The 5th Gear: Marketing, PR, and Ideas for 11/11/13


One of SHIFT’s 7 core values are connected which means much more than just having a full Address Book app on your phone. Connected means knowing what’s going on, knowing what’s worth reading and sharing. Here are the top 5 most interesting reads that SHIFTers found this past week.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

Tablet and E-reader Ownership Findings from Pew Internet and Research Center

Vice President Christopher Penn on why this matters:

No surprise, my read this week comes from the venerable Pew Research Center, in which they continue their longitudinal studies of all things Internet. This week’s revelation? The number of Americans 16 and older who own tablet computers has grown to 35%, with e-Readers at 24%.

Think about that for a second. 1 in 4 Americans owns an e-Reader like a Kindle. If you dig around in their data, the percentages go up even higher for more educated, more affluent Americans (not a surprise) -folks like the decision makers and day to day contacts we work with all the time. Thus, when we’re getting our #Creative, #Connected, and #Ballsy on, we should be thinking about sending pitches, briefs, and other media in formats suitable for e-Readers and tablets – and encouraging our clients to do the same.

Use newsroom techniques to find and develop brand journalism stories

Vice President Cathy Summers on why this matters:

It’s getting harder to rely solely on traditional journalists to get our client’s stories in the news. When we talk to clients about developing compelling content, too often it veers into self-promotion instead of solving the problems that their customers – and potential customers – have today. This piece was a great reminder of how internal PR should run and how agencies need to coach our counterparts on how to create better content, while also integrating ourselves into this kind of process.

The Rise of San Francisco’s Food Entrepreneurs

Senior Account Manager Katie Clark-AlSadder on why this matters:

A closer look at the increase in VC investment in food-related startups in SF and the Valley, and the companies launching as a result, questions currently prevailing mainstream wisdom from food figures like Michael Pollan who champions a “back to basics” approach as a means to develop a healthier culinary ecosystem. As I read innovative chef David Chang ask recently, if we so routinely turn to technology to solve our “pain points,” why should the food industry be the exception? I look forward to the debate this emerging discussion is sure to spark, and the opportunities these experiments will open not only for those of us lucky enough to love trying new food, but who care about finding more sustainable ways for everyone to have better access to first, basic nutrition, and second, a deeper connection to what we eat.

Pasta-Maker’s Anti-Gay Firestorm May Be Doused

Account Executive Linda Battaglia on why this matters:

This is an excellent read in learning more about handling crises in communications. Amongst a flurry of anti-gay comments made on air over the radio, Barilla’s CEO said his pasta company won’t feature gay families in ads. This article explains steps that were made by public relations professionals to try and smooth over the crisis situation – but many consumers were so enraged that these tactics flopped. The company has struggled to make things right and is now going beyond PR by drastically changing the course of its business and advertising strategies.

Extreme Testing: What is Doing with 430,000+ Daily Data Points

Senior Marketing Analyst Chel Wolverton on why this matters:

When I first read this headline, I figured Julien Smith was exaggerating, though he’s not known for it. I read the article with growing astonishment. You use online data that you get from interactions with a website to drive marketing, so why not do that with physical spaces, too? That’s exactly what Breather is doing. It allows them to change the experience in their rooms to better suit the customer. It’s a fascinating read how the Internet of Things is enabling the optimization of real life spaces.

Chel Wolverton
Senior Marketing Analyst


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