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Next step, the world – part two March 23, 2010

Posted by BCME UK in PR, Social media.
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by Jill

So having outlined the first point to consider when constructing truly integrated campaigns, here are the final five:

1. How are you going to measure the return?
Campaign goals: they have to be SMART and also very focused. Too many or unclear goals (for the budget) can make measuring ‘moving the needle’ on any clear level near impossible. Also mixing ‘brand’ and ‘sales’ goals in an unclear way is also a classic.

Targets: measurement is an inexact science, but which ever techniques you choose if you haven’t set the targets beforehand you can’t measure against them. You’d be surprised how many campaigns don’t have clear targets set at the briefing stage.

2. How do you lead people to a call to action?
How many steps should/does it take to get people from knowing about your brand to ‘purchase’? You need to know this to know how your campaign should be structured and what tactics you should use.

3. How do you get a ‘viral effect’ online?
Often, the holy grail of online campaigns too many think good – or worse, any – content will naturally go viral. Often the ‘viral effect’ boils down to plain hard work in the right places. Don’t just rely on Facebook and Twitter to do the job. Lots of budget can help you cut this corner, but not many clients have this privilege right now.

4. Is your creative concept ‘conversational’ or ‘broadcast’?
Too many campaigns are built around old world ‘broadcast’ thinking. Making the core of your campaign truly ‘conversational’ and you are half way there. Build relationships, create content your community will value (not what you may think…) and respect.

5. Don’t dismiss the old
For example, despite the demise of print media it can still be extremely powerful. It’s the right blend that gets the right result. At the end of the day digital is a channel not an ‘either or’ alternative.

Sophisticated integrated campaigns will become de rigour for brands this year. There will be winners and losers. The winners will be those who have the expertise to know how to check and balance a campaign to get the best results. What will yours be?

Next step, the world – part one March 22, 2010

Posted by BCME UK in PR, Social media.
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by Jill

Just as most marketing and communications teams have got their heads around social media and can see below the surface spin of the many so called ‘social media experts’ or have learned that owning a Twitter account and/or Facebook page is in itself is pretty useless comes the next wave. 

Led by the brands and organisations who got ‘social media’ early come sophisticated and intelligent integrated campaigns.  A concept many smart agencies have been trying to persuade clients of the advantages of for a long while.

So for those ready to take the next step and really reap the reward of integrated campaigns six key pointers to be thinking about:

  1. Which agency should lead?

Advertising

Pros

Often used to spending the majority of your agency budget with them

Used to listening to their strategic insights

Cons

Inherent broadcast messaging mentality

Stuck in ‘spend 80% of total on advertising’ and rest follows

Digital

Pros

Often grown up in the online world

Ability to number crunch and produce ROI-like stats

Cons

Can be ‘digital is best’ in their recommendations

SEO and PPC thinking is at the heart of their ‘strategic’ thinking

Public Relations

Pros

‘Conversation’ is often at the heart of good campaign thinking

Often have been integrating (non advertising) activities for years

Cons

Media centric agencies often aren’t experienced in integrated

‘Brand’ thinking can dominate ‘sales lead’ thinking.

I would add that, of course, I am biased as I have a comms background.  I would also balance that comment with my twenty years experience across a wide range of briefs and having worked alongside both advertising and/or digital agencies on campaigns.

You could also apply the same thinking to in-house responsibility for social media.  Which team should lead digital, marketing or PR.  Time for some radical thinking here?

The second part of this blog will follow tomorrow

What a relief to get it right March 3, 2010

Posted by BCME UK in Charity, PR, Social media.
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by Clare HE

It’s that time of year again where everyone goes just a little bit crazy in the name of charity – yep, it’s Sport Relief time. And while we can see a similar pattern to last year where lots of celebrities seeking to raise their profile (and, it must be said, genuinely help to raise money for a good cause) get involved with doing some wacky dares and challenges, it’s refreshing to see that the charity has caught up with the latest social media techniques and is heavily promoting itself on Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. In fact, I’ve just been on the Facebook page and they’ve already got nearly 30,000 fans all sharing info, images and video on how they’re helping to raise money through football tournaments, mile runs and sponsored swims to name just a few of the activities happening all over the country. There’s a real sense of community and combined effort that strikes you when you read some of the fans’ updates. The page really seems to embody the best of social networking and what it’s all about – sharing content and information, making like-minded friends, encouraging and supporting each other and working towards a common goal. It’s also interesting that they have nearly 25,000 people following them on Twitter which suggests that, amongst the mainstream public, the micro-blogging site really is beginning to have a real influence and impact. So, it remains to be seen whether Phil and Kate complete the Three Peaks Challenge or Christine survives her water ski challenge. But what is evident is that Sport Relief has already succeeded in engaging fans from all over the country and is successfully getting them to support them in their goal of raising a lot of money for some great causes.

Same Concept – 2nd Year Running! December 15, 2009

Posted by BCME UK in Family entertainment, Music, PR, Social media.
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by Eyndia

Image courtesy of xfactor.itv.com


In my time working in PR, I have heard a lot of people say that ‘there is no such thing as a new idea!’ Apparently, there are only variations on old ideas???

Personally, I disagree with the statement. Yes we can get inspired by ideas but we create something that is new, innovative and leaves a lasting impression. If anything we look more at the learnings of others to create the best possible campaign we can.

But it get me thinking that it raises an interesting question about social media – Does the same idea blatantly regurgitated year on year have the same impact and effect the second time round?

After the success of last year’s campaign it would seem that the anti X-Factor community is at it again! They are trying to use social media and download popularity to muscle Joe McElderry out of the No.1 slot this Xmas.

Last year, you may recall my colleague Clare writing about the campaign which saw Alexandra Burke claim the poll position with the Facebook fuelled Jeff Buckley version of the same song take No. 2

This year, the much more aptly named Rage Against the Machine for Christmas No.1 group has chosen the classic ‘Killing in the name of’ as a subtle anti-establishment protest! But will they carry the same weight as they did last year? And if so, does this show the power of social media or does this point to a massive issue with how easily the British charts can be manipulated by anyone with an opinion and a compelling argument?

The group already has nearly 38,000 members and is steeply rising. When considering that the Jeff Buckley group only needed 50k members to reach No.2, it seems almost certain that RATM will be appearing in this year’s charts.

So, is the same idea as effective the second time around, or does it lose impact? For the most part I guess only time will tell on this one – but if these numbers are anything to go by, then I predict this will lead to a lot more questions than it will answers in 2010.

Silent Night? December 15, 2009

Posted by BCME UK in Charity, Family entertainment, Music, PR, Social media.
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By Clare

Imagine this – standing on stage under the grand (well, actually, slightly skeletal Christmas tree) in Trafalgar Square looking out at hundreds of people sitting on the steps eagerly wondering what is going to happen next. Singers Kym Mazelle, Zoe Tyler and Amy Studt are all standing on stage quietly, all ‘gagged’. The Big Funk Choir along with Syed Ahmed from The Apprentice are belting out Christmas songs. The sound is fabulous but there is an uneasy feel in the air – we all want to hear the ladies join in the singing. It doesn’t seem right to see such a legend as Kym Mazelle – who grew up on the same street as the Jacksons – silenced.

Much to everyone’s relief, half way through the concert, our celebs and the other females are invited to take their ‘gags’ off and join in the festive carols. Phew. The audience cheers and all is well again in celeb land. Camilla Dallerup starts to laugh and clap, swaying along to Zoe Tyler’s beautiful voice. Jasmine Harman and Francine Lewis are giving it their all – it’s a unique sight that captures even the grumpiest commuter’s attention.

So was our ‘Girls Without Voices’ concert with a difference a success? We believe so! After all, it was all about raising awareness for Plan UK and to, ultimately, drive people to sponsor a girl. As Nate mentioned in his previous post, the reality young girls face in developing countries is shocking. So we wanted to represent this in a simple yet effective way. This one concert won’t change the world overnight but, judging from the amount of people asking more about Plan and its work in developing countries, it’s certainly a start.

Take a look at some of the concert on YouTube.