Posts Tagged ‘campaign’


Experiment in Social Media by ‘Communicating the Experience’

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
PRSA-NCC Panel on "Communicating the Experience"

Flickr Image: Capital Communicator - 9/18/12 PRSA-NCC panel on Communicating the Experience featured Heather Freeman, Heather Freeman Media and Public Relations, moderator; Garrett Graff, editor-in-chief, Washingtonian; Amy McKeever, editor, Eater; Vanessa French, co-founder, Pivot Point Communications; and Carlisle Campbell, vice president, Ketchum.

The only way to succeed in social media is to experiment A LOT! One out of ten tries will be successful and two out of three will be somewhat successful, says Garrett Graff, editor-in-chief, Washingtonian. A panel at the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America on Sept. 18 confirms his statement. All the panelists look for ways to communicate the experience, especially in relation to food.

Carlisle Campbell, vice president, Ketchum, speaking about the Double Tree by Hilton Cookie CAREavan Across America campaign, a winner of the 2012 Thoth Awards, says they focused on three key ways to connect to the public via social media:

  • a cookie confessional (video of consumers discussing cookie or Double Tree experiences)
  • swarm car (a Twitter contest for an office cookie party)
  • and an online sweepstakes.

The swarm car originally left executives nervous, but eventually provided additional opportunities, such as when the Atlanta office of the Associated Press won and tweeted their happiness.

Tips for Experimenting in Social Media

Incorporate photos into the mix: With the implementation of the Facebook timeline, Vanessa French, co-founder, Pivot Point Communications, advocates using a lot of pictures. Speaking of pictures, everyone agreed “food porn” is irresistible to the consumer. People love to post pictures of food, so organizations should take the lead and upload photos to their media properties.  

Leverage outreach to boost advocacy: French advocated outreach to local bloggers about events, which she finds can often lead to their posts being testimonials.

Know your audience: As with all campaigns, the key is to knowing what platforms your audience is using. In reviewing Facebook and Twitter, Graff comments Facebook is for following friends who are strangers and Twitter is for following strangers who are friends. French also says Facebook users do not like shortened links, unless they are coming from an established media company.

The panel considers Pinterest the new bright shiny tool, and brands need to evaluate it for usefulness for their campaigns. Graff says it is especially useful if you are targeting young women looking to get married, even if the wedding is not imminent. French commented on several non-profits, like the World Wildlife Federation, using it successfully. She also said many men are on Pinterst talking about technology.

Expand your communities: Amy McKeever, editor, EaterDC, says she stays in-touch with many smaller restaurants through Facebook and Twitter, and she finds Twitter to be a good way to gather news. She doesn’t post news to social media until it is posted to Eater, because her goal is to drive traffic to her site.

Align tactics with business goals and objectives: Campbell says the debate over creating a website versus a Facebook page is discussed in their office. Many of his younger colleagues advocate for the Facebook page. French says if you do choose a website, be sure to advocate for a blog, which will help with SEO.

QR codes and the next wave of social-technology…  French says she pitches QR codes to clients, but they are often not in the final campaign. Graff feels we are at a low point for QR codes, right now. They are not easy to use, so he says a simple link works just as well. But, he thinks a more advanced QR code that is universal might be on the horizon.

How are you and your clients continuing to experiment with social media? What new trends do you see on the horizon? What tried-and-true tactics continue to work in the present? Please share your thoughts with BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers.

St. Louis Rams Tackle a Disengaged Community for a Win

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Kevin Demoff is in his fourth year as executive vice president of football operations and chief operating officer with the St. Louis Rams. As any football fan, or anyone who lives in the heartland, knows the Rams team is bad on the field but even worse off the field. There is simply no connection to the community.  Demoff’s 100_0763critical challenge? How to get the community excited—even if the team wins no games.

During Demoff’s recent address to the PRSA St. Louis chapter, in a room just off the owner’s office overlooking the practice field as the “boys” wrapped up for the day, he explained that football should be a tradition.With the exit of the Cardinals to Arizona, however, it skipped a generation here as there was no hometown team.

Today, The Rams are now involved in every football league in the area, from pee wee teams all the way up, so they grow up into fans and pass it on. This strategy is not going to gain immediate fans. It’s long-term grassroots planning, including community programs, that will pay off down the line. The Rams only play 16 days per year, yet must be top of mind 365 days per year—what a challenge!

Rams Community Outreach Initiatives

Rams Staff Day of Service is one example of getting involved in the community. One day per month they shut the doors and everyone, from the players to the accounting 100_0759clerks to the upper management, does a community service project.  For example, last summer about 90 members of the Rams staff took a trip to Joplin, MO to aid relief efforts after the devastating tornado. Another example is of how the Rams help build playgrounds. A program started in 2009, the Rams most recent playground build was for “a local town of 2,600, a community with no schools, only a library […].” 

Demoff accepts nearly every opportunity to speak. When I heard him speak (Thursday, August 23rd), he had already spoken to eight or nine other groups. He’s out making the personal, emotional connection with their stakeholders—this doesn’t happen behind a desk. He says it’s crucial to speak from the heart via every medium possible, whether that is in-person, social media, print media, broadcast media, etc.  As a matter of fact, seeing the need to expand their media footprint, the Rams now have their own broadcast team including a film crew. They needed to grow the brand outside the immediate area, and whereas they used to not even be carried in the next market over, there are now nine states on pre-season now.

They produced a community service video, which we watched, and notably there was no football in it. The goal is to make the community better—even if they’re not winning at football—and Demoff leads them to be one of the community’s strongest philanthropic partners. As a matter of fact, in the 35 years of local philanthropic awards, no sports team has ever won. That is, until 2010 when the Rams were named St. Louis Philanthropic Organization of the Year.

They even started a program where players buy tickets for underprivileged kids—they’re up to 28 players now participating in the program. Recently the St. Louis Rams showed appreciation to Scott Air Force Base, where they traded jerseys with the soldiers and held a scrimmage game. Along with all the typical things like hospital visits to soldiers and critically ill children, the Rams have come a long way. 

It’s apparent that hard work and personal dedication has been quintessential to their success. I think the biggest takeaway from Demoff and the Rams outreach program is the sincerity with which they participate. Rather than make it something that a few players do with the hopes of garnering publicity – the program is built in such a way that it becomes a part of team identity on and off the field, regardless of an individual’s role in the organization or team. Demoff spearheads a culture of service that benefits all involved – and it is the authenticity that really fuels outreach success.

Do you have examples of community engagement strategies or techniques to share?

Rebranding Your Facebook Page

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

What would you do if you had to start a new Facebook page for your organization and convince all your fans to like a new page? This is the reality for the athletics department of my alma mater, the University of North Dakota (UND). The university is going to stop using the “Fighting Sioux” as its nickname, and so they need to convince the 48,285 fans (and counting) of University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux to “like” UND Sports instead. To date only 2,296 fans have “liked” the new UND Sports page.

This brings up an important, but often forgotten, point about Facebook pages… You need to choose your Facebook page name carefully, because, as I discussed in my BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas post, Facebook Tips for PR Pros, you cannot change the page name once your page has 101+ fans. If UND had used “University of North Dakota (UND) Sports (or Athletics)” or some variation originally, this situation might not be happening. Remember, you can change the “About” and “Company Overview” at any time, so consider using these for more creative names and information.

Diane Thieke, founder, Simply Talk Media and Mike Schaffer, director of social media, iostudio have both recently helped clients make a Facebook page change. Both advocate a well-developed communications strategy, which should include:

  • Clear messaging: Why is a new page needed? What new benefits will it offer?
  • A transition timeline: Allow enough time to communicate the change. This can be as little as eight weeks, for a small fan base, up to six months or more for a large following. It is very important to give an end date for when the old page will no longer be updated, and stick to it.
  • Integrated marketing: Communicate regularly, and often, through multiple channels (email, newsletters, website, etc.) about the transition. You want to reach as much of your fan base as possible to let them know about the page change.
  •  A content strategy: Drive people to your new page. For example, post identical content to both pages until the end date is reached, but gradually phase out content on the old page. Eventually, your new page should offer unique information not available elsewhere. Expanded content, like HD video, pictures and polls, will give the new page more value.
  • A “like” campaign. Consider offering incentives. For example, you can donate $1 for every “like” to charity. Branded swag can help rebuild the emotional connection. Be sure to promote all campaigns across all channels of communication.

Thieke says, “Remember that social media is a conversation. Respond to the comments on the old page and acknowledge how your fans feel, but avoid engaging in arguments. Often, people just want to know they’re being heard.”

Rebranding is never easy. Schaffer confirms, “The key to remember is that the loyalty isn’t to the name, but to the institution.” If the new Facebook page is going to allow fans, students and alumni to gain information and insight to the teams, then they will make the transition. Eventually, the old name will become less important.

Have you had to change Facebook pages for your organization or a client? Can you share some lessons learned and best practices with the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers?

When a Hashtag Leads to Help: PR Tips from #BlueKey

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Andrea Corbo*

Peacekeeping - UNAMID

Flickr Image: United Nations Photo

We all know there are many reasons to use social media, but why not use it for a good cause? Well, that’s what many non-profits, NGOs, and supporters do! 

Let’s take a look at a recent social media campaign launched by USA for UNHCR. The initiative, called The Blue Key campaign, aims at raising awareness of UNHCR refugee work and raising money through the purchases of blue keys that symbolize a key to a home, which refugees no longer have. Their goal is to “dispatch 6,000 Blue Keys by December 31, 2011.” To date, they have dispatched over 3,400 keys. The campaign has had huge success this year and still has a presence if you run a Twitter search today. #BlueKey

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Shonali Burke, a public relations and social media strategist based in metro D.C., who consulted on The Blue Key campaign (USA for UNHCR is her client), and blogs at Waxing UnLyrical. From our discussion, I was able to see that the tactics fell into several categories.

Measurement
If you are a PR professional running a campaign, you may choose to set a goal that you can measure such as a set-amount of followers, hashtag mentions, or number of group members. (One of their goals was the number of blue keys.) You can then relate these quantitative metrics to monetary measurements and numbers of people positively affected as a result of such aid. You can also take a look at qualitative metrics, think tone or sentiment, to see how people may be reacting to your campaign and how your campaign may have shifted their awareness – positively, negatively, or neutrally.  What types of response can you get?

To understand how analytics helped UNHCR tell their story, check out this interview between Shonali and Beth Kanter, author of Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media.  

Timeliness/Relevancy
Use holidays and events to your advantage. A great idea in the Blue Key campaign was to incorporate an online frenzy via a tweetathon (on June 13th) that approached World Refugee Day, held each year on June 20th.  These tweets then led to more awareness which, for UNHCR, resulted in a direct increase in support through purchases of blue keys. In fact, the tweetathons were so successful that they were held again in September and again on Monday, October 24th in honor of United Nations Day.

According to a recent email message sent by Marc Breslaw, executive director, USA for UNHCR – The UN Refugee Agency, the tweetathon held last week generated 1, 800 tweets with the hashtag #bluekey and have helped to spread even more awareness and keys.

And as 2011 draws to a close, another tweetathon is planned for November 17th from 9am – 9pm.

Word-of-mouth
Clearly, USA for UNHCR and other organizations can create their own campaigns to raise awareness. But how can people get involved with these organizations if they don’t launch the campaign themselves? That’s where the Blue Key Champions come into play. Social media users, in general, can aid in these campaigns by participating by spreading knowledge, posting info for events or fundraisers, and sending targeted info to their friends.

Community Engagement (In Real-Life)
Since part of the goal is to actually bring real world action to causes, it is important for organizations and the communities to meet in real life, not just online. Today (November 2nd), in the NYC-area there is a  tweetup (NYC #bluekey tweetup) organized by local Blue Key Champions and the D.C. #bluekey tweetup will be on November 10th. These tweetups are a great way for people who are passionate about a cause to come together and meet others who are equally as passionate and foster a sense of active community.

 

Want some other causes to follow on Twitter? Help promote a cause that you are passionate about. Use your social media power to your advantage. Here are a few Twitter handles I suggest you follow to get started: @UNRefugeeAgency@planuk@unicefusa@Polaris_Project, @PlanGlobal@tkhf, @VolunteerMatch, and @ecoteer.

I hope I’ve encouraged you to get involved and help promote through your social media accounts. It’s easy and it means something important. What organizations do you follow on Twitter? Tell us by leaving a comment on Fresh Ideas.

***

Bio: After receiving a B.A. in communications, and briefly working at a TV production studio, Andrea began volunteering abroad. This lead her to work in the non-profit world, where she was fortunate enough to learn about international education, women’s empowerment and social issues for the elderly, while traveling to over a dozen countries.  Since joining BurrellesLuce in 2011, Andrea is excited to share her thoughts and views on branding, social media, and communications with the growing Fresh Ideas audience, as well as her passion for cultural awareness, volunteerism, and sustainable efforts. Twitter: @AndreaCorbo; Facebook: BurrellesLuce; LinkedIn: BurrellesLuce

How to Speak C-Suite

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Ruth Mesfun*

If you mistook the clattering of keyboards for cicadas in heat and saw your Twitter feed explode with the hashtag #prndigital, yesterday, then you were probably with me at the PR News Digital PR Next Practices Summit at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. The all-day event was a smorgasbord of useful topics and speakers flinging words such as SEO (search engine optimization), influencers, engagement, and fangate pages.

However, if you have ever spoken to your boss about using social media it probably went like this:

justincaseyouwerewondering.com

justincaseyouwerewondering.com

If your digital campaign does not translate to the C-Suite language (increased sales, decreased costs, or high ROI) then it wouldn’t matter if you grow their Twitter page to 100,000 followers. They will pull the plug. 

Here are eight steps I took from the panel on Prove the Value of Your Digital Efforts to the C-Suite featuring Margot Sinclair Savell, vice president of Measurement and Analytics at Weber Shandwick, Angela Jeffery, APR and member of IPR Commission and Nick Panayi, director of Global Brand and Digital Marketing at CSC.

1.      Define organizational goals. Make sure your goals are strictly C-suite speak. (e.g., Our goal is to increase sales by 30 percent.) That way they see that you are on the same level.

2.      Research stakeholders and prioritize. This should be done regardless if you are presenting a digital campaign or not; you should always know your audience.  

3.      Ask yourself: What do they care about? I want to add in a perfect line from Margot Sinclair Savell, “Don’t just measure communications; measure the impact on your bottom line.” 

4.      Set social media objectives that correlate with their goals. Now this is where you link your social media efforts to their C-suite objectives. (e.g., With the Twitter campaign, we are launching, our goal is to increase our followers by 50 percent and positive sentiment by 40 percent which in turn will increase our sales by 30 percent.)  

5.      Choose (the right) tools and establish benchmarks. Once your campaign has launched, use tools and benchmarks to monitor how your campaign is playing out in The Media. Remember to monitor both the social media goal and the main goal (C-suite objective).

6.      Analyze, Analyze, Analyze! Be sure to use both qualitative and quantitative metrics and have these also tie back to your communications and C-suite objectives.

7.      Present to management. Remember to add charts of correlation between the campaign and the C-suite objectives. Translate metrics into the language.  

8.      Continue to build on that foundation: monitor, analyze, and improve. Review and revamp your strategy and tactics, making sure to revise as departmental and C-suite objectives evolve. 

So, how are you proving your value of your digital efforts to the C-suite? Please share your thoughts with me, here, on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

 ***

Before joining the BurrellesLuce team in 2011, as social media specialist, Ruth worked as a marketing assistant in a kitchen design firm and, later interned with Turner Public Relations. She holds a BA in Economics with a minor degree in International Relations from Rowan University. In addition to economics, education, and finance – Ruth is passionate about understanding the business implications of social media, including how it can be used to increase ROI, find and maintain a career, and create a business. Connect with her on Twitter: @RuthMesfun LinkedIn: Ruth Mesfun Facebook: BurrellesLuce