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While everyone is talking about the lines, activation issues, lack of new features, GPS, the genius of certain applications, the impact of certain applications (rightfully so), etc., a much bigger story is taking shape. Millions of people have purchased the new iPhone 3G. In fact, over the weekend alone 1 million were sold. This would leave me to believe (especially considering that our local AT&T shop is out for 7 – 21 days) that many millions more have been sold. While there is no doubt they (Nasdaq: AAPL) will exceed sales expectations and engender millions of new loyal Mac users, they are also doing a huge favor for their partners… both advertising and application. Apple has just created one of the largest advertisement delivery networks ever.

Each user of the new device, as well as the old device, will be consuming content in the most modern way … via RSS feeds and efficient open-sourced applications. I am not quite sure why it has not gotten much coverage yet, but Apple is monetizing their phone better than many websites are. This should be viewed as a very big sea change in advertising (are you watching, Google?). Monetizing Web sites is a somewhat recent invention … not only is Apple selling applications to their users, but they are selling advertising space to their partners … that is, if they are getting this revenue!?!

Having downloaded the 2.0 firmware July 10th, I’ve accessed the NYTimes application several times and only seen this Westin ad. I’m sure I’m not alone … How many people have seen this add? One million? How many iPhone 1.0 and 2.0 users are there? How many times has this application been downloaded? Luckily, I’m sure Apple will be able to tell, in this case, Westin, exactly how many people have seen their advertisement.

To many this doesn’t sound very major. It is. The one thing that advertising and marketing firms have been terrible at, as long as they’ve existed, is precision. PR has always had the expectation of precision: exactly how many papers covered the story; exactly how many people viewed the press release; exactly.

I doubt Apple is going to be providing “Opportunities to View” as the measure to their clients. They will tell Westin exactly how many people saw their ad … they could probably tell them, to a certain degree, who. Regarding precise demographics, which I’m sure AT&T and Apple have, they may be able to tell everything … one via contracts and social security numbers, the other via iTunes and other web habits.

We will see if Apple will squander this opportunity by failing the measurement test or by failing our privacy expectations … I doubt it.

What advertisements have you seen? Which applications are being advertised on/in?

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Many of the presentations I have given over the last three years have revolved around educating clients on RSS and why it’s important; why it made blogs as influential as they currently are; how it has crippled the newspaper and how the Eyeball Economy has destroyed the classified model; why blogs are important and where to view and track them; what SEO is and why you should understand it; why you should have a FaceBook profile (though I still sourly refuse). Whether the audience is awake or not at that point, I proffer the Trojan Horse: The Multimedia News Release (a.k.a. Social Media Release; New Media Release; StoryCrafter; Social Media Press Release).

This wonderful distraction is forcing our clients and the industry as a whole to consider the kinds of multimedia they can include with their announcements. This should be a proclamation, not a question: “Multimedia Can Enhance This Announcement!” This should have been a statement being made for years, not weeks and months. If Multimedia can’t enhance your announcement, should it be an announcement at all? Even dividend announcements can be enhanced with Multimedia (though maybe not emailed to bloggers, right Chris?).

For years, but prior to Mr. Foremski’s compelling coup de grâce of the press release (was this really a coup de grâce or a cold shower?), we were all content arguing about the quality of the writing in press releases. This was the original sin. Why are we deconstructing a release that’s DOA (according to many) anyway? Why separate quotes from facts?

The content that is included in the information a company is disseminating is vital to so many different people. The content can range from stock repurchasing to inventing the most authentic Social Media Press Release in the industry. Wouldn’t improving writing ability solve the submerged quandary? Some journalists like a narrative. They want to be told a story. They already knew where to copy and paste (and isn’t that what an SMPR compels them to do anyway?). Let’s give these journalists a little more credit (and assistance) than our interns.

As an Editor and as a Consultant, I have been told numerous times that a press release without media outreach can result in little pickup. The exception to this rule is with market-moving information, breaking news and compelling information on new products, new features. There is a ton of news that will get picked up in trades as well, regardless of bells and whistles: personnel announcements, licensing agreements, etc. Emerging companies and start-ups have a much harder time garnering pickup … and sometimes for them, a TechCrunch post is all they want. However, not every client is focused on blogs first. In fact, the large majority are focused on mainstream media and major online publications first (though it could be argued that TechCrunch, GigaOm, Engadget, Gizmodo, etc. aren’t looked at as ‘blogs’ anymore.).

Our consultations have to address the following quandaries from our clients:

  • How do I start a blog?
  • Which blogs do I respond to?
  • Should our CEO blog?
  • If so, will it will be worth their time? How much time?
  • What’s the value of a Social Media Release?
  • How do I prove it’s worth it before we do one?
  • What’s the value of a blog post?
  • What’s the value of a friend?
  • What’s the value of a friend’s friend?
  • How much is a web hit worth?
  • How do I leverage Twitter?
  • How do I leverage FriendFeed?

These questions all lead to one place: your team. The team is your PR team. We need to have individuals, loyal and savvy BlEdgers, that believe in what the organization is doing … beyond that, they need to have a stake and a say in what you are doing. This team is the one speaking to your analysts, your investors, your beat reporters, your clients, your prospects, your competitors.

Oh, and another thing. Forget you ever heard the phrase “Social Media Distribution.”

“What is Social Media Distribution?” I’ve heard so many clients ask this question.

The Truth is there is no such thing as “Social Media Distribution.” There is just no such thing. “Social Media Distribution” happens by itself. This is why true geeks have issues with the definitions of Social Media, let alone Social Media Distribution. SMD, if there were such a thing, is an organic result of compelling content … nothing more. As a few of us have said for years, your content must be compelling. If it is, there will be conversations. We will enable both … nothing more.

Let us all get back to the basics of being consultants to our clients … creative stakeholders that believe in what they’re doing because they do … and we believe them.

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