Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Satire once again is more real that reality – Tobacco Industry

Friday, December 28th, 2007

As a Christmas treat I bought Thank you for Smoking:

And then I read this on the tobacco industry going all social-networky and deliciously evil too. They’re making videos of celebrities talking about why smoking is great and building a social network so employees all around the world can exchange ideas on how to market cigarettes.

The first video shows a series of photos of celebrity smokers before posing a blunt question: “And your thoughts on the smoking ban?” A young woman with wispy blond hair gazes back solemnly toward the camera: “It’s brilliant because people will stop smoking as a habit.”

Seconds later, she appears again. “If you smoke,” she adds with a faint smile, pressing a cigarette to her lips, “it’s for pleasure.”

Le Lab, an internal Web site at Altadis, is meant to be part social networking site, part data resource, part virtual pep rally. The intended audience for the site — which started in the fall — is several hundred Altadis brand managers who could use a little inspiration as cafes and restaurants around the world continue to push users of the company’s products out the door.

“The cigarette market is very difficult to work with all the legal restrictions, and we have very few tools to communicate with our brands,” said Karine Boure, the marketing manager for Altadis. “One objective of our project was to bring more insight to our marketing team so that they could be more effective, and we saw the lab as a way to pick up more ideas. That’s why it’s important to find innovative ways of working.”

Read the full article.

The “Dear L drivers, shut the fuck up and take the damned test” Facebook group now has 613 members

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

The Learner Driver’s Facebook group I set up now has 613 members. Let’s see can we get it to 1000.

Blog Awards 2008 – Sponsorship details

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

I’ve put a post up over on the Awards website about the Blog Awards sponsorship slots. €300 to sponsor a category this year. Last year’s sponsors pay the same price of €270 if they want to go again. Headline sponsor for the Best Blog post pays a lot more. Top award of night and all that. You can also sponsor the podcast and a few other things and as I mentioned before I’m looking for merchandise for the Goody Bags as well. Remember too that this event is run at cost. All door takings go to charity. No meal or any of that stuff, go to a €200 a plate awards gig for that. 🙂

Damn, Sabrina is all go

Monday, December 24th, 2007

I already linked to her recently but check out Sabrina Dent’s blog again. She must be on the crack cocaine at the moment with all the blog posts and wonderful graphics for each post. I’m well impressed. I think I’m going to rope her into doing something for me, for free. Cos, you know, I’m cheap.

As much as I try not to, I love this

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

Probably because it appeals to the cynic in me but Piaras mentioned that Lindsay Lohan might be getting a bit of cash to endorse a nicotine chewing gum and being one of the most photographed people on earth at the moment, it’s a nice way of building awareness of a brand. It appeals to me because I have to see multiple motivations for every action and event.

I’m reminded of the strong rumours that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were paid to frequent Starbucks. Being the most photographed couple last year or the year before, most rags had daily pics of them with Starbucks cups. It would make sense and a great way of plugging something. Both Starbucks and the couple denied it though.

Yet Starbucks got pants-down caught with rigging some fake Christmas cheer this year with their “cheer chain” idea which is where the person ahead of you in line is all nice and pays for your coffees too and you feel so gosh-darn special you do the same. In Ireland I’d think we’d start a fight and ask the person what the hell they’re up to.

This isn’t new at all though. I remember years back watching a TV show about Aristotle Onassis and how he got some female superstar in Argentina to smoke his pink cigarettes which made him his first fortune. Shame the only source for this damned information seems to be a summary of the TV show. From the NYTimes review of a TV movie on Aristotle Onassis:

First he seduces a diva (no, it’s not Maria Callas; she arrives later), and then he persuades her to smoke a pink cigarette in a ballroom. Everyone in the ballroom gasps; the men may be shocked, but the women tingle with emancipation. They cadge cigarettes from the men and light up, too. Pink cigarettes immediately sweep Argentina. Young Onassis, who imports them, becomes a rich man.

I’m reading a book at the moment called “Trust us we’re experts” and it really shouldn’t make me smile but it is. Some of the scams PR and Communication firms are pulling are fantastically evil. Shame this isn’t fiction.

Here’s an extract:

In 1993, a group called Mothers Opposing Pollution (MOP) appeared, calling itself “the largest women’s environmental group in Australia, with thousands of supporters across the country.” Their cause: A campaign against plastic milk bottles. It turned out that the group’s spokesperson, Alana Maloney, was in truth a woman named Janet Rundle, the business partner of a man who did P.R. for the Association of Liquidpaperboard Carton Manufacturers-the makers of paper milk cartons.

Merry Christmas from all at Mulley Communications

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

Heh. Include the sound of a record scratching here. “Mulley Communications”. I think I’ll keep that name but hire Bill O’Herlihy to head it up. Okie doke.

Anyway, my Christmas present of a sort, to some of you. I’m being generous, mark the calendars. I normally charge a lot (and I’m worth every penny) to teach people how to blog for their business and I’m good at what I do but I want to get even better. So I want more practice. Real proper live practice. So an offer to all who read this blog. I’ll give a half day class on business blogging (which I think is worth a few hundred euro each) to the subscribers/repeat visitors here if you are a business and want to start a blog and do not already have a blog. I’ll offer it to 12 people max (one per company) and will do it in a venue in Dublin in early January on a Saturday and another one in Cork perhaps in late January or early February.

I’m not going to choose the venue, someone else can go away and find one. Power of the people etc. The venue has to have computers with net access. If a company wants to sponsor this, fine with me. It needs to be accessible though and I’d prefer somewhere in the City Centre. Of course the company can sit in if they’re being so generous.

Some rules:
If you have or had a blog, no soup for you.
If someone in your company has a blog get them to teach you. No soup.
If you are just an individual, no soup for you. Sorry, businesses only for now.
This is my gig, no sponsor can bill it as their gig and I will not do this as part of a bigger day. No soup for you. (For now)
The sting: If you pull out after committing and do it with very short notice so someone on a waiting list can’t be offered a space, you give your word that you’ll donate 100 euros to a childrens charity that is not the ISPCC. Myself and others will be putting a lot of work into this. We deserve some respect.
The main bit: Email me and explain why you should avail of this training and tell me about your business. Depending on entries, 12 (or less) people will be chosen for each one. State Dublin or Cork.

So what’s my ulterior motive? Well it’s Christmas so I’m in the mood and if there’s a lot of good progressive companies applying for this it would be nice to be the person that helps them to communicate with the web world and introduce them to the Irish blogging community. If they grow they may remember me for giving me blog and paper exclusives, they might ask me to refer work to other companies I know and hell if they’re the next Amazon I can brag and brag about knowing them when they were just a wee company. Also as stated, the better at training I am, the more I can do training and the more I can charge.

Opening up my LinkedIn – Want to connect with my contacts?

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

I sent out an email a little while ago to those I’m connected with on LinkedIn letting them know that I would be sharing my LinkedIn connections so that if someone asks for a connection/intro to someone, I’ll make it. The Valley attitude to doing business is taking root in my mentality. Paul Walsh (mynewbestestfriendevur) 😉 had a little to do with it too as he’s been very generous with sharing his address book without asking. Same goes for Fergus Burns who’ll be mentioned in yet another Paddy’s Valley blog post in the next while. Over there introducing people is good for you and good for them. I have about 300ish people connected to me on LinkedIn, most of the people are business people of some sort and are always looking to do business with new people and make connections.

If you want to connect with people on LinkedIn via me, then email me or Facebook me or contact me in any format and ask. You should be on LinkedIn so the person at least knows something about your business background and experience before they say hello back once the intro is made. This is my LinkedIn profile and am happy to do intros for the most part on Facebook too. My Facebook profile.

The exception being recruitment companies or people I don’t know myself. If you’re a stranger to me I’m not going to do intros. Also, quick tip, add your email to your profile name or blurb so it can be found easily by people and they can connect to you that way. Then you don’t need others to do intros, people can come to you.

How we use LinkedIn
I got about 90ish replies to my email to those I connect to on LinkedIn and I also asked them a few questions about whether they use it for networking, had they gotten any business with it, was it more useful than Bebo and Facebook. What I found most interesting was that very few actually used the search function to actively search for connections and find knowledge champions/thought leaders/experts, they instead stuck to just connecting to people they had already interacted with in other circles. A few people suggested a way to improve LinkedIn would be to have groups like Facebook groups so people can chat/discuss issues in their business segment and then meet people in the same area and connect that way. Another suggestion was that organisations should be able to pool/group all their connections together so everyone in the same group can see all their colleagues connections too. Not sure are most businesses that open yet.

Do you find LinkedIn useful or is it just another place to store the CV and your connections?

It’s not always the PR companies…

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

Funny story. I once saw someone try to solicit a PR company by promising to slyly drop their product names into “conversations” on blogs, blog comments, twitter and some podcasts, in return for some free products or money. One would think that a PR company would all be for that kind of idea, getting their product details injected into conversations between thought leaders. Viral or whatever term they use now. A sneaky way of doing things. Natural conversations is where it’s at these days, right? The PR company told that person where to go instantly, citing their prefered use of traditional and transparent methods. There’s hope yet for these PR companies. Although there’s despair at some practioners in “new media”.

The Facebook IPO – Every Facebook member to become a shareholder?

Monday, December 17th, 2007

We all have bad memories of IPOs in Ireland, eircom’s one in particular. It’s looking likely that Facebook in the near future will go the IPO route. Facebook, not one for doing things the conventional way, even if the convention is about 3 years old could do something unexpected again. Imagine if they gave the members of Facebook options to be shareholders? They already listen to their people and even after all the hulabaloo over Beacon (which was more about a lameass “democrat” organisation finding a new target. you’re tossers) and other issues, they amended things to keep people happy, they just caught Google out by checkmating them on OpenSocial and they have a few more clever things on the radar to make their users happy and make money from it.

It almost makes sense they’ll do what Google did and have a dutch style IPO but also offer cheaper shares to their users or give them options to buy.

What would that do to their stock though? Would 50Million shareholders mean that their whims, if tweaked, could see the stock go up and down like a yoyo or would it mean they just ensured 50M people are devoted to making the site work and recruiting everyone else? Would the stock would remain very stable as each shareholder feels they have a connection to each other and the Facebook board? What about the traditional institutional investors?

Whatever whichway, I bet the Facebook IPO will be fun.

Blog Awards 2008 – Some more details

Monday, December 17th, 2007

The categories for the 2008 Irish Blog Awards are below. I’m looking for sponsors again, previous sponsors pay the same price as last year whereas new sponsors pay a little more. Prices to be finalised in the next few days. While last year the goody bags were secret (and were near empty as a result), this year I’m seeking goods to put into the goody bags. If you work for a company or know of a company that wants to put some of their merchandise in the bags for free, give me a shout. Leaflets are a no. Ideally we’ll need about 400 items per company. Nominations will start fairly soon too so be ready. This year the process is going to be different as you’ll see. Keep a look out!

* Best Blog
* Best Blog Post
* Special Recognition Award
* Most Humorous Post
* Best Photo Blog
* Best Arts and Culture Blog
* Best Political Blog
* Best Group Blog

* Best Personal Blog
* Best Use of the Irish Language in a Blog
* Best Technology Blog/Blogger

* Best Designed Blog
* Best Sport & Recreation Blog
* Best News/Current Affairs Blog
* Best Specialist Blog

* Best Newcomer
* Best Business Blog
* Best Music Blog

* Best Food/Drink Blog
* Best Crafts Blog
* Best Popculture blog
* Best Blog from a Journalist