Articles We Like (Not Ours)

#spammers named and shamed!

Taken from the great Andrea Britton’s original article. We recommend viewing the entire post here: #spammers named and shamed!.


Are you spamming?

Is spamming and promoting becoming one and the same?

Know this: You are wasting your own time and others and you are not achieving anything.

The internet has opened up a world of connection and enables you to show someone on the other side of the world what you are doing which is utterly fabulous, but have you considered whether they actually want to know?

When I was ‘learning the ropes’ on Twitter I got told off for shamelessly promoting my book; “hello! read my new book at ……..” It got no attention (apart from someone telling me off), no retweets or mentions. I tweeted about an issue in the book and that was a different story.

Mashable recently reported that social media spam increased 355% in the just the first half of 2013, it’s getting out of control and we have to put a stop to it! So, to get to the root of the problem, I thought it might be helpful to offer up a list of what is considered spam, in my opinion and what is not.  Here’s what I got in just a day and my interpretation…

1. Facebook: “XXXXX link. Listen to my new track, hope you like it” equivalent to sending a tape into Sony in the 80s – it will maybe make it to the right desk then collect dust.

2. Twitter: “DM: Hi thanks for the follow, now find me on Facebook!”:  Why? Lack of personality, generic and no effort needed to send that one! I won’t bother.

3.: Email: From”The XXX is out! October Edition” A time saving tool, yes,  but completely defeats the object of content sharing/marketing and building relations. I’ve used this myself in the past out of curiosity, but times up. We don’t want an automatic information collecting machine. It needs to be streamlined and personal to promote conversation. Ask yourself, does anyone actually get in touch with me about it? I very much doubt it.

spam4. Website: Comment “I am fat man”.  (Yes. Really)

5. WhatsApp: “My video is now live, watch here!”. Very unlikely unless it was from Prince. That’s unlikely too. Who are you and how did you get my contact number?

6. Twitter: “You must see this link..XXXX” – Must I? Is it going to change my life? Possibly should have told me why to be in with a chance of a click through. Delete.

7. Twitter: “Watching your calories? Avoid these drinks like the plague XXX”. No I’m not on a diet and if I was, I still wouldn’t like to receive a text reminding me that I am.

8: Linkedin: “Please check out my new single released soon.” Linkedin is not the arena for promoting your latest track nor is that the way to do it!



Hyundai ‘Pipe Job’ ad a deadly serious mistake

Author: Pied Type

ORIGINAL HERE: Hyundai ‘Pipe Job’ ad a deadly serious mistake.


Hyundai ‘Pipe Job’ ad a deadly serious mistake

Below is a commercial from Hyundai called “Pipe Job.” It was intended to promote the Hyundai ix35, an eco-friendly fuel cell car with “100% water emissions.”

The ad shows a man going into his closed garage and running a hose from his car’s tailpipe to its passenger compartment. He then gets into the car, takes a few deep breaths, and closes his eyes. A few hours later the garage light comes on, the door opens, and the man walks out.

The shocked reaction was immediate and profound. One particularly heartbreaking example: An open letter to Innocean and Hyundai. And as if the author’s distress weren’t bad enough, look at some of the comments. There are some cruel, cruel people in this world. And some really sick, ignorant ad copywriters.

The ad appeared on YouTube and outrage from consumers and suicide prevention groups caused Hyundai to pull the ad today and issue this statement:

Hyundai Motor deeply and sincerely apologizes for the offensive viral ad. The ad was created by an affiliate advertising agency, Innocean Europe, without Hyundai’s request or approval. It runs counter to our values as a company and as members of the community. We are very sorry for any offense or distress the video caused. More to the point, Hyundai apologizes to those who have been personally impacted by tragedy.

Let’s hope that one or more former Innocean employees are on the street tonight looking for new jobs and that the current generation of advertising copywriters has learned an unforgettable lesson in sensitivity.

Oh, and Innocean might want to consider changing their tag line, currently “Making Waves.”



Make it difficult for your competitors to succeed: Create tough barriers to entry

FULL ARTICLE HERE: Make it difficult for your competitors to succeed: Create tough barriers to entry.


Make it difficult for your competitors to succeed: Create tough barriers to entry

Barriers to entryWritten by Chipo Mapungwana

Making your market impenetrable is one of the best defences against  competition. When you don’t want your competitors to succeed, a key strategy is to make is impossible for them to enter and succeed in the market that you are trading in.

So what can you do, to discourage  competitors from entering your markets?

1.       Reduce your costs of production.

Black and Decker has mastered the science of leveraging on its economies of scale  accruing from its use of research and development, technology and its strategic manufacturing and production systems. Each  of Black and Decker’s factories around the world produces one product for the global market. The production costs thus become unbeatable  and as Black and Decker is not keen to increase its prices, there is not much room for copy cats to  manoeuvre.

2.       Master technology and quality.

This is the strategy being used by companies like Procter and Gamble as well as Gillette , L’Oreal cosmetics and 3M. These companies are  top of their game in utilising technology for competitive advantage. They constantly innovate and have therefore remained the benchmark and reference point  in their markets  in terms of quality. Technology , in the long run reduces your operating costs and enhances the quality of your products…..


How You Benefit From Customer Comments You Were Pretty Sure You Didn’t Want

Recently came across a brilliant article that reiterates everything we have been saying about PR and Customer Service effecting your brand.

How you benefit from customer comments you were pretty sure you didn’t want. – By Bruce2B

Due to a misunderstanding, at the last minute before takeoff an airline refused to allow a pair of special-needs passengers to fly. This upset the passengers deeply and stranded them at an unfamiliar airport.

No one should have been surprised that intense criticism of the airline spread rapidly via social media, portraying them as bad-guys even though the incident was (arguably) a one-time mistake by an isolated group of employees.

This wound up being a good thing, because:

The airline discovered this issue, apologized to the would-be passengers and their families, refunded their money, offered them additional free flights, and came up with a new process to keep the problem from recurring. All-in-all, the airline—our hometown favorite here in Seattle, Alaska Airlines—took a regrettable mistake, and did everything possible (considering it was after the fact) to make it right with those affected. In this way Alaska Airlines also earned positive PR by showing they’re the kind of company that owns up to their mistakes and jumps on an opportunity to do the right thing when they can.

> Read more about the “special needs passengers stranded by Alaska Airlines” incident

> Another great PR turnaround story:  FedEx responds after delivery guy caught on video throwing computer equipment over a fence


Visuals in Advertising (by SmartaMarketing)

Visuals in Advertising – Taken From SmartaMarketing

Visuals in Advertising

The term visualising is used in two different senses by advertising professionals.  At times they talk of “visualisation” in the broad sense of “Shall we put the idea into words or into pictures?”  At other times they refer to the execution of the “visual” idea – the elements, such as layout, illustrations, colours, and the like, that give shape to the idea of the advertisement.  .

Creative advertising professionals must think visually and verbally at the same time, whether they are copywriters or artists.  Below are some guidelines for emphasising the visual portion of an advertisement.

1.         To get a point across fast

2.         When the product is new or not widely recognised

3.         If the product has innate visual appeal

4.         If the appeal is primarily emotional

5.         If mood is more important than factual information or narrative

6.         When awareness of an idea or the package is a more important objective than the action to be taken

7.         When impulse sales in self-service stores are important

The advertising layout is designed to perform both mechanical and symbolic functions.  Physically, the layout is the plan that indicates where the component parts of the ad (headline, illustrations, text, and so on) are to be placed for most effective communication.  The layout guides the copywriter in planning copy and the lettering specialists, typographers, and other production experts in their work.  The layout also provides a guide for estimating costs.  These are among the important mechanical functions of a layout for a print advertisement.

The layout also performs a symbolic, or psychological, function.  The final layout, transformed into the finished advertisement, gives the audience its first impression of the organisation sponsoring the advertisement.  A very formal layout gives the impression that the advertiser is stable, conservative, and solid.  A modern, informal layout gives the same audience the impression of a dynamic company with innovative new products.  Considerable white space in an ad projects an image of exclusiveness and “class”.  Conversely, a layout crowded with elements and heavy black type, or with white type on a heavy black background, gives the impression of a “discount” organisation and is frequently used in retail advertising.


Optimizing the Timeline Format for Page Engagement

Optimizing the Timeline Format for Page Engagement.


Optimizing the Timeline Format for Page Engagement


Since the Facebook pages have changed to the timeline format, companies have seen, on average, an increase in post engagement (i.e. likes, clicks, shares, and comments). The increase is due mostly to an increase in user engagement on video and image posts, while engagement has decreased for text posts (not include and image, video, etc).

Mashable Facebook Timeline Eyetrack Study


How to write and distribute your press release within 24 hours.

How to write and distribute your press release within 24 hours..

NOTE: “this content was sourced from Apples & Oranges Public Relations.”

Your news lives online forever, bringing you more business and publicity over time. Also, you can share with hundreds on line via social media. Press releasesshould be written, published and distributed nationwide at least 1 – 3 times per month.


Step 1 – Plan and choose the points of your story. (3 – 5 hours)

Make a list of your points. What are points? The what, who, when, why, where of the story to be published within your press release.

For example:

  •     What is the topic of the story?
  •    What makes this story news worthy?
  •     What do you want to communicate? 
  •    What keywords will you use to attract readers and increase SEO results?
  •   What current issues, holidays, or news topics does your story tie in to?
  •  Who is your target audience?
  • What is your goal? What do you want to happen as a result of releasing this story?
  •    When is the best time and date to release your story?
  • I  Keep your release between 450 – 700 words.

 Step 2 – Plan the small moments first. (5 – 12 hours)

Write down the topic, the beginning, the middle and the end of the story.

 For Example: this is a current press release/news story about one of our clients.


 The beginningTobi Rubinstein Schneier: Mother, Rabbi, Fashion Icon and an International Socialite is set to launch her first reality TV show: The House Of Faith N’ Fashion and her upcoming tell-all-book.

 The MiddleTobi grew up as the girl from Queens, New York whose creative interpretation of an Orthodox Jewish girl’s wardrobe constantly got her kicked out of her “All Girls Religious Paroquial School.”

 The endThe House Of Faith N’ Fashion debuts during New York Fashion Week on ABC Livewell Network, in September 2012.Visit this link to read the entire release.

Results: The above release mentioned was picked up by numerous outlets including USA Today, Top News Today, Albany Times to name a few, and we received call backs from local newspapers such as NY Post. This news story has received approximately 1,583 reads and 736 people shared this release in the last 10 days.

 Step 3 – Edit & Review (3 – 5 hours)

 Edit, edit and revise. Have your colleagues or business partner read the story and get their opinions.

Step 4 – Distribution & Setup (3 – 5 hours setup, SEO, keyword analysis, adding related photos and media)

 The most important step is to get your release to the masses and in front of your target audience.  On average, distribution costs range from $89 – $500+. For best results, we recommend using a combination of paid and free onlinepress release distribution services.

 Step 5 – Measure results & repeat

After your release is published, check the results from 2 – 30 business days. Repeat the process.  Do not expect the flood gates to open after 1 or 2 releases.  You will see maximum results overtime, by publishing your releases on a consistent schedule.

 Finally, thanks for utilizing this free information. Please open a word document and start to write your release.

  This wills certainly contribute to the success of your business overtime.

 Have additional questions? Please send us an email or call us to request release samples.

 For your convenience, this post is also featured on our Facebook page and in our notes on Facebook.

Please share this. You are free to reuse this content, as long as you mention:“this content was sourced from Apples & Oranges Public Relations.”