Posts Tagged ‘tweets’

Using Social Media in a Fast Paced World Requires That You Slowdown and Plan

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

by Tom Kowalski*

I recently attended the Social Convergence and The Enterprise conference held at The Graduate Center of CUNY.  I listened to more than a half dozen speakers discuss the importance of social media in their organizations.  There was one underlying message that everyone seemed to get across:  companies who try and jump on the bandwagon of social media without a concrete plan will ultimately BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas: Using Social Media in a Fast paced World Requires That You Slow Down and Plan, Tom Kowalskiend up failing with this initiative. 

There’s been a 230 percent increase in social media since 2007.  The growth is staggering. Yet, the question remains – how are companies engaging in social media successfully?  Brian Renny, CMO, Harvard Business School says we need to understand the sociology of engaging social media to connect with our audience; otherwise we’ll fall short of success.  Just because a company tweets or has a Facebook fan page, doesn’t mean the organization is successful.  It’s all how the organization is using the social media tools available to them and how they’re leveraging them to connect with the community. 

Conversations, good and bad, are happening everywhere.  As we all know, a successful public relations campaign is always well thought out and planned.  So why should this be any different with the way we handle social media?  Matt Peters, creative director, Pandemic Labs, says building a solid social media platform is essential to the organization’s success of future initiatives. Although social media has certainly changed the way we do our jobs, the core concept is still the same.  We still must identify how we communicate with our audience.

Some of the most successful PR campaigns and crisis communication resolutions in recent times were well-thought out plans that connected with the audience via social media.  As my colleague Denise Giacin points out in a recent post on the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog, Jet Blue is a great example of a company using social media to manage PR communications and engagement.  When the Valentine’s Day brand disaster occurred in 2007, the company quickly turned to YouTube to connect with their customers.  Founder and former CEO, David Neeleman, went on the Internet first apologizing to the employees of Jet Blue and then to their customers for going against everything the company stands for.  He ensured something like this will never happen again.  The quick response and admittance of fault allowed the public to forgive the airline and move on. 

Jenny Dervin, director of corporate communications stated that the company built the brand on goodwill through daily engagement and cashed in on that when the disaster occurred.  Dervin said it’s important that you’re proactive with social media on daily basis and people will be more forgiving, should a crisis occur.  Another important point Dervin made is that social media allowed the company to directly speak with their audience, rather than using traditional media channels as a middle man.  People perceive the company as being more genuine and sincere when the message is direct.

So before you send that tweet, or create a fan page, have a concrete method that parallels the goals of your business and/or your campaign or crisis and do your research. Once you have the appropriate channels in place remain sincere and proactive when connect with constituents.  Otherwise, if you jump in too soon without thinking, the chances of your success with social media or handling crisis communication will diminish.


*Bio: As a Senior Account Manager at BurrellesLuce, Tom Kowalski works closely with New York-based clients and PR agencies. Tom brings extensive knowledge of the PR industry with more than 7 years of agency experience. He hopes to stimulate readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas by sharing useful information related to the communications industry and business in general, as well as different perspectives on customer service. LinkedIn: Tom Kowalski Twitter: @BurrellesLuce Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Highlights from PRSA Travel & Tourism 2010: Tom Hoehn, Kodak Eastman, & Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Transcript –

JOHNA BURKE:  Hello, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce, and I’m here at the Travel and Tourism PRSA Conference with Tom.

Tom, will you please introduce yourself?

TOM HOEHN:  Sure thing, Johna.  I’m Tom Hoehn.  I’m director of interactive and web marketing at Eastman Kodak Company.

BURKE:  And, Tom, you just did a session on merging traditional and social media.  And Kodak is a very traditional company, but you all are having a lot of fun with your social media programs.  Can you just share with the group what one of your favorite campaigns was?

HOEHN:  Sure, sure.  It was–it was a great presentation.  By the way, I love this, doing this thing at PRSA.  It was fun, fun, fun.  And we do more than have fun at Kodak with social media, too.  There’s a lot of results that are being driven from this, as well.

As far as a favorite campaign, I guess I’d look at the whole body of work and say that we’ve been at this for almost four years now, starting with blogs and things like this, and we still look at blogs as the heart of our social media efforts.  Tweets, Facebook wall posts, everything else lead back to blog, where we can tell a richer and deeper story.  So in terms of campaigns, I could say that we’ve used that kind of tactic to have rich and deep content on the blogs for printer campaigns, camera campaigns both in the B-to-B world and the B-to-C world as well, to get the most out of say trade shows, all kinds of things.

BURKE:  Great.  Thank you so much.  And where can people find you on the web and in social media, Tom?

HOEHN:***(as spoken).

BURKE:  Excellent.  Thanks so much.

HOEHN:  Thank you. 

Lunar Landing Anniversary = Great PR Opportunity

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

2768719983_962780aa36_m.jpgLike most people under 50, the first lunar landing is something I read about in history books or watched clips of on TV. At first glance, this week’s celebration of the 40th anniversary seemed to be an overkill of media coverage. But as I watched TV stories and YouTube videos, perused the special section in the Washington Post, and read tweets, I realized NASA may have created an award-winning PR campaign.

NASA is trying to reach younger people, who feel space travel is blasé. They also need funding and support for future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. I was surprised how many stories relayed NASA’s key message: space missions are important to the advancement of science.

A. Pawlowski made this point in a article looking at the debate over space travel. A very fun sidebar in the print edition of the Washington Post highlighted many of the products developed because of the space program. Even Google Earth got into the act.

Peter Shankman of HARO was asked at a presentation at the National Institutes of Health which government agency is utilizing social media well? Not surprisingly, his answer was NASA.

I really cannot wait until all the coverage is reviewed and analyzed. I believe the communications teams at NASA pulled-off a great event, which advanced their purpose.

Have you used an anniversary to successfully drive home your key messages to new audiences? Myself (and the rest of us here at BurrellesLuce) would like to hear about your success stories.

Some Tweet Stats For Communicators

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

If you are like a lot of people, you are having debates about the value of Twitter and the level of engagement needed as part of your communications strategy. At the AMEC Measurement Summit in Berlin, Germany I had the johnaberlin.jpgpleasure of meeting Dr. Nick Koudas, CEO of Sysomos, who recently conducted some analysis of Twitter “An In-Depth Look Inside the Twitter World.”  

The study reveals some fascinating data about demographic and keyword trends to consider when developing your strategy and offers some support for engagement. The Sysomos study doesn’t define the “sphere of influence,” the holy grail I believe we need to fully leverage social media efforts, it definitely provides a step in the right direction. The research should help make the communication role easier since success is more likely when we have a good baseline of knowledge. With this information your organization can make the most impact in social media.

While in Berlin I had the pleasure of conducting a video interview with Dr. Koudas. The audio isn’t great, but for those of you interested he shares some insights from the study.

One last personal note: Based on this study I’m proud to say BurrellesLuce tweeters (@gail_nelson, @valeriesimon, @dfriez, @tressalynne, and @gojohnab) are above average in most areas.

Tweeting At Conferences Encourages New Level of Engagement

Friday, June 12th, 2009

JR Hipple (Hipple & Company Reputation Management), Debbie Friez (BurrellesLuce), and Joel Swanson (Risdall McKinney Public Relations) attended the recent PRSA Counselors Academy Conference.Like Steve Shannon, BurrellesLuce executive vice president, I have also attended several conferences, recently. (See “Are You a Conference Commando” post). The live tweeting is an interesting phenomenon, which has really taken off. Most conferences now promote a hashtag (# followed by a short tag) to use when tweeting about the event.

This use of a hashtag has allowed me to achieve a new level of engagement:

1. I’ve found new people to connect with by following the conference hashtag. I really enjoy meeting other Twitter users at the sessions, and adding live interaction to our online relationship. Tweeting gives us instant camaraderie!

2. I rarely take notes anymore. My tweets (or someone else’s) will tell me all the important points.

3. I am adding value for my followers, who are able to get the key points from the conference. Many of the conference tweets have been re-tweeted by followers who are not attending.

Here are some of my recent tweets highlighting the latest industry conferences:

  • Steve Holt of WCBS does not answer his phone. Don’t send follow-up e-mails. Don’t pitch a story CBS network is doing. #mrs09
  • A good pitch is a new idea. Parker-Pope doesn’t have time for meet and greets. #mrs09
  • Old media relations tools still apply to social media. Be transparent and have something to say. #mrs09
  • Remember to optimize your tweets for search says @courtneymbarnes #ca2009
  • Hagler: for pitches-don’t lead with your strength, lead with what you want to grow. #CA2009
  • Tip – Measure relationships i.e. process measures, quality of relationship or value of no coverage. #CA2009

Are you creating a hashtag for your next conference? Are you live tweeting from conferences you attend?