Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Take Me to the River...World's Longest River Race!

More on the race here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Sauce: TV Beats Internet as Source of Economic News

Whoa...I never saw this coming:

Television Beats Internet as Source of Economic News, Pew Says

By Nikolaj Gammeltoft
July 15 (Bloomberg) -- Television, radio and newspapers beat the Internet as sources of economic news in the U.S. as people sought information about the recession, according to a poll by the Pew Research Center.

The survey, conducted in March and April and released today, shows that 84 percent of those who answered watched TV or listened to the radio for general economic news, 64 percent checked newspapers, magazines and books, and 48 percent went online.

The results may bolster broadcasters and publishers such as Gannett Co. and New York Times Co., hurt by an advertising slump as more marketers move to the Web. In the season through April, CBS Corp., Walt Disney Co.’s ABC and General Electric Co.’s NBC increased their nightly newscasts audiences by 5.9 percent from a year earlier, according to Nielsen Co. data.

“We have consistently seen that traditional media and particular TV is still the number one way most Americans get political news and information,” said Lee Rainie, a project director at the Washington-based non-profit organization Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

Among Internet users who have high-speed access, the Web is the most important source for information about personal finance, the poll shows.

“It’s an information-intensive environment and people are using multiple sources for their different needs as they try to make meaning out of what’s going on as well as make personal decisions,” Rainie said in an interview.

Pew surveyed 2,253 adults by phone between March 26 and April 19. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points, it said.

There's life in the old gal still.

Hat tip: Stephanie G.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Back Again

Your humble editor is back from a much-needed vacation on the heels of a very successful KCRiverFest. No pot of fresh sauce today, I'm afraid, but hopefully you'll forgive a little recycling of our piece on marketing in a recession, posted on eHow.

Now, as we endure the dog days of summer there are signs the economy is picking up. Good news, to be sure, but it will still be a long time before employment levels and consumer confidence returns to even a faint semblance of the pre-recession period.

My colleagues in the PR biz say business is picking up here and there, but they are very cautious about buying that cheap summer home just yet.

How's it going for you? How do you feel about the economy? The comments section is open for you predictions, observations, rants, etc.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bad Branding Hits Sci Fi, Er, I Mean Sy Fy

RLM PR CEO Richard Laermer takes apart the Sci Fi channel's hideous new monster: it's own rebranding to "Sy Fy":

On Tuesday morning, the Sci Fi channel became Sy Fy, which you can be assured will be back as Sci Fi not long after that. Just about everyone who has heard about this wondered "What branding company is sleeping with who over there?" You cannot pretend to like this moniker. There are reasons for this change--and none make sense. I don't know why they did it, but as one who's watched thousands of companies make change for no reason, here are some guesses:

4. A branding company sauntered in and told the suits it's time to grow with the times. That happens a lot, and quite needlessly. Slick branders speak a hi-toned language to make Senior VPs, all of whom are worried about their jobs, go "Man we gotta do this now!" I harken back to truTV, which has fared horribly since the change. You don't know this because no one watches it--tru is a trailer trash version of reality TV. Or, as they pointed out: it's "Not Reality. It's Actuality." Both of these networks think its audience is the lowest of common denominators. And oh yeah, the former Court TV laid off over 150 people last week. That, my friends, is tru(e).

5. Sy Sims is funding the rebrand. That explains Sy. As for the Fy suffix, one of the Sci Fi chiefs was in the military and doesn't know how to spell Semper Fi. That's all I got.

I told my closest pal about Sy Fy and he said he wished he could have been in the room when the decision was made. Since he's not in marketing, I wondered why. "So I could have seen the look on the faces of people who heard the top person say 'Great idea'."
Just because someone wants to do something 'different' or 'greater than' what existed before, you could in fact be the sane person at your company and step in with the loudest voice on record and suggest that aybe we should reconsider. Or better yet: "Do we need to change this much?" Even if the business isn't skyrocketing this second, there is that one reality: a brand that's known the world over!

Or remind the doofuses how far orange icon Tropicana fell after tossing a well-loved carton design away early this year, after which it lost valuable market share. When asked why 2009 was a downer, a spokesperson pointed to the change of carton: "Draw a line from there."

Once again, it doesn't take anyone's help to make you look stupid.
Hard to argue with him. I rather liked the old "Saturn" logo. It reminds me I've always been amazed at how many executives value "activity" over achievement:

'Look busy, dude, or you're outta here!'

'But I just won two Clio awards!'

'Then slap a coat of paint on 'em!'

Of course, your Bernays Sauce editor thought Sci Fi lost it when they canceled "Farscape."

United Airlines Broke This Guy's Guitar

Nice little PR problem for United Airlines...shame the airline isn't savvy enough to head these things off at the pass...or departure gate.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Is YouTube Hemorrhaging Millions? Is the King of Pop Ruling the News Cycle?

An interesting article in The Independent posits the financial viability of Internet video behemoth YouTube:

YouTube's lack of profitability other than as part of a colossal global multinational may signal the end of a dream that has somehow managed to extend past the bursting of the dotcom bubble back in 2001, and the options for new online ventures seem to be as follows: either produce something that people are willing to pay for, or come up with an idea for a free service that's so ingenious that a benevolent multinational is willing to take it off your hands. But remember: that trick of making a home video of yourself in front of a few elephants has already been done.

We shall see....

In other news, Michael Jackson's final act is staking out what seems to be about 90% of the news media real estate. Bernays Sauce wonders if two wars, a serious economic recession and a health care debate should be out of the headlines for two weeks (and counting) while they examine the minutiae of the singer's last will and testament. Your thoughts are welcome in the comments section.