Wednesday, January 25, 2012


By: Angela Raleigh, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

In less than two weeks the New England Patriots and the New York Giants will meet again in the biggest football game of the year, Super Bowl XLVI. Millions of viewers will tune in to the big game, but as an added incentive businesses are utilizing social media to connect with viewers in a whole new way during the game.

I recently read about Chevy’s take on engaging viewers during the Super Bowl….and I have to be honest, I found it rather intriguing. If you haven’t heard, Chevy has developed the Chevy Game Time app, which will bring interaction to the big game by allowing football fans to answer live trivia about the game and commercials, participate in polls and engage with others through Twitter.

But what I found most fascinating, as I am sure others will as well, is the chance to win one of twenty Chevy automobiles and thousands of other prizes. Those who choose to download the app will automatically be entered to win a Chevy Camaro just for registering and will also receive a unique custom plate ID.

Super Bowl commercials have always been viewed as an important part of the big game and this couldn’t be more true this year. As the Chevy commercials air, viewers who downloaded the app will be crossing their fingers in hopes their plate ID appears on the screen. For the lucky viewers whose plate ID actually appears in any of the Chevy commercials, will be the winner of the vehicle its on. How cool is that!?! It’s one smart way to keep viewers watching every minute of the game and in between.

I give kudos to Chevy on this app, as I believe it’s a clever way to engage with and allow fans to interact during the game.

Social media and apps are definitely changing the way in which we interact and get information. Have you downloaded this app or others apps to help you say on top of your game?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Going Dark to See the Light

By: Scott Stein, Sr. Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.
If you’ve ever doubted the power of the Internet, this week is a good example of just what can happen.

I was among the many, I assume, that really had no idea what the letters SOPA and PIPA stood for before this week. But the well-orchestrated 24-hour blackouts on websites like Wikipedia certainly got my attention and piqued my interest in these two pieces of federal legislation.

SOPA is the House bill that many believe is now dead, while PIPA is the Senate version that is losing support as I write this. While well-intentioned as vehicles to stop Internet piracy, the list of opponents who believe the bills would cause far more damage than good continues to grow.

Opponents point out that the main problem with the two piece of legislation is that the language is too vague. Many believe that the bills will actually do little to fight piracy, but the impact on legitimate social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube could be dramatic.

Under SOPA and PIPA, a website can get in trouble for any user content. Simply put, any sight that contains some content that infringes on a copyright could be shut down. Of course, most websites would likely self-police before it even gets to that point with the result that everyone would see less content which would dramatically change what we’ve come to expect from the Internet.

It’s a complicated issue with far-reaching implications. But until this week, I was in the dark on SOPA and PIPA. It took several key website going dark for just one day to get my attention.

Did the January 18th blackout get your attention too? What are your thoughts on SOPA and PIPA?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

You’re Posting – But Are You Listening?

By: Kristen Paquet, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

If you’ve been keeping up with to your social media accounts for your business, then you are only doing half the job it takes to maintain a quality Facebook page or Twitter feed (or any social media account for that matter).

We’ve been given some great lessons on the importance of listening to our follower and fans over the past several months. Netflix is the big one, with the subscriber uproar that came when the streaming service said they were separating services under two different websites and charging for both. The public’s voice was overwhelming and people canceled subscriptions in record numbers. Ultimately, Netflix, abandoned the idea of two different websites, but the increase in charges remains intact.

More recently, Verizon said it was going to start to charge a $2 “convenience fee” for online or by-phone single payments in an effort to boost customer payments by electronic check or Auto Pay. Within hours, there was a huge outcry from customers via social media. It only took one day for Verizon to change its mind on the fee (and hooray for me – as I’m a Verizon customer).

You don’t have to be a huge company to learn the two lessons that have come from these examples. Even small businesses, especially if you are offering a service or a product, need to pay attention:
  1. Listen to what your followers, fans and bloggers are saying. They will give you more insight than any market study or survey ever will. The comments shared are more real and raw and are most likely a better representation of what you really need to hear. That being said, you do need to take all of the data into consideration before making a decision.
  2. After you have listened, react quickly. Online comments and blog posts go up fast so you need to react as soon as possible good, bad or otherwise. In the case of Netflix, it took the company’s CEO to issue an apology to customers on the way they were informed of the changes, giving people more time to get hot under the collar (and more time for negative news stories to run). The take away here: the more you linger, the louder your audience is likely to get.
If you’re not seeing a lot of conversation or comments on Facebook or Twitter, get your followers talking by asking questions, asking for user feedback or offering a special promotion for those that respond to one of your posts. Once your followers know they can use your page as a sounding board, the more they will be willing to comment – especially if they feel their voice is being heard. So be sure to listen!

Does anyone have an example of when listening paid off just as much (if not more) than posting? Please share? Hey…is anyone out there listening??