How That iThing Has Changed My Life

On this 10th anniversary of the introduction of the iPhone, I got to thinking about the impact of the smartphone and how it has changed my life. First, a clarification, I’ve never owned an iPhone. Some six years ahead of that marvelous device, I was given a first-generation Blackberry which did a lot of the same things – email, calendar and was a pager, but not a phone (yet). I still have it and it still works (but I don’t use it). I graduated to later generation Blackberry devices, which added the phone capability. When I left corporate life and … Read More

Digital Marketing and Privacy: A Race to the Bottom?

Three separate but related items on privacy and digital marketing: 1.) Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols tells us over on ZDNet that the advertising industry’s voluntary do not track efforts went exactly nowhere. 2.) This morning, a friend called me about his sluggish computer and asked if I could help. He uses Yahoo has his home page and he said the computer just seemed slow, with web pages taking forever to load. I remotely logged into his computer and surmised that the problem was the sheer quantity of ads being served up by Yahoo and most other sites, and the amount of … Read More

The Times They Are A-Changin’ – The Impact of Online on Marketing

Online advertising isn’t working out so well, according to this Advertising Age article based on a report by industry analyst firm, Forrester, which says people are not engaging with digital advertising. Forrester projects big advertisers will pull around $2.9 billion out of digital advertising over the next year. But wait, there is more bad news. Forrester reports that display advertising “never worked like we pretended. CMOs know this already, but nobody wants to talk about it” citing problems of poor-quality ad placements, barely existent click-through rates, non-viewable impressions and rising ad blocking. Talk about the 800-pound gorilla in the room! … Read More

Tools We Love: TechNews.io

We’ve been in technology public relations a long time and have seen lots of tools of the trade come and go. One of the tools that is consistently fundamental to just about any PR firm is the media guide. They’ve been around forever and we’ve been around long enough to see them go from printed books to CD-ROMs to online databases. In general, these media databases have ranged from “acceptable” to “awful” with regard to the accuracy of the information and how well they are kept up to date. There was always a sense, however, that even the best ones … Read More

The Apple Watch: D.O.A.

Of course, I have not tried or even touched the Apple watch, but here is why I think it is D.O.A. (BTW – I hope I am wrong.): 1.) Battery life. Who wants to charge their watch possibly more than once a day? Ridiculous. This was one of the main criticisms when Microsoft released its smartwatches more than a decade ago. They failed miserably and it’s still true today. The battery on my 20-year -old Timex lasts about three years. Better, my automatic winding watch never needs a battery. 2.) Phone battery life. I already HATE the lousy battery life … Read More

BCG: Another BCG Client Joins the Exit Parade

We work with great companies. And we would never be so pretentious as to claim credit for a successful exit event. But we are always proud to be part of a team that helped to tell the world about the great stuff our clients do. Today, another Baker Communications Group client – Neebula – was acquired by ServiceNow in a $100 million all-cash deal. Not too shabby. In a world of seemingly silly app makers and social media fluff-balls selling for questionable valuations, it’s great to see that serious companies doing serious enterprise IT can be rewarded for the work … Read More

Why I’ve Given Up on Kickstarter

In the past 18 months, I have funded three projects on Kickstarter. I won’t mention them here because I don’t think any of them deserve to be further humiliated, nor do I want to give them any more exposure. All three of them were pretty cool consumer products involving payment systems, home automation and fitness. All of them are woefully behind the schedule they promised when they accepted my money. One of them graciously refunded my money, another did so grudgingly after taking out a “processing fee” and the third has never responded to a single email. What has become … Read More

Go Get the Kids! It’s Our New Web Site!

Remember when a new web site was big news? Wait – was it ever big news? I suppose for about 10 minutes in 1994, people cared when a company put up a web site. After that – not so much. Acknowledging this fact, here we are, announcing our new web site. We realized that Y2K has passed without incident and we figured it was safe to update our online presence without fear of screwing up the code and accidently destroying the world banking system or launching missiles. No press releases, nary a tweet. Just this blog post, mainly because our … Read More

Making the Client-Agency Model Work

I’ve been at this longer than I care to admit. And, I’ve had experience on both sides – as a client working with PR agencies and at PR agencies working with clients. I like to keep things simple so I’ll describe what I refer to as the “Window-In, Window-Out” model that I believe is the key to making the fragile client-agency model work for both sides. We meet in the middle working together – client representative(s) and agency representative(s). We represent all the others behind our respective windows. Our levels don’t matter if we play our roles properly. As examples, … Read More