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It seemed like a great idea, right up to the point where it went horribly wrong

3.24.2010 by Kevin Creighton

Sending an email to introduce your P.R. firm to the newest member of one of the web's most influential tech websites: Good.

Subject: RE: Maybe we pitch her on [REMOVED]

Worth a shot. Keep it short and sweet and go with more of the social network aspect. I’m sure you can use the typical techcrunch email format.

From: PR Flack #1
Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 10:11 AM
To: PR Flack #2
Subject: Maybe we pitch her on [REMOVED]

I’ve been mulling how to get them on Tech Crunch for some time, and I’m guessing she’s a West Coaster so maybe [REMOVED] will do a video with her. She clearly gets the financial end of things coming from Forbes. Definitely worth a shot in my opinion.


What have you done for me lately?

3.12.2010 by Kevin Creighton

The first time I saw this ad on Facebook, I half-expected it to link to Huhcorp.

A marketing agency that's going to save the world?

Well, cool. It's great that they've got "the world" as their client, but if that's their attitude, I want nothing to do with them. I don't want a marketing agency that'll save the world (that's Al Gore's job. Just ask him, he'll tell you it's so), I want a marketing agency that'll save my company/organization. If I want to save the world, I'll put money into things like micro-enterprise and appropriate technology and let my marketing agency do the job I pay them to do.

Forty may have a problem with over-promising and under-delivering here. How does one go about doing a SWOT analysis on saving the world, anyways? ("Strengths: The World. Threats: Everything else.") And when they do save the world, who are they going to bill for the job? Will they take a check?

P.S. According to their Facebook ads, "Kim Stearns" is just one in a series of "Marketing Directors" at Forty who are all young, hip and attractive. Amazing how that works...

Pervasive permissiveness

3.08.2010 by Kevin Creighton

Security guards were the bane of my existence when I was a full-time photog: I'd set up a shot on a sidewalk out in front of some corporate headquarters (an absolutely legal thing to do) and within five minutes some clod with a badge and a radio would wander by asking what I was up to.

I'd politely explain that I was taking a picture, and they'd start asking questions about who I cleared this with and do I have a business card and we'll just see about all this then, and it's gotten even worse since I left the biz. Garry Winogrand would be on the no-fly list if he were around today...

When it comes to taking pictures, it's better to ask for forgiveness then try to get permission. This is NOT true of online marketing, however, as Google is finding out the hard way.

Sure enough, when I clicked on the Buzz icon in my account I saw that Google had manufactured a list of followers for me, and a list of people to follow, all based on names in my inbox. Some of those names represented friends of mine, who I didn’t mind sharing information with — but some certainly weren’t friends.

Then it hit me: I’d just been opted-in to a social network without my permission.

Google’s big misstep is a great reminder for other marketers: Social media and email work because they represent permission-based marketing channels.

Seth Godin said it, I believe it, that settles it.

Do not press the button marked "Do Not Press"

3.02.2010 by Kevin Creighton

No, really, don't press it.

"The vulnerability exists in the way that VBScript interacts with Windows Help files when using Internet Explorer," read the advisory. "If a malicious Web site displayed a specially crafted dialog box and a user pressed the F1 key, arbitrary code could be executed in the security context of the currently logged-on user."

I'm not that down on Microsoft for this. XP is, after all, a ten-year old OS, so things like this will take longer to patch than for, say, Windows 7. But what makes Windows good, the interaction between the OS and Office, is what allows this to happen.


Kevin Creighton's views on online marketing, design, photography and the future of technology


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