Entries in Public Relations (34)


Tools only the smartest Maine companies are using

This VIDEO is for other CEOs who are smart enough to use video.I understand that people who run companies in Maine and New Hampshire are so busy with daily operations that they have little or no time left to study cutting edge trends in another industry, public relations.

If you’re one of the select few, a visionary, you’ll be interested to know a recent study found that the number of CEOs using video in social media applications has jumped significantly. Conducted by Weber Shandwick, the study concluded that, “Video is a powerful social tool and arguably the next big evolution in CEO sociability and transparency. More than ever before, CEOs are using video to promote their company narratives. An underutilized tool in 2010, video was used by only 18% of CEOs. Today, the rate of video usage has more than doubled, with 40% of CEOs now appearing in corporate videos. Growth in video is nearly evenly divided between CEOs appearing in videos on company websites and on corporate YouTube channels.”

Here are a few tips if you plan to use video. To be blunt, very few companies in this region understand the implications of this new PR model: self-publishing. But the handful I know of that do grasp the concept absolutely swear by it. If you want to see the study results, send me an e-mail and I’ll send you the PDF.


Irony that Maine PR and ad agencies totally miss

As quoted by Michael Gass, Hank Blank is provocative, but also right on the money.Don’t you hate it when somebody tells you what you “should” do, but they don’t follow their own advice? When it comes to social networking, nearly every PR and ad agency in Maine and New England is guilty of advising clients to do what they themselves do not do.

Michael Gass is a new business consultant to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies. In his online blog, to which I pay close attention, he quotes Hank Blank of Blank and Associates, who nails a glaring truth: “My personal experience is that most agencies are social media posers. They do not embrace social media for their own agencies yet recommend it for clients.”

This is way over-simplified, but these are the basics of the new PR:

  • Have a blog
  • Blog often
  • Use video as often as possible
  • Who better than the CEO to do the blogging? 

I’ve already done this myself, but go ahead, survey all the ad agencies and PR shops in Maine and New Hampshire. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any that even come close to actually doing themselves what they are advising their clients to do. Which begs the question: how “expert” are they, really? I close by quoting Gass: “Agencies need to first get their own house in order when it comes to social media. Prospective clients will be looking for agencies with verifiable social media experience that practice what they preach.”

Amen, brother.


Car seat safety gets boost at SMMC

Ira Rosenberg presents a check to help Southern Maine Medical Center purchase a Dial-A-Belt for parental car seat use instruction. With Ira are SMMC RNs Jan Roberts, left, and Pat Camire, right, and childbirth educator Rebecca Sevigny. (Saco, Maine) According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death for children between 1 and 13 years old. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, meanwhile, that parents often use child restraint systems incorrectly. One study found that 72% of nearly 3,500 observed car and booster seats were misused in a way that could be expected to increase a child’s risk of injury during a crash.

Two local organizations are tackling the challenge head on. Prime Motor Group and its owner Ira Rosenberg recently presented Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford with a $1,500 donation to advance car seat safety for newborn babies.

The donation helped the hospital purchase a Dial-A-Belt, a full-size, lightweight automobile seat that can be easily moved from room to room at SMMC so that expectant mothers and fathers can receive training for car seat installation. SMMC requires parents to receive car-seat education before they can leave the hospital with their newborn.

“Different cars have different configurations, so it’s pretty important that parents use the technology correctly,” Rosenberg said. “We want kids to be as safe as possible, so I love what the hospital is doing with this training. What a great idea.”

Specially designed for use in hospital settings, the training seat is created from materials that are medical-environment friendly. The vinyl covering of the seat is the same medical grade material used in ambulances. The seatback is ABS plastic from top to bottom, preventing spilled materials or fluids from absorbing or staying in the structure. The whole seat can be washed or wiped down.

Prime Motor Group operates several automobile dealerships in Maine, along U.S. Route 1 in Saco and Scarborough. The company’s main phone number is 888-674-6809.


A common element in things worth doing

The Offices At Saco Island published “8 principles of Biddeford-Saco’s” downtown success” yesterday on its web site. The principles are borrowed from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Just for chuckles I decided to look at all eight and pick the most important one (in my opinion.). I was torn between #3 and #7, but I ended up choosing #3: Self help. NTHP is focused on Main Streets, but their observation applies more broadly. “Only local leadership can produce long-term success by fostering and demonstrating community involvement and commitment to the revitalization effort.”

Having been involved in many community efforts over the last 30 years, truer words were never spoken. Of course that was all foreshadowed 40 years ago when my father used to survey my “work” in the yard, curse, and then say, “If I want it done right I guess I’ll have to do it myself.”


Maine has hottest business locations in Northeast

Downtown Biddeford-Saco was a hot market in 2012, but it's even hotter now.Last year I facilitated a meeting of two of the best “idea guys” I know --- Angus King and Doug Sanford. You can watch the creative energy sparking between these two in this video.

Keep in mind, I took the video when Angus was a candidate, and when the Maine Energy incinerator was still burning garbage in the middle of downtown Biddeford-Saco. Now U.S. Senator Angus King represents Maine in Washington, D.C. and MERC has closed. You see the optimism of these two just one year ago. Can you imagine how bullish they are now on the future of Biddeford-Saco?

Why were Doug and Angus so animated? Because they knew what the future would bring. Keep an eye on the Pepperell Mill Campus and The Offices At Saco Island. In the next 5 years, no business market in the northeast United States will be hotter than downtown Biddeford-Saco.