Pulling Strings

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Opportunity Marketing, defined. Marketing has evolved, again.

leave a comment »

Marketing is a changing creature, and in the past ten years that’s painfully obvious to some and enthusiastically cheered on by others. There’s a million and one buzz words and phrases used to describe various evolutions of marketing from inbound to outbound, push to pull, and so on and so on.

As a former broadcaster turned advertiser turned back to broadcaster turned to PR guy turned marketing dude, I’ve been in and out of a few of those phases and seen them from a myriad of angles. But I think we’ve emerged into a new reality for marketing, one I don’t see changing anytime soon. I humbly submit for this new era the following term: Opportunity Marketing.

What is Opportunity Marketing?

Before we get to my working and evolving definition of opportunity marketing, it’s important that we both be on at least the same plane for a moment.

Agree or disagree: Technology, the Internet and the mobile web have initiated a seismic shift in the way businesses connect consumers to products and market to the masses?

Disagree? You can stop reading and thanks for visiting. If you agree read on.

Agree or disagree: Social media and connected devices (tablets, smartphones, game consoles etc.) have changed the essence of communication between brand and consumer creating more “intimate” experiences?

Disagree? Again, you can stop reading and thanks for visiting. But if you agree, then lets get to my definition.

Opportunity marketing is leveraging web, social and mobile technology to find and connect with a market in a less intrusive and more consultative way. Messaging designed for many, but delivered in a personalized intimate manner.

Now that we have a definition, I’ll expand on this thought more in post to come. But for now, it’s out there.

Reactions? Additions?

Written by Ryan Ruud

March 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Google+ for p.r. and marketing, why brands should pay attention

leave a comment »

The first network with both brands & consumers in mind

Early on Google urged brands to avoid signing up for individual Google+ profiles with the promise that they were working on special business profiles.

Holy cow!

Unlike Facebook and Twitter that were not created with PR/Marketing folks in mind,  Google+ has the advantage of a late entry to the social media. Social media has proven itself as a powerful communications tool, Google+ can leverage that knowledge as brands rush to connect with stakeholders be it media, consumers or other.

Google+ stands to be the social network that can offer equal opportunity to marketers and public/media relations professionals regardless of industry or B2B/B2C focus.

Spending time with my individual profile, I immediately see three strong ways brands can tap into the power of Google: Sparks, Hangouts and Circles. The fact that Google+ is developing the network with brands in mind, should only make pr/marketing folks tingle with even more anticipation.

Google+ , brands and audiences hookup; Sparks & Hangouts & Circles OH MY!

I love my Google+ sparks as much as I loved Twitter lists. However Google+ provides a much slicker (yep slicker) interface to connect with targeted content. For brands, the use of sparks to showcase industry expertise, news and media content, career opportunities or whatever else an organization needs to communicate about seems like a no brainer.

As a former journalist and broadcaster the multimedia beauty of hangouts naturally the jumps out at me with a tremendous amount of potential.

The virtual press conference just became a dream to set up. With targeted circles getting information to media fast, in an interactive and engaging   way couldn’t be easier.
Get immediate, verbal, face to face feedback from consumers or other key external stakeholders.
If you operate in the B2B realm, add value to the community by hosting information sessions, showcase expertise and bring in guests. Just like corporate blogs grow like weeds when you expand your thinking beyond SELL SELL SELL, same too with live video chats.

And that’s just three quick thoughts on hangouts, spend a little time and I’d imagine your mind will run laps around the hangout concept.

Regardless of communications function, be it marketing or public relations, the ease of segmenting markets or dividing publics is a dream even on an individual account. Google+ provides marketing/public relations folks an easy way to send messages to multiple and diverse publics/markets. I’d go as far to say Google+’s use of circles could be a glimpse into a future where both PR and Marketing work together and have joint ownership of social media. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, message are far harder to target. (P.S. feel free to add me to your circle)

All in all, what do you see being a potential for Google+ in the world of PR and Marketing?  For a cool glimpse at the possible brand pages check out Sean Percival’s creation.

Written by Ryan Ruud

July 15, 2011 at 2:37 pm

What The NYPD Reminded Me Of In Regards To Social Media Tactics In PR, MKTG And Communications Today In Times Square

leave a comment »

Don’t expect too many sentences in this post.

I ventured into Times Square for the first time in my life. The group I was with thrust me into an NYPD cop car and asked the poor on-duty officer to pose for a pic. In horror I exclaimed this isn’t Buckingham Palace! This is the NYPD, they certainly have more important things to do than pose for photo ops with a Canadian born Minnesotan on their first escapade in the Big Apple.

The officer however obliged. Here’s the result:

Posing with the NYPD

be yourself, your public will know if you aren't

This chance moment with a more than gracious NYPD officer reminded me of why the social media phenomenon has been so powerful in the world of PR, Communications and Marketing. The lesson she, the officer, reminded me is one we all need frequent reminding of. . .

Be yourself, be a real person. If you try to be anything else your public will notice and go on to the next brand, organization or person. If you’re a brand, give it a persona.

With that, after a long night exploring Times Square, I’m exhausted.

Before I leave, what common reminders do you think we need to be reminded of frequently in using social media daily in communications?

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.


Written by Ryan Ruud

May 23, 2011 at 5:29 am

@Blogworld bound | Social Media meets Mobile meets Now what?!

leave a comment »

I just finished getting a jump start on my weeks worth of work. I’m attending my first Blogworld Expo this week in New York City. It happens to be my first time in the Big Apple as well so tips or recommendations on what to see and where to eat are appreciated. I wanted to get a jump start on my work week mostly because looking at this weeks session itinerary at Blogworld, I’ll have a full plate and very little time for day to day responsibilities.

First, we were social

What excites me about this conference  is that it really solidifies, in my Canadian born mind at least, that emerging media’s buzzwords aren’t so focused on social anymore. While the constant expansion of social technology certainly illustrates that social is alive and well, as an emerging media communications professional, I’m learning that none of these “things”  . . . these buzzwords . . . are a one stop shop. Take social media for example, The number of “social media ninja, guru, expert, manager, awesome-doer” job descriptions is on the decline. (Anecdotal of course, on my Delta flight I didn’t have much time for a quick quantitative analysis) Does that mean social is dying? Certainly not, but what has me enthusiastic is a focus on understanding social and it’s role in traditional communications functions, be it journalism, advertising, public relations or marketing. Folks are finally starting to understand it’s not the size of a following that determines social media savvy but rather one’s capacity to immerse their career in new technology.

Now we are mobile

Disclaimer: While I head PR for a tech company that has a heavy interest in mobile, my affinity for the rapid expansion of mobile goes beyond the walls of my office.

What excites me about this conference is it’s not a bunch of folks barking about social media as the new and  emerging media.  As an aside, I despise the term new media, it’s emerging media people and it’s always emerging.

Check out my schedule for Blogworld. A healthy mix of old, middle-of-the-road and bleeding edge media focused sessions.

Here’s three reasons mobile is huge and it’s part of the reason why the “social expert” job description is fading into the null of the mid 2000’s.

  • Mobile takes life and connections on the go
  • Mobile is intimately engaging and has laser beam focus
  • Mobile will pass desktop internet access

Mobile provides social amplification…. be social on-the-go in everything from traditional networks to your dining/shopping/gaming/farting and everything else apps. Mobile makes discussions of the “coming social revolution” blase and irrelevant because it’s beyond critical mass and has implications left and right. Adapt or die.

Mobile’s ability to engage is astounding from entertainment and game apps to utility and lifestyle apps connect us with each other, with brands and with ideas far more than we’ve ever been connected.

Mobile has tremendous potential for brands that wield it wisely (if your in NYC and wanna chat about this more lemme know on Twitter @ryanruud or email ryanruud@me.com).

Finally, it’s old but it stands repeating. Internet and all things digital guru Mary Meeker predicts mobile access to the internet will soon eclipse desktop. Those intimate social  connections will be taking place on a deeper and more frequent level than ever before as a result!

The emerging job description

As communications professionals its our job to stay on top of all these changes, understand and explore ways to implement them and be on the bleeding edge. For me, this technology ramp up has had me salivating for years!

Can’t wait to land and feel like a kid on Christmas morning. The social /mobile / next big thing expert is a thing of the past I whole-heartedly believe. Today an understanding and a passion for it all, the old and new, is necessary. Let’s get our hands dirty!

I’ll blog as much as I can both on my personal blog here in regards to communications and I’ll also post a few notes on mobile specific topics over on the W3i and Smart App Marketing Blog.

You can also follow my thoughts on Twitter @ryanruud.

About to begin my descent so adios folks!

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.


Written by Ryan Ruud

May 22, 2011 at 7:15 pm

American Media: The Case Against Conglomeration

leave a comment »

The merger of NBC and Comcast is unprecedented in American media. While contrary to President Obama’s campaign pledges to stop corporate conglomeration of American media, the merger delivers to Comcast/NBC ownership of one fifth of the time Americans spend watching television, an alarming proportion. Arguments presented against the merger raise concerns over the diversity of choices for Americans seeking information about their affairs domestic and abroad. The merger was passed by a 4-1 vote of the FCC.The merger is the largest of it’s kind in U.S. media history.

Several scholars and authors have raised concerns over the hyper-conglomeration of American media. Among them and perhaps most recognized is Ben Bagdikian author of the book The New Media Monopoly. Bagdikian writes of the conglomeration effect stating that “the awesome power of the contemporary mass media has in one generation been a major factor in reversing the country’s progressive political, social and economic momentum of the twentieth century.” (pg. 11)

Paul Kivel the author of You Call This a Democracy? writes, passionately, that “the media is not neutral, it reflects a clear ruling class agenda.” (pg. 125) Kivel’s concerns along with Bagdikian’s observations have been topics at the core of significant debate over media conglomeration over the past two decades.

There are volumes of quantitative and anecdotal reports that would suggest that Bagdikian and Kivel are on the right track. But let’s suppose for a moment that the research didn’t exist and we look merely at John Milton’s argument for the freedom of expression. The blind poet used an historic notion, the marketplace of ideas, to argue for a vibrant and diverse public forum on issues, with the “cream” essentially rising to the top, that is the opinions shared most by the public.

With that premise, media ownership in the hands of fewer than half a dozen corporations can’t possibly incubate the necessary debate for the marketplace of ideas to succeed.

What is to become of the American media is unknown, but it would be wise of a prudent citizen to at the very least, acknowledge the dangers of a shrinking pool of media owners.

Written by Ryan Ruud

February 22, 2011 at 1:00 am

2010’s Biggest Lesson For P.R., Social Media, Media Pros; Oh And Everyone Else Too

with one comment

I was in the middle of a delightful (yes, delightful. We should use this word more frequently, life is delightful, no?)  twitter exchange with @SarahKayHoffman, a community manager @SearsFitness and fellow Minnesotan. We were tweeting over some of the challenges posed by social media. She posed the question: What’s “social” if you’re not useful? It’s a challenge I have faced daily “herding cats”, as it were, to rally around a strategic and thoughtful approach to social media. A challenge I’ve been confronted with for the past couple of years. It was nice to know I wasn’t alone and it was also nice to know I’ve made progress. It got me thinking about my latest challenge.

Lately I, like many of my counterparts tasked with making sense of the social landscape, have been challenged with the demands of developing social media metrics. Blog (check out #27) after blog says 2011 will see honing in of social media metrics. My “goal setting” challenge has been drawn out over the past several weeks. Finally, there is light at the end of the  tunnel after a strenuous and albeit frustrating journey. It got me thinking, yes there is a point that I’m about to circle back to , of my favorite quote from Walt Disney:

Keep Moving Forward

Looking back at 2010 the strides I, and my community of social media lovers tasked with brand building in the social ecosystem, have made has been monumental. For dealing with a medium that changes faster then most of us can blink, we’ve done well. It has proven that stick-to-it-ivness pays off regardless of industry. When confronted with a challenge we have the option of throwing our hands up and walking away *guilty*. 2010 taught me to trudge through. Bring it 2011.

Written by Ryan Ruud

January 5, 2011 at 3:41 am

All I Need To Know About Innovation, I Learned From Steve Jobs

leave a comment »

It’s resolution season. We’re all resolving to break off the shell of an old self and emerge , mastering new challenges, taking on greater risk and seeking more balance.

At the top of my resolution list: read more. In the waning months of my formal education, at least until I move beyond an M.S. and pursue my J.D., I’ve resolved to read more of what I want to read.

The first book I finished off also happened to set a great foundation for me going into 2011. Carmine Gallo’s The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs was a natural selection for a lover of all things Mac. I had no idea how easily I would be able to implement the book’s seven principles into my professional and personal life.

  1. Do What You Love
  2. Put a Dent in the Universe
  3. Kick Start Your Brain
  4. Sell Dreams, Not Products
  5. Say No to a 1,000 Things
  6. Create Insanely Great Experiences
  7. Master the Message

A fantastic read and a page turner. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to inspire their next decade. The Chinese have animal names for their years. I prefer to channel Steve on applying some sort of label to 2011.

In an address to Stanford University students, Job uttered a phrase that sends volts of inspired electricity through my being, it seems the best way to stage 2011:

2011: “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.”

Do yourself a favor, take a weekend and plow through the book for some great reminders and new discoveries.

Written by Ryan Ruud

January 2, 2011 at 10:44 pm