Brand-PR-Journalist-Public ….

For years public relations professions and agents have been working tirelessly to ensure their clients, products, brands and personalities are seen in the best possible light no matter the situation.

Marketing and PR reps compiled strategies of communication with details or brand guidelines, messages and statements were consistently distributed to media and the public. Of course, on the whole, they only circulated what they wanted to be known, managing the flow of information.

All was ticking along nicely, Brand-PR-Journalist-Public, or so everyone thought.

Problem is the social media generation are not happy with this arrangement – they want direct contact with their brands, companies and celebrities and some of these are just as willing to share with the masses.

There is now less and less need to organise an opportunity through ‘their people’ and more and more risk that the ‘wrong’ or potentially damaging information is distributed.

The risk of damage to a person comes from both sides and is a problem that the social media generation is struggling with according to CIO

Of course there are still always ways of hiding unwanted information, as The Times have uncovered ‘How celebrities keep their secrets safe from Google’

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The power of a name

I have always loved the Bond films and as with everyone else I have my favourite.

The idea that one man is near to indestructible and ends up in all means of situations is fantastic storytelling – Mix that with humour, intense action scenes and stunning scenery plus good casting and you have a franchise which has kept generations of viewers happy for 40 years.

I have always been interested in the different actors playing the same character and the way they take on the persona to portray one man in entirely different ways. It is a fantastic tribute to Fleming to have invented something that can be developed and adapted with time.

The Telegraph commented on the many guises of Bond in A geeky, metrosexual James Bond? Why Ian Fleming’s hero is so malleable.

I have another interpretation – I always thought ‘James Bond’ should be part of the code name along with 007. So the best agent became James Bond meaning the man would always change but the name would stand!

And, as we know – the power of a name is a very powerful thing indeed!

Fantastic video

Ben Howard – Old Pine


Need I say more…

Social media – dependent on human behaviour

As social media grows and becomes established as a means of communications, marketing and communications departments are becoming increasingly concerned with measurability.

But, social media works with people and so results are dependent on human behaviour.

There are conventionally two spheres of social media evaluation; social metrics and business metrics. Social metrics are ‘soft’ metrics, things like follower numbers, retweets, impressions, subscribers, shares and comments. Business metrics are altogether harder, looking at website visits and source data, URL click-thros, conversion rates and average spend; they’re about sales and the bottom line. That’s your Google or website analytics data. (Paul Sutton’s the social web social media, PR 2.0 & digital communications)

Sean Clark’s ROI in Social Media: Taking the Numbers Out of the Equation on the other hand identifies the problem of social media’s young age in evaluating results.

The key, as with any communications strategy is to agree the aims and the results, which will be evaluated, early on in the planning process therefore defining expectations and ensuring all parties are fully aware of the restraints and opportunities which are in place.

How businesses can use social media

Ok, so after reviewing the basic facts and background of social media lets look at how it can be used.

As any marketeer knows communicating to consumers and communicating to businesses is very different and the same rules apply when using social media tools.

The main mediums are: twitter, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, facebook and blogs but they aren’t all relevant for business comms.

twitter is used to disperse information, YouTube and Flickr to host the content, LinkedIn for employees and the business itself to showcase its expertise and blogs to collect it all in an alternative space to a corporate website. Facebook is on the whole a method for communicating with consumers so should be thought about carefully.

All mediums give a company the opportunities to let their audience behind the scenes and see the real people behind the corporate image. All the while showing off their expertise and capabilities.

It important to look at all the options and relate these to your business and your strategy – are they relevant? The same issue was raised by Mike Jeffs in his blog last week, where he also included an article by econsultancy – “Why your best social media strategy might be not having one.” – the article details the risks involved with adopting a social media presence for a brand and is something all companies should consider.

Social Media background

Here I am researching the history of social media and the different mediums that can and are used and I’ve come up with a huge amount of facts, figures and top tips.

The research I’ve been doing backs up my first post, but also shows the huge potential that individuals, the media and businesses can now take advantage of.

Here’s the background

It has been reported that by December 2010 there were 255 million websites live on the internet (mccollinsmedia.com) and there must be more now. All of those are trying to gain the attention of the user…so does your website stand out?

We live in a world where there are many means of standing out but they also supply many opportunities to make mistakes and spread yourself too thin.  Social media and all of the tools within supply a fantastic platform but who is involved.

Here’s a video by Socialnomics09 that show’s just how much social media has exploded into our lives over recent years.

So, how do we use it to a business advantage…?

From a quiet world…

In a world with so much noise is there room for anymore?

In the past 100 years we have developed from a world with communication by telegraph, post and telephone to radio, TV and fax. And now, we have the internet and the rise of social media.

We had delayed two way communication between family, friends and business and one way from government and royalty.

TV and radio bore the beginnings of celebrity – however slow at the beginning, creativity and storytelling had a new outlet – it had a route to the masses which could take place simultaneously and not individually. People could listen and watch together, it allowed many across the country to experience the same thing, at the same time.

As interest in the people on screen grew and technology developed, the public began to want more. Newspapers supplied the masses with what they wanted and gossip which once lived in pump rooms, assemblies and parks had a space on pages which could be kept and passed around.

After years of a comfortable media existance technology jumped again and the internet and mobile phones became available to everyman – communication became instant.

Still one way from business or media to the public – as the world wide web gave a new platform for old means! But, friends and family found new ways to keep in touch – no longer waiting for days for post. Chatrooms also made way for strangers to meet across borders as geography became irrelevant.

And now, with the social media era we have more channels than ever before, more means and ways of speaking to people from all walks of life. The masses can reach key figures from the realms of politics, TV/ film and music and everyone can be someone, promoting and supporting those who may never have been found.

We have become a world where everyone can have a say and everyone thinks they should. With so many looking to make their opinion, talent or selves known may be running out of room?

But, there you are searching through the noise and just as you think there is too much shouting, you find something like the Dark Side of the Lens and are reminded of the peace, the power and the potential of all things.

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