Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Robert French
"Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I learn." - Benjamin Franklin
"Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I learn." - Benjamin Franklin

Robert's interests
View all
Robert's posts

Post has attachment
Five years ago today ... this simple SEO class exercise still sits on the front page of search results in Google, Bing, Yahoo! and others for the phrase - Aruba One Happy Island.  Dogpile, which performs a metasearch of many search engines,  has it at #7 overall for the keyphrase: Aruba One Happy Island. The post has, for the most part, remained on the front page of results for five years.

Aruba initiated this rebranding campaign 5 years after Natalie Holloway disappeared. Why they pitched me for the campaign, I have no idea. Actually, I do. They were (and likely still are) clueless. They were practicing a very old school blast email practice of hitting every possible outlet and then praying for coverage. It worked decades ago.  Today, it is irresponsible practice.

This test post was initiated to illustrate the following:

- PR agencies should know who they are pitching. This agency did not. Five years ago today they began a campaign to rebrand Aruba due to the overwhelming bad publicity from Natalie Holloway's disappearance.
- The release was meant to be shared.  So, I did. Using the phrases they suggested in their release, I posted the story and turned references to URLs into links to news stories about Natalie Holloway instead of linking to the PR/marketing/advertising agencies listed in the boilerplate.
- I used the keyphrase they suggested (and would be tracking) in the title and story.  Aruba One Happy Island.  Of course, I also added the phrase: No. Aruba Is One Scary Island.

Why did I do it? I remember the day - May 30, 2005, when news of Natalie Holloway's disappearance broke. Many of my students knew her, even grew up with her. The news devastated them.  This pitch from clueless agencies struck me as a perfect opportunity to illustrate why their practices were wrong and could easily backfire.  So, the post went up.  I still get angry emails and comments from Aruba about this ... to this day.  Have you ever had a country email you and ask that you take a post down? It's an interesting experience.  And, no ... I still won't take it down.

Post has attachment
This.  Scout returns.  Harper Lee to publish second novel .... that was actually the first.

Post has attachment
Katie Paine's The Measurement Standard brings us an alternative view of 'trust' and PR via Alan Kelly.

"Trust is the perfect ruse for the unregulated PR trade; it is what legions of unlicensed practitioners like to think of as what they do. But trust is not the base objective, as even Edelman’s mission attests. The real point, as, for example, the agency pledges, is 'to influence attitudes and behaviors in a complex world.'” 

Post has attachment
Elmer Gantry or modern day Joel Olsteen and PR? The dark unseemly underbelly of PR?

Excerpt:  “…Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, more able to get where they’d like to go…”  This is commercial evangelism, a tent revival meeting for the souls of the guilty who know that, in fact, their principle job is to advance the competitive position of their employers and clients. (That via Alan Kelly.)

Related articles:

PR Conversations:

PR Week:

Post has attachment
Alabama has a long history of denying citizens their constitutional rights. Yet another attempt at that by Alabama has failed. A federal judge reminds Alabama, there's this thing called the Constitution. You can't deny citizens their Equal Protection and Due Process rights granted by the 14th Amendment of that Constitution. h/t to Beth Clayton for sharing the news.  And the best comment on this news I've seen so far? From Charles Rountree "NORAD reports that a flock of flying pigs have been spotted over Montgomery...."

Post has attachment
This is a sad dark day.  Sports Illustrated lays off (fires) all six of its remaining staff photographers. To me, SI has been the Life Magazine of sports.  Now, SI's photos will all come from freelancers.  Adding insult to injury -- "The bad news for Sports Illustrated photographers comes less than 12 hours after many sports shooters were in Manhattan for the premier of the ESPN film 'Keepers Of The Streak,' a new documentary about four photographers who have shot every Super Bowl since its beginning."

Post has attachment
The RAISE formula for public relations has a new take from SHIFT Communications ... this time for Real-Time PR & Marketing (RTM) activities. RAISE in PR traditionally involved: Research, Adaptation, Implementation Strategy, and Evaluation. Now, for RTM, it's: Research, Align, Interest, Smart, Expect. Knowing how students and others love mnemonics - or acronyms used for learning a list - I can appreciate this new post by SHIFT. 

Two small, yet important, suggestions: (1) I only hope they'll edit to include (for clarification) the "review" or "evaluate" component to their last step. All communication efforts require and involve (if done right) that review/evaluation aspect. "Gather and review meaningful data to form actionable insights and further inform your approach." (2) It's really RTPRM these days, isn't it? PR & marketing may be morphing together ... but they aren't universally there yet. The number of PR practitioners likely outnumbers marketers and they're getting into the Real-Time practice, too.

Post has attachment
I'm thinking of this in the context of my students and our recent alumni.  Any thoughts?

Students ... recent alumni ... You and the WWW, or web, as we know it today are about the same age.  Pew is offering up some great info to consume and gain a deeper understanding of the communication channels that dominate your life today.

Pew Research Center:

Now, that's the WWW.  Remember, it is the internet that accounts for the vast majority of digital traffic and communication.  Apps are important there.  This story from illustrates the truly major traffic in digital communication:  (20144)

However, even apps don't rule ... no, it is things that are communicating.  What things? How about your car, trucks, produce (vegetables & fruits via RFID chips), stores (UPC codes), your home ... and even cattle (RFID chips) that rule internet traffic.  Today, it is estimated that 20 average homes generate more internet traffic than was happening in 2008 - (wait for it) ... over the entire world.

After cattle, the tracking of produce and other things became a wide practice.

Apps:  Here is comScore's list of "25 most popular mobile apps in America" (and it is a list scored by usage, not simply a list of downloads)  (2014)

Video dominates internet traffic. Report: Netflix Represents 30% of Peak Internet Traffic (add in YouTube and it's 50%+)

Netflix + YouTube:

Google rocks, too:

Wired declared the web is dead. "The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet"  No, the WWW is alive and hard a work, but it is diminishing in importance of all internet traffic.

WWW traffic as a percentage of all internet traffic peaked in 2010. "Stacked area shows the Web is dead?"

Other links:

Top 50 Websites by Launch Date compiled in 2009. Look at how many were launched recently, as in since you entered high school.  Yet, they have such a dominating impact on communication. (I'm updating that list to current rankings and will share that soon)

Post has attachment
Ugh ... the #1 bestseller in Amazon for Children's books about government?

My Parents Open Carry ... but it gets better ... the #2 bestseller?  Who was Nelson Mandella?  Look at the other bestsellers, too.  I'm not sure I may any longer say, "Well, at least they are reading!"   The good news ... bestselling on Amazon in such a small niche category may mean only 100 books.

This book is published by White Feather Press. Skip Coryell is the president of the company and he is the former Michigan State Director for Ted Nugent’s United Sportsmen of America. Yep. That explains a lot.

Let's not forget that some open carry fool killed a woman in Helen, Ga. across the street when his open carry gun accidently misfired.  There are many other incidents, too.  When you see someone open carrying a firearm ... you know you're looking at a potential killer.  Walk away from them.

Other Children's Goverment Bestsellers:
2 Photos - View album

Post has attachment
A remarkable visualization of data that tracks the birth and death of cultural icons over the past 2,600 years. The images combined with the audio are remarkable. The video doesn't just track mass movements. It tracks the path of known cultural icons ... like the father of George Washington and many others. You see how they migrated to eventually change culture and society around the world.

Note the sections of the video that represent the path of immigrants across the Atlantic Ocean to North America and then the population rise throughout the U.S. This video tells the story in a compelling way.

Via Communication Research Methods
Wait while more posts are being loaded