WHAM BAM ’em dont PR ’em

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 11.18.13 amIn a very recent post I highlighted the need to tear down the walls within marketing, PR, media and advertising.

Having highlighted the problems that come from trying to keep segregated, functions that should be totally integrated, I now want to propose a fairly obvious solution.

BAM – Best Appropriate/Available Media !

It’s about taking a more holistic approach to Marketing Communications by focusing on messages and outcomes rather than tools.

Rather than doing a Press Release or posting in Social Media or even running a TV Commercial take a step back first to do some objective planning.

As with almost anything in life if you can nail the who, what, when, how, where and how much, you can up about with the best solution and approach. Continue reading WHAM BAM ’em dont PR ’em

Tear down those walls


Recently when I read of the twenty fifth anniversary of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall I was reminded of one of the great speeches in history.  In June of 1987 US President Ronald Regan stood at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and called on Russian President, Michael Gorbachev, to tear down the wall that had divided the city for 26 years …..  and just over 2 years later it was gone.

At the time I was midst some work for a couple of clients that had me dealing with the imaginary walls that still seem to divide PR, Marketing, Sales, Advertising, Social Media etc etc. in the mind of many.  For one we were doing PR and the other we were doing Social Media .

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In April of 2008 I read an enlightening book by David Meerman Scott which set out to define the Rules of Marketing and Social Media in the Internet Age.

As a result I wrote a blog about  These New Rules  and talked about the need to utilise the best tools available rather than think about Press Releases and Blogs. Continue reading Tear down those walls

Twitter – All talk and no pay!!

Twitter_TVTwitter is now surely the greatest example of building a brand by getting heaps of free media and not spending anything on traditional advertising.

According to an analysis conducted by Video Monitoring Services (VMS), Twitter got great benefit from 2.73 billion impressions last month, valued at $48 million.

Of this over 50% were mentions on TV – mentions largely due to celebrities. politicians, sporting and media personalities embracing it as a medium for direct communication with fans, supporters, voters etc.

While Google has had so much free publicity it has become a new verb in the language — “lets Google that!” — it has been outstripped by Twitter now.

“This is huge. It’s very, very high,” said Gary Getto, VP-integrated media intelligence at VMS. “In fact, we looked at online coverage of Twitter vs. Google. Twitter is running significantly higher than Google and I didn’t think anything was more popular than Google.”

Not only does Twitter not advertise it doesn’t even have any PR representation to generate this media … .

This is truly the power of Social Media to build Word of Mouth and rapidly develop a Tribe of Evangelists and Followers.

Web 2.0 – Its About Communications and Content

Whatever methods we decide to go with in getting our message to our prospects, direct mail, newspaper ads, website , viral video etc…The key issue is making sure the content is appropriate and useful to our target audience. A recent article by Gerry McGovern content management solutions on www.Ragan.com – I think sums up a lot of what we are talking about in identifying how we communicate effectively via the Web but also in the broader sense to a community with changing expectations…As he says we are now in the Informed Age.

While the article is about Web Communications I think it also sums up the changing nature of the broad community expectations in all areas of communications as a result of the emerging new methods.

The new Web communicator : The Web offers one of the most significant opportunities to communicators in modern history, but requires a total redefinition of what communications is.

Traditional communications is one-way, passive and past-tense. It is all about telling people what you have done, what you are doing, or what you are about to do. There is a core belief among certain traditional communicators that people need to be “educated”.

Traditional communications is not all that different from traditional journalism. There is a saying in traditional journalism: “The reader is not as stupid as you think they are. They’re more stupid.”

There might have been some truth in such a view forty years ago, but we are now in a different age. It is not the digital age. It is not the information age. It is the informed age. The very success of the Web is based on a questioning society. We are a society that searches because we want to find out.

The Web is where we go to know, to be informed. Those societies that want to control what people know, who fear independent thought and action, will always fear the Web. Those societies who think it is exclusively the job of the elite to inform the masses will always fear the Web.

But the people love the Web. They love the Web because they can find out for themselves, from people like them. They love the Web because the Web is many messages, and the Web gives people the chance to compare, rate, question, talk back, and-most importantly-act.

The essence of the Web is action. We go to the Web because we have a task; there is something we need to do; there is a problem we need to solve. What helps us do? What helps us act? Written words. The oxygen of the Web is written words. There is no life on the Web without written words.

Written words are the tools of the communicator. But these written words have a very different function on the Web. I analyze a lot of government websites. Unfortunately, too many overflow with vanity, pomposity and waffle. Some of them are little more than campaign websites full of puff pictures of preening peacock politicians.

Many web teams still struggle to convince their PR and communications colleagues that on the Web you communicate by doing. A friend of mine was worried about his wife, who had just given birth. She was not well and he believed that the doctor has misdiagnosed her.

He went to the Web, and on his journey to find out, ended up on some government Web sites, where he was faced with puff PR about how much the government was investing, and what the Minister for Health had for breakfast. He didn’t want to know how much was being invested. He wanted help; he wanted to read content that could help him find out what exactly was wrong with his wife.

He found answers, and he was right-she had been misdiagnosed. This is the power and potential of the Web, and this is the challenge and opportunity for the communicator. Show by doing. Inform with active verbs. Make your words work for your customers.

Gerry McGovern Content management solutions

It works for me…..

LinkedInThis week I had a meeting with a colleague,  Mark Aiston, who is about to launch an incredible on-line media training service . We were talking about how to utilise Social Media Marketing to reach his target market and in particular LinkedIn.

After explaining the how and why and the contacts I had made etc Mark asked “But have you developed any business from it.”  I was able to very quickly respond “Yes! I have.”

I recalled how I had Linked to a person who had asked a question in the LinkedIn Q&A section within PR group

“Can anyone recommend a strong PR firm based in New Zealand or Australia, with a consumer focus?”

Having responded briefly with an outline of who we were the prospective client was able to check us on LinkedIn and in particular read some very relevant recommendations about our service.

“In the crazy world of PR and marketing its hard to find a sane voice in a sea of indifference. If you are looking for cutting edge and future thinking then Rick and his team are who you are looking for. .” –

Dr Patrick Porter CEO New Reality – Calif  US

“Rick and I have worked on many projects sine we met in 1997. I find Rick to be a highly creative, think-outside-the-box kinda guy. He is easy to work with but will always, always tell it like it is. ”

Dr Jaroslav Boublik February 24, 2009

“Rick is a very good people person, and has developed many key contacts within Adelaide and around Australia. He has the ability to promote both products and people in a professional and systematic way. He is extremely easy to deal with and always looks for win win.”

Mark Aiston – Founder MediaInsider, Journalist/Presenter Network 10 Adelaide April 13, 2008

Recommendations such as these prove the value of asking clients and colleagues to add a recommendation to your profile.

The prospect was based in the UK but had no hesitation in Linking to me and talking about the brief.  This subsequently lead to a meeting whilst she was in Australia and them becoming a client.

So LinkedIn allowed me to connect with a prospect halfway round the world and them gave them all the info they needed to assess us and as a result arrange a meeting that would not have been likely otherwise.

So I can certainly say that having an up to date Profile, some good recommendations and checking the Q&A section regularly has paid off. It has also proven that these days in our industry your clients can be located anywhere … and its great getting paid in Pounds Sterling given the current exchange rate with the Aussie Dollar.

Thank You LinkedIn!!

They want me…. on the Mckinsey Online Executive Panel?

We invite you to join McKinsey’s Online Executive Panel, through which The McKinsey Quarterly asks selected executives their views on top business trends, including the economic crisis, and on topics relevant to their functional area of expertise.

online-communityWhen I received this invite I was indeed surprised and flattered…  But as I read on I worked out what they wanted was just another member for their community.

Maybe I am not special after all.

Seth Godin calls them Tribes but everyone wants a community to help, promote, support their brand.

A community mediated by technology and aiming to produce some productive outcomes.

Then I read an article by Menaka Gopinath who provided a further insight into what McKinsey wanted of me – they wanted to engage me in in their business decisions by participating in polls etc.   They want me to feel important to say the least.

Then Jeremiah Owyang in his Web Strategist blog challenged me to look at all this from another angle Future of PR – Agencies Represent Communities – Not Brands.  I wonder what Eric will think of this when I seek his opinion.

I learned from Menaka about how companies like Mercedes Benz (better tell Eric the Europeans are onto Social Networks for business) seeking to engage the consumer voice via exclusive member only communities.

They want to engage you in the brand even more than Twitter, Facebook, Blogs etc can .  They want you right on the inside.

But as Jeremiah asks are we moving towards a complete reversal where Communities represented by PR Agencies actually drive and develop new products even new brands.

A fascinating evolution.  Love to hear what you think?

Should I join the McKinsey Panel?

I am off now to read the 50 plus opions posted on Jeremiah’s blog to see what his community thinks about all this, before I have a coffee with Eric.

Photo by D’Arcy Norman