Category Archives: We Like

Guerrilla Marketing: Do YOU Deserve to Die?

Guerrilla marketing often aims to offend people in order to gain their attention.  It’s not for every organization, but it can work.  Officials at the Lung Cancer Alliance seem to have a good understanding of the concept.  The group recently launched a campaign that includes posters saying things like: “The tattooed deserve to die” and “Cat lovers deserve to die.”

What the..? Hey! I love cats!


Upon visiting the group’s website, you see a countdown clock until the big reveal of a mysterious disease that doesn’t discriminate: lung cancer.  The clock has been removed and replaced with:

“Many people believe that if you have lung cancer you did something to deserve it. It sounds absurd, but it’s true. Lung cancer doesn’t discriminate and neither should you.  Help put an end to the stigma and the disease.”

The American Lung Association has always been the top dog when it comes raising awareness/funding for lung cancer research.  But this guerilla marketing campaign really put the small Lung Cancer Alliance on the map.  I had honestly never heard of the group until recently.  Many angry comments posted across social media sites prompted me to check it out.

Well done.  I see what you did there, Lung Cancer Alliance.  You let the ticked off people do your dirty work for you.  Here are some excerpts from the Lung Cancer Alliance Facebook page:


Some would argue for the end of this campaign. It’s certainly not appropriate for all issues or groups.  But for a small, cash-strapped non-profit trying to raise awareness about a deadly disease, I applaud the effort.




PR: There’s an App for That

Almost everyone has a smart phone, most likely compete with tons of downloaded apps.  I recently sat in on a discussion about which mobile apps are most useful for PR industry pros from Cision.  Here is the top ten list:

1.     Bump

Bump is like a virtual business card that allows you to swap info with people just by launching the app and then physically “bumping” your phones together.  It’s perfect if you’re on a time crunch and want to make a quick connection.

2.     CardMunch

This app allows you to take pictures of business cards and convert them into contacts right into your address book. The top perk to this app is that it will also show you LinkedIn profile information as well as any connections you have in common.

3.     Dropbox

This is a very popular and free service that lets you store/access your photos, docs and videos anywhere and share them easily. It’s so convenient to pull files your Dropbox account from your phone and share with others on the go.

 4.     Evernote

The Evernote app helps you remember your ideas, projects and experiences across all the computers, phones and tablet platforms you may use.  It captures text, photos and audio and then synchs it via the cloud.  These files can then be shared, edited and used to collaborate with your co-workers.

5.     TweetDeck and HootSuite

Either of these two apps are a great way to keep track of journalists’ feeds and also handy when you need to manage your Twitter/Facebook presence while travelling.  As far as layouts go, it’s really a Coke vs. Pepsi thing.

6.     Yammer

Yammer is an enterprise social network service and is used for private communication within organizations and pre-designated groups. This is a private way to collaborate with your co-workers and send them messages.

7.     Google Analytics (mobile)

This app gives you instant, mobile access to your Google Analytics.  It’s perfect if you’re travelling but still need to report back to the office about how a post is doing.

8.     Word Press

This app is compatible with almost every operating system.  For this reason, it’s a great way to update any blog on the go.  This is awesome if you are blogging from a trade show and want to share timely updates.

 9.     Tripit

If you travel frequently, this app is a lifesaver.  It basically takes and organizes all of your trip details (flight, car rental, reservations and anticipated weather) and puts them in one place where you can share those details with others and print out your tickets.

10.  Media Database Apps

If you need to look up a media contact and you aren’t by a computer, it’s helpful if the media database service you use has a downloadable app.   MyMediaInfo, CisionPoint and Vocus are among those that have them. Great for a last-minute pitch.

Do you have any good apps to add to this list?

Follow me @saraalisia




Key To Social Media Success? Think Like A Wildcat

Image via

A truly successful social media campaign requires enthusiastic involvement from your employees, students or vendors – even their families. These are your best ambassadors and offer a glimpse into the organization that goes well beyond what your social media director alone can provide. And why should you expect the general public to embrace your efforts if your own immediate constituency won’t?

The University of Kentucky recently provided a good example as its men’s basketball team moved through March Madness to become NCAA champions.  Throughout the tournament, the campus’ social media team posted insights into the team on its Facebook site. It offered its followers regular Twitter updates.  Flicker was used to post team photos.

UK students, faculty, staff and alumni were encouraged to add their own comments and photos. They responded in a big way and attracted their friends and followers to the university’s sites. Thousands of new visitors – some from as far away as Army bases in Afghanistan – became Kentucky fans.

Seizing on this opportunity, the social media team added news about other UK sports, academics, student achievements and many other posts to showcase a well-rounded campus. Pardon the mixed metaphor, but this was a real homerun leading to the University of Kentucky’s use of social media being named to two Top Ten rankings among U.S. colleges and universities.

Admittedly, your organization isn’t likely to win one of the most highly publicized national competitions anytime soon. But by encouraging your team to fully embrace your social media efforts, your organization’s message opens up to a much wider community, providing a chance to gain new followers and experience what sets you apart from the competition.

There are ways to keep the process fun and informative and gain employee involvement in a big way. Do that, and you’ll be well on your way to social media success.

Need some ideas on gaining involvement? Is your social media “team” at the breaking point or even non-existent? Then look for an experienced outside vendor to help develop and maintain your social media properties.

– JD

Follow me on Twitter @jdaum

Your Name Here – for $5

What would you buy for $5?

What’s the value of a ukulele song written just for you?  A photo with your name spelled out with glow sticks?  Or maybe a video of man juggling three objects of your choice?

Is $5 too much to ask?  Not on what’s become one of my favorite websites.

The backers of the site, Fiverr, think that’s just the right amount.  And judging from public response, they’re right.  The site links people offering an incredible array of services with a buying public used to ferreting out super deals on the Internet.  There are currently more than 700,000 “gigs” offered on the Fiverr site.

And if what you want isn’t already offered, you can request a gig. The requests can be as strange as the offerings. One recent request sought a photo of someone wearing a facemask in front of a famous place.

Two years ago, with the economy and employment stalled, two Israeli Internet entrepreneurs launched Fiverr with the idea that people could make a few dollars through buying and selling small, fun services at a low cost.

Since then, Fiverr has drawn the attention of mainstream and Internet media with coverage in the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, CNN Money, TechCrunch and Wired, among others.

About now, if you’re like me, you probably have a couple of questions about this idea.

Can anyone really make money at $5 per job?  Apparently so. One successful seller claims to have made thousands of dollars selling a short, color-enhanced video of her pet bird dancing around in its cage.

Is there any way I could get involved and make a few bucks?  In my case, probably not.  I’m not very artistic, don’t do celebrity imitations or have a cute, young pet.

Ah, wait a minute.  I’ll promise to provide you with an Internet presence by working your name into my next blog.  Just leave a comment and we’ll sort out the details.

– JD

Twitter: @Jdaum

Brand Building is in the Air and Love Could be Too


A new program at KLM Airlines lets ticketholders upload their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles along with their itinerary.  Based on their profiles, passengers pick whom they’d like to “meet and seat” with.  While admittedly, this program is not suited for the antisocial traveler, it has my attention.

I asked my Facebook friends about their opinion on this since many of them travel. One adventurous friend and avid traveler liked the idea while another who flies internationally often, said he hates when strangers try to chat on a flight.   Another predicted a future where flyers would never be willing to sit with a perfect stranger without giving their profiles a good once-over.

Using social media to meet people isn’t anything new. What is new however, is that airlines have found a creative way to personalize the flying experience.  By creating this new opt-in service, the airline benefits by getting additional information about you: the customer (a marketing gold mine).  And who knows, in turn, you could end up meeting the love of your life or a business contact that lands you the opportunity of a lifetime.

This is a smart way to use social media for building brand awareness and customer loyalty.  Instead of just ‘tossing their hat into the social media ring,’ and hoping it sticks, KLM is actually offering up a new experience for its customers.

This new service will give KLM an edge over other airlines with competitive ticket pricing. I see myself using it, but as I have a ridiculous fear of flying, I don’t imagine I would be much fun for the person sitting next to me. They would have to be willing to deal with intermittent arm clutching, demands for a window seat, frequent bathroom trips and offer up distractions during turbulence…any takers?


Follow me @saraalisia

Elusive Media and the Twit Pitches

I’ve been working on a small campaign pitching media in the New York area this week.  Normally, New York isn’t exactly my favorite market to pitch because everyone seems especially in a hurry to rush you off the phone and will promptly tell you so.   Anyone who has ever worked in public relations knows the frustration of unanswered email pitches and dodged phone calls.

I’ve had a well-known-expert in the field tell me to stick to a well-crafted email pitch and leave the Twitter pitches alone.  Well, as they say…variety is the spice of life.  This week I got frustrated and decided to Tweet the reporters I had been trying to reach.  To my surprise, three of the five people I reached out to responded to me within minutes.  I used a casual yet informative approach-all within 140 characters.  There really isn’t an official guide to the Twitter pitch, but I can say, any links you have that can take them back to the press release/photo/video etc… are the best, especially when you’re working with limited characters.

So what’s the moral of the story?  Try it!  Tweet your pitches.  What’s the worst that can happen besides getting no response? Come on, we’re all used to that by now.  Tell me, what experiences have you had with Twit pitching?

follow me @SaraAlsia

And Now, a More Efficient Way to Waste Time

While looking for social media content, I stumbled upon something that I think could give the popular time-waster, YouTube, a run for its money. It’s a new video site called Now, I like watching absolutely pointless videos just as much as the next person, so I decided to do a little perusing.

One thing that YouTube has going for it is the millions of videos to choose from. But as competition, Devour boasts of video quality as opposed to quantity, posting only the most entertaining ones so you don’t feel you totally wasted your time. But- it closes the door to those that want to post videos of grass growing or hopefuls that strive to be the next Internet sensation. This is what gives YouTube its glamour. Almost anything goes and it can potentially make you famous.

One thing noticeably missing from the Devour site is a comment section. Ah, the dreaded comment section. People can be brutal in this allotted space, which is one reason why I haven’t posted my rendition of a Cher song that I’ve been working on so tirelessly. Despite that, it’s a little disappointing because I like to read people’s reactions to posts and I think it shuts out users who want to engage online.

I would like to recommend YouTube if you have a lot of time to waste. If you are a no-nonsense and straight-to-the point kind of time waster, you may want to check out And in closing, I leave you with my favorite video I found. It’s about cats… with thumbs. You’re welcome.

Cats with Thumbs

Follow me @SaraAlisia