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Something interesting has started happening when we go and talk to prospective clients about online community management services.
There are various companies which specialise in community management and moderation, and have done for a number of years, but agencies (mostly PR and communications agencies, rather than digital ad agencies) are starting to claim expertise in community management, and to be honest, I don’t think they’re talking about the same thing as we are.
It’s causing real confusion client-side. While we both work with online communities, I think we need to be clear about the definitions of what we each do, so we can work together more effectively.
Rebuilding trust with your customers isn't easy following a major crisis. Sadly, relationships that take years to build can be harmed or destroyed entirely practically overnight.
Alibaba, the Chinese business-to-business marketplace that Yahoo owns a substantial chunk of, is the latest company to learn that lesson the hard way.
We recently noticed that our online press centre is in need of some serious love and attention, as a number of basic features are missing. With this in mind I thought I’d compile a post that we can use internally to make some improvements.
There are a surprising amount of ‘basics’ that I think are key components of any online press centre.
Some of my points aren’t going to apply to all companies, and others aren’t strictly necessary, but as a rule – and speaking from the perspective of a former journalist - I’d say around a dozen of the following points are essential.
Rightly or wrongly, the PR industry has taken a lot of stick over the last year. Allegations that it has fallen behind in the race to ‘own’ social media may or may not be true. But, in an industry that has built itself on perceptions, there is work to be done to ensure it remains a key weapon in any marketing arsenal.
So, given the time of year, I’ve been thinking about five New Year resolutions that the PR industry should consider for 2011.
Last week I wrote about how to engage bloggers, based on my experience as a (pro) blogger. I explained how I receive hundreds of emails every day, and how it can be difficult to make a message stand out amid that noise.
I also explained that campaigns – all campaigns – have budgets, and that it is highly lame for brands to expect bloggers to keep doing favours for them, for free.
Today I spotted a tweet by Malcolm Coles that makes for a fantastic case study in what not to do. He flagged up a real shocker between one of the world's biggest mobile companies and a humble blogger.
So on one side we have Muireann Carey-Campbell, who writes the Bangs And A Bun blog. On the other is Nokia. And in the middle is one of Nokia’s presumably expensive PR firms, Mission.
At times in the last few years, especially in digital marketing circles, it has seemed as though social media has ruled the world.
However, I’m beginning to sense increasingly suspicion and scepticism in the conversations I have with colleagues and clients.
I talked in my last post here at Econsultancy about whether the PR industry had missed the boat on SEO. Although there were some differing opinions in the comments, I think the consensus was that the public relations firms could have done more to get into search engine optimisation.
Despite this reticence to get going I think there’s a scary truth that the search firms need to wake up to: If and when the PR industry gets its act together a lot of the link development tactics search companies are delivering could be delivered by someone with a public relations background.
A couple of weeks ago I was invited along to an event organised by the Charted Institute of Public Relations, discussing whether the PR industry had missed a huge opportunity to get into the lucrative SEO industry.
As is often the way, the offline event was triggered by sequence of blog posts and tweets, on the subject. Those I particularly recommend reading are from Andrew Bruce Smith, where he compared SEO company performance to PR agencies and an interesting slideshare from Stephen Waddington. John Straw also talked about how SEO is morphing into PR in a recent Econsultancy interview.
Being a search marketer who had seen myself going into PR while I was in university, I was interested to hear what the industry thought. It was a very interesting debate with a number of opinions, but the short answer is yes, they missed a huge opportunity.
As is always the case with a rapid shift in technology, it takes awhile for everyone to get up to speed. Companies are definitely seeing the value of implementing social ideas in their marketing, PR, HR, and customer service. According to the WetPaint/Altimeter Group’s EngagmentDB.com report, those that are the most engaged in social media are also the ones doing the best financially. Yet their websites often don’t reflect their level of engagement in social media.
Increasingly brand savvy customers are more wary than ever of insincere corporate apologies issued by emotionless commitee, and thanks to social media they're more able than ever to make your first strike count against you.
However, if you simply apply a little humility, making a mistake can actually lead to a better long-term relationship with your customers.
Last week, in a deal that sounded too-good-to-be true, group-buying website Groupola was offering the new iPhone 4 for a mere £99, sim-free. Users had to simply register interest on the Groupola website, where they would then be emailed a link to buy the new must-have iPhone on Friday.
With such a tempting deal on offer, on Friday morning, the Groupola website faced major meltdown, and that's essentially what happened.
A Groupola spokesman said 5m unique users tried to access the site between 9am and 9.30am. That number seems incredibly far-fetched to us but obviously the website fell apart as a result of the demand.
With thousands (if not millions) of users unable to access the site, it's unsurprising that a wave of angry consumers took to social media channels to voice their outrage on Twitter and Facebook.
The process was mismanaged from start to finish, resulting in a PR fiasco for the company. So what could Groupola have done to avoid such an unmitigated disaster?
The Huffington Post, with its legion of unpaid contributors, has provided a controversial model for journalism and publishing in the digital age. Despite the controversy, it's hard to argue that the Huffington Post hasn't had some success with its model thus far.
The model has apparently worked well enough to interest stodgy old publishers to get in on the act. According to a tweet from Forbes editor David M. Ewalt, Forbes.com will soon see its own brand of the HuffPo model: standard journalistic fare supplemented with "a level 2 bottom of the pyramid: 1000s of outside contributors."