Friday, June 13, 2008

Advertising is Dead New Social Media Has Arrived

Anchor Tami Di Vine interviews George McQuade on Crown City News
Airtimes: Live! 6:00 PM Ch. 56-PCAC-Pasadena Mondays replays 6:00 AM Ch. 56 PCAC
WED: Replays 6:30 PM Charter Cable Ch. 3 - SGV Replays: 2:30 AM Ch. 56 -PCAC -Pa

Consumer Technology Is Killing Advertising But Boosting Public relations

By George S. Mc Quade III, vice president, MAYO Communications

Advertising is dead, however public relations and integrated marketing communications and social Internet marketing are on the rise.

So with that scary thought how do publicists and public relations pros reach government, commercial and entertainment business media?

Social media, networks and blogs have created new platforms and in some cases are much larger distribution channels that are even larger than some newspaper circulations. A bulletin on any of the popular site could reach hundreds of thousands of members of a group looking for that kind of news or announcement about a product, an event or company.

The most surprising self campaign online recently was reported on Fox TV News. A Home Depot employee sang the classic rock group Boston’s “More than a feeling,” and posted it on Google’s site. The lead singer of Boston died, and the Home Depot guy created such a buzz Boston invited him in for an audition. They love him, hired him as the lead singer replacement, and now he’s on tour. It was Internet fame, but public relations at its finest. The Internet and social music sites have also allowed musicians and their fans to obtain and expose music online. CBS Radio Digital Network was recently launched in New York and at Universal Studios, where a free CBS player will allow you to get your news or music streaming online anywhere in America.

The only drawbacks in using social media sites or blogs is you have to have a thick skin. Not every likes your subjects, campaigns, ideas and products. My personal best advice about unknown blogs with not a lot of traffic is not to respond to anything negative, because you just fuel the fire and repost the same irresponsible blog that attacks this industry. Some people publish, but later apologize when they are wrong. Years ago journalists were taught, and most writers were required to obtain three sources before running with a story of criminal allegations or damaging details. Unfortunately, times have changed.

MAYO Communications, a green company, was instrumental in a media campaign that led to the successful passage of California Proposition “B”, a $20 billion dollar voter’s initiative to clean up the air, improve the highway system and relieve congestion at the ports. The social buzz about everything going green started in California so the timing was perfect. Another social campaign involved the emotional word of “Wal-Mart,” which an independent study by Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation found that the world’s larger retailer contributed more to the economy than it took away. It also help to have the social issues of a grocery strike, because Wal-mart was getting into the grocery biz, saving each California family $500 a year in grocery bills the study said.

The positive news overshadowed the social negative news Online utilizing the RSS and social blog sites. Often, you can turn a negative into a positive, if you capitalize on integrated marketing and public relations. Advertising would not work for Wal-Mart, but the public relations does and did work for a campaign highlighting the economic impact of 40 Wal-Mart Superstores coming to California.

“Consumers have finally caught up with technology, and nearly everyone has broadband access to the Internet. A TiVo digital video recorder brings your favorite television shows, movies, music, videos, and more to your TV,” noted Mc Quade. “Newer Televisions allow you to pause the programs during prime time shows, like American Idol, and play them back or skip through commercials an hour later,” he said.

It is a consumer revolution, where people get their news, information on demand, when ever and where ever they want it via RSS ( Really Simple Syndicate) feeds, Widgets, social websites such as MySpace, Facebook, Hi5, BlackPlanet or elsewhere Online. The entertainment and advertising agencies are realizing there are billions of dollars to be had on the Internet. And more corporations, even high tech customers are switching to PR.

George Mc Quade is vice president of MAYO Communications (, a full service marketing communications and PR firm with offices in LA, San Diego, New York and Bern, Switzerland, serving celebrity, corporate, government and nonprofit clients.

Mc Quade is a board member and was the 2006 president of Entertainment Publicists Professional Society (EPPS) LA/NY, and served on the LA chapter of Public Relations Society of America. He founded MAYO Communications in 1995.

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