Digital PR: Building and Managing Your Company’s Reputation Online
Sam Ford Project Manager MIT Convergence Culture Consortium Program in Comparative Media Studies Advisor of Customer Insights Peppercom E-Mail: email@example.com Phone: (617) 324-9118 Fax: (617) 258-5133 Blog URL: http://www.convergenceculture.org/weblog/
According to a February 2008 study from Peppercom client TNS media intelligence/Cymfony: -Nearly 50 percent of senior marketing executives believe social media “is a vital component of corporate communications.” -Companies leading in using social media primarily see these outlets primarily as a venue for listening to consumer viewpoints, while companies taking a more cautious approach to social media see it mainly as a tool for viral marketing and online video. The Future of Digital Media Lies In: 1.) Access to Unfiltered Customer Insight 2.) The Ability to Encourage and Facilitate “Word-of-Mouth” Proselytizing Harnessing Influence
When Asked the Main Goal(s) of Their Companies’ Digital Programs, Respondents to the Peppercom/ PR News Survey Said:
Survey respondents indicated that the need for improving digital communications is currently a low priority in the overall marketing budget:
Among the 65 percent of respondents who felt confident in making predictions for their 2008 marketing strategy, the vast majority felt that digital will play a more strategic marketing role in 2008.
Among the 83% of respondents who felt they could forecast their company’s digital marketing budget, only 8% of respondents expected a significant increase in that budget, despite the overwhelming belief that digital will play a more strategic role in 2008.
The Biggest Barriers to Implementing a Social Media Plan: 1.) Lack of Commitment Among Senior Management 2.) A Lack of Best Practices 3.) A Lack of Leadership from Marketing and PR Firms in the Digital Space Harnessing Influence
Learning from Others’ Mistakes Astroturfing: The attempt to make a marketing campaign seem grassroots through a lack of transparency in admitting corporate ties. Wal-Marting Across America
Gee Whiz Factor: The momentary attraction of participating in a new trend or technology because it’s currently considered as innovative, without giving thought as to the motivation behind the offering. Learning from Others’ Mistakes Facebook Widgets Second Life
The Importance of Best Practices Transparency: Anyone marketing in the digital space must take great care to be completely open about their marketing initiatives and any other underlying circumstances which, if discovered by users without being made explicit by marketers, might appear dishonest. For instance, WOMMA members pledge to be wholly transparent in all attempts to promote content online. As a blogger myself, I always strive to make explicit the connection with partner companies at any point I write about any of their properties.
Steve Cody Managing Partner and Co-Founder Peppercom Strategic Communications 470 Park Avenue South New York, NY 10016 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (212) 931-6114 Fax: (212( 931-6159 Blog: http://www.RepManblog.com
<ul><li>The recent survey conducted by Peppercom and PRNews in relation to this </li></ul><ul><li>Webinar emphasized: </li></ul><ul><li>Frustration: Bosses, companies, and the C-Suite either aren’t investing in digital </li></ul><ul><li>or do not see digital as an important enough competitive </li></ul><ul><li>advantage, despite growing awareness of the importance of digital </li></ul><ul><li>for customer relations. </li></ul><ul><li>Pain: With talk of a recession and growing competition in the digital space, </li></ul><ul><li>companies are increasingly concerned with building a stronger digital </li></ul><ul><li>presence. However, they are unwilling to allocate the resources necessary </li></ul><ul><li>to have a stronger online presence. </li></ul><ul><li>More than 60% of those surveyed feel they are at best parallel or even behind their competitors on digital initiatives. </li></ul>Frustration and Pain in Managing a Digital Presence
<ul><li>More than 1/3 of companies believe it is “too soon to tell” if their </li></ul><ul><li>digital marketing programs are successful. </li></ul><ul><li>More than 1/3 of companies rate their programs as only “somewhat” </li></ul><ul><li>or moderately successful. </li></ul>Lacking Confidence in a Digital Strategy Companies say they’ll continue to expand their Web efforts, but they are not yet confident in their digital strategy.
How Do We Value the Web’s Part in Moving Digital Sales? <ul><li>Almost 1/3 of those surveyed see the Web as a vehicle for building/enhancing reputations. </li></ul><ul><li>However, only 19% say the Web can drive sales. </li></ul><ul><li>Further, survey results found a lack of confidence industry-wide in the C-Suite’s knowledge and strategy in the digital space. </li></ul><ul><li>Responses to our question regarding the C-Suite’s view of digital tools demonstrated a lack of industry consensus about the state of digital. </li></ul><ul><li>Of the 59% who answered the question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only approximately 17% indicated that the C-Suite was guiding with a proactive vision for their company’s digital presence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>While 25% of those responding saw their chief officers as very skeptical, unknowledgeable, or uninterested in digital. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How can we move forward in envisioning and valuing the ways a company’s digital presence </li></ul><ul><li>impacts the bottom line? </li></ul>
Reactionary Approach Vs. Strategic Approach <ul><li>The survey results, taken as a whole, indicate that respondents feel prepared </li></ul><ul><li>for a digital crisis, but less confident in their overall digital approach. </li></ul><ul><li>This means that the majority of those surveyed are reacting to digital tactically </li></ul><ul><li>but lack the necessary planning that is essential in creating a strong digital </li></ul><ul><li>presence. </li></ul><ul><li>It is essential to learn from established best practices and the pitfalls </li></ul><ul><li>of prior mistakes. </li></ul>
Online Video and “Viral” <ul><li>Viral spread is not something you can </li></ul><ul><li>engineer for success. Users decide </li></ul><ul><li>what to pass around. </li></ul><ul><li>The spread of online video cannot be </li></ul><ul><li>tightly controlled by the company if you </li></ul><ul><li>want it to be successful. </li></ul><ul><li>Pay close attention to how your product </li></ul><ul><li>is being used by others, but don’t let a </li></ul><ul><li>prohibitionist stance kill a good branding </li></ul><ul><li>opportunity that is user-generated. </li></ul>
Online Community/Blogger Relations <ul><li>Blogger Relations </li></ul><ul><li>101 </li></ul><ul><li>Read Blogger’s Material Before Contacting Them </li></ul><ul><li>Make Sure What You </li></ul><ul><li>Send Is Relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the Differences in Conversing with a Blogger and a Big Media Pitch </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t Send a Thinly Veiled Press Release in the Form of Personal Communication </li></ul>
Sentiment Monitoring Through online venues ranging from chat rooms and blogs to websites, the Esuvee Safety Campaign promoted general safety education and rollover prevention. Conversations in these venues were constantly monitored for community reactions.
Five Guiding Principles Businesses Need to Live By In a Digital World 1.) Local Is Now Global. 2.) Understand the Population. 3.) Adjust for Users. 4.) Create an Open Forum for Conversation. 5.) If You Put Yourself Out There, You Have to Live with the Good and the Bad.
Understand the Population Moron Publicist of the Month: KFC’s Flack READ MORE: Publicists, food, press releases, public relations This is why people hate publicists. Now, as people who have at least a glancing familiarity with this website, you probably realize that giveaway offers by national fast-food chains do not, typically, fall within our coverage area. One would expect even the soulless flacks responsible for publicizing giveaway offers by national fast-food chains to be aware of this. (True, we once wrote about an earlier stupid KFC gimmick, but that was only to lambaste the chain for appropriating Office Space for its nefarious purposes.) But they’re not. While we understand that junior-level PR people have to send out releases to whole big lists of media, and so we try to simply ignore them — rather than get mad at them, or taunt them — when they send us silly, irrelevant things like news about giveaway offers by national fast-food chains, sometimes that becomes impossible. Especially with the imbeciles who do press for our old pals KFC. Who have recently taken to hounding us. Like with this email, which arrived yesterday: From: Smulyan, Brandon To: email@example.com Sent: Monday, December 12, 2005 2:54 PM Subject: Tis the KFC-eason for giving Gawker, I realize the Ultimate KFC Fan Contest ended yesterday. However, I just wanted to drop a friendly reminder to let you know the other item, the On Top of the World of KFC eBay ｨ Auction, ends on December 15. Have you had a chance to look over the details yet? Again, please feel free to contact me with any questions. Best, Brandon Smulyan for KFC 972.830.XXXX [email_address] Brandon Smulyan for KFC then pastes below his previous emails to us about KFC ﾕ s marketing effort, as though he will somehow guilt us into writing about his campaign, which we thought we were being generous to not write about. Well, congratulations, Brandon Smulyan for KFC. We’re writing about you now.Because you’re our Moron Publicist of the Month.
Adjust for Users Not long after its release, Apple dropped the price of the iPhone considerably. Customers were extremely unhappy with the decision – and made their sentiments known online.
Create an Open Forum for Conversation Wal-Mart’s Check Out Blog provides buyers the chance to critically review content sold by the retail chain with a significant degree of candor.
If you take away nothing else… <ul><li>Years ago businesses felt the pain of rapidly changing technology. They have adapted to this thanks to best practices and IT teams that more actively support the needs of the business. The new challenge digital media presents can be solved in a similar way: </li></ul><ul><li>Surround yourself with experts who have a deep understanding of marketing, yet have hands-on experience with technology </li></ul><ul><li>Form best practices and work with your experts to keep them up to date </li></ul><ul><li>Learn from the mistakes – and capitalize on the success – of others in the space </li></ul>