As a former Massachusetts state government employee, I am always on the lookout for news and blog content about state agencies adopting new media technologies. So when I received a Google Alert this morning about the Mass. Office of Business Development, whose former director reported to my former boss, I took special notice.
The email blurb stated:
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Selects 451 Marketing to Promote …
Emediawire (press release) – Ferndale,WA,USA
Boston, MA (PRWEB) October 17, 2008 — The Massachusetts Office of Business Development, a division of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic …
Clicking to the website that displayed the press release, I read that MOBD awarded Boston-based 451 Marketing with an advertising contract “for branding, advertising, and promotion of Massachusetts as the preferred destination for companies looking to relocate to or within the state.”
The statement doesn’t mention the cost of the contract, but this is great news especially at a time of economic instability. But here’s a question:
In the wake of a blog post this week from Dave Atkins, a Westwood resident who lives about 30 minutes outside Boston, about an economic public-private partnership with the City of Boston to create a similar nonprofit entity and online network to grow organic connections and bring jobs to Boston, I wonder if the state contract will make the city initiative moot.
The release continues:
451 Marketing was hired to create an upcoming integrated media campaign that includes mass media (television, radio, and print), interactive marketing, tradeshow marketing, event marketing, and collateral development.
Again, it sounds great. Who is 451 Marketing, I wondered. I spied a company blurb at the bottom of the press release. Check it out:
451 Marketing – The Leader in New Media Communications – is one of the premier lead generation agencies in the country that utilizes cutting-edge communication techniques on the web. The firm’s areas of expertise include branding, public relations, SEO/PR (Search-Leveraged Public Relations), PR 2.0 (public relations through social media), advertising, and marketing. 451 Marketing’s experienced team takes a revenue-centered approach for all of their clients, developing out-of-the-box solutions that solve real business problems and broadcasting clients’ messages effectively to any audience or media outlet. 451’s experienced staff works to produce and implement unique and effective communications strategies that raise and bolster a client’s public profile, while simultaneously driving new leads and business.
I can cite numerous problems with this mission statement, but I’d like to pay particular attention to their self-description as the leader in new media communications.
Any new media firm worth its salt is on Twitter, right? That’s where the buzz is, that’s where educated people around the world are engaging on viral marketing; and communicating about companies, politics, life, and technology.
I ran two Twitter searches. My first search, for the company name, “451 Marketing,” instantly told me the company was not actively marketing, advertising, or otherwise promoting itself on Twitter which is where nearly every new media influencer hangs out, including me at @ariherzog.
You can see from the below screenshot that one person with a non-real name handle was sending messages. I looked him up and tweeted a message:
The top tweet from me to ViralMonkey was sent approximately 9 hours ago as I publish this article. I have yet to receive a response. And now the weekend begins.
I then ran a different search, wondering who’s tweeting about “new media” and communications in the same 140 characters:
Any marketer will tell you that the self-described leader in new media communications should be associating itself with these Twitter users and all of their online friends, right?
In my tweet to ViralMonkey, I referenced an RSVP for October 30. Their website indicated a free 2-hour workshop they are holding next week called Brand Bootcamp, aimed at “marketing directors and CEOs…to promote your brand…” I signed up.
Now I wait to see if anyone from the company is also running a Google Alert, sees my blog with the multiple references to their company; and posts a comment below and wants to chat.
My passion for this article stems from my former work experience at the agency that awarded the contract. If it was any other agency, I probably would bat my eye less. What about you?
What do you think about what I outlined above? Am I being too harsh?
UPDATE: Out of curiosity, within an hour of writing the above, I ran some Google searches on the company and different keywords, and not only do I see this blog post appear above the fold, but check out a comment in response to Steve Rubel about using Twitter: