Wednesday, 25 November 2009

US army using social media

When talking to people about social media, you often get the response "oh, we could never relinquish control/have people freely talking about us/risk someone saying something negative" [delete as appropriate]. "Our company is too conservative" or "there are too many sensitive issues in our sector."

But then you look at what the US Army are doing - traditionally one of the most conservative organisations in the world and involved in some of the most sensitive and controversial events of the last 20 years. They are encouraging Soldier Generated Content via blogs and twitter, getting soldiers to tell their stories via content sharing sites. And you can't help thinking if the US Army can do it, they why can't a bank/pharma company/etc do it?

Monday, 23 November 2009

Pitching video story ideas

I came across a neat idea - a site where you can pitch your video story ideas to professional Video Journalists. It's on

I like it cos you actually have to pay to send in your story idea - eliminating lots of spamming and rubbish suggestions. The ideas are considered by a group of professional video journalists and then they contact you if they want to make the video.

It could be a good site for PRs as more stories are being told via video. I need to check it out properly though.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

McCann wins best social media campaign

I hope you don't mind a quick bit of trumpet blowing, but I just wanted to say a short woo hoo! and maybe a Woot! Woot! for the CIPR Pride Gold award for Best use of Social Media that we won for the Durex Play O campaign.

It was a hell of a night [I paid for it the next day] as we also won best CSR campaign for the Rediscovering Food and Flavours campaign which communicated how to improve the quality of life for people suffering from kidney disease.

Brazen PR stole the show with the award for Best Consultancy, plus a few others. Big hand to them.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Wiki of digital media in Asia

I came across this very handy resource - a wiki of all things digital and social media in Asia - called Digital Media Across Asia.

It's very comprehensive with markets reports, examples and breakdowns by country. Given that Asia has 500 million internet users - almost half the global internet population - its definitely worth checking out.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Building or renting communities

Listening to the recent Media Hacks podcast, the discussion was around brands and communities. The essence was that brands can either rent, buy or build communities. My two penneth is that a brand that builds its own, ends up with a strong, active and loyal community that is a huge asset to its growth e.g. Zappos.

A brand that rents or buys someone else's e.g. via bloggers, has to give something of value to the community, but the danger is that the brand's engagement only lasts as long as the thing they've given has value e.g. blogger engagement campaigns by WalMart, Dorritos SuperBowl initiative.

However, it is difficult and takes time to build your own community. Zappos didn't do it overnight [I think it was 1-2 years]. Mitch on the podcast reckoned it was best to build a community when you didn't need one, rather than try to build one when you do. I wholeheartedly agree, but sometimes it is difficult to persuade your boss/client to spend lots of time and effort on building something that doesn't fulfill a short term need.

I guess the answer to that is say 'look at Zappos and Beinggirl'.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Spreadability vs Stickiness

I heard on FIR podcast a new word, which I really liked: Spreadability.
Spreadability is about making content easy to share and spread online. Its not viral, where viral is creating something that a large amount of people send on. It's more about creating something that you would want to send to a friend, embed/post on your blog, tweet about. It's smaller scale and more about something that appeals to a certain group of people who have a common interest i .e. a target audience.

The word was used in the context of being the new stickiness - i.e. a few years back, everyone was trying to make a website that was extremely sticky. The goal being to keep people on your site for as long as possible.

In the social age, it's not about driving traffic to your site and gluing them to it; it's about creating something of value that people will want to spread through their network. Well, that's what I reckon.

I'm not normally a big fan of buzz words, scoffing at them whenever possible, but I do like this one. And so, will be appropriating it for my own use. [I have resisted the considerable urge to use margarine related metaphors, but please feel free to apply liberally.]

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Twitter goes Yoof

A new report out by Pew Internet shows that more young people are using Twitter. The micro-blogging service is now the second youngest social networking site with an average age of 31.

Of the top 4, MySpace is the youngest with an average of 26. [Bebo wasn't including in the research, otherwise I reckon that would be the youngest]. Facebook has matured, the av age going from 26 in 2008 to 33 in 2009. I wonder of this was due to its international expansion?

Linked In has the oldest members - av age of 39, which you'd kind of expect.

It wasn't so long ago that research was saying that Twitter was the domain of old farts like myself. I'm sure there are loads of socio-psychological reasons for this, but I can't help thinking that the main driver could be the influx of celebs using Twitter. Celebs start using Twitter and their young fans follow.

Naturally, I feel like my dad when I'm writing this and I have to fight the urge to say
'I remember when it was all geeks' .

Monday, 2 November 2009

Social pooing

Charmin, the loo roll maker, have come up with a..well... I'm not sure what adjective to use to describe the idea, but it definitely isn't shit [sorry:)].

In a campaign called Enjoy The Go, Charmin is recruiting five loo ambassadors to meet and greet toilet goers during the Christmas period in Times square, NYC, and then blog about the experience. The ambassadors get $10K each for doing the job. I shit you not!

I love the line "All candidates must really really enjoy going to the bathroom"
I mean, what do you say at the interview to explain how or why you really really enjoy going to the bathroom? I really helps me think and problem solve when I'm having a good dump? Or I just like it for the crosswords?

Toilet humour aside it's an interesting project and I will be intrigued to see how it turns out. Although, I can't help thinking what the objectives are and if they measure input, output and outcome.