May 19 15

What Google’s Hotel Finder really means for travel industry marketers


A couple of years ago, Google put the fear of, well, Google in the entire travel industry when it enabled Hotel Finder.

Predictions were dire, ranging from radical changes in booking behavior to the collapse of travel aggregation sites. However, little of that actually occurred, and the Kayaks, Expedias and TripAdvisors of the world are doing just fine. In fact, in some instances they’ve diversified their service offerings.

We thought this would be a good time to review what Hotel Finder has really meant to the travel industry.

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Posted in: Marketing, Public Relations

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May 14 15

Why travel brands must innovate, disrupt to survive in the digital era


For travel companies, enough is not enough anymore. Or, rather, what was enough isn’t sufficient today.

As travel and leisure companies increasingly shift to becoming broader lifestyle brands, the consumer is expecting ever greater levels of service and personalization from this sector, much of it driven by the promise offered by digital technology and social connectedness.

That said, becoming a lifestyle brand, whether focused on luxury excursions or budget-conscious business travel, has become the growing trend used to innovate and expand the product offering. As noted in the 2015 Skift report on travel megatrends, many companies are mixing up offerings with “increased emphasis on design, wholesome food offerings, and local cultural integrations.” In some cases, the report notes, this can lead to the launch of a completely new category of products.

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Posted in: Marketing, Social Media

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May 13 15

Lessons from DeflateGate and Tom Brady for brands and businesses


The most surprising thing about DeflateGate may be the astounding polarity in opinions about the recently announced penalties against the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady.

One Facebook post suggested that we should “order the implosion of Gillette Stadium,” while others point to an absence of evidence and lack relative harm to suggest it’s all little more than media hype.

For those who may be unaware, Brady is being punished for not complying with an investigation into under-inflated footballs after an AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts in January 2015.

Certainly some of the extreme reactions can be ascribed to existing NFL loyalties and animosities. But it seems to have moved well beyond the realm of sports fans. If everyone is going to have an opinion, are there relevant learnings here for anyone other than NFL teams and their quarterbacks?

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Posted in: Business Thoughts

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May 12 15

Digital trends for 2015 and beyond: PROI asked, we answered


rbb is proud to be part of the Public Relations Organization International (PROI) global network, the world’s largest partnership of independent agencies with 67 partners in approximately 100 offices in 50 countries and regions.

So we were extremely pleased when they asked for our digital perspective for the inaugural issue of the PROI Americas newsletter. We thought we’d share with you what we shared with them.

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Posted in: Public Relations, Social Media

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May 8 15

The best Mother’s Day gift for working moms: Family-friendly policies


Mother’s Day is upon us. While many companies remain focused on using the holiday to drive sales, the holiday also offers a great opportunity for businesses to take stock in how family-friendly they are as an institution.

As a working mom, I love hearing about businesses like celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe’s that invest in family-friendly policies. For a smaller company, Rachel Zoe took a relatively big step this week by opening up a fully-staffed, complimentary nursery for the working parents she employs. It’s a move that certainly motivates me to purchase more of her products, the same way that American Express’ fully paid maternity and paternity makes me feel good about being a cardholder for nearly two decades.

Creating a family-friendly work environment and a corporate culture that promotes work-life balance drives customer and employee loyalty, the latter of which should be a major priority for employers. But sadly in the U.S. it’s not.

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Posted in: Management Practices

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May 7 15

Was Mexico the real winner of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight?


Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao may have duked it out in a historic match, but there was an unexpected presence in the ring that still has people talking.

The country of Mexico received most of the prime time exposure, from the branding around the ring and on the screens to Julio Lopez singing the Mexican national anthem (even before the fighters’ own). In fact, the Mexico Tourism Board and Tecate beer were two out of five title sponsors for the fight, which set a new record for sponsorships bringing in $13.2 million.

While beers brands like Tecate are no stranger to sponsoring boxing matches, why would the Tourism Board invest so heavily in this event to promote its “Mexico, Live it to Believe it” campaign?

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Posted in: Public Relations

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May 5 15

It’s about more than winning: 4 benefits of an award-entering culture


It’s possible some might feel industry awards are a bit self-serving – patting oneself on the back for a job well done.

However, those organizations that take pride in the process might receive something much greater than agency self-aggrandizement. The reality is that industry awards often make the work itself better.

For agencies at which award entries are part of the standard operating procedure, there is a resulting orientation toward certain key behaviors that can elevate an agency’s overall performance.

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Posted in: Management Practices

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May 4 15

How use the Star Wars Jedi Code to improve your content marketing strategy


Photo credit: Barron Fujimoto (Flickr)

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Yoda, Legendary Jedi Master and All Around Wise Guy (in a good way!)

Truer words have rarely been spoken so succinctly. It’s really amazing how much of a hold Star Wars has on the larger pop culture consciousness.

The Star Wars universe is filled with imagination, wonder, adventure and wisdom, and it’s why the series continues to be celebrated and perpetuated. From new films to the recurring Star Wars Day on May 4 (“May The Fourth Be With You”), it’s a force to be reckoned with.

This got me thinking about how universally applicable Star Wars’ wisdom can be, even when it comes to the work we do in marketing and public relations. Case in point: The zen, Buddhist-like Order of the Jedi. It just so happens they have a Jedi Code that can be a particularly useful rubric for content marketing.

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Posted in: Marketing

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Apr 30 15

Social movements: A tool or a #trend?


There’s no doubt that hashtag activism and awareness campaigns are becoming more and more #common.

The most recent ones flooding the Internet: #PrayForNepal to support earthquake victims and #PaintYourNailsForBruce that has men everywhere painting their finger nails in support of Bruce Jenner opening up about his transition.

And who can forget the #IceBucketChallenge? For days on end, news feeds were clogged with videos of folks dumping ice water over their heads to raise awareness (and money) for ALS.

Then, there are the less popular ones like #DontBeAnEggHead (an anti-bullying campaign where you crack an egg on your head), which are slowly making their mark.

But we have to ask ourselves: What is the end-all, be-all goal of these social movements? Do they really raise awareness and funds to support a cause, or are they just a trend for our post-modern, #selfie-obsessed society? The answer: It’s up to you to decide! read more…

Posted in: Social Media

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Apr 28 15

Santa Claus, Secret, Stealing & Squander: Wrapping up the 2015 SABEW Spring Conference


“Why are you here?”

This was a question I was asked a few times last week while attending the 2015 Society of Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) fall conference in Chicago.

These bi-annual events are attended by a who’s who of business journalists from the U.S. and Canada, as well up-and-coming journalism students from acclaimed universities such as Northwestern and Missouri. There aren’t many PR professionals running around, so it didn’t surprise me when there was curiosity and perhaps skepticism about my participating.

But the answer to this question is pretty simple: I’m there to learn just like everyone else. Attending SABEW provides a unique opportunity to hear what issues and challenges business journalists are facing in the industry and how they cover the news. It’s also an opportunity to network and gain a greater understanding of the best ways PR professionals can work with reporters. These lessons keep us one step ahead and help shape the integrated communications plans we create for our clients.

Now onto some of the highlights from the conference.

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Posted in: Media

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