Oxford Memes

first_imgOxford University students have become the latest to involve themselves in the burgeoning internet meme craze.University-specific meme pages, which set a particular brand of incisive student humour to amusing stock images, have grown massively over the last few days. The Facebook group ‘Oxford Uni Memes’ has gained over 2,850 members since its creation early on Wednesday morning.The term ‘meme’ was coined by Richard Dawkins, Oxford’s former Professor for Public Understanding of Science. In his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, Dawkins defines a meme as an idea or behaviour that spreads through a culture by imitation. Internet memes follow this principle, humorous images are copied and re-captioned, concisely describing or satirising the activity of an individual or group.The Oxford group’s most well-received submissions have exploited the same general themes popular on many university humour sites, including college rivalries and the perceived failings of university infrastructure. The Oxford site particularly satirises the rivalry between Oxford University and Brookes.PPE student Nicholas Howley explained the phenomenon, telling Cherwell, “Ideas like this always tend to spread fast when they’re universally popular. I think it’s great to have a place to pool Oxford jokes, even if it does show just how much Brookes actually gets slated!”However the collection of memes has received criticism from some quarters. One Lincoln student suggested that derogatory remarks made about Durham and Brookes were “downright awkward.” He questioned the notion that memes were just “harmless fun.” One online commenter stated, “You don’t understand memes and more importantly it seems your sense of humour is awful.”Oxford University students have become the latest to involve themselves in the  burgeoning internet meme craze.University-specific meme pages, which set a particular brand of incisive student humour to amusing stock images, have grown massively over the last few days.The Facebook group ‘Oxford Uni Memes’ has gained over 2,850 members since its creation early on Wednesday morning.The term ‘meme’ was coined by Richard Dawkins, Oxford’s former Professor for Public Understanding of Science. In his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, Dawkins defines a meme as an idea or behaviour that spreads through a culture by imitation. Internet memes follow this principle, humorous images are copied and re-captioned, concisely describing or satirising the activity of an individual or group.The Oxford group’s most well-received submissions have exploited the same general themes popular on many university humour sites, including college rivalries and the perceived failings of university infrastructure. The Oxford site particularly satirises the rivalry between Oxford University and Brookes.PPE student Nicholas Howley explained the phenomenon, telling Cherwell, “Ideas like this always tend to spread fast when they’re universally popular. I think it’s great to have a place to pool Oxford jokes, even if it does show just how much Brookes actually gets slated!”However the collection of memes has received criticism from some quarters. One Lincoln student suggested that derogatory remarks made about Durham and Brookes were “downright awkward.” He questioned the notion that memes were just “harmless fun.”One online commenter stated, “You don’t understand memes and more importantly it seems your sense of humour is awful.”last_img read more

Statement from Katie Lapp, Harvard Executive Vice President, regarding HEI Hotels & Resorts

first_imgHarvard University has followed with interest reports concerning labor relations at HEI Hotels & Resorts. The administration also has heard from community members regarding these reports and is aware of public statements on HEI made by peer institutions.The Harvard Management Company, as part of its investment and due-diligence process, will review HEI’s business practices and policies, including labor relations, and its compliance with industry standards, regulations and laws, prior to making any decision to re-invest in HEI-sponsored investment funds.  Any future decision to re-invest in HEI will take into account all relevant circumstances at that time.last_img read more

Ireland’s World Cup triumph over France comes at great cost

first_img O’Connell’s Test career looks over after 108 caps, the Toulon-bound lock punching the turf in agony with a serious leg injury as Ireland set up a quarter-final with Argentina. Linchpin fly-half Sexton trudged out with a groin strain and nursing sore ribs from a hefty hit from Louis Picamoles, while Sean O’Brien could face a citing for an alleged punch on Pascal Pape. Ireland must chase World Cup glory without talismanic captain Paul O’Connell, and potentially Johnny Sexton, Sean O’Brien and Peter O’Mahony, as their seismic 24-9 victory over France comes at a huge cost. Combative flanker O’Mahony departed via a stretcher with a suspected knee problem amid the second-half maelstrom, as the toll of a searing contest grew and grew. Ireland will now meet the Pumas in the last eight, avoiding defending-champions New Zealand and lining up their best-ever crack at a first World Cup semi-final. Totemic lock O’Connell will retire from Test rugby at the end of Ireland’s World Cup campaign, but will surely now miss the rest of the tournament. Rob Kearney and Conor Murray claimed the tries to subdue a stunned France, whose pre-match fighting talk evaporated under real pressure. That Ireland were able to fend off France without four crucial stars for the majority of the clash can only be testament to the work of shrewd Kiwi boss Joe Schmidt. Madigan stepped out of Sexton’s shadow in fine style too, bossing Ireland’s line with poise and authority, while O’Brien and Robbie Henshaw turned in performances critical to this win. Ireland’s retribution for Pape’s cheap-shot knee to Jamie Heaslip in the Six Nations was for O’Brien to smash the Stade Francais lock square in the ribs. Irrespective of whether the citing commissioners review the incident, O’Brien set Ireland’s tone, with Pape prone on the turf for several minutes. Press Association France rejected a shot at goal in favour of kicking to the corner, only for Ireland to force a choke-tackle turnover. Frederic Michalak fluffed his first effort from the tee, before chipping his second against the post. Sexton had no such nervous affliction when handing Ireland a three-point lead after chipping the line and causing chaos in the French defence. Scott Spedding and Sexton traded penalties for six points apiece, before Ireland’s backline general was forced out of action. France spent all week threatening to take Sexton out of the game, and the former Racing Metro playmaker lasted just 24 minutes. Number eight Picamoles’ thundering hit left Sexton prostrate on the field, before he trudged off disconsolately, hiding his face with his shirt. Sexton’s departure threw Madigan to the wolves, but the Leinster fly-half fired a penalty to calm any nerves and edge Ireland 9-6 ahead. Ireland shredded the French line with Tommy Bowe searing clear before seeming to fire the scoring pass to Keith Earls. Somehow Earls lost the ball amid a full-tilt juggling act however, letting France hugely off the hook. Rob Kearney’s dummy run dragged the space for Bowe to scythe through, and Earls had effectively fielded the pass before relinquishing control. An emboldened France attacked with new fervour, only for Rory Best to produce a textbook turnover penalty, forcing Thierry Dusautoir to hold on illegally. Madigan’s overzealous punt went out on the full and gifted France field position just when the half should have been up, handing Ireland needlessly nervy ending. Robbie Henshaw pulled off a desperate turnover penalty just yards from his line to stave off the attack, but in the build-up talisman O’Connell suffered either knee ligament damage or a torn hamstring. While every other player jogged down the tunnel, O’Connell received lengthy treatment on the field, before being removed via stretcher. Ireland refused to relent on their stunning intensity after the turnaround, Iain Henderson replacing O’Connell and centre Henshaw maintaining his pivotal performance. The Connacht battering-ram stepped his way through France’s line before finding Bowe with a ball over the top. France knocked on in a try-line scramble, and from the scrum Rob Kearney powered home for the game’s first try. The French simply could not credit Ireland’s fervour, captain Dusautoir’s shocked face following a knock-on under zero pressure an indictment of the men in green’s increasing dominance. Morgan Parra nudged a penalty to reduced Ireland’s lead to just five points just past the hour-mark, teeing up a nervy final quarter. France attacked again but O’Brien forced a fine turnover, before Ireland fired through the phases from a penalty lineout. Rory Best powered close, then Murray nipped home – cleverly placing the ball against the post to claim the try. Madigan’s conversion put Ireland 21-9 to the good, before the Leinster playmaker posted a penalty to seal the deal. For Ireland this was a victory to reverberate across the tournament almost as resoundingly as the din rebounded off the closed roof of a rocking Millennium Stadium. last_img read more

Climate Reality Project counts carbon costs

first_imgGeneration Earth Founder Ella Bella and Miss Earth South Africa executive director Catherine Constantinides facilitated a Skype call with Climate Reality chairperson and former US vice president Al Gore.Miss Earth South Africa 2013, Ashanti Mbanga, lends her voice in the fight against climate change.Pandelani Dzhugudzha from the Department of Environmental Affairs with Ella Bella, Miss Earth South Africa educational officer and Generation Earth founder.(Images: Generation Earth)MEDIA CONTACTS • Georgina CostOperations manager: SA Fusion+27 21 680 6650+27 82 505 0664 Romaana NaidooSouth Africa Climate Reality Project representatives, Ella Bella and Catherine Constantinides, hosted a live Skype call with former United States vice president, Al Gore, to highlight the relationship between carbon pollution and climate change.The live broadcast formed part of the project’s annual 24 Hours of Reality. This year’s event was held on 23 October in Rosebank, Johannesburg. Content aggregation tool Reality Drop was also launched.The official event kicked-off on 22 October and featured expert discussions, presentations and educational sessions from across the globe.The global awareness drive, spearheaded by leading environmental advocate and Nobel Laureate Gore, is aimed at educating the public about the “true cost of carbon”.During the Skype call, he addressed climate-related issues specific to Africa and South Africa as well as highlighting key points relating to the “global cost of carbon”.These were later discussed in more detail by Constantinides when she and Bella delivered Climate Reality Project’s official presentation, first released to delegates at the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Conference in Istanbul, Turkey, in June.Constantinides picked up on Gore’s points in the Climate Reality Project presentation, which focused on drought and its consequences – including famine – rising food prices and food shortages, as well as the cost of South Africa’s coal-dependent energy sector and the effects of increasingly erratic global weather patterns.“The effects of climate change are felt every day, across the globe, from steadily increasing average temperatures to the rising levels of the world’s oceans, and yet climate change is still considered to be a notion concocted by scientists and environmentalists as opposed to a reality facing global citizens,” said Constantinides, also Miss Earth South Africa’s executive director.“Everywhere one looks one can see climate change in action; rising global temperatures have led to an increase in the water temperature of the world’s oceans, which in turn leads to warmer water being absorbed into the air through evaporation; warmer air is able to hold a greater volume of water vapour, which is causing more severe, more intense storm systems across the globe.“Hurricanes the likes of which have never been seen before are tearing through equatorial regions, tropical storm systems stronger than any other storm systems in recorded history are wreaking untold damage across the globe, areas that were once unaffected by tropical storms are now falling prey to these ‘super storms’ because the air temperature of the region has increased by just a few degrees.”According to the Climate Reality Project, for every 1°F (-17.2222vC) temperature increase, the incidence of heavy rains increases by about 4%.“Climate change does not only mean more severe storms, however, it can lead to more severe droughts, food shortages, famine, wild fires, increase in diseases etc. All of these effects of climate change can be seen across the globe,” she said. South Africa’s carbon footprint South Africa ranks among the top 20 polluters globally and is responsible for more than 40% of Africa’s carbon emissions. In 2010, South African industry emitted some 500-million metric tons of greenhouse gasses.The majority of South Africa’s energy is produced by burning fossil fuels, meaning the top 40 largest companies in the country were responsible for some 207-million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, directly emitting 20% of South Africa’s carbon output. Every time fossil fuels – gas, coal or oil – are burnt, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. The 10 hottest years in recorded history in the country have all been in the past 15 years.  In a white paper released in February 2012, the South African government proposed a crackdown on big polluters with a new carbon tax on companies’ carbon emissions. According to experts, this is what the country needs to save itself from potentially catastrophic climate changes such as rising temperatures, droughts and extreme rainfall.Government has also considered a tax rate of R75 per ton of CO2, rising to approximately R200 per ton.  This is considered to be “feasible and appropriate to achieve the desired behavioural changes and emission reduction targets”.According to a report by Trucost, a research group that helps businesses understand environmental risk,  carbon costs could amount to almost US$974-million (R9 510 836 458) if the top 40 largest companies were to pay the carbon tax rate of R75 (US$8.97) per ton of CO2e (CO2 equivalent)for direct operational emissions globally. This would equate to 0,2% of revenue, or 1% of earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation or amortisation (EBITDA) on average across all 40 companies.At a higher future carbon price of R200 (US$23,91), direct carbon costs could amount to more than US$2,5 billion globally. This could equate to 0,5% of revenue on average across all 40 companies, or 2,7% of earnings.In a bid to address the initial concerns raised by businesses, the South African treasury proposed a 60% tax-free threshold on emissions for all sectors, including electricity, petroleum, iron, steel and aluminium. Plans state that the levy would increase by 10% a year until 2020, while all sectors bar electricity will be able to claim additional relief of at least 10%.Of all 13 recognised sectors in the South African FTSE/JSE 40 Index, only five key sectors – basic resources, oil and gas, food and beverage, industrial goods & services and telecommunications – accounted for 97%of total emissions from the top 40 companies.Liesel Van Ast, research editor at Trucost, highlighted potential negative effects on companies: “Protecting energy and carbon-intensive industries to the extent that business-as-usual (BAU) greenhouse gas emissions continue could weaken BASIC ministerial climate negotiations and exacerbate climate change impacts such as changes in water availability, increased floods and droughts, biodiversity loss and crop losses or lower agricultural production in South Africa.”Companies with carbon-intensive operations, products or supply chains will be concerned about their ability to compete against lower carbon sector peers in South Africa, or against competitors in countries that do not price carbon yet. This could in turn limit their ability to pass on some or all of the tax to business customers or consumers.Constantinides urged delegates to join the fight against climate change and encouraged them to join the movement started by Gore in 2006 when he launched the documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, which focusses on his campaign to educate citizens about global warming.“Now is the time for global citizens to stand together and fight to mitigate the effects of climate change,” said Constantinides.About The Climate Reality ProjectThe Climate Reality Project is a non-profit organisation centred on education and advocacy related to climate change. Established in July 2011, the project is the joint venture of The Alliance for Climate Protection and The Climate Project, both founded by Gore.The first 24 Hours of Reality was held in 2011; broadcast live online it featured 24 presenters across 24 time zones presenting in 13 languages. The presentations stressed a link between climate change and oil and coal producers, with the webcast garnering 8-million views and a Silver Lion at the 2012 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.The project also released several short videos, including Doubt, Climate 101 and Grassroots at the event.A second webcast; 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report, was broadcast in 2012, and focussed on the effects coal, oil and gas pollution have on weather patterns. Attracting14-million unique viewers and a viewership of more than 16-million, the webcast set a Ustream record for the most online viewers in a 24-hour period.It also won 10 Telly awards in 2013, including two silver Telly awards in the News Feature and Social Responsibility categories and seven bronze Telly awards.Miss Earth South Africa and Generation Earth run campaigns to involve the public in the climate change conversation through educational workshops in schools across the country, “because the cost of carbon is high but the cost of inaction is even higher, and we, as global citizens, must work to minimise our collective carbon footprint,” said Constantinides.last_img read more

Patellar dislocation

first_imgDislocation usually occurs as a result of sudden direction changes while running and the knee is under stress or it may occur as a direct result of injury.Review Date:6/13/2010Reviewed By:Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.last_img read more

Steve Jobs & Guy Kawasaki — Powerpoint Best Practices

first_img Originally published Jan 18, 2007 1:27:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Presentations I have recently come across some interesting Powerpoint best practices that I thought I would share with you. Steve JobsThe first best practice was from watching Steve Jobs’ presentation at MacWorld this year.  What was fascinating about his slides is that they were either just a picture or just a picture with a couple of words in extremely large font.  It turns out that Steve wants the audience to listen to him tell the story, rather than read the slides. Here’s a picture of one of Steve’s slides:In contrast to Steve’s slide show, here’s a picture of a slide from Michael Dell.  Michael’s would work well if it were designed to be sent to someone who would not have the benefit of hearing the story live, but next to Steve’s slides, they just seem cluttered.Guy KawasakiI recently read Guy Kawasaki’s “Art of The Start.”  In addition to being a good author/blogger, Guy was one of the very early Apple employees and more recently has been a venture/angel investor type where he has listened to countless Powerpoint presentations.  Presumably because he is tired of seeing poor Powerpoint presentations, he spends many pages in his book talking about Powerpoint best practices.  There were a few nuggets of Powerpoint wisdom among a lot of content about it that stuck with me a few days after finishing the book.His mantra is that Powerpoint should follow a 10/20/30 Rule.  There should be no more than 10 slides in the presentation — very few people take away much more than one concept from a presentation, so all that other stuff is extra.  The slide presentation should be designed to last 20 minutes, leaving room for ample questions/discussion between slides or after the presentation.  Guy points out that the point of the presentation is typically to initiate a discussion.  He says the font should be size should be no smaller than 30 (Arial font).  Guy says that audiences read faster than you can talk, so that while you are up there talking, they are trying to read your slides and not listening to what you are saying.He says that there are something like 60 animation features within Powerpoint and he recommends the less use of it the better.  His advice is to use your voice/body to emphasize when a point is important, not some fancy Powerpoint trick.  The only place he recommends using any of this is in going through bullet points on a slide, presumably to avoid having people read ahead.  Speaking of bullets, Guy suggests that bulleted slides should have one point with bullets and only one layer of bullets (lest you violate the 30 part of 10/20/30).If you have some great Powerpoint tips, please do share them with us…– Brian Halligan.last_img read more

Silly Rabbit, Tricks are for Black Hat SEOs

first_img that want If you think you should be using Black Hat SEO or you are missing out, I have only three words of advice: DON’T DO IT! There’s a dearth of people out there that even get fundamental SEO, understand how the various search engine algorithms work and how to do more than just guess at the weight of various factors impacting search results. The number of people that actually know enough to employ really advanced black hat techniques is vanishingly small. The number of these people that On with the article. those elite few people that actually do know enough to apply these highly advanced techniques and you could connect to them. How would you know one if you met her? This is a bit like the public stock market. The chances that some fund manager has figured out a consistent way to “beat the system” are pretty low. Your problem is, even if they’re out there, you wouldn’t know how to separate those that make the claims from those that can actually do it. Originally published Dec 3, 2007 9:46:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 First off, for those that are not familiar with the term “Black Hat SEO” it usually refers to highly controversial tactics used to manipulate the search rankings of a given web page and are generally in violation of search engine guidelines. Second off, if the title of this article seems strange to you, you’re probably too young to have been exposed to the “Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids” TV commercials. No worries. Your enjoyment of this article will not be affected. you For those that are feeling unsatisfied with the brevity of this advice, and need more words, let me expand a bit more: BLACKHAT SEO IS NOT WORTH IT FOR MOST WEBSITES. Instead of spending a lot of time and money on black hat SEO, you’re probably to find. When you do this, you’re working Let me say that one more time, for emphasis: The best way to optimize your website and get more/better traffic via search engines is to make the content on your site something people actually are probably associated with is close to zero. Even if certain techniques do actually work today (and I’m sure there are some smart folks out there that have figured some out), the search engine algorithms are constantly evolving. Chances are, if somebody has found a “back door” to unduly influence the search results, this door will eventually be closed. worth risking having your site banned completely? 1. Real Black Hat SEOs Might Not Exist In Your World: Reasons You Don’t Want To Use Blackhat SEO So, here’s the build-up of arguments: You probably don’t know someone that really has the talent to do black hat SEO well. Even if you did, you wouldn’t know it. Even if you knew it, you couldn’t hire them or afford them. Even if you could hire them, it probably wouldn’t work for you. Even if it did work for you, it’s probably temporary. Even if wasn’t temporary, it’s just too risky. Any questions? 3. Even if you can pick them, you can’t hire them: 5. Even if it does work, it’s probably temporary: There are many, many factors that go into search engine algorithms. Some are more important than others, but it’s really, really hard to know whether a specific black hat technique will actually work for you. The more advanced the technique, the more likely that there are specific situations within which the technique works. Lets say for a moment that there Assuming you could find some small edge and that will last long enough for it to be worthwhile, you have to balance this benefit against the risks that you’re taking. Is a potential increase in traffic via organic search with much Technical SEO really 2. Even if they exist, you can’t pick them: Topics: 6. Even If It Lasts, It’s Really, Really Risky: Assuming you had some uncanny ability to really pick out the true uber-experts, chances are, you couldn’t hire them because you couldn’t afford them. If they’re good, they’re either working on some super-big project for some mega-company that can spend some real money — or working on their own private projects. 4. Even if you could hire them, their ideas may not work for you: better off simply doing things that makes your site and it’s associated content more rank-worthy. are the search engines — not against them. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Top 10 Ways NOT to Spend $12 Million on Marketing

first_img Advertising Back in 1999 a lot of startups burned through all of their cash on crazy advertising programs and marketing stunts.  Even though HubSpot recently raised $12 million in venture capital financing, that’s not us.  In fact, because we use mostly inbound marketing, we spend relatively little on marketing.  So, I thought it might be fun to think about the ways we could (but won’t) spend the money.Send 17 Million Pieces of Direct Mail.  There are a bunch of services where you can rent a list, they will print, address and mail a postcard for you for about $0.70 including postage.  There are 25 million businesses in the US, we could get rid of the 8 million that are not a good fit for HubSpot, and send the rest of them a postcard.Place 50 Million Cold Calls.  I found this service online that will make 1,000 cold calls for $250.  Well, I’ve got $12 million dollars, and I figure I should get a little discount for buying in bulk.  With 50 million cold calls, we could call every single business in the US…. twice.  How awesome would that be!  Talk about a great way to get the word out.  After just a couple weeks every single business owner in the US would know HubSpot.  Talk about buzz!!!Create a mascot and make it world famous.  I am thinking that we need to do something with the orange widget in our logo.  Give it a face and a name, and have it walk around and talk to people about marketing.  Maybe it could also be really snarky and sarcastic and make funny jokes about how lame most advertising is.  We’ll schedule some time with the creatives at our NYC advertising agency and then hire a director to film some short movies with our new mascot.  (Inspiration: Do you remember the Pets.com sock puppet?  It was a character that the startup created to market itself.  When the company finally went bankrupt, many people speculated that the sock puppet character was worth more than the company.)  Buy 1 Billion Pop-up Ads.  If you assume a $12 CPM for pop-up ads we could get a billion of them.  Imagine a billion pop-ups invading every computer online.  We could do all of the “best practices” for pop-up ads.  “Squash the monkey and win a prize.”  “Pick who will win, Obama or Hillary.”  “System message: Your computer is about to electrocute your mother unless you click this box and pay $9.95 to have the virus removed.”  I think the response to this would be huge!Start a Fleet of 5 HubSpot Blimps.  This would be cool.  We just pick the 5 best markets in the US for HubSpot and park a blimp overhead 24×7.  A blimp is about $2 million, so this plan still gives us $400K to pay for gas and pilots for each blimp (and you thought I wasn’t thinking ahead).  Everyone in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and San Francisco would be wondering “What the heck does HubSpot have to do with a blimp?”  We’d be wondering the same thing.  But it would still be cool.   Put Marketing Devices Similar to Bombs in a City.  You all heard about the backfired marketing stunt in Boston from Turner Broadcasting?  Where they put electronic signs that got mistaken for bombs around the city?  Sure, it shut down a lot of the major roads and got them sued and they had to pay a ton of fees in damages to the city.  But talk about BUZZ, baby!  The stunt got them coverage in the New York Times!  All PR is good PR as they say.  And with $12 million we can place a lot of devices and still pay off a bunch of lawsuits.  Bring it on!The HubSpot NASCAR team.  Sure, there is not a strong connection between NASCAR fans and HubSpot’s target market.  But who can resist the lure of getting involved in one of the fastest growing sports in the US, especially when it is much more open to commercial involvement that other sports.  A cool $12 million will net us a lead sponsorship of a lower level NASCAR team, including our logo on the car, uniforms, using the crew in marketing events, and more.      Hire a Celebrity Spokesperson.  Want a great way to get people to pay more attention to your company?  Hire a celebrity as your spokesperson.  GoDaddy has Danica Patrick.  Accenture uses Tiger Woods.  I had a hard time thinking about who would be best for HubSpot.   But I think Oprah might be a good choice – she has proven she has staying power, and she is basically a self made marketing success having promoted herself for years.  Another choice might be Martha Stewart.  I’d just want to hear her say “HubSpot, its a good thing.”  But I guess the whole insider trading and prision thing might not be a positive for our brand.  If you have ideas about this, leave a comment.  I’m all ears.       10,000 Hours of Infomercials.  Have you ever bought a set of steak knives from a late-night TV ad?  What about a juicer or car wax?  And don’t forget any number of cleaning products from electric sweepers to miracle stain removers.  Do you dread your nights of insomnia because you fear it will cost you more than just lost sleep because the infomercials are too convincing?  Clearly we’re missing a big opportunity here.  I mean at 2am when you can’t sleep, you are certainly looking for some inbound marketing software.  HubSpot Infomercials, here we come!  “Get started fast with just 12 monthly payments of $250!  Buy today and get a Free Website Grader Report!”  Send 250 Billion Spam Emails.  Yes, 250 BILLION with a B, baby!!!  This is an even better deal than those cold calls.  I found this service online that will send 4,000,000 “opt-in emails” for just $200, and again, they discount at higher volumes so I should be able to get an even better rate.  Think about the effect this would have.  If we sent them all at once we could probably crash the entire Internet.  Sure, probably a lot of them would be blocked by Spam filters.  But some of them would have to get through.  Plus the buzz factor would be tremendous!!!  Pretty much everyone on the planet could get an email from HubSpot. Or every person in the US old enough to use email could get 1,000 HubSpot advertisement emails.  That’s one a day for three years.  Huge!  The best part about this program… they take credit cards online so I get 12 million AMEX points once I fill out my expense report.  Can you say 4 weeks all expenses paid in Tahiti?  I can!What would you do if you wanted to waste $12 million on marketing?   Leave a comment with your own funny idea.The Funniest Idea of How to Spend $12 Million to Market HubSpot will Win a $100 Amazon Gift CardPost your idea as a comment on this article.  The comment must be made by 12 midnight on Tuesday, May 20, and I alone will be responsible for determining what the funniest idea is.Update: Contest is Now ClosedThe winner is Pete from www.elrhino.com.  His reponse, and the accompanying Boston Globe article was the one that caused the most out loud laughter around the office.  Click here to open the full size version in a new window.  Pete should email me at mvolpe [at] hubspot [dot] com to claim your prize.There were lots of good ideas!  All the other tattoo ideas were good, the in person pop-ups suggested by Lisa Warnock were cool (and actually could be do-able on a small scale), and the awesome idea of HubSpot toilet paper by Darren Angus with the slogan “When you least want to be interrupted, you’ll be happy we are there.”  I wonder what Charmin would charge for that? Originally published May 19, 2008 10:36:00 AM, updated October 29 2019 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

The Role of PR Firms in Social Media and Inbound Marketing

first_imgThere has been a lot of discussion this week in the A-List blogs about the role of a PR firm within the world of inbound marketing and social media.  I have been thinking about this for a while, both as a blogger (who is now getting pitched by PR firms), an active social media person, and a client of a PR firm – and part of a company that has a strong presence on LinkedIn (group with 7,000+ members), Facebook (over 600 fans) and Twitter (still growing, but employees like me have 100’s of followers).  In fact, I have been asked to speak on this very topic at the upcoming Worldcom conference in Montreal (a conference of hundreds of PR firms).Changes Challenging the Value of a PR FirmDirect Relationships – Does the media expect direct relationships with the company (through social media) rather than having the PR folks as a “go-between”?  If so, can the PR Firm play a role at all?Speed of Publishing – The old world had quarterly or annual editorial calendars.  Now A-list bloggers decide what to write that morning while having a latte in their robe in front of their laptop.  HubSpot has gotten coverage within 50 minutes from ZDNet because I responded to a question on Twitter from a blogger.  When the time between idea and article can be 30 minutes, can a PR firm really help a client get coverage?Approachability of Media – The media today are really pretty approachable, unlike the old days where it was hard to get a meeting with a writer for the Wall Street Journal, today you can follow the key media players on Twitter, be friends on Facebook, comment on their blog, etc.  So, if the relationships are easier to formulate today, what’s the value of a PR firm?To review some of the discussion going on right now, Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion thinks that PR firms need to adapt, because bloggers and “new media” people want to “discover news for themselves” and not be pitched by PR folks.  Michael Arrington at TechCrunch says that “PR as a profession is broken”.  Ouch.  Mark ‘Rizzn’ Hopkins from Mashable says those who “position themselves in the mindset that they aren’t gatekeepers for information but connectors for entrepreneurs and resources for journalists” will be a productive resource for their clients.  Robert Scoble from Scobleizer thinks that “there’s no reason to go crazy with a PR firm if you build something that people want.”  And Todd Defren of PR-Squared posted a response (including a video of me).  But probably the best summary and comment on the debate (besides this article of course! 🙂 comes from Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWrite Web who summarizes his article with “Is it worth the expense and loss of direct experience for many startups to hire PR people? It probably is.”  How a PR Firm Can Provide Value TodayResearch – You could spend the time finding the best 100 bloggers who write about your specific niche, but having someone else do this for you can save time, especially if they do it for a living and have access to tools to make it easier and faster.  Same things goes for researching conferences, events, speaking opportunities, awards, etc.  HubSpot has won a ton of marketing awards, and for most of them our PR firm found them and did everything for us.Training – Few people are social media and blogging experts, and if you hire the right PR firm, they can help bring their expertise into your company.  Don’t let them do everything for you, make them train and educate your marketing team (not just marcom, product people too!) and executives about social media, blogging, how to comment on blogs, how to use Twitter and Facebook, etc.  Inbound Marketing relies on using your entire company for marketing, and teaching people how to do it can be a great way for your PR firm to provide value.  Even though we think we know a lot at HubSpot, our PR firm has taught us a thing or two and we’ve tried some new stuff based on their suggestions.Create & Publish Content – PR folks are experts at writing, and increasingly audio and video too.  Your PR firm can help you figure out how to take your boring company announcement and craft it into an interesting story, even if it is not for a news release, it can be just for your company blog.  Your PR firm can also interview employees, customers and others and post videos on your blog or website, etc.  They do this stuff all the time (if they’re good) and might be able to do it better and faster than you can.  Our PR firm has written more than press releases for us – they don’t write for this blog – but other stuff has been helpful.Pitching / Relationships – There are some times when a PR firm does have relationships you don’t have, and times when that makes sense.  A lot of these relationships might be “old media”, but old media is still important to a lot of companies.  For instance, Business Week, Inc Magazine, and others will probably only cover you twice in the next 5 years (if you’re lucky), so does the writer really want a “relationship” with you.  Probably not.  But a PR firm brings lots of different clients to the table, and having a relationship with the PR pro might make sense for the writer.  Our PR Firm is really completely responsible for our relationships with print media.  We just don’t interact with those folks much ourselves.Monitoring – Good PR folks will do a great job of monitoring all the right blogs, social networks and other conversations for relevant information.  They then should email you and tell you to respond, comment, or react on your blog as necessary.  Even if you have a ton of RSS feeds, alerts and more set up, you might miss some things.  Our PR Firm doesn’t send us too much in terms of monitoring because we use lots of tools (including HubSpot software) to monitor things ourselves, but about once a month they send something I missed, and it’s usually good.  But, we have about 10 people actively monitoring 100’s of blogs and 100’s of search feeds daily (not kidding, the joke is that we consume 40% of the Internet on a daily basis).  I bet that your company has way fewer people in your company doing this stuff, so your PR firm will provide tons more value here.Beyond these points, I also think there is something to be said for the ability for a PR firm to relatively quickly ramp up your capabilities, whereas if you were doing things internally it might take a lot longer to find and train a productive internal person.  Don’t take this as a glowing recommendation that everyone should go out and hire a PR firm today.  But, I also don’t think they should be swept under the rug as useless – there is a lot of value a PR firm can provide in the right circumstances for the right client.  As always, understand what all your possible tools can do, then choose the right tools for the job.  A PR firm might be one of those tools.Here is some more of my thoughts on video: Note: HubSpot is a client of Shift Communications, and we’re happy with what we have accomplished working with them over the past year.  But we also talk frequently with them about how to make the relationship work best for both of us.  I recommend all companies do that with your PR firm.  Maybe this article can be a starting point for the conversation with your PR firm.What do you think?  What is the role of a PR firm today?  Leave a comment below and let’s discuss. Public Relations Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img Topics: Originally published Aug 13, 2008 6:44:00 PM, updated March 21 2013last_img read more