Archive for the 'marketing' Category

Mar 16 2011

“You RT me and I’ll RT you” & other marketing lessons from Twitter

Update: My guest blog post for the Digital Pharma Blog on Better Meetings Through the Use of Twitter was published today. There are tips on attending meetings and admiring them from afar. Start here and then click over the the DigPharm Blog.

RT”, for readers not engaged in the Twitter world is short hand for re-tweeting, or sending the post of someone else to your followers. It’s a way for you to agree with the original observation and spread the message while giving credit to original author.

This brings the mesage to your followers and introduces them to someone they may wish to follow. It’s an act of support and friendship that creates relationship all around, and serves as a form of currency in the network.

The new marketing haiku, “You RT me and I’ll RT you” came from Bryan Vartabedian, M.D. @Doctor_V who I recently met at the Digital Pharma West conference in San Francisco.

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@Doctor_V - Bryan Vartabedian, M.D. speaking at Digital Pharma West

He was on a panel discussing ways that pharmaceutical companies can reach doctors now that golf junkets are out and drug reps have a hard time getting face time. Bryan gave a more intelligent sounding answer while on stage. But his private conversation RT quote was more profound and representative of the shift that’s going on in marketing. (You can read more profound thoughts on his 33 Charts blog.)

The drug companies can look to Twitter to find some of their marketing answers. They can move to creating a relationship, where there is an exchange with their audience instead of selling.

The traditional one way marketing message doesn’t work well on Twitter. Beverly Macy, the co-author of the upcoming book “The Power of Real-Time Marketing” @PowerRTM likes “the 80/20 rule of Twitter – give 80 percent of the time + ‘get’ or talk about yourself 20 percent of the time”.

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TweetDeck is the new black bag for @Doctor_V

This could mean a paradigm shift from moving product to focusing on helping the patient become healthier. From selling to the doctor to helping them do their job.

We heard great examples at the conference of companies creating patient support communities. Could we see a similar support to doctors that would offer practice management tips, assistance in moving to electronic medical records, or working to connect attendees at dinner meeting talks to expand referral networks?

What would be other examples of RT a customer that would work to reach physicians? What else can we learn about marketing from Twitter?

Don’t forget the Better Meetings Through the Use of Twitter post.

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

@MarkHarmel

8 responses so far

Oct 08 2010

The New Look of FedEx Office

Update: FedEx Office continue to evolve and is adding free Wi-Fi to many of their locations. This gives road warriors another location option to Starbucks to conduct business. Even before the free Wi-Fi I would use the FedEx locations on my portfolio trips as places to charge up and and park before my next appointment.

I made a trip to my local FedEx/Kinko’s shop back in the summer and found a new sign on the door. Shortly after I received a call from a client asking for an estimate to do a series of photos at that same shop! It turned out that this was one of the first FedEx/Kinko’s outlets that would be transformed into a FedEx Office location.

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Delivery driver at one of the first FedEx Office locations

After landing the job it was so convenient to have one of the first locations converted down the street from me in Manhattan Beach. This made it easy to check the construction progress and to send back update snapshots to the art director back in Minnesota. I could also combine early morning airport runs to LAX with my morning coffee to precisely plot the timing and effect of the sunrise.

The client remembered me from a shoot I did for her way back in the film days, but we had never met. One month earlier, I did get to meet with the producer, who ventured out early to check out the progress of the transition. This helped to build rapport when I met the rest of the production team the day before the shoot.

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Scouting confirmed that there would be great Northern light mid-day

I knew that we had a busy shoot day planned and proposed doing a quick walk-though of the long shot list. This was designed to get a feel for the style of photo that the art director wanted and to get the simple blocking down. This way we could have a starting point that I could refine and light the next day. We used the basic back of the camera digital preview method. I would do option A, B and C and the art director would pick one, or suggest something else. I saved the favorites and printed out a reference contact sheet for the team.

I originally thought of these as simple starting sketches that would be improved the next day, but they created more of an expectation then I planned. Many times I ended up copying the scouting shot from the previous day. Perhaps it’s a sign to trust my first instincts more when I’m free from the technical constraints of lighting and worrying about the background.

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The store was open for business the day of the shoot

We had cast models and had our crew of stylists, make-up artists and photo assistants moving around lights – but we were shooting this big production in a working store. If a customer had a lifetime of photos to copy (which happened) at the duplicating machine we changed our shot or location instead of asking her to move. Some of the employees were also available to serve as models and we often used them as they served their customers.

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Our footprint needed to be small

With the shop open for business we needed to have a light footprint. Instead of overpowering the store with strobes, I opted for using continuous light sources that I blended with the existing lights. We even had one of our packs on battery power to remove the risk of tripping on a power cord.

The clients were very happy with the results and the photos seeded a new photo library. Keep an eye out for these shots. They will be making their way into the FedEx Office print and web marketing materials. I know that I will never see my local FedEx Office shop in the same way ever again.

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

@MarkHarmel

3 responses so far

Dec 31 2009

be social by adding commentluv to your blog

Writing a blog is about being in conversation with your community instead of standing on a hilltop screaming “look at me”.

One of the best conversations I’ve found so far on the use of social media is appearing at the creativity_unbound blog that is produced by Edward Boches, Chief Creative Officer and Chief Social Media Officer of Mullen. Boches is a leader in exploring how social media can transform marketing and advertising. His blog is worthwhile reading for his views, but also for the conversation he creates.

The conversation is the main attraction there, but he gives the added value of rewarding his contributors by hosting the commentluv plug-in on his blog that adds a link and headline of the contributors latest blog post. Recently when I had something to add about a post on how Pepsi was moving millions of their ad dollars into the social media space, you can see how the little heart symbol indicates a link to my recent blog post. This allows readers that find my comment interesting an easy way to come over to this blog to visit.

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Make your posts attract more comments

I decided that this was a good idea and added commentluv to my blog as well. To explore how the plug-in works add a comment to this post (don’t worry about being profound) and include your blog address.

To learn how to add the plug-in to your site, read on past the Mashable-like headline:

2 WordPress plug-ins to that you need to increase comments on your blog.

If you haven’t discovered Mashable yet, it’s the social media website I go to learn how to deal with the backend of my blog. If you are really interested in the technical end of blogging, this is a place to explore. I personally only want to know enough about the back end to keep the site running, but I’m happy to share what I know.

Go into the administration section of your blog, select plug-ins>addd new and type in commentluv. Hit search plugins. Select install and you’re in business. You will also want to add Akismet or some other spam blocking filter to keep out the junk comments. I also moderate my comments so that I have to approve anything that appears on the site. My rule is anything that adds to the conversation runs.

What other social media sites do you like for either building a community or learning to make your site work? Add a comment and watch commentluv do it’s magic.

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

@MarkHarmel

17 responses so far

Dec 01 2009

how twitter led me to Lemonade

Update: The “Lemonade” movie premiered in Boston last night (Nov. 30th) and reports are coming in. The first is from the Boston Business Journal. The second from the Adrants blog. Edward Boches weighs in on “The sweetness of lemons”. Philip Johnson writes in Adweek about the ad industry rallying around one of their own.

New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth” interviews Erik

The Christian Science Monitor has a feature on how Erik Proulx job loss led him to make Lemonade.

The latest update (12/29/2009) is a segment on the CBS Evening News.


Watch CBS News Videos Online

I confess. I’m a Twitterer. I can blame it on this blog.

Once I started blogging I wondered if I was cultivating a tree that would one day simply fall in the woods without being heard. So I looked for ways to share my pictures and the behind the scenes stories. That prompted me to explore the world social marketing. Which led me to the Please Feed the Animals and the movie “Lemonade”.

The beginning is a bit mysterious. I started by following some writers for Ad Age which somehow led to following the Twitter stream of Erik Proulx. He’s a laid-off  advertising copywriter that created a support blog for the recently unemployed advertising professionals called Please Feed the Animals.

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Detail of make-up brushes (still from the video)

Erik’s Twitter stream mentioned that he was looking for good stories about life after being laid-off. He was collecting recollections about the initial trauma and the opportunities that were created by their new time and freedom. How ad people turned lemons into lemonade would become his documentary film.

When I discovered that Erik was filming in Los Angeles, I tweeted back, asking if I could help. My original thought was that I would shoot some stills that could be used to promote the film. But I had acquired a Canon 5D MKII camera – a hybrid still/high definition video camera and have been playing with the video capability. So shooting some video was also a possibility.

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Kurtis Glade became a documentary filmmaker (still from the video)

Erik had progressed from shooting with his own little video camera to enlisting a top director and production team. But there were some scenes that needed to be shot before the production crew arrived in Los Angeles. I was enlisted to shoot a story was about a surfing camp that teaches kids and teens with Cystic Fibrosis how to surf as a form of therapy. Next there was a manicure session in a salon with a writer “that lost his job and changed his gender.”

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David Cohen lost his job and changed his gender

I was on my own shooting the surf camp and did a 50/50mix of stills and video. When director, Marc Colucci arrived, he wanted more video than stills for the manicure session with David Cohen.

The video shooting continued the next day where I ended up shooting second video camera during the more formal studio interview shoot. My role was to look for details and go for second angle close-ups of hands and faces that could be used to add variety and editing options. These video snips were mixed in with the interviews captured with a Red camera.

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Jeanne Schad became a coach (still from the video)

The resulting Lemonade film has generated a great deal of internet buzz. Promoted through Twitter and Facebook, the trailer now has over a 100,000 viewers and the final edit is close to completion.

You can follow the Twitter streams of the people mentioned by using their Twitter ID.

Erik Proulx  @eproulx,  David Cohen @identityTBD, Kurtis Glade @kurtisglade, Jeanne Schad @jeanneschad

There is much more to share about the Cystic Fibrosis surf camp that I’ll save for another post.

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com
@MarkHarmel

7 responses so far

Jul 14 2009

how internet dating can help you find a job

It’s not the long walks on the beach or the candle-light dinners that made the difference – the big lesson I learned was to not spend too much time on-line before meeting. The same is true when you’re looking for that dream-date of a job.

I found some women that were engaging writers and I would spends hours reading and writing emails that continued for days only to have my hopes and dreams shattered in 60 seconds after meeting. It wasn’t always just physical appearance either. Its that we can convey so much essential information with our physical presence. The way we walk and talk all contribute to the equation.

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A "dream" putt-putt golf date created for a long forgotten TV show

My old dating rule quickly became to schedule a low stress coffee or drink date as soon as possible. I find the same rule holds true to make your presence known in the communications world as well.

On a simple level when I interview a new photo assistant I at very least want to see a photo and prefer to meet them in person. This is because I’m often in medical and corporate environments and a talented assistant with dreadlocks and tattoos that may be great on a fashion or entertainment set wouldn’t work with my clients.

This means that you need to have a physical portfolio to show. Yes a website is important as well, but you need a reason to have that meeting. There may be an electronic component to your portfolio, but if all you have to show is on the web there won’t be a reason to meet. I do all the usual routine of sending our emails, printed promos and have both a blog and portfolio website – and sometimes they are enough – but the real connection happens in the face to face meeting.

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Seal the deal with a corn dog toast

All the other marketing that I do also works better as a reminder of our meeting than it does as an introduction. This is most clear in my email response stats where I see who opens my email and continues on to my website or blog post.

So there may be work to do to format and edit a book. Marketing yourself could become your full-time job interspersed with some paying gigs.

The the good news comes from internet dating as well. Like the date – going on the interview is about you sizing up the company as much as it is about you being judged. I recall being saved from having to live in Buffalo, NY after visiting a graduate program on Creative Problem Solving that wasn’t as creative as my undergraduate schools.

Perhaps you’re wondering? Did the internet dating work? Yes, but not in the way that the ads portray. I ended up meeting my wife on an assignment. She was just another doctor to shoot. This time it was to show an example of clinical research. Then we met again in the hall – and she needed a photo for her talks. The multiple internet dates helped to train me out of my natural shyness and allowed me to ask her on a simple date. If it wasn’t for all of those bad dates when the woman wasn’t right for me or the where I wasn’t right for them I may not be married now.

So make a book, work your personal contacts and go out there and book some dates.

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

One response so far

Jul 11 2009

what’s my motivation? – how do i respond to an assignment call

When I talk with a client about an assignment I’m most interested in knowing all that I can about the project. I particularly interested in the end audience. To me they are always the client.

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The more information the better - telephone lines receding into mountain range during a rain storm

Assignment shooters are always working at pleasing multiple interests. There is the person that is ultimately paying the bill and often one or more people in-between. That is either an art director, designer, photo-editor or editor. And often the person in front of the camera gets thrown into the mix as well. My job is to produce a photo that pleases them all (and on good days me as well) – but the most important person in the process is the person that is looking at the photo in the finished context.

Since I live in the Hollywood area, my questions really all revolve around the old actor’s cliche. “What’s my motivation?” I want to understand the context of the communication. What’s the message? Is it an ad, a magazine cover or part of a larger story?

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What's my motivation? - Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe impersonators on Hollywood Boulevard

Is there a story (or draft) that has been written already – any other background material about the person or the subject matter? I also want to know if this is a free standing photo or is my mission to make the photo similar or different that the other images in the group?

All of this information goes into the visual blend-o-matic that helps to guide me in crafting the location and my approach to the subject. Some of the structure is very planned and logical and other part come from those magical unconscious connections…and that’s part of the fun.

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

One response so far

May 17 2009

portfolio featured on photo.net

Photo rep/consultant Tony Luna recently wrote about my portfolio in his column on photo.net titled “The Six Elements of an Effective Presentation“. In the feature Tony focuses on the specific topic of a photography portfolio, but his general thesis can apply to any type of artist – as well as any marketing presentation.

In my case (used to illustrate element #4) he focuses on the challenge of presenting my diverse body of work. These could have be broken down in multiple portfolios, but instead I decided with my consultant/designer Deanne Delbridge to blend in a number of different styles that all speak to the message of a healthy lifestyle.

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Portfolio designed as a doctor's black bag

By creating the overall theme we can present portraits or a senior couple in front of their house and a portrait of a surgeon conducting a liver transplant. A travel photo of women practicing Qigong in downtown Hanoi fits in with a Chinese researcher in an islet cell lab. The biggest stretch was blending in a series of my fine-art oriented photos into the book. They present the message that I’m an artist as well a visual story-teller and introduce the idea of using these photos to illustrate conceptual messages. (A separate Visual Concepts portfolio now expands on this message.)

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Neuro-oncologist Dr. Daniela Bota - UC Irvine Medical Center

The healthcare portfolio allows me to have a book that targets a specific segment of the market that highlights the expertise I developed over the years. This also allows me to have a body of work that speaks directly to a client’s market. I have a healthcare book that I present to a healthcare client.

Looking to rejuvenate your career? Consider signing up for one of Tony Luna’s classes.

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

One response so far

Mar 29 2009

forgot my camera – shot with my iPhone instead

Benjamin Franklin taught us that: “In this world nothing is certain than death and taxes.” In the photography world the other certainty is the need to do marketing. With that in mind I just returned from my annual “Marketing and Taxes” visit to San Francisco. (My tax attorney is in SF.)

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Checkerboard building in Oakland

In my rush to gather up all of my tax info and marketing materials I left my camera back at home. This made me a bad student of Jay Maisel who advises photographers to always carry a camera(there is a great video of him talking by following the link with his name) – until I realized that I had my little used iPhone camera with me.

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Emerging from the BART station on Market Street

I have been a fan of plastic Diana cameras in the past and know that its better to have a good eye behind a simple camera than a have an untrained eye behind a professional camera, and I enjoyed the freedom of simply playing and recording some the new sights I was experiencing.

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Water delivery truck

There best part about the camera on the iPhone is that it is always with me and it will make a photo in just about any quantity of light.

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After an appointment in Foster City

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Shooting through a dust barrier at a construction site

And unlike the Diana where the viewfinder was more of a guess, the iPhones displays a video preview. It is still hard to be precise with the framing since the shutter release button in on the front of the camera and not the top of the frame.

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Stoplight shadow

It has an amazing ability to shoot in very low levels of light. The photos have digital noise in them, but I find it amazing that it is possible to hand hold the camera and still record anything.

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Couple walking past the Old Federal Reserve building

And it still has good color.

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The red cover of the pool table is still vibrant

After doing my iPhone exercise I read that there is a new camera/phone called a Pixon that is more of a camera with a phone added than the iPhone. Samsung sent a photographer around the world to take picture with this devise. Hey – my passport is current. I’m ready to take my close-ups.

Mark Harmel
harmelphoto.com

No responses yet

Mar 15 2009

i’m steamed!

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Geothermal plant on the shore of the Salton Sea

Even out in the wilds I’m as drawn to the beauty a power plant as I am to  a majestic shoreline or a graceful cactus. But it hasn’t been until recently that it has dawned on me that there are companies that are behind the design and construction of these structures. A while ago I was asked to shoot a HNTB design engineer that worked on the expansion of the south runway at LAX so that it could accommodate the new Airbus A380.

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Sean Naismith redesigning a runway at LAX

I hadn’t heard of the either the company or noticed the profession before and when I visited their website I discovered that they design and build the sorts of structures that I consider man-made art. They create freeway interchanges, parking garages, ports and skyscrapers.  I organized some of these photos into a mini-portfolio and started to show them to some of these firms and it has landed me some commissions to make portraits of their executives, but I want to shoot the structures.

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Two views of steam hiding the sun

We are once again in a national conversation about infrastructure, perhaps we can talk about the beauty of it as well.

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

@MarkHarmel

No responses yet

Nov 17 2008

portfolio highlighted

Published by under marketing,press

An update: in November, 2008 Andrew’s book was chosen as a winner in the “photography: Instructional/How-To” category of The National Best Books 2008 Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.My photos have appeared in a number of books recently. The latest is a feature about my portfolio and promo creations in Andrew Darlow’s “301 Inkjet Tip and Techniques”
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In the book Andrew details the design and building process of two portfolios that I did with with the help of designer Michael Standlee (also know as “PhotoshopDude”), book artist Tania Baban and poet Jim Natal. The first book we created was for the collection of my personal work that I call Sightings. For this we chose the look of a well worn travel journal complete with a leather string tie.
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We then continued on to create a healthcare portfolio that is modeled after and old family doctor’s house call black bag.
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This is the book that has been recently updated with the help of consultant Deanne Delbridge. My current mission is to get this book out into the healthcare world. Don’t be surprised if I call you later today for an appointment.

Mark Harmel
harmelphoto.com

No responses yet

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