Production lab poster


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This brief presentation demonstrates the Production Lab explanation of process and details about the project itself, and offers some of my fellow students information about the platform, research behind it and possible suggestions for future progress. The assignment for this module asked me to reflect on my experiences, so I can now consider this a first attempt at gathering my thoughts in brief. One area is simply where I chose to tell the story of what happened, highlighting particular incidents and specific achievements. The last page is purely bullet-point summaries where the reflective thinking process starts to take shape.

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Production lab poster

  1. 1. AWMist Business Directory Paul Hadley, MA Social Media. Birmingham City University. Introduction User Trends This poster demonstrates research completed, project development At the Sustainability Live exhibition, 50 companies were asked 3 and pilot testing results of the new AWMist geographical business simple questions: directory. Based on a database of businesses operating in the 1) Do you use social media as part of your business communications? Environmental Technology Cluster (ETC) as identified by Advantage West Midlands, the project investigated ‘traditional’ vs digital user trends, possible levels of digital engagement, barriers to use, and 20% offered potential solutions for industry to show return on investment when moving into social media marketing, networking and Yes communications. Research was drawn from 400 companies identified by Advantage West Midlands and was conducted over a 2-month No period, culminating in an industry exhibition during April 2010 at 80% Sustainability Live, held at the National Exhibition Centre. 2) If yes, what social media platforms are you using? 100% 50% Current Status Figure 2: Your caption to go here Where are Environmental Technology Cluster businesses right now? How are they communicating, advertising, generating sales leads, developing partnerships and engaging in collaborative good practice. Publish View They are all following the ‘green’ agenda... so they are all saving trees, fossil fuel energy use is at a minimum, all manufacturing factories are wind or solar powered and every company has a totally 3) So, what benefits does social media bring to your business? non-existent carbon footprint - so it’s all happening on the Internet right? Wrong. The tried and tested methods of print based media, trade magazines, physical networking, and international exhibitions is where the majority of ETC companies are generating their business leads from. Initial Findings Explained Amongst the 20% who use social media as part of business communications, almost everyone finds LinkedIn very beneficial, with no hesitations about publishing comments or updates. Searches on Twitter, Blogs and Flickr are useful for gathering information, yet publishing on these networks is not as frequent. Interestingly, YouTube is used almost as much as LinkedIn, yet few companies publish video. When asked why this was, 8 users replied that watching a video was their preferred route to absorb information, quickly and easily in a familiar format, but had no skills required to produce and upload content. 4 users also stated that their viewing of video on mobile handsets was becoming a more frequent practice. Monday, 10 May 2010
  2. 2. How does it work? Profit Source ADD VALUE ... ADD VIDEO share, embed, comment West Midlands based ETC companies tell us that 90% of their turnover is delivered to them by international buyers. Specialised products and services are in high demand, with the majority of B2B searches conducted via Google, international trade magazines and Customers engage with video content- it’s a quick, easy way to get exhibitions. So how do businesses capitalise on this? £ your product or service message delivered in a format that everyone understands. With YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler, Brightcove or similar, $" there is no dedicated commercial platform available, without a combination of high monthly fees and high guaranteed audience ¥ figures required to ensure longevity. For AWMist clients, this service is supported by UKTI, via dedicated servers and high bandwidth allowances - all completely free of any rental and service charges for West Midlands businesses. + ! ! Powerful Search ALL keywords entered into AWMist company profiles, when searched for, will also be identified by Google, Yahoo, Bing and ALL other global search engines. Figure 2: Your caption to go here HTML5 Mobile What are the benefits? For ETC businesses there are three main benefits of using AWMist. The first is that they can use it to find resources in the region, ranging from the different public sector bodies providing funding and support to businesses, to Research Groups at universities which can help to develop new products and services. The second benefit is that public sector organisations will be able to use AWMist to reach out to businesses that they can support. An example being that through AWMist UKTI can contact businesses specialising in Mobile & Wireless to participate in a funded visit tothe USA, as happened recently where over £1 million of business was secured. AWMist allows all organisations that export or would like to export to be visible to UKTI. • Video served by a global fibre-optic CDN with thousands of mirrored servers around the world A third benefit is that businesses can be more easily identified for collaboration. local Councils will be able to ensure that businesses within • Multiple bit-rate encoding with automatic bandwidth detection for their local area are aware of appropriate procurement opportunities by smooth playback on any connection identifying businesses on a geographical basis and emailing them. AWMist is really about ensuring that businesses are visible so that they • Automatic HTML5-compatible video for iPhone and iPad - built into can at the very least be invited to participate. every account Forget Search Engine Optimisation. It’s a long and potentially expensive process, and does not guarantee results. Keywords, tags, regular publishing of content, incoming links and referrals are the most beneficial return on your investment. Take advantage of the network available- AWM and UKTI support over 400 ETC companies in the region, internationally. Monday, 10 May 2010
  3. 3. Reflection and Outcomes Highlights & Successes. Risk Management • Support from individuals within the Regional • Well thought through, drawing on past experience Development Agency- solid and consistent throughout. • Backup plans in place- constant monitoring and team • Understanding of aims and objectives- this came from a communication helped here a lot very good initial meeting, where a detailed discussion • Adaptability- within margins of course. The acceptance shaped the project direction, with every partner of experimentation and learning from peers proved to be involved having input and opportunity to ask questions. a winner • Open and Clear Communication- mainly delivered via • Understanding that partner priorities are vastly different- email (group ccʼd always), and occasionally telephone the RDA are driven by making sure businesses are • Flexibility- the entire team were able to adapt practices profitable- they donʼt care about communication, unless once proven tactics had been deemed successful. it is going to earn more money • Willingness to learn- lots of questions asked... the team • Good control of hours spent- there was the opportunity understood that they were embarking into new territory for me to get over-involved with basic training... the need with the project, and were never embarrassed to ask for careful management of my time soon became basic questions for clarification evident right from the start. This is one inherent aspect • Experimentation from businesses- most encouraging to when working inside such a large organisation see that the willingness to try innovative approaches was at the root of business practice- this is possibly why the W. Mids is excelling at innovation overall. • Strong pilot scheme planning from partner companies- one in particular (Surestop Ltd) are now seeking match funding to follow up on a complete new marketing strategy • Positive feedback received- from everyone involved, including companies currently getting support from AWM, not just the internal team. Figure 2: Your caption to go here Failures Exit Strategy • General Election (purdah)- lack of research. I did not • Produce communications audits with five companies in foresee that, instead of following the guidelines, the cluster with recommendations for utilising social partners would just shut down completely instead media technologies. • Time taken to deliver commercial research into • Hold a seminar/workshop to disseminate project activity. marketplace- sensitive information is hard to get hold of. • Produce a final report on the project for AWM. Staff are reluctant to help unless authorised to do so by • More intense platform marketing required- support from line managers. AWM team needed, which needs handling carefully • Procedures within RDA (lots of red tape)- I could have • Make better use of time when delivering basic IT wrapped the entire building in it, many times over. training, or • 90:9:1 ratio of web 2.0 users across industry cluster- my • Quote & charge for time taken to deliver basic IT training total miscalculation on user engagement ratios. I • Buy a good quality HD video camera, budget permitting wrongly imagined, that because the industry cluster was • Avoid ANY similar work during political campaigns focused on technology, they would demonstrate a good understanding of basic IT skills - how wrong I was! • Spent too much time and £ʼs obtaining information... too many phone calls made (from home) chasing up Email: information requested • AWM ICT system- antique O/S, firewalls & slow. IE6 is sent by the devil to haunt me. The request to open up access to social networking portals was met with blank stares... until the request came from cluster managers of course ;-) • Let down by external marketing & PR partner- differing priorities- Iʼm not going to name names here. Suffice to say, the external image of a huge support mechanism being in place is totally false. Workload, low staff +44 (0)7920 273476 numbers and low morale lie at the heart of this. Monday, 10 May 2010