Posts Tagged ‘influence’


Break Through the Content Surplus by Turning Your Brand Into a Media Company

Monday, December 16th, 2013
Michael Brito and Tressa Robbins at Social:IRL event in St. Louis.

Michael Brito and Tressa Robbins at Social:IRL event in St. Louis.

In his new book, Your Brand, The Next Media Company, social business strategist and author Michael Brito discusses the social business transformation that’s taking place (and much more).

I’ve followed Michael (aka @Britopian) and virtually interacted with him for a couple years and but had not met him in real life—that is, until Social:IRL brought him to St. Louis to present “How A Social Business Strategy Can Enable Better Content, Smarter Marketing And Deeper Customer Relationships.”

The book just arrived and I haven’t yet had a chance to read it, but below are just a few snippets from his presentation.

Brito began with the five truths that are shaping today’s digital ecosystem:

  • There is a content and media surplus.
  • There is an attention deficit.
  • The customer journey is dynamic.
  • Consumers have tunnel vision.
  • Everyone is influential (regardless of your Klout, PeerIndex, Kred scores).

To top it off, with all this chaos, business objectives remain constant. This means YOU have to change, and Brito suggests you and your organization start to think and act like a media company.  Change makes sense, but why a media company? What is a media company anyway?

According to Brito, your brand must adopt these five characteristics if you want to break through the clutter.

  • Storytelling: Media companies tell stories. Traditional news organizations also tell stories but theirs are typically recent and breaking news. Your brand as a media company will have to decide what story you want to tell and how you want to tell it.
  • Content: Media companies are content machines with an “always on” mentality.
  • Relevance: Media companies provide content that is relevant to those who are seeking information at a very specific moment in time.
  • Ubiquity: Media companies are omnipresent. They dominate search engine results and their content is shared daily across various social channels.
  • Agility: Media companies are nimble and able to move quickly. They have writers on-hand ready to produce content on any topic at any time, as well as creative teams capable of producing visual content on-demand. They are not captives to brand team or legal counsel approvals.

Brito goes beyond the “why” and details the “how to:”

  • Build a team.
  • Assign roles and responsibilities.
  • Define your brand narrative.
  • Create channel strategy.
  • Establish the content supply chain.
  • Build real-time capabilities.
  • Integrate converged media models.
  • Invest in the right technology.

He discussed his definition of a social business strategy, the pillars of the social business transformation, using social business framework to enable positive outcomes, and more.  I have several pages of notes from his presentation and will provide some additional takeaways in my next post but a couple of blog posts cannot summarize 247 pages of integrated marketing brilliance as well as multiple case studies from brand leaders worldwide!

Do you agree that brands must become, or are already transforming into, media companies? Is your brand (or client) moving in this direction?

Mapping Best Practices for B2B Public Relations

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Businessman and business sketchAt the PRSA International Conference a few weeks ago, I attended my colleague Johna Burke’s talk about best practices in B2B public relations. She focused on several important areas that will always be key to our evolving industry.

Many departments within an organization have a methodical workflow. Accounting and procurement departments have a clear definition of their tasks, and they have a method for bringing in, assessing, and approving information,

PR departments and practitioners don’t exactly follow that type of workflow. Although they might create a template, or spreadsheet to plug in information, the template never quite ends up in its original shape.

PR practitioners are tasked with creating a workflow that provides clear direction for their organization. Everyone from customer service and administrative staff to C-suite executives need to understand what public relations workflow looks like, or what to expect under normal daily operating conditions.

Key to developing an effective communications plan is a firm grasp on the organization’s business strategy. Whether that strategy is education, driving sales and revenue, advertising, public relations, or marketing, understanding that focus allows PR practitioners to develop a workflow that focuses on an organization’s overarching corporate goals.

Integral to the business strategy is an understanding of the organization’s financial statements. Understanding a company’s profit and loss statement effectively aligns PR workflow and department objectives. Public companies produce quarterly and annual financial statements. Look for it, whether it’s publicly or internally available, and study it, because everything ties into to funding.

Do the research yourself. While educating yourself and your staff on your company’s financials, do the same with your competitor. Think twice about hiring someone outside of your organization to gather intelligence; you are your most effective resource.

In researching your competitor, don’t go for the thirty-thousand-foot overview. It’s too easy to misinterpret your market. Also, it’s critical to market against a competitor’s reality, not their myth, or your perception of their overarching goals. Know their concepts, understand their message. Understanding their marketing materials and how your competitor is spending money is equally beneficial to your overall success. The time you put into understanding all of these elements will provide the intelligence to back up what you will ultimately need to sell to your C-suite.

Next, study your customer. How do they find you?  What does their daily organic search look like? How do they get to your product or service? Are you creating SEO interesting enough to speak to your audience and capture your service or product’s attention?

That static audience no longer exists. Understand why people are using each platform and what they’re doing with the information. Are your followers influencers? Can they help your business? Are they able to cause action? How do you communicate with them?

Create thought leadership around the topics your followers have posted. Look for themes around the content you’ve created, or the content displayed about you. This provides an opportunity to invite followers interested in a topic that’s related to your service, product or industry. Create a saturated market by looking at what surrounds your brand and how those themes tie in.

Take an open-mined look at the conversations around your content. Ask someone else in your organization to interpret your message and help you clarify your message.

Talk to your audience. Talk to your advocates, the people who have had a good experience with your product or service. Reach out to your badvocates, those who have had a bad experience and need to be reconverted. Acknowledge the trolls – those posters, who no matter what are going to be out there spewing venom.. Instead, classify them and if necessary, call them out with, “Dear Troll, we know you don’t like us, however, you are not our target audience, so what we’re saying doesn’t resonate with you, but thank you for the comment, we so appreciate your feedback.” Ultimately people connect with people behind the message, not with brands or the message themselves.

BurrellesLuce Newsletter: Understanding Your Stakeholders and Traditional Media

Monday, July 30th, 2012

July 2012

Traditional media has changed in scope (with a marked decline in outlets occurring in 2009). However, it remains the same in respect to relevancy and in how consumers satiate their growing appetite for information.

To gain the clearest understanding of how your messages are influencing all of your audiences, you need to see all of your content from all media types. Otherwise, you won’t have an accurate representation and risk skewing your data and results.

Read more: 6 Ways Traditional Media Impacts Your Audience

Mobile Aids Growth of Traditional Media

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Despite what some proponents contend, traditional media is not dead. In truth – it’s not even on life support.  Sure, The Media has changed in scope (with the biggest decline in outlets occurring in 2009), but certainly not in respect to relevancy, and absolutely NOT in how news consumers access content and satiate their growing appetite.

Why do I think so?  “A mounting body of evidence finds that the spread of mobile technNot seeing all of your media coverage is like looking at the grand canyon through a strawology is adding to news consumption, strengthening the appeal of traditional news brands and even boosting reading of long-form journalism,” confirms The PEW Research Center in its State of the News Media 2012.

The PEW study shows, “27 percent of the population now gets news on mobile devices. And these mobile news consumers are even more likely to turn to news organizations directly, through apps and homepages, rather than search or recommendations – strengthening the bond with traditional brands.” 

Our changing media consumption habits are augmenting, not diminishing, the importance of traditional media. Largely in part to how today’s audiences access The Media across multiple platforms and channels rather than simply swapping one media type for the other.

 The study goes on to cite the comScore whitepaper on Digital Omnivores: How Tablets, Smartphones and Connected Devices are Changing U.S. Digital Media Consumption Habits, quoting, “The evidence also suggests mobile is adding to, rather than replacing, people’s news consumption. Data tracking people’s behavior, for instance, find mobile devices increased traffic on major newspaper websites by an average of 9%.”

What’s even more interesting is that mobile users tend to favor traditional media values even when using digital platforms to access the content. For example, “The data also found that the reputation or brand of a news organization, a very traditional idea, is the most important factor in determining where consumers go for news, and that is even truer for mobile devices than on laptops or desktops,” according to Amy Mitchell and Tom Rosenstiel of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, and Leah Christian of the Pew Research Center in Mobile Devices and News Consumption: Some Good Signs for Journalism. 

Despite the growth of social media, the brand reputation of traditional media (which also has a social ecosystem) has more influence on audiences – exceeding shares on social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, and even those made by friends.

So, the next time you read a tweet or hear about the demise of traditional media, try to put it in perspective and remember that unless you are seeing your coverage from ALL types of media, you won’t have an accurate representation of how your messages are playing out and influencing ALL of your audiences. While I recommend stakeholder targeting related to your goals and initiatives, all forms of an outlet should be part of your sample or you are skewing your data and results of a high level of integrity based on sampling. Ironically, in an effort to be trendy, some organizations focus solely on digital. However a digital focus alone, that doesn’t include traditional media, is blindingly misleading and can be equated to looking at the Grand Canyon through a straw. Sure, it’s pretty, but you miss more than you see!

2012 Counselors Academy Conference – Beyond the Hype of Influence: Unleashing the Power of PR

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Colleen Flood*

“Going beyond the hype of social media and online influence means going beyond the numbers and popularity games. It means digging into the real meaning of influence and finding the true value of making connections with the right people,” explained Pierre-Loic Assayag, CEO of Traackr, and Shonali Burke, VP, Digital, MSL Washington D.C., at the 2012 PRSA Counselors Academy.

There are many tools to measure influence, including Klout, Peer Index, Tweet Level, and Tweet Grader. The problem with tools that measure influence is that they cannot agree and that is because marketers are asking the wrong questions. Rather than try and use new tools based on old practices, marketing and PR professionals must understand that influence varies – both qualitative and quantitative – and depends on content.

With three percent of people creating 90 percent of the impact online, it is imperative that communicators understand influencers as they pertain to individual clients. Not all influencers will fit the bill. Therefore, marketers must identify the right people for the job. In other words, marketers must choose relevance over popularity.

  1. Influence is both an art and a science. Search, secure, rank, and track.
  2. Focus on the task at hand. “Cognitive blindness” causes many marketers to miss influencers.
  3. Commit. Discover, listen, and engage to understand what the conversation is about.

Once marketers have found the relevant influencers, then what? Assayag and Burke say that it is time to “manage influencers” and that PR professionals must approach the relationship as if “it is a marriage and not a date.” Part of managing the relationship involves understanding the different metrics that define success such as web traffic, brand mentions, sales, engagement metrics, and sentiment/tone, among others.

In the end, finding the right influencers is really about providing value (what can you do for them?), being relevant, and being genuine and then finding the right metrics that help drive value and not hype. In wrapping up, Burke talked about the Blue Key campaign and how it used the power of influencers. Check out my colleague, Andrea Corbo’s post, When a Hashtag Leads to Help: PR Tips from #BlueKey

How are you unleashing the power of your PR? What metrics drive the most relevancy for your clients?

***

*Bio: Colleen Flood has been a sales consultant with BurrellesLuce for over 12 years and is eager to become a more integrated part of the social-public relations community. She primarily handles agency relations in the New York and New Jersey metro-area. She is not only passionate about work, but also about family, friends, and the Jersey Shore. Twitter: @cgflood LinkedIn: Colleen Flood Facebook: BurrellesLuce