Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Little Known Baseball Fact

The first testicular guard (Cup) was used in baseball in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1934.
It took 60 years for men to realize that the brain is also important.



Posted via email from Mark Edwards 3.0

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Talking Performance Royalties on KMOX

In case you missed it, a discussion of the recording industry's efforts to get a performance tax imposed on radio stations.  Why, yes, that is me as the second guest.

Posted via email from Mark Edwards 3.0

Monday, October 26, 2009

Documenting the accelerating decline of mainstream media « Crisisblogger

Any longtime crisisblogger reader, and certainly any reader of my book Now Is Too Late, will note that I have referred to the post media world many times. In fact, it was the working title for Now Is Too Late until my publisher suggested a title change. Today two news stories came to my attention that seems to make it more and more clear that we are getting closer to a post media world if we can’t say we are in one already.

First, the LA Times documents the continuing and dramatic slide in newspaper circulation. A 10.6% decline in 6 months compared to same period the year before. That’s pretty amazing.

But this next story, about how marketers are forgoing advertising with traditional media in order to reach mass audiences with brand building is even more telling. You would think advertisers would be flocking to the media–certainly there have to be some awesome deals in buying advertising and advertising is typically bought in a pretty straightforward way with a cost per thousand calculation. Match up the right demographics and buy by the numbers at the best price. Those numbers have to be pretty attractive right now, some smoking deals I would think. But advertisers are finding they can create their own channels–on YouTube. (There is a chapter in Now Is Too Late, written in 2001 that is titled: You Are the Broadcaster). Here’s what Mark Haas from one marketing firm had to say:

“You build a channel on YouTube and you get millions of views,” Mr. Hass said. “And these people are coming from all over, and it’s more about their interest in your product, as opposed to the readership and viewership of a particular medium. It’s horizontal. If you wanted to reach that many people using traditional media, you would have to pitch and place in dozens of outlets.”

For crisis communicators, the lesson should be clear. Stop thinking media first. Stop thinking your job is to put out a press release about what is going on. Stop thinking the most important thing you will do in a crisis is set up and run a good press conference. Stop thinking the only questions you have time to answer are from reporters. Stop being so media-centric.

Start thinking direct. Start thinking about the people who matter most to your future–the people who if they thought bad of you would cause your organization some nightmares. Start thinking about engaging rather than distributing. Start thinking about participating instead of controlling. Start thinking about how you are going to interact with hundreds or thousands–personally–when you really need to. Start realizing that You are the Broadcaster.


This entry was posted on October 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm and is filed under Crisis Advice, Crisis Case Studies, Crisis Communications, Crisis Communicator, crisis management.

Tags: , , ,

As usual, Crisisblogger is looking ahead, and for some the view isn't pretty.

Posted via web from Mark Edwards 3.0

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hey Cardinals Fans, Welcome Your New Hitting Coach!

Mark McGwire will be announced as the St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach Monday, no doubt a move by his close personal friend Tony LaRussa to help get Big Mac into the Hall Of Fame and try to overlook all those nasty rumors of violating Baseball's substance abuse policy.

The video above may be McGwire's best performance ever. THAT'S the kind of leader I want kids to look up to and team members to learn from.

Now you Cards fans have NOTHING on the Cubs. If only you could get Barry Bonds for Strength and Conditioning Coach.

Justice in St. Louis « Bits & Pieces Satire

A seven-year old boy was at the center of a Jefferson County courtroom drama yesterday when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him. The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt, in keeping with child custody law and regulation requiring that family unity be maintained to the highest degree possible..

The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents and he adamantly refused to live with her. When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried and said that they also beat him. After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him.

After two recesses to check legal references and confer with the child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the St. Louis Rams Football Team, whom the boy firmly believes are not capable of beating anyone.

Thanks Carter

Thanks to Bits & Pieces for a fine Sunday morning Rams pre-game laugh.

Posted via web from Mark Edwards 3.0

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My House Is A Sick Bay and Walgreen's SUCKS

So I've had this cold for the last couple of days. I went to Walgreen's to get real Sudafed today and waited 15 minutes in a line at the pharmacy that NEVER moved. So I left empty handed. Walgreen's is a sad sad excuse for a retailer, and I've had horrendous problems both in the pharmacies and the "front of the store". The stores are a shambles, and I can't believe the company lets itself do business in this way.

Enough about me. We found out today that two of my three kids has SWINE FLU. Its early, so they should be OK thanks to a great doctor and Tamaflu. Sadly, the only place we cold find Tamaflu was, that's right, WALGREEN'S. Long lines, surly staff, but the kids got the medication they really need. And in the end, Walgreen's got what THEY needed, the ability to put a stranglehold on the market for badly needed medicines, with no regard to service or the importance of repeat customers.

In the end, the important thing got done today. My kids got the prescription they need. I'm miserable, but they are on the road to recovery. And as far as Walgreen's goes, they've lost me as a customer once and for all. Unless their massive buying power gives them the corner on the market for a prescription.

CVS is coming to St. Louis very soon. I can't wait. In this world, you can only piss off a customer so many times before you lose them to another vendor, and today Walgreen's crossed the line. See ya, Charlie.

Posted via email from Mark Edwards 3.0

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Quick Listen-The Dawn Of American Radio

Thanks to Mark Ramsey for sharing this gem, a podcast about the early days of American Radio and a fascinating book on the subject.

I guess I'm feeling nostalgic as I rapidly slip out of the 18-49 demographic.

Posted via email from Mark Edwards 3.0

Friday, October 16, 2009

The day that radio was killed

Category: Media Industry Author : Steven Hodson Posted: October 16, 2009
Tags : , , , , ,

The day that radio was killed


Technology didn’t kill radio.

Satellite radio didn’t kill terrestrial radio.

But as of today radio stands a very good chance of becoming an ever increasing wasteland to the point that we will see a massive shift away from radio stations playing music. If you think that talk radio is big now you ain’t seen nothing yet.

This is going to happen all because the very basis of how music radio works has shifted. Instead of record companies using radio stations as a way to promote new artists and new releases from established musicians the passing (with a heap of lobbying entertainment backed groups like the RIAA and musicFirst Coalition) of the Performance Rights Act radio stations will now have to pay to play that same music.

The argument put forth by the lobbyists is that this is a revenue stream that the artists are not seeing and therefor not getting paid for their work. Radio has been getting a free ride forever – getting rich off of the backs of musicians by not having to pay royalties for the music they play.

It’s a nice argument and would make sense if the musicians were actually going to see any of that royalty money. As it is they already don’t see a large chunk of what is suppose to be their money that is collected supposedly on their behalf by SoundExchange. The excuse used of course by the organization is that they can’t find the artists in order to give them the money.

So what happens with all that money?

Well the SoundEchange gets to keep it which ends up making this suppose to be non-profit very wealthy - to the tune of over $100 million as of 2007.

Now this is the group that is going to be able to collect some pretty hefty royalty money from radio stations all on the basis that it is for the musicians. The problem is that by changing the economic landscape by which radio works they are removing the incentive for any stations, other than the big conglomerates, to play new music from anyone other than the really big established musicians or bands.

Radio play has always been considered to be the biggest promotional play a musician could hope for. Even though the power of the hit lists may have lessened in our Internet world they still hold considerable power. It was advertising at it best (or worst during the payola years). That power is now gone.

As Michael Masnick at Techdirt notes

Besides, all this will do is harm up-and-coming musicians. Because radio stations will now need to pay more for playing music, they’ll play less music, and if they’re playing less music, they’ll focus just on the big name acts. Smaller up-and-coming artists should be furious with the RIAA for giving radio stations less incentive to play their works. Remember, this is the opposite of payola. While payola got new records on the air, this will make sure fewer get on the air. But it will sure put a bunch more money in the pockets of the major record labels.

This new tax revenue stream for the entertainment industry through its watchdog groups might not truly kill off radio but is sure is going to lengthen its time on life-support.

Related posts:

  1. Splendid: Record Industry Goes After Radio Stations For “Piracy”
  2. New Internet Radio fees will kill innovation
  3. Turn off that radio before entering the garage – or we get fined
  4. Radio to go subscription – sort of
  5. Payola making a comeback

Kudos to The Inquisitr and author Steven Hudson for exposing the possible danger to radio and its listeners if hte Performance Royalty is passed. If you want to keep hearing music on the radio, the time to write your Congressperson and Senator is NOW. Better yet, e mail them or call. Make no mistake about it, music radio is in danger of going away in many places.

Posted via web from Mark Edwards 3.0

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


In memory of the late Captain Lou Albano, his greatest non-wrasslin' performance, as Cyndi Lauper's dad.

Posted via web from Mark Edwards 3.0

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Death Of Focus Groups? from Tom Webster

Today I watched a little of the coverage for The BIG Conference, a social media event held in my home state of Maine, by eavesdropping on all the folks posting highlights to Twitter. One of the things I caught was a speaker proclaiming that the “Focus Group was dead.” Since I didn’t actually attend the conference, I won’t quote someone I didn’t even hear. But it’s a sentiment I have heard before from other speakers and writers, so it’s the argument and not the arguer I’ll touch on here.

The argument against the Focus Group essentially states that better information–more observational, in situ data–is available by mining through the wealth of unstructured data now available in the data streams of various social networks.

There are compelling aspects to this argument–in particular, the belief that “tweeted” comments about brands are somehow more authentic (and certainly less artificial) than similar comments derived from qualitative research constructs. There is an undeniable truth to this–though I would argue that the very act of “Tweeting” to followers carries with it an implied and palpable Heisenberg effect for all who tweet–The Twitterer knows someone is listening, so the Tweet is subtly changed; unconsciously adapted for an audience the author may never know, but wants to please nonetheless.

Consider this, however. As seductive as all that unstructured data is, where do you think it came from?

The 11% of Americans who post status updates?

The 8% of Americans who contribute to blogs?

The 5-8% of Americans who post to Twitter (your guess is as good as mine here, given the number of duplicate/SPAM accounts)?

The 1 in 5 Tweets that are about brands?

The 1 in 5 Tweets about brands that actually express an opinion about those brands (i.e., really 1 in 25 tweets)?

When you consider that there is nearly 100% overlap between all of these groups, you are left with the inescapable conclusion that fewer than 10% of Americans are contributing unstructured data about brands, which leaves the other 90% essentially voiceless in this particular model. My neighbor, for instance, doesn’t post to Twitter, only uses Facebook to share family photos and eavesdrop on her kids, and certainly doesn’t blog. She is, however, a professor at Duke and drives a nicer car than me. Don’t you want to sell her some stuff too? The fact is the vast majority of Americans are online, but don’t post about brand experiences online, and going exclusively by the percentage that does share brand opinions might be useful in some ways, but might be horribly misleading for a company seeking to skate where the puck is going. For every PayPal there are 10 Flooz/Beenz-alikes, and calibrating the opinions we can aggregate online still benefits from an offline reality check.

I think the smartest thing one could possibly say about this is that in every focus group I’ve ever moderated, there are 2-3 vocal, opinionated peer leaders, 5-7 that will go along with the crowd in public, and 3-5 that won’t go along but won’t challenge the room. As a moderator, I can see and feel this palpably, and get to the heart of the true opinions in the room regardless of the articulation gap that may exist between respondents. If I mine unstructured data, I would only get the former–and worse, I wouldn’t really know how many of the latter groups existed. Sample is everything.

So, the non-response bias for “killing” the focus group and other research projects is enormous, and incalculable. Yet, the unstructured data that we can glean from social networks is potentially very valuable, and absolutely supplements and in some cases supplants observations from other forms of market research. Let’s not lose sight of that–I’m not–but let’s see it as adding incremental insight, and not as the sole source of consumer insight.

I think a better way to think through this is not to use zero-sum thinking. Social networking has enriched my life, and given this quirky introvert a whole new way to express himself before his friends, peers and even potential clients. But it didn’t replace the relationships I had before, or how I built and nurtured those relationships. It just made them richer.

Unstructured data makes consumer insight richer–appreciably so–and any market researcher worth their salt will use it. But let’s use it to make our focus groups richer, and our surveys more informed–not to exclude the reluctant majority who don’t contribute brand opinions online and may not have shared experiences with those who do. Let’s use them both, smartly, to create a substrate of data that can provide more actionable and useful market research than ever before. That’s what gets my juices flowing.

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Thanks to the brilliant Tom Webster for sharing!

Posted via web from Mark Edwards 3.0

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sell The Vatican, Feed The World (HD, Official)

No offense to anybody, but I have to say this is one of the funniest things I've seen in a while.

Saturday, October 03, 2009