Posts Tagged ‘PR’

Three innovative apps helping curb SME spending

In Communications on November 18, 2014 at 8:47 pm

An insight piece I compiled for BQ Magazine, online. One of the leading entrepreneurial magazines in the UK and the Baltic states.

The new digital age has not only brought with it an array of new technologies but has also helped nurture a new breed of entrepreneur.

Simplified, easy-to-use applications are making it easier than ever before for SMEs to compete on a grand scale and are helping to cut expenditure on external support which to this day, can still take a huge bite out of any firms marketing budget.

BQ’s digital marketing exec Bryce Wilcock, gives an insight into three revolutionary apps helping cut the costs of your everyday SME…

Read the full article with the 3 apps chosen.


SEAT launch Seat Music to attract new clientèle…

In Communications on October 23, 2011 at 3:01 pm

SEAT is not the brand name associated with huge publicity and musical partnerships, within England, anyway. This post combines many of my interests and loves, from PR and social media, to my love for cars and Urban music.Their newest campaign, will prove to be vital for their attempts to penetrate quite a younger and a more niche market.

Upon browsing Facebook, I saw this suggested advert. Evidently pointed to me due to my interaction with the Rizzle kicks fan page

Interestingly enough, I have also been interested in investing in Dre Beats headphones in which I have been Googling.
Back on track though, as I have previously blogged about urban music and its link with marketing campaigns in the past, i.e. most notably, RUN DMC and Adidas in the 80s, SEAT could be heading towards this…

If attracting users to the page by their liking of Rizzle Kicks, currently one of the freshest Urban acts in the UK at the present, the Dre Beats headphones competition definitely does. As one of the top brands of headphones currently on the market, they are often pictured lingering on the necks of celebrities and link in perfectly to the huge popularity of portable MP3 systems, such as ipod’s.

On top of being offered a free Rizzle Kicks track, a competition with the chance to win not 1 but 4 pairs of Dre Beats headphones, fans can also visit their local SEAT dealer to claim 50 free song downloads. With a clientèle of mainly mature drivers due to their large sized engines in the UK, they have hit the nail on the head with the link with Urban and Youth culture to attract the potentially dynamic audience.

Like almost all campaigns, they have also stretched to further than just Facebook and have reached out to Youtube, which ideally is a bare necessity when it comes to urban culture, SB.TV is a fine example of this. Here we can see their promotional video with the UK artist Example, recording his Boulevard of Broken Dreams onto Vinyl:

After already securing tickets to see Rizzle Kicks perform next month and also being absorbed into Urban culture throughout my life, I will definitely be taking advantage of the SEAT music offer. No doubt this will prove to be a genius move by both the SEAT PR and Marketing teams.

Google launch search by image..

In Communications on July 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Google has been the market leader of online search engines for years, heavily due to it’s constant maintenance and updates. However, Google have recently just took another huge leap in securing their spot as the market leader of online search engines.

Through the power of convergence, Google have managed to fusion together many different applications in which they have created to form one huge network of information. Combining images with search results, videos and also maps they have managed to ensure that they can provide a huge amount of information for any user.

Despite a wide range of different tools being provided by Google, only the traditional form of searching via text has been utilised by Google search bars up until now. This comes as Google have launched “Google image search” After recently discussing online privacy on twitter, the best form of looking into the use of Google image search would surely be to look up myself and see where my image and information is transferred to online. 3rd party intervention plays a huge role in the transporting of information and media across the online world.

As you can see, there are already many images of myself on google images, many of which are from 3rd party sites. The highlighted image however, is that of a thumbnail image of my Twitter profile image. Let’s see how Google locates my Twitter image across the web…

As expected, WordPress and Twitter were using my icon which I myself, had uploaded. The other 2 results however, are quite surprising. Upon clicking the links, I had managed to see a number of quite handy widgets, gathering similar stories from Twitter and blogs which is where I came across my blog post from a while back regarding Ghana and Sunderland AFC:

If a client were to want to look at the online reputation and links with one specific person then google image search could be quite beneficial, as shown above. Clients could find out how they are portrayed and also which of their online content is being displayed and discussed elsewhere in the web. As a tool it is not the handiest, as for businesses etc, one would have to dig deep in order to find any real findings. It would be easier to find stories in the news.

And now, lets finish with Google’s official launch video:

Afterall, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” – Google.

Google “What do you love” – Ideal for any PR practitioner…

In Communications on June 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Google have launched a ‘mashup’ style site allowing a user to input any phrase they would like to explore and view its web presence. This is an ideal form of any practitioner quickly evaluating the online presence of any client or company. Below you can see the result of a “What do you love” for any fans of Beyonce. Why Beyonce? Well since Glastonbury, the press have been going wild for the star!

One of the most interesting aspects of this being the “Interest Over Time…” monitoring how many hits the selected topic has been receiving. As you can see, the peak of the hits being when she first performed at Glastonbury a few days ago. The latest news also allows the practitioner to monitor the coverage their company/client is receiving, sort of temporary press cuttings or an RSS feed.

Another method of viewing the online coverage of a client would be that of viewing blogs, which are just as important as traditional mediums i.e. television and magazines in recent years. This due to the amazing increase in the amount of bloggers since the rise of the internet and new media. here you can see all of the coverage regarding Beyonce in blogs, most of which seem to be going with the flow of constant praise for Beyonces performance at the festival.

Featured below however, is how the news coverage for your client could be quite negative. Barack Obama and his policies based upon the American economy have quite often been criticised by some media.

As seen above, 3 out of 3 of the news stories are quite negative. This can be seen by the brief descriptions shown under the headlines featuring terminology such as “casualties”, “worse, the president has” and “but at this current pace…” Although such coverage may be quite negative, it is still a very useful tool for a practitioner to walk in the office, see such headlines and make them aware to the client and how they could be attempted to be put straight.

Google’s ‘What do you love‘ could definitely be a very useful tool for any PR practitioner, making the RSS feed as effective as ever. The ping back time is also very impressive, as the results can load within 5 seconds on a decent paced internet line.

To finish the post, here is a video blog regarding What do you love? by TheLostAgency on Youtube:

Online CSR…

In Communications on June 21, 2011 at 6:50 am

Although Corporate Social Responsibility has been exercised by many different kinds of companies with differing publics, it is now evident and just as easily practised online. This post was influenced by Facebook’s own like page on Facebook which will be the focal point of this post.

By managing its own “Like” page, it could be seen to be blowing its own trumpet however I’m sure if Mark Zuckerberg wanted to, he could most probably make every Facebook user “Like” it. The same way every MySpace user was friends with “Tom”, even if they despised him, he was a friend!

As shown above, Facebook also manages CSR through its own networking methods. Via using its like page for itself, Facebook is able to reach a total audience of “46,485,376 people like this”. The story shown above also helps relate to everyone whom has lost a father and everyone who is celebrating Fathers day. Here facebook are airing the views of their customers and allowing them to share their stories however, the stories in which are chosen by Facebook…

Facebook also chooses which news it shares, note the pro-facebook articles being spoon fed to the gullible masses (similar to a 1984 concept). I doubt they put the supposed exploitations of Facebooks PR shame whilst trying to tarnish the reputation of Google…

This post is supposed to be positive however, by looking at how Facebook uses CSR and can also be a good entity. So roll on the next image:

No text is needed to be published here as Facebook sums it up within that very post! One major benefit of good CSR to any PR practitioner however, is getting it notices. Of course, CSR is about behaving morally correct and helping society… but PR, is about reputation. CSR is the perfect task to help build a positive reputation for any organisation and Facebook’s advertising of Greater Than AIDS is a prime example of this. Unlike most PR practitioners however, Facebook also have their own news outlet directed at their own target audience and control 100% of the message, a practitioners dream!

Of course there are more than charities and deaths as a form of CSR, there are also businesses. Helping out smaller businesses shows that they have other businesses at heart and don’t want to become your typical monopoly, even though Facebook could very well be on the verge of that! By using a 3rd party source, they are also showing that not everything they post is generated by their own PR machine, there are actually people recognising their CSR campaigns and sharing the “Great work of Facebook!”

Articles are boring. Hence the deteriorating health of the print media in recent years. So surely another form of boosting awareness of your CSR campaigns is that of Multi-Media? By using a video including Facebook staff, it is automatically credible. Many people are sceptical about allowing their children online and what details they should themselves publish etc. So the rise of a video reassuring all of these problems and persuading Facebook is safe is bulletproof. People automatically believe Facebook have their needs at heart and it becomes a fully functioning and successful CSR campaign, Facebook also acquire more users in that of the children whom are now considered safe, of course they are also the adults of the future…

If you would like to check out the Facebook, Facebook like page, then you can so here:!/facebook

The use of specialist groups…

In Communications on June 1, 2011 at 11:25 am

This post is quite a lazy mini post as instead of sharing many of my personal views, the collective views of respected PR practitioners and commentators will be given regarding the use of blogging within PR. In doing this a post was added to a specialist group forum on LinkedIn named, PRWise. Which as it says on the tin, is regarding PR.

Instead of a lot of talking from my point of view within this post, the views of PR professionals and critics will be shared and analysed from such discussions. Francis Moran, Founder and managing partner at inmedia Public Relations Inc, makes some interesting points below:

Suzanne Tennant also argues a fair point which I personally agree with, that one of the ideal cases for using a blog for any corporation would be within crisis management. This being as it is a form of getting your message across as you want it, instead of it being span or edited by any 3rd party.

Rachel Florio-Urso, CEO of Rachel Florio PR, T.V. and a Celebrity Trend Expert gave this brief but yet positive backing to blogging and other forms of Social Media which is a view reflected by many campaigns and practitioners worldwide:

To summarise the argument and to backup the brief thesis given by Rachel Florio-Urso, Jim Kerr the VP, Global Public Relations and Regional Communications at Unisys claims:

There is no doubt that blogging can play a huge role within public relations as a form of b2b comms, crisis management and maybe even promotion on top of other possible methods. Albeit, it may be quite a controversial topic as far as views on the effectiveness of blogging go. Maybe a substitute may come along or maybe other forms of social media such as Facebook and Twitter are already about to kill off blogging? Like many other factors in the ever changing world of PR, we will have to wait and see…

To read more of the views and conversations click the link below, you will need to be signed up to LinkedIn and request to join it first, however:

Facebook gets more facelifts…

In Communications on May 12, 2011 at 1:48 am

It seems every week something changes on Facebook, be it ‘profile pages’, ‘fan pages’ or ‘comment liking’. Now Mike Zuckerberg is at it again, allowing users to tag liked pages in photographs.

From a glance many may think, “so?”

Not many PR practitioners or theorists will deny that Facebook has played a huge role within Public Relations campaigns since the rise of social media, all be it for better or worse. Brands as large as ‘PepsiCo‘, ‘Nike’ and as small as my local cafe ‘The Bakers Oven‘ have taken up facebook pages and profiles in order to manage their reputation and promote campaigns and products.

Once again, this does not really answer the relevance of tagging pages in photographs now, does it?

Users have always been able to submit their photographs to pages however, this does not have anywhere near as large an effect as being able to tag them in the photographs which they show to friends. For example, a clothing company such as my local designer store, Yakuza would have the opportunity to utilise a facebook campaign quite effectively. Being a lover of clothes and being proud of the designers that I like to represent daily, all be it the fact that I am the biggest hypocrite for constantly asking myself, why do I pay so much for a man playing polo stitched to my shirt? Then go ahead and pay a ridiculous money for it (I dont even play polo!)

Back to the point, you often hear people and read especially on Facebook comments such as, “I love that top, where did you get it?!?” This, is a retailers dream. For example, encouraging fans to tag the designer in said images and it even saves people the effort and for some, the embarrassment of asking such questions. “Why would people tag them?” A form of bragging or even being the first to tag such an item amongst their peers and if that isn’t enough, a competition which requires no details to be input as they are already on Facebook. Flawless!

This could work for a variety of campaigns, even for marketers. A prime example of which is the designer Ed Hardy, the clothing line from Christian Audigier. Ed Hardy has displayed many photographs of celebrities from across the world wearing the clothes on its facebook page with over 1,000,000 likes. Their album already has 85 photographs of different celebrities, many of which will have easilly over 200,000 fans at least. By linking in to their pages, even with a tag on any item of clothing they are linked in, many fans of the celebrities are going to follow the Ed Hardy brand and buy the clothes just because they wear them. That air of exclusiveness and stature will encapture the attention of potential customers and surely, no harm would be done? The example below shows David Beckham pictured wearing Ed Hardy on facebook, this is only a celebrity with over 10,000,000 fans…

David Beckham, pictured wearing Ed Hardy on Facebook

It goes to show, just how little of an add on to such a huge site can make a huge impact to campaigns for any business, even my local cafe could be tagged in peoples pictures of stotties (sandwiches) and cups of coffee. The notion of “Free publicity” is evident again, thanks to social media.

Youtube as social media…

In Communications on May 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm

When thinking about social media, most people automatically think of Facebook , MySpace and Twitter. Although it is mainly focussed upon videos in comparison to communication, Youtube is one which could play a huge role for any PR and marketing practitioner.

Many organisations have their own channels with thousands of subscribers on Youtube where they upload company videos. Convergence is also used for many of these, linking them to their other social media pages for example the three previously named. This post will look at and analyse three brand leaders from different markets and their Youtube presence.

Unsurprisingly, football team FC Barcelona is one of the largest channels on Youtube.  Weighing in at 77,889 subscribers and a total number of 38,845,098 upload views, it is even more successful than their great football rival Real Madrid (Quite fitting that I use this comparison following the 4 recent games between Real and Barca where Barca in total came out on top.) Barcelona release interviews and match highlights on their page, allowing Youtube users to comment upon them. A problem with this method however, is that they can’t control every comment on videos. Although Youtube has a policy whereas users can report other comments, this sometimes takes a while for them to be deleted if they ever are. The example below on one of Barcelona’s recent videos is evidence of this.

Second place in the list of companies I checked out, was one which everyone would expect to be here and round about. Coca-Cola weighing in at 27,874 subscribers and a grand total of 20,149,730 upload views. In traditional coke style, their layout consists of the red and white colour scheme and their view of happiness although many critics may dismiss this notion. Their immediate message displayed being, “125 years of sharing happiness.” Many of their videos include videos of Coca-cola working with and interviewing the band Maroon 5, helping market their close relationship with them freely upon their social media networks. One video featured is that of the Coca-Cola happiness truck, making stops in poverty stricken areas such as South America and giving out free coca cola. Once again, Coca-Cola is tarnished with its past history and this is witnessed within its comments, something once again they cannot control completely, shown below.

Another popular market to look at would have to be that of fashion and sportswear, which has always been a very popular market in recent times. Once again Adidas come out on top in this sector, as I have already blogged about their successful campaigns in the past! Their Adidas original marketing scheme is evident immediately as well as their footballing link with Argentina and Barcelona player Lionel Messi (Not to forget he is infamously endorsed by Adidas). An interesting widget included onto their channel page is that of comments from Facebook.

Typically, Adidas feature a lot of videos based upon their sporting endorsements including players and teams keeping their sponsorships in the limelight. Musicians and Adidas ambassadors such as Katy Perry and B.o.B are also featured in 5second promotional videos showing them wearing Adidas clothing when performing. The Katy Perry video for example, has a total of 67,367 views for this 5 second clip alone, the power of such endorsements shining through their social media feedback on Youtube alone. The effects it will also have from global advertising and other platforms such as Facebook, twitter and even other videos will be huge.

Although many comments and conversations on Facebook may be out of control from the creator, it is evident that they are very effective. Such communication platforms linked with videos give fans from across the world a platform to talk to the related video together which would never have been achievable before and of course, at such a low price. It also gives the brands an example of which video clips people watch the most and like the most, meaning they have a platform of monitoring their marketing and PR campaigns at the click of a button. The power of Youtube alone as a social media tool should definitely not be underestimated.

Social Media Monopoly

In Communications on May 5, 2011 at 12:06 am

The most recent blog post may not be too relevant to PR however, it is without doubt relevant to social media. One of the oldest and traditional board games has taken a huge leap in getting involved with the newer technologies in recent years, following with social media now.

As many board games have died off and family time decreases with the new generation of computer generated communication and socialising, many board game companies have died off from the social and business spectrums. Monopoly was once a very popular board game played by children and families as a form of socialising, mainly before the rise of many electronic forms of entertainment. The game was based upon the idea of businesses monopolising a certain market and the winner at the end, was the player who managed to create said monopoly.

Hasbro made great leaps into the electronic market to try and keep up to date and penetrate this ever expanding electronic market whereas other favourite board games such as Cluedo, Guess who, Kaplunk and even Ludo. The first major stoop into the market was the introduction of Monopoly on the first Playstation console, where up to 8 players could play at any one given time. This was followed by games released on the Playstation 2 and now the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 where players can communicate and play online.

Although the previous example will undoiubtedly be as great a success as ever, this has not prevented Hasbro from converging different media platforms in total. In late 2009 Hasbro introduced ‘Monopoly city streets’ which was based upon Google maps. The partnership between the two allowed users who had registered to buy fictional property on real google maps and have the ability to play against every other play across the world and also communicate with them. This did not last long however, it gained a great deal of popularity.

Monopoly had also been featured on mobile phone games, most notably the ever booming Apple iPhone’s and iPod’s, where an app can be purchased from Hasbro allowing users to play it on their phones and mp3 players. Once again making Monopoly available on many different platforms and available to many different people.

These methods may be huge forms of social media however, the don of social media was yet to be included up until early 2011. Hasbro introduced Monopoly Millionaires onto the social media network facebook, allowing friends to play and compete against each other, also using twitter as a form of promoting it via a promoted trending topic (a strategy many social media professionals will agree rarely works).  With so many people across the world joining facebook, people are finding themselves with differing generations of their families, making the traditional family board game even more expandable. And ofcourse, i would not be a facebook game without the ability to purchase bonuses within the game, would it? Similar to many other facebook gaming platforms such as Zynga and Digital Chocolate, ‘Golden Bars’ can be purchased from Hasbro to give players an advantage to try and monopolise the game (amongst their ‘friends’, anyway!)

SAFC PR reach for the black stars…

In Communications on March 30, 2011 at 3:43 pm

A lot of PR is about building and maintaining relationships, no more so than in football PR. Many key relationships are to be built here, from board members to players, communities, sponsors and of course the fans.

Although a lot of football clubs have local fan bases which are the building blocks of the club, they also have a lot of international fans which can contribute greatly to the revenue and stature of the club. An infamous example of this is the transfer of midfielder Park Ji Sung from PSV to Manchester United in 2005, a transfer many critics claimed was a PR and Marketing move in order to create revenue and popularity within Asia. This was a huge market to many football teams backed up by constant tours to Asian countries as it is a market ready to be penetrated for many football clubs although Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson claimed this was far from the truth as it was purely a footballing decision.

Park Ji Sung – Huge hit in Asia.

Whilst getting ready to watch the England Vs Ghana match last night, Sunderland AFC were quick to strengthen their relationships with their international fans. Seeing as though Sunderland had three players in the Ghana starting eleven, there was undoubtedly going to be a huge amount of support for Sunderland at Wembley. Sunderland’s PR team were spot on in their coverage of this, although they were being impartial in not supporting either team, two hours before kickoff they had taken and uploaded photographs of Ghana fans wearing their Sunderland scarves and waving their Sunderland flags.

This was followed up by SAFCOfficial (The official Facebook page of SAFC) immediately uploading action shots of their players in action for Ghana, another slick move.

Following this, Danny Welbeck and Asamoah Gyan, both Sunderland AFC players were trending topics on twitter. Not a result of ecstatic Sunderland fans but for other reasons, Gyan’s wonderful last minute equaliser for Ghana and Welbeck’s controversial debut for England when he could quite easily have played for Ghana.

Sunderland footballers Titus Bramble and David Meyler also took to their twitter accounts to congratulate Asamoah Gyan for his goal, linking in to Sunderland and Ghana fans alike.

A few days after the game, another affiliation was confirmed. Sunderland chairman, Niall Quinn officially announced that work was underway in order to create an official ‘Working Partnership’ with one of Ghana’s top domestic football teams, Kotoko. Many partnerships have been created within football over time, for example Manchester United’s link with Belgium football team, Antwerp which was seen to be used as a method of loaning players out to work around the idea of work permits.

Speaking about Sunderland’s link with Kotoko, Niall said:

“It was a huge honour to welcome the Kotoko officials to our club. There’s a tremendous passion for football in Ghana and I see a real synergy with Sunderland in that respect.

“We could see that from watching Tuesday’s friendly against England and of course the international sides’ fantastic performance at the World Cup just what football means to the people of Ghana – there’s an infectious enthusiasm about them that’s wonderful to witness.

A link to the full story can be found here: SAFC Kotoko Story

One of the main strengths in SAFC’s tactics for the match day was their undoubtedly successful attempt at strengthening relationships with an ever increasing fan base within Ghana. As everyone knows, allegiances for football teams are very rarely built within the teams home nation. Sunderland seem to be very keen to increase their stature in Ghana as shown in their recent affiliation, coming from a life longfan, I hope it continues for the better!


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