Sunday, 28 February 2010

Augmented reality makeover

The Takashimaya dept store in, Shinjuku, Japan is using AR to offer makeovers. I'm not really into make up, but this is very cool. A camera scans in your face and then it makes recommendations and applies different kinds of make up. Genius.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Crisis management no longer sole domain of PR

I think the reputational hullaballoo around Toyota in these last few weeks gets me thinking that handling such crises is no longer is solely the domain of the PR dept. Maybe it never was, but I think Toyota really brought it home for me.

To handle this situation Toyota naturally need to engage with the traditional media to tell everyone what they are doing about situation. Which Toyota have been doing.

At the same time, they need to be running an SEO initiative to get their side of the story across via the search engines [if you Google Toyota at the mo, its all negative stuff about the safety problems].

They also need some kind of PPC and online media campaign so that when people are looking for Toyota online they see ads that support Toyota’s messaging around the issue. There is a danger that people will get standard ‘buy this car now it’s fab’ messages from Toyota’s existing online media campaign. Which probably wouldn’t resonate well right now.

And naturally, they need to be part of the conversations going on in social media, getting their side of the story across, rather than letting rumours and speculation spread unchecked.

Maybe I’m stating the obvious, but when I was a lad and I was down t’ pit faxing press releases before you were up and all the computers were fields etc, you normally had at least 24 hours to respond and only had a couple of comms channels to deal with [print, broadcast media, dealer network]. For crises that happen today, you need to respond in a few hours or perhaps minutes with an approach that integrates all the disciplines that communicate with the audiences.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Tweet funnel for running twitter campaigns

I heard about this handy service called Tweet Funnel that allows several people in an organisation to run the corporate twitter feed. It enables people across an organisation to contribute to the org's twitter feed. You can set up a group of multiple Twitter contributors, schedule tweets, assign tweets to certain members of the group and time release tweets.

I think this is going to be great for communicators managing a branded Twitter feed as it means tweeting and responding doesn't just rely on one person, that you can set editorial guidelines for a group to follow, you can have guest editors - which could be quite nice from a PR angle [e.g. celebs or different experts replying to tweets for a day.

I haven't tried it yet, but it looks very cool.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

When is it OK to sell via digital?

Working on more integrated digital campaigns recently, I started to notice certain unwritten rules or etiquette about the degree of selling via digital channels that is acceptable by people. In certain channels it is OK to push obvious sales messages, it others it is guaranteed to really p*ss people off.

For example, most people are OK with getting 'buy one now' type messages when they are on a company's website, but not so much when they are reading someone's blog. This may be obvious - you kinda of expect a company to sell you something when you visit their site, but if a blog contains someone's opinions and thoughts then 'buy one now' content would really jar.

So, like the lapsed [and slightly rubbish] scientist I am, I tried to work out an equation to determine the acceptability of selling, by channel. I started by coming up with a scale to measure the acceptability of selling, called the Yogi Scale of Annoyance [named after my dog].
The 1-10 scale is based on my own personal level of annoyance [and I'm assuming Yogi's too] and measures how pissed off I get when someone tries to sell me something when I'm using one of the channels above. The units of annoyance are 'grrrs', which are determined by the loudness of the 'grrr' when an annoying event happens.

As you can imagine, this all depends on your own personal ability to endure annoyance and the context in which the annoyance event happens. For example, a sales message posted on my blog by a 3rd party scores 10 grrs. Same if I'm reading someone else's blog and a sales message is inserted by the author out of context. Whereas, I'm hardly annoyed at all if I can sales messages via email to something I've signed up to [it scores 1 grrr just because it is an email].

I didn't get much further than the Yogi Scale, so if anyone has a cunning equation that explains it all, please get in touch.