Our all-star intern Mike Knetemann recently had an article published in Portraits, the official magazine of Saint Anselm College. Learn about Mike’s experience in his own words:

"The opportunity to interview Brendan O’Brien for Portraits was more than I could have asked for. Hearing his stories about riding alongside the American Ambassador to Afghanistan in armored cars, planning press conferences and events for President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton all while organizing and running in marathons for charity was inspiring and helped to show me how versatile an English degree can be. While finding a time for the interview was challenging considering how busy Brendan is, it was all worth it once we were finally able to speak and I was able to hear his accounts of walking through the markets in Kabul and travelling throughout the world."
Mike Knetemann ‘11Saint Anselm CollegeEnglish Major

Our all-star intern Mike Knetemann recently had an article published in Portraits, the official magazine of Saint Anselm College. Learn about Mike’s experience in his own words:

"The opportunity to interview Brendan O’Brien for Portraits was more than I could have asked for. Hearing his stories about riding alongside the American Ambassador to Afghanistan in armored cars, planning press conferences and events for President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton all while organizing and running in marathons for charity was inspiring and helped to show me how versatile an English degree can be. While finding a time for the interview was challenging considering how busy Brendan is, it was all worth it once we were finally able to speak and I was able to hear his accounts of walking through the markets in Kabul and travelling throughout the world."

Mike Knetemann ‘11
Saint Anselm College
English Major

Great advertising needs no explanation.

Groupon’s response to the negative publicity is foolish spin that tries to explain the ad’s motive, but just further insults us by claiming that we didn’t “get it”.   If you have to post an explanation of your ad, and try to convince us that it is actually brilliant irony designed to actually help the causes you are trivializing, then you produced a bad ad.  

We understand that the first rule of advertising is to get noticed.   If you don’t get attention, then it doesn’t matter what your ad says.   It’s a tree falling in a forest.  But you are airing in the Super Bowl – so you have already addressed the issue of getting attention.  There is great benefit, but also great risk to advertising in the Super Bowl, especially when you roll out a clunker.

 

There is no grander scale for advertising than the Super Bowl because of sheer reach (duh).  Budweiser takes out Super Bowl ads to reinforce the image that they are “beer guys that make cheeky commercials.” Chrysler is a longstanding brand that wanted to tell the world that they’re back on the map with a hot new car with an edgy pitchman (Eminem - a choice that can be debated - but seemed to have paid off).  BMW is a well-established brand that used their spot to introduce advanced-diesel. Despite how popular Groupon thought they were going into the game, we would argue that many viewers weren’t entirely familiar with the company to begin with. Others likely had never heard of it. Groupon was successfully offended the audience that they were trying to reach out to.


We appreciate advertising that tries to be edgy as a way to get attention, and generate earned media buzz and water cooler discussion.   The biggest problem is – being edgy is tricky – and can easily wade into the waters of being offensive.   No amount of blogging after the fact is going to make people feel any better about the ads or Groupon as a company.  

 

Putting out edgy advertising that reasonable people might judge as offensive needs to done very carefully, by a well-established advertiser that has brand equity.   Groupon does not have broad awareness or a reservoir of goodwill.   Coming out of the box on an international scale with these ads was a mistake.   You only have one chance to make a first impression.

Quick Riff on Newsweek-Daily Beast Merger

Newsweek (and other weeklies) are losing money because they are not meeting their customers’ needs/demands. They are stuck in a “weekly magazine” model – and are now trying to regain some relevance with this venture.

Consumers of content today don’t want to wait a week – much less more than an hour – for content. It’s not that younger consumers today don’t want to read – they just want to read on their laptop and smart-phones – on their own schedules. Media outlets that learn to deliver their content on these terms will succeed. Those who don’t, will fail.

Yahoo / Bing / Google Search windows are our new Table of Contents.

Tax relief. Good jobs. Great shopping.

Chelsea Property Group, a division of Simon, is the world’s largest developer of Premium Outlet centers. Chelsea turned to us to help it gain support at the polls for a zoning change that would allow Chelsea to proceed with a 550,000 square foot premium outlet center in Merrimack, NH.

We first developed a community relations campaign to place the zoning amendment on the ballot and then executed a successful referendum campaign to approve the zoning change at Town Meeting. We continued to provide strategic counsel and media relations through successful litigation that nullified a protest petition.

For almost four years, we provided Chelsea with a full array of strategic consulting and campaign services including: drafting key messaging, building and maintaining a dynamic project website (www.outletsyes.com), providing 24/7 media relations, producing print and radio ads, campaign signs, and direct mail pieces, executing a grassroots petition campaign that resulted in more than 1,000 signatures from supporters and a victory at the polls and advising Chelsea through its permit review process.

On September 22, 2010 Chelsea officially broke ground on a project that will generate more than 1,000 new jobs and deliver over 5 million visitors to southern New Hampshire each year. Premium Outlets executive vice president joked, “Your wives and daughters will be very happy.” We are happy about the shopping too – and proud to have played a part in such a momentous project.

From dilapidated mill town to world-class four-season resort village

How Montagne supported the culmination of a remarkable twenty-year transformation of Meredith

On the weekend of May 21-22, 2004, Church Landing in Meredith, NH celebrated its Grand Opening, unveiling a spectacular new 58-room inn situated on one of Lake Winnipesaukee’s most majestic points. In addition to introducing the fourth inn of the Inns at Mill Falls family, the opening of Church Landing represented the culmination of a remarkable twenty-year transformation of Meredith—from a once dilapidated mill town to the world-class four-season resort village that it is today.

At the heart of that transformation was the newest development: Church Landing at Mill Falls. The new inn offers 58 luxury rooms and suites, a 300-seat lake front event center, a luxurious full-service spa and deluxe health club, an indoor/outdoor pool, and a 200-seat Adirondack style-lakeview restaurant and lounge.

The principals of Montagne were hired to develop a public relations campaign for the development that generated pre-opening buzz and excitement with the media and the community. The public relations efforts began during the construction phase and highlighted the major construction milestones such as promoting the unique, environmentally friendly features used in construction, like the IPE decking from Brazil which was ideal for use by the lake since it didn’t need to be pressure treated with chemicals or pesticides. Our campaign culminated in the full implementation of all grand opening festivities, including the coordination and execution of a major press conference.

New Hampshire Governor Craig Benson joined Hampshire Hospitality Holdings President Rusty McLear and several state, regional, and local officials at the event held at Church Landing to celebrate the grand opening. In addition to Governor Benson, District 1 Executive Councilor Raymond Burton, NH Division of Travel and Tourism Director Laurie Klefos, NH Department of Transportation Commissioner Carol Murray and several Meredith Town officials and community leaders were on hand to officially open the doors to Church Landing.

We were able to garner a significant amount of media coverage of the event and Church Landing including major feature stories in the Boston Herald, the Union Leader, the Sunday Monitor, Foster’s Sunday Citizen, and Travel New England. In addition, during the week of June 7, 2004, WMUR-TV–NH Chronicle was broadcast from a different location at Church Landing each night, via pre-taped segments with Tom Griffith and Tiffany Eddy. In addition, a full-length feature story on Church Landing was produced and broadcast on the June 8 program.

You’re Going to Love it Here! - Spreading the love for New Hampshire
Since the early Fall of 2008, Montagne has been the public relations agency of record for the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development.   By building on key relationships with the media, pro-actively pitching stories on our targeted niche markets, leveraging our collaborations with industry partners, Montagne has helped NH Tourism garner tremendous publicity,  securing placement of stories in hundreds of media outlets - near and far.  For fiscal year 2009, we assisted NH Tourism in generating earned media value of $159.4 million, and circulation of 586.4 million.
We developed a comprehensive social media strategy across multiple channels for NH Tourism and continue to monitor, manage and provide ongoing support for their social media initiatives, most notably, Facebook and Twitter. Capitalizing on new and social media has allowed us to expand the NH Tourism brand, reach new audiences, contribute to the discussion occurring online and drive greater visibility.
We’re spreading the love for New Hampshire, one pitch, tweet and post at a time.

You’re Going to Love it Here! - Spreading the love for New Hampshire

Since the early Fall of 2008, Montagne has been the public relations agency of record for the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development.   By building on key relationships with the media, pro-actively pitching stories on our targeted niche markets, leveraging our collaborations with industry partners, Montagne has helped NH Tourism garner tremendous publicity,  securing placement of stories in hundreds of media outlets - near and far.  For fiscal year 2009, we assisted NH Tourism in generating earned media value of $159.4 million, and circulation of 586.4 million.

We developed a comprehensive social media strategy across multiple channels for NH Tourism and continue to monitor, manage and provide ongoing support for their social media initiatives, most notably, Facebook and Twitter. Capitalizing on new and social media has allowed us to expand the NH Tourism brand, reach new audiences, contribute to the discussion occurring online and drive greater visibility.

We’re spreading the love for New Hampshire, one pitch, tweet and post at a time.


We are proud to have been selected by the Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) as the public relations agency of record for New Hampshire Grand. We will provide strategic public and media relations services to support NH Grand’s efforts to increase revenues from business and leisure travelers to Coos County.
Read the full press release here.
Our team has exceptional experience in developing and executing public relations campaigns for destination locations and events; most notable is our work with the New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism. 
We will be highlighting our work for NH Travel & Tourism and other clients in the coming days and weeks.

We are proud to have been selected by the Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) as the public relations agency of record for New Hampshire Grand. We will provide strategic public and media relations services to support NH Grand’s efforts to increase revenues from business and leisure travelers to Coos County.

Read the full press release here.

Our team has exceptional experience in developing and executing public relations campaigns for destination locations and events; most notable is our work with the New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism.

We will be highlighting our work for NH Travel & Tourism and other clients in the coming days and weeks.

Grading Tiger’s Performance


After nearly 3 months of silence Tiger Woods finally addressed the world today, well sort of, in his own unique way. Here our analysis of his performance from a PR perspective:

Positive attributes

Message / Delivery

Tiger’s choices of words were strong and effective.  He took direct responsibility for his actions saying, “I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did is not acceptable. And I am the only person to blame.” This was an improvement from the broad acknowledgement of “transgressions” in his original website statement and was more direct than what others coming forward have said in similar situations.

He acknowledged that he felt “entitled.” He apologized to every key constituency he needed to – his wife, family, the public, his friends and business partners and did a fine job addressing false rumors about domestic abuse allegations and admirably defended Elin.

His best apology went to the parents who propped him up as a role model for their kids.

He showed his priorities were in order by not giving an exact date to a return to golf. It would have been less believable if he said he’d be back in a month for the Masters.

Grade: A-

Delivery

Tiger was exceptionally well prepared to deliver this message. You’ll notice that he made direct eye contact to those in the audience and those watching at most critical points of his speech:

  • I want to say to each of you, simply, and directly, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior I engaged in.
  • When speaking about coming to terms with his actions with his wife: “what we say to each other will remain between the two of us.”
  • “I have let down my fans”
  • “For all that I have done (pause) I am so sorry”

He looked contrite with watery eyes and occasional pauses.

Grade: A-

Criticisms

Setting & Production

With two camera feeds, no press or questions it was clear that this was going to be a controlled event. But even for Tiger, this was over-handled.

The entire setting can be captured in one word – uncomfortable. It was uncomfortable looking at the people in that room and it was clear that not one person in that room wanted to be there.  The podium and blue curtain seemed odd as well.

And if you are going to package an event and restrict media access you CANNOT LOSE THE FEED ON CAMERA #1. Tiger likely practiced the speech 100 times and was trained to look directly into the camera at key moments – and we missed many of them – like when he demanded the paparazzi to leave his wife and kids alone. There is simply no excuse for losing that feed – the high school AV Club could have got that right.

The embraces at the end seemed even more uncomfortable and although that would normally be lumped into his delivery, we give him a mulligan on that one and blame it on his handlers.

Grade: F (handlers)

Overall he gets a C+.

America wants to start rooting for Tiger again. Time will tell if he’ll ever “Be like Mike. The only place to go from here is up.

Montagne is a proud supporter of Building on Hope - a volunteer organization formed in December 2009 that works in partnership with builders, architects and designers to provide physical improvements to facilities that support non-profits in our community. BOH is making $150,000 worth of improvements to the White House Intensive Residential Treatment Facility -  a home run by Easter Seals NH for troubled young boys in Manchester.

E.J. was on the air with Angela Anderson from WGIRAM speaking about the project and The Pepsi Refresh Project. BOH is competing for a $5,000 grant from Pepsi Refresh. Listen to learn how you can help bring some much needed funds home to NH.

Fan up to BOH’s Facebook Page as well.

Montagne’s own E.J. Powers was named one of New Hampshire’s best and brightest under the age of forty in the New Hampshire Union Leader’s annual 40 Under Forty Awards. E.J. joins company president Scott Tranchemontagne who was named to the list in 2006.

Montagne’s own E.J. Powers was named one of New Hampshire’s best and brightest under the age of forty in the New Hampshire Union Leader’s annual 40 Under Forty Awards. E.J. joins company president Scott Tranchemontagne who was named to the list in 2006.

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