events, and ‘engagement’. It’s not about advertising.

The C-suite has been misguided, I will give you that. In the push for ‘accountability’ in marketing and advertising expenditures, traditional advertising has been pushed aside by the Internet for its incredible measurements and metrics. With the web, we know who is visiting our sites and opening our emails. When know when the did it, for how long, and where they clicked. And if a purchase action occurred, we can point our finger right to the action and know how, where and why.

Tradition advertising doesn’t offer those luxuries. It’s much harder to track—not impossible, but harder. CEOs want numbers…or better put, CFOs are pushing CEOs to want numbers.

Here’s the catch: just because its harder to measure doesn’t mean it isn’t working.

To add to the challenges of advertising accountability, we now have to worry about the perception of the whole concept.

Since the economic downturn of 2008, my students at Pepperdine University have learned that it is far easier to get ‘marketing’ jobs than ‘advertising’ jobs. And that, my friends, is a classic brand problem.

Advertising and branding luminaries Stuart and Bob Sanders years ago drilled into my head that branding problems are not always (or even often) from real circumstances. They are from perceptions. And the good news is those perceptions can be altered.

So I challenge you marketing folk to watch your use of the terms of this profession, and measure the results on the faces of your clients. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself talking more about ‘integrated marketing’ efforts, and less about ‘advertising campaigns.’

New Social Network for Live Events

Crowdseye screen grab

Hey everyone, here’s a cool new social media platform that focuses on live events. It’s in beta right now, but you can be one of the testers. It’s free, just go to Crowdseye.com and sign in.

They just had a really successful test at SXSW, and are planning on the big launch for Coachella. When you post pics, video or comments, you’re entered into Crowdseye.com challenges, and you can win stuff.

Check it out, and let me know what you think.

Lessons From The Netflix Debacle

Forbes screen clip

Here’s a great read on just how Netflex screwed the pooch and 5 lessons learned from the mess. In an internet world using social media, marketing successes AND failures can happen lightning fast.

Interested in the specifics? Read it online at Forbeshttp://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2011/12/28/5-business-lessons-from-the-netflix-pricing-debacle/.

Where Do People Look At On Facebook?

Facebook heat map

What you put, and where you put it matters!

Mashable recently reported on this. EyeTrackShop.com, a recent startup doing eye tracking studies for advertisers, looked at how we look at social media. They actually tracked the eyes of people looking at social media pages such as Facebook.

The results? You picture matters. Your title matters. Who you know matters. The rest?  Not so much.

Another interesting finding was the typical eye pattern. For decades we have used the “Z” pattern to design print materials. Typically eyes start at the upper left, track across the page to the right, then down and left, and exit the page on the lower right, creating a “Z” pattern. Not so on social media. Eyes typically start in the upper left/center zone, what I might call the “news feed” or “status” zone, then do a clockwise spiral up, top, around to the right, then down and back to the left.

Wonder if Zuckerberg hired these guys when Facebook did their recent redesign?

Introducing Southern California Professional Magazine

Southern California Professional Magazine

Southern California Professional Magazine

Want to mention to all of you Southern California Professional Magazine. It’s a very new concept in online publishing. The magazine is publishing in two formats: static and flash. The static version looks like a conventional website, while the flash one looks like a printed magazine.

The first issue features articles from thought leaders including franchise attorney Barry Kurtz, author and sales consultant Alyse hart, business broker Matt Coletta, employment attorney Karen Gabler, iCare4Macs president David Joyce, and, well, me.

The magazine will be promoted with marketing activities including press releases, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, social marketing, and even an upcoming radio show appearance.

Care to see it? Visit www.socalprofessional.com to see. To view the flash version, click on the thumbnail cover in the upper right hand corner of the home page by the word “expand”. You can also access the flash version at http://issuu.com/socalprofessional/docs/socalpro.sellingbiz.wnter2012/3

Let me know what you think!