Notes from Beauty 2.0 Meetup with PR Pro Deirdre Breckenridge

With KartMe’s coverage in Cosmo and focus on mobile clipping folders, I’ve begun learning about the beauty space.  A meetup group titled “Beauty 2.0” seemed the perfect fit. Upon arrival, it was fun to see a familiar face in Holly Chen from group sponsor MySkin.

The highlight was definitely a talk from Deirdre Breckenridge.

Here are my notes:

* Everyone now has the power to amplify your message.

* Listen and observe the conversations being had across all social networks for months before engaging.

* Emotional connections can be developed by providing useful information .  If your beauty tip on skin care for frequent travelers makes some think they’re gorgeous, they’ll feel a deep connection with you.  MichellePhan and UrbanDecay are good at this.

* Your goals should be the first thing a prospective PR firm asks about.

* The up and coming tier of bloggers should be targeted first.  They might have 1,000s of followers.

* Social media releases are different from press releases.  Give the online community something interactive that keeps the conversation going. Include graphics and video.  Look at the “social media release template” from Shift Communications. PitchEngine also has some examples.

* A social media policy helps your team know how to engage online. Might also help legally.

* Free tools to help you locate and listen.  Here is a list from Deirdre.

I look forward to reading more of Deirdre’s blog at and following her on Twitter.

To share your notes, please post or link to them in the comments.  Thanks!

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Boastful Boar’s Head Easily Delivers 50% of Daily Sodium at Lunch

Boar's Head Deception. September 2010.

Boar’s Head celebrates that they’re the first deli company to meet the New York City Department of Health’s National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI) recommended 2012 target levels for sodium in deli cold cuts and cheeses. The ad above appeared on a MetroNorth train from New York to New Haven in early September, 2010.  It makes a bold claim. So bold, that I’d expect to see a typical deli sandwich have less than 50% of my sodium for the day.  Sadly that’s not true. Boar’s Head is benefiting from not actually selling sandwiches.

Delis use 6 oz,  10 oz or sometimes even 1 pound (16 oz) of of meat per sandwich. So, when I let the deli make my sandwich, I’m getting about 50%-100% of my days sodium from just the meat. Let alone the bread, which can easily add another 10% of your daily recommended sodium.

“Maple Glazed Honey Turkey” is of my go-to deli meats . Yet, I don’t really know how that meat gets to my plate, as it doesn’t look like the turkey my mom makes on Thanksgiving.  Something happens along the way, which adds lots of salt.

Boar's Head Nutrition info

The nutrition info above is for 2 oz servings.  Yet, my sandwiches I make for myself are typically a  quarter-pound, or 4 ounces. Turns out that my conservative quarter-pound of turkey meat is giving me 36% of my salt for the day–before counting the bun.

Boars’ Head met the guidelines put out by NYC for deli meats ( NYC recommends 810mg of salt per 100 g of meat ). Yet, my complete deli lunch on a turkey sandwich can still contain 100% of my salt for the day. See how:

  • Boar’s Head Honey Maple Turkey (1/2 lb, 72% of daily sodium)
  • Arnold Kaiser Roll (1 roll, 1 serving, 11% of daily sodium)
  • Small bag of Lay’s Potato Chips (1 oz bag, 1 serving, 7% of daily sodium)
  • Can of Coke ( 12 oz can, 1 serving, 2% of daily sodium)

Unless Boar’s Head  encourages 2 oz or 4 oz servings of their meat, they should stop being so boastful.

This is a great opportunity for delis to make more money while making customers healthy. It’s simple: delis should advertise & price by portion size, using current prices for the small recommended portion size. Consider a deli menu offering 3 meat sizes, with prices relative to your current prices:

  • Healthy-size (4oz): less $0.50
  • Full-size (8oz):  plus $1.00
  • Super-size (12oz):  plus $3.00

What do you think?  Should Boar’s Head be less boastful?  Should delis standardize and charge for the amount of meat in each sandwich?

[UPDATE on 9/10:   3 oz of fresh turkey has 55g to 80g of sodium-- that's 90% less than Boar's Head's Low Sodium offerings! Put another way, Boar's Head's Low Sodium turkey has 500-1000% more sodium! So, my preferred outcome is that delis in NYC carry freshly roasted turkey that is free of the unnecessary sodium. ]

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How useless information makes great deals

Everything at is marked down from some higher price. But is that marked down price a good deal? In a Washington Post article by Michael Rosenwald, behavioral economists note that we have a tough time knowing how to value the utility we will get from most of the stuff we buy. We struggle to figure out the real “value to me” of an iPhone or movie.

Retailers like us to think the value of a deal is measured by the difference between the “original price” and the “current price”. Instead, we should look at the difference between the “value to me” and the “current price”.

Given this difficulty we have setting prices, its hard to believe a perfect exists. Or if it does exist, its based on imperfect prices.

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