Good Morning Execs,

so we're the laughing stock of the World
Economic Forum, where American CEOs
preached American style business standards
and accounting. between Enron, Kmart,
Global Crossing, Anderson, and Tyco,
we have seriously affected our ability to
make fun of other countries. but look on
the bright side, at least they can't blame
their screw ups on the dot-com bubble.
i know i was getting tired of hearing that
it was the internet's fault all the time. anyway,
short issue today. enjoy.

1. PUBLICRELATIONS: do it yourself pr.
2. ADSALES: strategies based on content.
3. BRANDEXTENSIONS: GQ Lounge example.
4. MANAGEMENT: when everything goes wrong.
5. ROUNDTABLE: gripes about the news.
6. NINEONEONE: FEMA, who got the money?
7. THEWEEK: Enron. nothing else.

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1. PR: how do you gauge your screw ups?
by how many communities spring up devoted
to your screw up. Nazis have 'em. Osama
has 'em. and last week i listed a few for
Enron. well, this week, one of my iMarketers
found EnronOwnsTheGOP.com and it was
later published in the NYTimes. We didn't
get the credit for it, but we did find out before
it got discovered by the media. the site
is hysterical & supported by Democrats. haha.
but what if this site were about your company?
would it still be funny?

BOTTOM LINE: understandably, there isn't
very much one can do about every negative
thing about your company out there. Wal-Mart
has had Wal-Mart-bashing websites for
years. but by knowing about them, you can
have counter strategies and deal with them
in the best way. online, anyone can say evil
things about you. but you don't need expensive
pr firms to manage it. the first thing you need to
do is do a search for your company's name
online & see what comes up. if there is a negative
article or site about you, contact the webmaster
and ask what the problem is. see if you can fix it.
if you can't, join his/her community like a regular
member and use their community tools to sway
his/her audience's opinion in your favor. and
never worry, because as long as you interact
with your customers, they will eventually ap-
preciate you.

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2. ADSALES: sports is huge. because of it's appeal
to everyone, advertisers pay extra for the privilege
of reaching loyal and focused consumers. based
on it's success, ESPN has been robbing TV opera-
tors when they pay for ESPN content, a staple view-
ers expect in many markets. however, as of next
season, all basketball games will be on ESPN, so
where else you gonna go? that's right, NBC lost
it's bid to ESPN to air b-ball. and after this Olympic
season finishes, they have to wait another 2 years
to air some kind of major sporting event again.
sure they have golf and tennis, but the big question
is, "As NBC presents what feels like a 24-hour
nonstop rotisserie of coverage from Salt Lake City,"
"Are the Winter Games, with their steady diet of
figure skating, skiing and ice hockey, appealing to
[the general sports viewing population, or,]
people of color?"

BOTTOM LINE: it's obvious, you can't please
everyone, but when your business depends on
aggregating an audience for advertisers (and what
media company isn't in that business), you have to
make sure you're focused and have a content
strategy that is going to keep consumers and
advertisers coming back. what NBC forgot here
is that content is what keeps people coming back,
not their brand name. it's interesting how they
were willing to pay $132 million for one more
season of "Friends" ($1MM per 'Friend' per
episode for 22 episodes), but couldn't come up
with the cash to top ESPN, an upstart compared
to NBCs 75 years of experience. well, it's clear
that NBC doesn't want sports in their mix to keep
their trendy, young viewers happy, but their biggest
problem is that their money maker shows are
getting less profitable and stale as time passes.
plan ahead with your content strategy. always
innovate with new content. and don't try to please
everyone, because it's always the 20% of your
customers that make you 80% of your income.


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3. BRANDEXTENSIONS: "Cond Nast Publications
is 'opening' a lounge next week on behalf of GQ,
its monthly men's lifestyle magazine, according to
the New York Times. The Sunset Room in Holly-
wood will be renamed for almost a month as the
GQ Lounge, redecorated to reflect the tone of the
magazine and, not incidentally, promote products
sold by 22 GQ advertisers" that have committed
to placing ads in the magazine for the rest of the year.

BOTTOM LINE: you're never to proud, old, new,
broke, or successful to innovate. by making their
brand a destination, GQ (and you) can connect
with consumers in a way that builds loyalty and
gives new customers an opportunity to experience
the brand. in addition, innovations like these also
offer your best advertisers a new platform on which
to reach consumers that they know are interested
in a very specific thing (like your content), allowing
them to customize their message for optimal affect.


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highlighted PayPal's success, but should Citibank's
c2it money transfer service was given more support,
it would easily demolish PayPal. this assumption was
based on a report indicating that although c2it isn't as
widely used as PayPal's, it was half as trusted, indicating
that Citibank's brand name carried plenty of ammo for
growth in this sector. well, last week, several states
began notifying PayPal that they may be operating as
a bank and that they may need a license in respective
states to continue to do business. all this while defending
a patent infringement lawsuit from a rival (remember
how we've noticed suing your competitor as the new
way of staying in business these days) and going public.

BOTTOM LINE: it's pretty near impossible to foresee
every circumstance, especially when you're starting a
business based on a new idea. by the end of their ordeal,
i'm sure PayPal will have damn good legal and finance
departments triple checking everything, but how can
anyone prepare? my suggestion would be to first know
your competitors. make sure you understand their tech
as well as your own. check for patents. if there's no
way for you to have known about a competitor, a check
for patents will have revealed it. next, know your markets.
understand the legal and political hurdles to doing your
business there. this is a basic truth about doing business
internationally taught in every business class. well, it
applies in your own home, too. and third, before trouble
strikes, familiarize yourself with law firms and accountants
that are good for you and understand your industry. hiring
one when you're desperate will usually end up costing
you more than it should in fees and lack of experience.


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5. ROUNDTABLE: news media are considered gate-
keepers. they discover info & report it, frequently
with their own opinions attached to it in the form
of adjectives used to describe the story. for years,
reporting has been dumbed down and shortened
due to lack of attention span, dwindling viewer and
readership, and graying population. no surprise,
tho, since there are also lots of ways to get your
news. but when newspapers sensationalize every-
thing, (nydailynews "Run For Your Life", can't trust
nyc streets after last week's hit-and-run), magazines
don't offer intelligent discussion, just regurgitated and
recycled news without challenging viewpoints, or
giving you insight into anything, (Business 2.0 has
been dishing out some serious b.s. about topics in
branding, management, and marketing that sound
like they were written by college students), and
online content publishers just repurchase each
other's content so frequently that it's likely for you
to run across the same story like 6 times in different
publications, how can you consider news media
gatekeepers and arbiters of opinions any more?
well, that's why i do what i do. i read it all and
publish it here. you take what you want and come
up with your own thoughts on the matter. if you
don't agree, great, that means you're thinking, and
that means you understand that news isn't just to
tell you stuff, but to give ideas.

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6. NINEONEONE: FEMA, who got the
money? i really don't know. do you?
please share your thoughts. i hear reports
about food and supplies sitting in storage
for months, money being misused, and
funds cropping up all over the place to get
a piece of the pie. but how has this emergency
task force divvied up the money?

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7. THEWEEK: the after affects of Enron's collapse
are dubbed Enron-itis and every company has
become a target of the SEC, with new fines, notices,
and investigations occurring daily.

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Disclaimer: The recommendations, commentary and opinions published herein are based on public information sometimes referenced via hyperlinks. Any similarities or likeness to any ideas or commentary from any other sources not referenced is purely coincidental. al berrios & co. cannot control any results occurring from advice obtained from this publication nor any opinion(s) conveyed by any reader of this publication.

(c) 2001-2005. All Rights Reserved. al berrios & company, inc. Published by al berrios & co. This Report may not be reproduced or redistributed in any form without written permission from al berrios & co., subject to penalty.


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