- French/West/Vaughan Tagged by MoGo Sport
- Soniclean Hires 5WPR as PR Firm Of Record
- Germany: On the Move [by Richard Edelman]
- 5WPR, Amex & Booz Allen Hamilton: Big-time American Business Awards Winners
- Acquisitions, Endowments and PR Awards in Cannes
- Electric Vehicle Price Wars
- Russia-US Spats Resemble an Aesop Fable
- Windows Everywhere, a Microsoft Move that Makes Sense
- How to Use #hashtags on Facebook, Advice for Marketers
- Dots On Tots Selects 5W Public Relations
News from North Carolina and one of America's leading PR firms French/West/Vaughan (FWV), tells of the agency being named agency of record by MoGo Sport, creators of the world’s first flavored mouthguard. According to the announcement, FWV will be providing an integrated campaign for MoGo, including PR, social, paid media and athlete endorsements, etc. MoGo mouthguards use a patented process that embeds the mouthguard material with natural flavor essences minus any sugar, calories or harmful chemicals of any kind. Athletes using these mouthguards get the benefit all season long with the confidence of pro level protection. The mouthpieces also carry a $10,000 dental warranty, are comfortable, and infuse tasty flavors into what was a droll bit of necessity. FWV Chairman and CEO Rick French offered this comment on his firm's selection:
“MoGo mouthguards are an innovative product and we are thrilled to help this company expand its market share in the United States. As a hockey player myself, I appreciate MoGo Sport’s dedication to making protective gear more comfortable and we look forward to getting its product in the hands of athletes of all levels.”Just recently, FWV brokered two pro athlete endorsements for MoGo. SF 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, and reigning NHL MVP and star player for the Pittsburgh Penguins Evgeni “Geno” Malkin. For more information on this news or French/West/Vaughan overall readers may contact: LAUREN BRISTOL | Assistant Account Executive 112 E. Hargett Street Raleigh, NC 27601 P: 919.277.1168 F: 919.832.8322
In agency news, 5WPR was just recently named as the agendy of record (AOR) by Zenith Technologies, makers of the most technologically advanced vacuum cleaning system Soniclean has hired the firm. Soniclean, introduced by Zenith earlier this year, brings sonic technology into vacuuming for the first-time ever. The technology makes Soniclean one of the most advanced cleaning systems in the world. According to the news from 5WPR, Soniclean effectively cleans at 12,000 vibrations per minute with a system capable of cleaning carpet and hard floors. Inventor Mark Bosses's 30 years experience in the vacuum industry culminates in Zenith Technologies' revolutionary new industry evolution. Prior to starting Zenith Technologies, Bosses' family founded HomeCare Industries, the world's largest manufacturers of vacuum cleaner bags and accessories. 5WPR – as public relations firm of record has planned a vibrant focused PR campaign to introduce the brand as a category leader.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following piece written by President and CEO, Edelman, Richard Edelman was first published on Richard’s 6 A.M. blog. With his firm’s permission, we republish it here as a contributory, industry supportive piece. Berggruen Museum, a spectacular collection of Picassos and Braques in Berlin. This was followed by the Edelman Leadership Meeting in Hamburg. In the course of the week, I met former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Fresenius (client) CEO Mark Schneider, ARD anchorman Ingo Zamperoni, Dr. Klaus Schüler, the National Secretary of the Christian Democrats and Philipp Missfelder, Christian Democratic Union Defense spokesperson. Here are a few observations from these discussions: * The German election on September 22 will likely be a very tight race. Should the incumbent Merkel and her party win, they may achieve a plurality but not a majority as her coalition partner, the Free Democrats, have faded in the polls. Although, it is possible to see a combination with the Green Party or a classic grand coalition with the Socialist Party. * Merkel is very popular personally and professionally. She has allowed her personal side to emerge, particularly in her visits to towns affected by the floods in recent weeks. She is seen as especially capable on European issues, holding the purse strings tightly on funds for beleaguered EU states such as Greece. * German mid-sized companies have emerged as global leaders in their narrow manufacturing niches. According to Schüler, there are 1,500 German companies in market leadership positions, 70 percent of which are in manufacturing and 70 percent family owned. * The Hartz Reforms of labor a decade ago have been the critical factor in the reestablishment of German competitiveness. The country has benefitted from productivity gains, as wage increases have lagged. The view is that German companies now face rivals on the global stage, not in Europe. R&D has also been vital in this gain in status, with research spending now at 3 percent of GNP. * German MNCs are the second most-trusted national headquartered companies in the world, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer, perhaps in part by a localization strategy. Fresenius has moved from being a Mittelstand or mid-sized player to a global leader by “trying to be a local player in emerging markets,” said its CEO Schneider. The company starts local manufacturing early on to give local clients assured supply at the right price. Fresenius also maintains the brand names of companies it has acquired (Kabi is the brand for China). One anecdote; our guide at the Hermitage Palace in St. Petersburg said that Siemens began to supply the light bulbs over 100 years ago. * On running a MNC, Schneider said that there are three non-negotiable aspects: Product Quality; Integrity of Financial Reporting; Ethical Behavior Linked to Corporate Compliance. He and his senior team travel regularly to the markets where he sees his people and customers. In fact, he spends time out in the field with his sales force or nursing teams to know the product “from the sharp end.” Schneider acknowledged that there are centrifugal forces that come with growth of a company. “You have to be prepared to let go while retaining the core principles.” * German media is going through the same transformation as in the U.S. FT Deutschland was closed earlier in the year, while print media struggles to attract advertising. ARD is an independent TV enterprise created after WWII on the model of the BBC, funded by a Euro 17 per month charge on every TV home. ARD like many broadcasters is losing audience for evening news; down 10 percent in its 8 P.M. news hour in the past two years. But the 10 P.M. news has its highest numbers in 20 years because “we are doing more reporting and adding value to the audience beyond the facts,” Zamperoni said. * The broadcasters are changing their view of the business. “We now have an app for mobile phones that takes you directly to our news product, which we have tailored to 100-second bites. We do not hold the news; we put it up right away. We are doing more print content on line (in fact the print media is suing ARD for exceeding its mandate). We have expanded the role of the anchorperson, interacting live with the audience via Twitter, coordinating live feeds from breaking news events such as the terror bombing in Boston,” said Zamperoni. A decade ago, _The Economist_ had a cover story on Germany, describing it as the sick man of Europe. Today it is able to pay down its federal debt while still funding bail-outs of less competitive EU members. All parts of society seem to have bought into the notion of a Germany that works. Now, the question is whether the shadows of the past will inhibit the country from taking its rightful position as one of the most important players in global governance. Germany needs the EU but should not be inhibited by fellow members in achieving its destiny of leadership.
The 11th Annual American Business AwardsSM at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park Hotel earlier in the week, revealed some "Oscar" caliber PR category winners. Among those receiving these prestigious awards were: 5WPR, which won gold as Public Relations Agency of The Year. Ronn Torossian's stellar firm was also deemed to be “Re-writing the Rules of PR: 5W Builds an Agency for a New Media Landscape.” Right behind 5WPR were silver winners Cohn & Wolfe, Makovsky, Matter Communications, and MWW. Winner of the bronze was Fifth Ring, Inc. Also, the COMMUNICATIONS, INVESTOR RELATIONS, OR PR EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR HAS BEEN NAMED Elizabeth Zaborowska, Founder & CEO of Bhava Communications, Berkeley, CA. Silver winners were Ronn Torossian of 5WPR, Laura Kane, Vice President, Corporate Communications, AFLAC, Dan Macuga, Chief Communications Officer, USANA Health Sciences, Salt Lake City, UT. Bronze in that category are Lisa Moore, VP of Marketing, Travelzoo, and Ashley Collins of USANA. Ironically, the campaign that won the Public Service Communications or PR Campaign/Program of the Year went to Booz Allen Hamilton, Ashburn, VA: Community-Based Summits in Support of Military Families. One wonders if judges considered the recent high profile crisis Booz Allen Hamilton has faced in the media. American Express OPEN and NASCAR both won three Gold Stevie Awards last night, more than any other organization. The full awards list can be viewed at: http://www.stevieawards.com/pubs/awards/403_2662_22381.cfm
This the season of acquisitions it seems - Lewis PR bought the Davies Murphy Group, and Ketchum bought a leading German PR agency as Omnicom continues to roll up agencies. Odd time for agencies to sell as those who are now on the back end of a global recession can now grow over the next few years. 5WPR ain’t on the acquisition block we have never been more excited about the future. Major endowment of $3 million has been made to The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism for the growth of their work in Strategic Public Relations and Business Communication. The PR business continues to grow – and it’s great to see leading universities expand their work in the PR arena. Good news for all of us in PR and great news for USC. Further proof that PR has moved and will stay in the boardroom? Headline financial news reported that a leading government PR employee left to join Sard Verbinnen & Co, the PR agency representing Steven A. Cohen's SAC Capital. Communication matters – and the industry deserves an even higher profile. Have eagerly followed news regarding The 2013 PR Lions– and all the good it does for the Public Relations industry. Cannes – incidentally one of my favorite cities in the world – is the place where this event is held of course, during the Palais des Festivals. And while the larger event has taken place for the last 60 years, PR participation is now in its 5th year. Always good to have more prizes for our industry.
While the Israeli electric car company Better Place has filed for bankruptcy, things seem to be picking up on the battery-powered car scene elsewhere. The key to success seems to be found in offering price incentives. While the Israeli government gave Better Place a huge break on import taxes, the company failed to pass on the savings to customers so that the only possible outcome was for the company to go belly-up. It was only a matter of time. Happily, things seem to be picking up (if you’ll excuse the expression) in the U.S. Once upon a time, electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf and the Honda Fit EV sat around dealerships attracting dust. Now a price war has broken out among the car companies offering electric cars and consumers are flocking to take advantage of the battle to buy the battery-charged cars. It began with Nissan. The Leaf didn’t sell very well two years running (oops, there we go again). In fact, Nissan sold only half the number of Leafs it had anticipated selling in 2012. People just didn’t want to pay more for a new-fangled car when they could buy the old familiar gas-operated car for less money. NISSAN GOT SMART Then Nissan got smart and started offering the Leaf for much less: $6,400 less for a new model. At last, the consumer could buy a battery-operated car for less than $19,000, especially once state and federal motivational discounts were figured in. Throw in tax credits, savings on gasoline, and groovy lease deals and word got around: it pays to buy an electric vehicle. Once Nissan got smart, its competitors were forced to follow suit. The Chevy Spark and Fiat 500e came with $199 monthly lease fee specials. Then Mitsubishi and Toyota drastically cut prices for their electric car models. CNET said the Honda Fit electric vehicle was probably the best deal of the bunch with a 3-year lease for just $259 per month, no money down, unlimited miles, a home charging station, and to top it off, auto insurance thrown in for good measure. Compare this to Honda’s previous deal of $389 per month for the lease, which failed to rouse consumer joy. WAITING LISTS Honda cut the monthly lease by $130 during the first week of June. Within days, California dealerships found they couldn’t keep the Honda EV in stock. Waiting lists started filling up. This came after a dearth of 6 months when Honda dealers couldn’t sell EV’s for love or money. No one knows quite where things are going with the electric vehicle market, least of all traditional dealers and other affected by the switchover from gasoline-run to electric-powered vehicles. If this new trend continues, how will it affect car donation programs such as Kars For Kids, or perhaps more significantly, the turmoil in the oil-rich Middle East? One thing for sure, those who jumped on the electric vehicle bandwagon early on for environmental reasons are now kicking themselves for having paid top-dollar for technology they might have had for a song. It’s nice to be green, but no one wants to be played the fool.
Forget the fact that Reuters writers have a thing about labeling Vladimir Putin with the now familiar "KGB spy" brand. There's a lot about East-West detente that still goes all wrong. The post I refer to (this time) is by Gabriela Baczynska, and deals with an ongoing Russia versus US tift over some very valuable Jewish texts second image below).
President Vladmir Putin at the the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre yesterday - courtesy his officeJust yesterday Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the c and Tolerance Centre where the so-called Schneerson collection of Hebrew books and manuscripts is now being displayed. The crux of this story of bickering over past-lost-then-found possessions concerns these books having been safeguarded deep in Russia during the era of the First World War, then the same collection having fallen into Bolshevik hands, and finally US and Jewish interests doing everything but a _Yosemite Sam_ routine to get them back. The visual there, while tongue in cheek a bit, actually reflects the tenor of both sides of this "manuscript" argument. And Putin's compromise, while probably unsatisfactory to the complainants in a Washington ruling by a US judge against, and get this, mother Russia herself. According to that ruling based on the breadth of an act called _MAGNITSKY ACT_ signed into law by President Obama, the Chabad-Lubavitch radical right wing organization won out as the court levied a $50,000 dollar a day penalty on Russia until the texts are returned. Royce C. Lamberth of United States District Court, has one heck of a penalty bill running up on Putin's government, that is unless somebody overturns his ridiculous judgement soon. If my numbers match, since January 16th RUSSIA'S FINE TOTALS SOME $7.450,000 DOLLARS already. From a fairness standpoint, and to balance out the Reuters "KGB" and other bias, this sect spends about as much time arguing among themselves these days as trying to recoup owner-less documents back. "Back" here meaning, to the people who claim ownership? The real story reveals the actual owner leaving no heirs. A sardonic note here, if Putin and the Russians ever start moaning and groaning like these Jewish extremists have, the art world will probably be broke, or at best never the same again. The Nazis pillaged untold billions in artworks from Russia, and certainly collectors everywhere benefit from that beauty and value.
Texts at the the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre - Courtesy President Putin's Pres OfficeInterject some WWII Nazi manuscript and art pillaging, the Red Army to the Jewish text rescue, and best of all the important point that Chabad-Lubavitch seems never to have complained in Russia at all - and one has to question the validity of anything involved where these priceless documents is concerned. One thing is perilously clear though, possession here would seem to be more lawful for dead Russians who liberated antiquity and faith, more lawful than some whacko US judge clearly overzealous in the principles of basic traffic fines. Sorry, but where did $50,000 a day come from? I hope there's a statue there somewhere. Finally, decades old bickering and Jewish-political factions surrounding such names as Berel Lazar, chief rabbi for the Chabad-Lubavitch-dominated Federation of Jewish Communities (a so called Putin court Jew), label these disputes even muddier than typical politics. What a mess! Here's the thing, and this has been pointed out many times, I quote from an article on RT, the Russian Foreign Ministry said:
"The Schneerson Library has never belonged to the Chabad; it never left Russia, and was nationalized because there were no legal heirs in the Schneerson family. The 'return' of these books to the US is therefore not an issue in principle."Add to this that these texts are actually owned by the Russian Jewish Congress, under the Russian Caretaker Act, and this whole situation takes on a sort of Twilight Zone character. From this perspective, the courts and President Obama's apparent acquiessence of this needless fight, these and other negativity may actually do more harm than good where all relations are concerned. Let me end this by pointed out that Russian Jewish Congress is actively working to make the Schneerson Library available to all people. Furthermore, their efforts to digitize these manuscripts, and making them available online, these are the sorts of concerns that would seem to be more worthy of press.
"[speaking of the documents] …People can view, study and hold these books in their hands; they can use them to draw knowledge that is highly necessary in today’s world, because these books set forth eternal moral and ethical values which serve as the basis for any civilised society existing today."Vladmir Putin, full fledged KGB operative or savior of Russia etc., seems to be taking the necessary steps for positive detente between the US and Russia, at least from a neutral position . The quote above from Putin during his visit to the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre, says a lot about how these wonderful manuscripts should be preserved and considered. As for my suggestion toward old Aesop, in ancient Greece there was a so-called Snake and Crab idiom that may best describe ALL Russia - America relations at times. In this case the US position toward Russia (or the Chabad-Lubavitch one) suggests the Obama administration walk the straight line to show Russia and those dastardly KGB types how to. (Wasn't at least one President head of the CIA?) To quote a very old drinking song:
"The crab spoke thus, seizing the snake in its claws, 'One’s comrade should be straight and not think crooked thoughts."_I am compelled to think on such things as the fabled Faberge Eggs, some of which reside in the US. I mean, what could be more Russian? For an instance, the 1890 Danish Palaces _egg is situated in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Owned by the Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation. Ms. Geddings amassed one of the world's most complete collection from artist Peter Carl Faberge, one that could arguably belong to some long distant heir of the Romanovs. The Imperial Napoleonic Egg at left, is but one of a collection exhibiting some of the most wonderful art-craft ever created. Let's hope Mr. Putin does not dig up some heir to the Czarist Russia throne to complain of lost heritage here. But of course, the MET offers these pieces of Russia wonder for everyone to share. Then too, the dealings of another legendarily shrewd businessman, one Armand Hammer, leaves at least a hint of potential for litigation where Faberge is concerned. Hammer Galleries and A la Vieille Russie in New York and Wartski Ltd. in London dealt in marvelous treasures of Russia too. The aforementioned Danish Palaces Egg was sold with 11 others to Hammer and other brokers in 1930. Interestingly, the world record for a clock price was recently broken at auction by a Faberge piece that sold for € 12.5 million. A final note from the same RT article is a note of sanity from the US Department of Justice which proclaims the court's decision to sanction Russia "out of bounds":
"Meanwhile, the US Justice Department also spoke out against the decision, arguing the court cannot introduce sanctions of this type against Russia….." Additional photo credit: Faberge egg - courtesy the MET.
Windows Everywhere brings together all Microsoft services, including Skype, Bing, mail, Internet Explorer, Office, Camera, Xbox Music & Video and others, and makes them available on all platforms, including Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Surface, and all devices: Windows tablet, PC and phone.
Windows: One experience. On every device. For everything in your life.The announcement comes in form of an ad, which showcases how Microsoft is repositioning itself as a devices and services company. In late 2012, when Microsoft released its fiscal annual report, the company shared a letter with its shareholders, partners and customers, explaining some of its strategies, and future perspectives. Among these, Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer, noted that Windows 8 unites the light, thin and fun aspects of a tablet with the power of a PC, and insisted on its aesthetics and functionality. But he announced more to come, and that promise comes to life now.
According to a Microsoft cited by Geekwire, “The ad reflects the devices and services era that Microsoft is entering into and will be the first time people will see Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Surface in one ad. With this spot, the company is moving away from how it traditionally talks about individual products to showcase how its services light up across the multiple devices that people use.”The ad below is an integrated part of Microsoft's repositioning strategy. While other marketing and PR moves trigger controversy, this ad was generally well received by the media, and the general public. Microsoft expert Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet speculates that this particular ad campaign could be related with a significant restructuring of the company:
"Microsoft is rumored to be finalizing details of a company-wide reorg that would better reflect the way that products and services are being developed, tested, sold and updated," Foley writes. "According to a couple of my tipsters, the reorg, which could come any time now, might result in the product groups being realigned so that they reflect Microsoft's devices and services (or possibly devices, services and software) charter."Her ideas make sense, as Microsoft's new fiscal year begins July 1, 2013, and the company needs a big marketing and PR push to satisfy its shareholders.
Facebook users can now engage in public conversations by using clickable #hashtags, a move anticipated for months. With #hashtags, Facebook gives users more flexibility for real-time conversations, and hopes to compete with the likes of Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest.
Starting Wednesday, #hashtags became clickable on Facebook. (Illustration © iQoncept - Fotolia.com)Originally created by Twitter users, hashtags are now part of the social sharing culture, and work the same on all networks that enable them. As such, hashtags on Facebook allow users to: * Search for a specific hashtag from your search bar. For example, #NBAFinals. * Click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest. * Compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results. Facebook spent a lot of time testing hashtags in its photo sharing service, Instagram, but failed to offer its users an easy way to track real-time conversations till now. Facebook also announced that hashtags are just the first in a series of features that make some of the most interesting discussions people are having about public events, people, and topics easier to find and follow. In the near future, Faceboook will also roll out trending hashtags and deeper insights.
#hashtags already work for many users on Facebook.Like everything on Facebook, users can control which hashtags are public and which private, by selecting the audience for a post. Clicking on a hashtag brings up a list of related conversations from people and pages you follow, as well as public updates from pages you don't follow. With #hashtags live, marketers can now target broader audiences on Facebook, boost advertising campaigns, and more. Here's how hashtags can help businesses already, according to Facebook Studio. HOW TO USE #HASHTAGS ON FACEBOOK * Marketers already using hashtags in advertising campaigns through other channels, can now amplify them by including hashtags in Facebook advertising as well. Marketers need to respect Facebook's creative best practices that already apply for advertising pages, posts and photography. * Hashtags will also work for users cross-posting updates from Twitter and other networks on Facebook, becoming automatically clickable and searchable on Facebook. This means broader reach for your messages. * Hashtags also allow marketers to join and drive the conversations about their business, products and brand. Facebook encourages users to search for and view real-time public conversations and test strategies to drive those conversations using hashtags. * Right now, hashtags do not impact distribution or engagement in News Feed on either desktop or mobile. Marketers are advised to continue to focus on their existing campaigns to drive the most important business objectives. In the following months, Facebook will release more tools, including trending hashtags and hashtags insights to enable marketers garner data about their reach, and help integrating them more effectively in Facebook advertising strategies. Before Facebook users become more accustomed with the use of hashtags on the social network, some of the best practices defined by Twitter may apply: * Centralize usage around one hashtag. Messages containing too many hashtags are confusing, and "spread thin" according to Twitter's best practices. * Use obvious hashtags. As an example, the American version of X-Factor used #xfusa as their official hashtags, but fans on Twitter used #xfactor five times more than #xfusa. The show producers were listening, and changed the official hashtag to #xfactor to please their fans. * Use hashtags creatively - a good example are the mad-lib hashtags, defined as a hashtag that goes at the beginning of a post that starts a sentence a user can then finish. The list could go on, and you can include advice like avoid #hashtag spamming, avoid sensationalism, etc.. Although Facebook doesn't bring much new, yet, by introducing hashtags, the iconic Twitter marker, with insights the social network will offer added value for marketers. Still in their infancy, hashtags on Facebook will be adopted quickly and will stimulate conversations between users and brands around issues of common concern.
_5WPR HAS ANNOUNCED HAVING BEEN HIRED BY DOTS ON TOTS TO ITS MOM 360 JUVENILE DIVISION._ Dots on Tots, a natural, organic hat company for babies and toddlers has selected 5WPR as their PR firm of record. Noted for their exclusive use of only 100% certified organic soft baby cotton in all of their handmade products, the company also sells products made exclusively in the USA. Eco-friendly also only manufactures products from farbric made in the US, and also uses low-impact dyes in the coloring of their textiles. Their collection boasts their hats with ear flaps in organic cotton, organic cotton fleece and merino wool, and also includes organic knotted hats, organic reversible sun hats and special ear protection hats in organic cotton. Dots on Tots joins an ever growing and impressive roster of past and current clients in the agency’s Mom360 juvenile division including Summer Infant, BornFree, Plum Organics, Bebe au Lait, NurturMe, Milkscreen, Maty's Natural Products and Belly Maternity. 5WPR's continued rapid growth is fueled by some 100 professionals in their two US offices. The agency was founded in 2003 by entrepreneur Ronn Torossian, and is a finalist for Public Relations Agency of the Year for the American Business Awards. REAL. RESOURCEFUL. RESULTS.