That buzz around native advertising is now a loud vibration that is difficult to ignore.
Earlier this month, the New York Times became the most significant carrier of native advertising when it officially launched its program to host sponsored content with a six-figure three-month deal with Dell. While sites larger than NYTimes.com (yeah, Buzzfeed, I’m talking about you) and others that are highly respected (Washington Post, Vanity Fair) were already carrying sponsored content, the Times made it seem as if the Rubicon had been crossed.
Then, this week, Forrester analyst Ryan Skinner released a report saying that native advertising is “worth pursuing” — he meant for those writing the checks, of course, but it’s also worth pursuing for those on the receiving end, as well.
“Everyone already knows that.” I’ve been hearing this a lot recently. It is almost always the answer to this question: “Would you write an article or blog post about that idea?”
These insightful thinkers – PhDs, industry veterans, book authors, and scientific geniuses – all question the uniqueness of their insights.
These smart people are entrenched in their businesses. They are talking to their customers every day. They’ve seen problems that others do not know about yet, and they’re creating solutions that no one else is thinking about yet. But when the spotlight shifts away from products to ideas, it elicits a very human response, even among seasoned CEOs: doubt.
It may seem pretty obvious, but if you want to do public relations well, you need to know your clients’ publics. I don’t mean your clients’ customers, but prospects or even people working in relevant industries. You’d be surprised by what you learn and how that can benefit your clients, the content you develop and the way you work with the media.
By talking to the people who actually face the problems your clients solve you will learn what causes them the most pain, what they’ve been doing to deal with that pain, where they learn about solutions, how they actually work and how technology fits into their workday. It’s basically the information you’d uncover when developing a customer case study – but with an important difference.
When the Oxford Dictionary pronounced “selfie” the 2013 Word of the Year, I was shocked at first. “It’s such an ugly non-word,” I thought. But then it dawned on me: it completely made sense. This word reflected a cultural shift: the ubiquity of smartphones, and society’s acceptance of our obsession with photographing ourselves and sharing them pretty much everywhere.
This year, as in the past two years, I invited colleagues, friends and Twitter followers to suggest words that deserve to be retired because they are silly, overused, meaningless or just plain annoying. Several people this year proposed selfie. But I disagree: compared to the others on this year’s list, I think selfie deserves to stay. It’s relevant, concise and means-what-it-says.
An eventful year is coming to a close for us here at InkHouse. We decided to open a new office in San Francisco next month (stay tuned!). We grew more than 40 percent in revenue. We launched InkHouse Films. And we just hired our 45th employee. We are incredibly thankful to the clients who place their confidence in us, and the employees who choose to work here when we know they have many other options open to them.
As we close 2013 and prepare to celebrate the holidays, we extend our warmest greetings to you! Thanks for staying connected to us and cheering us on. We wish you a very happy holiday season and peace and prosperity in the new year.
It’s a PR cliché to say you are thrilled about anything – so I won’t (wink) – but today InkHouse announced a new partnership with an amazing company: Neoscape, a pioneer in the world of visual storytelling. We are two complimentary, creative firms of about the same size and our work together will allow us to provide end-to-end product launch services, from branding, positioning, and immersive visual content, to events, press and new media campaigns.
Neoscape’s creative studio for architecture, real estate and other industries will create advanced digital content that tells the type of stories that InkHouse excels at amplifying through online media channels.
Chip Wilson, founder of yoga retailer Lululemon, announced that he would be stepping down as chairman of the board early last week. The decision followed a string of controversial comments Wilson made to the media, including a Bloomberg Television interview in which he responded to recent issues with the fabric used in their yoga pants: “Frankly, some women’s bodies just don’t actually work for [the pants]…It’s about the rubbing through the thighs and how much pressure is there.” His response resulted in some outraged responses from consumers.
Today our client Skanska USA won The Bulldog Digital/Social Awards gold medal, the highest honor for Best Corporate Blog, judged exclusively by digital- and social-media-savvy working journalists and bloggers. We worked with Skanska to launch “Constructive Thinking” last April to highlight the company’s thought leadership in a multi-media way and have been proud of the results so far.
As our clients know, we take blogging seriously at InkHouse—including our own blog, InkLings—and view it as the foundation for many of our social content and media relations efforts. Our approach is one of the reasons why last year both Bulldog Reporter and PR News named InkHouse a Small Agency of the Year. This year, InkHouse was named a Best Place to Work by the Boston Business Journal and a Top Women-Led Business by the Boston Globe and Commonwealth Institute. In addition to agency awards, InkHouse has earned multiple industry awards on behalf of client work in the past year, including: