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Social Media: A Presentation for Public Relation Professionals in the Ski Resort Industry (although it could be for any industry)
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Social Media: A Presentation for Public Relation Professionals in the Ski Resort Industry (although it could be for any industry)


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This is a presentation that Woodhouse co-created with Jay Peak Resort. The purpose of the presentation is to provide an overview of how social media is changing the PR discipline and to outline …

This is a presentation that Woodhouse co-created with Jay Peak Resort. The purpose of the presentation is to provide an overview of how social media is changing the PR discipline and to outline practical steps to modify the PR approach. It was developed specifically for the Ski Resort Industry, but it could be for any industry.

Note: Some of the upfront slides that describe the size and opportunity where inspired (and maybe copied a little) from the "What the F**K is Social Media, one year later" presentation from Marta Kagan. The idea to use retro science fiction was inspired (or maybe copied a little) by the Olivier Blanchard "Basics Of Social Media ROI" presentation.

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  • I think over a period of time Public relations has gotten increasingly less-focused on what the public wants to see and more about how and what brands and businesses want to deliver. I think leveraging social media is one way to re-humanize your relationships NOT ONLY with the press but with guests/followers in general. The other thing is that this isn’t an option. Conversations about your brand are happening. Whether or not you engage in them, manage them and leverage them is up to you.
  • Before I get into some of the details of how to best use social media I want to spend a few moments explaining social media. As with any new technology or approach, there is some confusion.
  • People are having billions of conversations online about every topic imaginable. Companies have just recently realized the opportunities these conversations represent and are now just joining in. It’s more closely connecting THOSE PEOLE having conversations TO THOSE brands, that really lives the opportunity for marketers, advertisers and more importantly for this discussion, PR AGENTS.
  • More than 250 million active users Worldwide. More than 120 million users log on to Facebook at least once a day. More than 1 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) shared each day. 8.6 million active users from NE and NY which is about equal to the entire population of New York City
  • And an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 of those searches are from NE and NY
  • Slightly over 100,000 of them from NE and NY
  • That’s only since June 1st. Of those 83,000 mentions, more than 45,000 have some touch point back to the New England states, New York and New Jersey-that’s nearly 50k mentions of just east coast ‘skiing’ in summer blogs.
  • These are also metrics applied in the summer months, so even though it’s pretty remarkable that someone is tweeting about skiing every 22 seconds, imagine what it’ll be like in Feb.
  • The internet is becoming the main source of information for most people. But people are not just going online to read, they are going on line and interacting, conversing, making their own reports and publishing their own articles.
  • Media has been slow to realize this trend and have suffered the consequences. 12 papers out of business since 2007. The Boston Globe is struggling for its life. Local TV news is in a rating and revenue nose dive.
  • Instead of spending all of our focus on getting ink, we need to expand our efforts to focus on everyday people who are passionate about skiing. We need to reach out to them, converse with them, gain their trust.
  • This requires a new discipline. Social media managers or community managers are required to engage the community.
  • Start by listening. Sunday River is mentioned once every 8 hours in twitter. People are saying all sorts of thing about our resorts. We need to understand the sentiment, who the advocates are, who the haters are and get a sense of how they perceive our products and our brand.
  • With this knowledge in hand the community manager needs to engage with the community. Way too many companies continue to have one way conversations. Spend the time and energy to engage with people and discuss things. Find topics that are relevant to your resort and talk about them. Be real.
  • Obviously the point of this slide is to be human and real. Consider social media a giant cocktail party and speak to people in a relaxed and open manner. Don’t shrill or sell. Let the conversations do the selling for you.
  • Explain Tom’s shoes.The more your resort does things that people will admire, respect, like, find funny, or find interesting, the easier the job of the social media manager. Encourage the larger management team to invest in elements of your positioning that will attract people and are true to your brand.
  • Good example of creating products that not only do users value but that can be shared. This was created last year or the year prior before social channels really started getting hit but this would be perfect to share.
  • In this age when everyone can report on anything, it is impossible to keep things hidden or to stretch the truth. The consequences for such actions can be devastating. Walmart hired a pr agency to fake blog posts as if they were employees or customers. They were found out and the press picked it up. Their trust took a serious hit and it took them a while to recover from it.
  • If you have ever spent time on Facebook or Twitter, you can probably think of a few people who are constantly giving. They are sharing links, telling people where the good deals are, making comments on your status, showing support for people, doing favors. These are the people that gain trust and become popular. “You can have everything in life that you want if you just give other people what they want.” ZigZeglar
  • Customer advocates are the people that are telling others how great your resort is. They recommend it to friends, they tell stories about great experiences, they spread the word. What has always been the most powerful marketing source, word of mouth, has become even more powerful with the advent of mass adoption of social media. According to the 2009 Edelman Trust Barometer report, 42% of people who trust a company share a positive opinion online
  • Whole foods updates their Twitter account at least 10 times a day. They follow anyone who mentions their name. They engage in conversations on a mass scale. They constantly add content. The result? It has a circulation bigger than the New York Times ( reports their circ at 1.1 million)
  • Harley Davidson has over 200k fans and these fans can’t get enough. They organize events, they build their own content and share it. They proclaim their love. All of this shows up in their friends news feed and word of mouth spreads naturally and powerfully.
  • Great companies have passions. These passions come through in their culture and what they do. Patagonia believes passionately about conservation. Because they take a leadership position in this topic and are passionate about it, they ignite and motivate others. Each of us should find out our resorts passions and activate them with initiatives like this one.
  • Trust is earned, not bought. It is hard to gain but it is what we should all strive for, especially given the long term trends of individuals mistrusting in institutions. Companies that are open, transparent and look out for their customers will earn this trust. The benefits of gaining trust are enormous.
  • As you first venture into social media, you will find people who already have a strong relationship with you. Most likely they will find you without you having to do anything.
  • As you start engaging with people, leading, adding value and talking about your resorts passions, more people will find you and start diggin you as well. They will tell others and write good stuff about you. The word spreads within their sphere of influence and their self defined communities.
  • As time goes on and you continue to participate in social media, more people will find you, engage with you and become advocates. They in turn spread the word to others within their communities.
  • This continues, especially as you lead, engage frequently, act quickly to complaints, thank people for positive reviews, ask for opinions on how to get better and carry on conversations.
  • And so on and so on… An important note, although it is best to engage with as many people as possible, not everyone has the same sphere of influence. It is important to find the online influentials and target them with specific initiatives.
  • More than ever, this is why people buy products.
  • There are many tools available to listen to communities. Some are free. The more powerful ones cost a little bit of money but they are worth the investment. You can do things like set up a search for your resorts name + other words, for example Jay Peak sucks. These tools alert you (email, text message ect.) when this happens and enable the community manager to act quickly. They also allow you to find influential people in the various topic areas that your resort will talk about
  • By using a format that is social in its nature and that easily provides content to any and all that want to use it, you vastly increase the chance that not only will traditional media pick up the story but that bloggers will pick it up as well.
  • Ford has been leading this charge for a few years. These are some of the elements they have on their press blog. (Talk about them.)
  • Bloggers matter, a lot. It is highly unlikely that one blogger will have the influence of a traditional media source, but hundreds of bloggers that have some influence are collectively much more powerful. When you have something interesting to talk about, reach out to them. Try to avoid mass emails and create relationships with the top bloggers that talk about our industry. GET A TOP BLOGGER IN HERE-A GOOD BLOGGING SKI WRITER.
  • There are countless resources online about the dos and donts when reaching out to bloggers (End of Presentation I’ll share). Brody PR made the unfortunate mistake of a don’t with some of the most influential social media bloggers. They sent out a mass email and included everyone in the cc. This pissed a few people off and they then hit the reply all. Bloggers woke up and their inbox was cluttered with these messages and it in turn pissed them off. So much so, that they blogged about it. Word spread on Twitter and before you knew it Brody PR and their client was portrayed as sort of incompetant.
  • The biggest mistake people make in social media is that they don’t converse. They use new sm channels with the same one-way direction. Not to pick on Steamboat, but they have had a twitter account for some time. They don’t update it, they don’t follow people, they don’t engage. Which is too bad as they set up a nice Twitter page with graphics and contact points and other Steamboat Twitters. But you have several hundred ppl here going what happened?
  • The great thing about social media is that you don’t have to have these conversations begin with you. We all have local skiers or boarders who are celebrities in their own right. Find them on in social media and engage with them. If they aren’t using social media, encourage them to do so. Their passion and voice will add to the ongoing trust and leadership that each of us is trying to foster.
  • If you don’t have a blog already, get one. If you have one, blog more. Great blogs attract people, they demonstrate your openness and passion, the provide places for you to share content and they are search engine magnets. Remember the 1.5 million ski resort searches each month?
  • Loon has created a community specifically for Loon advocates. They can use this community to get advice and to improve.
  • As we all know, negative news spreads much faster than positive news. With social media it spreads almost at real time. Keep a constant ear out for any and all negative sentiment and then engage with the person or the conversation quickly, openly and honestly. Attempt to resolve things quickly. Chances are that the person is passionate about what we do and if we can turn them around, they can become passionate about our resort.
  • For those of you looking for a great agency to help dip into the waters of sm with, pls see me after the panel breaks.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Social Media
      A presentation for Public Relation professionals in the Ski Resort industry
      (although it could be for any industry)
    • 2. What is Social Media and why does it matter?
    • 3. Simply put, Social Media is people having conversation online.
      Increasingly, it is also brands and people having conversations online.
    • 4. 3 out of 4 Americans use Social Media Technologies.*
      *Forrester – the Growth of Social Media Technologies 2008
    • 5. “If Facebook were a country, it would be the 4th most populated in the world, just behind the
    • 6. The words “ski resort” is googled 1.5 million times per month.
    • 7. Over 500,000 people have taken the time to list skiing in their Facebook profile
    • 8. The word “Skiing” has been mentioned in blogs over 83,000 times.
      Hugh Macleod
    • 9. …“golf” every 5 seconds
      The word “ski” is tweeted every 22 seconds…
    • 10. “Technology has shifted the power away from the editors, the publishers, the media elite. Now it’s the people in control.”.”
      Rubert Murdoch
    • 11. Uh-Oh.
      Traditional media is feeling the pain
    • 12. Change Media Relations to Community Relations
    • 13. What do I do now?
      Community Manager
    • 14. Listen to what people are saying about your resort.
    • 15. Stop talking at people and talk with them. Converse, ask questions, discuss passions.
    • 16.
    • 17. Do things worth talking about.
    • 18. Instead of just saying stuff, make stuff.
    • 19. Be open, honest and transparent.
    • 20. Give without the expectation of getting something back in return.
    • 21. Soundsfuzzy and soft. How will this best position my resort and sell tickets and hotel rooms?
    • 22. Eyeballs + Leadership + Trust = Massive Customer Advocacy.
    • 23. Eyeballs + Leadership + Trust = Massive Customer Advocacy
    • 24. Eyeballs + Leadership + Trust = Massive Customer Advocacy
    • 25. Eyeballs+ Leadership + Trust = Massive Customer Advocacy
    • 26. Eyeballs + Leadership + Trust = Massive Customer Advocacy
      Don’t Trust
      Source: 2009 Edelman Global Trust Barometer Study
    • 27. Eyeballs + Leadership + Trust = Massive Customer Advocacy
      Skiers who are customer advocates of resort X
    • 28. Eyeballs + Leadership + Trust = Massive Customer Advocacy
      Skiers who are customer advocates of resort X
    • 29. Eyeballs + Leadership + Trust = Massive Customer Advocacy
      euals many, many customer advocates
      Skiers who are customer advocates of resort X
    • 30. Eyeballs + Leadership + Trust = Massive Customer Advocacy
      Skiers who are customer
      advocates of resort X
    • 31. Eyeballs + Leadership + Trust = Massive Customer Advocacy
    • 32.
    • 33. Makes sense to me, but I need tactics, not just his pie in the sky stuff.
      Community Manager
    • 34. Spend a little budget on a listening tool.
    • 35. Create a press blog and use the social media press release format.
      SMPR format courtesy of Shift Communications
    • 36.
    • 37. Reach out to influential bloggers.
    • 38. But do it right.
    • 39. Start Conversing, Stop Talking
    • 40. Get your local celebrity to talk about you.
      Hi Fans,
      I’m no longer on the US SKI Team but it’s given me more time to ski at Killington. Come follow me @bumper and I’ll give you a look at Killington through my goggles.
    • 41. Blog, a lot
    • 42. Create your own community and ask for advice. Act upon the good ideas.
    • 43. Keep you ears open for negative sentiment and act upon it quickly
    • 44. This presentation was co-developed by Greg Wood of Woodhouse, a full service social media agency and Steve Wright of Jay Peak Resort, a ski resort that understands the value of listening and conversing.