tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/online-pr Latest Online PR content from Econsultancy 2017-10-26T18:23:44+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3334 2017-10-26T18:23:44+01:00 2017-10-26T18:23:44+01:00 Getting to grips with Paid Social <p>Need help with your social media advertising?</p> <p>We're a long way away from the heady days when social media was 'free' (well, if significant resource and time was ever free….)</p> <p>As social media platforms evolve and 'organic' visibility decreases in our social media feeds, brands and organisations must consider ways to increase their presence and optimise goal conversions through social advertising. Fail to put an effective strategy in place and you can end up simply throwing your money away.</p> <p>This course covers the essentials of creative, successful social media advertising campaigns. We'll explore best-practice campaigns and tools and techniques for writing copy, bidding strategy, and aligning your paid, owned and earned social activity.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3333 2017-10-26T18:22:37+01:00 2017-10-26T18:22:37+01:00 Social Media & Online PR <p>This one-day course is the UK’s most popular introduction to online PR and social media marketing.</p> <p>You'll be able to plan and implement your ideal strategy using user-generated content, including monitoring positive and negative brand perception through tools such as Facebook and Twitter, and increasing brand engagement.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69492 2017-10-11T13:30:00+01:00 2017-10-11T13:30:00+01:00 How to engineer your definitive digital PR campaign Alex Jones <p>This poses a challenge. How do you get the press to notice your brand in 2017, when jobs at news desks have been slashed and those that remain are flooded with pitches from rivals? </p> <p>It’s a problem PR professionals face every day, but luckily for you dear reader, we here at Zazzle Media have got a few tricks up our sleeves to help you navigate the choppy waters of PR.</p> <p>So let’s start from the beginning.</p> <h3>Your goals</h3> <p>Digital PR can be useful for many reasons, but to get the best out of a campaign you need to be sure about exactly what you want to get out this activity. The devil is in the details, and approaching a campaign with the ideology of “I want it to do a bit of everything” will get you nowhere in terms of being able to accurately judge the overall effectiveness of a campaign.</p> <p>So what objectives can we achieve with digital PR and how can we measure ROI? Here are a couple of examples...</p> <h4>1. Brand awareness</h4> <p>This is the most commonly associated objective with PR. </p> <ul> <li>“Get us out there”</li> <li>“Let people know we exist” </li> <li>“Get people talking about us!” </li> </ul> <p>Phrases I’m sure many of you will be familiar with. For this objective to be achieved, it’s all about getting column inches in big time/relevant media outlets. The wider the coverage, the better you’ve done. </p> <p>Alongside the sheer amount of articles shared by different outlets, what other ways can we measure the success of this campaign? Here at Zazzle, we use Experian’s Hitwise data to accurately measure the estimated traffic of websites.</p> <h4>Example KPIs </h4> <ul> <li>Two national pieces of coverage (Daily Mail, Huff Post etc)</li> <li>Eight regional pieces of coverage (Sheffield Star, Sunderland Echo etc)</li> <li>Five trade/industry pieces of coverage</li> <li>Minimum Hitwise total – 20 million</li> </ul> <h4>2. Link building </h4> <p>One of the fastest ways of generating high quality, relevant links for your website is through a well constructed digital PR campaign.</p> <p>The trick to this approach is to not get hung up about the lack of mainstream coverage that may not be achieved through a link capturing orientated campaign. This is because the vast majority of national newspapers now <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63955-what-are-nofollow-tags-and-when-should-they-be-used-in-seo/">'nofollow'</a> their external links. A few may creep through from time to time, but they will be discovered sooner rather than later.</p> <p>The real worth from this method comes from targeting trade/industry media who still have enviable link metrics and a relevant audience, whilst also being nice enough as to allow follow links in their copy. </p> <p>Not only are you much more likely to be able to achieve placements in these publications, but those sweet follow links will have your SEO team purring.</p> <p>Measuring the ROI for this campaign is relatively straightforward; we want a number of placements with high quality link metrics. Our personal favourite link vetting tools are Majestic’s TF/CF system coupled with SEMrush’s search visibility tool.</p> <h4>Example KPIs</h4> <ul> <li>15x placements </li> <li>TF/CF 25/25</li> <li>SEM UK Vis – 500+</li> </ul> <h3>The idea</h3> <p>Now that we’ve worked out exactly what we want from our campaign, it’s time to come up with an idea that will play to these strengths.</p> <p>For my money, this is the most important part of any campaign. The difference between a good idea and a bad idea is vast, and spending extra time ensuring that your idea stands up to scrutiny can be the difference in achieving a dossier full of placements and none at all.</p> <p>Unfortunately, great ideas don’t just fall into your lap, but the good news is, anybody can come up with one.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9508/ideas.png" alt="" width="600"> </p> <p>Whilst the volume and methodology of marketing messages has altered over the years due to the evolution of tastes and technology, the fundamental laws of marketing have remained. </p> <p>You need a strong core concept with a clear message and a unique hook. While other internal variables such as spend, resource and time may factor into decision-making, without the fundamentals your idea is doomed to fall into mediocrity.</p> <p>Here are a few things to think about that might help jump-start those creative juices. </p> <h4>Brainstorm </h4> <p>Who doesn’t love a brainstorm? A meeting of minds, a thought shower... whatever you want to call them, these sessions form the basis for the majority of the ideas we have in house. We think about the following six factors when coming up with an idea. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9509/brainstorm.png" alt="" width="700" height="260"></p> <p>If an idea lends itself to one or two of these things, and is popular in the room, it’s a good signal that we could be onto something.</p> <h4>The share-ability factor</h4> <p>If something gets shared a lot organically, marketers will often regard that as good content. So what do we need to create that will get people sharing? </p> <p>Research from the New York Times’s consumer insight group concluded that there were five key reasons for why we share content amongst our friends. </p> <ul> <li>To bring valuable and entertaining content to others. </li> <li>To define ourselves to others. </li> <li>To grow and nourish our relationships. </li> <li>Self-fulfilment (to feel more involved in the world).</li> <li>To get the word out about causes or brands. </li> </ul> <p>Working backwards and thinking about what content you would share for each of these reasons is a great alternative way of coming up with ideas.</p> <h4>Capitalise on a trend</h4> <p>I’ve <a href="https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/trending-content-guide">written at length</a> about the opportunities of creating a campaign around a trending topic or date. Getting your brand associated with a popular recurring trend can be a gold mine, and one that returns annually! However, associate yourself with the wrong trend, and you might find out that nobody cares after a week, you miss the boat completely, or worse it negatively affects your brand's image.</p> <p>Here are a few top-line questions to ask in order to help you work out whether a trend is a flash in the pan or here to stay.</p> <h4>1. Is this trend worthwhile? </h4> <p>Is the trend coming to the end of its shelf life? Is it already saturated? Is it something your brand can easily associate itself with?</p> <h4>2. What is the sentiment? </h4> <p>Are people talking about this trend in a positive or negative light? Just because something is popular, doesn’t mean we want to be associated with it. Analytics company Brandwatch has extensive monitoring tools in this area and can accurately interpret whether interactions are positive or negative towards a trend.</p> <h4>3. Is there demand for content surrounding this trend?</h4> <p>Is there room for a new piece of content to add something to the story? Or has the market become saturated about the trend? Using Content Explorer, we can find the best performing pieces of content for this trend, as well as the sheer amount of content concerning the topic.</p> <p>If there is opportunity to build on content for this trend, it’s time to see how we can create something better than everything else out there. </p> <h3>Prospecting</h3> <p>Nobody knows the tastes of the news media better than journalists. Getting in touch with your contacts and putting potential content on their radar can give you invaluable insight into how well this will be received.</p> <p>If a journo's eyes light up and they ask when they can see the finished piece, you know you’re onto something good. Alternatively, if you get a negative reaction you now have a chance to ask if there is anything you could change to make it more desirable. </p> <h3>Previous Examples  </h3> <p>There’s no better inspiration than looking at other ideas that have gone down a storm. One thing to keep in mind is that because the media landscape moves so quickly, ideas that worked last year may not have had the same success in the next. That’s why I like to keep my research to ideas from the last 12 months.</p> <p>Here are three of my favourites.</p> <h4>Nike: The Sub 2-hour Marathon</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9510/nike_marathon.png" alt="" width="700" height="394"> </p> <h4>What is it?</h4> <p>Nike announced that it was launching a new campaign aiming to get three of the world's most elite runners to complete a marathon in less than two hours. This was potentially a historic event in the world of athletics and had fans of the sport captivated for its entirety.</p> <h4>What was Nike promoting?</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9511/nike_shoes.png" alt="" width="600" height="326"></p> <p>I actually think the primary motive of this project was to do exactly what Nike said it was. However, Nike also got a lot of time to showcase how great its running shoes are, especially the custom-made “Zoom VaporFly Elite” trainers that the runners wore on the day. </p> <h4>The results </h4> <p>According to media monitoring tool Meltwater, between May 6-8 the campaign generated 84,459 mentions on social media. And since the #Breaking2 attempt was first announced on December 1, 2016, it has been mentioned 140,029 times across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. </p> <p>Unfortunately, the runners fell just short of their goal by an agonising 25 seconds, but that didn’t stop the project getting an enormous amount of publicity. This wasn’t your standard marketing fare, this was a must-watch history making event. They managed to launch a new shoe to a captivated and targeted audience. </p> <h4>Victoria Transport Accident Commission: Meet Graham</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9514/meet_graham.png" alt="" width="600" height="315"> </p> <h4>What is it?</h4> <p>The Transport Accident Commission of Victoria created a sculpture showcasing what a human body would need to look like in order to withstand high-speed collisions. The result was Graham.</p> <p>“As much as we like to think we’re invincible, we’re not. But what if we were to change? What if our bodies were built to survive a low impact crash? What might we look like? The result of these questions is Graham, a reminder of just how vulnerable our bodies really are.”</p> <h4>What was it promoting?</h4> <p>The message was simple, speed kills and we are not built to withstand high-impact collisions, so slow down!</p> <h4>The results</h4> <p>The striking image of Graham was plastered across news outlets worldwide, and the campaign page – <a href="http://www.meetgraham.com.au/">meetgraham.com.au</a> – received over a 1,000 links from unique domains. In this case Graham managed to achieve the digital PR double, in generating mass amounts of awareness whilst also delivering a shed load of links.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9515/Graham_links.png" alt="" width="600" height="424"></p> <p>Meet Graham is regarded by many as one of the finest PR/marketing campaigns of the year and it will no doubt be featuring in many end-of-year lists, generating yet more coverage and links!</p> <h4>Heineken: Worlds Apart</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9516/heineken_worlds_apart.png" alt="" width="600" height="273"></p> <h4>What is it?</h4> <p>“Worlds Apart” was a social experiment which placed two people with opposing political and cultural views in the same room, and tasked them with a number of team building exercises. </p> <p>Once they finished, their political viewpoints were revealed to one another and they had the choice of whether to walk away or have a drink and talk it out. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8wYXw4K0A3g?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h4>What was it promoting?</h4> <p>The stunt was set up by Heineken and the sentiment of the piece was that when we sit down together and talk out our differences, we usually find a lot more common ground than we expect. </p> <h4>The results </h4> <p>By latching onto the sense of political divide felt in many different counties recently, Heineken managed to craft an advert which cut right through the “us vs them” political rhetoric of today, and left many feeling positive and inspired.</p> <p>It also generated a lot of views, with over 14 million people watching the video on YouTube to date!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9517/14m_views.png" alt="" width="229" height="98"></p> <p>We’ve seen how great ideas can go supernova in the press, however a great idea is nothing if nobody knows it exists. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to prepare for the distribution of your idea and how to maximise your chances of success. </p> <h3>The distribution plan</h3> <p>Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. It’s a cliché, but it’s absolutely true in terms of Digital PR.</p> <p>Pushing out content on a large scale can get confusing and overwhelming. Ensuring that you cover every opportunity and don’t overlap or make mistakes in the process is vital for the credibility and overall success of a campaign, and the best way to ensure everybody is singing from the same hymn sheet is via a distribution plan.</p> <p>First, what channels are we going to target. Yes, there is the press, but what else can we capitalise on? The internet is a massive place, so exploring other avenues can open up a whole world of other possibilities.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9518/distribution.png" alt="" width="382" height="282"></p> <h4>Audience niches</h4> <p>Now that we have our channels, it’s time to identify the three core niches we think the content might be relevant to. This allows us to maximise the amount of sites we can go out to, whilst keeping the target audience relevant to the content. </p> <h4>Exclusives</h4> <p>Editors are always looking for exclusives to give themselves an edge over their publishing competitors. Whether it’s exclusive statistics, a one-to-one interview with a decision maker or even some supporting content that none of their competitors have access to, it’s worth making this a focal point of your approach.</p> <p>Make sure you have a number of added bonuses in your back pocket ready for when a journalist gets back to you and asks if there’s anything else you can send across to make the story extra special. </p> <h4>Other distribution methods</h4> <p>Whilst PR, or earned media, is what we will be focusing on for this blog, it’s important to consider what other distribution methods should come in to play when pushing out content.</p> <p>Ideally we’re after a mixed approach of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65560-what-s-the-difference-between-paid-owned-and-earned-media">earned, owned and paid media</a>. This will give us the maximum reach for our campaign.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9520/owned_earned_paid.png" alt="" width="650" height="287"></p> <p>Julia Ogden has put together a presentation entitled “The 10-step checklist to creating a show stopping distribution plan” which goes into more detail on how to ensure you dot every I and cross every T. You can take a look at the presentation below!</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/key/gQBQCySMc6FB1t" width="595" height="485"></iframe></p> <p>Now that we have our good idea, we’ve created a plan of attack and worked on some unique angles to work with, it’s time to launch our PR offensive.</p> <h3>The PR Approach </h3> <p>First things first...</p> <h3>Finding outlets</h3> <p>The first thing to work out about any PR campaign is where, in an idea world, we would like our content featured. It’s a good idea to get a list of around 20 publications/websites/blogs you would be happy for your content to appear on. </p> <p>To find these websites, we use several tools that are at our disposal. </p> <p><strong>1. Gorkana:</strong> This is our primary tool for researching contacts. It’s a database of fully vetted contacts who have all agreed to be included so won’t be annoyed at receiving your email. Simply search for the niche you’re targeting and a list of sites will pop up along with relevant contacts. It also includes article topics publications are interesting in hosting, so we can tailor some content specifically for them. </p> <p><strong>2. Followerwonk:</strong> A great tool for finding contacts who are active on Twitter. Followerwonk allows you to search for keywords that are included in a person’s Twitter bio. This can also be useful for finding out more about an individual’s likes and dislikes.</p> <p><strong>3. Majestic SEO:</strong> Enter a competitor’s web address into the search bar, click on backlinks and have a look and see who has linked to them previously. We can then take this data, and with the knowledge that they are not averse to linking to these type of sites, pitch them our content.</p> <p><strong>4. Freshweb Explorer:</strong> A handy tool from the team over at Moz. Search for the client’s name or web address and it will bring up any mentions of them on the web over the last 7-28 days. If there is an unlinked mention, we can approach these sites and ask for a link. Once we have established a contact who is helpful, we can then pitch them some more of our content!</p> <p><strong>5. #JournoRequest:</strong> The easiest way of getting content placed. This hashtag lists requests from journalists that require the help of the public or PR. Sending a useful email in response to a request will grant you an immediate relationship with that journalist as a provider of helpful information! </p> <h3>Journalist identification </h3> <p>We have our publications, now we need to identify the specific individual we want to get in touch with. This requires some research, which can be time consuming, but it pays dividends. </p> <h4>Job Title </h4> <p>Let’s start off easy. If you’re promoting a startup working in the finance market, you don’t want to be talking to a fashion journalist. Unfortunately this happens all the time (checkout <a href="https://twitter.com/smugjourno?lang=en">@smugjourno</a> for proof). The moral of the story? Make sure you’re speaking to a journalist working in the right department.</p> <h4>Previous articles/likes &amp; dislikes</h4> <p>Once we have a few journalists working in the correct department, it’s time to have a quick look through their previous output. Personally, I like to go back and look through at least a couple months’ worth of articles.</p> <p>Depending on the outlet size this can mean anywhere from 30–100 articles. This gives us a substantial amount of data to work with and can paint an accurate picture of what they will and will not accept from a PR perspective.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9521/journalists.png" alt="" width="600" height="325"></p> <h4>Common sense factors </h4> <p>Once you have a shortlist put together, have one last look at them and ask a series of common sense questions.</p> <ul> <li>Is this content in keeping with their previous output?</li> <li>Will this be offensive to them?</li> <li>Will it be boring to them?</li> </ul> <p>If they pass the test, it’s time to get in touch!</p> <h3>The initial email</h3> <p>First impressions are always important. It’s well documented that cold calling immediately is more likely to damage relationships, so we tend to email a contact first. This not only gives us something to discuss on the call, but also gives them the chance to actually look at what we are pitching them.</p> <h4>Headline</h4> <p>One of the most important parts of any pitch is the headline. It needs to be clear, concise and interesting. Posing questions is one technique, and using the title of your content as the title of an email is another. Short and sweet is the rule to follow, but more importantly it needs to catch the reader’s attention.</p> <p>Here’s a few we’ve used in the past...</p> <ul> <li>“More than one in ten UK holidaymakers stopped at airports because of misplaced tech” </li> <li>“Ladies First: Almost a third of UK drivers are more courteous to female motorists”</li> <li>“New research reveals most UK consumers don't understand their credit card” </li> </ul> <h4>The pitch</h4> <p>Editors are extremely busy so the first email needs to get their attention. The initial pitch email should include as much detail on the content as possible, while still being fairly succinct.</p> <p>Pitches feature a run-down of the main points involved in the piece, a few choice statistics and if possible a personalised edge to ensure the journalist knows this isn’t a run of the mill round robin email. Here is an example of a pitch that led to a placement on The Express:</p> <p>***</p> <p>Hi (Name),</p> <p>I hope you're well, </p> <p>I'm writing to you with new research that I hope you'll be interested in featuring in the travel section? </p> <p>I noticed you ran a story documenting the large security queues at many UK airport airports this summer, and I wanted to share with you some new data which could have added to this chaos! </p> <p>A new survey from online retailer, AO.com has revealed that more than one in ten (11.4%) UK holidaymakers have been stopped at airport security because of a misplaced piece of tech.</p> <p>The survey asked UK holidaymakers about their habits when it came to taking tech abroad, and revealed wait times at airports are being extended further because of careless packing!</p> <p>The survey also found,</p> <ul> <li>More than a quarter (28.7%) of UK holidaymakers think it’s ok to take a TASER in their hand luggage onto a plane.</li> <li>27.8% have forgotten to put a device on airplane mode during a flight </li> <li>21.7% of 16-24 year olds have damaged an electronic device whilst abroad  </li> </ul> <p>The information has been released in support of a new interactive guide for holidaymakers entitled Sun. Sea. Tech. Easy! which you can take a look at here - http://ao.com/life/sun-sea-tech/ </p> <p>I've included more information about the results below and exclusive stats are available on request.</p> <p>Kind regards</p> <p>***</p> <h4>The call</h4> <p>Unfortunately, it’s not always as simple as sending an email and getting a placement. Phoning journalists is a great method of getting their attention, but if used incorrectly is a way to fast track yourself on to a blacklist.</p> <p>Here are a few key things to remember...</p> <p><strong>1. Deadlines:</strong> It is always worth asking if a journalist is on deadline. If they are, arrange a call back for a time which is more convenient.</p> <p><strong>2. Script:</strong> We all get tongue tied sometimes, so jot down a short script before a call to ensure if the worst does happen, you’re not left up the creek without a paddle.</p> <p><strong>3. Follow up with an email:</strong> It’s always worth sending across a summary email to a journalist thanking them for their time and recapping what has been talked about. </p> <h3>Getting the most out of your initial PR push </h3> <p>The fun doesn’t stop once the initial round of PR has finished. There are several other things we can do to help amplify existing coverage and ensure it gets in front of as many people as possible. I’ve written about this <a href="https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/pr-campaign-tips">in depth for Hubspot</a>, but here are a few brief points to get you on your way. </p> <p><strong>Add extra SEO value to organic coverage:</strong> Send a quick email to any writers who have written about the campaign organically and ask if they could include a citation link back to the source. If you don’t ask you don’t get!</p> <p><strong>Ask the media outlet for a social share:</strong> Media outlets can sometimes have millions of followers, so a quick nudge to journalists about a possible social share might increase the visibility of your campaign 100 times!</p> <p><strong>Share a PR success story through your company blog:</strong> This is a key example of owned exposure and lets your existing user base know that your content is worthy enough to be placed in the national media.</p> <p><strong>Experiment with Facebook Ads:</strong> An example of paid exposure. Facebook Ads are a sure fire way of getting eyeballs on your content and are relatively inexpensive to carry out.</p> <p><strong>Explore Reddit and other related forums:</strong> This is featured on our distribution plan as an alternative channel to consider, but should also be revisited towards the end of a campaign. Sharing news of your content featured on a third party site rather than the direct URL can still get eyes on your content, but in a purely editorial nature.</p> <h3>And that's it...</h3> <p>Follow this guide to the letter, and I have no doubt you will curate a successful digital PR campaign which will generate placements and/or links as far as the eye can see.</p> <p>Have I missed anything? Comment below with your top tips and share your knowledge with the world.</p> <p><strong><em>For more on this topic download <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-and-online-pr-digital-marketing-template-files/">Econsultancy’s Online PR template files</a> or book a place on our upcoming <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/social-media-and-online-pr/">Social Media &amp; Online PR training course</a>.</em></strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69415 2017-09-12T14:15:00+01:00 2017-09-12T14:15:00+01:00 Five things every company can learn from the Equifax data hack Patricio Robles <p>While companies have been aware of the data breach threat for years now, the unfolding Equifax incident is a stark reminder of just how high the stakes are today. </p> <p>Here are five lessons every company should heed from the Equifax breach.</p> <h3>1. Data is more valuable than ever, and there's more of it than ever</h3> <p>While most companies don't store data as sensitive as a credit bureau like Equifax, companies of all sizes are increasingly collecting more and more data. And for good reason: for the past several years, companies have been told that data is critical to their success in the 21st century.</p> <p>Take the digital advertising market, for example. To win, companies <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66957-resolving-the-customer-identity-challenge-with-first-party-data/">have been upping their efforts to gather and use first-party data</a>.</p> <p>This isn't inherently a bad thing, of course, but as companies store more data, and more detailed data, about their customers and, in many cases, people who aren't even their customers, the risks associated with data breaches increase substantially and that <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/67668-data-can-be-toxic-here-s-how-companies-should-handle-it">data can be toxic</a>. Even if companies don't store the most sensitive information about their customers, such as Social Security numbers, as digital data proliferates, criminals are becoming more savvy about how data can be exploited and that means companies shouldn't underestimate how the data they store could be used, especially when it is combined with data from other sources.</p> <h3>2. Disclosure of data breaches needs to be made quickly</h3> <p>Equifax reportedly learned that its systems had been breached in late July, so one of the biggest criticisms of the company is that it took over a month to inform the public. While it's understandable that a company might need time to investigate a breach and determine its extent, at the same time, companies need to understand that the public is not going to respond kindly when breaches are not promptly disclosed, especially when the information stolen could be used against them.</p> <p>As a result, unless law enforcement demands otherwise, companies should err on the side of disclosing that they've been breached sooner rather than later.</p> <h3>3. The response cannot be botched</h3> <p>Following a data breach, companies have one chance to make things right to the greatest extent possible. Despite the fact that Equifax knew about a data breach for weeks, its public response to the breach has been roundly criticized.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com">website</a> the company set up to provide information <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-08/consumers-struggle-to-get-answers-from-equifax-after-massive-hack">was plagued with problems</a>, some of them downright embarrassing. The data breach checker that purports to let individuals know if their data was part of the breach <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/article/we-tested-equifax-data-breach-checker-it-is-basically-useless/">doesn't appear to work</a>, and an arbitration clause in a legal agreement for the free monitoring service Equifax is offering to affected consumers <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/dianahembree/2017/09/09/consumer-anger-over-equifaxs-ripoff-clause-in-offer-to-security-hack-victims-spurs-policy-change/">was the source of a firestorm that Equifax had to respond to</a>.</p> <p>Put simply, Equifax's response has basically been a textbook case study for <em>how not to respond to a massive data breach </em>and because of this, everything the company does from here forward is going to be met with an even more critical eye from the public and media.</p> <h3>4. The actions of company leadership are going to be scrutinized</h3> <p>Thanks in large part to social media, there's more scrutiny than ever over companies when something goes wrong. In the case of Equifax, it was quickly revealed that three members of Equifax's senior management team <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-07/three-equifax-executives-sold-stock-before-revealing-cyber-hack">sold nearly $1.8m worth of shares</a> in the company in the days following the company's discovery of the data breach. </p> <p>According to an Equifax spokesperson, the trio "had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time," something that some members of the public and media have had a hard time believing, especially given that one of the executives who sold stock was the company's chief financial officer.</p> <p>But even if one accepts the company's claim, it's a reminder to companies that the public scrutiny they will face in the wake of a data breach extends to the actions of company management and therefore, part of the response strategy should take into account the importance of ensuring that the actions of company management following a data breach don't make a bad situation worse. </p> <h3>5. Data breaches are an existential threat</h3> <p>One of the big questions following the Equifax hack is whether or not Equifax will survive. While it might seem preposterous to question whether one of the three major credit bureaus in the US and a company with a market capitalization of over $17bn even after its stock has fallen by over 20% in recent days could go out of business following a data breach, all bets are off because there has arguably never been such a damaging data breach in the world's history.</p> <p>A lawsuit seeking up to $70bn in damages <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-08/equifax-sued-over-massive-hack-in-multibillion-dollar-lawsuit">has already been filed</a> and government agencies <a href="https://www.recode.net/2017/9/8/16278030/congress-hearing-massive-equifax-data-breach-hack-security-privacy-data">are circling</a>. Given the nature of this breach and the number of Americans affected, it's hard to see Equifax emerging from this with little more than a financial and regulatory slap on the wrist. And even if Equifax has money left in the bank when all is said and done, it seems likely the company's name will be tarnished for years and possibly even decades to come.</p> <p>Obviously, most businesses don't store the same type and volume of data about consumers as Equifax, but it's not inconceivable that as companies rely more and more heavily on more and more detailed data, the cost of data breaches could increase to the point where businesses, especially small and mid-sized companies, routinely don't survive them.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69365 2017-08-25T16:07:56+01:00 2017-08-25T16:07:56+01:00 Five steps to successful B2B influencer marketing Maz Nadjm <p>The brands that historically have embraced the power of influencers’ endorsements to reach consumers have been mainly active in the B2C space, but we are now witnessing a shift, with more and more B2B companies taking a similar approach.</p> <p>Tech giants like Salesforce and ‘new kids on the block’ like Canva hired evangelists <a href="https://twitter.com/ValaAfshar">Vala Afshar</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/GuyKawasaki">Guy Kawasaki</a> respectively to explain to the world how their products change people’s lives. Similarly, smaller brands with savvy B2B marketers in their ranks are putting more value in the currency of influence by building relationships with their industries’ leaders.</p> <p>To replicate these brands’ success for your own business, the first step is to understand what we actually mean when we talk about ‘influencers’.</p> <h3>Who are influencers?</h3> <p>According to Ryan Williams, creator of <a href="http://www.influencereconomy.com/">The Influencer Economy</a>, an influencer is “someone who can create a movement around their idea through collaboration, community passion and a shared vision”, and “can change a small idea into a world-changing idea, seemingly overnight”.</p> <p>To do so, influencers regularly create and share content on their social channels that can shape the thoughts, behaviours and actions of numerous people.</p> <p>This is a gold mine for B2B brands because when a company leverages an influencer’s channels to authentically connect with audiences, the impact they bring can be much more effective than other marketing efforts.</p> <p>Why? For two key reasons; influencers operate with the universal currency of trust, and trust, to put it simply, converts into brand engagement.</p> <p>As consumers, we probably all agree that we trust humans far more than faceless corporations, and this applies to B2B brands too. On the other hand, potential B2B buyers who feel a “high brand connection” are 60% more likely to consider, purchase and even pay a premium than “low brand connection” competitors.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8489/b2b_influencers.png" alt="" width="650" height="325"></p> <h3>How can you get started?</h3> <p>While engaging with influencers may seem like a daunting task, the following five steps can help you get started, regardless of what your budget is:</p> <h4>1. Build the story you want to tell</h4> <p>To leverage the power of your influencers, the first thing you need to do is to build your own values and messages. This is what's called brand storytelling, and it involves articulating the narratives of your company: Why did you set up the business? How did you get started? What is the product or service you’re selling and who is helping you build it?</p> <p>When building your brand story, it’s important you keep your customers in mind to reflect how your mission fits into their lives. If you’re unsure of where to start from, watch this inspiring Ted Talk by <a href="https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action">Simon Sinek </a>on the importance of the ‘why’.</p> <h4>2. Find the right influencers</h4> <p>Once you have your brand’s unique story, it’s time to find the right influencers. These will be the people who share your passion and expertise across key categories that relate to your business.</p> <p>For example, if your product is a social selling platform, look for people who are expert on the topic and have first-hand experience with social selling either as salespeople or for having implemented successful social selling programmes at their company.</p> <p>Another great way to find relevant influencers is to look at whom your customers are engaging with on social media. The more you listen to their conversations and understand what they care about, the easier it will be for you to figure out who they (and your prospects in the same industry) will find influential.</p> <p>Finally, something important to understand is that influence is not about vanity metrics like followers, likes or impressions. In fact, most of the potential influencers in B2B environments are highly niche-focused. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but it may be more effective to spend time looking for the right influencer than to pay a stellar celebrity that has no direct experience in your industry to endorse your product.</p> <h4>3. Learn to listen, before you ask</h4> <p>Once you’ve matched your brand values with those of an influencer, create content that is going to get their attention. It’s possible you’ve already crafted these messages for your customers, and that their interests coincide with those of your influencers, but it’s also very likely that they’re completely different.</p> <p>Therefore, it’s absolutely key that you spend time understanding what your influencers care about, and that you use this information to fine-tune some of your messages to their interests. Otherwise, it will be difficult to get them to spread the word for you.</p> <h4>4. Focus on adding value</h4> <p>A great way to connect with your influencers without making a big dent in your marketing budget is by engaging with them on social media. Start by liking their content, sharing it and commenting on those posts that are relevant to your business and audience.</p> <p>You can also ask them whether you can share their insights with your customers and audience. A great way to do so is to create content like infographics, quote cards or videos based on information they’ve shared, and to ask them whether you could include it in your next newsletter or social media post.  </p> <p>Once you’ve built a rapport, and provided your content is relevant to them, they’ll almost certainly begin to engage with you back.</p> <h4>5. Nurture a culture of sharing</h4> <p>When you have established a relationship with an influencer, consider empowering your whole team – especially your most active salespeople – to share the content you have created around the influencer’s activity (whether it is an interview on your company blog, an infographic or a simple link to their latest article).</p> <p>This will help you generate additional reach for your company’s content, while increasing the influence of the industry expert you have built a relationship with in a very ‘human’ way.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8490/b2b_influencers_2.png" alt="" width="650" height="325"></p> <p>In a nutshell, an influencer marketing strategy should start from your own brand. Make sure your values are clear, and your mission is articulate. Once you have this, find people who are actively and passionately talking about the issues your company cares about, and make sure you and your team engage with them through relevant content on social media.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, check out these Econsultancy resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing"><em>Measuring ROI on Influencer Marketing</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-voice-of-the-influencer"><em>The Voice of the Influencer</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69156 2017-06-08T10:25:00+01:00 2017-06-08T10:25:00+01:00 14 brand PR stunts that successfully created a splash Nikki Gilliland <p>Naturally, word of mouth is the aim of any PR stunt, with many big brands using the approach as an alternative to expensive digital ads.</p> <p>So, with this in mind, here’s a run-down of some of the best (and forgotten-about) stunts in recent years, as well as analysis on why they work.</p> <h3>1. Carlsberg’s 'best poster in the world'</h3> <p>Carlsberg has a history of creating <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66746-carlsberg-probably-some-of-the-best-marketing-in-the-world/" target="_blank">cool and clever marketing campaigns</a>. Its response to Protein World’s controversial ‘Beach Body Ready’ campaign – which asked consumers if they were ‘beer body ready’ - is definitely worth a mention. </p> <p>However, it is the stunts based on Carlsberg's ‘probably the best…’ slogan which tend to be most effective.</p> <p>In 2015, it unveiled the ‘best poster in the world’ in London’s Brick Lane – a billboard that dispensed free beer. It was an incredibly simple concept, but perfectly on-brand. Unsurprisingly, the stunt generated a lot of interest on social, with #probablythebest generating over 3m Twitter impressions in just one day. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Very clever MT <a href="https://twitter.com/CarlsbergUK">@CarlsbergUK</a>: Just a normal poster right? Surprise! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ProbablyTheBest?src=hash">#ProbablyTheBest</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Shoreditch?src=hash">#Shoreditch</a> <a href="http://t.co/zxiSJdP7tg">pic.twitter.com/zxiSJdP7tg</a></p> — Ben Trounson (@btrounson) <a href="https://twitter.com/btrounson/status/590546848957468674">April 21, 2015</a> </blockquote> <h3>2. KFC’s edible nail polish</h3> <p>It might sound like an April Fool’s joke, but last year KFC created a range of edible nail polishes that were, quite literally, ‘finger-lickin’ good.</p> <p>As part of KFC Hong Kong’s push to promote the brand in Asia, it launched two limited edition polishes in the flavours of ‘Original Recipe’ and ‘Hot ‘n’ Spicy', which were beige and burnt orange in colour. </p> <p>In the build-up to the product release, KFC heavily teased the concept on social and even threw a launch party attended by a number of influential beauty bloggers. </p> <p>While it might sound like an odd move, it was designed to target a niche demographic of Hong Kong consumers, meaning that the brand could afford to veer away from its famous Colonel front man and do something a little more off-the-wall. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eZMtaHjTDS4?wmode=transparent" width="620" height="390"></iframe></p> <h3>3. Warner Leisure Hotels’ anti-age gin</h3> <p>Some PR stunts are deliberately designed to get picked up by journalists looking for a quick and easy ‘news’ story.</p> <p>When it teamed up with Bompas &amp; Parr to create the world’s first ‘anti-ageing gin’ – Warner Leisure Hotels knew it could guarantee a headline or two.</p> <p>Dubbed ‘Anti-aGin’, the tipple’s ingredients include collagen and a variety of antioxidants and ‘skin-healing’ botanicals to help ‘reduce cellulite and sun damage’. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6605/Anti-agin.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="448"></p> <p>While there’s no real evidence that the gin actually has any real benefits, the stunt certainly garnered attention for Warner Leisure Hotels (and undoubtedly a few sales of the product in its UK hotel bars). A good example of a brand generating buzz from something outside the realms of its core product offering.</p> <h3>4. Cadbury’s Crème Egg café</h3> <p>Are pop-ups PR stunts or examples of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65395-what-is-experiential-marketing-and-why-do-you-need-it/" target="_blank">experiential marketing</a>? While it can be difficult to differentiate betwen the two categories, more often than not - a brand event can be both.</p> <p>Cadbury’s crème egg café is case in point, with the pop-up giving consumers a sensory experience as well as creating a splash in the media.</p> <p>First launched in 2016, and running from January to March, the Soho café was made up of three floors of chocolatey heaven, including a ball pit and a menu of crème egg soldiers, toasties and cake. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6606/cadburys_creme_egg_cafe.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="480"></p> <p>The fact that the pop-up is returning in 2017 means it's more than just a stunt. Cadbury seems to have stumbled on something that’s far too good not to repeat.</p> <h3>5. Ghostbuster’s marshmallow man at Waterloo Station</h3> <p>Another PR/experiential hybrid, which <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68085-four-reasons-ghostbusters-experiential-marketing-has-been-so-successful/" target="_blank">I first wrote about</a> in July of last year.</p> <p>Launched just in time for the release of the Ghostbusters movie, it involved a giant version of the Marshmallow Man greeting commuters in London’s Waterloo station.</p> <p>One of the most ‘Instagram-worthy’ stunts in this list due to sheer size and scale, it was widely documented by passers-by.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6607/ghostbusters.JPG" alt="" width="594" height="481"></p> <p>As well as capitalising on the nostalgia of the character itself, the creative spectacle also meant that anyone who saw it (or heard of it) would be likely to appreciate it - instead of just movie lovers or hardcore Ghostbusters fans. </p> <h3>6. Netflix and the Gilmore Girls diner</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68457-how-netflix-became-the-most-loved-brand-in-the-uk/" target="_blank">Netflix</a> is another brand that has capitalised on nostalgia for a marketing campaign.</p> <p>Last year, it celebrated the 16th anniversary of the first episode of Gilmore Girls – and kicked off its return to the streaming platform – by turning real-life coffee shops into Luke’s diner. If you’ve never seen it, Luke’s diner is one of the main sets from the show (sort of like Central Perk from Friends).</p> <p>Netflix turned 250 coffee shops in the US and Canada into versions of the ‘Stars Hollow’ diner, complete with a bunch of recognisable props and the promise of free coffee.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6608/Luke_s.JPG" alt="" width="584" height="328"></p> <p>Unlike the Ghostbusters stunt, Netflix deliberately set out to a target demographic – those that knew and loved the original series.</p> <p>This shows that not all PR stunts have to be so mass-market, with this example cleverly targeting a niche audience to increase excitement about a new release.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Went to Luke's Diner and felt like a Gilmore Girl <a href="https://twitter.com/Netflix_PH">@Netflix_PH</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/GilmoreGirls">@GilmoreGirls</a> <a href="https://t.co/i3OSho8af9">pic.twitter.com/i3OSho8af9</a></p> — Khristine Ilagan (@tineyilagan) <a href="https://twitter.com/tineyilagan/status/804697480017252353">December 2, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>7. Domino’s tweet for pizza</h3> <p>Not all PR stunts create a positive splash either. Domino’s has seen its fair share of fails in the past, including one that involved reindeer delivering pizza (which <a href="https://www.cnet.com/uk/news/dominos-reindeer-pizza-delivery-scooters-japan/">ended up going terribly awry</a>).</p> <p>The brand has seen success with other attempts, however, especially relating to social media. In 2015, it announced that US customers would be able to order their pizza by tweeting the corresponding emoji, describing as the ‘epitome of convenience’. Of course, the process is not quite as seamless as it sounds, requiring customers to register online first and add their pizza preferences.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Now you can order Domino's by tweeting . Find out how at <a href="http://t.co/Rwt1tJUmXS">http://t.co/Rwt1tJUmXS</a><a href="https://t.co/Cs5f3JJyni">https://t.co/Cs5f3JJyni</a></p> — Domino's Pizza (@dominos) <a href="https://twitter.com/dominos/status/601037837635428353">May 20, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>Here on the blog, we questioned whether or not it was a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66445-tweet-to-order-pizza-pr-stunt-or-the-future-of-social/" target="_blank">PR stunt or the future of social</a>. The fact that it hasn’t really cottoned on but <em>is</em> included in this list might answer that question.</p> <h3>8. ASB and the ball dogs</h3> <p>Anything involving dogs is always a winner. ASB Bank, sponsors of the Auckland Open, proved this when it used dogs instead of human ball boys in 2015.</p> <p>To promote the ASB Classic tournament, the New Zealand bank used three dogs, named Oscar, Ted, and Super Teddy, to fetch the balls in a match between Venus Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova.</p> <p>Surprisingly, the PR stunt went very smoothly, with the dogs doing a stellar job and winning a few fans in the process.</p> <p>Of course, the reason it worked is because the dogs behaved themselves. I’m not sure I’d be mentioning this example if the dogs mirrored the behaviour of those Domino’s reindeers… proving that good PR sometimes involves more than a little bit of luck.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QK_83cnHbE4?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>9. Jackpotjoy and a giant rubber duck</h3> <p>“Blow it up and float it down the Thames” has become one of the biggest PR clichés in recent years, mainly thanks to an endless stream of brands ranging from eBay to Airbnb partaking in the activity.</p> <p>Is it lazy? Too predictable? Probably. But the main aim of a PR stunt is to make an impact on passing consumers – and this tactic can be undeniably effective. </p> <p>One of the best examples is Jackpotjoy.com sending a giant rubber duck down the river in 2012. It was done to celebrate the launch of Facebook FUNdation - an initiative to reward people who do silly things to make people happy. And what’s dafter than a giant rubber ducky on the Thames?</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tzPq43nGTV8?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>By doing something so ridiculous, Jackpotjoy successfully demonstrated what it was promoting (and captured the attention of baffled passers-by in the process). This makes the stunt far more memorable than ones from brands that have merely jumped on the trend.</p> <h3>10. Sky Atlantic’s polar bear on the tube</h3> <p>Onto another animal sighting in London – this time a polar bear on the tube.</p> <p>In 2015, Sky Atlantic created an 8-foot animated creature to promote its new crime drama, Fortitude, which it then unleashed on the underground, in London parks, and near landmarks. To make it look as realistic as possible, the brand also used actors from the West End show, Warhorse, to operate the polar bear. </p> <p>The main reason it was so effective was the unexpected nature of the stunt, building on the contrast between such an urban setting and an animal synonymous with nature.</p> <p>It also nicely set up the concept of Fortitude itself, with Sky Atlantic introducing the public to one of the show’s central ‘characters’, so to speak.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6609/polar_bear_tube.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="414"></p> <h3>11. Paddy Power and Juan Direction</h3> <p>Paddy Power is another brand that’s well-known for PR stunts. One of its most off-the-wall was the time it sent a mariachi band to serenade Donald Trump as he arrived in Glasgow.</p> <p>Um, why, you might ask? It was merely in response to Trump’s promise to build a wall between Mexico and the US – one he made during his presidential campaign.</p> <p>While it sounds like a completely random stunt, it was in fact related to Paddy Power taking bets on political results. See a recent example below...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">What was Trump trying to say before he fell asleep on his keyboard? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/covfefe?src=hash">#covfefe</a> <a href="https://t.co/9swe6O401j">https://t.co/9swe6O401j</a> <a href="https://t.co/2i1hl7YCZo">pic.twitter.com/2i1hl7YCZo</a></p> — Paddy Power (@paddypower) <a href="https://twitter.com/paddypower/status/869818192314736640">May 31, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>This is a great example of a brand capitalising on timely and real-time events to drive marketing or PR campaigns. Stunts like this come with the danger of controversy, of course, but with Paddy Power successfully building up legions of fans due to its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65409-why-paddy-power-s-marketing-is-all-about-mischief-pr-and-press-coverage/">bold and brash humour</a> – it was met with appreciation.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Paddy Power sent a Mexican mariachi band called Juan Direction to meet Trump off the plane this morning. Oh my days. <a href="https://t.co/3Bb9wIM9rk">pic.twitter.com/3Bb9wIM9rk</a></p> — Rachel Coburn (@rachelcoburn_) <a href="https://twitter.com/rachelcoburn_/status/746283464547270656">June 24, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>12. Tourism Queensland’s best job in the world</h3> <p>In 2009, Queensland’s tourism board offered people in all countries to apply for the world’s best job. The role was ‘Island Caretaker’, which involved living on an island in the Great Barrier Reef and writing a single blog post per week about the experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6610/Queensland.JPG" alt="" width="611" height="365"></p> <p>Unsurprisingly, the campaign generated a massive response, with Tourism Queensland receiving 34,000 applications from nearly 200 countries within just six weeks of launch. Overall, it reached an estimated 3bn people, making it one of the most successful PR campaigns of all time.</p> <p>By allowing anyone to get involved through social media, the tourism board ensured the stunt would reach as many people globally as possible.</p> <p>At the same time, it meant that the more people applied for it, the wider it spread, with the campaign capitalising on a competition element to encourage participation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6611/Ben_winner.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="560"></p> <p><em>(Ben Southall, the competition winner)</em></p> <h3>13. Epson’s ‘swimming in ink’ stunt</h3> <p>Now to a PR stunt that quite literally made a splash. Last year, Epson, the printer manufacturer, teamed up with sportswear company, Triflare, for a one-off event in New York's Times Square.</p> <p>It involved members of the US synchronised swim team performing in a 17,000-gallon multi-coloured tank, with all performances being broadcast live on giant LED screens.</p> <p>The event was mainly for the purpose of promoting Epson’s range of Ecotank printers, however, it also provided a nice marketing opportunity for Triflare, who created special swimsuits printed with Epson’s dye-sublimation transfer printing technology. </p> <p>With Triflare being the official sponsor of the US synchro team, it was a natural collaboration, but one that ended up mutually benefiting both brands.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CxaRgToeUq4?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>14. Tate &amp; Lyle’s edible hotel</h3> <p>Lastly, Tate &amp; Lyle’s PR stunt is one that captured the true essence of the brand.</p> <p>In 2013, it built the Cake Hotel in Soho – a three-floor temporary pop-up filled with edible art. Created to promote the brand’s new range of sugars, it involved walls being clad with 2,000 macaroons, a rug of 1,081 meringues, 20kg of marshmallow garlands, fudge-topped windowsills, and a bath full of caramel-coated popcorn.   </p> <p>Visitors invited to the one-night only event were encouraged to literally eat their way around the hotel.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Tate &amp; Lyle's <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PublicRelations?src=hash">#PublicRelations</a> stunt- one night <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cake?src=hash">#cake</a> hotel with edible art across three floors &amp; eight rooms. yummy. <a href="http://t.co/Ee8vuvl3PR">pic.twitter.com/Ee8vuvl3PR</a></p> — hina bhatti (@hina_bhatti) <a href="https://twitter.com/hina_bhatti/status/633204226106200064">August 17, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>This example raises the question – is it worth putting in months of planning and painstaking effort for just a single event? Perhaps Tate &amp; Lyle’s stunt proves that the greater the effort, the greater the reward.</p> <p>With nation-wide media coverage, social media buzz – and a lot of happy visitors – it generated enough positive brand sentiment to last long after the sugar crash.</p> <p><em><strong>Why not check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/69156-14-brand-pr-stunts-that-successfully-created-a-splash/edit/Social%20Media%20&amp;%20Online%20PR%20Training" target="_blank">Social Media &amp; Online PR</a> </strong></em><em><strong>training course</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69088 2017-05-15T11:00:00+01:00 2017-05-15T11:00:00+01:00 A day in the life of… Assistant PR Manager for VisitScotland Nikki Gilliland <p><strong><em>Econsultancy:</em></strong> <strong>Please describe your job. What do you do?</strong></p> <p><em>Juliane Frank:</em> As Assistant PR Manager for Northern Europe, I work with European media to ensure Scotland gets as prominent a place as possible in their coverage, thus inspiring potential visitors to choose Scotland as a holiday destination. </p> <p>My job is extremely varied – tasks can range from traditional PR to the development and implementation of integrated campaigns, which perform not only from a PR perspective, but also on a social and digital level.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6042/scotspirit.jpg" alt="" width="640" height="519"></p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h4> <p><em>JF:</em> I sit within the Consumer PR team which is part of Global Brand &amp; Communications, and I report to Marie Coulon who looks after Consumer PR for the whole of Europe.  </p> <h4> <em><strong>E:</strong></em> What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role and in travel/tourism?</h4> <p><em>JF:</em> I’d say a digital background is helpful. Before moving into my current role, I worked within the digital marketing team at VisitScotland. This has proven to be very useful at a time when the two fields are becoming more and more intertwined. It is exciting to see the impact an online article with a link to VisitScotland can have on visits to our website right away on Google Analytics. </p> <p>Then in terms of market knowledge and language skills – knowing my market(s) is vital to my role at VisitScotland. Being a German national myself, I bring valuable insight on consumer behaviour as well as the media landscape of one of our key markets to the team. On territory networking with media is extremely important for our relationships so my colleagues and I travel to our respective markets several times a year. </p> <p>The world of PR is also very dynamic which means that we have to continuously find new, creative ways to communicate with our key audiences. Scotland as a tourist destination is up against hundreds of other countries – it is up to us, the wider marketing team at VisitScotland, to make sure Scotland is front of mind with potential visitors. </p> <p>Communications is at the heart of what I do. I communicate with a wide range of people every day, from other teams within the organisation to media representatives and the Scottish industry.</p> <p>Lastly, passion for the product. This is very easy when the product is as stunning as Scotland! </p> <h4> <em>E</em>: Tell us about a typical working day… </h4> <p><em>JF</em>: No two days are ever the same in my role. Unusual enquiries can come in at any moment and short reaction times are key when working with media. </p> <p>A day could involve any or all of the following - responding to media enquiries, brainstorming with the team on creative campaigns for next year’s themed year, adapting press releases, pitching journalists for an upcoming group press trip, identifying top bloggers/influencers to work with on upcoming campaigns, and meeting with colleagues in The Highlands to find the perfect place for a TV crew to film. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h4> <p><em>JF:</em> I love being able to promote a product that I care so much about. I fell in love with Scotland during my Erasmus semester and feel very lucky to not only live here now, but also share my passion for the country with media every day. </p> <p>We always try to respond positively to enquiries and help with requests for press visits as best as we can. However, the sheer number of requests we receive on a daily basis makes it impossible to offer everyone the same level of support. Having to say no to some of them can suck.  </p> <h4> <em>E</em>: What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success? </h4> <p><em>JF</em>: Our main goal is achieving inspirational coverage about Scotland that will make people want to visit. Targets include a certain number of pieces of coverage in A-list media as well as a certain number of pieces of coverage featuring at least one of our key messages. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Rowallan Castle, which dates back to the 16 century, is looking pretty good for its age IG/hisashikuboyama <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HHA2017?src=hash">#HHA2017</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EastAyrshire?src=hash">#EastAyrshire</a> <a href="https://t.co/o4b8AI0tcL">pic.twitter.com/o4b8AI0tcL</a></p> — VisitScotland (@VisitScotland) <a href="https://twitter.com/VisitScotland/status/862595894256054273">May 11, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>We contribute to advocacy and positive sentiment in all channels and make sure we get coverage for content that will drive our discovery planning and search strategy. Our activity with influencers and online media is key in that respect and we work closely with our colleagues in SEO. Campaigns like our St Andrew’s Day video have been a great success on social. </p> <h4> <em>E</em>: What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h4> <p><em>JF</em>: My favourite ‘tool’ is my team. We are a friendly bunch of people with diverse backgrounds and different nationalities. We take the time to reflect on the kind of team we want to be and try out new strategies to become more efficient on a regular basis. Everyone in the team is allowed to call one ad hoc 10 minute meeting every week – the team drop whatever they were doing, come together and brainstorm the problem. </p> <h4> <em>E</em>: How did you get started in marketing, and where might you go from here?</h4> <p><em>JF</em>: I started as a trainee in PR/marketing at a German last minute tour operator after university and have been loyal to the tourism sector ever since – what could be better than promoting everyone’s favourite time of the year? </p> <h4> <em>E</em>: Which brands do you think are doing digital well?</h4> <p><em>JF:</em> LEGO are fantastic at creating digital PR campaigns that achieve a great level of awareness and consumer engagement. In tourism, Airbnb’s partnership with The Art Institute of Chicago to recreate Van Gogh’s bedroom and the resulting coverage worldwide has impressed me a lot. </p> <h4> <em>E</em>: Do you have any advice for people who want to work in marketing?</h4> <p><em>JF</em>: Embrace change – marketing &amp; PR are evolving at a rapid pace and you have to stay on the ball if you want to keep up with them. This might be challenging at times, but it also ensures that your job never gets boring.</p> <p><strong><em>More on VisitScotland:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69052-how-visitscotland-is-transforming-the-traditional-tourist-body/">How VisitScotland is transforming the traditional tourist body</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68849-three-reasons-to-appreciate-visitscotland-s-tourism-website/">Three reasons to appreciate VisitScotland's website</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68978 2017-04-13T01:00:00+01:00 2017-04-13T01:00:00+01:00 Three brands recently 'shamed' in China and how others can avoid a similar fate Jeff Rajeck <p>Last August, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68232-china-introduces-far-reaching-new-internet-ad-law-why-it-matters/">Econsultancy warned brands advertising in China</a> to become familiar with new advertising legislation in the country.</p> <p>In particular, they needed to know that <strong>the Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce is looking for exaggerations and falsehoods in ads</strong>, especially for companies that sell health-related or financial products.</p> <p>Brands in China should also be aware of the TV show known as '315' which names and shames firms on national television for stretching the truth, including large brands such as Apple and Volkswagen in previous years.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5330/1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="450"></p> <p>Here are the stories of three companies that fell foul of the examiners in March of this year and what other brands can do to avoid the same thing happening to them.</p> <h3>1. Blackmores (Australia)</h3> <p>Blackmores is a manufacturer and distributer of vitamins, minerals, and nutritional supplements. <strong>It has also had enormous success in China with double-digit growth over the past two years</strong> and sales of over A$100m in 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5332/3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="440"></p> <p>One <a href="http://readysetgochina.com.au/blackmores-success-hiccups-with-china-the-real-reason/">overview of the brand's strategy</a> in the country says that Blackmores has been successful in China because of its strategy on China's biggest social chat platform, WeChat.</p> <p>Yet it seems that WeChat was also the cause of the brand's recent shaming.</p> <p><a href="http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/blackmores-fined-65000-in-china-for-false-claims/news-story/200cac6b72cf60609d80e3754a01a9de">According to the Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce</a>, the company's advertising on WeChat claimed that its products could 'prevent and cure cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and arthritis'. Additionally, the bureau noted that Blackmores made an unsupported claim to be "the No 1 Australian nutritious product brand." </p> <p>As a result of violating the new advertising laws, <strong>the firm was fined RMB346,600 (around US$50,000) and consumers were entitled to claim three times the price they paid for comparative products as compensation.</strong></p> <p>If the brand or its agency had reviewed the law before advertising, it would have read that <a href="http://hk.lexiscn.com/law/interim-measures-for-the-administration-of-internet-advertising.html">Article 6 bans the advertisement of medical treatments unless it has been examined by the 'advertising examination authority'</a>.</p> <p>While the law does not indicate how to seek approval, brands should learn from this incident and seek legal advice before advertising products with health benefits or medical treatments and ensure they are not violating current legislation.</p> <h3>2. Nike (USA)</h3> <p>Like in the rest of the world, Nike is a very popular footwear brand in China and more that 10% of the brand's global sales are in the country.</p> <p>Recently, though, the TV show '315' (so named because March 15th is World Consumer Rights Day) found that 300 of its Hyperdunk sneakers were advertised as having 'Zoom Air' airbags. Yet when the shoes were cut open, <strong>no 'airbags' were found. </strong>315 proceeded to name and shame Nike on its most recent programme.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5331/2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="500"></p> <p>According to industry experts, it's unlikely that there will be any legal implications due to this error. Nike has, however, <a href="http://www.campaignasia.com/article/nike-muji-targeted-in-china-consumer-rights-expose/434712">admitted fault</a> and "will fully cooperate with the government regulators regarding their inquiries." When asked about the gravity of the incident, the CEO of H+K Strategies in China said that "the damage is more to [Nike's] public image."</p> <p>So what can brands do to avoid a similar situation?</p> <p>While it is highly unlikely that a brand the size of Nike's could ever ensure that 100% of its products were absolutely to the advertised standard, other brands can still learn from the experience.</p> <p>First off, <strong>marketers should note how far '315' will go in order to challenge a claim made in an ad</strong> and so they should be careful about making grandiose statements.</p> <p>Other <strong>brands should also learn from how Nike handled this issue.</strong> It was clear that Nike had a PR response ready to go and did not dig the brand in deeper by hesitating or trying to explain it away. The truth may hurt, but it's best to suffer it quickly rather than letting it get out of hand.</p> <h3>3. Muji (Japan)</h3> <p>Muji, the Japanese household items, stationery, and apparel brand, was also shamed on the most recent broadcast of the consumer watch show '315'. The company was accused of importing food into China from an area of Tokyo where high levels of radiation were detected in 2015.</p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5333/4.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="400"></strong></p> <p>Unlike Nike, Muji's parent company Ryohin Keikaku quickly announced that <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/076736c8-0d42-11e7-b030-768954394623">the firm was not selling products in China from any areas affected by radiation.</a> This claim was subsequently confirmed by the Financial Times who backed up the claim that <strong>the address in question was the food company's headquarters, not where the food was grown.</strong></p> <p>Again, there is little that Muji could have done to avoid the accusation as memories of nuclear contamination from the Fukushima disaster are still very clear in consumers' minds. </p> <p><strong>The lesson from this episode is that Chinese consumers are very sensitive to food safety issues.</strong> There are numerous cultural reasons for this but another important factor is that, in 2008, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Chinese_milk_scandal">six infants died from infant formula which was intentionally tampered with</a> and at least another 50,000 were hospitalized.  </p> <p>After such a scare, it is unsurprising that food safety is still of great concern in the country and so <strong>any brand that sells food in any capacity needs to be extra careful about the quality and safety of their product.</strong></p> <p>Muji will probably suffer unnecessarily from the accusations but, again, it was smart to address the issue head on through rapid crisis response.</p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>China and its billion or so consumers are a tempting target for many Western brands. In order to become and remain successful, though, <strong>companies need to understand the many quirks of the markets and to be prepared to manage the fallout if they make a mistake. </strong></p> <p>For most brands, this will mean working with a local partner who will ensure that the company doesn't commit any egregious mistakes but <strong>brand marketers should also become familiar with the law and institutions such as the '315' TV programme as well.</strong></p> <p>Doing so will hopefully keep their company from 'losing face' in the country and a subsequent humiliation, and expensive, retreat.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68747 2017-01-30T11:47:08+00:00 2017-01-30T11:47:08+00:00 From buzzword to bullsh*t: celebrating 144 years of ‘influencer marketing’ Ian McKee <p>Yeah, you read that right — 1873. Jules Verne, a hugely influential author, was known to be writing another adventure novel <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_placement#Origins">when he was lobbied by transport companies for mentions</a>.</p> <p>Perhaps if Jules had been a millennial, then ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ would have been an Instagram Story featuring definitely-not-awkward contract-fulfilling selfies taken on the Orient Express. </p> <p>I’m sure the world would have been a richer place. </p> <h3>New tricks for old dogs</h3> <p>You can see my point, through the dripping sarcasm — <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">influencer marketing</a> is not a new thing. </p> <p>In the decade I’ve been in PR, I’ve been involved in activity that today you might term ‘influencer marketing’ from day one. And I’m a relative whippersnapper compared to the transport industry lobbyists of the 1870s. </p> <p>It goes like this — this person holds sway over our audience. Give them free stuff, or some other compensation, to talk about our brand. Bingo, consider that audience influenced. </p> <p>Coining new terms for old tactics is something we love doing in the internet age. Look at fake news (or, propaganda), <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63722-what-is-native-advertising-and-do-you-need-it/">native advertising</a> (what we used to call advertorial) and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content marketing</a> (all marketing involves content, people). </p> <p>Just because the media has changed immeasurably doesn’t mean the ways we use it have. And influencer marketing is another buzzword coined more for tech companies to sell software than it is to describe anything new. </p> <h3>Rule of diminished returns</h3> <p>Which isn’t to say it’s not of value. There’s a reason marketers have been using this tactic for over a century. </p> <p>However, gaining buzzword status has inevitable negative effects. Just as in B2B content marketing when it started getting harder and harder to attract attention to your latest white paper, if everyone’s employing the same tactic then the rule of diminishing returns comes into play. </p> <p>In the case of influencer marketing, if it continues to grow there are only two routes we’ll plausibly go down.</p> <p>The first is a world where literally everyone’s an influencer to some degree. Like in the Black Mirror episode <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5497778/">Nosedive</a>, whether you can live in a certain place, buy your coffee from a certain café or do a certain job will all depend on your influencer score. Social media armageddon, basically.</p> <p>The second (and far more likely) outcome is a backlash. Consumer cynicism reaches the point where your average Instagram user can spot a plug from a mile off, and the returns of influencer marketing are significantly diminished. </p> <p>I think it’s fairly obvious that we’re approaching the second outcome right now. Stories like <a href="http://digiday.com/agencies/confessions-social-media-exec-no-idea-pay-influencers/">confessions of a social media exec on influencer marketing</a>, or from the other side, Bloomberg’s <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-11-30/confessions-of-an-instagram-influencer">confessions of an Instagram influencer</a> show the cracks are forming. </p> <h3>Gaming the system</h3> <p>Of course, I’m aware of the long tail argument — don’t pay over the odds for a superstar ‘influencer’, go with the person that has 10,000 genuinely engaged followers, or even 1,000 but they’re all actual friends and acquaintances. </p> <p>There’s Brian Solis's ‘<a href="http://www.briansolis.com/2012/03/the-pillars-of-influence-and-how-to-activate-them-in-business/">Pillars of Influence</a>’ — reach, relevance and resonance. Make sure your strategy is balanced. </p> <p>The problem is that at the moment, consumers are becoming more cynical, destroying the trust that these pillars are founded on. And this is not helped by the fast-growing phenomenon of the self-made influencer — those that are gaming the system. </p> <p>As any social media guru knows, you can game followers, likes and shares, and plenty of self-proclaimed ‘influencers’ are doing just that. All this makes it harder for any software tool to tell true influence.</p> <h3>Human intuition</h3> <p>Cue influx of software vendors protesting that their tool is super intelligent and can weed out the bogus influencers. </p> <p>I’m sure some of them do, to some degree. But just as in the earlier days of influencer marketing when it was just choosing which media outlets to send a product to, human intuition and experience come into play. </p> <p>I would always tell clients that when choosing media targets that circulation (reach) was one metric, audience (relevance) was another, but so was our own intuition and knowledge. And not just in ‘resonance’ — that should come from the story, the message, or the content. </p> <p>I’m talking about understanding who really knows what they’re talking about and commands attention on a topic. </p> <p>For this there’s no substitute for reading, interacting with and working with the media full time. And the same applies whether you’re talking about a steel industry trade mag or a health and fitness Instagrammer. </p> <h3>‘Influencer marketing’ won’t die</h3> <p>As much as I wish the buzzword would disappear, at the very least the practice will continue. But hopefully it will be <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/05/26/more-must-be-done-to-educate-brands-on-online-ad-rules-says-asa/">under better-observed regulations</a>, and with growing consumer cynicism the market will bottom out to a more measured approach. </p> <p>If you’re planning an influencer outreach programme anytime soon, obviously you won’t just cream off the top 10 Instagrammers using a relevant hashtag. But hopefully, you also won’t just use what your fancy software’s proprietary algorithm tells you are the top 10 either. </p> <p>By all means take those factors into account, but also spend time reading and reviewing content, understand the audience you want to reach and work transparently with people you know they’ll trust. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/934 2016-10-27T10:15:00+01:00 2016-10-27T10:15:00+01:00 Digital Marketing Template Files Econsultancy <h3>Overview</h3> <p><strong>Digital Marketing Template Files</strong></p> <p><strong>Authors:</strong></p> <ul> <li>James Gurd, Owner and Lead Consultant, <a title="Digital Juggler" href="http://digitaljuggler.com/">Digital Juggler</a> </li> <li>Ben Matthews, Director, <a title="Montfort" href="http://montfort.io/">Montfort</a> </li> <li>Ger Ashby, Head of Creative Services, <a title="Dotmailer" href="https://www.dotmailer.com/">Dotmailer</a> </li> <li><a title="Starcom Mediavest Group" href="http://smvgroup.com/">Starcom Mediavest Group</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.searchlaboratory.com/">Search Laboratory</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Files available:</strong> 10 file bundles, 50+ individual template files<br></p> <p><strong>File titles:</strong> See sample document for full breakdown of section and file information.</p> <h3>About these files</h3> <p>Need help with an area of digital marketing and don't know where to start? This pack of downloadable files contains best practice templates that you can use in your digital marketing activities. Feel free to adapt them to suit your needs.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jxKmQGxspc8?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Contents</h3> <p>In this release we have 10 template bundles containing over 50 individual template files for digital marketing projects.</p> <p><strong>Download separate file bundles below:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Affiliate Marketing</li> <li>Content Marketing</li> <li>Display Advertising </li> <li>Ecommerce Projects</li> <li>Email Marketing</li> <li>Search Engine Marketing: PPC</li> <li>Search Engine Marketing: SEO</li> <li>Social Media and Online PR</li> <li>Usability and User Experience</li> <li>Web Analytics</li> </ul> <p><strong>The template files bundle also includes a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/small-business-online-resource-manager/">Small Business Online Resource Manager</a> that </strong><strong>can help you effectively manage and own your online assets.</strong></p> <p><strong>There's a free guide which you can download to find out more about exactly what is included.</strong></p>