This week we cover a grab bag of stories dealing with B2B marketing, some good and some bad. First, we mention David’s recent accolade for being one of the Best IT Blogs 2017: Must-Read Resources for CIOs, IT & Security Pros, coming in at #12. His ten-year -old but still vibrant blog can be found here.
Next, we talk about why Medium.com failed to deliver revenue, blaming this failure on its advertising model. The story ran in Bloomberg after the company had a significant recent layoff. Paul thinks that they didn’t really deliver much in the way of brand building, David thinks the site was too easy to use and thus hard to distinguish different voices and online properties as a result.
Next, Washington Post homepage editor Doris Truong was caught up in her own private PizzaGate fake news saga. Trolls on the Internet spread a terrible case of mistaken identity that was exacerbated by the speed at which false information spreads on social media. It all started with a Tweet that said: “Who is this woman and why is she secretly snapping photos of Rex Tillerson’s notes?” Turns out she wasn’t the person in the photo, and most of the shaming campaign happened while she was sleeping. A major factor was Sarah Palin’s reproachful retweet. Sadly, this is probably going to be a more frequent occurrence.
Our next piece goes into detail on understanding the kind of PR program you’re really looking for and how you need to set your expectations accordingly. The article mention five kinds of startup PR programs – the Project, the Test, the Taskmaster, the Partner and the Leader. More importantly, each type of program carries a relative success/failure. For companies that have never engaged a PR firm, this could be good advice — if they understand the metrics and outcomes of each program.
Next, we cover this interesting story about building a brand, the Chinese way. Networking and communications giant Huawei (annual revenue of US$60 billion and the #3 smartphone vendor) paid a few dozen influencers to attend their September trade show in Shanghai and promote to their social media connections. They were also given full creative freedom to share their experiences however they wished. The company ended up getting 16,900 total engagements: 7.2k on Twitter, 6.4k on Instagram, 3.6k on Facebook for a total reach of 4.5 million people. This exposure was something the company would have spent about $129,000, quite a nice ROI. Their VP’s advice was to get started with a well-identified pool of influencers and invest the time and efforts on developing relationships with them, something we mention frequently in this podcast.
Finally, if anything goes wrong at tomorrow’s Presidential inauguration, it won’t be the first time. NPR had a delightful recap of inaugurations past this week, highlighting screw-ups and absurdities. Andrew Johnson gave his inauguration speech while drunk. Andrew Jackson threw open the doors of the White House for a big party and invited everyone. They’re still cleaning those stains from 1829 out of the carpets.