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November 22, 2010 / jessiemorris

Hiatus

It has been too quiet around these parts, for lots of different reasons. I just thought I’d acknowledge the need to take a break from this blog.

I hope to return soon with a refreshed perspective.

Thanks for sticking it out!

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August 27, 2010 / jessiemorris

Different strokes for different folks…a checklist for your social media strategy

So many choices...

With statistics, videos and #SMEGs swamping the corporate social media landscape, it can be easy for companies to get caught up in the buzz and excitement around new media opportunities for businesses. What we need to keep in mind is that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach, and a branded Facebook page is not necessarily the answer to your company’s marketing woes.

Before jumping online to establish branded presence on every social media platform you can think of, take a step back and examine your existing business goals and take the time to work through a checklist to help form the basis of a strategic approach to your digital communications:

  • Determine your company’s short, medium and long term goals based on your business plan.
  • Examine how these goals are already being met by existing marketing/communications initiatives as well as how they may be boosted by social media. Don’t forget to determine how you will measure success!
  • Assess your current online presence – is your website efficient? SEO up to scratch? E-news database up to date? Directory listings correct?
  • LISTEN – take the time to hear what people are already saying about you and your industry. Establish a daily monitoring routine: Google Alerts for company and CEO name, Facebook searches (Booshaka is handy), Twitter searches (you can also use columns on Hootsuite or Tweetdeck), Social Mention, Board Reader for forums and Technorati for blogs. These are all free tools available to anyone – all they’ll cost is your time. If you’re time poor, consider paid monitoring options such as Radian6, which provides a monitoring dashboard with excellent reporting capabilities.
  • Based on business goals and conversations you’ve followed, decide your target audience…are you trying to reach new mums or high-end investors (not that they’re mutually exclusive)?
  • Let your audience guide your platform presence. Facebook is probably not going to help you reach Fortune 500 CEOs, and by the same token, LinkedIn is not going to be your best bet for teenage girls!
  • Develop a content plan – determine tone, frequency, internal vs external content sharing and be sure to include issues-management planning. This is where you can brainstorm ideas for competitions and giveaways, events and community building.
  • Write and distribute a social media policy for all employees – a good example to read through is the policy put in place at IBM.

Working through these steps will help you lay a good foundation for your social media strategy and provide you with measurable goals to work towards, and ensure that your strategy complements existing communications tools for your business.

Just remember to keep context – some good points raised by PR Squared and @ozdj: “17 people check into FourSquare every second http://is.gd/elF4O – 6,838,076,849 people do not”.

What additional steps would you add to this checklist?

June 29, 2010 / jessiemorris

Clear as mud…

This glass of mud is NOT my client

I am donning my official RantyPants* today.

I have noticed with growing dismay more and more professionals on Twitter promoting their clients without disclosure. Now, let’s be clear – I’m not talking about agency-branded profiles that link back to official websites containing client lists – I think that we’re all on top of the fact that PR agencies are aiming to drive discussions around their clients online. What irks me is promotion of a client or their products from an individual’s account that masquerades as personal, independent recommendation.

My feeling (and practice) is that even if what I’m talking about is not strictly work related, I should still definitely disclose my connection to the company. I even have a work-related category on this blog. If you receive money or other compensation to help promote a company or product, you are deceiving people by not being upfront about your relationship to the company or product. You are digging your own credibility grave, and I pity the fool who thinks they can trick the interwebs for any length of time.

I’m not saying you have to use up all your 140 characters with a length explanation, but I would like to see a few more tweeps using a short and sweet hashtag, even something as simple as #client…

What do you think? Should we be demanding more transparency from professionals online?

*Ping @Prakky & @rachel_thomas_b – pants currently being embroidered by leprechauns, estimated delivery date TBA!

June 2, 2010 / jessiemorris

Warm and fuzzy…

Sometimes it is all too easy to point out the numerous bad examples of big companies using social media, but every now and again I’m struck by good customer service being executed using social media platforms.

I had one such warm and fuzzy moment today, when I grumbled on Twitter about the trouble I was having contacting Australia Post:

Less than two minutes later, I received this:

I have to admit I was shocked…I didn’t even think to look for them on Twitter, let alone get a response to a whingey tweet not even using their handle. Although they weren’t able to resolve my problem entirely via Twitter, I’ve since DM’d my email address so that we can work out the best solution.

I have to commend Australia Post – they responded VERY quickly, showing that they are actively listening and are reaching out to assist people in resolving issues. I think for a company that traditionally specializes in ‘snail mail’, Australia Post are doing an impressive job!

Anyone else had feel-good experiences like this lately?

May 29, 2010 / jessiemorris

Mind your manners

I already tweeted this article a few weeks ago, but it resonates so much with me, and I think it’s a great way to explain the principles behind best social media practices to clients, that I decided to share it again here.

I have pinched this straight from Eric Fulwiler‘s post on Social Media Today, but I’m sure it’s elsewhere too.

Ten things your grandmother can teach you about social media:

  1. Mind your manners. Social media is still social. Even though we are interacting in a virtual space, the same traditional social rules, laws, and faux pas still apply. If you act like a jerk, don’t expect many friends.
  2. Tuck in your shirt. How you present yourself is just as important in the virtual world as it is in the real world. Make sure you are always aware of how you appear to others.
  3. Send a thank you card. People still appreciate being appreciated. It really doesn’t take much to convert an acquaintance to a friend, which will offer exponentially more value. A simple thank you, or any genuinely human interaction of gratitude goes a long way towards this goal.
  4. Keep your elbows off the table. Acting respectfully in front of others proves that you value them, which will usually make them value you more. And in social media, it’s all about value.
  5. Turn your music down. Don’t contribute to the noise. Listen to whatever you want in your own personal space, but when your personal preferences start to become a distraction to others, people will tune you out.
  6. Finish what you started. Any way you look at it, engagement is a commitment. When you make an effort to become part of a community, it’s not only up to you when or how often you interact with other members. If you put yourself out there as a friend, be prepared to be there when people reach out to you.
  7. Finish your vegetables. There are some aspects of social media that aren’t sexy. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t important to your growth and health. Make sure you are keeping up with the essentials, and not just chasing that buzz you get from a social sugar high.
  8. Whatever happened to a good old fashioned…? Sometimes all these new gadgets and thingamabobs aren’t as important or effective as we make them out to be. Sometimes a good old fashioned email, phone call, or even in person “get-together” can accomplish things that social media can’t.
  9. A man is only as good as his word. The currency of social media is trust (or social capital). And if people can’t trust you, you have no value to them.
  10. Think twice before you speak. You can always say something, but you can never take it back. Especially in social media where everything you say can be heard by anyone, forever, there are just too many “finites” to not reconsider everything you say before you say it.

What do you think?

May 29, 2010 / jessiemorris

First week debrief…

Once again, I’ve let a couple of weeks slip by without any meaningful attention here, but this time I feel wholly justified in saying that I’ve made up for it with frantic activity in other areas of my life.

After much anticipation, I finally started my new job with Fuller this week, and what a week it was!

Settling in at Fuller

I am genuinely stoked to be part of the team there, and have to thank everyone in the office for welcoming me with such open arms. It’s really refreshing to come into an organisation with such a great support network for their staff.

Some of the fantastic clients I’m lucky to have the opportunity to work on include: Tourism Barossa, Barkuma, Barunga Village, Barossa Living magazine and the Hutt St Centre. Keep your eyes peeled for some exciting stuff on the horizon!

Favourite things so far this week: Chocolate cake and cookies on my first day, seeing Ivo’s iPad in its natural habitat, gorgeous light filled office in Kent Town (I am going to save a fortune not being close to Rundle Mall) and Friday Jukebox, where following the nominated theme for the week, everyone in the office picks a song from YouTube to be played at full volume!

Worst thing so far: Feeling like a Mac noob – I even had to have a tutorial from the resident Apple-guru! My self-induced new job insomnia was painful the first few days, but I think I’ve knocked it on the head. So, not much to complain about really!

Don’t forget to check out the Fuller blog too, and follow some of the other Fuller team members on Twitter – Will, Jeremy and Olivia

I’m still busy studying away, but fingers crossed there will be much more happening right here. Thanks for your patience.

May 5, 2010 / jessiemorris

Some exciting news…

Well, I certainly seem to have let things slip around here…my poor blog has been sitting neglected for the past couple of weeks while I’ve grappled with a heavy study workload and the temptation to just be outside enjoying the glorious Autumn weather Adelaide has been turning on lately. There’s also been quite a lot going on with my work recently…most notably my resignation!

I’ve been busting to share my news for a while now but held back until clients and key contacts were aware of my departure, but I’m very excited to announce that I will be finishing with Porter Novelli before the end of May and starting a new role very soon after that…but you’ll have to watch this space to find out where!

I’ll still be working in PR and social media, and am very much looking forward to collaborating with a new team on exciting clients and learning lots.

Many thanks to everyone visiting, reading and commenting here so far, I promise not to let it get too far between posts again!