The last Roundup of 2008 includes a diverse array of pressies under the MarCom Professional tree.

Brian Solis and Ben Matthews scrutinise the Techcrunch embargoe kerfuffle (marking the end of an era?), David Knowles chats about how we might all learn from the latest X-factor, and Stephen Waddington uses any excuse to include a picture of Kelly Brooks... although we agree Quick Response codes might be hot stuff in coming years.

And in amongst the brightly wrapped pressies, one from the US Air Force, courtesy of David Meerman Scott, about their use of social media in their marketing communications. That'll get us flying into 2009.

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, whichever you prefer.

Best regards, Philip and the MarCom Professional team.

QR codes and the Kelly Brooks Pepsi campaign

by Stephen Waddington of Rainier PR

When Kelly Brooks starts appearing in ads featuring QR codes you know that the 2D dot matrix bar code technology is close to a tipping point. Brooks features in a Pepsi campaign that has gone live this week and images of her clutching a QR code have featured in most of the tabloids.

QR (short for Quick Response) codes are 2D postage stamp sized barcodes that can pack in up to half a page of data. The technology was originally devised to track goods in a supply chain but has found its way into the consumer mobile sector in tagging application. More...

Success Beckons the Social Media-Driven Enterprise

by Trevor Young of One19

The advent of blogging and podcasting, social networking and other connective technologies - collectively referred to by most people now as social media - is seen in so many different lights, it's no wonder that companies and organisations are freaking out about it.

No doubt the situation was similar when other mediums such as newspapers, radio and television were first unleashed on to an unsuspecting public.
The difference, of course, is that social media isn't a 'medium' per se and therefore shouldn't be even remotely compared to, say, television. More...

Fanta fantasy - Brand owners, beware demos on N95s

by si crowhurst of We Love Mobile

It was some sadness I saw this week that Fanta have decided to boost their awareness of their brand worldwide through mobile.


Well… They have eschewed the normal mobile marketing routes, and have gone with a new, and quite lovely concept. It is a game that uses both a mobile app around a real world scenario. In short, it is a tennis game that lets users actually play a game of tennis, using their phones, Wii like, as rackets across a printed out miniature tennis court. Nice huh?

So why does it make me sad?

Well firstly you can get an idea of the scale of the issue when you have a look at the supported phones on the website. More...

What Can Brands Learn from Alexandra Burke?

by David Knowles of

And so the marketing machine that is ‘X Factor’ rumbles towards securing Simon Cowell another Christmas # 1 this year. At the time of writing, 150k copies of Alexandra Burke’s cover of ‘Hallelujah’ have been downloaded thus far, making it the fastest selling download of all time and virtually guaranteeing it to be the soundtrack to many people’s Christmas.

Whilst Ms Burke might be a talented singer, nobody can doubt that her song’s popularity has a lot to do with the amount of time, emotion and money people have invested into her over the course of X Factor. More...

Mobile advertising recall and a call to action for Creatives

by Andrew Grill of Gigafone

Just what is the effectiveness of mobile advertising?  What is the recall? This question was asked of me recently by a well known planner for a big agency in London.  It is a good question because this is just what clients will be asking him after a campaign – how was our money spent?  Where and when did people experience our brand?  Did they have a higher recall of the brand after seeing a targeted and relevant mobile advertisement versus a standard mobile web banner? More...

One rule for them when it comes to paid links and another rule for us?

by Mindy Gofton of I-COM International

I read something on Search Engine Roundtable earlier in the week that got me steaming mad. An industry expert allegedly said the following to a roomful of people at the Search Engine Strategies conference in Chicago:

"Yes; he buys links, but buys them for large .com's with lots of quality incoming links. That's a big difference from the small to medium who are buying those links. If Todd buys 5 links for someone like, I call that buying paid advertising. NO risk at all." More...

The End of Embargoes?

by Ben Matthews of Pudding Relations

Michael Arrington wrote a piece on TechCrunch today that proclaims the "Death of the Embargo":

"All this stress on the PR firms put on them by desperate clients means they send out the embargoed news to literally everyone who writes tech news stories... As the economy turns south, PR firms are under increasing pressure to perform and justify their monthly retainers which range from $10,000 to $30,000 or more. In short, they have to spam the tech world to get coverage, or lose their jobs... More...

Meme: How to keep your PR clients happy

by Stephen Waddington of Rainier PR

Ged Carroll set me some more homework in his ‘Low cost ways to keep your clients happy’ meme. He's put together an impressive list of low cost tools that enable PR professionals to do their job better.

I have a single piece of advice for front line PRs in a challenging economy - and it won't cost you anything. Stick close to your clients. Meet with them. If that’s not possible call them regularly, especially if they are based overseas.

The PR industry relies far too much on digital, rather than face to face communication. More...

Making the case for mobile advertising in a down economy

by Andrew Grill of Gigafone

I came across an excellent summary on Media Post by Michael Weaver titled “Hunker Down Or Double Down? Making The Case for Mobile Advertising In A Down Economy“ Michael makes the point

“Mobile advertising is comparatively cheap, highly dynamic (with everything from video and display to text and search options), global, easy to produce, and, most of all, more measurable than any other channel. The challenge is simply turning advertisers into believers.”

He also talks about the three “issues” More...

Shout! With Brent Arslaner, VP of Marketing at Unisfair

by Rebecca Caroe of Creative Agency Secrets

Unisfair offers virtual events enabling large corporations and mid sized ones as alternative to physical events.

I came across the organisation following an interview request made by their excellent PR Sarah Tonzi.

They have clients across a range of categories - marketing, recuriting and internal collaboration. but mainly focus on two markets - media companies like Economist, Business Week a virtual event is every aspect of a physical event. Main hall, exhibitions and conference, networking lounges all just like a regular conference. More...

TechCrunch Kills The Embargo, But PR Holds the Smoking Gun

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

Disclosure, I am a contributor to TechCrunch and I have had my fair share of embargoes broken by various reporters and bloggers over the years. In some cases, we trusted the wrong people.


In what is sure to come as an absolute surprise to the tech PR industry, TechCrunch proclaimed that it will no longer honor embargoes, unless they're granted exclusivity. The move was triggered by a growing pattern of underhanded and also irresponsible behavior in the backchannels of PR and blogger relations. More...

Pay per click just doesn't connect with web site users

by Graham Jones of Internet Psychology

Pay per click advertising fails to really connect with people who use the Internet. That's the conclusion from a new study by ClickConsult. The research reveals that if you combine search engine optimisation (SEO) with Pay Per Click, you get a 50% increase in conversions.

What this really tells us is that when people see an advert in isolation they don't trust it. When they see an advert AND they are aware of the company or organisation via natural search, then they increase their trust level with the advertiser. More...

The US Air Force: Armed with social media

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

Recently I was checking out a bunch of people on Twitter who began to follow my updates @dmscott. When I went to @AFPAA I was surprised to see the Twitter ID belonged to the US Air Force. There were less than 200 people following the Air Force, indicating someone new to Twitter. Now this is interesting I thought, the Air Force on Twitter. I sent a DM (direct message) to find out what they are doing and received an immediate answer from Capt. David Faggard, Chief of Emerging Technology at the Air Force Public Affairs Agency in the Pentagon. More...