Opt-in PR? Can it work? Jeff Davis and Food Fete Think It Can

Opt-in PR? Yes.  A concept where members of the media actually choose to receive information from an agency.  That can’t work!  Why would the media want information?  Ahh….there you go. If what you provide is high-quality, quality, relevant information that helps them do their job and don’t violate the trust you create, they will opt-in.

The concept of opt-in PR exists and actually thrives in a few select areas. Mostly around “showcase events” like ShowStoppers at CES and Pepcom in New York (and at various conferences).  Now Jeff Davis (former colleague from Alexander Communications and fellow Edelman alumnus) is moving the concept beyond opt-in conferences into an opt-in agency.

Jeff has been running the Food Fete events for a few years, where he brings together “gourmet food, beverage and kitchenware products with the food and lifestyle journalists and bloggers who write about them.”  Now, he’s asked media who have attended his events to “opt-in” if they would like to receive information from his food PR firm clients.

According to an article in PR week, so far 165 members of the media have signed up, along with two clients. That is a heck of a start.  Jeff is always looking for new ways to do things in PR. Two years ago he “took a leap of faith,” on his billing. Read about it here.  His latest idea seems like a very good one.  I think it’s going to work out well. And if it doesn’t, don’t worry, Jeff will have another one.

Twitterring the California State Budget and Moving Beyond Geeky into Wonky

For the past six months whenever I have been giving presentations about social media to government groups the questions most often asked involve the use of Twitter.  Twitter is a micro-blogging service that allows you to post short messages (up to 140 characters) to those that “follow” you, or choose to receive your information, and allows you to receive messages from those that you choose to follow.  Think of it like a CB.

Twitter has picked up a lot of steam over the last few quarters and during the presidential election moved to at least the consciousness of much of the mainstream as presidential candidates embraced the technology and national news organizations used the service as a way to communicate breaking news.

Here in Sacramento, the recent budget negotiations served to bring the service to the attention of many who had not yet tuned in. the driver seemed to be John Myers of KQED, you can find him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KQED_CapNotes.

Capitol Weekly has a great article up on how many people started using Twitter during the negotiations.

For more information about Twitter, I recommend watching this incredibly easy to understand video from CommonCraft about the service.

For list of the members of Congress using Twitter, check out TweetCongress.org, and read the recent article in The Economist about the move of Twitter into politics.

Work in or around politics in the Sacramento area and want to learn more about Twitter, drop me a note or even better sign up for an account and follow me http://twitter.com/joshdmorg.

Be flexible

Tough times call for flexibility.  Heck, you should be flexible all the time.  But now it’s a necessity.  At Morgan/Dorado we built our firm on being flexible. It’s part of working with early stage companies.

Sometimes being flexible is about creating products and programs that on the surface seem like they aren’t flexible. Confused? You shouldn’t be.  For example, our Quick Call Retainer (which yes I write about a lot). It’s about a fixed program, at a fixed price, with the option to move and change quickly as needed.

Another local firm has taken this concept a step further. Check out what B2B Communications Group is doing with their fixed-price programs. Very cool stuff. You can read about it at NorCalMarketingNews or check it out on their site, and if you like what you see, tell Red you read about it here first.

People really do love the Snuggie?

You cannot escape the Snuggie. Whether it’s the late night TV-ads, the seemingly ubiquitous newspaper inserts. Whatever it is, it has worked. The Snuggie has crossed over to the mainstream.  By Christmas they had sold more than four million. Check out the results of a search for news of the Snuggie.

image from MSNBC.com
image from MSNBC.com

If you do PR for consumer products, the picture above is just about as good as it gets.  The hosts of “The Today Show,” wearing/using your product.  The only other place for the Snuggie to go now is Oprah.  Who wants to bet that within two weeks we see a picture of Oprah wearing a Snuggie?

The main point is that the Snuggie has crossed over from successful product to a fad.  The next step is to transition from a fad to a long-term successful product.  I would love to offer a formula for how to create a fad, maybe Dr. Fad knows.  But, I will say that watching the rise of the Snuggie has been a lot of fun.

Now a question? Do they have outside PR counsel, or is it all Snuggie?  Anyone?