Marketing 4 Change Podcast – Episode 2: Stacey Monk of Epic Change and Social Media Marketing

Epic Change

Episode 2 features Stacey Monk of Epic Change.

Stacey Monk

Stacey and Epic Change have recently enjoyed a great deal of success in the social media sphere–particularly with the microblogging tool Twitter.

To learn more about Stacey and Epic Change, go to www.epicchange.org.

Other links:
Epic Change Blog
“Your Stories Matter” YouTube Group
Follow Stacey on Twitter
Follow Sanjay Patel on Twitter
Stacey’s Guest Post on Go Big Always Blog

To download this episode, right click the button below and “Save as”
Epic Change

Follow me on Twitter

McDonald’s and Corporate Social Responsibility…are you kidding me?

Wow. McDonald’s has a Corporate Social Responsibility page. http://csr.blogs.mcdonalds.com/ . Is this not a sad, sad joke. The health of Americans is getting worse and worse. People are getting fatter and fatter. Our children are becoming alarmingly obese and McDonalds wants to act like they are good, socially responsible corporate citizens. What is next? Maybe next week we will see Philip Morris weigh in on the health care debate.

The Gospel of Consumption

I’ve been doing a lot of posting about how sustainability should go beyond just ecological sustainability and into every part of our society — including marketing and public relations. ┬áHere is an article that I think everyone should read (http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/2962). I’ll leave you with the article’s parting words, let me know what you think of it.

“If we want to save the Earth, we must also save ourselves from ourselves. We can start by sharing the work and the wealth. We may just find that there is plenty of both to go around. ”

Can organizations truly be sustainable in a capitalist system?

Question: Can organizations truly be sustainable in a free-market capitalist system?

Thought: As I read through many of the conversations about sustainability happening in blogs and articles, I see a lot of discussion about how companies can be sustainable while also fulfilling their obligations to their shareholders to be as profitable as possible. This is a valid concern if you consider the current economic system as an unchangeable given. However, to truly delve into the topic of sustainability, I feel you must move past the discussion of the topic on an organization-by-organization basis. To truly discuss the topic, shouldn’t you examine the sustainability of the economic system as a whole? How can we create sustainable organizations within a system that worships at the altar of infinite growth? I think the deeper, more difficult question we as a society must answer is, not “how sustainable are our organizations,” but “how sustainable is our way of life?”

Non-Profit Marketing placing a bet on social media?

A couple of days ago, Wailin Wong of The Chicago Tribune wrote an article describing how non-profits are beginning to enter the world of social media. While the article and the marketers quoted in the article make a lot of good points, the biggest benefit of social media to non-profits was missed.

Today, we find ourselves in a world of increasingly decentralized media that makes mass communication a bit of a challenge. (There are more podcasts today than radio stations in the world) Marketing in the social media space is now more about “pull” than “push.” Individuals can consume whatever they want whenever they want. With this challenge of how to reach mass audiences in mind, it will be difficult for non-profits to maintain the traditional posture of using marketing to gain new donors.

While gaining new donors will always be important, the role of marketing and PR in a highly niched world will be more about strengthening the ties you have with your stakeholders and transforming them into organizational evangelists and zealots. While the article touched on the engagement and relationship building aspects of social media marketing, when Wailin Wong describes non-profits as “betting that the Internet’s viral nature,” it is a bit like the guy showing up to the party in a Members Only jacket. “Viral” is so 2005. Social media, today, is about building smaller, niched communities that are passionate and committed to the cause. In terms of “viral”, any strange guy with a goofy song can be “viral,” however, it is the real, lasting connections that will pay off for non-profits in the long run.

From the mouths of babes….Chevrolet’s new commercial.

The new Chevy ad for the 2008 Tahoe Hybrid just came on. One of the last lines in the commercial was a little kid questioning the adult “They call it a green care when it’s an SUV?”.

Wow, the kid gets greenwashing but General Motors doesn’t.

Is Responsible Marketing the same as Socially Responsible Marketing?

I just finished listening to a podcast from ResponsibleMarketing.com in which Bill Boyd (no relation) interviewed the President and CEO of Outsource Marketing, Patrick Byers. The podcast is entitled The Seven Keys to Responsible Marketing. Those seven keys, according to Byers, are listed below:
1. strategic responsibility
2. casting responsibility
3. execution responsibility
4. message responsibility
5. ROI responsibility
6. environmental responsibility
7 social responsibility
(for definitions of these keys you can listen to the interview here.)

I really appreciate what Byers said in the interview and the way he included social responsibility and message responsibility in the list above, but I feel that he left out an important point that his organization does well. That point is that an organization that seeks to operate in a responsible manner (socially or otherwise) can not necessarily play with everyone. One of the core values that Byers’ organization lists on their website is “We work only with clients who share our values.” I think Byers needs to add an Eighth key to responsible marketing — relational responsibility.

Social Media and Brand Identity – Can you control the message?

I just read a blog entry by Dana Theus of Magus Consulting called “Organizational Identity in the Age of Social Media”. In the entry, Theus discusses the possible negative implications that can arise out of an organizations inability to control its message.

I think Theus hits the nail on the head when she says, “But here’s the catch: Marketers don’t run most of the parts of the organization that will be carrying the organizational identity forward in the new world…”. The thought that I had when reading the post was this: If organizations continue to look to the marketing and PR department to craft and maintain an image for the organization, they are going to face a tremendous struggle in the increasingly uncontrollable world of social media PR. However, if an organization views the real work of brand maintenance as an organization-wide priority and responsibility, the lack of control will be, while not a non-issue, at least less of an issue.

Episode 1 of the Marketing 4 Change podcast – An introduction

I just posted episode 1 of the Marketing 4 Change podcast. It is a short introductory episode. However, I do pose the question, “What do you think about sustainability in marketing and public relations?” I would love your thoughts. You can leave them as comments or email me at marketing4change@gmail.com.

To download the episode, right click and “save as” this link.

Entertainment and Marketing….where does PR fit?

In a recent entry entitled Big Media & Entertainment vs.The Marketing Services Industry…who will triumph? on Edelman Digital’s Authenticities blog, Jared Hendler discussed the changing landscape that faces both the marketing services industry and the entertainment industry when it comes to who will be able to help brands reach their audiences in this new, media fragmented world.

In the entry, Hendler states “The brands that connect in the future will be those that can do more than just get involved in the conversation with their audience, but those that produce something of value for them. Whether that be in the form of information, education, software, games, social networking or via entertainment properties.” In my opinion, this is a huge, positive shift from traditional marketing techniques that, in my opinion, reduce the quality of my life.

A great example of this is the billboard advertisement vs. a podcast about gadgets. As I drive down the freeway, I am under constant visual attack by billboards advertising products and services that I have little to no interest in or need for. What this ends up doing, at least in my case, is encouraging me to develop mental filters against such ads as they simultaneously reduce my enjoyment of the natural world. Conversely, when I subscribe to a podcast about gadgets, I feel that, even though I am consuming information about products that companies want me to purchase, value is being added to my day. This is because I enjoy the content and I am actually pursuing the content. Furthermore, I think my personal engagement with the content leads me to be much more likely to purchase a gadget featured on the podcast than I am to pay for the laser hair removal that I frequently see advertised on billboards along the freeway.

Hendler ends the entry by saying “Amidst all of this PR is in a unique position as a perfect hybrid between the two models.” I think Hendler is right. Those people and firms who understand truly how to relate to the public will be perfectly positioned to help brands tell their stories authentically and effectively.