Tagged: social media

Social Media & the Holidays

social-media-holiday

It’s official—the holiday season has finally arrived. With all the buzzing excitement of the holidays, businesses should take advantage of this because it provides new ways to create interest about products or services through social media. Findings ways to engage audiences through social media is now more important than ever to a business’ longevity. In fact, 36 percent of social media users trust brands with a social media presence, and 80 percent of users who received a response on a social channel went on to make a purchase (Mr. Youth, 2011). Consider using the holidays as an excuse to change things up a little at the work office and use marketing strategies to target consumers.

socialmediaiconsHere are some tips to consider during the holiday season:

  1. Plan early: Businesses must always stay on top of social media trends and research what competitors are doing in industry as well. Plan early and create strategic plans so that your organization can build buzz before holidays rather than during it.
  2. Post useful content on social media sites: Provide information to people that will be current and beneficial for them during the holiday season.
  3. Don’t forget about SEO: Optimize keywords on social media content that way people can easily find this information again at a later time.
  4. Measure effectiveness of strategies: Determine what strategies work best and what your audiences prefer. Try out different things and see which ideas get the most feedback and responses.
  5. Engage followers: Encourage viewers to post stories or pictures of their holiday plans and hold online contests with incentives.
  6. Show off company culture: This is a fun one. Share photos or stories of what the office staff is up to on social media sites with holiday parties or charitable events

If you were a brand, what holiday strategies would you use to effectively communicate with consumers to drive your business?

Sources:
http://www.mry.com/Work/Thinking?article=T4
http://smallbiztrends.com/2012/11/social-media-holiday-marketing-strategy.html
http://mashable.com/2011/12/14/social-media-holiday-purchases/

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FedEx Proves to be Excellent Example of PR Crisis Management

fedx

Last December FedEx experienced its PR crisis of the year when a video went viral of a deliveryman arriving to a customer’s home with a package and threw it over the fence.

The customer had a surveillance camera outside their fence and incident was recorded. What would anyone do with that kind of footage? The answer is put it on YouTube. The customer put the short clip on the Internet and was seen by millions, and can still be seen today.

So what does FedEx do? They addressed the issue head on. They are recognized as solving one of the worst PR crises of 2011. FedEx took immediate action by apologizing to the customer and troubleshooting using social media.

FedEx created its own YouTube video to issue a statement of apology by the senior VP of FedEx Express U.S. Operations, Michael Thornton. He shared how the company fixed the problem with the customer and how FedEx will use the video in employee training so employees will know the correct and appropriate action to take when delivering packages.

fedex-youtube-response

“We hope that you, like the customer involved in this incident, will see it as an unfortunate exception that proves the rule that our company cares for its customers,” Thornton wrote.

Based on the YouTube video’s feedback, it was mostly positive. Customers and employees agreed with the actions that were taken and appreciated seeing a face to the company, and showing they care for their customers and only want to deliver the best customer service possible.

From a PR perspective FedEx did all the right things to control the aftermath of the situation. FedEx responded in a quick manner not allowing any spare time to pass. The company took the incident seriously and told the truth. They didn’t deny the deliveryman was a FedEx employee or that it never happened. They sincerely apologized to the customer and reimbursed them with a new computer. Bottom line: we all make mistakes, but it’s about how we recover from them.

Sources:
http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/1837-10-biggest-pr-disasters-year.html
http://spinsucks.com/communication/fedex-customer-video-turned-good-pr/ http://devriesblog.com/2011/12/22/fedex-deserves-a-black-belt-in-crisis-management-for-response-to-viral-video/

Have you heard of Rewarder?

Yeah, me neither. Rewarder describes itself as simply a social marketplace that connects people who are looking for “unique knowledge or expertise” with those who are interested in helping them.

Did you catch that? It’s difficult to understand what the website is at first glance. But nonetheless, it’s the most recent social media site that is eager to make a name for itself.

Rewarder held a media tweet chat this week to engage audiences through Twitter. Tweeters had the opportunity to participate in a Tweetchat with Rewarder and to learn more about the company. The overwhelming responses of people thought that Rewarder’s concept and website were difficult to follow. This should issue a major red flag to anyone who knows that your customers are always right.

Rewarder took the initiative to explain that all consumers have to do is read its “About” and “FAQ” section to get the point of the site. Well, that’s easier said than done. The consumer must also create a profile first before reviewing rewards on the site. Not to mention, once you create an account it automatically links itself to your Facebook account and uses your private information.

Upon visiting the website the layout looks similar to Pinterest and Etsy. From a consumer point of view, the site is complicated and it shouldn’t take them more than a few seconds to determine what the site is about. The consumer has to dig through the site just to find out what it is about and how it works.

My suggestions for Rewarder are to tweak a few things on their website and clearly explain what the benefits to using the site. The website needs to be more user friendly and should have more information on the top of the homepage where everyone can see it. Secondly, simplify what the uses are, because if the consumer can’t understand it then they won’t be interested.

How do you think Rewarder can improve its website and marketability?

Sources:
http://rewarder.com/about
http://twitter.com/rewarder

Have a ‘Voice’ Online (Podcasts)

You may not know much about the uses of podcasts, but they are a popular social media tool. When one thinks about podcasts, you probably compare it to radio and think there isn’t much of a difference between the two, but there’s more to it than one would think. Podcasts are radio-styled and can be downloaded from the Internet onto the computer desktop.

So, podcasts are like radio shows and Internet audio? Not exactly. Unlike radio shows, podcasts can be listened to anytime and anywhere. The user controls when and how they listen to their preferred streamed show. You don’t have to worry about tuning in at a particular time or downloading several files from a website.

Podcast are sometimes a better choice than video when reaching out to your audiences. Audio is great for your intended audiences because people don’t always have the time to sit and watch a video. They often require a 100 percent of your attention and that’s not always feasible. With podcasts, you can listen and multi-task while driving your car, walking on the treadmill or doing laundry.

Another advantage to podcasts is that anyone can create one. Compared to video, podcasts are easy to make and cost almost nothing to make. People are free to create their own syndicated radio shows and reach potential listeners. This allows them to share their passion and knowledge about a particular issue or topic of interest. However, podcasts aren’t just for individuals. Even companies are increasingly using them to educate consumers on their products or services, e-learning, and off-site training for their staff and employees.

Before class, I didn’t realize podcasts were so useful and essential to an organization. I think it gives an edge and they are great way to spread your ideas and develop your brand. And if you are interested in tapping into a new audience, or keep an existing one, starting a podcast is a good idea.

What do you think about podcasts? Would consider creating one for your organization?

Sources:
http://prdaily.com/Main/Articles/11624.asp
http://prdaily.com/Main/Video/11.aspx
http://www.voices.com/podcasting.html

Newsletters Aren’t Dead

When we first think of newsletters and brochures we may think of them as something we no longer use because social media online content has replaced them. But that stigma couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, this week we learned in PR Communications that newsletters are still a great marketing tool among internal and external audiences. Newsletters are sources that provide audiences with information about what an organization is doing.

Newsletters are especially important for internal audiences. Its purposes are to inform employees what is going on, what will happen in the future and even industry trends. Most employees enjoy reading current events and happenings with the company because it keeps them in the loop. Employees dislike being left out and forgotten when it comes to company information, so it’s important to let everyone know what is going on weekly or whenever new information is available.

Another reason newsletters are popular with organizations and its employees is that some people aren’t online. Some aren’t interested or don’t know how to get on the Web and look up their company. When an organization covers all its bases, employees are more satisfied with their work.

Spring_2010_cover_only NSL21

It’s also a smart idea for organizations to have a newsletter because they never know who will pick it up and read it. From a nonprofit stand point this is an excellent way to gain interest in the company’s cause. When an external audience picks up a newsletter, they get an insight of what that organization is like and what they stand for.

Newsletters serve as a valuable tool to communicate with different types of audiences and will continue to be a popular way for organizations to connect with publics. Newsletters aren’t dead; they just aren’t recognized enough for what they can accomplish for an organization.

Do you think organizations and companies should continue putting out newsletters? Or do you think they should only have an E-newsletter?

How to create the best social content

Listen up class: this will provide you with adequate information on how to create content for the social media world.  As a PR senior, I am concerned with creating the perfect content for my future employer. I want to stand out as an entry level professional and do my best to impress with my knowledge of social media content.

I read “The 5 steps of great social content” on the PR Daily and I think it’s a great resource for all levels of PR professionals. It gets down to the basics of what we do as PR communicators.

  1. Think big- The infographic from Lindon East suggests giving yourself some time and space to relax and let the ideas flow. Big ideas come from things that inspire you. Inspiration comes from everywhere—news stories, social media sites, podcasts, etc. When all else fails, write.
  2. Get the point across- This is probably my favorite part of creating social media content. Think about how you will communicate with your audiences. PR messages can come in the form of tweets, photos, blogs, podcasts, and videos just to name a few.
  3. Find your target audience- This is the most important step to creating great content. For PR it’s important to think about who you can get to act or behave a certain way, or who you can persuade to take on a particular action. Also note, you can’t be everything to everyone, so choose a niche or segment to focus on.
  4. Plan, plan, and plan some more- Once you’ve completed your research it’s time to plan. Determine how you will get your message out, what the structure of the plan will be, and the style of the message.
  5. Get the word out- Finally, it’s time create some buzz. Think about where your message will be seen; it could be filmed, uploaded online, or published.

Do you agree with these steps? If not, why?

Chicago teachers and mayor in the midst of a PR battle

Chicago schoolteachers went on strike for more than three days while 350,000 students are out of school. The Chicago Teacher Union (CTU) went on strike because they are demanding job security, teacher evaluations, and benefits.

Its president, Karen Lewis, leads the CTU. Officials from the mayor’s office believe students could return to school as early as Monday. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the union are in the works of a negotiation, but so far nothing has come of it.

Thousands of teachers gathered outside of their schools and met downtown to protest with parents and supporters.  The media, such as CNN and MSNBC  noted that the strike was well organized and that teachers were eager to share their stories with reporters and list their demands.

From a PR perspective both sides are using social media to get their point across and draw support from the public. They have both stated to the media that they want the best for the students and that they are very important in this matter, which is why the issues need to be resolved quickly.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel speaking at a news conference

It was reported that Emanuel said, “Don’t take it out on the kids of Chicago if you have a problem with me.” This is a smart PR move because who would want to take their frustrations out on the children? With this move, the public was more sympathetic towards Emmanuel.

In my opinion, the CTU has more successful PR efforts because they have really made a buzz. They had an organized stance, reached out to the media, and had a lot of extra support. However, from a PR point of view I like that Emanuel told the media how he worked on finding a solution quickly for the sake of the children.

I want to know what you think of the issue. Have you heard about the strike? Who do you think had the best PR efforts?