Before we dive into this week's MarCom Professional highlights, we'd like you to help us work out what we should be doing for you in the New Year. Here's the shortlist:

A. An agency time planning, logging and reporting tool. Keep track of projects, people, tasks, time. Work out where you're over- and under-servicing, and opt-in to anonymised benchmarkcomparisons.

B. Coverage collation, management and measurement. Scan coverage and capture screenshots directly to the browser, generate reports and share with your team and/or clients in your own extranet.

C. Journalist - PR relations is controversial of late. This service would act as a hub for PR consultants to discover what journalists need, and for journalists to manage stuff thrown at them by PR consultants.

Do drop us an email, tweet me, post or comment... we only want to deliver what you can use!

Thanks and best regards, Philip and the MarCom Professional team.

SpinVox delights with Covent Garden Wishing Well

by Stephen Waddington of Rainier PR

Shout out to experiential firm Freestate that developed and built SpinVox’s Wishing Well installation as part of the Covent Garden Christmas festival. It’s a wonderful, almost magical piece of work that cannot fail to bring a smile to your face.

As you call 020 7818 0880 your wish is converted to text and projected onto the walls inside the Wishing Well installation in Covent Garden. It also appears online.

It’s rare for a brand to delight its audience – but SpinVox has achieved exactly that with its Wishing Well. More...

World-class, cutting-edge gobbledygook

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

Yesterday I sent out a tweet "Gobbledygook alert!!" pointing to the web site of Ossk Interactive, which has this gem on the homepage.

"We’re dedicated to providing results oriented, cost efficient solutions for customer outreach by employing existing and proprietary technologies that maximize exposure and obtain a leadership position in your market through the use of E-Ossk, our interactive digital outreach system."

I asked my Twitter followers "What does this company do?" More...

Writing Persuasively 3 - Features Tell, Benefits Sell

by Matt Ambrose of The Copywriter's Crucible

“In our factory, we make lipstick. In our advertising, we sell hope.” - Charles Revson

Whenever someone reads your website’s landing page or sales letter they’re not thinking about how clever the wordplay is but ‘what’s in it for me?’ They want to know how your product can solve their problem and benefit them personally, not how great your company is or how many speed settings your widget has.

If you’ve provided them with the right triggers, their imagination will also be picturing what life would be like if they took advantage of your offer. More...

Business blogging isn't worthwhile says new study

by Graham Jones of Internet Psychology

New research from Forrester suggests that business blogging could well be a waste of time. It seems that only 16% of Internet users trust what they read on business blogs. And - worse - this is the lowest trust rating for any web content.

What the study reveals is a huge thumbs down for blogging. So should you carry on?

There is no doubt that the lack of trust is down to the appalling way in which many businesses have used blogs. Big businesses in particular has a lot to answer for here. They have abused blogging substantially by publishing "puffery" More...

Saying More with Less: A Directory of Short URL Services

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

Through brevity there’s clarity.

As marketers and communicators in the era of socialized media, we’re relearning how to summarize and illustrate what we represent so that we might briefly captivate the attention of those we wish to reach.

Twitter, FriendFeed, Plurk, Qik, Seesmic, 12seconds, Facebook News Feeds, and all other forms of micromedia communities prosper through a concise economy of language and forethought. It is the exchange of this richer dialog that flourishes through succinctness. More...

Persona focused Web site leads to 4x conversions for RightNow Technologies

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

In early 2008, San Mateo, CA based RightNow Technologies kicked off a project to rebuild the company Web site around buyer personas.   As you probably know, a buyer persona is distinct group of potential customers, an archetypal person whom you want your marketing to reach.

Creating a site based on buyer personas gets you away from an egotistical site based on your products and services (which nobody really cares about, after all). What people do care about are themselves and answers to their problems, which is why buyer personas are so critical for marketing success. More...

Google to allow PC Ads on Mobile

by si crowhurst of We Love Mobile

Google has announced a new feature for its AdWords service today, which will enable ads that were once formatted and restricted to the desktop computer to also appear on mobile phones.

Historically, it didn’t make sense to deliver desktop ads to the phone because if a consumer clicked on it, they wouldn’t be able to view the page correctly. But now that some phones have full Internet browsers, this is less of a concern. Google said today in a blog post that advertisers will be able to place the same ads on the iPhone and the T-Mobile G1, as well as other phones with full HTML Internet browsers as they become available. More...

Mobile Industry Thought Leaders New Initiative Launched

by Andrew Grill of Gigafone

I am immensely proud to be associated with this new phase of Jonathan MacDonald’s “yes we can” change program for mobile advertising.  Full details below. Mobile Industry Thought Leaders Launch Mobile Advertising Information Resource

EverySingleOneOfUs unites brands, carriers, publishers, associations and industry experts to identify solutions and best practices that facilitate positive change in the development of the mobile advertising ecosystem

London, UK – December 9th 2008 – More...

May the blessing of mobile …

by si crowhurst of We Love Mobile

The world’s first voice-to-text Sunday service took place on Sunday 30 November. It was given by the Reverend John Kronenberg, Vicar of Hinchley Wood, Esher, Surrey. Well. Praise be. It’s not the first time that the Church have embraced the power of mobile - the Pope has sent out millions of texts to his faithful and in Africa mobile is used to preach the gospel and reach the masses. The sermon will be delivered by SpinVox and his words will automatically be converted and sent to inboxes - 100 members of his congregation are participating. More...

I didn't think that marketing was like torture

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

OK, regular readers of this blog know that I've offered a bunch of suggestions in the past few months for how to convince your boss to let you reduce the traditional marketing & PR that doesn’t work so well in an online world.

The suggestions are ways to get them to allow you to adopt the new rules.
- A top ten list for implementing the new rules
- The one question to ask new marketing & PR detractors
- An answer to the ultimate question (measurement & ROI)
- And if all else fails, you can quit your job

Now from HubSpot comes an incredibly clever music video re-mix. More... and open source PR (more evidence for Most Frequent Contributor power)

by Andrew Smith of escherman

According to Joe Brockmeier at ZDNet, Amazon is taking an open source approach to PR: The company has announced what it calls its “Holiday Customer Review Team.” These are six Amazon customers who are particularly active in writing product reviews that it has offered to reporters to discuss gift picks. (They also contribute their recommendations on a page on Amazon’s site.)

Amazon says that members of the team are “real people giving unbiased advice to fellow consumers. They are not employed by, Inc. More...

Why Backtype points to the future of PR

by Andrew Smith of escherman

According to Todd Defren: “Excuses for not doing supremely excellent (PR) work are dwindling yet again, thanks to a new service called BackType. BackType lets you “find, follow and share comments from across the web.” Whenever you fill out the “URL” field in a blog’s comment form, BackType tracks it. If you’re pretty prolific online, use BackType to keep tabs on your past conversations. And it goes one better, in terms of Blogger Relations: BackType also allows you to track and subscribe to some of the most influential folks on the Web.” More...