Marketing Works Today

Integrated Digital Marketing & PR Consulting from Brown Ltd.

Will an Oil Spill Grass Roots Marketing Campaign Work for Florida?

All clean at Boca Raton beaches!

Collateral damage is part of any disaster or emergency.  Misinformation or the wrong perception is common.  Florida is going through that right now.

Mention vacationing or buying waterfront property or near beach homes in Florida, outside the state, and many react, “The beaches are flooded with oil,” Property values are crashing because of the oil,” and on and on.

It’s just not true.

The facts:

– Some beaches are impacted in NORTHWEST FLORIDA.  Check those locations before making arrangements.

– Florida has over 1,197 statute miles of coastline.  A VERY SMALL PERCENTAGE OF NORTHWEST FLORIDA is impacted by oil.

– Florida has over 663 miles of available beaches.

– The beaches that are impacted in NORTHWEST FLORIDA, primarily Escambia County, are over 700 miles from the Florida Keys.  There’s a lot of clean beach between Escambia County, Florida and the southern tip of Florida.

– The oil is a long way from the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current – possibly hundreds of miles.  IF the oil gets into the look current, then it will take at least 7 days to get to the SOUTHEAST FLORIDA coast (Palm Beach to Miami).  Then it will most likely arrive as tar balls.

– From Jacksonville to the Florida Keys have NOT BEEN TOUCHED by oil or tar from the BP disaster.  Most of the WEST COAST of FLORIDA has NOT BEEN TOUCHED by oil or tar form the BP disaster.

The Florida Tourism Councils and Visit Florida are encouraging residents and visitors to post and send pictures as visual evidence that the beaches are clean, clear, and ready for visitors, second home buyers, or retirement buyers!

Pure beaches here in Jupiter!

It’s a tragedy that the BP Oil gusher (hardly a “spill”) happened and is still going on. We should all support the coastal communities in NW Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana to stop the oil and from hitting their beaches and reefs, and clean up the mess.

In the meantime, let your friends, families, and out-of-state associates know there is no collateral damage in most of the state of Florida.  Our economy depends on it.

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Filed under: Advertising, Branding, Crisis Communication, Non-Profit Marketing & PR, Public & Media Relations, Real Estate Marketing, Reputation Management, Social Media Marketing, , , , , , , ,

Everyday Heroes & Leaders

A few years before the attack on 9/11/2001, I produced a PSA  that was the essence of what Motorola did for the marketplace.  Here’s the spot in 1999.  The goal was to “write” with pictures.  It only has 35 words (spoken or on-screen) in 92 seconds. 

It got a lot of attention from customers.  What do you think?

Filed under: Branding, Crisis Communication, Public & Media Relations, Reputation Management, Video & YouTube, Writing, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blogging, Free Speech, the Law, and Reality

I was recently criticized by an idealist blogger about my position on blogging, publishing, and why you should be careful when publishing negative content. 

One of my specialties is Reputation Management and Crisis Communication.  I’m not a lawyer, but I have prepared Rep and Crisis Communication Strategy and Plans, and had to execute them for many companies and clients.  Plus, I’ve been on both sides of the fence as a journalist and PR pro – including communication law cases.

I’m a 30-year professional journalist and college j-school teacher.  I’ve taken and taught media law for a long time. You should know there are consequences for libel and slander.

This post isn’t a class in media law; but, it is a practical overview of the issue on the street.

I encourage you or anyone to speak your mind anytime you want. Freedom of speech is of vital importance to our country and liberty.  I get it.

Supreme Court

But the truth matters. Facts matter. So does reality.

If you purposefully lie, distort the truth, publish outright false information, and it materially damages someone or their reputation, and they can prove it, the legal action could be a real drag.

I’m not talking about opinion. That’s different.

If you want to publish that you don’t like something or someone, it’s not illegal. Most companies or individuals won’t take legal action. It’s a business decision. Cost vs. bad press, reputation, or customer relations. Public companies usually won’t take action.

Plus the burden of proof to prove libel is all on the person bringing the lawsuit and it’s hard to prove to the standards set by the law.  Congress and the Supreme Court made it that way to protect free speech.

What I’ve explained so far is the ideal world.  Now for some reality.

 

Front & Backroom Legal Action

Private individuals or privately held companies are a different matter when you attack them with a blog, especially ones with deep pockets and no board of directors to report to, when they decide they personally don’t like something a blogger publishes.

I witnessed the president of a privately held company legally and financially game and drain someone dry because of blogging.  The blogger is living with his mother now. 

Would the president win in court?  Probably not, even though the blogger was a jerk.  However, the legal amusement from a vindictive person with lots of money is endless and so is the cost – for the other party AND YOU.

The question is… as a blogger, how much time and money do you want to spend with lawyers?  How much do you have?

How much do you have?

If you turn your publishing into a full-time rant, the savvy will launch their reputation management system and make your posts irrelevant or worse – you can ruin your own reputation.

If you’re really nasty in your posts, with the sole purpose to ruin someone’s reputation, some will take legal action based on “poison pen” law. I just read that a ranter just got found guilty of that.  They’ve gone for years in the legal process. Great fun for them I’m sure.

By the way, this isn’t just about one or two court cases.  There have been many.  Most don’t make the press.  You have to read the court records.

Many posts and blogs have been taken down by an ISP or blog hosting company because of violations of terms of service.  Most article directories won’t even allow you to mention a company name unless it’s yours.  They don’t want the grief.  Censorship?  Yes.

In an ideal world, you’re right.  Nobody should censor.

Unfortunately, this is a hugely litigious country and the folks with the biggest bank account can bleed you dry.  Is it right?  No.  Does it happen?  Everyday.

Here’s how it works.

In almost all cases, lawsuits settle – you never get to court to have a “decision” based on what is right.  Most of the time there is a signed agreement by both parties – and the judge that you never get to meet – requiring you to shut up about the case.  So you won’t read much about it or the litigant that leaked will have to go before that judge and defend against contempt of court.

Usually they settle somewhere in the middle after both parties are tired of spending or the hassle.  Your time and cost will be yours – at $150-$350 per hour for your lawyer, who usually wants to keep it going, plus mediators at $750 a day.  When all is said and done, the lawyers got richer and you got poorer.  Is it worth it?

My point is: there is an ideal and purely constitutional law side to this – and there is a practical and real-world (and some would say cynical) side.

The ideal is a free flow of ideas and honest discussion, agreement, and disagreement. That exists most of the time and it’s good.

But get your facts wrong and in the process harm someone badly, or go over the top with opinion to the point that you anger someone with deep pockets, and I guarantee you’ll wish you never wrote that post.

I know: reality stinks.  You can live in an ideal la-la land in your head.  Or you can live in the real world.  It’s your choice.  The key is to pick your battles.

Sometimes, it’s just better to listen to what your mother taught you, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all.”

Filed under: Blogging, Crisis Communication, Media Law, Public & Media Relations, Reputation Management, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Marketing Works Today

This blog is to help you learn how to connect with customers. The goal is to show you how to get the most qualified leads, traffic, relationships, and sales for the lowest cost/customer. I'll write and aggregate content that relates to the goal. You're welcome to subscribe, comment, and post. Send me your news tips!

What’s In A Title?

I've had a lot of titles [Director of Marketing, Communications Director, Advertising Director, Multimedia Producer, Managing Editor, Reporter, Copywriter]; but, I approach every project as a digital producer... what does the audience need and how can I deliver it most effectively and for the lowest cost?

Sometimes I write with pictures or video, sometimes with words. I always keep the goal in mind: sales, leads, traffic, a better brand image or awareness, or just a really good story, etc.

Yeah I create content for money. But you'll see from my background that I'm way better at making money for others than I am for myself.

I wish I had 1%. I'd be surfing with my kids all the time now.

Contact me and I'll make some for you.

Mike Brown
www.BrownLtd.com
MikeBrown@BrownLtd.com

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I have 8 years experience setting up, writing, and managing small business and simple product campaigns ($100/week Google Adwords) and large business campaigns with multiple divisions and product lines (up to $20,000/week in Google Adwords – more than $1.1 billion in annual sales). Contact me to create your campaign! MikeBrown@BrownLtd.com

R. Michael Brown
Marketing Consultant, Public Relations Consultant, Freelance Writer: West Palm Beach, Florida

"I help organizations increase sales, and pump up the value of their brand, using media, for the lowest cost per customer."

Digital Marketing and Public Relations consultant, writer, and producer with over 20 years experience launching brands like DiVosta Homes, IBM Multimedia, Nextel, Motorola business and government sector, and SunFest Jazz Festival.

MikeBrown@BrownLtd.com
561-756-1674

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