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Friday Five 7/8-7/12

Happy Friday! Lots going on this week in PR, marketing, and tech. Check out some of the highlights:

Retailers Knock Down Walls Between In-Store and Digital – Digiday

Retailers have long been aware that their customers are bringing smartphones into their stores, but now retailers are bringing more of their stores to customers phones. This article from Sociomantic via Digiday looks at brands like Sephora, Sears and Walmart and uncovers the ways they’re bridging the gap between in-store and mobile shopping. Ever want to skip that long line at checkout? With your smartphone, Sears is letting you check yourself out!

Make Your Team More Collaborative: Just Move the Furniture – Inc.

At Walker Sands, we love collaboration. But maybe we’re not sitting in the ideal formation to leverage it. According to this article, the Saunder School of Business conducted a study that found participants sitting in a circle formation responded more favorably to ideas of inclusiveness, while those sitting at right angles were more responsive to ideas of individuality. Apparently what works for kindergarten classrooms also works for businesses!

This May Be the Most Vital Use of “Big Data” We’ve Ever Seen – Fast Company

In the tech industry, we’re often concerned with what “problems” technology innovations and data can solve in society. According to this article from Fast Company, this use of Big Data is possibly one of the most important ever seen. This new project, launched by DARPA and Dartmouth University, is data-mining social networks to spot patterns indicating suicidal behavior in veterans. The VA says there is one suicide every 65 minutes by veterans or active-duty personnel. Could Big Data really save these lives?

Sweet Tweets: Social media pave way for Twinkies’ Return – USA Today

The power of loyal customers is sometimes overlooked, but not by Hostess. I’m sure all you sweet-tooths out there have already heard: the Twinkies (and other delicious Hostess treats) are returning. In the words of Hostess, this is going to be “The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever.” And they’ve used their insanely loyal customers to relay the message via social media, posting pictures and videos of their “cake faces,” eagerly awaiting the delicious return.

Building the perfect email “pitchwich” – PR Daily

PR pros are always looking to build the perfect pitch, but often the structure and approach of the pitch itself is overlooked, focusing too much on content. This article breaks down the pitch in a very concise manner, making it easy and digestible (pun intended) for the media so they get the information they need, without too much fluff. Like a pitch, you can’t leave anything out of the sandwich, but you don’t want to overload it either.

Have you read any interesting articles lately? Share yours with us on Twitter @WalkerSands.