December 28, 2006

Ethic scandal or PR success?

I am not always a Microsoft fan. I often criticize Microsoft people, marketing and products, products, products. But this time buzz generated because of the latest Vista launch is risking to focus on the wrong side. I will try to make a long story short.

A few days before Christmas, Edelman - the lead PR agency for the launch of Vista and one of the biggest of the world - emailed a number of influential US bloggers to ask them if they’d like to receive an Acer Ferrari notebook computer pre-loaded with Vista OS. Bloggers started posting about the invitation they received; some have already received the computer and blogged their first impressions/opinions.

Some blogs start now criticize Microsoft and Edelman with accusations of bribery. Others write that is an awesome idea. Confusion starts to take hold as some bloggers report that Microsoft is asking for the computers back.

Now, the question here is: is sending out laptops ethical? Yes, it is. That’s Elderman PR job. Their job is in fact to get the product (Vista) and company they represent (Microsoft) in front of as many influentials as possible (bloggers, in our case). Is giving the PCs away ethical? Well, why not. But this is not the right question, I think. Is ethical getting a PC and not disclosing? This is the real question.

To know more: Laughing Squid, Long Zheng, notgartner, Crunchnotes, Whatsnextblog (1 and 2), Neville Hobson, Robert Scoble.

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December 22, 2006

Some recruiting hints.

Before you are a leader, success is about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. (*)

(*) Jeck Welch. Readers know that I am a Marketer. They (should) also know that I have a team reporting to me; this is a very distributed and virtual team. Based in Italy, Germany, Scandinavia, Spain. There are less than ten people in each location. This situation needs a communication and coordination effort with no equals.

People is the main asset companies do have. Rectuiting is then a crucial activity for every manager and for every company. Sure, I am not the first and the last one pointing this concept out. But I can tell you about my experience.

I spent the last six months recruiting people and redesigning my organization. That was not my only activity, of course. I had to run an international marketing department, in fact. The recruiting task took initially 20% of my time - and ended more or less with a full time effort. Thinking about the right profiles. Redesigning the organization. Applying some designing tools (i.e. activity by competency matrix). Choosing the right vehicle to search candidates (Monster? No way! Head hunters? Yes, for some specific positions. Magazines? Yes, FAZ in Germany, El Pais in Spain, Corriere in Italy). And then reviewing CVs, calling candidates, interviewing (Milan, Dusseldorf, Copenhagen), assessing.

Continue reading "Some recruiting hints." »

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December 19, 2006

Every blogger should have one. At least. Talking about moleskines. Yes. The legendary notebooks. The ones used by European artists and writers. I actually do have three: one for my job, one for private stuff, and one for quick traveling notes. And now, the new MoleskineCity notebooks are on the shelves. Milan. London. Rome. Paris. Barcelona. And many others. 

Also, brand new blogs have been opened by Modo&Modo, the italian brand producing Moleskines. This is the Milan blog, for instance. Paris, Rome, London are already live. Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam will be live soon.

The first guide you write yourself. I bouthgt already my Milan moleskincity notebook last weekend. And I see this as another great marketing idea coming from the Modo&Modo/Moleskine team.

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