October 5, 2022

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Radio Roundtable: Death of the Web?, K-Mart layaway “angels,” and Facebook ads

Radio Roundtable: Death of the Web?, K-Mart layaway “angels,” and Facebook ads

This week, Doug Haslam of Voce Communications (a Porter Novelli company) joined me for the Roundtable. We discussed George Colony’s recent presentation at Le Web, the phenomenon of K-Mart “layaway angels” and Facebook’s advertising predicament.


This week’s show is 31 minutes long.

  • First, Doug and I talk about George Colony’s presentation at Le Web. Colony, who is CEO at Forrester, suggested that we are now in an “app economy” and that the web as we know it is dead. These sparked some discussion online (including on FIR, which is what led me to thinking about the issues raised), but Doug points out that much of his talk is directed at very technical types who understand the architecture arguments made by Colony. Indeed, Colony posted a follow up piece, further clarifying his intent on several points made. We also discussed Colony’s statement that we are entering a “post” social period–which, as Doug notes does not mean social has or is going away–it simply means we need to be thinking about what comes next.
  • Next, we talk about the phenomenon of the K-Mart “layaway angels.” From a media and communications perspective, it’s interesting to note that it’s highly likely the first reports of an anonymous citizen paying off others’ layaway accounts for the holidays came through Patch, AOL’s local reporting arm. The news quickly spread through social media and traditional media, and Doug notes that some of his friends have joined in paying off accounts for others. However, K-Mart has done little to highlight the generosity of shoppers, and we take turns speculating as to why, when it seems to be one of the top “feel-good” stories of a holiday season marred by reports of pepper spraying shoppers and near-riots over $2 waffle makers. It might be a tricky comms needle to thread to draw attention to the story without seeming like they are trying to capitalize on it, but we both feel it could be done. Regardless, it’s nice to see such generosity.
  • Finally, we look at Facebook’s potential advertising problem. Doug notes that we don’t really have all of the information we’d need to really compare apples-to-apples with respect to Facebook advertising versus, say, Google’s advertising such as the discussion on the Ad Contrarian’s blog post. Still, it’s worth noting that Facebook does seem to have a conundrum on its hands: advertising revenue is one way to monetize the site, but users have become accustomed to the clean look and very subtle advertising–so subtle the click-through rates seem quite low. The Ad Contrarian’s post suggests several possible ways to counter this, and we discuss the merits of a premium site for businesses or more intrusive advertising.

We’ll be off next week, and will see you in early 2012 for another edition of Media Bullseye’s Radio Roundtable. All of us at CustomScoop wish you and yours a very happy holiday season, and best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

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About The Author

Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the Director of Marketing Communications for CARMA. She is also the founder of 4L Strategies, and has worked in communications and public affairs for more than 20 years. Her background includes work in politics, government, lobbying, public affairs PR, content creation, and digital and social communications and media analysis.

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