Etikettarkiv: Marketing and Advertising

Is Microsoft the Global Police Force?

Right or wrong Microsoft is pushing their cloud solutions and I’m sure they are good, or at least no worse than other cloud solutions on the market. What I wonder about though is the strategy behind the commercials, it’s all very nice and worthy to be the cloud solution behind big public events. However, what I don’t understand is why Microsoft are so proud over their Digital Crimes Unit, or proud might not be the right word, but personally I would think twice before publicly and globally market the fact that a privately own company has taken on a global police role. While I can see the need to keep up to speed and even anticipate threats, it’s always good to be able to stop attacks on a cloud solutions. But posing as an alternative, private, police? Has the support for and belief in the police force sunk so low that companies retreat to their own cyber crime solving units? I’m not speaking about research and monitoring, I’m speaking about Crime Units that helps find criminals – all according to Microsoft’s own words. Public Private Partnerships, PPP, is a fairly usual way for the public sector to work with the private sector and it can be a very good for all involved. But I personally believe strongly in the so-called state monopoly on violence. I am certain Microsoft’s Crime Unit finds cyber criminals, I mean it’s their job, but what happens then? Are these criminals reported to the national police force in the country the criminals are found? Microsoft deals with them themselves? And what in the eyes of Microsoft constitute a crime? It’s not a subject for a commercial, true, but I’m not so certain that I find this approach of Microsoft’s reassuring.

Annonser

“The wrong people shared it” a tale of a Social Media campaign gone awry

One of the downsides with having a mother tongue spoken by 10 million people is exactly that. But I wanted to give this a try anyway because it is such a good example of Social Media and an organisation that maybe has a wee bit left to go…

It started on November 11 with a letter from the Swedish Trade Union Confederation, it’s the largest Swedish Union and very powerful Union at that and solidly leftist. No surprises there. And let it be know that I have no problems with Unions, on the contrary I have almost always been a card-carrying member. Not so much maybe in a left-wing Union, but in a Union representing me. I feel that as an employee we sometimes are the underdogs and we may need support. It’s akin to having a home insurance, you don’t need it on a daily basis but once something happens its good to have.

The Swedish Trade Union Confederation in west Sweden is vying for more members. Nothing strange with that, all organisations wants to grow. They are using their Facebook page, nothing strange there either. It’s more the way they are doing it and how they address their future members. It is an accusing text in the form of a letter saying that “Your back will never hurt. You’ve been riding on others’ all your life” after which it goes on to list the Union successes e.g. 8 hour working day, holiday etc…

However, when the letter took a national viral spin it was taken down from the Facebook page. Admittedly it was shared for the “wrong” reasons, no one agreed with the accusing approach in the text something that seemed to surprise the local Union and it was taken down because “It was shared by the Tory side” i.e. by the wrong people having the wrong political views.

And this is the crux with Social Media, we can’t control the response, what we can do is our best to use the channels we are comfortable with but we don’t know if the “wrong side” will pick it up and share it. What we also can do is to do our homework first and see to that we have all the answers for come what may. It’s called a communication strategy and it’s not sexy but it’s what makes campaigns work.

So the next time before you publish something, ask yourself “What if” your life as [Social Media] communicator will be so much easier.

You’ll find the link to the text here: http://www.dn.se/nyheter/sverige/facket-du-har-ju-ridit-pa-andras-ryggar-i-hela-ditt-liv/

Hints on listening…

When social media first made it big there was a lot of noise about the importance of companies listening to their customers talking on these channels. Everyone has their own preferred method of communication, and many folks are turning to the social web to share their thoughts and ideas about life and about your business. Social media is just another piece of the communications puzzle, and it’s become a regular part of our existence. Social media listening (or monitoring, or however you want to call it) is a non-stop effort. Will it need amending? Yes. Will it change? Yep, it might not even be recognizable in a year should you push it aside for bigger and better? Well, have you pushed your telephones aside for email? Let’s look at what listening might entail:

Hint 1: Refine, refine, refine.

Since social media have been around a while and actually, despite (or thanks to) the hype chances are you’ve already got a listening program in place. Should you feel it’s not providing you with the results needed you might want to review both programme and strategy. Below are few thoughts – what do you think?

Review your keyword search terms and phrases. Review frequency is normally based on factors like new product releases, industry speed, the goals of your listening programme, and the flow of conversation around your brand. To start, make a monthly review and reduce or increase the frequency of that review as needed.

Review the metrics and goals of your listening programme. You’ll very likely have to adjust your goals to account for the findings of these listening efforts. Companies often start off listening to everything about their brand and industry. That kind of listening is overwhelming and sometimes useless because the sheer amount of information. After that initial listening phase, use the data from your efforts to target on the forward-thinking, future-driven conversations that will matter most to your company’s progress. While of course keeping an eye on the Johnses’s …

Hint 2: Process what you hear.

It is too easy not to do anything with what you’ve heard. If that information isn’t being processed and acted upon, what’s the point?

Create seamless workflows. Well, THAT’S easy to say, isn’t it? Nevertheless, it will be key to your social media strategy to create simple but efficient workflows that ensure that social media input and results are steered into the right parts of your organization. In simple terms you need to lay out who, what, how, when, where, and why of your responses to comments and questions. The difficulty is that comments are often cross-functional which might make it difficult to nail “who’s responsible.” In order to avoid bottlenecks, you’ll very likely need cross-functional processes for listening. This might mean assigning a social media listening role to one person in each department.

Filter. You might never be able to respond to all questions, comments, and recommendations. Ensure answers to the issues that matters most by creating a database of feedback and recommendations and establish a rating system to identify which of those pieces of feedback make the most sense to act on.

Acknowledge those who contribute to your brand conversation, but don’t feel obligated to fulfil every request.

Hungry or guarded – Hungrig eller avvaktande

In his most recent blog post Seth Godin, Seth’s Blog: Hungry or guarded, is discussing hungry people vs. guarded people. His theory being that we should try to work with the hungry people as these will also help us in our development and will help us to learn. It’s difficult not to agree. But I have a question, and with the risk of showing myself as deeply ignorant of strategies and target group identification –how do you identify the hungry?

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I sitt senaste blogginlägg diskuterar Seth Godin, Seth’s Blog: Hungry or guarded, hungriga och avvaktande individer. Hans teori är att vi skall försöka arbeta med de hungriga eftersom de kommer att hjälpa oss i vår utveckling och vi kommer ockås att lära oss mycket av att jobba med dem. Men jag undrar, och med risk för att framstå som okunnig och bristande kompetens i att identifera en målgrupp, hur identifierar vi de hungriga?

What do you work with? – Vad arbetar du med?

What am I working with? The question has been on my mind lately. As often it is related to the changes that come from using social media. We can agree that social media changes a lot, and we can be certain that our job as PR’s will be different tomorrow, just as our job today differs from our job of yesterday’s.

But my question comes from a real bewilderment – and it might be due to that I don’t speak English as mother tongue – but are we more and more referred to as “marketing”? Now for me marketing and PR are two sides of the same coin, or work cousins – you get the picture. Marketing is more figures based and they do advanced stuff like pricing and geo marketing. We as PR’s… well you do know what we are working with. But our math is usually a budget and that’s more often than not only deducting cost from a pot of money allocated to us.

Lately however, I’ve started to see marketing as an umbrella term, but when you read closer what the writer is all about they mean PR. Is it time to find a new industry name? Or am I just too set in my ways? Does a term even matter? I mean, as long as we achieve results. Still I sometimes wonder – what do we work with?

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Vad jobbar jag med? Jag har ställt mig frågan på senaste tid. Som ofta är frågan relaterad till de förändringar som sociala medier innebär. Vi kan alla hålla med om att sociala medier kommer att förändra vårt jobb, precis på samma sätt som att vårt jobb idag inte ser likadant ut som det gjorde igår.

Fråga kommer sig av ren förbryllan, man talar allt mer om oss som ”marknadsföring.” För mig har marknadsföring och PR alltid varit två sidor av samma mynt, branchkusiner, ja, jag tror du förstår vad jag menar. Marknadsföring är mer sifferbaserad och marknadsförare jobbar med avancerade uppgifter som prissättning och geomarknadsföring. Vi som jobbar med PR … ja, du vet vad vi jobbar med. Och vår matematik är relaterad till en budget och det innbär oftast att vi subtraherar från den ursprungliga summan vi fått oss tilldelat.

Men jag ser allt oftare marknadsföring som en paraplyterm som refererar både till marknadsföring och PR, men när man tittar närmare talar skribenten ofta om PR. Är det dags för ett nytt branschnamn? Eller är jag helt enkelt inte tillräckligt flexibel? Och spelar egentligen en term någon roll? Så länge vi åstadkommer resultat. Men ändå ibland undrar jag – vad arbetar vi med?

Envar sin egen strateg – Each one their own strategist

Mer och mer börjar jag ställa mig frågan hur jag kommer att ro detta i hamn. Jag vill gärna att åhörarna skall få något matnyttigt med sig att använda även efter presentationen. Har själv deltagit flera evenemang av den här typen och jag vill ofta både ha en strategisk grund och förslag på hur jag själv kan omsätta det jag just lärt mig i praktiken – dvs fallstudier, eller guider, jag kan anpassa till mina egna behov. Man kan bara anta att jag inte är unik i det här och att andra vill ha samma sak.

Just nu är det mest roligt, jag hittar mycket intressant material och information. Häromdagen fann jag en guldgruva på Watson Helby, en rekryteringsfirma som också ger ut väldigt bra rapporter, den här heter mycket lämpligt “Digital communications and Social Media – The Challenges facing the PR Industry.” Watson Helsby har talat med ett 40-tal kommunikationsproffs i olika funktioner, på interna PR-avdelningar och byråer, om hur de tror att sociala medier kommer att påverka vårt yrke och hur vi arbetar.

Under mina år i PR-branschen kan jag inte komma ihåg någon annan utveckling som så till den milde grad har genererat så mycket debatt, analys och diskussion. Inte ens Internet verkade röra om så mycket för oss som kommunikatörer. Utvecklingen tvingar oss att se över hur vi jobbar och vår bransch kommer säkerligen att förändras på ett sätt vi inte kan föreställa oss idag. Vi kommer att behöva lära oss nya färdigheter och ta till oss andra sätt att jobba på (spännande!). Jag hoppas inte att det blir som med Internet som skulle revolutionera allt men som i själva verket blev en skvader.

Många betraktar sociala medier som enbart ytterligare en kanal, och de verkar inte inse att sociala medier innebär att ett veritabelt maktskifte mellan en organisation och deras målgrupper har inträffat. Watson Helsbys rapport visar att även om många företag och byråer har tagit till sig förändringarna, kämpar de flesta av oss fortfarande med att bringa reda i det kaos som sociala medier har inneburit. För väldigt många är integreringen av sociala medier i deras långsiktiga kommunikationsstrategi fortfarande “på tankestadiet” eller “arbete pågår.”

Själv betraktar jag sociala medier som ytterligare en kanal och ytterligare verktyg, det är sant men det är en kanal och en uppsättning verktyg som äntligen ger oss möjlighet att driva ett samtal med våra målgrupper. Ett pågående, interaktivt samtal. Personligen kan jag inte tänka mig något mer givande men samtidigt så svårt.

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Each one their own strategist

More and more I ask myself how I will pull this one off. Ideally I’d like the audience to get something practical out of it. Not just highflying strategies based on even more far flung tendencies. I myself have attended many events of this type and I often look for both a strategic basis and suggestions on how I can translate what I just learned into practice – that is, case studies, or guides, I can adapt to my own needs. One can only assume that I am not unique in this and others want the same thing.

Here and now it is mostly fun and I find a plethora of information. The other day I stumbled on a gold mine at Watson Helby, head-hunters that release reports where they combine their perspective as head-hunters in the field with the findings from face-to-face interviews. In this particular report “Digital communications and Social Media – The Challenges facing the PR Industry” Watson Helsby also spoke with some 40 senior communications practitioners, both within consultancy and in-house. The study investigates the impact of digital communications and social media on the PR industry.

It is difficult to think of any recent development within the PR and corporate affairs industry that has generated as much debate, analysis and discussion as the emergence of digital and social media. This development is forcing us communicators to develop our traditional areas of expertise, flex our skill set and develop new knowledge – for the first time in years. I just hope it won’t be like when the Internet arrived in full force, and supposedly would change everything and everyone and instead became – something.

Though viewed as just another channel by many, this assessment fails to recognise the profound and far-reaching shift in the balance of power between an organization and its stakeholders brought about by the arrival of social media. Watson Helsby’s research suggests that, whilst some companies have embraced these new developments, the majority of us are still struggling to make sense of it and the disorder it has generated. For many, the integration of comprehensive social media activities into their longer term strategic communications planning is still very much either ‘thought in progress’ or ‘work in progress’.

While I personally consider social media as yet another channel and yet another set of tools, they are with out doubt a channel and tools that finally puts us in the position where I always thought we as communicators should be – engaged in an ongoing interactive conversation with our stakeholders. Personally I can’t imagine something more inspiring, but at the same time so difficult.