Pokemon Go: Poke-Marketing?

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Do you want to be the very best, like no one ever was? If so, then you’re probably one of the 7.5 million people who have downloaded the Pokemon Go app since its recent launch.

The app, a location-based augmented reality game that enables you to catch virtual Pokemon in the real world, has experienced a tremendous start since its release in the United States. Pokemon Go has captivated mobile users of all ages worldwide, quickly becoming a cultural phenomenon.

Within weeks, the game generated an estimated $1.6 million in revenue per day. Benefiting from this instant success is Nintendo, parent to Pokemon Co., which has already seen a 25 percent increase in stock shares and added nearly $11 billion to its market value.

The popularity of Pokemon Go and its clear potential for profit not only have opened the door for Nintendo’s success, but also have become a tool for Pokemon-inspired marketing by food and retail businesses.

The game format encourages users to explore their real-world cities to find in-game Pokemon , PokeStops or Gyms, which can be found at actual landmarks and local businesses. This alone is a valuable marketing tool that can result in rising visits and an increase in foot traffic for any organization hoping to convert locals who want to play into customers willing to pay.

Real-world marketing value

Some establishments have already realized the marketing potential of the virtual Pokemon in the real world. By flaunting ties with the game, Main Street businesses have been able to set themselves up for an increase in recognition, popularity or profit.

Storefronts have found a number of ways to engage with the traveling hordes of Pokemon trainers. One of the most popular methods of capitalizing on the app’s hype is to place Lure Modules at Poketops at or near a business’ location.

A Lure Module is a well-recognized in-game feature that enables users to attract Pokemon to a certain area. Although the Lure Modules were designed to bring in Pokemon, they’re also bringing in a slew of gamers.


‘Poke-marketing’

Pokemon Go has become a great way for retail business to attract potential customers to its location. Once gamers are lured in, stores have taken “Poke-marketing” a step further by offering tailored discounts and promotions.

These strategies are just the start of what is sure to become a more prevalent marketing approach as the app rolls out in more countries, evolves and inspires copycats. Bringing an entire generation’s childhood nostalgia into the modern age of augmented reality gaming is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

Although this level of popularity can be fleeting, Pokemon has retained its status as a recognizable and well-loved brand since 1996. With the game’s technological sophistication and promise of added, advanced features—in-game chat functions, head-to-head battles, Pokemon trading, and so on—there doesn’t seem to be an end to Pokemon Go’s success anytime soon.

Kelly Holcombe is an account coordinator at Flackable, a national financial public relations and digital marketing agency. Connect with her on Twitter: @kelly_holcombe . This article was reposted from http://bit.ly/29WN08c (PR Daily)

[INFOGRAPHIC] 7 Statistics That Can Raise Your Facebook Engagement

With organic reach and engagement numbers plunging on Facebook, marketers are doing everything they can to stay ahead of the game before the social platform goes to an exclusively pay-to-play model. 

A recent Ogilvy & Mather study found that brand posts in February reached just 6 percent of fans, compared to 12 percent in October. 

So frustrated by this perceived slap in the face was Eat24 that the company deleted its Facebook page and “broke up” with Facebook in an open letter that went viral. 

But maybe there’s hope. This infographic shares a few pointers to help boost your engagement. Beware, though, as soon as you find something that works, Facebook will undoubtedly switch its ever-devolving algorithm until all you see in your newsfeed is babies, kittens and whatever your super religious aunt is yammering about. 

Without further ado, check out the infographic below (and realize that its tips could be irrelevant by the time you finish reading it): 


Written by Kevin Allen. Kevin has developed social media strategies for Fortune 500 companies and created content for major brands across multiple social platforms. Previously, he served as an editor and reporter for theChicago Sun-Times, ESPNChicago.com, FoxSports.com and Ragan Communications. As a reporter, Kevin has covered MLB, NHL, NBA, PGA, NCAA football, national political campaigns, backyard barbecues and just about everything in between. He’s been a contributor to PR Daily since its launch. Visit PRDaily where this excerpt is originally appeared

20 Job Openings in The PR and Marketing World

PR and Marketing path

Though every workplace has its share of characters, they might not be as recognizable as those atPBS

For one thing, you’ll never find an accounting department quite as enthusiastic about numbers. Sure, some co-workers can seem cliquey, and others are downright grouchy. But even the brutish exterior of the office monster quickly crumbles. If anything, most staffers are probably too friendly(that’s HR’s problem, though). 

Meanwhile, the characters on the PBS KIDS public relations and social media team are experienced in both fields, a professional precedent its newest associate director will need to uphold. 

Supporting the network’s PBS LearningMedia initiatives, this person will work with its corporate communications team on projects ranging from managing media contacts and developing editorial calendars to assisting with PR and crisis communication efforts. 

Click here to read the full job description, and then find out even more about the characters working at PBS

Not the job for you? See what else we have in our weekly professional pickings: 


About the author:

Alan PearcyAlan doesn’t like when people refer to themselves in third-person, so he will henceforth, stop it, now. Born and raised in Springfield, Ill., I’ve had my fill of all-things Abe Lincoln. Inching upstate on the map little by little, I attended Bradley University in Peoria, where I graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in communications and advertising. I kept moving on up until I reached sweet home Chicago a couple years ago. After a stint at Leo Burnett in the Windy City, I freelanced as a writer and advertising pro of sorts, along with a few other odd-jobs, until joining forces as an editorial assistant with Ragan Communications. Things you should note: I am a Gemini, I am blonde, single, I bruise like a peach, I have webbed-toes, I will stop at nothing to wear flip-flops, and that aside from writing, I sustain sickly obsessions with popular culture, exercise, coffee, and amazingly poor choice in both film and TV. I also fall a lot.

If you have a job you would like to see highlighted on PR Daily, please email me or send me a message on Twitter @iquotesometimes

Visit PRDaily where this excerpt originally appeared.

Journalism Ethics that PR Should Consider Adopting

Successful public relations hinges on the ethics of its practitioners. Like journalists, PR practitioners often face challenging ethical issues that are best solved by adhering to the industry’s code of ethics.

The biggest difference between public relations and journalism’s adopted ethics codes are the people each code serves. While journalists serve the public and its right to know, PR professionals primarily answer to their clients and companies. 

PRSA’s ethical guidelines are perhaps the industry’s most widely recognized code for ethics. They cover the necessity for honesty, accuracy, integrity and confidentiality.

The Professional Standards Advisories (PSAs), designed to keep the PRSA code timely, address PR-specific areas and modern practices, including recording conversations, use of interns, video news releases, pay-for-play journalism and disclosure guidelines.

Both codes are quite comprehensive and benefit PR agencies and companies when followed. But are they comprehensive enough? Perhaps it’s time for PR to adopt some of journalism’s ethical guidelines. PR inherently serves the public (it’s in the name), and PR practitioners are functioning more as journalists; more PR content is now reaching the public directly without review and editing by the press or other independent journalists.

With this in mind, we’ve examined some principles from The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, not (yet) covered in PRSA’s code, that may be worth adopting by PR.

Give both sides the opportunity to respond to allegations. Support the open exchange of views, even views found “repugnant.”

To follow their promise of being “fair and balanced,” reporters must always get all sides of the story. This is why you’ll often see statements like, “Mr. so-and-so did not answer calls for comment.” The mention is proof that the reporter attempted to get the other side’s point of view.

Even recognizing that PR is an advocacy profession, the inclusion of some balance would likely enhance the credibility of PR-produced communications materials. That balance is especially important in the appropriate use and interpretation of facts and statistical data. Suitable balance can be achieved by including the viewpoints of independent experts.

Adding the layer of credibility can gain trust of PR practitioners and the businesses they represent from both journalists and consumers.

Make certain that headlines and content do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or take incidents out of context.

Public relations specialists should never choose a witty or mysterious headline over one that tells the truth. Make it a principle never to mislead your audience, especially on social media when creating clever messages to attract more attention.

Out-of-context messages can also backfire, as The Colbert Report’s PR team recently learned through this social media post.

Avoid misleading reenactments or staged news events. If reenactment is necessary, label it.

This guideline pertains mostly to photographs and videos used in news articles. Staged photographs have gotten journalists fired because they don’t accurately represent the scene.

When you stage a product demonstration, the demo must accurately and precisely portray the capabilities of the product or service as it exists at that time – not as you expect or hope it will exist in the future.

Up until 2011, the White House would often reenact speeches and photo-ops for the press. For example, when President Barack Obama finished his on-air address about the death of Osama bin Laden, he then re-enacted his walkout and the first 30 seconds of the statement for the press. The White House has since stopped its practice of staging photos, but until that point, the public could not be sure whether footage of the president’s speeches was real or fake.

Never distort the content of news photos or videos.

Similar to the guideline above, PR should take all steps necessary to be honest with their audience. When using photographs, it is inappropriate to distort them through editing.

Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.

Stereotyping is not always deliberate, but can sometimes show up in PR materials. Prohibit it and always look out for it.

Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.

Stifling dissent and criticism, once a standard responsibility of PR, is no longer an effective PR tactic given the all-permeating presence of social media.

On social media, anyone can be a witness, everyone has a story to tell and, eventually, everything gets out; covering up dissent or criticism is now nearly impossible.  Like journalists who are bound to present all sides of the story, PR can successfully embrace open discussion by encouraging fans and critics to share content.  Companies that are “good guys” and do the right thing ultimately win the battle of minds. Other important journalism ethical guidelines to consider:

  • Recognize that the process of gathering and reporting news may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news and defense of published materials does not give  license for rudeness or arrogance.
  • Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
  • Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment.
  • Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money. Avoid bidding for news.
  • Accept, work with and even encourage the public’s ability to voice grievances against the news media (or in this case, your company or PR agency).

Bottom line: PR is best served by adhering to both PR and journalism ethics. Some journalism guidelines are not entirely appropriate for the PR industry, but  may provide guidance on behavior not addressed in PRSA’s code of ethics.

Which journalism guideline(s) do you think PR should follow? Share in the comments below.


William J. Comcowich is the editor of Media Monitoring News and the CyberAlert Blog, where a version of the story originally appeared. He is also founder, president and CEO of CyberAlert, Inc.

An Ogilvy Director’s Insights for Industry Hopefuls

A few weeks ago, I sat down with the managing director of Ogilvy Atlanta, Mickey Nall, for lunch, and my life goals changed. 

The day began with his talk at The John Koten Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted annually at The University of Alabama by The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations. Afterward, UA’s public relations student leaders were invited to a lunch with the man of the hour. 

Nall is a firm and straightforward speaker, filled with love for his field and high expectations for future leaders. His sound bites could scare a lion, but the passion behind his every word offers hope for potential colleagues. He is a leader I hope to grow to be one day. 

Nall spoke about leadership, storytelling, and passion. He enticed us with stories of his path to Ogilvy and his time at the firm. He gave just a glimpse of the life we all are about to venture into, and we were allowed to ask as many questions as we wanted. 

Below, I’ve listed some of the key points he made. Some of his advice may scare you, but odds are you’ll want to handwrite him a thank-you note later. 

1. If you want a job, stand out

“Unless you have three internships and are in grad school, you probably won’t get our internship,” Nall said, explaining that Ogilvy receives 153 applications for every one internship position. “You’ll have to network harder than you ever thought in order to get out in our business.” 

2. Get involved. 

Did I just scare you with the “three internships” comment? Don’t worry. Nall considers serious organization involvement as an internship. PRSSA, PRCA, and even getting into PRSA after college will increase your chances of employment. 

“Three-fourths of you will not be able to find a job right out of college,” Nall said about the inevitable fact of job searching. “You have to use your involvement and get connected.” 

3. Make your résumé pop. 

Obviously, experience should be highlighted, but the only résumés that will get in front of Nall are those without error, show true skill, and are specific to the job and firm. 

“You should make a résumé for every new job for which you apply,” Nall said. Point blank, if it is obvious your résumé is generic and used for every application, no one hiring will want it. Side note: Nall said color should be minor and keywords of the company’s values should be major on your résumé. 

4. Be a “storyteller” or a “truth teller.”

You should love public relations and all that you can do with it. 

“Do not just do this because you couldn’t get into business school,” Nall said. “Do it because you have a passion for PR.” 

Nall described a “storyteller,” one of David Ogilvy’s favorite descriptors, as the “truth tellers” of our industry. “You have to be an employee that will help tell your brand’s story. You have to want authentic stories as well as know how to get them out.” 

Nall gave the example that he would rather hire a gamer with passion in his or her eyes than a public relations major who just wanted to avoid math. 

5. Use that wiggle room. 

“There is a lot of wiggle room, fun to be had, and power of public relations out there,” Nall said. “Look outside of corporate and agency. There are plenty of places that need PR work that you’d never expect, like a nonprofit.” 

6. Take advantage of the “four big opportunities.” 

Nall said there are “four big opportunities” in public relations right now: “An opportunity to focus on your own reputation, create your own content, become a ‘storyteller,’ and an opportunity for employees to become advocates.” 

Know what companies you admire and set your goals through that. Take these opportunities on, and you will be ahead of the game. 

7. The interview is not all about you. 

“When it comes to conversation, remember that this is a business,” Nall said. “Tell me what you can bring to benefit me, but don’t talk about yourself too much. Create a conversation; I want to know that I can work with you.” 

If this article doesn’t make you want to work harder than you ever knew possible, I’m not sure what will. Speaking with Nall was a joy, and I imagine working with him would be even better. 

Students, print this list and keep it with you. Then go the extra step. Don’t let anything be an excuse that stands in the way of success. 




Myreete Wolford is a senior at The University of Alabama studying public relations and communications. She is also an editor for Platform Magazine, the school’s student-run public relations publication. Visit Ragan’s PR Daily where this excerpt is originally appeared.

The evolving distribution and role of press releases

As best as I can piece the data together, the three largest news release distribution services (PR Newswire, BusinessWire and Marketwire) sent out roughly 642,000 news releases in 2013.

If you’re keeping score, that’s about 1,759 news releases per day.

Too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. You can quote me on that. Put a half gallon of rocky road ice cream in front of Fat Albert, and even he’ll turn away before he hits bottom.

Exacerbating this dynamic, the ranks of journalists continue to decline. The number of reporters toiling in newsrooms is actually less today than in 1978 according to the Pew Research Center.

Pew Newsroom Workforce 2013 stats

The upshot – more news releases raining down on fewer journalists.

But explaining the commoditization of the news release as a form of supply-demand economics misses the root cause.

When distribution of the news release reached only the domain of the media, journalists enjoyed a free lunch. With little effort, they could write stories based on a news release, and those stories appeared fresh to their readers because they couldn’t find them elsewhere. This advantage disappeared around 1996 when news release distribution services started flinging out news releases to the masses via the Internet.

Stepping back in time for a moment, the timeline below offers the 10,000-foot view of how news release distribution has evolved.

Hoffman Infographic- Short history of distributing news releases

Journalists had a 90-year run of leveraging the news release as non-public information. When the gravy train ended in 1996, it changed everything, though it took some time to erode the status quo. Muscle memory doesn’t change so easily in the world of journalism.

Now, roughly 18 years since earmarking news releases for the public domain, it seems fair to say the commoditization of the news release is complete.

Given that journalists rarely write from news releases these days, why does the massive effort behind news releases – figure around 10 man hours per news release at $175 per hour translating into $3,078,082 of cost last year – continue?

That’s a good question.

Disclosure requirements explain only a small percent of the total pool. Plus, I’m sure this $3,078,082 number doubles or even triples taking into the account the news releases not earmarked for paid distribution.

Perhaps the PR industry has its own challenge with muscle memory.

Update: I rejoiced when I completed geometry in high school and my math education came to an end. So I wasn’t completely surprised when Chris Hogg pointed out that my math went astray in calculating how much money goes into the production of a news release. The correct number is $3,078,082 per day, not year.


Written by Lou Hoffman. He is CEO of the Hoffman Agency a global communications consultancy. He blogs on storytelling in business at Ishmael’s Corner, where a version of this article originally appeared.

Do you really have to kiss up to clients?

A big part of being on the agency or consultant side of our business is building and managing the client relationship. Your job is to establish rapport and trust with clients. You want them to see you as a partner. 

However, in some instances, this “relationship building” can cross over into “kissing up” territory pretty quickly. 

What am I talking about? Oh, don’t pretend you’re not guilty. 

What about that time you told the client “great work” even though it clearly wasn’t their best effort? 

Or that time you elbowed your way through the group so you could sit directly beside the client—then proceeded to laugh at every one of her jokes (and some of them weren’t funny)? Or that over-the-top positive email you sent to the client after what was obviously a fairly painful brainstorming meeting? 

I think most of us have been guilty at one point or another in our professional lives. I know I have, but do we really have to go down this road? 

Does relationship building equate to kissing up in our line of work? 

Having been at this for almost 20 years now, I’d say no. Here’s my thinking: 

Relationship building and management are definitely part of the job—but that should always manifest itself as trust, not flattery. Some of the best relationship building you can do has nothing to do with the relationship itself (at least in the way you’re probably thinking about it). It has to do with your work. 

  • Do great work and deliver on time, and your client will love you.
  • Make your client look great in front of her boss, and your client will love you.
  • Win awards for your client and her organization, and the client will love you. 

This is how professional relationships are built—on a foundation of hard work and results. 

Now, is there a little relationship management built into that? Absolutely, but I would argue it doesn’t have to translate into toadying. 

Relationships are a two-way street, right? So, as much as you want to get to know your client, shouldn’t your client want to get to know you, too? You’re more likely spending more time with this person than you are with your family. Make it count. 

In any relationship, you’re looking to build trust based on genuine concern, empathy, and interest. So, look for opportunities to show concern, lend and ear, or ask about a hobby or interest outside of work. 

Here are a few ways this comes to life for me. 

Whenever I talk on the phone or in person with a client, I try to ask about a few personal things right off the bat. How was your vacation? How are the kids? How is Scotty’s soccer coming along? These kinds of things. Why is this important? Because these are the things everyone wants to talk about. If you ask me about my kids, I’ll embark on a 15-minute monologue about my son’s basketball game or my daughter’s American Girl doll fixation. People love to talk about themselves; all you usually have to do is give them the opportunity and then show genuine interest. Not too tough. This is definitely not kissing up. 

I also look for opportunities to send a note in times of joy or sadness in my client’s life. Thanks to things like Facebook and Twitter, this is much easier now. I’m thinking about things like birthdays, illnesses, and moving into a new home. A short note during any of these events will go a long way. A handwritten note—even better. Again, show empathy and concern. This is not kissing up. 

Finally, if I know my client plays golf, for example, I might try to get him out on the course. Golf is a hobby (and passion) of mine, so when I see others play, I jump at the chance to connect on that level. Other areas where I’ll do the same: beer (geeky beer, at least), and Kansas Jayhawk basketball (or Gopher b-ball, for that matter). 

There’s something about getting together with your client or colleague during non-work hours doing something you both enjoy. I think that connects you a bit more—and it usually leads to a stronger relationship. Again, I don’t see this as kissing up—I see it as doing something you both love to do. 

So, do you really need to kiss up to clients? What do you think? 


Arik Hanson is principal of ACH Communications. The first version of this story originally appeared on his blog, Communications Conversations.