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Archive for June, 2011

Long week results in a lot of Shameless PR

June 18th, 2011 by David Ruth

Yes, I know, selfish and shameless PR is not popular, but that’s what you’re getting from me on the heels of six baseball games in three days and a week’s trip to the beautiful campus of Michigan State University … GO SPARTANS! The first-night’s dinner at MSU included an off-the-record conversation with Men’s Head Basketball Coach Tom Izzo. If I were to repeat what he said about the NCAA, neither of us might not work in higher education again. Seriously, he gave us a lot of time and candid thoughts about how administration, athletics and the media need to fix our game. GREAT speaker.

Tom Izzo

Tom Izzo goes off the record with Big Ten Plus communicators

There is a lot to talk about, but I’m most proud that my community-based online forum on Facebook has hit 4,500 fans or “Likes.” Not bad for a suburb of 90,000 people. The www.facebook.com/PearlandTexas page was born from doing research on Facebook marketing for a news release that I was working on last year. The researcher, Utpal Dholakia, at the time sent me his latest data on whether or not it’s worth it for businesses to market via Facebook. Because I was curious and wanted to learn more, I started a page for Pearland, Texas, last year.

This week, I worked with Dholakia to promote his research on daily deal sites — his third and most exhaustive. Dholakia’s work is the most current and most cited by media and business. Check out the full release here.

But here it is in a nutshell:

Forecast: Tough times ahead for daily deal sites

Daily deal sites: get while getting is good

Over the next few years, it is likely that daily deal sites will have to settle for lower shares of revenues from businesses compared with their current levels, and it will be harder and more expensive for them to find viable candidates to fill their pipelines of daily deals, according to Rice University Associate Professor of Management Utpal Dholakia. In his third study – the most exhaustive study done to date on the daily deals industry – Dholakia found that there is very little difference between companies in the ever-expanding competition for consumer dollars, and it will be difficult for any one site to stand out from the others.

Key findings:

  • 21.7 percent of deal buyers never redeem the vouchers they’ve already paid for.
  • 55.5 percent of businesses reported making money, 26.6 percent lost money and 17.9 percent broke even on their promotions.
  • Although close to 80 percent of deal users were new customers, significantly fewer users spent beyond the deal’s value or returned to purchase at full price.
  • 48.1 percent of businesses indicated they would run another daily deal promotion, 19.8 percent said they would not and 32.1 percent said they were uncertain.

Media citations included:

Half of all daily deals don’t increase profits or sales

Is Groupon a savior or a destroyer?

Groupon hug from small businesses? Not so much
The Register (U.K.)

A new way to beat deal fatigue

Study offers grim news on deal sites like Groupon

Why the numbers are stacked against daily deal sites

Not to be undone, this week I had the opportunity to work with my pals at my former employer, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Texas-San Antonio on a study that said …

Study shows that flashy spending may work for the short term but not for marriage.

Yes, it got a lot of attention also. To read the full release, go here.

Does driving a Porsche make a man more desirable to women?

Does driving a Porsche make a man more desirable to women?

In a nutshell:
New research by faculty at Rice University, the University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) and the University of Minnesota finds that men’s conspicuous spending is driven by the desire to have uncommitted romantic flings. And, gentlemen, women can see right through it.

The series of studies, “Peacocks, Porsches and Thorstein Veblen: Conspicuous Consumption as a Sexual Signaling System,” was conducted with nearly 1,000 test subjects and published recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Media citations included:

FoxNews.com (This article also appeared on MyFoxHouston.com, MyFoxTwinCities.com [Minn.], MyFoxTampaBay.com [Fla.], MyFoxBoston.com, MyFoxOrlando.com [Fla.], MyFoxPhoenix.com, MyFoxPhilly.com [Philadelphia], MyFoxNewYork.com, MyFoxDFW.com [Dallas], MyFoxDetroit.com, MyFoxDC.com [Washington, D.C.], MyFoxChicago.com, MyFoxMemphis.com [Tenn.] and MyFoxLA.com [Los Angeles].)

Flashy sports cars are male ‘short-term mating signal’
BBC.co.uk (This article also appeared in the Ghana News.)

Fox News Channel VIDEO ‘Happening Now’ (This story also appeared on Fox Business Network.)

Men who buy the bling apparently do it for a fling
Houston Chronicle

Does he want a one-night stand or something more?

Big spenders attract flings, but not marriage

Science links Porsches and peacocks
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Lastly, we were busy this week interviewing for a replacement left void when one of media relations’ team members took a job at a PR firm in Washington, D.C. I’m hoping that we hire someone new by the end of next week.

We’re also welcoming Brandon Martin, a videographer from KRPC-TV (NBC HOUSTON), to my team on Monday. Brandon will be charged with SHOWING the world what Rice has to offer. I can already tell that he’s going to be a great addition to the team — he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. I met his beautiful baby girl yesterday. Brandon is married to a local reporter at the Fox affiliate here to boot.

Here’s hoping for a more sane week, but from what I know is ahead, I don’t think it’s going to happen!

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about Pearland, Texas, this week, I found two great folks who will be helping to populate the Twitter feed of the site at @FM518. Check it out!