January 15, 2013 § Leave a Comment
It’s fascinating observing the way the comms industry is changing. I got into PR by accident. Then into ‘social media’ because of morbid curiosity about the way the industry was changing. All this time, I’ve been watching an industry being shaken to the core by its players, funders, detractors and stakeholders alike. It’s scary but good.
Then just when you thought you’d figured it all out, it changes again. (The debate as to whether social media has any relevance within a corporate armoury is largely done. If you don’t think it does, I’m sorry I can’t help you). Now we’re on to the debate about content marketing, brand journalism and transmedia storytelling.
We’ve moved past the why to the what. And in all honesty that’s the hard part. Using a crude analogy. It’s like you’re at a party and you’ve debated and decided with yourself that you like that girl (or guy). Well now you actually have to go up to them and say something. Gulp.
Working out what to say, how you’re going to say are one thing. Then there’s the timing. When’s the right moment to approach?
This is the new paradigm for the modern marketer or communicator. We live in the attention economy. You got one shot so you’d better make it good or I’m off to the next thing.
Creativity isn’t new. Ad men have been doing it and doing it well for years. What’s changed is the speed in which it can be delivered. Coming up with brilliant ideas takes on a whole new dimension when you have to do it under the pressure of the clock.
While it’s not a science in predicting how to get a ‘social media home run’, there are a few tips I’ve come across over the years that should help:
- Brainstorm different scenarios for your and create responses to be delivered that scenario (like a comedian does) when creating a content calendar
- Make sure you know the entire history of the brand (warts and all). It help you tell the story better.
- Have a listening team on hand to pick out trends that can be acted upon
- Make sure your team has a real web geek (you know the kind of guy that spends a lot of time on Reddit or 4Chan). They’re invaluable in understanding the obscure channels to help get the content seeded out as well as the ‘next big thing’ on the web
- Don’t be afraid to use a bit of paid action to get content seen. Expecting things to ‘go viral’ organically is one of the biggest misconceptions around social media marketing
I truly believe this is future of communications (note I did not say PR). Coming up with a concept in the morning, developing it the afternoon and publishing it in the evening. Scary. But then again scary is good right?
April 27, 2012 § 1 Comment
It must be tough being a grad looking for work. On a day when the UK officially entered back into recession, I was invited to attend a session to speak on how to get into PR.
The panel included a broad spectrum of people from different backgrounds and was organised by Ignite – a firm dedicated to promoting cultural diversity within PR.
A few things stood out for me:
1) Getting a job through the grad process isn’t easy. When you’re competing against 1000 applicants you have to be amazing to stand out
2) Although employers love to see confidence in a potential recruit, it ain’t easy being confident as a grad when you have no experience about anything
3) Networking should be taught as part of a PR degree. I spoke to a few attendees but not one asked for my business card nor had one when I asked
4) Although the event was about getting people from diverse backgrounds into PR, I genuinely think that in this day and age getting a job is more about your attitude than where you come from.
5) With the 24 hour access to information about anything and everything, there really is no excuse for grads not to have a basic understanding of an industry sector or news agenda.
All in all it was an enjoyable event. Just a shame we got turfed out of the bar early. Then again on a school night that was probably for the best.