Tag Archives: brand

Weekly Reads – Small Brands Can Gain Traction by Targeting Their Perfect Customer

Small brands are discovering that they can grow by targeting the customers that big brands leave behind. By discovering niche audiences that industry giants ignore in advertising, small companies have found a way to thrive while also making their customers feel unique. Meanwhile, Reddit is punishing trolls, Uber is infringing on customer privacy and Netflix finally allows content to be downloaded for offline viewing.

Social Advertising

Entrepreneur: What Small Brands Do That Big Brands Can’t

Small brands are cropping up and taking advantage of customers who feel left behind by big brands. Many of them are using social media to target their unique customer, allowing them to grow intelligently with a fraction of the advertising budget of their larger competitors.

Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – Smile, You’re On Camera!

selfie photo

Given their rise toward the top of the list of most popular social media platforms, it’s no surprise that we’ve got a lot to talk about when it comes to Instagram and Snapchat this week. Squeezing into the picture, too, is our old friend Facebook, which recently started testing Snapchat-style camera effects.

Before you take in the latest news and trends, however, we invite you to pop in on two interesting case studies. The first outlines how Martha Stewart is cooking up continued success on Facebook Live. Another tried-and-true brand, Jeep, handed customers the keys to its brand in celebration of its 75th anniversary and it’s been a great ride. Now grab a snack and buckle in as you dive into this week’s reads to gather inspiration to implement your own future case study!

Facebook

TechCrunch: Facebook Tests Snapchat-Style Camera Special Effects With Ephemeral Sharing

While not available globally quite yet, we’re excited to see Facebook’s Snapchat-like features that it just began testing in Ireland. New-to-Facebook features will feel similar to those available on Snapchat, including animated selfie-masks and geofilters, along with some unique “reactive” filters that respond to the user’s movements. It’s unlikely these changes will override Snapchat, but instead give Facebook loyalists a reason to stay on one platform.

Read more after the jump…

Inspiration as Brand – From Spaghetti Westerns to Prince

Last week, the New York Times Magazine explored the topic of inspiration, featuring articles about when, where and how well-known creative minds find their inspiration. From Chinua Achebe to Quentin Tarantino and Alicia Keyes, each individual shared insights about their own inspirations.

Achebe was drawn into children’s literature by a lack of appropriate reading options for his daughter following Nigeria’s independence from Great Britain (Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” is one of my favorite books that partly inspired my travel to West Africa during college). Tarantino recalled the spaghetti westerns (no idea what these are) of Italian director Sergio Corbucci as the seed for his pending holiday release, “Django Unchained.” And Alicia Keyes turns to an eclectic mix of Alabama Shakes and Prince for inspiration.

Read more after the jump…

Defensive Monitoring: How to Monitor What is Being Said About Your Company

In today’s world where news, good and bad, spreads like wildfire, what can communications professionals do to stay on top of what’s being said and quickly respond when they need to?

While there is no silver bullet, knowing what is being said about your company, organization or brand in real time is a critical first step to reputation management. But before you set up just any monitoring tool, you first need to determine what to monitor. Here are some suggestions:

  • Company name, any legacy names, abbreviations for your company
  • Brand names, if your company has different products
  • Company’s senior leadership team and any spokespeople
  • Slogan or commonly used marketing phrases
  • Competitors’ names
  • Industry, including recent trends
  • Vendors or partners
  • Key customers/clients

Paid monitoring services, while thorough and potentially necessary in a crisis, can be expensive, and there is no one service that will capture everything that is being said online and through traditional media channels. Google Alerts is a simple and free tool that does an effective job in many instances. Here are some quick tips to help set up Google Alerts:

  • Include keywords (e.g. public relations, public relations + Denver, communications firms + Colorado)
  • Set up different alerts depending on urgency  (e.g., for your company you’ll want to receive all mentions as they occur; for your competitors you may choose to have only the most relevant information sent once a day or even once per week)
  • Examine your own analytics (Google Analytics) to see how people are finding your site, looking at the search terms and then monitoring for those terms

You can use Google to search online for crisis-related terms, such as “ABC Company” + “lawsuit”, “scam”, “sucks”, etc. People who have an ax to grind with your company or organization sometimes purchase URLs with these names and set up their own websites.

Other free ways to monitor online include subscribing to RSS Feeds through news websites or company websites, or setting up Google Reader – this will help you consolidate key blogs and news updates from reporters and bloggers who write about your company and your industry frequently. Additionally, it is helpful to follow reporters and bloggers who cover your company or organization through Twitter and Facebook.

Use Twilert to keep track of tweets containing your brand, product, service and more; you can add certain search terms or hashtags to track conversations and determine how frequently you want to be notified. Using social media dashboards such as Tweetdeck or  Hootsuite, allows you manage and monitor multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts.

While Facebook doesn’t provide the same search capabilities as you can find on Twitter, you can “like” reporters and other influences and organizations/businesses to monitor what they’re saying. Remember that only about 20 percent of the conversations taking place on Facebook are public, so even with thorough monitoring practices, you won’t be able to see every relevant mention.

As you set up your monitoring tools, you’ll need to readjust the search terms depending on the amount and appropriateness of the content that you’re reviewing. I only shared a few of the more popular free monitoring tools above – there are many others that are free and you may find equally useful. The old adage, the best offense is a good defense, is never more true when it comes to managing an organization’s reputation. Don’t be afraid to dive in and see what is being said about your company, organization or brand; you’ll feel more in control and will be much better equipped to respond when a crisis strikes.

~ Barb Jones

PR lessons from NPR’s revamped social media policy

After several high-profile embarrassments, NPR dusted off its old ethics policy and recently rolled out a new version for its journalists and staff.

The revamped 72-page policy came about after NPR analyst Juan Williams made remarks about Muslims on “The O’Reilly Factor.” He was fired, and NPR’s board conducted a review of the incident and a sweeping review of the overall policy. The review got some added urgency when an NPR executive was recorded publicly bashing conservatives and questioning the need for federal funding.

For the PR world, we can learn from NPR’s thoughtful updates to its social media policy and online interactions. Most notably, the new policies no longer treat the social media world as an oddity with no future.

“To get the most out of social media we need to understand those communities,” the policy says. “So we respect their cultures and treat those we encounter online with the same courtesy and understanding as anyone we deal with in the offline world. We do not impose ourselves on such sites. We are guests and behave as such.”

Other nuggets in the social media policy include:

First is not always best. NPR’s case study on this was how it had wrongly reported the death of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords following the shooting spree in Arizona. “Few in our audience will know or care which news organization was first to report a breaking news story,” the policy says. “But if we get it wrong, we leave a lasting mark on our reputation.”

Personal and profession lives overlap. The policy says that even with a protected Twitter account or a private Facebook profile, NPR staffers should acknowledge that whatever they post is in the public domain. “Everything you say or do in a social media environment is effectively a public statement from an NPR journalist.”

Don’t play in the rumor mill. The policy says reporting in social media spaces requires the same diligence that journalists must exercise in other environments. So, don’t retweet a story that has not been confirmed, as you many add credibility to a false or incomplete report.

Online honesty. NPR journalists should identify themselves as such when working online, covering stories, posting comments, asking questions, tweeting, retweeting, blogging, Facebooking or doing anything on social media or other online forums.

All in all, these rules should apply to PR professionals and our clients. The line between our personal lives and professional lives is no longer hard and clear.

This part of the policy says it all: In social media forums, “don’t behave any differently online than you would in any other public setting.”

(This post also appears on PRDaily.com)