We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with Merlo on Maple, an authentic Italian restaurant that serves up classic Bolognese cuisine. A quick Google search of Merlo reveals fantastic reviews across the board, with reviewers who cite an atmosphere that rivals the food as the reason for the praise.
At Demi & Cooper, we’ll be handling the construction of the new Merlo website and we’ll be building the restaurant’s social media presence. Look for a case study on the new website in the near future, but for now, here’s an excerpt describing what makes Merlo on Maple so special to those looking for authentic Italian food in Chicago.
“Her grandmother’s recipe book is the reason Chef Silvia was able to duplicate Bolognese Italian food in the city of Chicago. Her grandmother openly shared her recipes with other ladies in the Bologna, and they in turn shared theirs. This warm and collaborative process was passed down to Silvia, and it’s why she’s so happy to share her authentic Italian food with Chicago’s patrons.”
Of course it’s just for fun, but grassroots, guerrilla marketing-style ads for WGN Radio’s John Williams are showing up in some unusual places. And social media is pushing them out even further.
John Williams is a little upset. He’s noticed that afternoon-drive host Garry Meier gets billboards. New morning host Jonathon Brandmeier gets billboards. But not him. So he’s asked listeners help him out. It’s all in fun, but sometimes that’s what good advertising is about. I found out about this through social media — which is helping give his campaign a further push.
A porta-potty at a construction site in Berwyn, IL asks users to listen.
Was it okay for Walter E. Smithe to pay for a farewell party for outgoing mayor Richard M. Daley in exchange for some video testimonials from attendees for advertising purposes? Of course. Was it wrong that journalists and politicians participated. Of course not. Did Walter E. Smithe partially miss a great opportunity? Absolutely.
This morning Chicago journalist Robert Feder was interviewed by Greg Jarrett on WGN Radio about the blog he posted this morning. He’s fuming about how Chicago journalists would participate in a love-in for the outgoing Mayor. I understand where Feder is coming from. He’s a journalist and he’s upset about about ethics, though I see no need to fume. I’m more upset about the advertising.
First of all, kudos to Walter E. Smithe for having the idea to sponsor a party for Daley — and getting celebrities, politicians, journalists and others to give their well-wishes on camera including:
From a journalism perspective Bill Kurtis is the only one who truly leaps over the line at full speed by saying Daley is Chicago’s “best mayor” while sitting behind the anchor desk in CBS 2 Chicago’s studio. Kurtis, of all people, should have known better. Rob Johnson and Allison Rosati approach the line in an uncomfortable way, but don’t quite cross it. From an advertising perspective, all these indiscretions weaken the ad and should have been cut. This spot could have easily been saved.
If Walter E. Smithe hadn’t paid for the party, this morning we might have be hearing from John Kass instead — complaining about how Chicago taxpayers had to foot the bill. Advertising keeps broadcast television free. It helps keep the cost of your newspapers and magazines low. It also helps keep much of the content online free — including Feder’s own blog which is sprinkled with ads.
So who’s wrong here? (a) Feder is wrong that the journalists who participated in this were “bought” by a furniture retailer and free drinks. (b) A few of the journalists are wrong for overtly kissing Daley’s butt, even if he is walking out the door. And (c) Walter E. Smithe was wrong for failing to frame the concept of their own TV spot better. Monday Morning Quarterbacking advertising is easy, but with a little thought there are several specific things that could have been done with some light on-camera direction to make the spot stronger and feel less icky. It could have been framed as a tongue-in-cheek “This Is Your Life” parody. It could have been framed as a classy “we’ll miss you Mayor Daley” spot. If I gave this a few more minutes of thought I could come up with a half-dozen other ideas. Instead, they just strung a bunch of clips together with practically no memorable moments. It’s okay, but with all these recognizable faces it could have been more.
Daley’s been mayor of Chicago for 22 years. Regardless of your politics you’ve got to appreciate the significance of that. Saying a few nice things at a farewell party is completely appropriate. In the end, it was a great idea that ended up as a missed opportunity. It could have been funny, it could have been smart — and it could have gone viral — if only it had been done a little better.
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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls — introducing Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels! He has a brilliant new idea that will make WGN-AM 720 news more riveting and enthralling— and help the Tribune Company emerge from the fiery ashes of bankruptcy and (financial?) disputes of how to fill time slots…by micro-managing the news staff?
As Robert Feder reports on his blog, Randy Michaels has come up with a list of 119 words and phrases that are banned from use on the 50,000 watt flagship radio station. (And not a single one is dirty.) Why dwell on big problems when there are small ones nobody ever knew existed? Michaels’ point is that these phrases are overused and he’s encouraging the news staff to be more creative. But this list is so all-encompassing and broad it will probably only cause the news staff to miss deadlines because they’re thumbing through their Roget’s. WGN’s very own News Director, Charlie Meyerson, in what must have been an especially brown-nosing memo explaining the new rules to staff, goes so far as to specifically encourage employees to rat each other out with the date and time an outlaw phrase was used. That must be great for morale.
Well, if you can’t manage, micro-manage.
Randy Michaels’ Forbidden ‘Newsspeak’ Words & Phrases
“Flee” meaning “run away”
“Good” or “bad” news
“Laud” meaning “praise”
“Seek” meaning “look for”
“Some” meaning “about”
“Two to one margin” . . . “Two to one” is a ratio, not a margin. A margin is measured in points. It’s not a ratio.
“Yesterday” in a lead sentence
“Youth” meaning “child”
5 a.m. in the morning
After the break
After these commercial messages
All of you
At this point in time
Behind closed doors
Behind the podium (you mean lecturn) [sic]
Best kept secret
Clash with police
Completely destroyed, completely abolished, completely finished or any other completely redundant use
Down in (location)
Dubbaya when you mean double you
Everybody (when referring to the audience)
Eye Rack or Eye Ran
Fled on foot
Gunman, especially lone gunman
Hunnert when you mean hundred
In a surprise move
In harm’s way
In other news
In the wake of (unless it’s a boating story)
Informed sources say . . .
Lend a helping hand
Lucky to be alive
Mother of all (anything)
Mute point. (It’s moot point, but don’t say that either)
Redfin.com knows the power social media has on home sales (their own studies have shown that social media drives more online traffic to a listing than any other source, so encouraging bloggers to discuss a listing helps sellers, while giving buyers the context of the entire blogosphere for every listing creates a more informed purchasing decision), but until now there wasn’t enough housing in social media to make it work. But there are thousands of blogs on housing now, so Redfin makes it work by automatically linking web pages about a property to blog posts about that property, using the same trackbacks technology that blogs use to link automatically to one another.
Everybody has had a bad customer experience at one time or another. It used to be that you’d tell your friends, report a company to the Better Business Bureau or maybe even write a letter to the editor at your local paper and hope it gets published. These days it’s easier than ever to make your voice heard. Whether it’s on a site like Yelp, Angie’s List or just Google comments, people’s voices carry a much longer distance now.
Enter Dave Carroll. Dave is a singer/songwriter and the lead of The Sons of Maxwell, a band I’ve never heard of until this morning. In the spring of 2008 Dave was traveling with his band and had a connecting flight in Chicago. Dave and his band were sitting on the O’Hare tarmac, waiting for the baggage to be loaded. A passenger in front of them, who probably didn’t know who Dave Carroll or The Sons of Maxwell were, looked out the window and shouted out about how there are some United Airlines baggage handlers “throwing guitars” out there! After a year of phone calls and cold shoulders and no restitution, Dave wrote a song…
I first heard about this on WGN radio in Chicago this morning during a promo for the John Williams Show. Williams later linked to the video from his Facebook status feed and I watched it. And I must say, it is one of the most creative and funny ways to get back at a company for busting your Taylor guitar.
Will United Airlines respond to this? Probably not. Will they care that there’s this video out there? Fairly unlikely. Will thousands and thousands of customers and potential customers see and be influenced in some way by it? Absolutely.
What if your company or organization was the one being targeted?
This brings us to one of the most important, and also most overlooked aspects of social media marketing: reputation management. Obviously, in this instance United Airlines clearly should have stepped in long ago and provided better customer service. Some might argue that they didn’t provide any customer service at all. But lets pretend your company has a disgruntled customer and even though your company has acted ethically and quickly, this person still feels the need to spend time creating a blog or YouTube videos about how he feels he was treated unfairly. What will you do?
The first step is catching it early. Monitor postings, blog entries, news feeds, comment forms and sites like Twitter constantly. An easy way to do this is through Google Alerts which will send you an e-mail every time a key word or phrase shows up anywhere on the Internet. That alone won’t catch everything but it’s a good start. Then get out there. Present your side of the story, be fair, honest, open and most of all extremely polite and respectful — no matter what was said or what tone was used. The golden rule is this: picture anything you write, either on a website or e-mail, posted everywhere with your picture next to it. If you can’t be proud of your stance then you should just keep quiet. Come back to it when you’re calm. It can be difficult at times, especially if you have a customer who is either just pain wrong, or worse, wrong and belligerent.
Don’t wait until something bad happens to become involved in social media. Having an active and happy online customer base will go a long way to helping you resolve issues. With any luck some of those customers may even stand up and help defend you. Remember, some people just need to be unhappy. Stay on top of the situation and minimize it’s impact before it grows out of control — or into a catchy song complete with a music video.
Get ready for surgery in the 21th century! On Thursday, April 2, at 7:30 a.m., Sherman Hospital will be the first hospital in Illinois to provide live “Tweeted” updates of a surgery — but not just any surgery — it will be a high-tech robotic surgery using Sherman’s da Vinci surgical robot. And we at Demi & Cooper are proudly running the program. Through the social-networking site Twitter, Sherman officials will provide a running commentary, updates of activities and photos of the procedure. Twitter users will continuously receive messages of 140 characters or less, called “Tweets”, by following Sherman at http://twitter.com/shermanhealth. It’s just one more example of some of the cutting-edge things we’re doing as part of the robust social media services we offer to our clients.
“Sherman Hospital is committed to becoming one of the best community hospitals in the nation,” says Christine Priester, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Sherman Health. “This is an example of our forward thinking and dedication to educating and connecting with the community.”
The procedure, a hysterectomy, will be performed using the da Vinci Surgical System, a sophisticated robotic platform designed to expand surgeon’s capabilities and offer a minimally invasive option for major surgery. For the first time ever, future hysterectomy candidates will be able get an idea of what is involved with the procedure in a way they would never have been able to before.
Raja Chatterji, M.D., and Humberto Lamoutte, M.D., both OB/GYNs and surgeons on the medical staff at Sherman Hospital, will be performing the operation, slated to last two hours. Both Drs. Chatterji and Lamoutte received extensive training with the da Vinci Surgical System before receiving certification in 2007. Dr. Chatterji received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College Of Medicine, and Dr. Lamoutte received his medical degree from the Louisiana State University. Both physicians had residency at Charity Hospital in New Orleans.
Be sure to follow @ShermanHealth on April 2nd to watch the live hysterectomy. And while you’re on Twitter, why not follow Demi & Cooper too? Then you’ll know about events such as this one, as well as learn about the many different ways we use Tweets, blogs, eblasts, and other social media strategies to help our clients.