Posts Tagged ‘Weber Shandwick’


How to Build a Brand Using Compelling Content

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

How to Build a Brand Using Compelling Content BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Tressa RobbinsAs public relations and communications professionals, we all create content. Writing is a core competency to this profession, and is frequently discussed with and emphasized to those preparing for a career in PR.  While it’s still true that writing skills are critical, and are no less important than they were, storytelling is now more than just words.

At a recent IABC St. Louis and PRSA St. Louis joint event, Dave Collett, EVP and GM of Weber Shandwick St. Louis, and Chris Vary, VP digital at Weber Shandwick Southwest, offered examples and tips on how to create compelling content that stands out.

The world’s digital content is increasingly findable and sharable. There is a volume explosion occurring in social and digital content!  Using content from an EMC Study called “Extracting Value from Chaos,”  Collett and Vary showed a chart demonstrating the growth—about nine times what it was five years ago. In 2011, that was 1.8 zettabytes (new word for me—one zettabyte is approximately one billion terabytes, which in bytes is a one followed by 21 zeros).  The study also estimates that by 2015, there will be 7.9 zettabytes of data in existence.  These numbers are more than staggering, they’re overwhelming! With the amounts of content filling up cyberspace, your content must be as compelling as ever.

What makes content contagious?  According to Vary and Collett, you should ask yourself why would people care, and why would people share? The answers should be that the content is:

  • Educational, but in a different way
  • Entertaining
  • Emotionally Engaging

They offered up several examples of wildly popular campaigns. Red Bull’s Stratos –  Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall from 128,000 feet – which broke all kinds of records (and not just the physical ones). This demonstrates Red Bull’s success with promoting a lifestyle, not just a product.

You don’t have to have those kinds of numbers for your campaign to be a success. Vary and Collett presented another example–Stratasys, a company that makes 3D printers. They “printed” a robotic exoskeleton for a little girl who couldn’t raise her arms. She dubbed them her “magic arms.” There was lots of media coverage and I dare you to watch the YouTube video and not get a little misty-eyed. (Note if you’re in a hurry, after the first two minutes, jump to 2:55 for the rest.) This is an emotionally engaging example of focusing on the human side and the product’s effect of on people.

Content doesn’t always have to be serious. Content doesn’t have to be expensive, either.  It can even be irreverent—depending, of course, on your industry and organization’s business mission. Just take a look at DollarShaveClub.com’s brotastic and amusing  “Our Blades are F***ing Great” campaign.

Vary and Collett stressed that while these are all YouTube examples, and video is a great platform, compelling content doesn’t have to be video.  Mappings have been trending in the past year or so. Haven’t we all done the New York Times Online questionnaire that asks you questions about your vernacular and then predicts where you live or are from? Facebook offered up its own version of mapping with the NFL team allegiance charts. You can create features like this yourself by using the Facebook graph search, using U.S. census data, or another data source—the key is to package it in a compelling manner.

The bottom line is, it’s not just about awareness anymore. PR now creates awareness and engagement—actions, enrollments, sales, whatever—to support the overall business objectives of the organization.  What are some of the most compelling pieces of content you’ve seen recently, and what aspects have you applied to your own content? How do you continue to create compelling content, and where do you find your inspiration?

5 Tips for Working with Television Journalists

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

interview

 

November 2011

Broadcast media traditionally refers to television. It may seem people are spending less time in front of the TV these days. But with the media everywhere mentality, broadcast television still remains a viable part of media relations outreach.

In fact, broadcast is becoming even more important today because of its availability online – increasing shelf life and exposure of key content segments. “Today, broadcast is about much more than just television and radio. There is mobile TV, podcasting, web streaming, branded content, and ad funded programming,” confirms Weber Shandwick, a full service public relations agency who specializes in Broadcast PR. “In short, it is all about convergence between traditional broadcast outlets and the new digital kids on the block. A well thought out convergent campaign using the best of the old in conjunction with the best of the new will amplify your messages and give you an important voice […]”

With that spirit in mind, BurrellesLuce put together 5 tips to help you get the most out of working with television journalists and enhance your broadcast efforts.

Read more to discover 5 tips for working with TV journalists in this month’s BurrellesLuce Newsletter.

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

PR News Facebook Conference: Engaging Your Followers – Developing a Winning Content Strategy

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Colleen Flood*

What do you do with all your Facebook followers?

How does a brand come to life on Facebook?

These were just some of the questions addressed at a panel on “Developing a Winning Content Strategy to Engage Your Followers” at this year’s PR News Facebook Conference.

Stephanie Agresta, executive vice president and managing director of social media at Weber Shandwick, talked about the importance of assigning roles when it comes to the structure of community management. She highlighted four responsibilities that PR professionals need to consider when developing the structure of their community management team: community manager, trend expert, monitoring expert, and reporting expert.

When it comes to building a successful community, the personality of the community manager is key. It is their job to ensure that the consumer is getting value from the brand, as well as to oversee the reporting and monitoring teams. To be a good community manager, you need to: listen, be authentic and transparent, blog, and develop a social media presence. Maria Baugh, co-owner of Butter Lane Cupcakes, also affirmed that it is very important for the community manager to know your brand.

Some other takeaways for developing a winning content strategy on Facebook:

From Stephanie Agresta

  • As your community grows so should the frequency of your posts
  • Don’t hide behind your logo. Be real.
  • Measure.
  • Don’t forget about in real life – offer your community opportunity to come together outside of Facebook.

From Maria Baugh

  • Talk about your product with groups that seek you out and choose to engage with you.
  • Use Facebook to get instant feedback from and dialogue with customers. Again insights into what’s really taking place and what people want to see.
  • Be consistent in your messaging.
  • Build an authentic brand by being real – person to person – and avoid marketing speak.
  • Use all available tools, including photos, videos, polls, and promotions.
  • Decide what and when to invest for growth.

From Paull Younger, director of digital, charity: water

  • “Liking” a brand is similar to putting a bumper sticker on your car.
  • If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all.
  • Focus on sharing, not publishing.
  • Every person you are connected with is a publisher – what will people share about your brand?

From Johna Burke, senior vice president of marketing, BurrellesLuce

  • All brands should not be everywhere. Understand where you can be most effective.
  • Stop using hashtags on Facebook – know the language.
  • Focus on the customer experience: awareness, engagement, persuasion, conversion, and retention.
  • Have clear calls to action; measure success.

In this way, the function of the community manager and building a Facebook community is similar to that of public relations practitioner. Securing media placements is not unlike securing tweets, blog posts, and Facebook posts. Ensure the target audience – regardless of the outlet – receives something of value and feels connected to your brand or client.

Got more tips for effectively using Facebook and creating quality content? Share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

Are PR Budgets Back?

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Valerie Simon

Money_EyesAt the New York City #HAPPO Hour last week, professionals representing many top public relations agencies were on the lookout for talent. Representatives from firms such as Burson Marstellar, Peppercom, MS&L, Devries PR, and Ruder Finn worked the room, looking to meet potential hires. In fact, the number of professionals in the room, who were wearing badges identifying themselves as an actively hiring employer or mentor, nearly matched the number of job seekers and students.

“In 2009 and 2010, it seemed as though many of the clients we pitched were not ready to make a decision,” commented one NYC agency pro. “Recently, however, it seems like clients are starting to move forward. Whether they pick our agency, or another, they are making a decision.” And as firms gear up to take on new business, finding employees quickly becomes a top priority.

In a recent PRNewser post, Ketchum CEO Ray Kotcher noted an increase in the number of RFPs and account wins floating around. “There’s been a bit of a lift from the economy,” Kotcher said. But he said the “lift” was the normal course of business for this time period as “clients are lining up their comms partners for the coming year. You’re also seeing PR taking on much more importance than it has in the past.”

Kotcher noted three key areas of growth for the PR industry:

  • social media, digital media, and word of mouth
  •  research, measurement, and analytics
  • continued need for corporate and crisis work (particularly in regards to B-to-B, electronics, and established tech companies

Harris Diamond, CEO of IPG’s Constituency Management Group, which houses its PR firms, including GolinHarris, Weber Shandwick, and DeVries Public Relation, also had a positive message to share with PRNewser readers, “We’re just seeing a tremendous focus with companies more and more seeing the wisdom of looking for programs the reach their constituent groups,” he shared, explaining that across all PR businesses, practices, and geographies, business has experienced and continues to experience growth. Diamond pointed out opportunities available for the industry in areas traditionally reserved for advertising specifically, “Mega events,” like the Super Bowl.

As I chatted amongst the attendees at the New York #HAPPO event, I was inspired to hear so many opportunities, but was struck by the sense of urgency. The last few years have resulted in lean staffs, struggling to provide excellence with very limited resources. Businesses have rightfully been cautious in making the investments necessary to embrace growth and opportunity. Headlines such as “Is PR dead?” questioned the very existence of our industry.

I believe the industry is emerging from these tough economic times stronger, and more necessary than ever before. Budgets are returning, but with a heightened sensitivity to the importance of efficiency and a deep understanding of the precious fragility of growth.

Growth will not be without its challenges. Is your organization preparing to hire or add additional resources for your PR efforts? How has the economic downturn impacted the way your organization is allocating resources?