Thought Bubble

Vint Cerf, PR and The ‘Net’s Blank Slate

October 28, 2010, 9:12pm posted by Anne Green

There’s no disputing that innovations in technology, and specifically those surrounding the Internet, have driven seismic shifts in the business of public relations. So who better to address the 2010 Member Dinner of the Council of Public Relations Firms than Vinton (Vint) Cerf, popularly known as one of the ‘fathers’ of the Internet

Cerf, who co-designed the TCP/IP protocols used to develop the underlying architecture of the Internet (distinct from Tim Berners-Lee, credited with inventing the World Wide Web), is currently known for his role at Google as VP and Chief Internet Evangelist. In a discussion moderated by former Los Angeles Times editor and trustee at the Newseum, Shelby Coffee III, Cerf covered a lot of ground, to say the least. PR agency executives in attendance heard a brief history lesson of how the ‘net as we know it came to be, why packets are metaphorically akin to postcards and even work Cerf is tackling to help NASA establish an interplanetary network to support real-time communications between far-flung equipment and space missions.

Heady stuff, this.  But a few points stood out to me as both a member of the public relations industry and a citizen of this specific moment in time (it’s Google’s world after all, we just live in it…). 

EPA Designs Fuel Consumer Confusion

October 21, 2010, 8:55pm posted by

On August 30, 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) jointly proposed two new fuel economy label designs – labels consumers see on the window of every new vehicle in dealer showrooms. The goal is to help consumers make the best economic and environmental decisions when buying a new car, ultimately increasing the number of fuel-efficient vehicles on the road. With the release of the new designs, the DOT and EPA provided a 60-day public comment period to encourage honest feedback from consumers.

With the intent of exploring which of the two proposed labels would be most understandable to the average American, CooperKatz client Siegel+Gale, a global strategic branding firm, commissioned a nationally-projectable survey in late September. The survey found both labels to be confusing. Overall, 66 percent of respondents rejected the version that emphasized a prominent letter grade (the vertical label) and favored the one that focused on miles per gallon (the horizontal label). Yet while consumers preferred the horizontal label, 38 percent found some aspect of the design confusing as well.

Gauging Real Estate Affordability in America

October 14, 2010, 7:48pm posted by

Real estate trends and prices continue to dominate news headlines, as debates on just where the housing market may be headed rage on. In a move to add further insight (and in many cases, balance) to the conversation, CooperKatz client Coldwell Banker Real Estate debuted a new measure of affordability in the U.S. housing market in late September. The Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report is a snapshot survey of four-bedroom, two-bathroom home listings on coldwellbanker.com between February and August 2010 in nearly 300 U.S. markets and select Canadian markets where Coldwell Banker has a presence.

Supporting “Less-Adoptable” Pets

October 04, 2010, 9:23pm posted by

As a culture we talk a lot about striving toward equality by reducing discrimination and prejudice within our society. But when it comes to pets, those loveable creatures whom many of us consider to be members of our own families, we do not always apply the same principles.

Petfinder.com, the largest online database of adoptable pets, points out that all too often people will visit an animal shelter in search of a puppy, kitten, or other animal that is a preferred breed or color; nearly always bypassing those animals that are older, darker in coloring or that have special needs. These pets are deemed “less-adoptable” not because they wouldn’t make great additions to a family or would love you any less, but because they have certain physical features that make them less desirable. 

Thought Bubble is a space for members of the CooperKatz team to share whatever comes to mind - from news about our company and clients, to insights on the constant evolution of the marketing communications landscape.

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