Sharpening your skills for the new media landscape


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This presentation was presented at Frocomm's 4th Annual Social Media Conference in Melbourne.

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  • The most important new media skills for PR practioners:Listening – how to know what people are saying about your brand onlineSearch – ensuring that when people are searching for your company/brand or products that you are being foundEngagement – identifying the right people to engage withTwitter and beyond – understanding Twitter and what comes next.
  • Slide 4 - ListeningListening to and understanding the conversations that are happening online about your brand/company/organisations today is as important as knowing what is being said about you in the traditional mediaListening to and understanding the online conversations happening around your brand enable you to:Gauge real-time and constant consumer feedback towards your brand and products (the perfect focus group)Identify those things that people really like and dislike about your brands and servicesIdentify your advocates and detractors and gauge their influence on your brandsIdentify and manage potential crisis situations before they escalate Gauge effectiveness and responses to marketing efforts and campaigns
  • Slide 6 - There are also plenty of free programs that offer similar results, but will involve a little more switching between services. Some to consider are:Google blog searchTwitter searchBoardreader
  • Slide 7 - Things to keep in mindIt is unlikely that you will be able to read everything being said about you online. Look for peaks and troughs in conversations and identify trends.Have clear objectives for what will be done with the information you gather – eg:Leverage insights to drive marketing and product decisionsIdentify and neutralise potential crisis situationsMeasure the success of marketing and communications programsListening programs work best over time – a three month period is a good starting pointThink about what you are listening for. Not just brand mentions but also the conversations that could be happening around your brand (the keywords you use for your media monitoring tracking is often a good start)
  • The influence of mass media is fragmenting as bloggers, people that Tweet and Facebook lobby groups rise in influence – but if you didn’t know that you wouldn’t be here.Engaging with influencers online should be a fundamental component of any modern day PR outreach campaign, but often the challenge is knowing who is worthwhile targeting.Unfortunately like traditional PR, there is no single way of identifying who the people that have the most impact on your brand/company.In traditional PR we rely on data such as circulation figures, readership profiles, focus group testing and our own intuition, well it is similar for identifying the most influential social media.
  • Blogs:Unique visitors, though these are often hard to find for many blogsThe number of comments posts generate and the number of unique comments vs people making multiple comments – multiple comments are good because it shows the posts are generating conversation and debate The blog’s Google page ranking/technorati score – a blog is likely to score higher on these rankings if it is updated regularly, if a lot of people link to it and the caliber of the sites that link to it
  • Facebook/TwitterNumber of friends or followersThe engagement of the followers:Are comments being retweeted, or conversations generated?The frequency of updatesTwitter.grader score – a good way to understand the influence of an individual’s Twitter account
  • ForumsThe number of community members if availableThe number of new threads and the presence of conversations in the threads
  • Slide 10 - Things to remember:Even if you do highlight the right targets, like traditional PR, it is when you develop strong and mutual relationships when you deliver the best resultsAs I only have half an hour and there are many other sessions during this course that cover off the topic I have not included any information on engagement techniques, but don’t assume bloggers will react favourably to the same material/approach techniques that journalists do.Most bloggers and social media influencers, unlike journalists, update their sites and profiles, because they like to, not because they are getting paid to. Your content will need to inspire them to cover it.Transparency is key!!!!Cash for comment is bad in the media, it is also bad in social media – don’t approach online influencers with money for content
  • Opinions vary, but I have seen it written that 80% of all web sessions start at a search engine.The place where most people will first interact with your brand today is not at your home page, but is more likely to be the search results that are returned when you enter your company name into Google, Bing or Yahoo.Influencing the results that appear on the search engine page is therefore crucial to managing a brand’s reputation and should be a key skill of the modern PR practioner.Slide 12 - Traditionally the way companies and brands have influenced their placement in search engines by SEM (the purchasing of links within Google) and SEO (tweaking the HTML of web pages to ensure that search engines more likely rank more highly your content). Though whilst these two search engine tactics are still very valid there are now new ways that PR people can assist in positioning your brand:Social network embassy buildingBuilding your media materials not just for readers, but also search engines
  • Slide 13 - Social network embassies:Increasingly search engines are prioritising social networks such as Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and LinkedIn highly in their results.Creating a presence in these social networks that represents your company, is updated regularly and shares compelling information is likely to increase the likelihood that you will populate the all important first page of search engine results with favourable mentions for your brand/company
  • Slide 14 - Search engine optimised materialsThe way that search engines decide which results to deliver when somebody enters a search term is a closely guarded secret, but there are few things we do know:Sites that lots of people link to are more likely to rank higherSites that contain prominent and frequent key words linked to the search term are more likely to rank higher.Therefore generating positive content on sites that lots of people link to that include keywords related to your company/products means you are more likely to generate favourable search engine results.There are three basic steps for ensuring your materials are best optimised for search engines:Research and planningMaterial creationMeasurement
  • Sharpening your skills for the new media landscape

    1. 1. 1<br />Sharpening your skills for the new media landscape<br />Matthew Gain<br />Head of Digital Communications<br />Weber Shandwick<br />Skills<br />
    2. 2. 2<br />says more than 120<br />million people log onto Facebook everyday<br />
    3. 3. 3<br />Video usage continues to grow<br />77% of Australian web users have uploaded video in the last 12 months...<br />
    4. 4. 4<br />MySpace experiences more than 60 million unique users each month<br />=<br />
    5. 5. 5<br />And there has been the odd mention of Twitter in the press...<br />
    6. 6. 6<br />66% of US marketers have used social media in 2009, compared to 20% in 2007.<br />- Association of National Advertisers (US)<br />
    7. 7. 7<br /> Today people are looking more to their peers and each other for news, information and cues and relying less on institutions.<br />
    8. 8. 8<br />Evaluation<br />Listening<br />Search<br />
    9. 9. 9<br />Listening<br />Photo by cesarastudillo on<br />
    10. 10. Radian 6<br />10<br />
    11. 11. But there is also a range of free tools<br />11<br />Experiment with<br /><ul><li>Google alerts – be alerted when you are mentioned online
    12. 12. – track conversations and trends
    13. 13. Search.twitter/
    14. 14. Boardreader – track conversations on forums</li></li></ul><li>12<br />Things to remember<br /><ul><li>Look for peaks and troughs in communication
    15. 15. Have clear objectives
    16. 16. 3 months minimum
    17. 17. Think beyond your brand name</li></ul>Photo by smason on<br />
    18. 18. Identifying advocates<br />13<br />
    19. 19. 14<br />Blog measurement:<br /><ul><li>Unique visitors ( though not always reliable)
    20. 20. Number of comments
    21. 21. Google/Technorati and other rankings
    22. 22. Number of times posts have been saved on Delicious
    23. 23. The number of sites linking back to posts</li></li></ul><li>15<br />Twitter/Facebook/MySpace measurement<br />Number of friends/followers<br />Engagement of the followers<br />Frequency of updates<br />Twitter.grader and Twitvision rank<br />
    24. 24. 16<br />- Lorem Ipsum<br />Forums<br />Forums:<br /><ul><li>The number of community members if available
    25. 25. The number of new threads
    26. 26. The number of posts within a thread</li></li></ul><li>17<br />CHALLENGE<br />Educate and build advocates online for new Microsoft products at CES 2009. <br />SOLUTION<br /><ul><li> Leverage existing relationships with online community to get them hands on with new Microsoft products
    27. 27. Hosted an evening event to coincide with the global announcements in Las Vegas
    28. 28. Provide the advocates with exclusive assets to share with their followers and to encourage engagement and conversations</li></li></ul><li>CESFest results<br />18<br />80 separate conversations were stimulated solely by the experience, within which more than 1,200 contributions were made<br />WOM stimulated by CESFest event generated more than 500,000 tracked engagements <br />After being part of the CESFest experience key voices created more than 9 times more Microsoft WOM prior to engagement<br />
    29. 29. 19<br />Things to remember<br /><ul><li>Relationships are key
    30. 30. Blogger engagement ≠ journalist engagement
    31. 31. Transparency is fundamental
    32. 32. Cash for comment is bad in media and bad in social media
    33. 33. Think conversations not key message delivery
    34. 34. Be authentic and personal</li></li></ul><li>20<br />Search<br />Photo by groggits on<br />
    35. 35. Social network embassies<br />21<br />
    36. 36. Search engine optimised materials<br />22<br />
    37. 37. 23<br />CHALLENGE<br />Educate the British public about the role of The Foreign & Commonwealth Office as part of the ‘Bringing Foreign Policy Home’ initiative.<br />SOLUTION<br />WS mobilised blogging Ambassadors to participate in conversations on websites and Twitter, and to create video diaries. We distributed content across multiple platforms and created targeted content to engage specific interest/cultural groups such as the gay and Chinese communities. We forged relationships with online super-influencers by facilitating a panel debate connecting technology, political and social bloggers around a table with senior diplomats.<br />RESULTS<br /><ul><li>17 video diaries, 33 in-house blog posts, Google maps mashup; first ever FCO podcasts on iTunes, and an ’Ask the Ambassador’ channel on Yoosk
    38. 38. Roundtable event chaired by BBC tech correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones attended by 14 of UK’s leading bloggers resulted in 9 pieces of positive coverage
    39. 39. 3 online editorial placements, including first ever coverage of FCO’s work by a gay publication
    40. 40. Cited by Foreign Secretary as a campaign of excellence</li></li></ul><li>Wrap up<br />Three key skills communications professions today and tomorrow:<br /><ul><li>Listening
    41. 41. First step in any social campaign
    42. 42. Start exploring free tools tomorrow
    43. 43. Evaluation
    44. 44. Online advocates are many, but if done right even a small group can generate big results
    45. 45. Search
    46. 46. Search embassies are a good way of extending your searchable properties
    47. 47. Think not just for human readers, but search engines
    48. 48. What’s next?</li></ul>24<br />
    49. 49. Get in contact!<br />25<br />Matthew Gain<br /><ul><li>Email –
    50. 50. Twitter - @matthewgain
    51. 51. Website –
    52. 52. Phone – 0416 181 073</li></ul>Thank you for listening – I hope it was useful<br />