Month: March 2012

The Pintrest Problem

Speaking to students and professional groups on social media and marketing, Shaun Pierce of Pierce Events is often asked about one of the fastest growing social media platforms “Pinterest”

Pintrest is just two years old and already boasts about 12 million users. With a huge amount of pageviews and the ability to drive traffic to sites companies are getting in on the action.

As the popularity of Pintrest grows, so does the microscope under which it lives. There is growing concern over the social network’s terms of use. Pintrest recently revised their terms and since most of us click  “we agree to the terms of service” without actually ever reading them, we thought we take a look at the terms. The big question is who own what after it’s posted and reposted?

Pinterest does NOT own everything that is posted on the site and neither do the posters. Any basic understanding of copyright laws will tell you that posting other people’s pictures without permission could get you in legal trouble.

While none of this is intended to be legal advice, we do want to examine what one can do to reduce the risk of posting on Pintrest.

When you post something on Pinterest they do not own the content, however you do grant Pinterest broad rights to that content. The terms state, “You hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site…”

Pinterest is all about posting stuff you find on other websites. If you find content on a site, you don’t own it once it’s moved from the original site.

For consumers, the likelihood that someone will challenge your right to content is probably low. A business is different. Commercial use is less protected in disputes; and companies have more money togo after.. YES WE ARE WAVING A RED FLAG!

If a company takes an image that belongs to someone else and pins it on a virtual pinboard, it could be accused of infringing on rights and can lead to lawsuits.

If you use Pintrest for personal use, while you are technically in violation, you not be at a huge risk for someone going after you. If a business does it there is a greater risk because they are a more valuable target.

Now is the time to seriously consider your company a presence on Pinterest. To be safe you should only pin content you own or have a license to use and you are allowed to post the content on Pinterest.

Also be careful about any content that includes celebrity images or third party trademarks. If you don’t have permission you could be a target.

Although risks need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, a good rule when setting up a company Pinterest pinboard is to treat that pinboard just as you would treat a company website. If your legal department would advise you not to post something on the website, you probably shouldn’t pin it either. Yes, it not a fun answer but it beats pinning a legal bill will to your Pintrest board.

How to Ask For Donations

Most non-profit groups are great at their mission and cause. When it comes to fundraising and event planning, that can be a challenge. While often times groups are hesitant to hire a professional event planner, the result can be a significant increase in proceeds from a well run professional event.

An event that is presented in a professional manner often has a much better chance at securing greater sponsorship support. At Pierce Events we partner with non-profit groups to advise and create sponsorship opportunities.

When companies are approached for how you ask is just as important as what you ask. It can make the difference between getting a donation or not.  Here are some tips we use with clients:

Do your homework

Large companies usually have departments that work with charitable groups. Check the company website or call to make sure you’re are connecting the right person. Letter and general email often is not effective. You want to connect with a person not just a company.

Learn the rules

Each company has their own set of rules on how to apply for a donation. Some want detailed information, down to exact demographics of beneficiaries, others may ask for specific forms to be filled out. Be ready to quickly provide information if requested.

Briefly explain your cause

A request letter should clearly explain who you are, your charity, your mission and goals. Often hundreds of letters come in so don’t take more than a paragraph or two. Be specific and concise and include information on your charity’s rating if applicable

Describe your needs and goals

What do you need and why do you need it must be answered.  Make your case convince the reader why you are deserving of a donation.

Let them know how they can help

Be specific. Explain you need x amount of money which will support x amount of people through a month or year. Are you seeking in-kind donations? Products or employee volunteers? List all your needs and include these in your request.

Mind your manners

It astonishing how many people are not thanked for their time and donations. Every donation, large or small, should be acknowledged. Event the smallest donation means someone thought your cause was worthy.  A brief thank you letter is common courtesy on will greatly increase your chances of another donation in the future.

Update them

Let sponsors know how their donation was used.  be sure to mention them in your social media efforts and describe your progress to your sponsor. It lets them know their donation was not tossed into a black hole somewhere. Your letter may be posted somewhere for all to see and will remind every one of the good they and you are doing.

Even if you don’t get a donation, be aware of the impression you create. Some companies scale back donations depending on economic conditions. Always represent your cause in a positive, friendly and respectful manner. Don’t be afraid to ask again in the future even if you have been turned down.

Social Media and Events

Twenty years ago a personal brand recommendation for a product or service might have come from a friend over coffee or a beer, these days it will regularly come via Facebook or Twitter.

To have people regularly sharing content about their positive experiences with your company or product is the Utopian scenario that very few brands are capable of reaching.

Social media is at the heart of tech-savvy marketing agencies and brands.  With almost a billion users across the globe, the potential for increasing engagement with their customers and brands is huge.

So what would happen if you could let those people experiencing your brand in the real world become online brand ambassadors as they experience it?  Well now you can do just that by using RFID technology in tandem with social media.

Creating a real-world ‘share’ button

Using RFID technology, we can now empower consumers to share their experience on social media networks in real time – simply with the wave of a hand.  It’s as simple as embedding a RFID chip into a wristband, tag or promotional item.  Anything. RFID readers placed around your venue can be programmed to share status updates, images, videos, or even links to a brand’s web properties.

The idea is gaining momentum with a number of larger brands who have run pilot programs using the technology.

“The feedback from attendees was excellent, and they found it a fun way to share the experience with their Facebook friends.”

Dominic Warne, Senior Manager, RBS Sponsorship

Nokia used RFID technology at an outdoor music event to generate over a million Facebook impressions and thousands of online conversations about their brand.

There are always going to be some users willing to share their experience via a mobile device, or when they return to a computer, but the new RFID social sharing solution is enabling that organic sharing process to be possible via every single attendee at your event or brand experience.

Additional benefits include full analytics regarding the number of posts shared, impressions created, and how many people are engaging with the content and visiting your web properties as a result.

Every day companies are coming up with new creative and innovative ways to leverage RFID technology.  If you haven’t looked at putting RFID social sharing at the heart of your real-world event, then it’s about time you did. Contact Pierce Events to find out more.


“We’ve seen the benefits with a hundred people, and now we’re exploring the potential for events with thousands of attendees.”