By Francis Moran
When I moved to Ottawa in the late 1980s to head up the national capital office of what was then Canada’s largest public relations firm, the Internet was not yet even a gleam in Al Gore’s eye. My mandate was to build the company’s then-non-existent federal government business, and that usually meant large-scale, big-budget, multi-disciplinary communications efforts in support of major policy issues of the day. Unlike the current administration, where virtually all communications efforts are partisan propaganda masquerading as helpful information, the Conservative government at that time seemed to understand that it had to explain what it was doing if it was to secure a social license for what it was doing. And in that pre-Internet age, that meant print. Maybe some radio, possibly TV if it was a really big campaign, but mainly print.
Before I actually won any of those big contracts to develop and implement a six- or seven-figure campaign, I got my foot in the door by conducting audits, or evaluations, of past campaigns. Auditing past efforts required me to compare the outcome of the campaign to the stated objectives, determine whether the material produced had said the right things and whether it had said them to the right audiences.
By Daylin Mantyka
It’s Friday — which means that it’s time for the weekly roundup. This week we have informative content from Fast Company, socialnomics and Spin Sucks.
First, is a post on how startups can compete in a crowded industry when they are not physically located in either Silicon Valley or New York City, followed by a piece on big Twitter mistakes by big brands. Third, we’ve selected an interesting post on how technology is shaping innovation in the workplace for both better and worse. Last, we look at how the PR industry can come across as a less spammy.
4 lessons your startup can learn from a rust belt incubator
Launching a startup is risky business. Even more so when you don’t live in a bustling startup metropolis like Silicon Valley or New York City. In this article, Rebecca Greenfield visits a new Buffalo incubator, Z80, and shares some of the characteristics that these startups have in common that will help them succeed within this competitive landscape.
By Daylin Mantyka
Friday has rolled around yet again, which means we’ve compiled a short list of the top articles we read and loved over the week. Grabbing our attention were posts from Spin Sucks, Fast Company, Social Samosa, memeburn and velocity.
Why newswire services don’t work (and when they do)
In this article, Kate Finley questions the value of newswire services. She states they may be useful in some limited circumstances but mostly she is finding little value for her clients. Most of all, she says, newswires are not earned media. What do you think: Are newswire services worth their effort in this day and age?
What not to do when growing your company, from a CEO who’s done just that
Les Kollegian is the CEO of an award-winning communications agency and has had his share of ups and downs. In this article, he recounts five pitfalls he experienced during the growth of his company and then provides insight on how to avoid them. One of the five lessons learned was, “Don’t rush the hiring process.”
By Denzil Doyle
One of the best networking opportunities in the Ottawa area is something that is known as Tech Tuesday and is sponsored by Terry Matthews. It is held on the first Tuesday of every month at the Marshes golf club and is open to the public. I have never seen a mission statement for the event but the people who attend range from entrepreneurs looking for money, to recent college grads looking for jobs. The focus is very much on information technology and how it can create wealth for Canadians.
There is no charge for attendance except for drinks at the bar. However, organizations like accounting and legal firms tend to serve some finger food for those who might feel the pangs of hunger before the event winds down.(It starts at 5:30 pm and ends about two or three hours later, depending on whether or not there is a formal presentation of some kind.)
By Leo Valiquette
A company name that is a mashup of the founders’ initials. A company name drawn from the item the first business plan was sketched upon, or where the founder was enjoying a cocktail when they struck upon the idea. Even names arbitrarily plucked out of thin air without any intention of there being any kind of profound or clever meaning.
I’ve seen it all with over 13 years as a business journalist and marketing and PR consultant. A company’s name is not the company’s brand, but the two do enjoy a symbiotic relationship. A name is a point of reference, an introduction, which may or may not make a direct reference to what the company does.
But a name alone does not sell products, win customers or grow market share. These things are accomplished through the hustle of the team members, how they treat their customers, how they research the market to understand to whom, and in what form, their product or service delivers value, and how they execute on that intelligence.