Persuasive Picks for the week of 01/11/10

CokeCoke drops campaign sites in favor of social media
Will Cooper from NewMediaAge explains Coca-Cola’s shift away from creating campaign-based micro-sites to utilizing social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube, in an effort to place their brand where people are – rather than trying to drive people back to their own sites.

 

Social Media Success Means Learning to Let Go
Sean Donahue from MarketingSherpa reminds traditional marketers that when engaging in the social media space, “You have to be comfortable with the idea that you’re no longer in control of the conversation.”

The Killer Pitch? – When PR Agencies Can Do This – Look Out . . .
This post from SiliconValleyWatcher‘s Tom Foremski suggests one way PR agencies might be able to craft the perfect pitch – and mentions our Founder, Christine Perkett. What do you think?

Helping Social Media Mature in 2010
HighTalk blogger George F. Snell III provides three reasons why businesses still aren’t engaging on the social web, along with three ways to change their ways of thinking.

IT must integrate social media tools into business architecture
ComputerWorldUK’s Anh Nguyen advises enterprise organizations to work more closely with IT Management in order to enter the social media space more smoothly.

Whiny WashPost Reporter Makes His Point: Respect the Genuine Article (Or, Is Gawker Destroying Journalism?)

Okay we’re not Gawker but I couldn’t resist using the headline that Ian Shapira, a reporter for The Washington Post, suggested to them for a story he wrote about how outlets like Gawker are killing journalism.

Aptly titled, “The Death of Journalism (Gawker Edition),” Shapira writes about how he was at first elated when Gawker, “the snarky New York culture and media Web site,”  blogged about his story in that day’s Washington Post. However – after showing the coup to his editor who replied, “They stole your story. Where’s your outrage, man?” – he began to grow more and more “disenchanted with the journalism business.”

In an effort to not also steal and reprint Shapira’s story, I’ll just link to it for you to read in full. The reason I mention the story here is that, as PR professionals, it’s important for us to pay attention not only to what reporters are writing and working on, but what they are facing in their own industry. (Shapira’s lament on how long it took him to research and write the article, as compared to how long it took Gawker to write their synopsis of it – and what the income for such a Gawker reporter is – is particularly interesting.)

work-hard

As our own industry has been under fire lately, so too has that of the media – one of the biggest and most important constituents to a PR professional’s job. We need to pay attention – the transparent nature of the Internet – particularly digital content and social media – is shifting the careers of both journalists and PR executives, and it will be interesting to see where we all end up.

In fact, another recent example of this shifting landscape came in the form of  YouTube’s “News Near You” – explained in this New York Times article today. “News Near You” allows news outlets that have signed up with YouTube to post news packages and split the revenue from the advertisements that appear with them. 

If you’d like to further explore the topic of journalism’s shifting landscape (in particular, of course, “how Gawker is destroying journalism”), Ian Shapira will be online to chat with readers at 11 a.m. Tuesday. You are invited to submit your questions before or during the discussion.

Persuasive Picks for the week of 07/12/09

Verizon Integrates Twitter, Facebook into FiOS TV
Verizon helps consumers take another small step towards TV and online integration with the addition of Twitter and Facebook access via their set-top box.

Verizon FiOS and Twitter/Facebook

Box-Office Weekend: Brüno a One-Day Wonder?
Another example of how Twitter has changed the “product launch” game by accelerating the word-of-mouth process with potentially negative side-effects.

YouTube Will Be Next To Kiss IE6 Support Goodbye
Fans of Internet Explorer (do any really exist..?!) who frequent YouTube are now being notified that the platform will be dropping support for IE6 in the near future. Gone are the days where web app developers felt the need to continually support aging browser technology as to not “upset” the user base.

Can a Company Take Social Networking too Far?
Chris Pirillo shares this almost unbelievable news about retailer Best Buy’s odd move with their new “social networking requirements” for employees.

9 keys to the perfect corporate blog
Michael Estrin provides 9 tips to help companies to provide a more compelling corporate blog.

How even a dog walker can benefit from social media

The term “social media” continues to be subject to interpretation by many. Ask a room of 10 people what social media means, and you’re likely to get 10 different answers. So it’s no wonder that many businesses and individual entrepreneurs are unsure how social media can play a role in their marketing communications strategies.

I asked on Twitter today, “What’s one business you think would NOT benefit from social media initiatives?” Here are some of the answers I received:

While some of these were given in jest, let’s take a look at a few examples of businesses that might not think social media is appropriate for them – and how we think it in fact could help raise awareness for their brand and company.

  • Fisherman – as @YuliZ says above, perhaps fishing is not a business that one would think is appropriate for social media promotion. But let’s step back for a minute and remember one of the most wonderful things about social media – we are all publishers now. What does this have to do with fishing? Ever watch Deadliest Catch? If you have, you already know that fishing can be a much more interesting career (or hobby) than you ever imagined. So maybe your type of fishing isn’t life or death – say you’re a commercial fisherman. Scale it down, take your camera out, video the crew before your next trip. Ask them questions about the different types of lines/bait/tactics used. Ask them their top three tips for a successful trip. Ask them how long they’ve been in the business. Turn it into an ongoing series that involves a) encouraging people to ask questions on Twitter b) have your crew answer on video c) post it on YouTube, Facebook, etc. I think you’ll be surprised by how many people would soon want to learn more about “Fred’s Fishing Factory” – whereas before social media, they may never have thought to even listen.
  • Fashion Stylist - okay so your job is usually conducted in-person and you can’t think of how to drum up business through social media. Sure, you can talk about fashion and clothes and related items on Twitter, but how does that help you when your business is in Phoenix and you’re talking to people in Prague? Think credibility, awareness and maybe even expansion. Create a Twitter presence and a blog. Connect them together – use sites such as Polyvore to pull looks together and showcase your talents by posting looks on the blog and promoting them on Twitter. Tweet about “looks of the day” or style tips. Encourage followers to ask for “online consultations” based on a certain event they’ll be attending – you can pull looks together, post them on your blog as examples and eventually even begin charging a nominal fee for it (perhaps through Etsy). You may decide to incorporate video by taking the camera to your gigs and showcasing how you pull a look together. You’ll soon find that not only are you honing your skills but you’re building your offline brand online, too.
  • Dog walker - this one’s easy! Get a camera phone, Twitpic photos of your walks and write a “doggie blog” about your daily adventures. Add humor and begin building a community by sharing tips, tricks, facts and figures about dog care. Localize it by sharing insights on where to find quality day care or vet services in other cities. Post funny videos on your Facebook, blog or YouTube that come from your every day job – you know people love funny animal videos! Again, the point here is to engage – and to build credibility. If I can see videos and blog posts about how much fun you have with your charges, I am way more likely to hire you than the person who placed a text ad in the back of the phonebook. You could even begin to include short snippets of happy customers providing testimonies about how wonderfu you are with their dogs.

Of course, these are not in any way full strategies but rather just a few quick examples of how different types of busineses can engage an audience and expand online brand awareness and credibility through social media. If you think that your customers aren’t on these social community sites – ask yourself if you think they Google. When I’m looking for something, it’s the first place I go. Use intelligent tags and post your content to as many social community sites as you can and you’ll begin to see that potential customers will find you even if they’ve never heard of Twitter.

Interactive video campaigns begin to emerge

Back in September Jeremiah Owyang created a post entitled “YouTube Videos Get Interactive: Choose Your Own Adventure” that featured an example of a video that makes use of YouTube’s new annotation functionality. This functionality allows content creators to embed notes, speech bubbles and clickable hotspots into their videos after they have been uploaded to YouTube. While this type of interactivity has been possible with other technologies like Adobe Flash, YouTube is making it extremely easy and accessible for all “YouTuber’s” to integrate into their projects.

Being a social media guy and new media creator, I naturally saw some great potential for using these new features as part of a future client campaign. Coincidentally, the opportunity to do just that came about a few days later for our client TeleMessage and their TeamText campaign – geared toward educating consumers (specifically teens and tweens) about the ability to send text to landline.

The result is a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style video dubbed “Jenny’s Dilemma,” in which the viewer can choose from one of three different endings to the main story. The correct outcome features a call to action that directs the viewer to a landing site for additional information related to the campaign.

Other examples that use the new annotation functionality include a trivia question from Val’s Art Diary (as featured in Jeremiah’s post) and a racy (mildly NSFW) “choose your own adventure” campaign for the Samsung Instinct mobile device called “Follow Your Instinct.”

It should be interesting to see how marketers integrate this new YouTube functionality into their campaigns moving forward. We hope that you’ll take a look at our submission to the interactive video genre, and let us know what you think!