Archive | March, 2008

allow me introduce you to ms. defroig…

27 Mar
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This is my chosen CSI: NYC Avatar. Her name is Ninna Defroig.

I was so unshocked to discover that tonight’s episode of CSI: NY was built around Second Life. (For the record, I wasn’t really a fan of CSI: NY. I’m partial to CSI: Miami.)

But did you know?

CSI: NY also has a Virtual World, that’s based on New York City. In this world you can play games and puzzles and play detective in this “murderous world.” Oh, and then there’s the “murder a month,” where you can actually become the CSI! You can fly around the city, look for crimes, solve crimes, do tests, and fingerprint your own perp! I mean, who wouldn’t want a chance to deconstruct a crime scene? C’mon, you know you want to…

Ah, virtual worlds…

Art & life virtually meet…is it all just too much?

For information on the experience visit:
http://www.cbs.com/primetime/csi_ny/

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everybody’s going to miami!

22 Mar

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Between March 25 and 29, 2008 – the Winter Music Conference will take place in Miami. If there’s one event that pulls it all together for musicians – it would be this one. This week-long event hosts a series of seminars, exhibits, award shows, networking events, night club showcases, and a must-have event – the DJ spin-off. It strives to bring music industry leaders, artists, participants and the media together in one venue, engaging in conversation.

In discussion are issues affecting the industry such as innovations in technology, online tools, distribution and retail, radio exposure, legal issues, the media, promotion, the labels and much more…

Scheduled to speak is artist and producer Erykah Badu, along with performances by world renowned DJs and live artists such as, Andy Caldwell, Armin Van Buuren, DJ Heather, Fred Everything, Mark Farina, Nick Holder, Quentin Harris…to name a few.

NEW debunkd. SERIES:
To usher in Spring, I’ll be launching a new interview series called, ‘IN SPIN’, that will highlight a few of my favourite Djs & Producers – many of whom will performing at the Winter Music Conference.

For more information visit: http://www.wintermusicconference.com/

Photo: Courtesy of Colin Burwell.

FACEBOOK IN PR – YESTERDAY’S NEWS?

19 Mar

It has definitely been an addictive and somewhat indulgent pastime – with 68 million active users worldwide, 65 billion page views per month, and Canada as the third largest country with 7 million users.

So I found it interesting when told that Facebook was in fact “old news.” So in the spirit of debunking Facebook’s existence in a previous post, I now find myself defending its contribution to the world of PR & Communications.

Has Facebook actually passed its prime? And here I was thinking its momentum had only begun.

Two questions came to mind:

1. What has Facebook actually contributed to the world of PR & Communications?

2. If our beloved Facebook has fallen as the next best trend in the Communications world, where can it go from here?

In trying to discern a more practical and legitimate use for it, I became increasingly curious about the role of Facebook in PR Practices and have chosen three areas to briefly examine.


PUBLIC RELATIONS & MARKETING

In the 9th installment in the “PR-Squared’s Social Media Tactics Series” by Todd Defren of SHIFT Communications, he highlights the use of social media practices including FB, in current and up-to-date PR & Marketing practices.

Defren outlines relevant and useful FB groups recommended to PR pros, highlighting new social media forms, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as forms of social media measurement. Also mentioning mainstream publications with an FB presence, and popular reporters with FB profiles. Defrens says,

“In other words, whether you’re reaching out to bloggers, consumers or mainstream media, Facebook probably should be a consideration.”

He also outlines strategies to using FB and provides a useful slide outline “Facebook Group Rules of Outreach”, which seems intuitive, but still probably requires mentioning.

The series also mentions the use of other forms of social media such as, blogging, twittering, social bookmarking like del.icio.us, RSS feeds and podcasts – used as marketing tactics for highlighting news releases for example. So perhaps alone FB would be less effective, but in combination with other forms of social media – a powerful social media cocktail.


UNVEILING ‘THE CORPORATION’ & EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATIONS

From the post “Putting a Face on Social Networks: Corporate Facebook Pages”, by Dan Greenfield of Bernaise Source, he highlights what the corporate FB page does, and examines the dynamic of that platform.

With the emphasis this type of corporate transparency, Greenfield says,

“Corporate FB pages and social networks serve different audiences and different purposes. They both however are intended to engage customers in a conversation and leverage the power of the network to have users virally spread the word.”

Clearly this exposure explores how ‘the corporation’ has assumed a new sense of responsibility, as well as become more targeted regarding their publics. And it also it bears repeating, corporations have been forced to become more accountable for their actions and forced to both interact and disclose their practices to their public.

Greenfield highlights corporations such as Paramount Pictures, Lush Cosmetics and CBS Sports who use FB to connect with their target audiences. He also highlights success stories of small businesses taking advantage of FB and actively engaging in viral marketing.

His conversations with communicators Blockbuster, Verizon Wireless, Sprite discloses their strategies for success. Greenfield also outlines his own strategies for success using FB, and asks pertinent questions. Again, may be somewhat intuitive – but are very useful and relevant.


THE FUTURE – WHAT’S NEXT?

There could be a thousand conversations about the future of social media, here are a few:

An article published by the editors at Inside CRM shared a series of itemized reasons supporting FB outlining, advertising tips, marketing opportunities, ways businesses can use tools & applications, ways to target your demographic, how-to guides, small business strategies, the dangers of FB and miscellaneous resources.

A word from the creator himself, in an article by Caroline McCarthy of CNET News.com posted on Australia’s ZDNet.com.au, Mark Zuckerberg admits that the way to compete is to keep innovating and says,

“I think that what we’re watching out for is not one specific company, but just how the whole trend goes and what our role is going to be.”


SO…

After absorbing quite a bit of information – I’ve come to the conclusion that FB is not really dying. There is emphasis on other forms of social media, but FB almost always has a presence.

It’s definitely relevant and definitely current, has contributed substantially to the world of PR & Communications, and can be considered a valid part of an intricate web of tools for future communicators – as long as it adapts to the next wave of social media trends. Not “old news” at all!

‘SOULFUL DIVA’ SERIES PT III: CHARLENE SMITH

11 Mar

A RESURGENCE

“…just feel the good times!”


Charlene Smith’s
hit songs Feel The Good Times and Let It Slide topped the MuchMusic charts in the mid 1990’s and her album Feel The Good Times in my opinion – is an unrealized gem. With her signature mellow beats and her unmistakably sultry voice, Smith’s repertoire of songs is sincere and passionate. She went on to release a compilation CD called The Essence of Charlene Smith that was a mix of the first CD’s hits and their remixes, and a third CD entitled Life Is High.

Smith recounts performing at the weekly MuchMusic event Electric Circus with fondness, but describes her deliberate escape from the insanity of the music business as something she needed to do in order to evolve personally. She continues to work on projects independently with passion and dedication and now intends on a planned return.

I asked Smith about obtaining and sustaining balance in this business at this point in time and she describes, “Balance comes so easy now because the industry doesn’t have a hold on me. When you are able to contribute what you can when you can, and it still feels good – you’ve found your balance.”

Planning a new album for a 2009 release, Smith is devoted to every element on her next project and is anticipating its reception.

Click here for a brief interview with Charlene Smith.

Visit Charlene at: www.myspace.com/charlenesmith77

on the corporate conscience: International Women’s Day

6 Mar

This Saturday, March 8, 2008 is International Women’s Day, and it’s inspiring to learn that there are currently 564 International Women’s Day events listed from 50 different countries. From luncheons to conferences, from coffee & cake affairs to large extravagant galas across Canada – there are festivities celebrating this positive movement. Often there are companies/organizations attached to these events – and on the IWD website is very comprehensive list of those actively involved. Under TOP COMPANIES SUPPORTING WOMEN & IWD, they have listed HSBC, Deloitte, and Cisco, as their top global corporate supporters stating:

“They provide strong corporate leadership and social responsibility in actively developing and advancing female talent.”

Also mentioned were the following:

FEATURED ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORTING IWD
IWD Toronto Committee

FEATURED GOVERNMENTS SUPPORTING IWD
The Government of Ontario
The Government of Saskatchewan
The Government of Alberta

FEATURED MEDIA GROUPS COVERING IWD
The Women’s Radio Fund in Vancouver

Outside of this list there are many other bodies making IWD their top priority including Scotia Bank and Yves Rocher – it’s a union that speaks volumes. I have a huge amount of respect for organizations and corporations that can ‘move with the times’ and realize the importance of giving back. That said, the more the public demands this progressive social conscience – the more they will have to comply.

In three years it will be the International Women’s Day Centenary – it’s encouraging to know that some organizations have already started planning special events for that occasion!