August 5, 2010

PR: Old School, New School

Filed under: Apple,Communications,PR — Hillary Davis @ 4:59 pm
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I happened to be in New York City on the very very hot day Apple came out with the iPad. But I didn’t need to have known that was the day of the big event, because from blocks away I could see a long line and lots of commotion in front of Apple’s Fifth Avenue store.

I also saw lots of colored umbrellas. What?

So I walked closer, took out my camera, took pictures, emailed and twittered them.

What did I observe and pass on? Apple employees all dressed in identifiable shirts hovering solicitously around the long line of happless people suffering in the heat. Apple employees were handing out umbrellas to shield them from the sun, and cracking open box after box of bottled water and handing them out not only to people in line to buy but to anyone walking by that wanted hydration.

That’s what I call Public Relations:  relations interacting with your public that earn their devotion. What don’t I call Public Relations? Press releases.

Old school PR has evolved into New School PR. You used to think that in your PR position you were responsible for lots of press releases, making lots of contacts with radio, TV, and press, making lots of calls pitching your company’s latest and greatest, “doing” trade shows, “doing” press jaunts…….well, I don’t think so.

Because of our celebrity culture, most people know about press agents and “PR”, so they cast a not so lenient eye or ear to radio and TV guests…at least not without understanding that they are there to promote something, or sell something, whether it is their latest movie or their book or their ability to do great plastic surgery. And the public is getting edgier about being “sold.” Face it, the media overdid it.

Apple understands that beautiful design is creating a “relationship with their public.” They understand that “fun” is creating a relationship with their public. They understand that sincere nurturing of their relationship with their public, and the outlying public (i.e. those of us walking by that hot day) develops business.

Communicating with the entire world, not just their different publics, is what develops and grows business in exciting and unexpected (random) ways as well as along normal paths. It has become so possible to extend an infinite reach if you just look beyond putting a press release in your local paper or book a guest spot on your local TV station.

And consider twitter. If a bank used old school PR, they would have someone tweet to their existing customer base about new products the bank was adding or alerting them to bank happenings to build community and loyalty. Ok, but sort of weak. What if that same bank evolved their PR efforts to tweet about things that anyone in the entire twitterverse would find of value, whether bank related or not. What if tweets guided followers towards a better understanding of the financial world around them, perhaps even worthy causes, as well as micro-focusing tweets to the immediate area around bank branches? Complex? No, not really. More of a case of imagination and caring.


March 4, 2010

Smear of Color

Filed under: iPhone,Photography,Writing — Hillary Davis @ 8:52 pm

I am amazed at the wonderful photos I am capturing with my iPhone…..to the point of my thinking about doing a photo exhibition titled Taken With My iPhone. For the daughter of an early New York fashion photographer, whose work graced the covers of Vogue, this might seem a bit of an affront. My father worked in the days when everything was manual, technical, and actually experimental. He spent a great deal of time working with the people at Kodak on their papers and with the engineers at Leica on their glass and in the dark room dodging. On the other hand, I am instead fascinated with what occurs without manipulation or study.

However, he would be delighted, if he were alive, to see the joy I am having from my random, careless photography. We are different. Yet so much the same. His focus on depth of field is my focus on capturing a flash of purple while hanging my camera out of the car window while driving by a field of lavender. I’d be thrilled to get a smear of color. My father would be thrilled to see me thrilled.

February 3, 2010

Cold Hot Snow

Filed under: Writing — Hillary Davis @ 7:10 pm

Still snowing………coating everything with confectionary sugar, not snowball snow or movie snow, but fluffy salt flake snow. As if someone had fun dumping a bag of flour on everything. Doggies love it. I’m going to heat up some maple syrup later and drizzle it on a snow-cone outside to make snow candy. Cold hot snow candy.

February 1, 2010

Amuse Tete

Filed under: Writing — Hillary Davis @ 4:14 pm

I was thinking of words like amuse buche or amuse geules—those mini tastes served before your meal arrives that are meant to tantalize your taste buds and encourage you to want more. And I wondered, if when I write about food, if I could find just the perfect amuse-buche-words to tantalize and produce a mouth-watering response.

The scent of pine. The texture of sea foam. My heart turneth over when I saw kind of words.

But they amuse tete.

A bit different. They nourish a different part than amuse geules do. Put them together and they nourish the whole.

January 31, 2010

On Hearing

Filed under: Writing — Hillary Davis @ 4:11 pm

I don’t know, but I hear someone talking when I write this. It’s coming from me, but I’m hearing someone else, sort of an older guy with a raincoat….he’s holding a lit cigar. He has an accent. Brooklyn, I think. I like him. As soon as I like him, he’s looking off in the direction of the corner, as if he remembered losing something there, and he can’t remember who she was.

January 30, 2010

Tree Books

Filed under: Books,iPad — Hillary Davis @ 9:38 pm

They say that the routes to immortality are having a child, planting a tree, and writing a book. There used to be just tree books. Now there are eBooks: electronic literature floating in the ether of cyberspace, only sometimes to alight like a butterfly on a page printing out on a printer in some far off country—or next door. Fleeting, then captured.

I used to lug 10 or more tree books with me on weekends and vacations. Now I download them to my iPhone and throw the phone into my purse. I can’t wait to do the same with the iPad. On them, I will have a library as big as some public libraries. Small but big.

January 29, 2010

Can’t Get This Song Out Of My Head

Filed under: iPhone Apps,Video — Hillary Davis @ 11:51 pm

iPad equals Ferrari

Filed under: iPad — Hillary Davis @ 11:02 pm
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Sooooo fast. Sleek. Vrooooom vroooom. Worth watching the introduction video.

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