A behind the scenes look at Mashable HQ. Not as informative as the Mashable website but a daily insight into the organisation and something other companies could emulate.
9. We are the 99 per cent
Regardless of your opinion on the Occupy Movement, this is the first Tumblr to really utilise the power of visuals and ease of sharing information for a cause, and has done so very effectively.
10. Barbie on Holiday
Okay, this is actually a shameless plug as it is my own Tumblr I started a couple of months ago. Because life IS a holiday when you’re a Barbie. Submissions welcome, and be forewarned, don’t tell me you’re about to go on holiday without expecting me to present you with a Barbie as a going away present.
A behind the scenes look at Mashable HQ. Not as informative as the Mashable website but a daily insight into the organisation and something other companies could emulate.
I’ll start by saying; this should be a Vlog, but, unlike hundreds of thousands of other people, I don’t like seeing myself on camera. Call me old-school – as opposed to some people: I really love cats.
So, I thought I’d ponder how more and more, we’re creating video to help us spread “the word”.
This is “word” that was once placed in a media release, splashed across collateral and blasted via email is coming to life. And, whether it’s something to make you laugh on a Friday or enact change on a Tuesday, or simply showcase the work we do, it’s a great space to play in.
I received an email the other dayabout the power of stories. It made me think about one thing we’re very good at: telling a story. That’s in our nature as ex-arts and comms students, ex-journos and generally people who, at school, were bad at maths and good at English.
In 2010 alone, 700 billion YouTube videoswere viewed. The 2010 Neilsen poll on Internet usetracked the amount of Australians who watched video content for September –more than three quarters of our population. More current figures show that YouTube is the second most viewed social media platform (after Facebook) in Australia, with 10 million unique visitors – up 100,000 unique visitors from 2010.1 It seems video content is king and it’s not just consumer brands that need to be there.
Newspaper mastheads are now broadcasters and broadcasters use print online bring black and white stories to life. It greatly changes the media landscape. This is something that we teach in media training; “if you have a handheld recording device, you can report the news.” So, while we usually raise this as an issues management matter; it’s also a lesson of how, with the right tools, we can create integrated media pitches that extend a news story to different platforms.
It’s no new news, things are changing in the land of communication. And it’s fun keeping up.
A wise Doctor of Philosophy once said: “You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.”
That was Dr Seuss writing in 1986.
I mention it because it links with what’s happening in consumer health and self diagnosis.
A 2010 study showed about a quarter of Australians regularly sought health information online.
Health information sites are all over the web like a rash, from credible Government sites like http://www.healthinsite.gov.au/ to those claiming online diagnosis by doctors, albeit with a disclaimer that will read something like:
“We take no responsibilities for anybody using the site, nor for any information obtained from it, or as a result of using it.”
But, credible or not, a whopping 80 per cent of Australians surveyed by international health insurance giant, Bupa – a Porter Novelli client – admitted to going online for health information, with 47 per cent of these people making a self diagnosis based on what they found online.
Let’s say you have pins and needles. It could be – according to readily available online resources – a vitamin deficiency, sciatica……or multiple sclerosis. Got an earache? Check common cold, an ear infection. Or possibly a brain abscess.
As a former healthcare professional, I have to ask what this might mean for primary healthcare, without even considering what the implications are for the many health sector organisations we work with.
The question for us, as communications specialists, is how to beat the clutter?
Simple, really. What if we turn the tables? Instead of consumers having to find “us”, we go looking for “them”?
Our Australian Dental Association (Victoria) client is stepping into social media through the Caring for your kids’ teeth page; Mercy Health is a relative early adopter and keen experimenter; and we like the work of Cabrini here in Melbourne (that we don’t work on).
The one we aspire our health sector clients to be like remains Mayo Clinic. Check it out.
And if you have a nasty, persistent cough, might be worth a visit to the doctor. It’s probably not tuberculosis.
Bloggers have redefined traditional editorial and are growing rapidly in readership. Their audiences are targeted, loyal, sometimes large, and blogger opinions are influential. There was a time when people turned to traditional news for opinion. A recent Kleenex study found that blogs, in particular Mummy blogs, are moving strongly into influence, providing a more authentic outlook, untainted by commerciality.
Blogs and reviews play a large part of the decision-making process with 63% of social-networkers reading an average of six online reviews before buying an item. It’s been found that 46% of mothers read blogs regularly, 23% comment on blogs, and 13% of the Australian mums with kids between 0 and 12 years wrote blogs themselves!
It’s becoming common talk in the US that consumers are more influenced by the opinion of a blogger than a celebrity when it comes to learning more about products or making a purchase. Kim Kardashian gets paid $25,000 to tweet 140 characters about a product. With more than seven million followers, her message gets seen – but is it heard? Do her followers trust her tweets are authentic, or a mere financial reward?
In Australia we have the (small) luxury of being an adaptive market, borrowing the bits that work from other markets. The same is true for blogging: but the bit that really works and makes this so exciting for us is that authenticity will prevail over the long-term.
What comes after the internet revolution? The portable one. So is this a game changer on how we communicate?
No. Mobile does not spell the end of newspapers, radio, cinema, television and the internet, it is the combination of all of them in one handy, time efficient device. No form of mass media has ever died completely, and is not likely to now.
Yes. 70% of mobile phone traffic goes to social networks, and social by very definition is an ‘opt in’ network. It used to be that no matter what you had to say or at which point you started your campaign, if you had enough money you could saturate newspapers, radio and television, and your message would be heard. With social media, you need to build your network before you need it, and people have a choice if they want to follow you on Twitter, ‘like’ you on Facebook, and for influential bloggers, write about your product. You can’t buy in the way you used to. Any approach to this area with a ‘What’s in it for our brand’ mentality is not going to cut it.
What’s in it for everyone else? Particularly with mobile, if they choose to download your app, taking up real estate on their personal screen, it needs to provide value, and if it doesn’t maintain this value, it will be deleted. At this point you can shout about your brand as much as you like but they can’t hear you.
Be useful or entertaining. That is what people want, and have for a long time.
Social media and mobile make this possible, and brands that do this will be rewarded.
If you work in PR and live in NSW, chances are you have hosted a stunt at Martin Place. How about a survey? Ever crafted a set of questions that you know will provide predictable results…cue media release to news desk!
I know I’ve certainly been there, and following an event hosted by the PRIA called Creative Juices, I’m pretty certain I’m not alone. When speaker Ryan Peal, Director of Imagination at Momentum Worldwide, posed these same questions to a room full of PR practitioners, the response was an overwhelming and undeniable YES.
In the consumer PR environment, driven by an ongoing string of deadlines, constant innovation can be challenging. Therefore, a stunt set in an opportune location in the heart of the city, guaranteeing attention – hard to say no to. Likewise some quirky stats that will most likely get you a spot in the news pages – yes please!
I’m not saying that these sure-fire ways to garner media attention should be dismissed; however I do believe that PR people should reconsider their relevance.
Last week, Executive Planning Director Al Crawford from BBDO offered PNS an insightful summary of what it is he does on a day to day basis. One comment he made in particular about brands really resonated with me. He stated that despite what many people assume, creative thinking should not always be employed to reinvent, re-create and replace. Sometimes the more difficult yet effective challenge is to creatively reinforce the brand’s essence in a different and unique way. This provided a powerful reminder about the significance of the brand’s established value.
In addition to ensuring PR campaigns embrace the heart of the brand, PR tactics should also ensure that they are achieving the set task. Whether it is to encourage sales? Promote public engagement? Heighten brand awareness? Stunts and surveys are not always the most efficient means to an end when considered against a clear business objective. Dressing up a granny in a bright orange bikini and marching her through Town Hall station may certainly turn heads and generate discussion. However if establishing the brand as a credible player in the market is your goal, then is this really the right tactic?
Thus when planning your next PR strategy, always remember the essence of the brand and set a goal for your campaign strategy accordingly. Having these simple underlying guidelines before sparking off a brainstorm will assist substantially in maintaining a purpose to your creativity.
A mobile phone company made international news last week following its release of a YouTube video as part of its marketing activity. The viral video was created using Royal lookalikes dancing a mock Kate Middleton and Prince William wedding entrance dance. T-Mobile’s highly creative video project, supported through public relations, has received global media coverage as a result of engaging people through humour.
Similarly, in September last year Nummies, a maternity bra manufacturer, released a video encapsulating the meaning of becoming a Mum. The video was quickly picked up by parenting and mainstream media. Like T-Mobile, the Nummies viral received a strong following, connecting with parents around the world.
We can learn a lot about videos that turn viral. Short movies, such as those filmed for T-Mobile and Nummies, demonstrate the power of connecting with audiences and consumers through their feelings, telling engaging stories in creative ways as enabled by digital media. Companies that make people laugh, cry or feel better about themselves, and brands that stand for something and influence consumers on an emotional level, are in a very powerful place. Consumers want to be involved with these brands because they understand them and connect with them.
Understanding the essence of a brand, and communicating it in a way consumers understand and enjoy, is at the centre of what we do in lifestyle PR. Award-winning public relations campaigns are developed based on an intimate understanding of consumers and the emotions that drive them. Digital media allows brands to connect with consumers and tell stories in more than just the written form. Embracing and harnessing the power of online channels, such as YouTube and social media, differentiates consultancies with story-selling skills from the ones that don’t understand the power of compelling content.
Great public relations consultancies always remember that people love brands when they can buy more than a product – they can buy an attitude, a belief, a thought. I believe that this understanding is the foundation for campaigns that create change and deliver world-class results for clients.
It’s widely assumed that the craft of Public Relations lacks true creativity.
I’ve always known this opinion to be untrue, having racked my brain countless times to find a newsworthy angle for my clients, however, it has still managed to send me into a poetic depression on more than one occasion.
I can often be found clutching on to my G&T, in the dark serenity of a Surry Hills wine bar, fretting about the futility of trying to encourage ingenuity in our approach when advertisers are the only ones expected to be creative. Yet, any PR person would tell you that when it comes to value for money, teamed with an innovative approach, PR gets coverage above and beyond anything advertising could achieve on the same budget. Frustrating, to say the least!
The event, titled Creative Juices: How to think big and impress the boss, was aptly held at a moody city club called Space. With tweets flying back and forth, the filming of an impromptu amateur soap opera (with the help of an iPhone 4) and a motza of ideas to inspire us it was truly an insightful and entertaining evening.
Ryan Peal (@ryanpeal) showered us with great ways to transform our approach to brainstorming. Next time your team is really stuck, hire a maxi cab and take a ride around the city instead of meeting in the office. The visual and sensory stimuli could be just what you need to get the ball rolling, forcing the team think outside the boardroom (bored room) square.
Or try bringing outsiders in on your next brainstorm, whether it’s the client, an AE from the advertising company upstairs or your mum! The presence of new people is bound to stimulate a different style of conversation and encourage your team to think a little differently.
And there’s nothing like a little role play to get the creative juices flowing. Try approaching your next long term strategy brainstorm like this:
1. Tell the team their client is X (for the point of this exercise, let’s say Coke).
2. Think of a great campaign.
3. Now tell them that they have left this agency and are instead employed by the agency that represents Pepsi.
4. They know what Coke has in store, it’s pretty fantastic- they thought of it. What can they do to counteract the plan?
Now you have two great ideas, you can pre-empt what the competition would do and you’ve pushed your team to think that little bit harder about the brief!
Here’s another great way to push your team’s brainstorming session:
1. Tell them the brief.
2. Tell them their budget is unlimited.
3. Collate their amazing and over-the-top ideas.
4. Now scale back. Say, no, we can’t have Brad Pitt but what can we have? A lookalike? Maybe we could run a competition to find one and then use a really soft lens?
Before you know it the team will be coming up with some hilarious alternatives that could prove to be better than the original idea!
However, what resonated with me the most was a comment by Scotty Iseri (@scottyiseri). Although he also spoke a lot about the importance of being creative, he actually encouraged us to embrace the limitations of the brief.
It’s all well and good to be creative but “without a frame you’re just arting everywhere,” he said. He stressed the importance of getting a detailed brief and understanding the needs of the client.
This threw me back to Clemenger BBDO’s motto The Work The Work The Work. Indeed, despite the fun that lies in letting your creativity reign, it must inevitably come second to delivering work that best suits the client’s needs.
New Normal. Admit it, you know you’ve heard it. You may have even have found yourself saying it. That’s Normal.
New Normal is a feather on the post-GFC phoenix. It was coined to describe an America confronted and confounded by the Global Financial Crisis, occurring in a period of unprecedented, profound innovation and economic, cultural, social and political shift.
Simply, New Normal means nothing is or should be as it was.
I like this Bloomberg piece http://bit.ly/guw9Kz which speaks for New Normal itself, because how Normal is it for a business opinion to be presented in 12 condensed multimedia paragraphs with images?
My problem with New Normal is that you really need a few wrinkles on your face to appreciate how New all this Normal is. It warrants comparative analysis, as this link may help to explain http://bit.ly/9EKrcw.
To make a gross intergenerational generalisation, what’s Normal for your normal 25-year-old can be seriously, terrifyingly New Normal for somebody 10, 20, 30 or more years older.
How Normal is it for my 83-year-old mother to use Facebook as her primary means of staying in touch with our dispersed, multi-generational family?
What’s Normal about Charlie Sheen; let alone attempts to trademark some of his recent phrasing http://bit.ly/fP30i9?
The important understanding is not New Normal – it’s more that there is No More Normal.
For our sort of work, that mindset is energising and encourages innovation.
No More Normal means I’m as happy to direct you to a neat little creative piece I wish we’d done at http://bit.ly/i2Sw8R, as I am to link you to this white paper (http://bit.ly/emTvqk) from Porter Novelli International colleagues.
And my wrap link? Try http://bit.ly/hgpVED. Please, can No More Normal mean – once and for all – No More Advertising Value Equivalents? We’re better than that.