Web PR Techniques


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This slideshow focuses on public relations techniques for the Web.

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Web PR Techniques

  1. 1. Web PR Techniques Brett Atwood
  2. 2. Web Distribution • Web news sites • “Viral marketing” • Direct-to-consumer marketing • Blogs and social networking sites
  3. 3. “Viral” Marketing • One of the most effective “new” marketing strategies uses “viral” techniques that spreads through “word-of-mouth” among “infected” audience members
  4. 4. Goals of Viral Marketing • Get people talking about your product, service or campaign • Let “word-of-mouth” spread your message • Build trust and awareness through low-key product/message placement
  5. 5. Viral Marketing: Pros • Inexpensive – Others do the distribution • Increased Credibility – The audience is more likely to believe something from their peers over something originating directly from a sales person
  6. 6. Viral Marketing for “Unconventional” Products • Viral marketing can be used to promote unconventional products and ideas • Example: Philips “Bodygroom” – Shaver for body hair – Embarrassing topic for many – Too “explicit” for mainstream media
  7. 7. Success of Campaign • Philips launched a micro-site • Uses humor and even explicit language to pitch product • Small marketing budget • Sales increases • Mentioned in over 1,000 blogs
  8. 8. Success of “Fred” • Fred is a character created by a teenager on YouTube – One of the first instances of a YouTube artist attracting the attention of a sponsor for product placement • At one point in 2008, this was the # 1 – Most Subscribed (All Time) on YouTube
  9. 9. Viral Marketing: Cons • Control – You don’t control the distribution – Randomness to who gets the message • Context – The context of the message can be distorted since others are distributing it
  10. 10. Example: GM “Chevy Tahoe” • General Motors invited Internet users to create or remix their own “advertisement” for the SUV truck “Chevy Tahoe”
  11. 11. Viral Marketing Campaign Misfires • A Web site was created with various elements of video that the user could use to arrange the commercial • The user could also add their own “text” over the video
  12. 12. Goal of the GM Viral Campaign • The goal was to let users interact with the product in a fun, unique way • They would then distribute their creation and the message to friends and via their blogs • GM hoped to build brand awareness of the new truck
  13. 13. Success? Or Not? • 21,000 user-created ads were submitted • 2.4 million page views • 80% of the ads were positive • However, 20% of ads were critical – The media coverage focused on the negative
  14. 14. Lack of Control and Context • Many Internet users decided to create commercials that complained about the environmental impact of the gas-hungry truck • A negative association between the truck and the environment was created
  15. 15. Backlash? • In early 2007, Boston officials mistook “real world” viral campaign materials for terrorist-planted bombs!
  16. 16. Effective Ways to Use Viral Marketing • To increase brand awareness without selling anything. • To sell products and services that usually include discounts, giveaways or other incentives • To communicate simple messages that share positive or negative experiences or interesting thoughts, jokes, funny videos and other observations.
  17. 17. Effective Ways to Use Viral Marketing • Embed messages with programs such as games that entice the user to get involved • Entice individuals to get involved in recruiting others in return for incentives. • Recruit others as new customers to share products
  18. 18. Successful Delivery of Viral Marketing • The message should be credible – Credibility increases when the message is delivered by a known friend or associate • The message should be compelling – The content must be interesting enough for someone to want to pass on word about it • Timeliness is key – Viral messages have a limited life span – Interest will decrease quickly after an initial burst
  19. 19. “Online Street Teams” • Boston-based Alt Terrain arranges “alternative media” marketing campaigns • “Online street teams” infiltrate chat rooms, bulletin boards and blogs to post positive information on clients • They pose as fans expressing spontaneous opinions, but they are really paid promoters
  20. 20. “Astro-turfing” • Use caution in executing this technique • The online community is skeptical of obvious and aggressive sales techniques • The process of online eavesdropping has been given the nickname “astro-turfing” – The name refers to a brand of artificial grass – This is because this form of marketing is an artificial attempt at gaining “grassroots” support
  21. 21. “Astro-turfing” • “Astro-turfing” techniques have been used beyond marketing attempts to sell a product – They have been used to simulate “grassroots” political momentum
  22. 22. Dangers of Viral Marketing • Consumers will get upset if they discover that they have been manipulated • A backlash could occur toward your campaign
  23. 23. Example: “Lonelygirl15” • In the U.S., there was a scandal involving an actress who was paid to keep a video journal online – “Lonelygirl15” gained millions of followers – She was exposed as a fake – Aspiring filmmakers developed her “character” to build interest in their movie
  24. 24. Blogging and Marketing • Many companies are adding blogs to their Web sites to communicate directly with their customers
  25. 25. Example: • Retailer Wal-Mart has been criticized by the media for the way it treats employees – Low wages – Poor medical benefits • In the past, Wal-Mart would offer a “no comment” to many journalists • The company suffered negative media exposure
  26. 26. Wal-Mart Woes • Wal-Mart initially decided to go directly to the public with its own Web site: WalMartFacts.com – That site now redirects to the corporate Wal-Mart page – The site was used to post responses to media attacks and to tell its side of the story
  27. 27. Corporate Blogs • Even McDonalds has a blog • The company is responding to criticism over the healthiness of fast food
  28. 28. Open Issues? • As more corporate blogs open, there is a question about how “open” they should be for public feedback • Should they allow for bulletin boards? – Lack of control = negative comments – Censorship = criticism from opponents
  29. 29. Marketing to Social Networking Sites • Social networking sites are growing • “Circle of friends” concept • Examples: – Facebook – Instagram – Twitter
  30. 30. Trends in Social Networking • “Viral” trends and marketing – These techniques are effective because they come from trusted sources – Customers “let in” the company and interact with them