Corporate Conversation

I had a meeting this morning with a counterpart at a mid-size well established PR firm. We were discussing some of the work our company was doing for several clients. One in particular that was of interest to her involved helping our client to revamp a key executive’s presentation content and style. I recommended the blog Presentation Zen to her when she inquired into some of the resources we utilized in developing our approach. I had forgotten what a great blog that Garr Reynolds has.
One of the things we have been preaching to all of our clients is to communicate in a way that is less autistic and more human. Many of the mediums we recommend have to do with applications for the Internet, as it allows more of a two way dialogue. But I had forgotten about how powerful a good presentation can be. It’s an opportunity to make a connection with your audiences, and potentially start an ongoing relationship with them. Unfortunately this opportunity is lost with many companies. They look at it solely as a way to push out information about their company or pitch their products and services.
As Garr points out in a recent post Presentations and Word of Mouth Marketing should play hand in hand. Giving your audiences something of value and providing a way for them to connect with you and your company goes a long way in fueling positive word of mouth. Direct them to a blog created around the topic being presented, share additional information and welcome feedback and dialogue. This has the added benefit of making it easy for them to share information about your company with their piers.
Think of presentations as an opportunity to build a new relationship and start a conversation. The end of the presentation is the beginning of the relationship, not the end of a tactic.

I shopped Andy Warhol

As if the impending global thermonuclear wasn’t reason enough to stock up on soup …

“The Andy Warhol Foundation is staging a marketing blitz for its founder this year, opening the archives to the likes of everyone from Hysteric Glamour, to Levis, to Barney’s. The most interesting—not to mention obvious—of these collaborations is their tie-in with the Campbell’s Soup company to produce a—yes, we’re going to say it—limited-edition line of cans in Warhol’s distinct color treatments. Don’t even front like you don’t want em. Keep your eyes peeled at the Piggly Wiggly, true believers…” (via Supertouch)

Please Slow Down

The Missouri Department of Transportation is floating a reminder of the consequences of wreckless driving in highway work zones. The timing of the PSA’s release is brutally appropriate, of course, as the masses prepare to schlep to and from grandma’s holiday soiree in wine-and-tryptophan-induced lethargy. The sobering MODOT spot, which for a low-budget, locally produced number does a solid job of evoking care and sympathy for our orange-vested comrades, concludes with the following plea:

… but given the untapped branding power of the highway construction aesthetic, I couldn’t help but think they would made have made a more powerful impression with something along these lines:

rounding corners

Typos, malapropisms, and spilled drinks notwithstanding, creatives are – each in our own way – perfectionists. This just makes us ordinarily human, I reckon. After all, the pursuit of quality is a common human endeavor – an airtight moon base, a better relationship with Dad, a more comfortable sitting position – and perfection is just the ever-elusive end of that journey. But we perhaps wrestle more rounds than most with the unattainability of perfection because it’s actually in our job descriptions, after the part about turtlenecks.

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