For years, marketers have known that 'sociable, influential early adopters,' or connectors, can drive sales. In California this month, '100 of Silicon Valley's top venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, bloggers and promoters will begin receiving cool new stuff for free. ... These movers and shakers promise to sample the products and offer feedback to their manufacturers. The companies hope that, if the mood strikes, the Silicon Valley 100 will chat up, blog on, or just plain recommend the products to friends and colleagues, generating that most invaluable of currencies:
Message Forum Spam: "Not only is pop star Ashlee Simpson lip syncing and manufactured, but so are some of her fans:
'I just read about Ashlee in us weekly. Those guys at the football game were total jerks.' -- mandyc19
Welcome to the world of message forum viral marketing, 'street team' advertising, and corporate shills. That 'fan' posting in forums about Court TV, The Smoking Gun, or shows on Fox isn't a fan at all -- just another type of spammer -- only this time employed by giant media corporations."
The British government 'is using taxpayers' money to hire a PR agency to extol the virtues of (European Union) membership and explain why the European constitution is a 'success for Britain.'' The London-based firm Geronimo PR received a £40,000 ($US74,900) contract to mount an 'extensive communications campaign,' prior to a public referendum on the constitution, likely in 2006.
Main source:Financial Times, January 19, 2005
(Via PR Watch's Spin of the Day.)
Exposing stealth marketing
A respected management journal recommends lying and cheating as a marketing tactic.
Stealth Marketing: How to Reach Consumers Surreptitiously,' published by The California Management Review from the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley, recommends reaching new customers via deceptive, covert marketing.Authors Andrew M. Kaikati, a consultant with Accenture, and Jack G. Kaikati, Emeritus Professor of Marketing at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.
(Via Church of the Customer.)
Karen Ryan, Meet Mike Morris
For the second time, the Government Accountability Office 'scolded the Bush administration for distributing phony prepackaged news reports,' or video news releases. The VNRs were produced by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, featured former reporter Mike Morris, and were aired, at least in part, on 300 news shows.Main source:
Washington Post, January 7, 2005 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54651-2005Jan6.html(Via PR Watch Other Feed.)
An American Prospect article on Rick Berman of the front group Center for Consumer Freedom notes, 'Berman's strategy turns on a simple rhetorical gimmick: By employing the language of consumer freedom, he protects his client industries by demonizing (and, hopefully, discrediting) their critics.' Berman 'stands out, if only for the sheer, unparalleled audacity with which he's straddled his dual roles as consumer 'advocate' and industry lobbyist.
The American Prospect, January 3, 2005