Home_Viewpoints

Friday5: How The White House Mastered Fractured Media

A version of this post was originally published on Medium.

It doesn’t matter where you land on the political spectrum: one can’t help but notice how the White House continues to master the ever fragmented media landscape. The White House knows to reach people where they are vs. relying solely on the traditional “mainstream” channels of its predecessors. Though however masterful it may seem at first glance — the principles the White House is putting into action can be broken down into a set of best practices.

1. Tapping the reach of internet celebrities

The notion of an “internet celebrity” was something many media and professionals once scoffed at — now it’s a multi-million-dollar industry with many of the top players who have built vast audiences on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine laughing all the way to the bank. “Pewdiepie” for example is considered to be YouTube’s #1 highest paid YouTube star taking in an estimated annual income of nearly nine million dollars after YouTube’s cut.

Obama’s move to once again utilize internet celebrities to access their audiences and generate an amplified response is becoming a standard tactic in the playbook of marketers and communicators. The strategy is simple — in order to reach millennials, you have to be culturally relevant to them and traditional celebrities are no longer the only ones shaping cultural relevance. The internet celebrity not only offers a gateway to cultural relevance but also a potentially huge audience. One of the Obama Youtubers for example, has a channel subscription over eight million. For those of us however that don’t enjoy the clout of the White House — working with these influentials is largely a paid game. Get ready to carve up your media dollars.

2. Showing Vs. Telling

Throughout the State of The Union address, there were live tweets as you would expect — but there was also a barrage of visual content ranging from infographics to nostalgic pictures of Obama as a boy riding a tricycle. On Facebook, videos were posted that split screened images and text that acted as visual aides to Obama’s speech — illustrating the main points and bringing to life his spoken word.

3. Publishing Direct – Mobile First

The White House made history as it bypassed the tradition of leaking the transcript to the media before making it public and published a copy directly to the mobile and social optimized Medium platform. By doing this, a precedent has been set, sending the signal that people are media as much as the media itself is. Also, it’s a nice win for Medium.

4. Owning Your Owned Assets

In this age of social savvy media upstarts, the general public and influencers who distribute your message, the White House still understands the value of the home court advantage and used various means to drive traffic to Whitehouse.gov/SOTU which directed users to a content hub where the State of the Union could be watched online as well as hosting several assets such as graphic and animated gifs. The owned property also does what many other assets cannot — it’s a CRM data acquisition strategy prompting visitors to share their e-mail and zip code which places them into “the system.”

5. Why It Worked

There’s much that can be learned from watching the White House pull the many levers now needed to reach audiences where they choose to engage. But many of the strategies and tactics are not new — they are simply planned and executed with the understanding that many efforts vs few now need to work in concert, and a message can be “controlled” more than you think if the right levers are pulled at the right time.

Image credit: Diego Camblaso

Friday5: 5 Reasons to Embrace Responsive Web Design in 2015

In 2010, Morgan Stanley released an 87-page report declaring that mobile would rule the world by 2015. Well, here we are five years later and while we might not have hoverboards yet, mobile has exploded as predicted. With the huge influx of smartphone adoption, device fragmentation, and mobile Internet usage, creating a responsive web experience for all devices is no longer an option—it’s a requirement.

What is responsive web design? The folks over at Froont have a great blog post with helpful visuals, but essentially, RWD is the belief that websites should respond to the needs of the users and the devices they’re using by changing the layout of the site based on the size and capabilities of the device.

Why is that important?

1. Mobile usage

As predicted, mobile usage did surpass desktop usage for the first time in history in 2014. Mary Meeker, the same woman who made the 2010 prediction, also reported that global mobile data usage increased by 80 percent from 2013 to 2014 and it doesn’t show signs of slowing. But that’s not all. According to Google, 77 percent of mobile searches occur at home or at work, places where desktop computers are likely to be present. Even when there are desktops available, people are on their phones.

2. User experience

According to mobiForge, 46 percent of mobile web users are unlikely to return to a website they had trouble accessing in the past and 33 percent of tablet users are less likely to purchase online from a company if they experience poor website performance. The goal of your business should be to solve a problem, not create one. The same should go for your website. You should strive to make the lives of your users easier.

3. Device fragmentation

Before responsive design, the prevailing practice was to create “Mobile-versions” of websites. Now, with almost 20,000 different types of Android devices (and countless other phones, tablets, TVs,) with varying screen sizes and resolutions, responsive design is more important than ever. How can you possibly account for all those combinations? You can’t. So you design an experience that gracefully expands and contracts to intelligently fill the corners of the device screen. If you’ve done your job correctly, your website should look as good on an iPhone as it does on a 40” flatscreen.

4. Multi-screen World

In August of 2012, Google released a study called The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-platform Consumer Behavior. Without getting too deep into the behavioral findings of that report, the key insight here is that the device we choose to use is often driven by our context: where we are, what we want to accomplish and the amount of time needed. Often times tasks start on mobile devices and end on PCs and vice versa. To help users complete those tasks, we need to provide a seamless experience across all devices and that’s where responsive web design comes into play.

5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In December of 2014, Google announced that they would be giving preferential treatment to websites that they consider to be “mobile-friendly.” If responsive web design was a nice-to-have before, this change has made it a need-to-have. Before, it was a courtesy, now your site will be penalized in search results for not abiding by the new standard of the web. Wondering if Google considers your website “Mobile-Friendly”? Check out their free tool and see for yourself.

These are exciting times we live in. Our clients rely on us to push them to stay ahead of the curve and best serve their customers. To quote Google’s Javier Perez, “Let’s ditch the pinching, scrolling and aimless tapping, and welcome the new wave of mobile-friendly sites.”

Welcome to 2015, the year of responsive web design.

Image credit: Google Mobile Guide

Friday5: Digital Predictions for 2015

It’s the start of the new year, and with it comes the yearly predictions of what’s going to be big and noteworthy in the next year. We spoke with five people throughout the network to see what they’re most excited about in the digital and tech spaces in 2015:

1. Aniz Ruda, VP, Insights & Intelligence, Chicago

With CES 2015 wrapping up, it’s hard to avoid the influx of wearable devices that are starting to become accessible in the market. As these technologies become increasingly popular, Aniz wonders what brands will do with the massive amounts of data that these devices will produce. What are the ethical and regulatory issues that will pop up in the year, and how will brands take action on them?

2. Matt Stanton, Partner Knowledge Manager, New York

Matt is interested in seeing how brands and entertainment companies will use micro-content to distribute high-quality messages on social channels and mobile messaging apps like kik, Line, WeChat, and Whatsapp, which have exploded in popularity and will likely continue to do so.  In addition, with phone screens growing in size, people can give more attention to short-form video content, opening up huge opportunities for brands, which might use mobile messaging apps to distribute them most effectively.

3. Sara Azadi, EVP, Group Head for Consumer and Digital, Bay

Sara predicts that 2015 will bring requests for better attribution of digital activities to sales. Historically, a CMO could roughly correlate TV advertising budget with fluctuations in sales. It is increasingly difficult to attribute one digital activity or channel to sales with the rapid proliferation of social networks, tools, platforms and channels. Sara has noticed CMOs are increasing their expectations of social ROI. According to Sara, communications marketing professionals will need to take a step back and look at communications more holistically to build an attribution model. Although clients might wonder how a single tweet or promoted Facebook post affects sales, we should be practicing measurement among the client’s entire digital ecosystem so we can skip the leap of faith inherent to TV advertising.

4. Marko Muellner, VP, Group Director, Digital, Portland

The internet of things has been gaining traction over the past few years and has shifted gears in a big way towards the automotive industry. Marko’s been thinking about the implications of connected cars for consumers and stakeholders in the automotive industry. Will we see a “data war?” Specifically, your next new car will include a data plan for entertainment and navigation, but will also stream diagnostics and other data to manufacturers, dealers, the telecom companies and tech companies like Apple and Google. 3rd parties like mechanics, tire centers and gas stations, for example, will be at a distinct disadvantage in the near term. Additionally, considering the size of the automotive industry, this huge cascade of data will enable major competitive advantage. These companies will become the new gatekeepers to deeper consumer relationships, will our clients be paying BMW to reach their drivers during drive time? Yes, yes they will.

 5. Brittany Dow, Account Manager, Digital, Toronto

Brittany’s on the lookout for evidence of “post-demographic consumerism” marked by the change of traditional status symbols in the digital environment, which required high income and therefore were restricted to older and more traditional demographics. Now, with experiences, lifestyles, personal connection all representing a new form of status, consumers will increasingly choose their products, brands and experiences outside of our traditional understanding of those products’ demographics. Brands who respond effectively to this melting pot will continue to succeed.

What trends are you looking out for this year?

This post was compiled by Josh Lieberthal and Chris Rooney.

Image credit: Keoni Cabral

Friday5: Thoughts on Communicating Data Breaches

If you’ve been following the news recently, you’ve seen the torrent of information about Sony’s recent hacking. Given the increasing prevalence of major data breaches in every industry, there are lessons for large organizations hidden among the public reaction. Here are 5 insights I’ve gathered:

1: Digital includes risk

The average employee sends and receives 30,000 emails per year (115 per day in 2013 * 260 workdays per year). That’s just email. Much of our lives have migrated online—banking, SMS, healthcare information, and so on. Consumers and companies alike should recognize two things: digital has made much of our daily activities easier and more efficient, but that convenience and connectivity includes some data risk—those databases remain (with all the less-than-thoughtful messages contained within), and perfect security is impossible. In the long-term, the risk of a breach happening is very high, and understanding this—for consumers and companies—is critical for being able to react to them.

2: The math on security has changed

There’s no question that data breaches have increased in recent years. According to idtheftcenter.org, breaches across all sectors increased by an average of 25% per year between 2005-2013. These have included everything from emails, to user IDs, to credit card information to Social Security numbers.

Source: idtheftcenter.org

Source: idtheftcenter.org

Sony’s VP of security remarked a few years ago that it was a defendable business decision to hold off on investments in data security if it might cost more than simply enduring a breach. However, in this age of data security risk, the cost of a breach is more than just the value of stolen intellectual property and offering services to protect personal information. It also includes the cost of lost trust in the organization—trust that’s essential for maintaining a positive relationship with stakeholders. Trust might not fit on a financial statement, but it’s the currency with which a brand operates in the market.

3: Anticipate how the breach will be understood

When a breach happens, the reputational context in which it happens will determine how consumers react. Sony’s recent hacking affected employees the most—all blameless. Yet some of the public reaction included finger-pointing at Sony instead of the hackers, as if they’d invited it. Of course, no company (one hopes) would ever intentionally leak employee data or invite hackers to do so. But if the organization has a history of data security crises, some unfair blame is bound to be pointed towards the organization. It’s essential to have a well-communicated plan in place to improve your data security after it happens.

4: Reestablish trust with the right spokesperson

It’s important to consider who the organization chooses to represent them in a crisis. When it’s a data breach or other information-related crisis, a senior technical officer should take the lead in communicating the problem, the consequences, and the next steps the organization will take to protect its employees and customers.

5: Take care of the victims

When a data breach happens, how you communicate your reaction to the breach is essential. If your employees or consumers have private information exposed, immediately share your plan to protect them, in detail. If the victims lost identity information, employ services to help them keep track of their credit and identities. The initial costs may seem high, but the return in trust will be huge.

What has interested you most about the current discussions regarding data security?

Friday5: Why Email Marketing Rules

Do your clients want to reach people…and get them to do something? Then consider the power of email for consumer marketing, public affairs, and corporate campaigns. Here are five reasons why email rules.

1. Volume

The statistics of email use and ROI are mind bogglingly impressive. Every minute there are 204 million emails sent compared to almost 6 million combined social engagements on Facebook, Pinterest, Vine, Instagram, and Twitter.[i] But this doesn’t mean email is an oversaturated channel. In fact, email is the third highest medium for expected ROI by business marketers, behind organic search and CPC, and is well ahead of social media platforms.[ii] Customer acquisition by email (i.e. subscribers) has quadrupled over the past four years,[iii] which is solid evidence that the channel is trusted, preferred, and growing. For every dollar spent there’s a $40 return on email, compared to a $17 return for keyword ads and a $2 return for banner ads.[iv]

2. Permission-Based

Email is permission-based, meaning recipients have given you the green light to send them information about their product, service, or cause. They’ve bought in. Combine that with the primacy of smartphones and tablets and you begin to understand that people are always checking their email, making it the leading activity for people on their phones.[v] Customers who come to businesses via email are more likely to do what you’re asking them to do – whether it’s asking them to share something on Facebook, encouraging them to buy something, or asking them to make a donation.[vi]

3. Behavior

Individual behavior with email is, well, active. Email is a transactional medium. In consumer programs customers expect to get offers, to buy things, to do things. In public affairs, voters contacted by email are at least 10 times more likely to take the advocacy action they are asked to do versus their counterparts on social platforms. Email is direct to the recipient and unfiltered by social media algorithms and timelines. It provokes more direct attention from recipients because it allows you to make repeated, direct contact with an individual’s inbox. Simply put, email expects action.

4. Measurement

Email can be measured in greater depth than any other engagement channel. Clients are looking for more evidence that our programs are working. The numerous opportunities to measure email performance and related recipient response means more quantitative and qualitative analysis for your client. Depending on the email service provider you use, the top 10 measurements and their value are:

image

5. Progression & Segmentation

Email data exposes distinctions about how much a consumer likes a brand or why a voter supports an issue – allowing you to customize engagement based on their profile so you can make the right ask of the right person at the right time. For clients this means a promise of cultivating bigger, better results through responsive, customized messaging.

Email communications have been successful in driving consumer campaigns for new products and services. They have been instrumental in state, federal, and international public affairs advocacy movements. And they are a significant part of any corporate employee engagement initiative. Obviously, I think email is the real thing, but I sure like the way Simms Jenkings, author of “The New Inbox: Why Email Marketing Is The Digital Marketing Hub in a Social & Mobile World” assesses email: “If you have just one bullet left in your gun to sell something, then email should always be that bullet.”


[i] Elite Daily, “More Than 204 Million Emails are Sent Every Minute,” March 19, 2013

[ii] Custora E-Commerce Customer Acquisition Snapshot – Q2 2013

[iii] Custora E-Commerce Customer Acquisition Snapshot – Q2 2013

[iv] Source: ExactTarget 2012 Channel Preferences Survey

[v] Forbes, “Why Email Is Still More Effective Than Social Media Marketing,” Oct. 1, 2013

[vi] Custora E-Commerce Customer Acquisition Snapshot – Q2 2013

Image credit: slgckgc

Friday5: Five Ways Brands Amplified Their Giving on #GivingTuesday

What comes after Black Friday and Cyber Monday? #GivingTuesday, of course! It’s an opportunity for brands and consumers to kick off the holiday season with good will and purpose. #GivingTuesday was founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. With the support of consumers around the world, campaigns activated by brands and organizations on this year’s #GivingTuesday raised nearly $46 million for nonprofits globally. With its increased popularity, #GivingTuesday has created a global conversation about how brands and consumers can give back to make a positive impact.

The Business + Social Purpose team would like to share best practices and examples from #GivingTuesday 2014 to show how a company’s significance is increasingly influenced by its ability to integrate social value into its business. Following are the top five trends brands employed during this global, digital donation campaign, including some from Edelman clients.

1. Engage your employees from the get-go: gather the voices of your employees to determine how to allocate funds on #GivingTuesday.

This year, CVS Health* used #GivingTuesday to recognize the volunteer spirit of their employees, as well as the impactful work of community-based organizations. CVS asked their employees to share their personal stories of volunteering, as well as nominate a local charity to receive a #GivingTuesday grant from the CVS Health Foundation. From these nominations, CVS chose 50 nonprofits to receive a total of $100,000 in grants as part of CVS’s #GivingTuesday initiative.

2. Strategically select nonprofit partners that align with brand values.

Southwest* is a company that believes #GivingTuesday should be year-round, but nevertheless joined the global movement this year and aligned their giving with what they value as a business: people and the planet. This #GivingTuesday, Southwest strategically selected 10 nonprofits that are meaningful to the company, donating $2,500 to each, ranging from programs supporting veterans to conserving the planet and education. They even encouraged travelers to show their generosity by lending a hand or giving a drink ticket to a seatmate.

3. Differentiate your efforts by promoting the use of a hashtag that is custom to your initiative, in addition to #GivingTuesday.

As part of an ongoing partnership with Conservation International, HP* elevated the power of the hashtag to generate donations for its partner’s new campaign, Nature is Speaking. The campaign is aimed at raising awareness that people need nature in order to survive. For each use or retweet of the custom hashtag #NatureIsSpeaking on Tuesday, HP has committed to donating $1 per tweet.

4. Focus all communications on a single initiative or program.

Focusing solely on a single initiative can be a great way for organizations to stand out and to rally support for their cause. Aligning with their partner Save the Children,  JOHNSON’S®* launched its new charitable platform “More Hands, More Hearts” to support the happy and healthy development of babies through the donation of essential resources, including JOHNSON’S® baby care kits and a special grant. JOHNSON’S® encouraged others to contribute to the cause by joining Jennifer Hudson and its own employees in creating baby care kits for families in need and generating further support via social media with #MoreHandsMoreHearts.

5. Go with the flow. Embrace the trends.

All brands want differentiation when it comes to philanthropic initiatives, but sometimes riding the big trend wave is the best bet. Playing off the ‘selfie’ craze, the #UNselfie challenged consumers to show their support for #GivingTuesday by posting photos and videos of themselves with evidence of how they’re giving back. Thousands have tweeted using the hashtag to show their support of worthy causes this year and to encourage others to do the same.

How did you participate in #GivingTuesday?

*Edelman client

Friday5: Five Phases of Filmmaking

From short films and branded documentaries to Vines and tabletop photography, production teams specialize in bringing big creative ideas to life.  We are made up of filmmakers, producers, animators and creative directors from all walks of the industry—from comedy writers to comic book illustrators to live show producers – and work in constant collaboration to produce video content.

When it comes to making videos, we get all sorts of questions, so we’re here to lay it all out and take you through the Five Phases of Filmmaking.

1. Development

“The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away.” –Linus Pauling

Before an idea can be developed into a script, there needs to be a creative vision—achieved by collaborating with accounts, creative, planning and other specialty teams to develop a focused insight about the audience and what you want to inspire in them through the content. It’s in this phase that we develop the creative brief and hone in on a treatment that will solve for it. We ask questions like: What’s the overarching story you want to tell? Who is that audience and what do you want them to do? Where is the content going to be consumed? Understanding distribution well in advance of production empowers the creative team to create the best concept for your client. Moreover, staying in line with the objectives outlined during this phase will be the guiding star throughout the process.

2. Pre-Production

“If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening my ax.”  -Abraham Lincoln

This is the time to get organized. In other words, planning, prepping and thinking of potential obstacles before they have a chance to materialize.  This is where we take everything from development and make the project a reality! From developing and locking the perfect script and laying out the full creative and narrative vision, to vetting directors of photography, to location scouting, casting the right talent and if the project calls for it, hiring a prop master and set designer– there is a lot to do! Filmmakers will tell you that pre-production is everything.

Shot lists and storyboards are essential to pre-production. These tools outline the camera angles and sketch out what each scene should look like before getting to set.

3. Production

“Filmmaking is a miracle of collaboration.” –James McAvoy
So it’s production time, when all the planning pays off and all hands are on deck—cast, film crew, the creative team, and even account and client teams. Everyone involved in production has an important role on set. From the director to the hair and makeup artist, to the script supervisor to the almighty gaffer in charge of lights – this is the moment where the professionals own their craft and we bring the script to life.

This video is a fun and easy way to remember who’s who on set and what they do.

4. Post-Production

“First you shoot the movie, then you make the movie” –Keenen Ivory Wayans.

Post-production is where the film comes together. A good editor helps tell a story by finding the best moments from the footage and working closely with the director and creative team to create a compelling narrative. This is also when a film can be fine-tuned with color correction, sound editing, motion graphics, 3D animation, and other finishing techniques to add magic to a piece. Licensing or composing the right music is also key, as most edits are timed and cut around musical moments. Having a skilled post-production team is essential to producing a project that wows.

5. Distribution

“No saint, no pope, no general, no sultan has ever had the power that a filmmaker has: the power to talk to hundreds of millions of people in the dark for two hours.”  -Frank Capra

So the video is picture locked and it’s time to amplify! Remember those questions from the development phase? Having the objectives figured out early on is key to the process and will be especially helpful when it comes to distribution. Thanks to strategic planning, paid media can now do the heavy lifting and effectively distribute the video where it will best be received—bringing the project full circle.

Voila! That’s the filmmaking process in a nutshell.

This post was written by Chris Walker, Natalie Batlle and Ryan VandenBosch.

Image credit: Luke Roberts

Friday5: The STEM Moment in a Post-Network Age

The Five Forces Supporting STEM Students and Their Educators

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking at the annual summit for one of our clients, Project Lead the Way. PLTW is the nation’s leading provider of learning programs in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), which not only includes K-12 curricula but professional development for teachers as well.

My talk focused on what I felt were five defining forces that make now a critical moment for STEM education.

mcleod

1. “The market for something to believe in is infinite.”

While building the talk, I was reminded of the above Hugh McLeod cartoon that contained this particular aphorism. In terms of the popular imagination and among the lay people, STEM is the source from which that something-to-believe-in springs forth—either as a source of hope for breakthrough cures or simply concepts that inspire and even entertain.

2. Four key “laws” are intersecting to make today a particularly exciting time to participate in STEM.

These aren’t “laws” in the physical-science sense, but rather observations about the human spirit as they relate to technology and innovation. Here they are briefly, in roughly descending order of popular familiarity.

  • Moore’s Law: Coined by Carver Mead on (the reluctant) behalf of Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, this refers to the notion that computing horsepower would double (or the cost of a given amount of power would be halved) every 18-24 months. While the death of this law has been five years from “today” for the past few decades, scientists and engineers keep finding ways to improve computing power nearly as fast as everyone can think of ways to gobble it up.
  • Metcalf’s Law: Coined by Ethernet inventor and 3COM co-founder Bob Metcalfe, this states that the value of a network is equal to the number of participants, squared. So, think about the number of people on the Internet. Now multiply it by itself. Wow.
  • Hayek’s Law: This is a name I’ve given to Austrian economist F.A. Hayek’s prescient 1945 observation: “The knowledge of the circumstances of which we must make use never exists in concentrated or integrated form but solely as the dispersed bits of incomplete and frequently contradictory knowledge which all the separate individuals possess.” Combine this with the phenomenal access to these individuals (Metcalf’s Law) and the power to process the data (Moore’s Law) and you have a powerful platform for innovation and collaboration.
  • Carlson’s Law: As described by The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman in honor of SRI’s Dr. Curtis Carlson, “Innovation from the bottom-up is chaotic, but smart. Innovation from the top-down is orderly, but dumb.” This perhaps modulates Hayek’s Law, counterbalancing freewheeling and even playful innovation with the need for some level of direction and order.
3. STEM produces the most-trusted people in the most-trusted industries.

As a fifth law to consider: “The further one gets into a public talk delivered by an Edelman representative, the probability of hearing about the Trust Barometer approaches one.”

Joking aside, my message to educators was that our research consistently shows that a STEM education aligns most with the most-trusted people when it comes to shaping a company’s reputation. Technical experts, for example, consistently rank second behind more general experts and academics. Further, as to the most-trusted fields, technology has nearly always ranked as the most-trusted industry for the last several years, followed by automotive.

chart1

chart2

4. STEM is becoming a team sport that welcomes amateurs

FoldIt allows anyone to download a game onto his or her computer and virtually “fold” simulated proteins, banking on the notion that the human brain is a particularly efficient pattern-recognition engine. In one phenomenal case, game-playing amateurs collectively solved an AIDS-related protein folding problem that vexed scientists for fifteen years—after only ten days!

BOINC allows you to donate your computer’s otherwise idle time to participate in supercomputing applications, such as climate analysis, life sciences, or even searching for E.T. At the time of my talk, the 24-hour average of all of the volunteer computers using BOINC were donating enough computing power to put it at #6 on the Top 500 list of the fastest supercomputers. This puts the collective digital volunteerism of BOINC users right between leviathan-class systems at Argonne National Labs and the Swiss National Computing Centre.

The lesson: Smart scientists are figuring out ways that lay people can participate in the process of discovery. The best are even making it fun.

5. STEM’s “source code” is (slowly, reluctantly) opening

The explosion of open-source technologies and methods makes STEM disciplines more free, both as in “free as in speech” and “free as in ‘free beer,’” to borrow from the distinction made famous by Richard Stallman and others.  This opens up a world of possibilities, emerging from the ability to maximize the usable life of computing equipment, maximize technology spend from the classroom, and (most importantly) teach students the vital importance of “hacking” their world in order to create new insights and realities.

Image credit: @doug88888

Friday5: Win the Moment with Twitter

Whether it’s live-tweeting during the big game or creating real-time images during an awards ceremony, companies are often curious about how to create winning real-time moments on Twitter. While some brands have had success participating in the moment, it continues to be a challenge to tackle real-time content and still help our clients achieve their goals. Recently, Stacy Minero, Twitter’s Head of Content Planning, gave us a few tips on how to help our clients win the moment.

1. Plan the predictable

There are a few things in life that are predictable: the subway will always be delayed when you are running late for a meeting, and it will definitely rain the one day you left your umbrella at home. Likewise, if you will be creating real-time content, or responding in real-time to fans, you know that you will need to be both quick and efficient in order to capitalize on the moment or you will lose relevance. Building visual templates in advance allows you to get it live and in the hands of fans more quickly and will create a coherent look and framework for your social content.

Additionally seek out fans, influencers, and conversations that may help your brand achieve its goals in advance of any activation: these people may already be creating content on your behalf and just don’t know it. Entering into the right conversations with fans can create “micro moments” for your brand outside of larger tent pole activations.

2. Create repeatable brilliance

Have you ever done something so spectacular that you even impressed yourself, only to never be able to recreate it again when asked? Like hitting that last high note in your favorite karaoke song when alone but sounding like a howling cat when surrounded by friends? It happens. So how do you make sure you can recreate that brilliance at all times? In content, it’s about finding what works with your audience, and making sure that you can continue to repeat that success over and over. For example, it can be creating a thematic content series or knowing what topics will always get a reaction from your audience. By creating repeatable serialized content that ladders up to your brand’s strategy you can train your audience to expect amazing, quality content, especially during these live moments.

3. Enhance experiences

Something I have been championing for a while, and recently started hearing from more people at Content Marketing Conferences this year, is that marketers are moving from a brand-centric to a consumer-centric approach to content and community: the brand is no longer the hero, it’s the audience. By thinking about our audience, we can give them the content they want, where they want it, in a way that they want to experience it, ensuring that the content we produce plays an additive role to THEIR experience. Everything you create or respond with should make the moment bigger or better; not just because you want to get involved in the conversation.  

4. Plan to be spontaneous

My favorite part of all of these tips is the idea that you can, and must, plan ahead in order to be spontaneous in the moment. This requires advanced planning and strategy, including smart scenario planning: go through all possible actions and reactions and prepare how your brand would create content or respond to fans. Write sample copy. Create sample images based on possible outcomes. By planning for these situations in advance, we can shift our thinking away from “reacting in real-time” and move towards “preparing to be agile” as a means of creating content.

5. Discovery by Design

In the real-time content flood that is Twitter, it’s getting harder for brands to have their content seen and shared by audiences. By creating a deliberate plan on how you want your content discovered and shared, knowing the hashtags that your audience is using in relation to the event and what you want people to do with it when they see it you can help maximize your reach and better achieve your goals of creating real-time content. And when creating your distribution plan always remember the 4 P’s: Plan for your content, Produce what your audience wants to see and share, Publish it in a timely manner to ensure relevancy, and Promote it as needed in order to increase possible reach.

How are you going to help your clients win the moment with Twitter?

Friday5: Communicate A Cybersecurity Breach Online

In a year filled with constant reminders of significant cyber-attacks, cybersecurity is quickly becoming a principal risk for organizations across all industries, sectors and geographies. In 2014, cybersecurity breaches have increased by 48 percent, showing the growing risk around potential attacks.

One of the side effects of the increase in attention is that many organizations are moving beyond categorizing cyber-related risks as solely the responsibility of IT or security teams. CEOs, boards and communications teams are demanding greater levels of preparedness, training, response capabilities and protocols.

Unfortunately, you can’t plan how to communicate online for every cybersecurity scenario, but it is possible to prepare – and test – responses and processes.

Here are five key digital areas that organizations should keep in mind before, during and after a cybersecurity breach.

1. Create an online hub

All official information that a business publishes during and after a security breach needs to be easily located and visible online. Organizations should prepare an online hub that holds all necessary resources. This hub can take the shape of a “dark site” to use only in emergencies, a microsite or a designated section on a current website. Hubs typically need to serve as a repository for statements made by the organization, FAQs, information about credit monitoring and links to additional resources. The tricky part of these types of resources is that activation time is of the essence. The moment a breach is disclosed, organizations may only have a few hours to respond.

2. Determine social media engagement

Decide how to communicate (or not) on owned social media channels. Creating a streamlined approach with clear guidance on what information will be pushed through social channels will help align expectations for community managers. Social media channels are the closest point to your customers. Therefore, any official communication must be paired with a cohesive engagement strategy to answer questions, help alleviate concerned customers, address hostile critics or trolls and navigate potential litigation. One of the most important components to an engagement strategy are protocols on when NOT to post to social channels. Organizations can also just pick the most appropriate social channels to use.

3. Anticipate the message

The Internet will be flooded with third-party articles, opinions from experts and a spike in brand conversation through social media. This clutter of information can be easier to manage by anticipating stakeholders’ questions and concerns. This will help maintain the view that the organization is a victim of a crime and operating efficiently in its response. This preparation will also help with the overall search engine optimization (SEO) of the organization when stakeholders’ search for answers online.

4. Be mindful of content

Be mindful of new threats to stakeholders. While most stakeholders will be searching the Internet for answers to various concerns such as liability of fraudulent charges and credit monitoring, scammers may take advantage of potential vulnerabilities with email, harmful links and phishing scams. Organizations should be investigating, reporting and communicating about damaging content to all stakeholders, as appropriate – this starts with being mindful of links that the organization includes in its own email correspondence.

5. Analyze data and monitor online

As a business is addressing the concerns, questions and complaints of customers, be mindful of who exactly needs to be reached. It is critical to set benchmarking data in advance of a breach to determine spikes in traffic to any owned property online of a business. During a breach, a business can determine traffic sources to a website. That data will determine the proper monitoring strategy of traffic drivers to a website, and social channels to keep tabs on during a breach for any new information.

How does your organization prepare for a cybersecurity breach?

This post was written by Dan Webber and Tatiana Posada.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...