Insights

  • We could be content celebrities in 15 minutes, if we know how.

    By Helin Goh on June 29 , 2016

    IMAGE: FACEBOOK/MARK ZUCKERBERG

    The Chewbacca lady just got herself made into a figurine, courtesy of Hasbro. If you are not one of the 130 million Facebook users who made her a viral star and the record holder of the most viewed Facebook Live video, play catch up here.

    We see too many incidences of such content become king online. From exploding watermelons to the badly photoshopped image of Seve Gats at the Great Wall of China, driving a #whereisSeveGats campaign.

    What did they do right? I am sure many brands who have invested time and millions of sales dollars trying to emulate that kind of virality, but failed, are asking the same question.

    To figure this out, a good start would be to understand how Buzzfeed, led by Jonah Peretti, grew to become a brand every media wants to imitate. “The focus of our company is to really understand the social web and how it’s changing, and then make media for the way people consume it today.”

    Very often, brands do not realize that the social web is not (and should not be) yet another sales medium. It is about an ongoing engagement with a tribe who loves the brand for the way it speaks their language and give them entertainment, information and inspiration – very possibly in that running order too for now. Brands need to also accept the fact that there isn’t an end-all formula to this algorithm mix; it is just one continuous now.

    While we marvel at the success of these content celebrities, the reality is we are closer to becoming one ourselves more than we thought. If you have a website, or a Facebook page or any kind of social media platform, consider yourself already a content publisher. Start acting like one by creating in-the-moment coverage that is entertaining, inspiring and honestly empathetic to the needs of the audience. Engagement will follow when you are looking at the world through their eyes, not yours.

    In an era where people rather pay for a subscription app to find out what Kendall Jenner is doing than spend on a copy of Vogue, it makes a whole lot more sense to cultivate our own media platforms to stardom.

  • How PR can boost brand marketing

    By Crenshaw Communications on June 02 , 2016

    Repost from Crenshaw Communications, a PROI partner

    Although they’re sometimes confused, marketing and public relations are very distinct. Marketing builds brands by communicating directly to the customer, while PR drives reputation through third-party endorsement, among other techniques. But in the ideal world, the two work together and reinforce one another to reach business goals.

    The visibility generated from a smart PR program can enable a B2C brand to move into the consideration set in a shopper’s mind, or help fill the funnel for a B2B company offering products or business services. The results of earned media coverage in top-tier media may lack the scale or reach of paid advertising, but they’re like fuel for the marketing engine. Here are my “five R’s of PR” – a few reasons why PR and marketing can and should work together.

    Reputation. Paid media and direct marketing are powerful ways of communicating brand benefits. But the third-party endorsement that comes from earned media creates a type of credibility that marketing typically can’t generate. A reputation – driven by credible customer reviews, industry awards, and media features about an organization or its product – can be harnessed for marketing campaigns where PR and marketing truly work in concert. Again, it’s fuel for direct marketing and paid media efforts.

    Recognition. Positive brand visibility helps build familiarity and trust, and it can be accomplished in many ways. In its early days, Starbucks actually based its marketing on its own storefronts rather than paid advertising. “Our stores are our billboards,” said CEO Howard Schultz, and he was right. Other brands create exposure with subversive ad messages or clever promotional offers. But the buzz that comes from word-of-mouth (or its digital equivalent) by influential people, favorable mentions in the press, or positive social media posts is often the outcome of pure PR.

    Resonance. The practice of public relations got a big boost several years ago when Google changed its algorithm to reward mentions in high-authority domains. It meant that earned media stories and relevant branded content are likely to place higher on internet searches. So by “resonance” I’m referring to a brand that will move to the top of the search queue by virtue of its inclusion in content from trusted sources (like well-known media brands) as well as shareable content on popular social networks.

    Reach. In my experience, the earned media results of a media relations campaign will fall short of paid media or direct-marketing when it comes to reach. We offer quality over quantity. Yet, when earned media is amplified through paid efforts – content syndication, or social media advertising, for example – it’s a powerful boost for both. Even a modest budget can extend the reach of earned media or guest posts with impressive results through simple tactics like sponsored posts or syndication.

    Return-on-Investment. The ROI of public relations has historically been difficult to define, particularly when it’s used – as it should be – with other marketing and promotional techniques. This is why the PR industry introduced revised principles for evaluating PR outcomes. Our point of view is summarized in a recent post about the latest industry thinking, combined with practical ways to set KPI’s for what PR does best. In short, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula, but with pre-PR benchmarking, and a modest budget allocated for analytics and message analysis, public relations and marketing can work together in ways that neither is likely to do alone.