Category Archives: Public Relations

Internet Marketing Key to Obama Win

Barack Obama wins Democratic nominationParticularly interesting post on the Wired blog that illustrates how Barack Obama’s branding and marketing campaign usage of the Internet played a key role in propelling him victory of the Democrat nomination. Below is an excerpt with a link to the original post:

“It’s impossible to imagine Barack Obama’s rise without the modern methods that his campaign used to organize itself, particularly around the internet,” says Simon Rosenberg, president and founder of the nonprofit think tank the New Democratic Network. “This really was the most successful campaign of the 21st century.”

“This is what happens when you have a charismatic candidate, and you organize on a scale not seen before,” he adds. “Literally, the size and scale of this is unprecedented in American political history, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the money, and passion, and support of millions of American people.”

The campaign came up with a number of innovations on the internet. It used wikis — online collaborative software — to coordinate and churn out precinct captains in both California and Texas. And it created a counter-viral e-mail campaign to combat the anonymous e-mail smears that question his religious faith and patriotism. It set up policy pages that solicited ideas from supporters, and at one point, the campaign solicited letters from supporters over the internet to lobby the undecided superdelegates.

And Obama’s campaign constantly updated its YouTube channel to keep its supporters around the country up to speed on his latest speeches.

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Filed under advertising, Barack Obama, Blogging, Branding, Communications, Internet, marketing, Online marketing tactics, Public Relations, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Social Media, social network, Technology, Viral, Web 2.0, Web Sites, Word-of-Mouth, youtube

Steve Jobs Tells All

Steve JobsFortune has published a series of excerpts from an exclusive interview with Apple founder, Steve Jobs who reveals among other things, the keys to the company’s success and the prospects of Apple without him. Any one who reads this blog knows I’m a huge fan of Apple. They are the complete package – great products, friendly service, and brilliant marketing.

On the iPhone: “We all had cellphones. We just hated them, they were so awful to use. The software was terrible. The hardware wasn’t very good. We talked to our friends, and they all hated their cellphones too. Everybody seemed to hate their phones. And we saw that these things really could become much more powerful and interesting to license. It’s a huge market. I mean a billion phones get shipped every year, and that’s almost an order of magnitude greater than the number of music players. It’s four times the number of PCs that ship every year.

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Filed under Apple, Branding, Business, Cell phone, Design, innovation, iPhone, ipod, marketing, Packaging, Public Relations, Selling, Technology

Obama Winning the Branding War

Barack Obama

Who’s winning the branding campaign amongst ALL US presidential candidates, Democrats and Republicans included? Barack Obama… hands down. I watched his speech in the New Hampshire primaries after finishing second to Hillary Clinton and it’s the first time a politician has given me goose bumps during a speech since seeing former President Bill Clinton speak to a standstill audience at a fundraiser here in Vancouver in 2001.

Yes We CanThe Obama camp did a smart thing very early. They identified a simple theme or core value – “change” – that the Obama brand would stand for, and since then have repeated consistently in every speech, every verse, and every message. His message proved to resonate so strongly amongst Iowa voters that they pushed Obama into the number one position, and sent all the other candidates into me-too mode during the New Hampshire debates, each trying to deliver their own version of a change message. All rang hollow against the candidate who first brought the message to the masses. In Obama’s speech yesterday, he further evolved the message with an emotional, Martin Luther King-like sermon that was summed up in a three-word catch phrase, Yes we can”. Watch and see this phrase repeated over and over again during the rest of the campaign, not so different than a company tagline.

What Obama has got over the other candidates, besides his charisma and likability quotient, is that his message is clear, concise and comes across as authentic. As other candidates try to re-tool their message, Obama is evolving his. A very effective branding campaign, one that many small business owners should consider when evaluating their own company brand.


Filed under Barack Obama, Branding, Business, Communications, marketing, Public Relations, Small Business Marketing

PEER 1 Customer Social Event a Big Hit

Toronto Customer Social 2007

Liam Eagles of The Whir and Top Hosts covered our Customer Social event in Toronto at funky C Lounge this past Wednesday. Great turn out and a lot of fun! Check out photos from the event by clicking the album cover above.

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Filed under Branding, Business, Communications, data center, Hosting, Internet, Managed Hosting, marketing, PEER 1, Public Relations, ServerBeach, Small Business Marketing, Technology

Canucks New Uniforms Are Good, Not Great


Just returned from the unveiling of the new Vancouver Canucks hockey jersey at GM Place. Free hot dogs and drinks for anyone willing to stand in the gigantic line. No way. Got inside, took in the pre-show, enjoyed the hype video and then the moment of truth… team captain Markus Naslund skated out with the new uniform. What do I think? What do you think? I love the colours. I like the overall cut of the uniforms, very sleek. But, I’m having a problem with the “Vancouver” wordmark in combination with the Whale logo – seems way too cluttered. Each is quite strong on its own, together they seem to be fighting one another. Also, having a horizontal border along the bottom of the shirt which now is cut similar to a dress shirt (tapers up the side seams), seems just wrong. Overall, don’t love it, but don’t hate it. I’m a Canucks fan, so I’ll live with whatever they come out with, but I’m surprised there wasn’t a little more forethought in the overall design. Here are some pics from the event. By the way, very well attended on a spectacular sunny day. A lot of fans in this city, that’s for sure.

canucks_a.jpg Canucks fans Dave Nonis Willie Mitchell Canucks Players Kevin Bieksa


Filed under Branding, Canucks, Design, Hockey, jersey, marketing, Markus Naslund, NHL, Public Relations, Vancouver

Enable Your Customers to Support Causes

Terrific post on Duct Tape Marketing that profiles email marketing services giant Constant Contact’s non-profit program called “Cares 4 Kids“. The program allows customers to nominate a single children’s charity to receive a free Constant Contact account. By empowering customers to give is always special. When the giving is your company’s products or services, even better. Done right, a program like this speaks well for your brand the marketplace, as well as foster loyalty amongst current customers. Can you think of a way to introduce such a program in your business? Worth looking in to. Read more

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Filed under Business, Care 4 Kids, Causes, charity, Constant Contact, Duct Tape Marketing, Internet, non-profit, Public Relations, Referrals, Sales, Selling, Small Business Marketing

WestJet Makes Flying Fun Again

WestJet LogoFor the first time that I can recall, I enjoyed my flight. I flew from Vancouver to Toronto yesterday on WestJet. I haven’t flown on WestJet since its early days, but I recall it being fairly pleasant, if not a little basic. But it never really struck enough of a chord with me to fly with them again. Usually I fly with Air Canada (who has somehow managed to find a way to progressively get worse in the face of stiff competition) because I have a points card. I decided to go with WestJet this time because of the departure time available and it was cheaper.

Not expecting much, I was first struck by the difference in their departure gate at YVR. A screening room with lounge chairs to preview upcoming movies, a children’s area anchored by an over-sized cartoonish-looking television, racks of complimentary newspapers, and plenty of seating. After the pre-boarding of children and persons with disabilities, I was expecting the usual “Group 1” being called upon, then “Group 2”, “Group 3”, etc. Does anyone else ever find this annoying? It’s bad enough you’re not in “first-class”, now there’s a class system amongst coach. Maybe I’m just peeved because I always seem to be in the last group. Where’s Sister Rosa?

Instead, the WestJet lady announces over the PA system for all other passengers to please begin boarding now. Single-filed, we all got in without a hitch. When I sat down in my seat, I was excited to see a TV screen looking back at me – my own individual one of the seatback variety. Cool. Never got that on Air Canada or AmericaWest or United Airlines or America Airlines. I’ve gotten use to straining my neck to try and make out the 10-inch washed out screen hanging from the ceiling five rows in front of me. I’m pretty good at it.

Flipped through the channels expecting to see some canned programming, instead I got live Wimbledon quarter finals play on TSN. Very cool, WestJet was broadcasting live television from a Bell ExpressVu satellite. Surely this costs extra? No. Just the movies, which at $5 a pop on a four hour journey is more than reasonable.

After settling in and watching Serena Williams get over-matched by Justine Henin, I started jonesing for a coffee. I didn’t have time to pick up my usual before the flight. The in-flight crew came by with their beverage cart, I asked for a coffee and they gave me cookies with it. And the coffee was actually good. So good, I inspected the cup to see if I could find the culprit: Fratello. Nice.

I was in a groove, and before I knew it, the time had already passed and they were announcing over the PA system that we would be arriving into Toronto 20 minutes early. And then the banter, humour and singing begun. It was such a pleasure to see the staff break away from their usual tired scripts, and entertain their guests. I’ve never seen so many smiling faces in a plane before, particularly before touch-down. From what I can see, WestJet has captured lightening in a bottle. Let’s hope many of the other airlines can find some too.


Filed under Air Canada, Branding, Business, Coffee, Customer Service, marketing, Marketing Research, Public Relations, Sales, Selling, Small Business Marketing, TV, WestJet, Word-of-Mouth