Last night was the annual party for the interns at Edelman New York. As I do every year, I spend time with them, ask questions, listen, give advice when asked, avoid beer pong and other potentially hazardous activities and do my best to fit in.
Edelman hosted its sixth Academic Summit last week at DePaul University in Chicago. We had over 80 professors of communications, marketing and public relations for a three day event. Many of our clients, including HP, GE, Starbucks, SC Johnson, Samsung, Darden, Gap, CVS Caremark, DMI, ConAgra and Mars, spoke to the academics.
Big Data has been called many things: interesting, compelling, workable, complex, nuanced, overwhelming, helpful … many things. But, no matter what it’s called, the most important description of Big Data comes from how it is being used. Businesses who have implemented Big Data analysis correctly and simply, call it a great creative advantage.
Since before the Sochi Olympics a media war targeting Russia here President Vladimir Putin has raged in the western mainstream press. Fighting back at first with positive moves and the reality of the Olympic movement at Sochi 2014, Russian media simply told the other side of the story. An open letter to the Russian people reveals the tens of thousands of supporters Russia has, and unpaid supporters too.
Tonight in Cannes, France, the Chipotle Scarecrow campaign won two Golden Lions and the Grand Prix for PR. This marks the first time that a PR firm has actually won the coveted Grand Prix award. In prior years, I would gnash my teeth and break pencils when I learned that ad agencies had invaded our space and had done a better job of convincing the judges. PR firms have learned how to play the game, with visually arresting content to go with the usual high substance and top class results.
Recently, Germany’s Der Spiegel featured a lengthy editorial damning Russia regarding Ukraine; it was titled “How Russia Is Winning the Propaganda War,” and it made many allegations, none with documentation, and not a single one with a link to assist the magazine’s online readers to reach easily the presumed (but unidentified) sources. It was the type of propaganda for which Fox “News” in the U.S. has become famous, though Spiegel is centrist (not “right wing”).
When some people hear about something new for the first time, they would much rather gossip about it and assume the worst than actually take the time to get the straight truth. You know the type… lots of talk, little real information. One of the popular knocks against Big Data is that the benefits are not specific enough. Critics, particularly bandwagon naysayers, out there are fond of saying you have to “try it before you buy it.”