Climbing the Best Practices Summit

Nothing says spring in NYC then 40 degrees and windy.  No wonder all those New Yorkers (and I’m a native) walk at like a 5mph pace.  It’s just to stay warm in March.

I was on my way to the 2011 Ragan Media Relations Best Practices Summit. It was a terrific Ragan Communications conference where I spoke with my colleague Robin Lane on integrating traditional and social PR tactics to create a successful campaign. We highlighted our own success with the Silver Diner restaurant group.



Of course Robin and I were sandwiched between Tim McIntyre, VP Communications, Domino’s about how they masterfully handled a brand-damaging video, and Carlos Dominguez, SVP, Cisco about what’s hot in the digital world and what’s coming down the pike.

Tim was great.  Guess is that you know all about the famous Domino’s employee video that caused a scandal for the company.  And while you heard the media’s take on it, it was quite different to hear Tim’s. Despite the criticism Domino’s received for the campaign, their response was actually incredibly thoughtful. No, they didn’t race online with their response, but rather investigated the video and searched out the culprits before they could do more damage.  The team discovered it was a hoax and put its president on YouTube to remind us how much Domino’s cares about its customers. 

And Carlos was super cool.  From his witty intro showing his Cisco ID photo’s gradual increase in quality as he climbed the corporate ladder…to his “controversial big ideas” on what’s in store for the tech side of things.  First, a mind blowing idea – email will be dead.  Yup, Carlos predicts that this time-suck way of communicating will be replaced by customized finite communities.  For example, we will collaborate on projects in secure professional communities rather than through individual email.  Everything will take place in these communities.  No more email updates.  Can you fathom that?  At least I won’t wear out my delete button as much. 

The second “big idea” was that intent marketing is about to explode.  All the research points to the value of consumer reviews and online feedback in people’s purchasing decision. And according to Carlos, the marketers are not going to just dabble at taking advantage but throw themselves in head first. Say I want to buy a small car around $25k with great gas mileage.  In today’s world, I’m more likely to ask my social network than rely on consumer reports and test driving 8 different models.  By simply stating my intent, I will find myself targeted and sold to by all the car dealers online. Companies and brands will track you online and come to you. 

Just these two new thoughts have kept my mind spinning since the conference.  Not sure about email biting the dust so fast, but intent marketing is already happening.

Hats off to Mark Ragan who put on a great show.

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