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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

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Professional wrestlers are interacting with fans more than ever thanks to social media.
Professional wrestlers are interacting with fans more than ever thanks to social media.

David Herro talks professional wrestling beyond the ropes

For David Herro, there is more to the wide world of wrestling than what happens inside the ropes.

If you listen to him on 540 ESPN on Monday nights with Dameon Nelson, watch him on his Web site, or follow him on Twitter @DavidHerro, you'll know how much he enjoys his sports entertainment.

"Milwaukee loves wrestling," Herro said a few days after taking in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) shows in Milwaukee and Green Bay a couple of weeks ago. "Our audience (for the radio show) is about fifty-fifty with local listeners and international on the Web. In Milwaukee they remember the Crusher and Baron Von Raschke."

These days he's talking more about Wrestlemania and matches between the likes of the Edge and Alberto Del Rio.

Image plays a huge role in professional wrestling, from the days of early television to the entertainment empire Vince McMahon created with the WWE. And these days, through social media, the ability to communicate with the fan base is more amped up than it ever has been.

"With Twitter and Facebook there is more access to the fans than there ever has been," said Herro, "The reach is really all over the world."

Herro said, that through his involvement in putting on local wrestling events and interacting with the wrestlers, he's found that 99 percent of the people involved are really nice and it is more like a true community. He's developed deep relationships and with the use of Twitter that community has grown.

When I interviewed Herro, I brought up a time when wrestling was huge on television and people like me would have debates with die-hard fans if the sport was "real." Between then and now, that focus had changed and so did the marketing strategy.

"Wrestling in 2011 vs. 1997, the attitude has changed. The push from the nicknames went back to the wrestler's regular names. There was The Rock, but there was also Stone Cold Steve Austin and then John Cena," said Herro, "It goes back to when McMahon had to change the name."

Herro was talk…

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Does this sign make sense to you?
Does this sign make sense to you? (Photo: Caffeinated Politics)

Signs of the times

Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs.

There have been a number of protests and mass get-togethers lately, including demonstrations in Madison on state budget issues.

No matter what side of the debate you are on, I think we can all agree on these:

  • When making a sign, spelling counts
  • Use big letters
  • Don't use too many words. In signs, less is more
  • Think about color and use ones that will get noticed
  • Lastly, is it easy to read?

In democratic society, we value opinions. But all of us hate ugly signs.

Kenneth Cole's Twitter misstep

Insensitive.

That's putting it nicely to be honest.

I reacted on social media with a world-wide shout out of boycott to the worst post I've ever seen.

I'm following up with it here as well, and I'll offer some social science and marketing reason behind my response.

On Thursday, the people at Kenneth Cole offered a tweet on Twitter. It read:

@KennethCole
Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at http://bit.ly/KCairo -KC

Now I may not wear the latest fashions, or even pretend to know what handbag to use as the perfect accessory for my puffy vest. But I do know that one should never use instances where people's lives and well-being are on the line to help promote one's products.

It's tacky, it's cheap. It's just plain wrong.

I watched video of people getting pelted by rocks in Egypt. I read accounts of my brother and sister journalists having their equipment taken away when they were trying to cover the incidents in Cairo.

How dare you Kenneth Cole?

In response on Twitter and Facebook, they offered an apology. See it here.

OK, when dealing in advertising, and a best practice in social media, is having borrowed relevance. It is smart, in the big picture of things, to put yourself, your service or your product and attach it with what's going on. That's why Suave signed the Green Bay Packers' Clay Matthews to an endorsement deal. The timing of the Super Bowl and his long-flowing locks works.

Borrowed relevance is why companies sponsor the Olympics or support a high school theater production. On large and small scales, it associates a brand and image with something else people care about.

With news and events, it gets a bit tricky. Brand image has to work with the item it is borrowing relevance from in some way, even if they aren't directly related -- like a hardware store giving you a free Brewers calendar, or a bank sponsoring an animal at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

But a clothing catalog with a…

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