Posts Tagged ‘media relations’

The world belongs to those who understand it. In the social media ecosphere, we at Strategic Objectives believe those who understand their audiences best have the highest likelihood of generating the best results. PRs need to understand how to tell a brand’s story and make it speak to audiences so effectively that the message can transcend all platforms and inspire sharing. PRs are natural communicators, but even here, you really need to understand your audience to maximize results.

Everyone is trying to figure out user behaviors online. Once we understand behaviors, we can better understand how to reach our target markets and build the best and highly-engaged online communities for our clients. What if we were to say most gamers have never been to college? What if we were to tell you there’s a strong use of social networking in the workplace?

Social Media Today recently released some statistics on social media usage and its demographic landscape. The statistics are deduced from 900 websites that average 9 million visits/month per site and offer some very valuable, not-so-surprising and nonetheless interesting results on user data. That data can be found in the chart below, where we have also created a quick summary of the research findings.

 

 

Demographic Findings:

  • Social networking is dominated by younger generations with no children, and online networking activity picks up in college
  • Social networks are most popular among the youngest generation (18-34) and are used less frequently for each successive age group over 35
  • Youth ages 18-24 tend to use social networks to supplement social life, learning, and having fun.
  • The most diverse use of social networks comes from the 25-34 year old age group.
    • Continue to use the services they used in college, but less often
    • As they start to have new interests (business, family), they are most likely to use online social engagement to benefit their business/career, discuss or plan travels, and share family-related experiences online
  • The 35+ demographic show technological bias against social networking.
    • High likeliness of these age groups to use business, family, and dating networks
    • Stats also suggest that social networking’s popularity among youth may be not just be due to technological differences, but to a better fit of interests
  • People with college-level education tend to have a higher rate of social for participation with networks across the board.
    • This suggest the expanding network once in college
    • Also demonstrates there is a tremendous amount of information shared between students

 

Outlier Findings: Two categories break this trend

  • Gaming has an unusually high participation rate among people without college experience
    • Likely that a high percentage of gamers are young
  • Places has a very high participation rate among people with graduate-level schooling
    • Likely positive correlation between graduate school and income, and between income and travel.

 

Male VS Female Findings:

  • Gaming is strongly dominated by males
  • Lifestyle and family is strongly dominated by females
  • Dating, Places, and Business are used more often by females
  • Education networks are used most by males

 

Location Findings:

  • Strong use of social networks in the workplace
    • Distraction or sign of increasing application of social websites for practical purposes?

 

Last Friday I had the distinct opportunity to attend, present and mingle with some of the “who’s who” of social media at UnGeeked Toronto, a three day social media retreat. The speaker list was extensive and reflective of the professionally social atmosphere. Guest speakers included:

Mark Bowden @truthplane

Marsha Collier @MarshaCollier

Amanda Hite @sexythinker

Jason Falls @jasonfalls

Jason Weaver @mixdown04

Jeffrey Willinger @jwillie

Erin Bury @erin_bury

Bruce Powell @IQPartners

Tom Tentoglou @tentoglou

Katie Felten @KatieFelten

Karima-Catherine @karimacatherine

Heather Taylor @heatherAtaylor

Stéphane Poirier @exopoirier

Alan Lepofsky @alanlepo

Michele Price @prosperitygal

And me! @DebWeinstein

Not only were these speakers a treat to listen to, but we were greatly impressed by their humility. It was refreshing to see industry leaders take such a grass roots approach to teaching and learning from other professionals; and to hear the clear cut admission that social media is still a dynamic, every changing,  incrementally growing and expanding universe with no clear cut goals, guidelines, or processes. It is reassuring to know that even these industry leaders, who possess deep knowledge and experience in the field, are still discovering, reinventing, re examining and frankly just trying to understand social media as a whole!

As the conversation evolved throughout the event we started to talk more about how social media can be used for corporate brand building and customer service. Some of the key points from this discussion were:

  • Corporations and clients alike need to work on a stable social media strategy in conjunction with their other marketing initiatives;
  • Results driven strategy + making and meetings goals = bottom line results (every marketer’s dream!). The best way to get there is to follow the 4H’s
  • Be human, be humble, be honest, and be helpful;
  • There is heavy importance for a brand to have two way dialogue and provide feedback to the client and customer. It is the responsibility of the brand to communicate to the customer, in the customer’s chosen forum, time and space;
  • The customer now has the authority to define their relationship by befriending or defriending the brand. The ball is in their court.  
  • A brand must be engaging, credible and relevant. To achieve these proof points you must use research to make sure you are reaching out to the right people in the right way for ultimate effectiveness.

And above all!

  •  It is crucial for a company to understand that a brand must be authentic online.

Another great point brought up by our dear friend Marsha Collier was: Some Brands may have hundreds of people working in their customer service call centers, but only one community manager to deal with online customer service.  This understaffing really rankled and resonated with the group.  It is a scary lesson brand managers must learn, it is the brand’s responsibility to be where your customers are talking about you; and your job to mediate the conversation with the correct tone and manners. This leads me to another important point that was discussed at the conference — manners! As we are all aware, cyber bullying is becoming a huge problem. Some say it’s an epidemic among online communities. It is crucial that we maintain our composure, dignity and professional tone when engaging others online. You win no one over to your side of an argument by shouting obscenities, making accusations and putting down others. Social media has become the wild wild west, where there are NO rules.  As @AndrewFStewart, our community manager always says, “There is no such thing as a social media expert, only those who follow best practices and are constantly trying to refine their online engagement approach.”

Here’s a smart response from Michele Price, @prosperitygal to someone bullying you on Twitter: “Please explain to me the intention of your last tweet” #ungeeked”

As always at social media tweetups there were two conversations going on simultaneously.  One on the panel, and one on Twitter with the hashtag #UnGeeked.

Our favorite Tweeple at the conference were:

@JasonFalls, @MarshaCollier, @Prosperitygal,

@jwillie, @tentoglou, @samfiorella. @AngelOakley

All in all the conference was a joy to attend. We highly recommend you participate in a future UnGeeked. Thanks to the amazing Cd Vann (AKA: @Thatwoman_is) for putting it all together.

The celebration of a company’s anniversary or birthday is becoming more and more common.  But how do you leverage such an important milestone to enhance reputation, consumer engagement and sales?  Recently Strategic Objectives was honoured with numerous PR Awards for its PR Program that celebrated Leon’s Furniture Ltd’s 100th Anniversary Year.  This multi-touch point public relations program resulted in increased reputation, customer engagement, and success.  Judy Lewis, co-founder of Strategic Objectives and the program lead, discussed the PR opportunities of leveraging corporate anniversaries.

Why would consumers care about a corporate anniversary?

Consumers care about trust, community, relationships and value.  An anniversary is an opportunity for an organization is highlight its achievements, commitment to its customers, communities, stakeholders and its future.  A good anniversary PR program can create excitement to drive engagement and sales.

The Leon’s program is a prime example of an innovative PR approach.  We leveraged its unique Canadian history to create an emotional connection with the brand.  And along the way, Leon’s celebrated its customers and communities by giving back more than $1 million to communities, organizations and local hospitals to support the positive development of youth and families – the next generation of customers.

We developed a partnership between Leon’s and Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and partnered with 64 hospitals in communities in which Leon’s operates.  Activities made significant news in every Leon’s community.  There was tremendous support from community leaders and consumers. 

Why did you recommend the development of The Leon’s Living Room and what is it?

The Leon’s Living room is a 5 piece life-size bronze sculpture that sits in the rose garden of Chippiwa Park in Welland, Ontario.  It consists of 2 wing-back chairs, a coffee table and couch, where a life-sized sculpture of Ablan Leon, the founder of Leon’s Furniture and longtime Welland resident, sits.  The sculpture is a gift to the city of Welland and is a lifelong tribute to a man who changed the face of furniture retailing in Canada.

The Leon’s Living Room provides a place for people to relax and enjoy a public space.  Ablan Leon is a folk hero for the town.  Canadians love their local heroes and we don’t celebrate them enough.  With our quiet Canadian-nature we so rarely take the time and effort to recognize and honour of our greatest achievers.  Ablan and the Leon’s family have given so much to our country… and the country has given so much to them… that it seemed fitting to create  a lasting tribute for a man who was so loved and respected the city and its residents.  The rose garden is where most Welland brides choose to have their wedding pictures taken.  The Leon’s Living Room provides a new and beautiful backdrop to celebrate happiness, family and love.

What does Anniversary PR engagement look like?

If a company is looking to leverage its birthday or “years in business” there are 3 key elements they must ask themselves:

  • What’s in for the staff?
  • What’s in for the company?
  • What’ in it for the consumers?

Just to wave a flag and say please congratulate us on the great things we have done over the years is alienating.  An anniversary is a time to say thank-you, give something in recognition, create excitement and provide direction and confidence for the future.  The consumer piece of the puzzle was crucial.  At Leon’s, special in-store themed events and promotions celebrated the 100th Anniversary and highlighted the company’s core values.  Special events made news, and consumers visited the stores to be a part of the community’s celebration of Leon’s success.  Every community benefitted from Leon’s birthday and that encouraged customers to be part of the “party”.

Any tips?

Strategic Objectives has helped numerous companies develop comprehensive, consumer-engaging anniversary PR programs.  A company must be careful not to be blinded by its own corporate ego.  My advice is to always look at it from the consumers’ perspective: what is new, what is different and what’s in it for me.  While there is a responsibility and opportunity to develop programming that highlights the past, it should inspire consumer support in the future.

Strategic Objectives PR co-founder Judy Lewis is an award-winning strategist and celebrated international branding expert and speaker.  Judy also led a panel of marketing and PR experts at the IABC 2010 World Conference, June 6-9, 2010 in Toronto.  Learn more about her session — It’s A Brand New Dayhere.

  

 

IABC presenter and @SO_pr co-founder Judy Lewis gets inspired by Canada’s own Craig Kielburger at the IABC 2010 World Conference in Toronto.  Read more inspirational words from the conference here.

“PR is about getting out there first and putting your brand forward”  -Judy Lewis, Strategic Objectives co-founder

Live from the IABC 2010 World Conference… highlights from It’s a brand new day, a dynamic PR panel led by Strategic Objectives co-founder, Judy Lewis.

Shelley Simmons, Director, Brand Communications & Values of The Body Shop (US, Canada and Mexico)

“It’s not just about fundraising, it’s about driving  social change and PR is critical in supporting this change,” referring to The Body Shop Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People campaign.

Jacqueline Ryan, RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) Director of Olympic Marketing

“The Olympic Torch made the Olympics relevant across the country…We have genuine and authentic relationships with the community”

Peter Morrissey, Associate Professor, Boston University College of Communications, and President and CEO of Morrissey & Company

“Build a brand with value and goodwill”

For more on It’s a brand new day, check out our interview with Judy as she prepared the panel here, and stay tuned to @SO_pr for conference updates.

The IABC 2010 World Conference runs June 6-9 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto.

Toronto is buzzing with final preparations for next week’s IABC 2010 World Conference.   Don’t miss Judy Lewis, Strategic Objectives co-founder, as she leads a dynamic expert panel: It’s a brand new day.

IABC World Conference
June 8, 2010
8:15 am – 9:15 am
Sheraton Centre Toronto
123 Queen St. W
Register online at www.iabc.com/wc

Panel Descriptor:  Public relations is crucial to effective branding.  In this thought-provoking panel discussion with leading global brand communication experts, you will gain insight into the power of PR in building brand equity and achieving market success.  Learn how the power of PR can grow, maintain, protect, sell and drive brand image.

Panelists:

  • Shelley Simmons, Director, Brand Communications & Values of The Body Shop (US, Canada and Mexico)
  • Jacqueline Ryan, RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) Director of Olympic Marketing
  • Peter Morrissey, Associate Professor, Boston University College of Communications, and President and CEO of Morrissey & Company

For more on It’s a brand new day, check out our interview with Judy as she prepared the panel here, and stay tuned to @SO_pr for conference updates.

The IABC 2010 World Conference runs June 6-9 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto.

The accolades keep coming in @SO_pr

Hot on the heels of our CPRS ACE Awards hat trick, the Strategic Objectives Team earned eight awards at the IABC Toronto Ovation Gala.  

Thanks to our dedicated team and innovative clients, @SO_pr wins spanned media relations; photography; special events; 3D/graphic design; social responsibility and community relations.

2010 IABC Toronto Ovation Awards

Other Graphic Design/3D: Leon’s 100th Anniversary Living Room

Social Responsibility including Economic, Societal and Environmental Development: The Cadbury Bicycle Factory (for more information about this award-winning program, read Strategic Objectives co-founder Judy Lewis’ blog)

Social Responsibility including Economic, Societal and Environmental Development: The Body Shop: Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People

Community Relations: Leon’s 100th Anniversary

Media Relations: Bio Oil: Pregnancy Beauty

Media Relations: Leon’s 100th Anniversary Welland Event

Media Relations: Rubik’s 360 Launch

Photography: Kruger White Cashmere Collection