Monday, November 22, 2010

TSA Relents, Revises "Enhanced Pat-Down"

TSA Announces Changes to Pat-Down Procedures for Children

WASHINGTON – November 22, 2010 – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced changes to its “Enhanced Pat-down” security procedures at U.S. airports affecting children and teens flying over the busy holiday travel season. These changes are designed to reduce the trauma and apprehension some airline passengers – particularly those between the ages of 12 and 16 – as well as their parents may have about submitting to the full-body scans and enhanced pat-downs initiated earlier this year.

Many passengers, as well as organized groups of frequent fliers, have protested the invasive frisking to which passengers have been subjected since new screening guidelines were announced earlier this year. According to TSA officials, these changes are not in response to a planned Opt-Out Protest planned for the traditionally busy Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

“Our first priority, of course, is the security of our passengers,” Said John S. Pistole, administrator of the agency. “We understand that these are the air travelers of tomorrow and it’s important to make sure their experience is as pleasurable and rewarding as possible.”

According to the new guidelines, published on the TSA website, special youth screeners will be identified at each of 73 of the busiest American airports and trained specifically to perform the enhanced pat-downs on children between 10 and 16 years of age.

These specialists will be dressed in new uniforms, specially designed to identify them as “kid-friendly.”

“Obviously it can be troubling when somebody perceived as a stranger searches your private areas,” said Pistole. “We think these friendly and familiar faces will make the experience for everyone, parents included, much more pleasant.”

Any children still troubled by the experience will be given a chocolate bar or, alternately, tickets to a local sporting event.

Image Cred

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Whatever Happened to the Social Media Revolution?

After the transformational election of 2008, many so-called social media “experts” declared the old model of running a political campaign to be dead.

The mantra was that and hundreds of independently launched sites and Facebook pages proved that power had indeed gone to the people. All we needed to do was engage these audiences, motivate them to incremental action and, well WIN!

But a funny thing happened while all those SocMed consultants (myself included) were building slides and eating rubber chicken lunches and collecting those coffee-mug honoraria.

Everybody forgot.

One of the things everybody agrees is wrong with the current political system is that raising money and preparing for the next campaign is a constant and repetitive struggle.

But that’s the key.

Social media simply is not compatible with a campaign mentality. It’s just not an event: It’s a process.

Election 2010 was by all accounts the most expensive in history, at least for a mid-term. I heard one estimate of $3 Billion once all the receipts come in. But where did candidates and parties and special interests newly liberated from any reporting structure choose to spend their money? Overwhelmingly it went to traditional print, outdoor and broadcast media. Heavy on the TV.

Lessons for Marketers

With so many close races, what if just some of them set aside just SOME of that marketing budget? What if instead of spending big wads of money in the last three weeks they had invested part as they raised it over the last two years?

What if they had stayed engaged?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Live-Tweeting or Live-Blogging: A Lesson in Convergence

A story, with a lesson:

Live blogging any event that people outside would like to attend is a great way to gain followers, position your social media voice, and establish clearly how you’re using the channel. We know that.

But ignore the connections between NEW(!) media and traditional powerhouses at your own peril.

My boss at the agency was part of a panel discussion where leaders of prominent Cincinnati organizations shared their lessons and challenges on managing through the current economic … er … situation.

When I live-tweeted that Cincinnati Business Courier event last week, my purpose was to share the best tips and strategies those CEOs offered. I knew it would go farther than that, but had no idea it would become actual news.

Business Owner Insights, featured CEOs from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Bank of Kentucky, PayCor and, of course, Powers Agency. Courier Publisher Doug Bolton led the discussion on general management, finances, HR, you name it. It was very well planned and organized, and my fellow attendees told me afterward that they gained quite a bit from the discussion.

Me too, though probably not as much as some others.

You see, I live-tweeted the entire thing.


When you’re planning a social media-friendly event, consider live-blogging. But also consider who should be doing the blogging or tweeting.

Are you documenting the event or experiencing it?

You can the whole thread here.

Or just follow me here.

If you're into that sort of thing.