Monday, May 28, 2012

The Spin Cycle, 5/28

A round-up of recent happenings in the world of PR, marketing, and other things I find interesting.

Is Facebook advertising overrated, or is GM dumb? People are still parsing GM's decision to drop advertising from Facebook, and it's an interesting story about the power of brands. Facebook may have a shaky reputation this week, but the fact that many people reflexively dismissed GM's decision demonstrates how strong Facebook's brand is, and how weak GM's continues to be.

Is GM dumb, part 2: I might have grouped this item into the same broad category as the item above, until this jumped out at me: Ford has more than 1.5 million “likes” on its Facebook page, vs. fewer than 400,000 for GM. The problem is that a lot of PR and advertising measurement experts regard a "like" as a poor measure of engagement, and even harder to quantify is how a "like" translates into sales. Everything we do as strategic communicators is supposed to help our organizations or clients meet their business objectives. That's the ultimate measure by which we should judge the efforts of GM, or Ford, or any other company on Facebook or in any other medium.

Google + is down, Pinterest is up: It seems almost too easy to beat up on Google +, but it's too much fun to resist. Google keeps trying to tell people that numbers lie and its dismal user stats don't show the private circle sharing going on beneath the surface. (That sounds dirty.) That's great, but it doesn't diminish my frustration when I go on the network and find the same two people always posting stuff. Pinterest is zooming ahead of it, and maybe it's time for Google, without abandoning Google + as an alternative to Facebook, emphasize its true niche, which is an intra-organizational networking and conferencing tool.

Never forget: What struck me about this collection of letters to and from brothers who fought on separate fronts in World War II was the letter from Bob Dininger's friend to Bob's parents, describing his death at Okinawa:

I won't attempt to say that he died for the American way of life, freedom, etc. and these things that are written about by people who don't do the fighting and thus don't know what they're talking about. What I will say is that he died bravely, and quickly, which is the best way for a soldier to die, if he has to die at all.

Enjoy your day off.

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