Insights & News

A Little Good In A Difficult Week: BRG’s Friday Roundup, April 19, 2013

From the tragedy in Boston, the fertilizer plant explosion, tornados in the Midwest and South, to today’s manhunt, this has been a hard week for most Americans. Today we want to try to bring some happy to light by sharing some of the most positive and interesting public relations and social media news from the week. This week we went a little over our usual five items.

Google Launches “One Today” Application for Android

This week Google released a new Andriod application (not available on iPhones) called One Today that connects nonprofits with people who want to make a difference. The application introduces one new nonprofit to each user per day. Application users have the option to donate $1 to that nonprofit. Over time, Google learns from user interactions to locate more personalized nonprofits that match user interests.

When you think about the difference we could all make if we spent just $1 a day, it’s pretty powerful.


This week BRG’s CEO, Jane Barwis, attended TEDMED at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. She’s going to share more about the experience here on BRG Living next week, but we loved this nugget:

Health is much more than delaying death, that is why focus on wellness is so important.” Christopher J.L. Murray, IHME

Dove Real Beauty Sketches

Dove’s newly released video this week showcases an FBI sketch artist, who sketched women, without being able to see them, based on their own descriptions of themselves. He then sketched the same women based on descriptions provided another person. The two sketches end up being astonishingly different. See the video for yourself:

This is a great example about how our subconscious perception of ourselves has an impact on our behavioral patterns and wellness. Imagine the positive changes that would be possible if we were all able to see our true physical selves.

Twitter Keyword Targeting

This week Twitter also announced keyword targeting in timelines. This new targeting enables Twitter advertisers to target people based on keywords in recent tweets and recent conversations.

This could be a really useful tool for brands with an advertising element within their public relations, social media or digital campaigns.

Twitter #Music

This week Twitter launched #music, a music discovery tool that works as a layer on top of Twitter. To play full tracks, users need to connect their Spotify or Rdio accounts. Twitter pulls shorter clips from iTunes that everyone can listen to.

So why Twitter #music? According to Mashable:

In a word, advertising. Twitter hopes that Music will get people to stay longer on the platform and to get users to reveal more about themselves for better targeting.

Learn more about Twitter #music in Twitter’s blog post: here.

LinkedIn Revamped Its iPhone Mobile Application

This week LinkedIn revamped their mobile application to focus more on stories and engagement. They have also added some personalization elements so each user can use the application in the most personal way. While it is much easier to use, it still does not enable brands to post status updates from mobile.

Kmart Wants You To Ship Your Pants

Late last week Kmart released a clever, if sophomoric, ad with the message that customers can now get free shipping on items they can’t find in their local Kmart store. This week the ad went viral, and has been viewed over 13 million times.

Kmart did a nice job of adding a hashtag to the ad and the YouTube description, enabling people to discuss #ShipMyPants, and pass the video along on Twitter. Ship My Pants has been mentioned nearly 35,000 times online in the last nine days. The ad will air on television next week. It is some funny stuff. See it here:

Positive Thought Of The Week

This quote that’s been making the rounds this week. It’s a good reminder that most people have good hearts, no matter how much tragedy surrounds us at a given moment.

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world. – Mr. Rogers