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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?

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Hello? Is it me you’re looking for? December 8, 2009

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By Nate

As I write this, a gentleman by the name of Rob Cavazos is talking in rather rapid German on a public telephone to someone he doesn’t know. As he hangs up, the phone rings almost immediately and he launches into another conversation (again in German) with a stranger. This is the Phone Box Experiment and I am watching the apparently live web-feed of one the most original pieces of online PR this year.

Rob is camping next to a phone box in the middle of the Spanish wilderness with a sign saying call me. The phone has not stopped ringing. He is trying to answer every call and wants to speak to people from 100 different countries; he’s up to 63 as of this moment so he should easily reach his target.

The whole project is set-up as an advert for Skype; however the website is so subtly branded that you might be forgiven for thinking Rob had set this up himself. This lack of overt brand slap and the rather rustic feel to the site is ensuring that the experiment is social media friendly and to be totally honest, the most endearing thing is that Rob seems like a genuinely nice chap who is actually thrilled by all the calls he is receiving.

Take a look at the live feed and I promised you will be mesmerised.

This is a highly original piece of content that should be remembered as a social media success. Any companies looking to engage with consumers via social networks could do worse than to look at what Skype hath wrought. There are already several groups following the experiment on Facebook with parties planned for Rob’s safe return. A quick Twitter search reveals thousands of tweets about the experiment and whilst it isn’t trending at the moment I think it’s a safe bet that it will be soon.

It’s also wildly fantastic – exactly the kind of thing that excites the world’s bloggers – a Google blog search comes back with thousands of hits. So provided that this isn’t hijacked by idiots, like Eyndia’s favourite Skittle Skuffle, this could be a yardstick for great social media work.

I am still trying to get through to Rob at the moment but if you want a go his number is:  +34 951 055 675. Remember he’s in Spain so it could be expensive but it should be worth it! If you do manage to get through leave a comment below!

Tweet to Tweet November 26, 2009

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by Nate


Twitter

It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Flattery notwithstanding, imitation is also the easiest way to spread a message, or at least it is for Twitter users. With trials opened to a select few earlier in the month, it is now even easier to share another user’s tweets via Twitter’s new re-tweet (RT) function which allows a tweet to be spread at the click of a button.

The RT function is one of Twitter’s most powerful uses. It allows us to ask questions. It mimics an almost archaic way of physically asking friends to ask their friends and so on until an answer is found. It makes sense at the basic level of communication. It also allows us to share content such as videos, pictures and music.  Viral is word that is bandied around too often but RT’ing, if it gathers enough momentum, is viral – in the way it moves, spreads and changes over time.

The new feature allows one button sharing and more. Here are two reasons why I think it will prove a boon to professional communicators:

The original method of RT’ing was laborious; you had to actually copy and paste the tweet you wanted to share. Yawn. Who has the time? The new method is quick, simple and should lead to messages being spread further, faster.

The new function actually allows you to track who has RT’ed you and how many times it has been passed along. The issue of measuring Social Media is looming large at the moment as more and more scrutiny is placed on ROI and PRs are trying to justify increasingly tight budgets. This new function allows us to turn around and say “Hey, look, this message has been Rt’ed three million times”. It will also let us look at who is actually listening to our messages, which is great news for big brands.

Personally, I think Twitter is on to a winner with this simple and functional update. It also looks pretty snazzy!

So, who owns social media? September 29, 2009

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by Eyndia

There is always so much talk in the marketing press about who owns social media?Search Engine People

Is it the digital marketing agencies that build the great online sites and viral assets that become the medium for the social media campaign or is it the public relations professionals that are used to shaping brands into digestible consumer-sized pieces to reach audiences in whatever medium best suits them?

This is a debate that has been raging on between marketers and PR’s for years now, but it wasn’t until I recently attended the Global Marketing Forum 2009 at Cass University, that it became extremely apparent where the simplest of answers lie within this debate.

I think we both have ‘claims’ on being able to amplify the success of social media as an integrated team. Much like with every aspect of the marketing mix where the clear divide of responsibilities between marketing and PR has become blurred, the social media space is no different.

Without the marketers we wouldn’t see some of the great campaigns and innovations that are launching brands on the net. You need to look no further than some of the great websites like Skittles Skuffles (which I wrote about on August 5th) to understand that the vision and talent of the marketers is crucial to a brand campaigns success. Likewise, without the knowledge of how best to engage with consumers and online audiences –something that is core to even the most basic of public relations campaigns.

PR’s function of being able to guide and manage the messaging has become much more relevant. Your online reputation is just as, if not more important than your offline one because word will travel faster on the net, so ensuring that brands employ the best skill set to handle this therefore becomes paramount.

Fact of the matter is EVERYONE owns social media, and for anyone to argue anything different is simply wrong. We all have roles to play within this space and we are still learning what its capabilities are, but it is and always has been the individual users that are and should be in control.

Mum’s the word! August 13, 2009

Posted by BCME UK in PR, Social media, Toys & Games.
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by Sophie

And it really is at the moment.  According to a post at LDS Media talk last year, mothers are part of an adult female Internet user population that is predicted to grow from 80.9 million in 2008 to 91.3 million in 2012.  And a hell of a lot of them are blogging!  For any PR agency that is embracing social media, it’s become essential that we advise our clients on how important it is to have a good blogging strategy both for their own blog – but also blogger relations.  Working for a number of toy clients here at Chocolate, speaking to the mummy bloggers is something that without doubt now sits at the core of our campaigns.

But it’s not what you know – it’s who you know.  Sally Whittle, freelance journo and also now mummy blogger, has done a fantastic job with her new blog Who’s the Mummy? – as a mum myself I find it a great read.  But as a PR person that blogs, I’ve noticed what a fantastic job she’s doing at promoting it.  She’s told readers that, in the two weeks since she’s launched it, she’s received 300 comments from readers and 5,000 visitors in that time – not bad at all!  From what I can see that’s through doing things like linking in with otheBlog r bloggers with similar interests, a lot of tweeting about her posts, setting up tools like RSS feeds but overall, and what we know is key to publishing a successful blog, she’s providing us with interesting and informative content.

I’m doing a training session today on Blogging Strategies, which is exploring how we can advise our clients on things like creating compelling content and increasing reader engagement.  So thanks Sally for give us some food for thought!