A quick look at how Cisco is activating its employees as influencers to help with recruiting and more on LinkedIn. I was lucky enough to work with Cisco on blogs, SecondLife activation (hey, we had a cool island for CES that showed the connected home) and more. This isn't a surprising move, as the company is forward-thinking in social in the past (granted, it's been a few years). But LinkedIn and activating employees is a strategy more companies should embrace. https://buff.ly/3KAE8sg

When you're torn between smart marketing and wondering if we're selling out children. A smart move by Kraft Heinz to get Lunchables into school lunches and possibly helpful for smaller school districts giving students more options. I went to a school that had no hot lunch, so everyone brownbagged it (and had to be Kosher, so this wouldn't work anyway). When I switched to public school, it seemed like no one ate anything healthy (it seemed like a lot of fries). At least this is a somewhat healthier meal. https://buff.ly/3skXPhx

I love Wirecutter but it's interesting to think about how old it is now, the transitions it and the web itself have gone through, and how people get recommendations nowadays. Back in the day, with any consumer electronics I worked on, we had a robust (based on team-size) review program. And even going back to when I started in PR, we had influencers included in the review program (industry analysts, review sites, enthusiast sites) that predate influencer relations. But what this says to me is that those programs need to expand more to include those people that are being sought out for their insight. And while I have issues with influencer programs as reviews (how honest are the influencers being if it's paid), that is another layer in the process. https://buff.ly/44fcUhK

“When customers think of sushi, we want them to think of Kroger,” said Stuart Aitken, chief merchant and marketing officer at Kroger. It apparently worked, as Kroger (Fry's, Ralph's, etc) is the biggest sushi seller in the US. How they go there is with fresh sushi and regional tastes and testing. Now, that's not groundbreaking thinking (we all know about doing a/b testing for emails and landing pages), but it has been interesting to watch Kroger put in sushi chefs into various stores, having sit down counters and all the choices in the fridges right there. https://buff.ly/44kgBTa

If you take a step back, you can look at Threads as a real-time experiment in launching and iterating a product with features and services that people are wanting. It really has been fascinating to watch both as a consumer/user and as a PR person watching people lose their shit and wondering if they've worked in tech or at a startup. "It's Meta, they have tons of money, this should have happened immediately..." is pretty much every comment I've read about hashtags, search being better, web-based option, accessibility, and more that I'm too tired / disinterested to remember. But hey, web is coming soon (likely this week). https://buff.ly/3QQMgIW

While this seems like a low-key attempt to push the "everyone needs to be back in the office" theme that the WSJ has been on for a while, it does highlight that there are skills that can't be taught over Zoom or learned online. https://buff.ly/454xyCt

So a few good things did come out of the pandemic, like people realizing they need to wash their hands more and people learning to cover their mouths when they cough. Another good thing, less tolerance for fake or bad medical advice. Looks like critical thinking and critical reading (was I the only one that had classes in that in middle school??) are coming back, and less tolerance for snakeoil. As for those screaming freedom of speech, go learn the laws. https://buff.ly/47Afz8I

An interesting quandary for Zoom. As a company, you want remote work to be the new standard but then you go and want people back in your office 2x a week (so yes, hybrid) if they're 50 miles near an office (which, sorry, is a LONG commute). It's also a twofer. You have this message out to the public that you're bringing back people to the office (yes, just 2 days) so now you also have the internal communications challenge on selling it to the employees. And based on the article, it went over like a brick. https://buff.ly/3QvGpbT

An interesting content strategy -- deleting old articles for better search results -- that was pretty much quickly dismissed as a wrong strategy by Google to the point that they did a Tweet (X?) thread on the subject. The last quote is the main point for me (which makes it sad it was so far down): “CNET’s owner’s decisions to lay off a significant portion of its news staff, lean in on AI for articles and focus on profits from referral links already tarnished CNET’s reputation, and now they are literally erasing its legacy,” said a former CNET writer who asked to remain anonymous. “Beyond the damage to historical records, this hurts every long-term employee that Red Ventures laid off, who may be relying on their clips in job applications.” I also have a major aversion to deletion of content and find it akin to book burning, but that might just be a me thing. The written word should be valued, and just wholesale deletion of articles, blogs, etc seems wrong. https://buff.ly/47nLj0D

Watching newspapers and publications rush to give more and more away, while cutting staff and making the product less worth our time and money, this line in the Consumer Reports publisher's obit hits true. “It’s also important to recognize that Rhoda was one of the first modern-day publishers who believed that people would pay for content they considered valuable — you didn’t have to give it away, or undervalue it.” Besides having the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I've ever found, working with CR reporters and editors was always great. It was straight-forward reviews, and if the company had confidence in the product, there was no issue. And yes, I told most of them the chocolate chip cookie recipe story. There IS a lot of media to subscribe to nowadays, and it does get expensive. But so does streaming media, and at some point, it's important to support the sites and journalists you read. https://buff.ly/3s2rwnd

Sometimes serious issues need some humor. And Triumph got the WGA picket line to laugh. https://buff.ly/45eDNmL

This is an interesting take on X/Twitter. Twitter (I really can't call it X yet because it's so stupid) has always a much larger influence than it should have because the media was involved and invested in the platform. Did that cause a (questionable/bad) feedback loop? Most likely, and that caused Twitter to have a greater amount of press than was warranted. But if the new generation of journalists coming up don't feel the need to be on it, does that help accelerate its demise -- ignore the hope that it turns into a superapp, which is likely never happening. I can think of a lot of journalists that made their name on Twitter and were able to take that celebrity to Substack and new outlets. So that's the other part of the question, if it's not Twitter, where are journalists and media going to find audiences? I'd really like to hear from younger journalists (I know I'm connected to a few) and get their takes on this. https://buff.ly/3DMhGIE

What happens when a social media influencer licenses his name and the product is then less than stellar? We get lawsuits! It'll be interesting to see how this plays out in the media and online -- I give the edge to Mr. Beast with his audience but the response is pretty good. Personally, I think ghost kitchens are a circle of hell of bad food (even with established brands) but this is also a lesson in licensing and keeping control. https://buff.ly/43SDb5a

Lots of credit to Ryan Reynolds for continuing to do PSAs on colon cancer and prevention. Bigger kudos to Terry Crews for being able to stay in character post-procedure when he must have been high as a kite. This follows the Reynolds colonoscopy and the Rob McElhenney colonoscopy (or the bet between the two) but all highlights the need for checkups and the importance there. It's a PSA that reaches people in a fun way, highlights issues, and hopefully gets people in the door. It does remind me that when Katie Couric did her colonoscopy on the Today show back in 2000 and the uptick in appointments. https://buff.ly/3rSOTzE

If Trader Joe's weren't such a loved brand, you'd think this would have a bigger impact on the company or at least online with more bad buzz. And who is running manufacturing that rocks and bugs are issues to be concerned about and thus need to be recalled? Is it like a five year old that's really into rocks and bugs and is a connoisseur of mud pies/dirt cakes but the real kind... https://buff.ly/3q38nBa