Let’s get this out of the way: Pepperidge Farm is our client. We’re quite fond of them. It’s a beautiful thing working in an office where boxes of Milanos and Tim Tams literally line the hallways, I mean really – what’s not to love? Plus — they’re nice. They don’t make us cry (eh-hem.)
So we were bursting with pride and excitement to see in The Official White House Photostream that oh my goodness, President Obama snacks on Pepperidge Farm crackers. In moderation, of course, which we’ve come to expect from this disciplined and fit Commander-in-Chief. Has portion control ever been so artfully arranged, so elegant, so…commanderly??
Needless to say, the DeVries twitter critters (thx to my pal Jodi Balkan at BOLD PR for that coinage) sprang into action, tweeting and retweeting like fiends about the presidential snack (with full disclosure, don’t worry.)
For me, it came as a welcome distraction amidst gloom-and-doom pandemic news and other more mundane stresses (deadlines, neglected gym memberships, unreturned phone calls, etc.) Dare I say, I was inspired. Inspired by a White House brave enough to post behind the scenes images on Flickr. By the many new connections and colleagues I’ve discovered thanks to Twitter, and how it transforms how we do PR every single day. By the artful elegance of a plate of carrots, cheese, fruit and — yes — Pepperidge Farm crackers, a snack fit for a president and one that anyone can enjoy.
(Oh, and by the way, that’s not shilling or pimping, that’s me remembering that moderation can be a good thing and that perhaps I should rethink my afternoon iced mocha latte/peanut M&M ritual.)
It’s been a tough couple of weeks, gotta tell you. Grinding amounts of work, need an ID badge to gain entry to my home each night (6-yr old son: “Daddy, who’s the scary strange lady with bad hair and dark circles under her eyes trying to get in the door?”), unusual amounts of client insanity (kind of like in the movie “Blindness” where everyone loses their eyesight all at once? Except in our case it’s clients taking leave of their senses all at once? Asking us to do crazy things, not listening to us? Being mean? MAKING US CRY?)…
So we were in need of some happiness. Some cheer that comes in a form other than a tall red tube of Pringles. And we got it. I am very proud and beyond excited to tell you we’ve just been named “Mid-Sized Agency of the Year” by the Holmes Report which, in our little PR world, means a lot. The full report is here (registration required).
Julia Hood writes a good op-ed piece in the April 9th PRWeek (subscription required) about the impact of Twitter on blogs. As more and more power bloggers shift focus to Twitter, their blogs are transformed from content destinations into aggregations of all the other places the blogger is sharing thoughts and ideas (or micro-sharing, as the case may be).
I’m hardly a power blogger but I admit that if it weren’t for the Twitter feed streaming onto this blog, you’d be hearing lots of crickets chirping ‘cuz there’s been nary a post since March 18th. Yet I’ve never felt more active and engaged than I have since I started tweeting about a month ago. And not just the useful, job-related stuff either. The soul-satisfying stuff like exchanges with Rocco diSpirito about American Idol, or being one of Mark Goodman’s first seven followers (that’s right, as in “Original MTV VJ” Mark Goodman, you know you’re jealous), or stalking prominent mom bloggers and swapping friendly Saturday morning tweets with them about leg waxing.
So clearly I am a better person thanks to Twitter. But the blog suffers. And there is the matter of my real job — as president of a not-so-small PR agency in Manhattan — and that domestic stuff that demands quite a bit of energy and attention (wife-ly, mother-y stuff). I do not have any idea to manage it all.
And despite those who proclaim otherwise (no less a digital luminary than Steve Rubell), I don’t think Twitter has peaked, I don’t think we’re anywhere near the peak — at least not for the masses. Sure, the digital elite may already be looking for the next NEXT cool place to get their “micro” on; meanwhile, the rest of us will be wading through the Twitter stream trying to figure out how to harness its power for our clients (and trying to figure out how to get Twitter Peggy Olson to pay attention to us.)