New agency partnership in Germany

January 27th, 2014 by Brian Edwards

One of our core beliefs here at McKenzie Worldwide is that smart, experienced PR people can do a great job for clients without the need for a lot of overhead. Rather than set up an expensive infrastructure around the world, our focus has been on working with “best of breed” agency partners.

To that end, we’re pleased to announce a new partnership with Donner & Doria Public Relations based in Heidelberg, Germany. Like many good relationships, this one will be a two-way street. We will be turning to Donner & Doria when our US-based clients need support in Germany, and Donner & Doria will be turning to us when their clients need US support.

Given Donner & Doria’s proximity to SAP AG (10 minutes down A-5), a particular emphasis will be working with potential clients in the SAP ecosystem, as well as many other high-tech clients who want senior PR representation, strategic insights, technical smarts and great execution at affordable (think low overhead) rates.

Here’s the full (English) press release

McKenzie Worldwide Welcomes Donner & Doria Public Relations to the MWW Global Communications Alliance Program

Collaboration provides both agencies with enhanced capabilities to service clients in Germany and beyond

Portland, Ore. and Heidelberg, Germany, January, 27 2014 – High-tech integrated communications and marketing agency McKenzie Worldwide and the German agency group Donner & Doria today announced they have joined forces to help clients from across the information technology landscape increase their presence in worldwide media and markets. This collaboration provides both agencies with enhanced capabilities to service clients in Germany and international clients seeking to expand their presence in the U.S. market.

McKenzie Worldwide and Donner & Doria Public Relations are independent and owner-managed public relations agencies with international experience and a strong track record of helping technology firms build brands and increase awareness of clients’ products and services on a global basis. Clients can benefit from the firms’ deep IT expertise, strategic insights, excellent media contacts as well as efficient project management. Both agencies offer strategic communications consulting, media relations, content marketing, online marketing and social media programs among other services.

“The German market has always been a key focus for us and over the years we have worked with many great clients in Germany so finding the right local partner was a high priority. Donner & Doria has a great team and we’re looking forward to working with them,” said Megan McKenzie, CEO of McKenzie Worldwide. “The MWW Global Communications Alliance offers clients a community of independent agencies that share the same spirit of excellence and quality customer service for a seamless and consistent agency experience around the world.”

McKenzie along with McKenzie Worldwide Vice President Brian Edwards will be working closely with Donner & Doria managing director Peter Verclas and PR consultant Simone Schmickl to implement effective client programs. McKenzie, Edwards and Verclas have known each other for more than 15 years and have jointly advised several IT companies, including German IT giant SAP AG, on global PR activities.

“We are very much looking forward to once again working together as a close-knit team on international PR campaigns with Brian, Megan and their team,” said Peter Verclas, managing director of Donner & Doria Public Relations GmbH. “We have many years of senior-level expertise in our respective markets that we’re confident will bring our clients tremendous value.”

About McKenzie Worldwide

Founded in 2004, McKenzie Worldwide is a high-tech public relations and marketing agency providing a range of strategic integrated communication services including PR, social media, content development/marketing and interactive programs to help companies build trust in their brands. The agency focuses on providing services to the world’s leading and emerging innovative enterprise, wireless and consumer technology companies. At the core of our work is a desire to work with smart people and smart companies – whether emerging start-ups or global brands – with interesting technology, products and services.

About Donner & Doria

The agency group Donner & Doria is the competence network for brand communication. The group offers marketing and communication services including brand management, image and awareness development, content marketing, lead generation, customer loyalty and sales support, employer branding, above-the-line advertising, public relations, online marketing and social media as well as internal communication. Customers span multiple sectors including IT and SAP, public sector and pharma and healthcare. The agency group consists of Donner & Doria Werbeagentur GmbH and Donner & Doria Public Relations GmbH. Donner & Doria has 20 employees in Heidelberg and Mannheim.

Media Contact:

McKenzie Worldwide
Megan McKenzie
Phone: +1 503 625 3680
E-Mail: meganm@mckenzieworldwide.com
Internet: http://www.mckenzieworldwide.com

Donner & Doria Public Relations GmbH
Peter Verclas
Phone: +49 6221 58787-35
E-Mail: peter.verclas@donner-doria.de
Internet: http://www.donner-doria.de

 

The two-headed monster that is social media

December 11th, 2013 by Rob Goodman

“Nelson Mandela’s memorial service Tuesday was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime event where dozens of world leaders join thousands of South Africans in a massive stadium, all to honor the anti-apartheid icon. Instead, it turned into a media sensation…about a selfie.” CNN 

SAFRICA-MANDELA-MEMORIAL

Social media has changed the whole ballgame. While it’s fun to share photos with friends in real-time on Facebook and call attention to company announcements via Twitter, marketing leaders need to think clearly about what their goals are and how social media can help achieve those goals. It makes me sad that a celebration of somebody’s life, somebody who helped change the world, can get pushed aside by the uproar of taking a picture.

Remember the old adage that any PR is good PR? Well, that’s not always the case. When our team develops a PR plan and considers the social media activities to include, we think about the negative consequences of what might happen on our blog, or on Twitter and Facebook. Obviously we consider all of the potential actions we take, but who’s to say what is or isn’t potentially harmful. I’m not offended by the photo of the three world leaders, and obviously the three of them didn’t have a problem with it, but they need to realize that the reach of social media is everywhere.

The bigger issue to me is more about the yellow journalism/tabloid infected world we live in. Why is a selfie taken by President Obama, Danish Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt, and British Prime Minister Cameron considered newsworthy? To me it’s as interesting as headlines in tabloids about the Kardashian sisters.

So back to the original topic. When designing PR plans, how much emphasis do you put on social media? Do you consider both the positive and negative repercussions of social media activities for a campaign or do you only look at how many people you might reach? Do you incorporate ideas about how to react quickly using social media if something goes wrong during a launch?

Just remember that what you consider a safe move might come back to bite you…and it’s in your best interest to be prepared.

Getting Editor’s Interested In Your News

November 25th, 2013 by Rob Goodman

newsWhat is newsworthy? Or more to the point, what are good news hooks to secure interest from an editor? I was talking with a client recently about this exact topic and I shared a few ideas. Especially for small and mid-sized companies it’s hard to get attention from editors. Hard news, like an acquisition or a major product rollout, is almost always of interest to editors. But in the absence of hard news, how can you get an editor interested enough to cover your company?

AIIMOne of the organizations we work with at McKenzie Worldwide is AIIM, which is the Association for Information and Image Management. Since the group doesn’t make product announcements or acquire other companies, it can be difficult to get editors interested. How did we clear this hurdle? By talking with a reporter about a self-generated industry report – ECM at the Crossroads – which discussed industry issues. The reporter at CIO Insight was able to develop an article –Mobile Access to ECMs Needs Improvement –and a slideshow based on the research.

In today’s editorial community you must get creative in order to secure coverage. Consolidation of industry publications, fewer reporters, and a constantly moving 24-hour news cycle make it more challenging than ever to get your news out there. Here are some tips to consider when trying to generate coverage:

  •  “What trends are driving the industry?”—conduct a survey
  • “Ride the coat tails”—announcement with big name partners like Google, Apple, and Facebook
  • “Follow the money”—a funding announcement
  • “Create content”—Graphical images to catch the reader’s eye, such as an infographic
  • “And in the future…”—Q&A interviews are a good way to discuss current trends

The Paperless Office…In Our Lifetime?

July 31st, 2013 by Rob Goodman

logo_aiimIt seems like we’ve heard about the paperless office for many years now. Will it happen in our lifetime? Well, your guess is as good as mine. Our friends at AIIM just published a very interesting report about how companies are incorporating paper-free projects into their business. What I find interesting about the report, Winning the Paper Wars, are the reasons for and against going paper-free.

Many of the companies involved in the research indicated that their legal departments and some executives are not comfortable using 5-more-simple-tools-for-a-paperless-office-508f814ec9electronic signatures and electronic documents due to legal issues. The reality is that e-signatures and e-docs are 100 percent admissible in court. Conversely, the growth of mobile workers and mobile devices/applications has helped spur the need for the paper-less work environment.

mobile worker - man on his phone and laptop in a fieldFor those who work in PR and marketing, do you find that your clients like to publicize the fact that they are paper-free or that they’re using workflow and business process technology to reduce the use of paper and increase worker productivity? From a business perspective it makes a lot of sense to go this route, but does it help from a communications standpoint?

Customer experience and mobile e-commerce sites

July 29th, 2013 by Rob Goodman

I’m not exactly what you call a shopaholic but I do enjoy shopping online since it saves me a lot of time. Get in, get out, done. Viola! So the other day I was reading e-Spirit’s Content Unlocked blog and came across some statistics created by research firm Invesp that jumped out at me. According to Invesp, the top 10 U.S. online retailers by unique monthly visits are:

retailers

OK, no surprise there.

But what really caught my eye was that Invesp predicted that “mobile devices will account for 15% of the total U.S. online retail sales in 2013, which is estimated to reach 25% by 2017.” Wow! I realize that we’re living in a mobile world and that most people have smartphones or iPads or other handheld devices, but talk about multi-tasking! Now I can walk down the street, talk on my smartphone and receive an alert from one of my favorite retailers about a sale item.

The key issue to me is how can retailers duplicate the easy-to-view, easy-to-navigate style of their web sites and shift them over to very mobile shoppingsmall handheld devices? For example, I subscribe to ESPN’s publications and am constantly checking for updates on their web site. However, when I’m using my smartphone I get so frustrated when I click on a specific login area and it sends me somewhere else by accident. Or when I try to expand a page with two fingers and I accidentally click on another link. It drives me nuts!

The point I’m trying to make here is that retailers know that their e-commerce sites are very easy to use on a computer, but they must make sure that they use a powerful content management system to ensure that I get the same experience (it’s all about the customer experience) regardless of whether I’m in their store, on their web site, or viewing them on my smartphone. Sounds simple but you’d be surprised how many people I’ve talked with who have had the same type of negative experiences that I have on other retailer’s sites.

What do you find most annoying when you’re trying to navigate an e-commerce site when you’re using a mobile device?

 

 

Content, Content Everywhere…But Is There A Plan?

June 27th, 2013 by Rob Goodman

I read many industry publications each week to make sure I’m up to date on my clients and their markets. Lately I’ve been reading quite a bit of marketing pubs and Content Management Systems websites and I must say that I’ve seen a ton of discussion about content marketing. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute recently wrote an article called “34 Essential Research Reports for More Effective Content Marketing”. You read that correctly…there are 34 reports to check out solely about content marketing.

5-Link-Building-Strategy-EssentialsOn the one hand the growth of social media has given companies new channels to tap into to reach their customers and potential customers. Yet at the same time, it’s important to realize that simply pushing out content across many different channels can be annoying. What’s important is that your PR and marketing leaders understand that simply publishing vast amounts of content isn’t going to move the needle. You must build a strategy which clearly defines your goals so that you can use your content to support those goals.

As our client, e-Spirit, discussed recently in their blog – When It Comes To Content, Don’t Simply Throw Darts At The DartboardDarts_in_a_dartboardSuccessful marketing executives are the ones who understand that content cannot be created in a vacuum and a well thought out content marketing strategy can mean the difference between success and failure.

Buried in Information

June 20th, 2013 by Rob Goodman

Every company I’ve worked for has had some type of system for capturing and storing important information. It’s great that technology allows us to share important work documents with other employees, even ones we may not know personally. But is all of that information good for us? I stare at my computer screen all day and read a ton of stuff, then go home and read for personal enjoyment as well. But, frankly, I find that there’s just too much data to process.

logo_aiimOn a grander scale, how do enterprises deal with capturing, storing and sharing so much information? Well, the folks at the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) have some good ideas for how to deal with all of that data. Check out today’s article in CMSWire by AIIM president and CEO John Mancini to learn more.

Join the treadmill desk revolution

June 6th, 2013 by Brian Edwards

For all of us with high-tech, high-stress jobs, most of what we do involves sitting at a desk staring at computer screens.  Tools like email, Facebook, Google Hangouts and the like have made it even worse since the majority of our interactions take place at our desks.  Unfortunately, there is a price to pay for long hours hunched over a keyboard. Health experts are calling it sitting disease and it’s having a serious detrimental effect on society’s health WWW#28Revision (1) 200 pixelsas a whole.

The cure isn’t to combat the symptoms of sitting disease, but to attack the real problem of having to sit around while working.  What if you could stand or even better walk while working?  That simple concept is the driver behind the under-desk treadmill. While the concept of a treadmill desk is straightforward enough, as always the devil is in the details. The difference between success and failure with treadmill desks starts with proper knowledge about configuring your workspace and selecting the right desk and treadmill base, among other factors.

Looking around the Internet, you’ll find plenty of information about treadmill desks, but it’s hardly convenient or well-organized. Recognizing this void, one of our long-time friends in the tech industry and serial entrepreneur Ron Wiener and his team have launched a new site called WorkWhileWalking.com that puts everything you need to know about treadmill desks at your fingertips. Ron’s lively new site serves up reference information and in-depth product reviews combined with frequent reports on the latest industry developments. What’s more, Ron will be launching a new e-Book so you can read up on treadmill desks on your Kindle, smartphone or tablet.

If you find that you’re sitting more than nine hours per day, chances are you are already suffering from sitting disease to some degree. Using a treadmill desk for just 2-3 hours per day at a pace slow enough that you can still work at a desktop or laptop PC has been shown to boost health, help with weight control and increase energy levels.  More and more companies, business leaders and celebrities are starting to embrace treadmill desks, and sales are growing steadily. We strongly encourage everyone to take a look at WorkWhileWalking.com or download the e-Book and get started. You’ll be glad did.

Transparency and Social Media Puts CEOs on the Defensive

June 5th, 2013 by Rob Goodman

Over the past few years we’ve seen some pretty amazing examples of the power of communication, specifically, the ability to share events in real-time on a global level. Protests like the ones in Tahrir Square in Egypt and now in Gezi Park in Turkey clearly demonstrate that the Web’s ability to share information in real-time truly empowers people in David vs. Goliath situations. Closer to home even President Obama’s call for government transparency has helped show people that transparency promotes accountability.

Don-Thompson-of-McDonaldsBut when companies implement social media strategies, are they truly ready for what might come their way? Did McDonald’s CEO really think that a question from a 9-year old during its annual shareholder’s meeting would cause such a headache?

1369333180000-hannah-with-chart-1305231917_4_3_rx404_c534x401“I don’t think it’s fair when big companies try to trick kids into eating food. It isn’t fair that so many kids my agare getting sick,” she said — blaming McDonald’s for unfairly targeting kids with advertisements for food that isn’t good for them.

Nine-year old Hannah Robertson to McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson

Or what about Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Michael Jeffries, whose insensitive comments about the company’s target market back in 2006 in Salon Magazine recently resurfaced?

104738_story__9ba“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” Jeffries said in the article. “We go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong (in our clothes), and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

Sure, most people have figured out the power of social media and the ability for any piece of news to go viral. As noted in a blog post on Forbes about A&F, “But unfortunately, with the internet, embarrassing articles do not die – they just go into hibernation until they are resuscitated.”

Of course, corporate leaders and politicians still seem to stick their collective feet in their mouth—check out Oklahoma state representative Dennis Johnson’s recent comments—by not being prepared when information is posted online or goes viral via YouTube.

Most executives we have work with understand that systems must be put in place to not only field inquiries via social media channels, but that damage control and crisis communication plans must be in place as well. The transparency of the Web has empowered people to share information on a global level. Sometimes the information is positive, sometimes it’s negative. But I’m sure that the VP of Marketing at McDonald’s or A&F have realized that following the Boy Scout’s motto, be prepared, has to be taken seriously.

So when your company dove into the social media world, did you map out a lines of communication diagram to up-level feedback to senior executives in real-time? Thinking this through ahead of time can not only save your company, but it might save your job as well.

Question-“When did Noah build the ark?”

Answer-“Before the flood.”

 

 

 

 

Shifting the Story?

May 20th, 2013 by Rob Goodman

“I am not a crook.” President Nixon

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman” President Clinton

“We promise not to screw it up.” Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer

Well, you can’t fault Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer for being honest and upfront. Earlier today Yahoo! announced that it had paid $1.1 Yahoobillion for microblogging service Tumblr. Nice acquisition, big headlines and all that. However, when I read a number of articles about the announcement the thing that jumped out at me was Mayer’s comment. While CEO’s, especially in the tech sector, are known for hyperbole and hype, I found it refreshing to see such candor from Mayer. But I’m curious to know what led her to issue such an off-the-cuff remark? Could it be that social media has become such a big part of our world?

Her comment appeared in numerous articles but it seemed to first appear on her Twitter account. I realize that we live in a 24 hour news cycle world full of sound bites and infographics, but her self-deprecating humor felt to me as one of those “what have I got to lose” moments. More important, I feel that this is a perfect example of how social media has changed the game. In the past an acquisition like this would have a press release (politically correct language approved by corporate lawyers) and a series of interviews for the leaders of the two companies. But now, with social media, news and comments are out there for public consumption immediately.

To me this is an example of the PR tactic of shifting the story. I believe that people will be talking about Ms. Mayer’s comment more than about the news itself. Yes, Yahoo! has had its fair share of screw-ups and has made some poor decisions, but by making fun of itself, Yahoo! has bought time to make the acquisition work and has helped to shape its image. The question is…is this an image that the company wants?

 


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