Archive for the ‘Branding’ Category
After discussing the inauthentic nature of PR in my last post, I hope you know that I do respect and enjoy being part of the PR profession (well, except those PR areas that are broken) and truly believe that most PR folks are engaging in PR in a way that is effective. That said, I still believe that ghostwriting from PR pros (or profs) isn’t necessary or authentic (I am not sure that there’s much that can convince me…but I’ll keep an open mind, I promise).
I thought it might be a useful conversation to discussion how PR 2.0 will keep you SO busy providing strategic services/counsel for your clients or employer you won’t need to worry about ghost blogging and tweeting as a source of income or a way to show value for one’s job. And I know for a lot of PR agencies and pros that might not truly understand the nature (dare I say, culture) of social media, those are areas of concern. I get it, I really do.
While this might not be as interesting as a debate, perhaps it will prove to be more useful.
Today’s typical and traditional PR person does a lot of the following tasks:
- Builds relationships with third-party resources (usually the media, sometimes bloggers)
- Maintains existing relationships
- Does research
- Listens/Analyzes (usually online/print pickups)
- Writes plans
- Provides counsel
- Creates targeted messages
- Conveys timely news with constituents (but typically media and maybe bloggers)
- Builds a brand’s reputation
- Maintains a brand’s image
- Deploys crisis communications
- Clips or tracks pickups or mentions
- Provides measurement of campaigns
- Handles some marketing communications (including collateral, website content if a marketer isn’t part of the team)
With PR 2.0 you can add the following to your skills, deliverables and job description:
- Monitors brand in real-time
- Listens/Analyzes online conversations or mentions in real-time
- Responds promptly
- Conducts primary research in real-time
- Engages in two-way conversations with ALL constituents (in-house PR folks)
- Participates in social networking in a value-add way (in-house PR folks)
- Develops new online skills (blogging, wikis, RSS, etc.)
- Understand the importance of building relationships with all constituents (media, bloggers, employees, investors, fans, friends, followers, detractors, etc.)
- Responsible for Search Engine Optimization
- Identifies & engages with influencers and brand evangelists (in-house PR folks)
- Manages communities of constituents (in-house PR folks)
- Integrates new technologies into PR plans
- Shares industry information, not just key messages
- Builds communities
- Engages evangelists to help create word of mouth
- Understands that engaging in PR 2.0 will help at time of crisis
- Stays up-to-date on trends
- Trains management, co-workers and/or clients constantly
I don’t know about you, but to me that looks like a pretty busy job to me! All without having to ghostwrite or tweet (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
I cannot take complete credit for these lists. While I have been engaged in PR for a long time, some people just say things more succinctly than I do…and I like to give the credit they deserve. So, please, seriously, if you haven’t read PR 2.0 by Deirdre Breakenridge, add it to your reading list. She makes the transition to PR 2.0 crystal clear, easy-to-swallow, and provides a lot of proof points (i.e. some of the list information is from her book). John Bell at Ogilvy is another source of great information when it comes to the PR pro of the future (be sure to read John’s post when you get a chance). He’s the guy behind this post’s image and some of the items on the PR 2.0 list.
I am sure that I am leaving things off of both lists, so please be sure to add where necessary if this is too simplified.
Thoughts? Opinions? Objections?
[Image: John Bell]
Even More Goodness! Related Posts:
I guess there was an assumption on my part that after all these years that most marketers were already integrating their efforts…until I saw this comment on David Mullen’s blog post:
“I’ve heard many people in our industry scoff at the idea of integrated marketing communications. It was always great in theory, but hard and messy in practice.”
Scoff? Hard? Messy?
The definition of IMC on Wikipedia:
“a planning process designed to assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person and consistent over time.”
Sounds easy to me…
In their book “Integrated Marketing Communications: Putting it all Together and Making it Work” (1993), Don Schultz and Stanley Tannebaum state that IMC is also about “talking to people who buy or don’t buy based on what they see, hear, feel, and so on, not just about your product or service.”
What’s the problem? Why is IMC such a struggle? My first thought was to wonder how many agencies and corporations still exist with information silos. Perhaps a lot and maybe that’s the problem?
According to “Developing a Creative and Innovative Integrated Marketing Communications Plan“ by James R. Ogden, one insight might be:
“The problem with the integration of the marketing concept into today’s businesses and organizations is that many top executives learned different methods of management. The old adage ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,’ may be one of the stumbling blocks to the adoption of a customer orientation.”
The book then goes on to state:
“Many businesses are organized around departments, which are set up to specialize in given tasks. With this system, companies and organizations build fences around their duties. They become territorial in nature and want no part of corporate overlapping. Each territory needs to be protected by departmental managers, who may fear for their jobs. Because of these organizational structures, it has been hard to sell the marketing concept to many businesses and organizations, but without it there are decreased sales and profits.”
James Ogden wrote his book in 1998. Here is it 16 years since both books were written and it seems that businesses are still struggling with moving towards customer-oriented communications.
Back in the day, IMC referred to all the traditional marketing goodies: direct mail, PR, advertising, e-mail marketing, sales promotions, Internet marketing, etc.
But today, simply put, communication silos don’t work because marketers cannot silo how audiences & communities string together & respond to all the communications they receive. ( “Dear Customer: This message is from PR. That message is from Advertising. And the other message is from E-Marketing. Please don’t confuse the three as they serve different purposes, contain different messages and you must react to each separately so we can tell our VP of Marketing that our individual campaigns worked.”)
Like I said, I’ve been fortunate to have always been doing IMC, so I can’t comment on what the challenges are today. But I’d really like to gain some insights in to the mindset that David describes. If you are working in an agency or corporation that has not embraced IMC, would you be willing to share with us your insights, challenges and experiences?
And one final thought… what happens when we add social media to the mix? Will social media finally force companies out of their communication silos?
NOTE: Integrated Marketing Communications was pioneered at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. However, other than a Digital Marketing course that covers social networking, it doesn’t appear that social media has been added to the curriculum.
Even More Goodness! Related Posts:
Okay, I’ll admit it. I am a huge fan of the show House M.D. Yes, I love House’s snark and repartee with his team. But what intrigues me the most about this show is that he cannot solve any of the mysterious illnesses that are presented to him and his team unless they find that one kernel of truth. How they find that truth is by digging through symptoms, testing out different theories and, finally, by forcing the unfortunate patient to fess up to a secret (no matter how minor) that they’ve been hiding.
Now, what does this have to do with social media you might be asking? Well, as marketers we hire often agencies and consultants to help us solve our marketing challenges…whether it be launching a new product or trying to figure out that one lucky campaign that will generate tons of buzz and leads. And in hiring agencies and consultants we pour out our marketing symptoms…this is the target audience, the target audience isn’t responding, this is the message, this is the approved message but it isn’t working, this is what has worked, this is what hasn’t worked, this is the problem from our view, etc. The agency/consultant goes off on their merry way to diagnose all the marketing symptoms and to try and solve the mystery.
But there’s one little issue…we haven’t told them our secret.
Typically, not telling our secret either ends up in a failed campaign, wasted budget and/or a fired agency/consultant (in extreme cases). But today, in our socially connected world, customers, employees, investors, analysts, bloggers, etc. will help uncover that little secret and it’s only a matter of time. And then…your secret will become public.
What’s the moral of this little House M.D. and social media metaphor?
Tell the truth. If you are considering utilizing social media as a marketing communications channel for your company, non-profit, agency (creative or government), the truth is your friend. Be sure to tell your agency/consultant the truth about all your symptoms (internally and externally). Otherwise, you aren’t giving them all the facts they need to understand to properly help. (And this is simple & good advice for traditional marketing as well.)
If your marketing campaigns are failing because your content doesn’t provide value to your customers, admit it. If they don’t work because the VP of Marketing or CMO doesn’t get interactive marketing, fess up. I could go on, but I am sure we all carry different marketing secrets around with us.
Secrets can sabotage and lead to…
- Brand management crises
- Community challenges & confusion
- Public relations nightmares
- Failed campaigns
- Wasted budgets
All of which are unhealthy for a company and the agencies/consultants that serve them.
Your thoughts? What’s your secret? What advice would you offer to marketers burdened with a secret?
[Image: Monsters and Critics]
Even More Goodness! Related Posts:
Sorry, dreaming…back to the subject at hand. Last night Jim Turner of BlogWorld made an off the cuff statement about having Oprah keynote this year’s BlogWorld that, as you can image, led to a very interesting conversation (be sure to check out both Twitter Searches). The debate ranges from Oprah isn’t a social media expert to Oprah could drive more social media use and increase BlogWorld sponsorships.
Here are my thoughts on all of it… As social media purists-who believe that social media is actually changing marketing and business as we know it-is it fair to give celebrities (as businesses) a pass because they are famous? Would you give Steve Jobs or Richard Branson or any other business (large, medium or small) a pass? Let’s face facts, some celebs have way more time on their hands to Twitter (insert any other social media tool here) than the average CEO or VP of Marketing and yet the business folks are constantly scrutinized and beat up daily for their social media missteps.
Marketing, pure and simple, is about making people part with their money, right? Whether it’s a business, non-profit, government agency, university/college, etc…they are all trying to get you to dig into your wallets and part with your cash. Celebrities are no different. They don’t act in movies or host TV shows because it’s fun. Nope. They do it to entertain you so you will give them LOTS of your money.
When we discuss this brave new world of social media and marketing, we social media purists advise companies that they need to start conversations with customers, prospective, that they need to become part of the community and more. Celebrities are no different. Yes, I get it, some people on Twitter will never care if Ashton or Oprah talk back (that is if the Oprah account is really hers) or if they have ghost bloggers/tweeters or if they never engage with the community. And yes, celebrities could use social media tools for a one way push of messaging (well, not Ashton so much). I get all of that. But…
What if it were really the celebrities blogging/tweeting, etc.? Wouldn’t they experience as much of a reward from social media that we promise to businesses? i.e. more brand evangelists, more revenues, more dialogue that leads to better product, etc.
What do you think? Should celebs be held to the same level of accountability as businesses?
Even More Goodness! Related Posts:
As you know, I’ve been reviewing and questioning personal branding lately and I have one final question (or in this case, lots of questions) for you all. Quite simply, from a “You 2.0″ perspective, if you work for a company and you build up your Twitter Followers or Facebook friends from the hours of 8am-5pm (or whatever your daily work hours are)…who owns those connections made during those hours? And as you know, you don’t need to use the company network to Twitter or Facebook, so then what?
You might not like what I am about to say here, but I believe that if a company is paying you to connect with people online on their behalf…they own those connections. Even if the accounts are under your name. I mean, they paid you, right? Or is that wrong? Or is it both? What are the ethics?
Role-based Pre-Existing Accounts
Take my Twitter/Facebook accounts, I am Beth Harte on both. If I were to join a company in marketing capacity and continue to increase my connections while they are paying me, I believe those connections are the property of my employer. Or are they?
How do we address this potential issue? Here’s one thought…
Prior to accepting a job, negotiate that all followers/friends (existing or new) will remain your property and that the company has the right to “borrow” your accounts and connections for the period of your employment.
Does that work? Would employers buy into that? Would we need to prove the value of our accounts before they would accept those negotiating terms?
Non-role-based Pre-Existing Accounts
Let’s face it, lots of people have Twitter accounts that may not have to do with their daily jobs and yet they still are on Twitter and Facebook during the day. What happens if your company finds out or if you get a new job where they don’t see any value in your Twitter/Facebook accounts? Do you only participate after working hours as to not potentially violate company guidelines?
What’s the most ethical way to handle this situation? Or is it not an ethical situation, but a basic “follow the employee rules/guidelines” situation.
New Accounts (Role-based or not)
What if you start your Twitter/Facebook accounts under your name while working for your employer without their knowing, building up your followers/friends on the company’s dime? Or, on the flip side what if you start an account for your employer, but under your name (and not something like “Susan_XYZ Company”).
How can you handle these situations? If you’ve done it, how? And has it worked?
Where is it all heading?
Will we get to the point where everyone will have their own accounts and companies will have to negotiate for access to them? Will it take time for companies to accept these types of “personal brands” and in the meantime you’ll have to put yours on hold? Is it just a matter of employers having smart guidelines in place?
Lots of questions here and perhaps ethical situations. What do you think? Are there any other account ownership situations we should be discussing?