Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Super Bowl Commercials – Why Wait?

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

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest days of the year for advertising as millions of viewers tune in to watch the big game and TV’s most expensive commercials. But one thing will be missing this year…the element of surprise.

That’s because many of the ads slated to run this coming Sunday have already turned up online as a “sneak peek,” “teaser” or, in some cases, the full commercial is available to watch.

The increase in pre-released commercials over the years is another indication of how marketing has changed because of social media. Companies are trying to build the excitement by allowing viewers to see, share and discuss the ads prior to the big game. Having conversations start sooner provides advertisers more exposure than their thirty-second spot the day of the game, which creates more bang for their buck. It’s more about the number of views the ad can generate. The downside, the surprise factor may not be as important as it once was as millions waited anxiously for the commercial breaks during the game.

Having commercials appear online prior to the air date reflects a trend in advertising. We’ve all seen it before…content is constantly shared with consumers ahead of time. Whether it’s a news story that is released early to draw more readers to the newsstand or opportunities to watch teasers of TV shows online before the full episode airs, the goal is to share enough content ahead of time to hook consumers and bring them back for more.

When we sit down to watch the big game Sunday night, many of the “must see” commercials will already have been seen. I’d like to know what you think…do you like seeing Super Bowl commercials ahead of time or would you rather be surprised?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

More and more people turn to e-books

By: Scott Stein, VP of Client Services, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

A new report from the Pew Research Center says the percentage of adults reading e-books is on the rise.

The survey found that 28 percent of American adults had read an e-book in 2013, compared to 23 percent the year before. Nearly 70 percent reported reading a book in print, an increase of about four percentage points from 2012. In addition, the survey found that most people who read e-books also read print books. Count me in that category.

Please understand that it’s tough for me to start my day without the printed newspaper in my hands. So it was a big step for me to dive into reading books on my iPad last year – something my son still has a tough time believing. What I found is that I like it. As a result, I’m quite certain that I read more books last year than in any other year in recent memory.    

I suppose if you consider the time that I spend on my iPad at home, reading a book on the device was probably not a surprise. I have to say that it’s great to be able to look for books, check one out and start reading without ever leaving the house. Of course, there are times that the book or books I’m interested in are already checked out, but that’s no different than a typical visit to the library.  

The Pew Research report also found that the average American adult read or listened to 12 books in the past year. That number may be skewed a bit by those voracious readers that many of us know, so it’s also important to note that the typical or “median” adult read five books in 2013 (meaning that half of the adults read more than five books and half read fewer).   

After finding that I really do enjoy reading e-books, my goal for 2014 is to be above average in the number of books I read. Whether you like to read on an electronic device or find you must have the pages between your fingers, I hope 2014 is an above average reading year for you, too.

Have you tried e-books? What’s your preference when it comes to reading books?  

Friday, January 10, 2014

STILL Be Careful What You Say…

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

Back in November, I posted how people really need to be careful about what they say in public. Nowadays, you just never know when it will come back to haunt you, most likely on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or…

It’s about using common sense both in what you say out loud and online. Recent news stories have shown us that one, simple 140 word comment can get you fired (PR exec Justine Sacco), cause a huge backlash (The Alabama quarterback mom who made inappropriate statements about the Florida State QB) or become a story in and of itself.

What I mean by that last comment is that I have recently started to notice how some news stories have been based on information found only on social media accounts (and are considered to be in the public domain). In a majority of these cases, not one interview took place. Most of these come in the form of what celebrity did what, when and to whom, but what’s to say that can’t happen to anyone? We all post, don’t we?

One of the first rules we teach young people new to social media is to be aware that anyone can read what they post online. It can be shared, retweeted and reposted, no matter how secure or protected an account might be. Seems to me that this is a life-long rule for kids and adults to remember.

So the moral of the story… again… think before you post. Although the urge to post something in the moment seems like a harmless idea, consider who will be able to see it. Is it good for your reputation, your job, your future? Don’t let the good things - the fun, connections and conversations - social media provides be over shadowed by a regrettable comment or photo.

What are your thoughts on this? How careful do you think you should be on social media?