Bridging Two Worlds

A conversation about online media and what it means to your organization

Archive for November, 2008

Girl in Your Shirt

Posted by AHA Creative on November 24, 2008


Check out Girl in Your Shirt – a young entrepreneur will wear your shirt and promote your business on sites like Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Viddler, and more. 

This video was added just over a week ago on YouTube and has already had over 2,000 views!   

What an inventive and creative way to gain some exposure for your organization.

Posted in QUAY | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Social Media and the Workplace

Posted by AHA Creative on November 21, 2008


Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat reports on a new study done by FaceTime that shows that 79 percent of workers use Facebook, LinkedIn, or YouTube at work.  This may not seem like breaking news, but what you may not know is that they are using these social media sites for business reasons.

The implementation of social media programs in the workplace has been the source of an ongoing debate between employees, management, and those who “get it.”  Many companies are reluctant to allow these sites at the workplace for fear of lack of productivity by employees, but what if employees were educated on the benefits of social media for their organizations? 

It’s a valid concern that employers think that social media reduces productivity at work, but could this be attributed to a misunderstanding of the significant impact it can have toward meeting an organizations business objective? 

The study shows that the most common work-related reasoned for being in this domain include: professional networking (54 percent), research (52 percent), and learning about colleagues (52 percent).  LinkedIn is the most commonly used site for professional networking purposes.

Check out the post Tim Alik of Tech PR Gems wrote – he offers an interesting perspective on the subject.

Posted in QUAY | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Motrin Ad

Posted by AHA Creative on November 19, 2008

Post by: Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies

Motrin and their ad agency Taxi have had their hands smacked pretty hard online recently over an online ad about Motrin and moms. There is some discussion online how the anti-ad campaign spread so quickly – and Twitter is getting some of the credit. Someone has also put up a video on YouTube that shows how mad the mommies are.

Ad Age has a good article on the issue and so does A-list blogger and social media guru Shel Holtz. They both have a bit of a different take on it. Ad Age talks about the power of Twitter and Shel looks more into the fact with online or social media, people that are passionate about a topic will find the time to be involved. Shel’s post is more about how we manage all of this information using the Motrin ad as an example. It’s definitely worth a read.

The Globe and Mail has also weighed in, as have many mainstream media. In the Globe article there is a link to the blog of Jennifer Wells, who works for the Globe. Her blog is worth checking out. She gets it. (Full disclosure here I worked with Jennifer at Maclean’s Magazine, but that was a long time ago and to be honest, we were work colleagues…so as much as I recommend you check out her blog, it’s got nothing to do with anything but her talent.)

I think that each of the opinions of those listed above help to bring context to this story. Jennifer nails it when she says that Taxi, the US-based ad agency that produced this ad didn’t understand the market and maybe that is because after all, it’s only an online ad. Shel Holtz gives a whole different perspective and he made me think as well. And as for AD Age, they put this issue into context by talking about Twitter. While I am sure that Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of Motrin, aren’t too happy about how quickly a story can spread online, the fact is, smart, engaged people now have the opportunity to weigh in and show us different angles. Professional journalists, bloggers and, in this case, moms have helped people all over the world to see a different side to this story.

The one thing everyone seems to have in common is that this ad insulted the target market (and I looked around, so if anyone can let me know if there are some people standing up for the ad – I would be interested to hear about it!).

As an organization, Johnson & Johnson is facing a strong consumer backlash and while it was bred online, it has gone mainstream. That’s not good for the company or the brand.  Online media now plays a strong role in the reputation of your organization, and it should be recognized and acknowledged. Online media is evolving and shifting how we live in our world, and more and more it impacts our professional lives. 

Posted in Interesting, Marketing Communications, What Were They Thinking? | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Obama Showcases the Value of Social Media

Posted by AHA Creative on November 18, 2008

Post by: Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies

Obama understands the power of online communication – and I don’t mean because he understands how to use twitter and LinkedIN and Facebook. He gets when and why to use it…he connects. He has conversations that are inclusive and engaging and they make each of us – even if we aren’t American – feel like we are a part of something special, something historic, and something real. By including us, he also makes us feel accountable, responsible and engaged. We now feel that we need to step up and do our part to change the world.

Once the election was over, I have to admit, I wondered what was going to happen to Obama’s web-values approach to keeping us on the team. As President Elect, he is now developing the strategy to transition into President. And as President, things change. According to a New York Times piece, he is going to have to give up his BlackBerry thanks to security issues and the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the record and ultimately up for public review.

I wondered how Obama would hold onto his story telling, inclusive, engaging approach that has inspired and excited not just a nation, but people around the world. Could he breakdown the barriers between old school U.S. government websites and the Obama way of Twitter, email and text messages? I have to admit, I had my doubts.

I shouldn’t have worried. Right after the election he launched a new site, that has all of the tone and feel of his old site, which now has a holding page that asks you to help the victims of the wildfires in California.

Obama built up a loyal following – a community, a tribe, a movement…whatever you call it, it’s obvious that being elected President of the United States of America doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to keep up the relationship. Obama is an exceptional example of a communicator. The Web was made for him.

It will be interesting to see what the YouTube loving President Elect does for online media while in office. I think the fact that he has embraced it and found success in using it, will help more organizations to see the value in it.  

Posted in Interesting, Social Media | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Blogging During Tough Times

Posted by AHA Creative on November 17, 2008

Post by: Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies

The subject of the U.S. Government bailing out the big three automakers is controversial. While facing a crisis, the GM Fast Lane blog is doing something interesting. They are blogging and asking for support. This is an active blog and there are many response posts. They are worth checking out.

According to GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, who is credited with launching the blog in 2005, is using the blog. GM is attempting to wrangle all the criticism, critiques and praise in one convenient place. Here, executives can address problems, learn from the critiques and speak directly to customers.

It is interesting to note that while the blog wasn’t created to deal with issues or a crisis, this isn’t the first time that Lutz has used the blog and spoken directly with consumers. Earlier this year, it was reported that he said that Global warming is a total crock of %$Z@.

When that statement hit the blogosphere, it created quite a storm. Lutz responded on FastLane and addressed the controversy directly.

Whatever you think about Lutz and his take on global warming or his decisions to say whatever he thinks, it is clear that the FastLane blog has provide Lutz and GM with the opportunity to expand, clarify and, in this case, support quotes being put out by mainstream media and the blogosphere. The FastLane blog has a huge following and agree or not, anyone who wanted to could hear directly from Lutz and tell him what they thought. (Interestingly enough, he got support on the global warming blog post.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that he has been consistent and proactive in posting to the GM blog. He didn’t just show up when he saw the blog storm coming. He had built a conversation with people who wanted to speak with him and he could then reach out when this happened to put forward his side of things. 

Posted in Blogging | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Book Review

Posted by AHA Creative on November 12, 2008

Post by: Della Smith of QUAY Strategies

Book Review: The Opposable Mind – How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking

Rating: 3 Out of 5 Bridges

Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto, was formerly a director of Monitor Company a global strategy consulting firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist at Business Week Online and a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review and the Financial Times.

I heard him speak at the recent Health Care Leaders Conference and was knocked out by the content.

He has studied brilliant leaders and presents their formula of thinking – integrative thinking.  People who try not to make either/or decisions.  Most of us have spent a lifetime inside rigid business thinking models that squelch innovative thinking like this.  Martin believes you can train people to think this way.

Martin works in the corporate arena.  I think he should help governments who are struggling with public demands and limited resources.

In our new integrative world, his book is more than timely. Most leadership books focus on what great leaders do, versus how they think.

His book is chock full of great case studies and definitely worth a read.

Posted in Book Reviews | Leave a Comment »

Print Isn’t Dead

Posted by AHA Creative on November 11, 2008


We live in a digital world full of podcasts, vodcasts, Facebook and Twitter – but online media proved no match last week to the power of print.

Publishers across the U.S. sold out of papers Wednesday because people wanted to archive a little piece of history.  Newspapers across the world plastered Barack Obama’s face on their covers heralding his victory in the U.S. elections.  The NY Times printed 35 percent more copies than usual – about 150,000 more papers.  They ended up having to print an additional 75,000 copies on top of that due to high demand.  Even Canadian publishers said they had an increase in sales because of it. It was unlike what anyone had seen before.

I find it fascinating that during historical moments such as this, people still revert back to the basics.  They want the keepsake. 

What’s more interesting is that it’s during moments like this that you can really see the worlds of traditional communications and online communications marry and become one.  We saw Twitter poll updates, holograms from CNN and countless other ways in which people could be updating instantly on the status of the elections.  Newspapers sold out nationwide.  But all the same, people were thirsty for information and drank it up in whatever medium they could get. 

Whoever said print was dead?  

Posted in QUAY | 1 Comment »

Twitter – A Campaign Weapon?

Posted by AHA Creative on November 10, 2008


It happened to Sarah Palin and now our own municipal elections are heating up (relatively speaking of course).  This past week Vancouver NPA mayoral candidate Peter Ladner was the victim of an online networking spoof. 

According to The Vancouver Sun, Twitter turned into a “campaign weapon” when someone started posting comments under Ladner’s name. Turns out it was Vision Vancouver that was behind the campaign.  Instead of the word-slinging of the good ‘ol days, even politicians are resorting to this new digital era.  Just look at how Obama used social media in his campaign (unbelievable!). 

It’ll be interesting to see, as the date of the election gets closer, how these parties will use social media to reach out to their supporters.

Posted in QUAY | Leave a Comment »

Air Canada Announces WiFi On Planes

Posted by AHA Creative on November 6, 2008

Post by: Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies

An announcement just hit my inbox that Air Canada is the first Canadian carrier to offer inflight Internet access.

Check it out here. The news release was out in early Oct, but Air Canada just announced it in their newsletter.

I think this says something about our culture. We are truly a wireless, connected society now. Thanks to Air Canada, we can still bid on Ebay, blog, buy books from Amazon and send emails while flying the friendly skies.

I can remember back in the day when you could first place phone calls on an airplane – at an incredible cost per minute! The first thing you heard someone say (and I admit it, I said it too) when the person answered was: “Guess where I’m calling from!” …. now it might be guess where I’m blogging from!

As minor a thing as this might seem, it does change how we travel.

Posted in Interesting, The Worldwide Connection | 3 Comments »

Blogger, crazy Canuck… or both?

Posted by AHA Creative on November 6, 2008

JULIA P post

Everyday I drive to work and inevitably pull up next to a bus and notice the new Canucks advertisements.  As a Canucks fan, I love the new spin on the “We are all Canucks” campaign.  I certainly identify with the fun and wacky pictures of Canucks fans (and sometimes players) plastered on the bus next to me.  But I notice the website posted on every advertisement:

It looks like the Canucks continue to build a community of fans online, but what really interests me is how they are doing it.

Take a closer look at the ads, some of these faces are actually local celebrities in their own right – bloggers.  These bloggers are creating quite a buzz online.  The group is known as The Crazy Canucks:

John Bollwitt
Alana McGinley
JJ Guerrero
Dave Olson
Miss 604

These bloggers maintain their own blogs and also contribute to The Crazy Canucks blog with podcasts, pictures and more.  It’s easy to build and keep your online community happy when you have a little help from your blogger friends.

Posted in QUAY | 2 Comments »