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Who’s the man? April 16, 2010

Posted by BCME UK in Social media.
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by Jill

We had an historic moment last night.  For over 20 years, to my memory, the party aspiring to power has lobbied to have a televised debate during the election campaign and finally last night we had it.  The first of three no less. 

And something really interesting happened.  The outsider won:

ITV:                                        Clegg 43%,          Cameron 26%    Brown 20%

YouGov/The Sun:            Clegg 51%            Cameron 29%    Brown 19%

Channel Four:                    Clegg 58%            Brown 28%         Cameron 13%

Sky News:                           Clegg 37%            Brown 32%         Cameron 31%

And it got even more fascinating to watch if you were simultaneously following it on Twitter and/or ITV.com and could see people’s reactions as the ‘debate’ progressed.

It indeed sparked into life what has been a fairly sterile election campaign so far, moving from who owns the Quattro image/reference to straps trying to grab old style FUD for the other party’s plans and policies.

A real third player on the UK political scene?  It would be the first time for nearly seventy years.  A hung parliament?  For only the fourth time since 1923.  An aspiring leader expected to do extremely well on TV but not quite making the grade?  You can be sure there will be a different game plan for debates two and three.  Does ‘grey but solid’ win the day?

It all bodes well for gripping second and third debates: Sky News broadcasts the second debate on Thursday, 22 April looking at foreign affairs. The third on BBC One on Thursday, 29 April focuses on the economy.

And do remember to follow on Twitter at the same time #LeadersDebate

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

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!

The Breakfast of Kings (or Social Media Barons) November 25, 2009

Posted by BCME UK in Food & Drink, PR, Social media.
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By Nate

Inside Your Search

Who knew that Google was in fact powered by a mild-mannered librarian type full of a certain wheat-based cereal? As my inaugural blog I thought I would share this awesome little mini-site from Weetabix, delves deep into the inner-workings of Google and shows us the truth behind the world’s largest search engine. This site has all the hallmarks of being a social media winner; witty, creative, easy to use with light-heated digs at a huge brand and perhaps most importantly, easy to share. It is already spreading like wildfire through the murky underbelly of Twitter and I am predicting that this will breakout to wider acclaim on a social networking site near you soon! Innovative little bits of content like these are, I feel, essential if a brand wants to achieve cut-through in an increasingly cluttered social media space. So expect to see more of these from me as I scour the internet to bring the best little widgets of social media content to the Chocolate Fix.

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