Gold Nuggets: Short Reads I Recommend About Communications & Marketing

I am passing along to you some of the blog posts and articles I’ve read recently that have made me think, “I wish I had written that!” If you have time to try a couple of these links, please share your thoughts in the comment section.

The Atlantic:Google Doesn’t Laugh: Saving Witty Headlines in the Age of SEO” Alas, search engine optimization has made editors re-think the use of clever, catchy news headlines.

Slate: “Awsum Shoes: Is It Ethical to Fix Grammatical and Spelling Errors in Internet Reviews?”  Turns out that good grammar and proper spelling do count. An NYU Stern School of Business professor’s research shows that well-written reviews sell more product than poorly-written ones, even if the well-written reviews are negative. Some companies have started correcting the reviews on their websites.

PC Magazine: “Facebook Hired PR Firm to Run Smear Campaign Against Google” The PR firm hired was Burson Marsteller, one of the biggest PR companies in the world (and most expensive).  Burson has its company’s code of conduct on its website, which includes the statement, “We are committed to acting ethically in all aspects of our business and to maintaining the highest standards of honesty and integrity.”  Proves the point that bigger doesn’t equate with better.

Children in Beijing dress up as Colonel Sanders at a store opening in China

Jerusalem Post: “Success fees’ may not lead to success for Israeli firms” The author, a consultant in the U.S. to Israeli companies, says that they’re averse to marketing and often spend little effort marketing the world-class products they’ve labored hard to develop.  Israeli companies aren’t the only ones that act as if somehow their products will market themselves.  

Then there are the companies from other parts of the world that do come to the U.S. with plans for marketing, but the plans are the same ones they used back home and don’t work in the U.S. market. (Plenty of American companies have done this overseas. There’s the story about Kentucky Fried Chicken taking its U.S. ad campaign and simply translating it for use everywhere else. If it works here, it should be fine, right? So “Finger lickin’ good” was translated, and the ads in China told the local citizens: “Eat your fingers off.” Despite this, KFC is a huge hit in China!)
Lucy Siegel

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