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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?

MySpace reinvented? December 3, 2009

Posted by BCME UK in Music, Social media.
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by Sophie

As mentioned in Nate’s last blog entry, MySpace has been floundering away underneath Facebook’s success for some time now.   However the music giant is making a real stab at boosting the brand’s credibility by today launching an ad-supported video and music streaming service , taking on the likes of Spotify and Last FM.

It seems like a logical progression and natural path for MySpace to follow but only time will tell whether the site, that launched the likes of Lily Allen and the Arctic Monkeys, has been quick enough off the mark to take the lead and make this venture a real success.

Facebook: It’s getting crowded in here… December 2, 2009

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By Nate


So, the news that Facebook had surpassed 350 million users came out earlier this week, that’s just over 5% of the world. This is a pretty stunning achievement for a site that started as a project in a students’ bedroom. Not that it has been an easy ride for Mark Zuckerberg et al.

Who can forget the Beacon Fiasco or the uproar around the layout changes? Facebook has weathered some pretty tough storms but has remained strong whilst MySpace (who?) has all but faded from public view. It has seen off internal unrest and outside competition alike to rise to the top of the incredibly diverse social networking market.

Facebook is the place to be for big brands, with three of the top fifteen pages in the world belonging to Coca Cola, Skittles and Starbucks. Figures released today that show that a startling ten million people a day become a fan of a brand page, which just can’t be ignored.

Mashable has estimated that Facebook is gaining users at a rate of 500,000 per day. We have to ask ourselves how long this will carry on for and how will this affect our jobs as professional communicators?

I, personally, hope that Facebook continues to grow as it provides a great platform for conversational engagement, which is the goal of any online PR worth their salts.

Occasional series: Lessons from the front line pt 2 September 25, 2009

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by Jill

1. Don’t start something you can’t finish

T’internet is littered with brands’ Facebook pages, Twitter feeds et al.  For every brand doing it well I could find you 10 who started something they haven’t yet finished.

2.       Without great content you will fail

Kinda links to the point above.  Without a plan and without a commitment to produce relevant (v. key word!) content your page/profile is better down than up.  Posting links to your latest ad campaign or putting your DM campaign online doesn’t really cut it.  This is where PR agencies can come into their own.  We’ve always had to create great stories with good angles that often (historically) a journalist would want to write.  We’re just cutting out the middle man now….

3.       The world is not full of journalists

If you try and treat your customers and communities using old media relations rules you will surely fail.  But some rules still apply!  Just to keep it fun.

4.       Think beyond the competition……

Is it just me, but surely there is more to life than another competition?  Unless it’s really clever of course.

5.       It’s still the Wild West out there

That can be scary if you are risk adverse or liberating if you like exploring and creating new rules.  There’s tons of scope for smart thinking and innovation right now.  Very empowering.

Shepherd with horse

The rise and fall (and rise) of Facebook June 18, 2009

Posted by BCME UK in Social media.
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by Clare HE

Just as I was contemplating whether Facebook was beginning to die a slow, gradual death, I was proven wrong.

In fact, three million people proved me wrong. This is the number of people around the globe who were willing to get up at 5am (well, we Brits at least) and snap up their own personalised Facebook URL within the first 12 hours. This seems to prove that, although Twitter is giving it a run for its money (a recent Independent story showed that, in terms of value and users, Facebook is in decline and Twitter, unsurprisingly, is on the increase), Facebook is far from over.

In fact, not only are consumers embracing their new found ‘vanity’ URL’s but I think it’s only a matter of time (days no doubt) that the different industries will begin to use this latest Facebook fad to their advantage. Leading the way is the car industry – VW has today announced that it’s using its vanity URL in a global ad campaign – they have so much confidence in the social network, they’re using this URL as opposed to their own website to drive traffic (excuse the pun).

There has been much media hype around the new service, from the Telegraph to USA Today. And I think it’s a clever ploy of Facebook to re-engage its fans and users. And get the renewed media hype we’ve all been witnessing this week. But it must be pointed out that services like this should always come with some kind of caveat. People are already reported to be taking names that aren’t their own so that they can pretend to be someone else online. This can, of course, cause huge problems in terms of people hacking into other people’s bank accounts and personal social network profiles, for example. Recent Trend Micro research proved this. And people take advantage of this kind of service in other ways too. One of my colleagues tried to Google ‘Facebook names’ on Saturday and ended up clicking onto a site that downloaded a ton of software that soon slowed her PC up considerably – no doubt a pre-meditated virus just for this purpose.

I’ve got a Facebook vanity URL now and will probably soon start sharing it with friends. But I’ll be interested to see how this whole thing pans out in terms of people taking advantage of it. Hopefully the fake vegans and celebrities of this world won’t end up ruining a good service.

Dan Taylor

Dan Taylor