After hours of planning, my schedule took a six block detour when I found out my social media crush Gary Vaynerchuk scheduled a last minute #eatup (eat and tweet). And I was not the only one, after tweeting the location, a crowd gathered instantaneously, lining up in an orderly fashion to speak to and take photos with the man himself.
Granted, this is his space, this is a crowd that knows his work and his charm. He has never had a TV Show (he turned it down as he feels cable is dying), never been in movies, but he has written books, made countless online videos, and if there is a world record for the amount of people an individual has replied to on Twitter, he would have it.
At the #eatup Gary had time for each and every person, and will not leave that space until everyone has had their turn. He knows the value of connecting with your audience directly, and his reputation shows that. It is interesting to compare this to the traditional “celebrity”.
For most celebrities, when they allow themselves to be available to the public, it is because they are promoting their movie/TV Show/album/tell-all book/perfume range. At that point, the time of showcasing your completed work, is it too late to expect them to care? What story have they told? How do they know how much work has gone into what they’ve produced? Did any work go into it or did they phone it in for a paycheck?
Looking back at the People’s Choice Awards, pretty much everyone who walked away with an award not only has a large presence on twitter, but tweets regularly. Vampire Diaries star Nina Dobrev was the first person to win an award when she wasn’t even listed on the original nomination ballot. How has this never happened before? Perhaps because previously stars didn’t have the almost 2,000,000 followers that they can mobilise in an instant like Nina can. Many stars still don’t, but the saying goes – “Build your network before you need it”, and she has dedicated hours and hours of time engaging and speaking to her followers. If public figures are not building their network now, and dedicating real time to it, they could find themselves being eclipsed by stars who previously weren’t even on the radar.
Or as Gary Vaynerchuk says – “whoever cares the most, wins.”
People from the age of two to the age of 60 use iPads. My parents didn’t even like The Beatles.”
Is it true? Do we have more in common with our parents than ever before? Do we like the same things? Use the same things? Are we Facebook friends?
The digital evolution has been credited with breaking down many barriers – between brands and customers, PR professionals and journalists, politicians and their electorates. But what does this mean for the future?
Don Tapscott, author of “Macrowikisnomics,” believes we are not in an Information Age, but an age of collaboration and participation, enabled by social networks. While social networks might begin as weak ties in your life, they can grow into strong ones, ones that will make a difference in your life, and potentially the lives of others. And it doesn’t matter how old you are. We no longer need leaders for a revolution; self-organisation by communities and peers will contribute to change.
Leaders of the old regime are always the last to embrace the new, and business can’t succeed in a world that is failing. Vested interest might resist change, but it is inevitable and history dictates it will be powered by the youth.
So it’s a good thing those two-year-olds are already practicing with communication technology.
From our times roaming the halls of high school we’ve been taught that popularity equals success. Don’t offend anyone, smile, and you could be the next prom queen.
But how do you inspire loyalty and evangelism when you are, you know, pretty boring?
The Power of Unpopular by Erika Napoletano, is a new book about to come out this month which encourages brands to go where no brand ever wants to go: out of the middle of the road. Because as Erika described it while launching her book at SXSW this morning , the middle of the road is “where people get run over.”
Capturing people’s attention is harder than ever. Social networks have been around for a while now, and the tolerance for self-congratulatory and boring content is about to plummet. Brands and companies have had years to experiment and get this right, and now is the time to push the boundaries, not link to your press releases.
The first step is to have personality. Who are you, what is your story, what do you have to offer? Don’t be afraid to show the people behind the organisation, or have a little fun. But there is a line between having personality, and being a jerk. Shock jocks might get the ratings, but being unpopular is not the same as being unlikeable, and this will do no favours for your company.
Next is accessibility. Are you really there? Do you care what people want to say to you? As mentioned above, capturing people’s attention is difficult, so if they take the time to contact you, they will not appreciate being ignored. Research has found that people are turned off by brands when they can see that people’s comments, questions and complaints are being blatantly ignored on social networks.
Sharability. Why not let people spread your content to your own networks? This is the very foundation of good PR – unbiased endorsement. Don’t make it hard for people to do this.
And finally, profitability, because really, if no one is getting paid, having all the above is not going to put food on your table. Focus on the channels that are working for you, cut out the things that aren’t. Social networks can also be a great place for market research, find out what your customers think and what they want, and have fun while doing it.
Not everyone will like you and what you are doing. That’s just the way it goes, even for prom queens. Don’t waste time on people who will never come around, and focus on entertaining and providing value for everyone else.
Porter Novelli is proud to be the official agency partner of SXSW Interactive, one of the most important global interactive gatherings, where many come to get their finger on the cultural pulse.
The SXSW Interactive festival, held in Austin, Texas this March 9-13 brings together five days of presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology and exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders. SXSW Interactive has become the place to experience a preview of what is unfolding in the world of technology. For more information on the festival click here.
Porter Novelli has an extensive team on the ground including Porter Novelli Melbourne’s Social Media Strategist and Account Manager, Mandy Griffiths, who will be blogging daily. And for the first time, we will produce a daily WrapRap, see below for the first one.
Yumi Stynes is a name currently invoking an unfair share of hate, misogyny, sexism and racial vilification.
Commentators hurling stones at Stynes are going hard. They’ve singled out her children, race and gender. They have called for her head.
Stynes and the forgotten voice in all this, George Negus, made stupid comments. Roberts-Smith has forgiven them.
Why have Stynes’ words snagged public interest, particularly in a week when the award for most offensive should surely have gone to some Australian Defence Force officers for their words on a Facebook page?
In an article appearing on The Conversation, Ben Wadham writes: “…the Herald Sun used the front-page headline “Yumi So Sorry”. This refers to Yu-Me So Solly. Me So Solly is the cartoon The Simpsons iconic character Krusty the Klown’s favorite catchphrase to insult Asian-American people.”
Yesterday, Mamamia founder, Mia Freedman, posted this, making very clear points about the “way women in public life are attacked so viciously”.
She has first-hand experience. In 2011 she stated that – to her – sports people are not heroes and the word held a different meaning.
“The names I was called, the abuse and threats hurled at me and my children, my husband, my parents, my religion, my appearance… It went on for weeks and was enormously distressing.”
How dare she have an opinion.
She points out George Negus “has not copped anywhere near the extreme or vicious nature of the abuse hurled at Yumi”.
Last week conservative US radio host Rush Limbaugh called law student Sandra Fluke a “slut”, “a prostitute”, and said she “wants to be paid to have sex”. What a gift with words.
It’s been a horrifying – and extremely telling – two weeks for women in the media.
Today is International Women’s Day. A global day set aside to recognise women’s achievements, observe and highlight gender inequalities and issues.
This week, Porter Novelli helped Australian Eggs put Pancake Day on the Aussie map.
Pancake Day is an occasion celebrated all over the flippin’ globe, but most Aussies are missing out of the action. Australian Eggs hosted a fun-filled morning at Martin Place, Sydney, with a live Pancake cook-off and tossing demonstration with award-winning chef Brad Jolly, and many Guinness World Record attempts – all whilst consuming our body weights’ worth of pancakes sided with lemon, orange, sugar, nutella, strawberries, whipped cream – flipping fabulous.
And so this is Christmas. And what have we done? John, Yoko? No Christmas presents for me. I choose to eat latkes in celebration of Hanukkah this time of the year. I still enjoy the Christmas spirit that surrounds me – I love me some carols, get joy from the smell of fresh pine, participate in the office Kris Kringle and wish those around me a very Merry Christmas, not ‘Happy Holidays’ (after all, not everyone actually goes on a holiday over the break). A Christmas tree I will never have, but the traditions that surround this particular holiday I will continue to learn from those who share in the tales – in the same way colleagues and non-Jewish friends enjoy hearing about the many holidays I celebrate throughout the year. That’s part of the magic of Australia – cultural differences aren’t just accepted, they’re embraced. We celebrate celebration.
Travelling through India two summers ago, I couldn’t help but notice the Christmas cheer on the streets to make travellers feel welcome – in a country that mixes Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist and many other traditions and cultures. More irony for you – I’m writing a blog on Italian food, but have absolutely no Italian heritage and have never been to Italy (I’ll get there one day!). Amongst all the Christmas decorations in the public spaces of our Como office building stands a large Menorah with a plaque explaining its significance. When Chinese New Year rolls around early in 2012, we’ll enjoy the fireworks and there will probably be a few red parcels shared around the place.
For now, your Christmas is about giving and my Hanukkah about light. Put them together: if we continue to givelight onto each other’s beliefs, cultures and traditions, we can only be a better and merrier place.
Merry Christmas all, and Happy Hanukkah.
Some snapshots of the Porter Novelli Christmas cards in action