How Can Agencies Adjust their Culture for Social Media

I was fortunate enough to be invited, along with our agency president George San Jose, as a representative of the San Jose Network to the Transworld Advertising Agencies Network (TAAN) semi-annual conference this past week as part of the current work to forge an alliance between the two networks to expand the global footprint of both. During the conference we participated in extremely interesting discussions and were privy to excellent presentations by Mr. Locatelli regarding agency finances and Jason Falls regarding the growing power of social media in the advertising world. Both presentations were fantastic and we thank all the members of TAAN for letting us participate! Jason Fall’s presentation made some very interesting points about some of the challenges facing advertising agencies in social media and tips for dealing with the culture clash. Here some noteworthy points Jason cites from Erik Qualman’s Socialnomics, regarding some of the current trends: Social Media has overtaken porn as the No. 1 web activity Gen Y will outnumber baby boomers by NEXT YEAR 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations Only 14% trust advertisements Only 18% of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive ROI 90% of people that can TiVo ads do 24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines Soon products will find us via social media What are some of the “cultural” challenges your agency faces with social media? How does this apply to the client side? We’d love to hear your...

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“Hispanic Population” and “Declining” in the Same Report? Say What?

Over the last three decades, The San Jose Group has been a part of and seen many “firsts.” A couple of weeks ago, we saw another “first” – the words “Hispanic population” and “declining” in the same report. That’s right – the Pew Hispanic Center released a study that revealed that Mexican immigration is down by as much as 67% since 2001. Because we are talking about the largest subgroup inside of our market, we felt compelled to take a closer look and unpack the implication that this trend might have on today’s brands that are banking on the growth, not the decline, of this important market. The July study, “Mexican immigrants: How many come? How many leave?” reported that the U.S saw as many as 600K new arrivals from Mexico from 2001-2002 and only 200K from 2008-2009. This study also reported that in the same years of comparison, emigration back to Mexico from the U.S. was virtually zero in 2001 as compared to 100K in 2008. So, doing the math, this translates into 500K fewer Mexican immigrants in the U.S. in 2008 as compared to 2001. So do brands have a reason to be concerned? Could the U.S. economic downturn actually be creating a shortage of Hispanic consumers for brands to target? Is there a “mass exodus” brewing? In looking at the numbers, we can happily conclude that this trend is not a game changer for Hispanic marketers. While a 67% decrease between the years of comparison is significant, other trends and stats speak to the bigger picture: 1) The Pew report states that this fluctuation in Mexican immigration has been taking place since 2002, well before the 2009 downturn, and is most likely attributable to a combination of economic conditions and changes in U.S./Mexico border policy. 2) The 500K fewer immigrants represents only 1.1% of the total Hispanic population of 45 MM. 3) Even though 500K fewer Mexican immigrants arrived between 2002 and 2008, the total U.S. Hispanic population as a whole...

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SJG Helps Distribute 8,200 Backpacks!

Aug 18, 09 SJG Helps Distribute 8,200 Backpacks!

Posted by in Nonprofit

This past Saturday, SJG-ers helped HCCA, ComEd and Magnum Insurance distribute 8,200 backpacks to kids from throughout the Chicagoland area for the annual Mente Futura program. I had the opportunity to attend the event and see the volunteers in action! Last weekend, to set up the event for this past Saturday, more than 100 volunteers donated their time to help stuff 8,200 backpacks with school supplies and prepare them for distribution. Volunteers arrived bright and early at 8 a.m. and dedicated several hours to help make the event a success. As Ericka, SJG’s account manager, said, “It was very rewarding!” The big day came this past Saturday as pastors, families and children from more than 80 Hispanic churches from throughout the city arrived at Centro Familiar Vida Nueva to pick up their free backpacks. Again, volunteers donated time on their Saturday to staff the event and make things happen.   This was a great event for several reasons: It utilized a network of very important community groups – Hispanic churches – to reach and benefit children who truly needed these resources. It allowed sponsors to see their support in action. Everyone that attended the event actually got to see kids excited to get their free backpack live, instead of writing a check and not having that opportunity to see the results firsthand. It gave SJG-ers an opportunity to volunteer their time and directly participate in an event that benefits our community. Visit our Facebook page for more photos from the...

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Viral Video Gets Boost from Traditional Media

One of today’s posts on is a brief story about a Brazilian ad campaign for SOS Mata Atlantica that went viral. Without getting into the debate that has started in the comments section about the campaign’s actual message (it encourages people to pee in the shower to conserve water), I found it interesting that this viral campaign is actually one that started with very traditional media executions: TV and radio spots, print and outdoor. And it was an extended segment on a news program that sparked the viral activity around the campaign. What does this say about the argument that traditional media is dead? What role does traditional media play in the process of viral distribution of content and word of mouth? Is there a difference in the importance of the medium when we’re discussing advertising and editorial? What are your...

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Going Viral…with the help of your friends

One of my favorite quotes regarding social media is, “viral is not a strategy, it’s an outcome.” Sometimes companies might create a video or a Facebook page and expect some kind of crazy viral activity to stem from it. But unless what you’re doing is extremely compelling, people are probably not going to flock to it on their own out of nowhere. So here are some of my thoughts on how to help spread the word about an initiative you’re hoping will catch on and spur word of mouth activity yourself. This list focuses on how you can best utilize your own network of contacts to help you start creating some buzz around what you’ve done. Get it started yourself! Don’t expect someone else to start publicizing your initiative for you. Take advantage of all the resources before you – all your contacts, your co-workers and their contacts, etc. Your closest network of contacts will likely be the most willing to start spreading the word about your new Facebook page, YouTube video, etc. Email links to your network of contacts to get the word out about something cool you’ve seen (or created). In the world of social media, email may not be the most novel way to spread something virally, but the truth is, it’s often the best way to reach many of your contacts. I still know plenty of people that don’t have a Facebook or MySpace page, and they don’t necessarily understand how to tag things or use services like digg. They communicate via email and still send email blasts, so don’t forget about this simple, yet effective, method. Comment on Facebook group or fan pages. When you comment on a page, that activity shows up in all your contacts’ feeds, therefore exposing them to whatever you’re looking at. Recommend Facebook fan pages. In case some of your contacts don’t see you interacting with a page through the live feed, you can send recommendations of fan pages to your network. For instance, I recommended that my...

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