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Hoi Polloi

Angelo Fernando on Marketing Communications, Social Media, Branding, Technology and PR.

Published: 2007-09-11T23:47:20-07:00


Hoi Polloi has moved!


I have moved my blog to from September. This blog will no remain as an archive of 3+ years of posts. RSS Readers: For those who access this via a RSS reader, please update the feed to

Is it live, or is it on ShootLive?


What technology would PR companies, the police, and the paparazzi want to get their hands on? It's delivery that basically sends raw images from a video camera direct to the consumer. It is a service from ShootLive, news agency for...

Take time to ask. Take time to get to know.


As a freelance writer I get pitched a lot. I don't hit the delete key unless it's totally irrelevant. But I have to say there are several people who do take the time to ask if whom they represent is...

Good press, bad press about Second Life


Psst. Did you hear? Second Life is getting bad press. Ever since Businessweek magazine did a cover story on SL last year, there has been nothing but good buzz about the place. After all the IBM's and Coca-Colas have all...

Stories in PR and social media


Summing up a few interesting stories last week. 1. The walled garden of Times Select may soon open up to the rest of us who don't want to part with $7.95 a month. 2. AT&T 'censors' Pearl Jam's words. they...

And when I die would you Twitter my buddies?


A story in the Arizona Republic yesterday about a Tucson company creating graveside memory capsule may seem a bit awkward, but the technology got me thinking. If you could make a digital tribute downloadable at the grave, it opens up...

Netiquette and Debbie Weil's email


Debbie Weil is a terrific writer and blogger. But she made one small slip a few weeks back that had some people --bloggers, mainly-- jumping all over it crying foul. Her crime: Allegedly attempting to "seed" a blog with comments....

Stop slamming Arizona!


While I was away on vacation, taking pictures of some amazing cities, celebrating their positive side, the Economist magazine trashed my stomping ground and I am not a happy puppy. I am particularly annoyed, since they conveniently ignored so many...

Seatwave brings people power


If you have winced when forced to buy tickets to a music act or the theatre at the "rack rate," you'll like Seatwave. It's a sort of a trading hub for entertainment and sports tickets, where buyers and sellers post,...

"Cult of the Amateur" argument, sounds like Maurice Saatchi


"These busted boomers," writes Constance Lavendar, "are clinging to an argument based on authority, hierarchy, and privilege; they despise digital democracy because it threatens their existence, challenges their authority, and breaks down their well-preserved hierarchy." She is commenting on a...

Dow's Blue Plant Run. Could Press releases make this much impact?


The Dow Chemical's Human Element campaign may not have taken it to a level of humanizing it in it's first iteration of the campaign, but it was a start of showing the company's commitment to critical issues facing the world...

Sri Lankan Tea firm, Dilmah, in Fortune magazine.


Kudos to Dilmah Tea, a Sri Lankan company I know very well. I just picked up this copy of Fortune magazine (July '07) and there's a good feature on this maverick tea company. There's no link to the article on...

Harry Potter’s social media impact on branding


Harry Potter is an extended tale of no, not just wizards and magic but the wisdom of the crowds in action. But that story got buried in the hoopla around the launch of Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows last...

Two stories, different brand awareness


You've probably seen or heard stories about food marketers, supposedly scaling down their marketing to children. Great story, except they have a lot of wiggle room about what they plan to market, and how. Packaging is the one place they...

Newspapers, still a great place for brand "impression"


I often cover the daring, creative ways newspapers and print publications do to stay relevant. Usually it is about relevance to their core audience --readers. But ever so often we see them create advertising environments that make you go wow!...

Where SEO meets social media meets PR


Yesterday, IABC's Phoenix chapter put together a terrific meeting on something that's on everyone's radar. I suspect the topic ("Using SEO & Other PR Tactics to Communicate with Social Communities in a Web 2.0 World") was intentionally long and geeky...

Enistein's lure: One brand different audiences


Not all good brands can achieve this kind of success, being a magnet for the hipster, college crowd and being family friendly at the same time. I stop by at least three Einstein Brothers here in the valley, and each...

Stop the presses! Newspaper turns to music marketing in Planet Earth launch.


With so much turmoil in newspapers today, it still comes as a shock that the The Daily Mail on Sunday in the UK gave away three million copies of Prince's new album, Planet Earth. What's remarkable about this is that...

Die, phone tree, die! (and marketing opportunities that come with its demise)


So you've been placed on hold (again) and are convinced that customer service has left the building --for Bangalore, perhaps. But there's a neat solution taking shape. It's called, and it could eliminate the phone-tree headache. It's from a...

What Ogilvy would have said about Flickr


If David Ogilvy was alive, I bet he'd have very cool blog. He'd have a podcast and rant about writing and pig-headed Creatives. And a Flickr account, for sure. More about David at the end of this post. Why do...

Why we Google --and how!


Here are the results of our survey in June about the kinds of things and people we search for online. We asked ValleyPRblog readers, and communicators on social networks such LinkedIn and MyRagan to tell us a bit more about...

Live Earth sms campaign not quite integrated


With all the attention to music, and Al Gore's 7-Point Pledge, the use of text messaging (or sms) was more like an afterthought. Saturday's Live Earth event urged viewers in the US, Australia, South Africa, Japan, Brazil and Germany and...

On Wikipedia 'brand image' is a contentious work in progress.


For those of us involved in marketing and/or corporate communications, trying to make sure the organization is not misrepresented in the media, it's not enough to pay attention to press releases, media kits, and getting the 'brand police' department to...

Alan Johnston's free!


After so much bad news out of the UK, this is wonderful! BBC correspondent Alan Johnston's been released in the Gaza.

Thinking beyond the iPhone


Al Ries must be keeping his fingers crossed. Now that the blogosphere and the media is all abuzz about the iPhone's activation problems, the Positioning guru must wonder if he is right, after all. Before the launch, he had declared...

Irrational exuberance about the iPhone: who's praying now?


As an former Apple user still wearing an 'evangelist' badge in a PC world, I'm impressed with what PR and buzz --rather than advertising-- has achieved for a brand that graced Wired magazine ten years ago with just one word:...

Return on Tweets could be the new ROI for Dell


If you've always wondered if Twitter was a passing fad, here's something to make you think again. Dell is using Twitter to announce limiter Twitter-only discounts for those who subscribe to their tweets. It's from the Dell Outlet Twitter account....

IABC Report: Dow Chemical's stunning 'Human Element' misses the other human element


Attended a session on the Dow branding case study today at IABC's international conference in New Orleans, This campaign, launched last June, was one of the most memorable branding campaigns in recent times. The Human Element ads are indelible images....

IABC Report: The revolution will be blogged, tagged, and globalized


Walk through the networking area at the IABC International conference here in New Orleans, and you'd be forgiven if you thought you had mistakenly stepped into a new media event. Flat panel screens display models, hubs, portals, feed rooms, and...

IABC Conference report: 'Straight talk' but no blogs for Motorola's Stu Reed.


Stu Reed, a Motorola VP and a passionate proponent of 'straight talk' checked most of the boxes in communication this morning in a very engaging presentation. Reed, was feted by IABC as this year's Excel (stands for "Excellence in Communication...

Off to the IABC conference


I'll be covering Marketing Communications and PR at the IABC conference in New Orleans from tomorrow. No, not live blogging --though who knows what might come up, as this is a hot button issue at this conference! Off to an...

The other Olympic logo, and what it teaches us about checking with Joe Public first.


Discussing what constitutes a good logo, is as safe as discussing what makes up a great cup of tea. In the latter, it's anything from the leaf structure, to the mountain elevation in which the shrub is grown, to the...

Timeshifting and the role of aggregators


An eMarketer report says that podcast listeners think that transferring podcasts to portable players is too complicated and time consuming. In 2006, there were 10 million podcast listeners. That will jump to 25 million next year. The report, based on...

Googled someone lately?


My post ("Googling as due diligence") made me wonder how often we communicators use Search as due diligence. Now you can tell us! As in previous one-minute surveys, we'll report the results at ValleyPRBlog (Don't worry, you won't be asked...

Awaiting Release of BBC's Alan Johnston


Alan, our hopes soar as we await your release. Alan, a BBC correspondent, was kidnapped more than three months ago.

What to do about Lodon's 'ugly' 2012 Olympic logo


If you've been following the controversy over the 2012 Olympics logo, you'll see a familiar pattern. Many new logos, and brand names even, seem odd and --as Londoners complain-- say nothing about them. I have a strong opinion about this...

Marketing or PR: Which wants more control?


Do marketing and PR work in silos? Still? Whatever happened to our love affair with integrated marketing? Jonah Bloom of Advertising Age has an interesting take on the convergence/divergence thing: "Ad execs are also becoming more PR-like "listening to influential...

Googling as ‘due diligence.’ Ever done it?


The folks at Harvard Business Review have a case they want you to crack. It’s called called "We Googled You" and is right up your street! It involves googling a potential employee as a background check, and coming up with...

John McCain's 'Pacemaker' -- it's not what you think!


At the ValleyPRBlog, we've gained some valuable insights about keywords, tags and headlines for tracking, newsreaders, and search. This story, in Fast Company caught my attention because the headline unwittingly combined two words that always signify one thing: age. But...

What could Photosynth do for you?


Don't miss checking out Photosynth, an idea in Microsoft's Live Labs. You need to download a small app first to work with IE or Firefox. It's hard to describe how the technology works. I enjoyed being able to fly through...