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La Procter & Gamble sotto accusa per una campagna woma (word of mouth) e... Fraser Seitel spiega come le RP per una associazione possono farla funzionare.
Da www.odwyer.com... P&G Catches Flak Procter & Gamble has enlisted more than 600,000 "moms," women from age 28 to 45, to participate in its "VocalPoint" word-of-mouth program.
The May 29 BusinessWeek called the campaign a "state of the art method for reaching the most influential group of shoppers in America: moms."
The women who talk up P&G products and hand out discount coupons have extensive social networks. The VocalPoint person speaks to at least 25 other women during the day. That compares to about five for the average mother.
P&G went national with VocalPoint in March following tests in Buffalo, Tulsa and Columbus. BW reports that a VocalPoint effort for Dawn Direct Foam resulted in doubling of its sales.
The VocalPoint campaign has put P&G in the crosshairs of the World of Mouth Marketing Association. That's because P&G does not requires its "connectors" to divulge that they are pitching the products in return for a steady supply of samples from the Cincinnati-based marketing behemoth. WOMMA requires full disclosure.
Commercial Alert, the Ralph Nader offshoot, has filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission about VocalPoint. Gary Ruskin, CA executive director, told BW he dislikes the "commercialism of human relations."
The FTC expects to rule on CA's complaint by the end of the year.
Association Public Relationsby Fraser Seiter Association public relations is a singular beast not for the faint of heart. Consider the challenge. You're existence depends on first herding together, then stimulating, and sustaining a disparate group of volunteers, each asked to pay dues to and then toil for an organization they don't particularly need to do their job or earn their living. As noted, "not for the faint of heart." Not surprisingly, many association PR attempts fall flat. Members join, but lose interest. Programs are started and abandoned. Dues are paid grudgingly, but then when tough times hit - they instantly dry up. So within a PR profession that is, itself, a rare "art form," mastering PR for an association is the rarest of specialties. That's what makes the Detroit Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America a model of how to do association PR right. PRSA-Detroit, with 500 members, may be only the sixth largest PRSA chapter in the nation, but its formula for success sets the standard for association PR initiatives. Here's the prescription that has enabled PRSA-Detroit to prosper.Full-time management.The first cost-cutting decision many associations and their chapters make is to employ voluntary or part-time management.Big mistake. In association PR, just like anything else, you need leadership and you get what you pay for. If you pay nuthin' you get nuthin'. By contrast, for the past two decades, the activities of Detroit-PRSA have been overseen by one woman, Chapter Executive Secretary Nancy Skidmore. And she's a pistol. Skidmore's full-time commitment and longtime responsibility is to ensure the consistency and quality of the program and presentation of Detroit-PRSA. She owns the institutional memory, works with committee chairs to organize the events, invoices and collects the dues, and makes certain that the mistakes of the past aren't repeated and the successes of the past are. She is the glue that holds the organization together and testimony to why any association or chapter needs full-time leadership. Something for my money.Every association offers "program." But not every organization offers "meaningful program."The fact is association members ought to receive something for their money. Superfluous publications, make-work committees, or sparsely-attended luncheon lectures are harldly worth the time or money. At Detroit-PRSA, publications and meetings are relevant and special projects are meaningful and creative. The monthly newsletter offers brief-but-pertinent commentary on upcoming chapter functions and special programs. A typical item solicits volunteers for Shadow Day, to allow students to "shadow" practitioners at work. A link to the chapter web site limits the article to the relevant facts. A local university professor is commissioned to study and report on the factors that have "shaped the career path" of leading local public relations professionals. A full-blown outreach program - complete with recruiting campaign, workshops, and scholarships -- is organized to increase the chapter roster of ethnically and racially diverse members. Such aggressive initiatives give members the feeling that this is one association chapter truly providing "a bang for their buck."
High level events.Nobody wants to be a member of an "also ran" organization. People join organizations not only to learn and network - but also to feel important and recognized. Detroit-PRSA understands that, and the annual Michigan PRSA Conference it helps organize is one of the most prestigious on the industry's national calendar.Keynote speaker at the 2006 conference, presided over this month by Chapter President Roy Richardson at an exclusive Pontiac conference center, was to be Tony Snow. When the Fox News host was appointed Presidential Press Secretary a week before the conference and had to bail, organizers didn't miss a beat, substituting NBC White House correspondent Nora O'Donnell as a high profile pinch hitter.Other speakers included Sister Helen Prejean of Dead Man Walking fame and ITT Public Relations Director Thomas Martin. (Full disclosure: A certain humble O'Dywer columnist also spoke.).The point is that 300 eager and enthusiastic attendees from throughout Michigan flocked to the conference, and the mood was positively euphoric.Again, where others try to run conferences "on the cheap," the folks at PRSA-Detroit realize that you do, indeed, "get what you pay for." And a top-notch annual conference that leaves members talking is a critical, life-sustaining ingredient for a successful association.
Seeding the pipeline.Sustaining an association also means that the seeds are sown for future members.Professionals in a field like PR should feel an obligation to those who will come after them. Assisting students in the field should be part of any organization's charter.Predictably, no activity is more important at PRSA-Detroit. Here again, seeding the pipeline is secured in a number of imaginative ways.
- Scholarships. The chapter sponsors an annual scholarship competition to award two $2,000 awards, with more than $20,000 awarded-to-date. It has also established an education endowment, which has accumulated $60,000 and supports three distinct scholarship funds.
- Mentoring. The chapter created Protégé (Professionals Together Enriching Graduates' Experience), pairing senior-level, college undergraduates with experienced professionals in mentoring partnerships for one year.
- Student development. The chapter solicits local companies to pay for six students to attend monthly chapter lunches to hear industry leaders. It matches these sponsorships with deserving local university public relations students, selected by their professors. Detroit-PRSA even invites one attending student to author an article on the lunch for the chapter newsletter.
You'd think that any chapter that has figured out how to run an association public relations program so effectively would merit recognition by its national parent organization.And you'd be right. Detroit-PRSA has been chosen to host the 2007 Public Relations Society of America International Conference. For very good reason.