Posts Tagged ‘transactions’


The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace: Engaging Individuals One Poll at a Time

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

by Lauren Shapiro*

The White House recently announced that they are taking steps to create a manner in which online identities could be protected from hackers through the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC). This new initiative would provide individuals with online identification cards, ala drivers’ licenses or social security cards. This identity could then, hypothetically, allow for safe online banking and shopping. Although this program is quite a breakthrough and a necessity for the already burgeoning world of online transactions, it is not the first to discuss the issue of privacy in cyberspace.

White House

Flickr Image: ~MVI~ (Shubert Ciencia)

At the beginning of this year the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the FCC came to a head over the privacy concerns. And more recently the Federal Trade Commission considers implementing a do not track mechanism that would allow consumers to more easily manage targeted marketing.

What may be more interesting and certainly sets the NSTIC initiative apart is the communication strategy used by the White House.

The announcement of this program was made via a blog post by Howard A. Schmidt, cyber-security coordinator. In it, Schmidt describes the vastness of cyberspace, the relatively humongous role it plays in everyday life and the need for a greater emphasis on security within the online environment. The goal of the NSTIC is to, “reduce cyber-security vulnerabilities and improve online privacy protections through the use of trusted digital identities.” What better way to convey a message about cyberspace than in cyberspace!

The other PR savvy tactic: Mr. Schmidt asked for the public’s opinion on how best to mold this new proposal. By visiting http://www.nstic.ideascale.com/ you could submit ideas or opinions while browsing ideas already submitted and agree/disagree with them.

By empowering the nation to become an active voice in the creation of the NSTIC, Howard Schmidt has taken full advantage of one of the most beneficial aspects cyberspace has to offer – the ability to create an open forum of discussion and polling. Through this method, the White House will, theoretically, be able to create a system for the public by the public.

Do you use online polling or discussions during the creation of your PR strategies? Will we one day vote for the President of the United States via online polling? How does online privacy affect your professional communications objectives and personal activities? Please share your thoughts with the me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas. 

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*Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now work as the supervisor of BurrellesLuce Express client services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Why It Pays to be the Influencer for Sales and Retention Efforts

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

by Emily Mouyeos*

Influence marketing is beginning to showcase itself as an effective tool in social media strategies. Companies such as Starbucks and Virgin America have partnered with Klout , a startup that measures influence on Twitter, to identify influencing social media users. The criteria used to identify key influencers include more than 25 variables used to measure “true reach,” “amplification probability,” and “network score.” Klout’s website explains that, “The size of the sphere is calculated by measuring True Reach (engaged followers and friends vs. spam bots, dead accounts, etc.). Amplification Probability is the likelihood that messages will generate retweets or spark a conversation. If the user’s engaged followers are highly influential, they’ll have a high Network Score.”

The examples of Starbucks and Virgin America shows how companies are reaching out to find influencers to (in the words of Frank Sinatra) “start spreading the news” or share their valued opinion on a product or service. However, it can be just as important for the company to be the influencer, especially in B-to-B marketing. Being an influencer means you need to create a following (True Reach), have smart and interesting things to say (Amplification Probability) and connect with other shakers and movers (Network Score.)

This article, appearing on The Drum, offers some tips for effective influencer marketing,  among them: 

  1. Focus on the Influencer.
  2. Focus on Transactions.
  3. Focus on the Story, not the pay-off.
  4. Measure what counts.

If want to become an influencer then scoring high in these areas will pay off for your sales and retention efforts. If people come to know and like you, they will want to buy from you. Co-founder of influencer marketing company Pursway, Ran Shaul states, “The fundamental marketing challenge today is more strategic than tactical. Numerous studies all draw the same conclusion – the majority of people buy based on the conversation and recommendations of trusted friends, family members, colleagues and, increasingly, online reviewers.”

klout happo 2

He then goes on to cite Nielsen’s latest Global Online Consumer Survey, which revealed that out of over 25,000 Internet consumers, from 50 countries, “90 percent of consumers surveyed said they trust recommendations from people they know, while 70 trust consumer opinions posted online.” Incidentally, 70 percent of consumers surveyed also indicated that they “trusted brand websites completely or somewhat.” With 64 percent listing that they trust “brand sponsorships.”

How does this translate to sales and retention efforts? Becoming the influencer (directly or indirectly) gives you direct connection to potential clients who will remember you when they are looking to buy. These types of relationships increase brand awareness and prove you are a trusted advisor through thought leadership. Potential clients plugged into the industry chatter will know who you are and what you are about. Social Media has made it incredibly easy to share information. You no longer have to write a book to be considered an expert or impact the community.

As an example, I loved watching the phenomenal initiative; “Help A PR Pro Out” (HAPPO) impact the PR community. The campaign partnered together “PR Pros” with recent graduates looking for jobs in this tough economy. It may not have been the intent of the co-founders, Arik Hanson, ACH Communications, and Valerie Simon, BurrellesLuce, but they instantly became industry influencers to the young generation of PR professionals. You better believe that the college graduates will look to them for future partnerships and will one day become influencers themselves, not to mention the group of current PR influencers HAPPO was able to group together. I think the HAPPO campaign hit all of the “high scoring” variables used by Klout on the head. They created a strong following of PR pros and college graduates, gave out incredibly valuable information and gathered together the PR industries current and future influencers.

Do you know of any influence marketing campaigns where the influencer is the actual company? What are potential pitfalls to a company striving to be an intentional influencer? 

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*Bio: Emily Mouyeos joined the BurrellesLuce account management team with a background in nonprofit communication and development. Her background and current experience with BurrellesLuce allows her to effectively address client needs and consolidate feedback for senior management. To Emily, nothing feels better than helping others achieve their goal, whether it’s professionally or personally.  By focusing on client management through the Fresh Ideas blog, she hopes to evaluate new client management trends, as well as provide insight to the pros and cons of current practices. She looks forward to connecting with the readers of Fresh Ideas for new perspectives and dialogue on issues that affect overall success. LinkedIn: Emily Mouyeos Twitter: @BurrellesLuce Facebook: BurrellesLuce