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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?



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

Used to listening to their strategic insights


Inherent broadcast messaging mentality

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



Often grown up in the online world

Ability to number crunch and produce ROI-like stats


Can be ‘digital is best’ in their recommendations

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

Public Relations


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

Often have been integrating (non advertising) activities for years


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

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.

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

Posted by BCME UK in PR, Social media.
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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!

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.