Have you been Pinned?

Have you been pinned used to mean a frat boy gave you his fraternity pin while drunk and covered with Vaseline while saran wrapped to a surf board. Now it’s a question of followers and people interested in the images you’ve loaded or collected from around the web to virtual pin boards. I love evolution.

A new infographic from MDG Advertising breaks down the who, what and why of Pinterest. Any though I freely admit my initial foray into Pinterest was based on food, fashion and rescue dogs, I see the brand marketing potential of being able to reach a demographic that is 87% female and growing at exponential rates.

Pinterest is appealing because it visual, it’s fast and it works flawlessly. I can pin something and come back to it when I have time. I can build fashion boards on Polyvore and pin my own creations. I can pin pictures of the food I make. I can pin picture of my clients’ products. Manufacturers can pin pictures of their products, promotions, or preview exciting things to come.

The infographic provides convincing statistics on how Pinterest is driving traffic, creating new influencers, and working right now. It also offers some tips on how you can use Pinterest to build your brand. Enjoy it. 

Get pinning.

Kimberly Lancaster @newscaster


There is Such a Thing as a Bad Review…

Steven Stone, a veteran AV reviewer, and writer at Audiophile Review provides his experienced opinion on how to handle a product review gone awry in his post called  “There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Review” ; and though I agree with most of his points there is one area where I disagree.  Steve’s take on is there such a thing as a “good review” or “bad review”,  and that in the hands of a good PR/marketing person there is no such thing as a bad review is full appreciated, I can tell you this, there is nothing worse than a bad review. Clients go nuts over bad reviews. It’s the equivalent of someone telling you your child is ugly. They drink the Kool Aid and expect everyone else to.

So when Steve adds this excerpt to his article, I get a little ruffled because it’s where the inherent problems of product reviews lie.

Problem - The reviewer simply hates your product.

Solution - Call them an incompetent wanker in your comments. No, no, no! This will definitely NOT work. It will also make an enemy, who, at best won’t touch any of your gear ever again, and at worst may go out of his way to trash you in future reviews.

My issue with this is the reviewer’s experience is subjective. It’s based on what they like, and how they listen to music or watch movies. But it’s not like there is a certification board that has provided them with a license that says they know best, they just think they do. Product reviews are not the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, they’re not Consumer Reports. Most reviews are the opinion of one individual built on year’s of experience with equipment (although in today’s world it gets even murkier with less than credible “bloggers” reviewing products); and there is prejudice built into every single review.

Prejudice or bias in AV equipment comes in so many forms, ranging from someone liking vinyl to a preference for electrostatic speakers. It’s like liking a wine or not, I once drank a first growth Bordeaux (Margaux possibly) that smelled like cat pee and tasted like something died in the bottle. The two men I was drinking with were full of compliments, but neither my palate nor my nasal senses appreciated it. By all accounts I should have liked it, but I didn’t, and now I generally don’t like French Burgundy.

Personal preferences can be built on an initial bias or a history the reader has no knowledge of, or it can just actually be a crap product deserving a bad review. Whether the manufacturer advertises or not can have big affect, and this can be good or bad. What the backside relationship looks like, either with the manufacturer or the PR person, can alter a review. There are influences that effect every review. Steve’s assertion that because a manufacturer disagrees with the reviewer and voices that,  the reviewer then in turn could trash them in the future is the exact thing I’m talking about. And it’s the fear that haunts most manufacturers. Outside influences alter the outcome of reviews – some reviews that is.

There is no easy way to level the playing field. There is no transparency. I’ve joked for years that aging AV reviewer population should have to be submitted to eye tests and hearing tests and be forced to publish them. After 25 years of listening to speakers I think it’s fair to wonder if their hearing is where it used to be. When a video reviewer says the projector’s lines aren’t sharp or ragged, but testing points to otherwise, is it fair for the manufacturer to ask the reviewer when the last time he got his eyes check was? I think lab testing products helps to lend transparency, but better reviewer profiles  could aid as well. All reviewers should offer a list of their testing gear, and the credible ones do. But the reviewer should offer a dialogue to a manufacturer to understand if they are the best person for that product review. And the reviewer needs to understand that reviews absolutely do sell products.

A bad review can and has killed little companies in this industry. And if someone is going to have that power, shouldn’t there be a standard that the reviewers have to live up to as well?

Kimberly Lancaster

Read Steve’s article, “There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Review” , it does have some great tips.



We will miss you Mattie

I got her on tax day in 2000. She snuck into my life with her Westie ways and she stole my heart. She was twelve weeks old and she came to work with me very day. She loved everyone who ever passed through the Caster doors…with maybe the exception of one delivery man in our entire history. She inspired others at Caster to bring their dogs to work and it always gave us such a great vibe. She’s met clients, press, vendors and the occasional solicitor…and they fell head over heels for that sweet face, the soft, fluffy little body and her wonderous shake-it-off ways.

Caster will never quite be the same without her. I will hold her in my heart. I invite you to share a Mattie moment.

Mattie 1-15-11 to 11-23-11