BuzzLine

BuzzLine: Can your summer stress be cured by $15K?

buzzlineSummer is all about relaxing vacations, so what’s the source of our summer stress? For me, and many travelers, the epitome of summer stress is arriving at the airport to see the security line wrapped around and around without an end in sight.

It’s ironic really. You plan this lavish, luxurious vacation to a tropical paradise and your whole trip can be turned upside down by the dreaded TSA security line.

Thankfully, TSA isn’t blind to the dilemma and they’re willing to dole out a pretty penny, a total of $15,000 in cash prizes, to anyone with innovative plans to shorten wait times. According to TSA, their new online contest is “looking for the Next Generation Checkpoint Queue Design Model to apply a scientific and simulation modeling approach to meet the dynamic security screening environment.” Think you know how to fix the problem? You can enter your scientifically inclined ideas at their InnoCentive website.

In the meantime, while all of us travelers continue to suffer through the hair-tearing-out experience that is airport security, tell us your genius six-word plan to make travel less stressful. Our favorite ideas?

  • Coffee for everyone.…
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B2B/Technology

8 Reasons Why Internal Communicators Should Cheat on Outlook

8 reasons outlook cheat pictureInternal communicators have one of the hardest jobs when it comes to engaging, informing and inspiring associates through communications, because more often than not communicators are forced to use the dinosaur of vehicles; Microsoft Outlook.

Since its first release in 1992 with MS-DOS, Outlook has undergone significant changes to improve its capabilities. However, Outlook will never be the email software that communicators need to effectively do their job. So what is the best solution?

Email marketing providers like Emma, help businesses, agencies and universities get marketing materials in front of consumers. Their platforms boost a plethora of capabilities from analytics, responsive emails, and email templates. So back in 2012, I decided to cheat on Outlook for one of those fancier email marketing providers, and I haven’t looked back since.

Yes, Outlook got the job done but for a reasonable monthly/annual fee I gained a wealth of resources and capabilities that helped me do my job more effectively and improve the communications to associates. At the end of day my job as an internal communicator is to make the lives’ of associates easier by engaging, informing and inspiring…

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The Booze Bin

Marketing, Math, and a Formula for the Perfect Beer

As marketing professionals, we know that two good ideas do not always come together to create a great one. While items such as the “townie” (half tart, half brownie, a sad challenger to the Cronut), Colgate Kitchen Entrees (whet your appetite with thoughts of chalky toothpaste!), and Moscato-infused vodka (no thank you) are proof of that, there are also success stories. Through careful consideration, taste testing, and rationality, we sometimes bring two delectable products together and arrive at an even better outcome.

I am, of course, referring to bourbon-barrel-aged beer. The process basically involves aging finished beer in barrels that once held bourbon. This adds a rich oaky flavor and increases alcohol content. So, as we gear up for National Heritage Bourbon Month in September (it’s never too soon to learn your favorites!), give some of these brews a try, and enjoy the ingenious fusions of two all-time favorites – bourbon and beer. Here are some great ones to start with:

1. Goose Island Beer Co. – Bourbon Count Brand Stout

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2. Evil Twin – Imperial Biscotti Break Bourbon Barrel…

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Branding

When Journalism and Brand Management Collide

Recently, PadillaCRT hosted a “meet the journalist” breakfast that invited a local magazine editor to our office to discuss their role and answer questions regarding how we can provide relevant content and news ideas on behalf of our clients. During the conversation, we were reminded of what most of us in the PR industry already know – editors are busy, their outlets are understaffed and their inboxes are often flooded with hundreds upon hundreds of unrelated email pitches from PR professionals assuming that their audience will be interested, which is a huge pet-peeve!

But, as I walked away from that meeting, I was left thinking about the relationship between brands and media. Given the shrinking number of journalists reporting for publications and the onset of owned content, the landscape and connection between journalist, brand and PR agency is changing. Journalists are up against native advertising, eBooks, videos and more that are not usually distinguished as advertising or marketing and further blur the lines between editorial and paid content.

Getty Images

Similarly, the PR industry is being impacted by these changes. Fewer media opportunities mean more occasions to self-publish and syndicate. Some brands are…

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BuzzLine

BuzzLine: Recall Crisis Challenge

fruitYesterday it was announced that more stores have been affected by a nation-wide listeria fruit recall. These stores include Costco, Kroger, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Ralphs, and Food 4 Less. The fruits being recalled include peaches, nectarines, plums, and pluots that were packaged at Wawona Packing Co. in Cutler, CA.

The CNN article in regards to the recall says that listeria was found on two nectarines and one peach and it is unclear how the fruits were exposed.

Aside from wanting to spread the word about the possible listeria outbreak and help consumers be informed, this also provided us with today’s BuzzLine challenge.

If you were advisor to Brent Smittcamp, president of the packing company that tested positive for listeria, what would your six-word PR action plan be?

Your answers may look something like:

  • Inform, Investigate, Update, Address, Improve, Repeat
  • Tell the truth, Make amends, Overcome
  • Clean up, brush off, move on

Give us your six-word PR crisis action plan in the comments below. Your PR expertise could earn you a $5 Starbucks gift card (and who knows – maybe even some business from Mr.…

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