4 iul. 2009

Hire Doug!

Doug Winfield, who until recently was a VP of Digital Strategies at Waggener Edstrom, applied for a job at SHIFT Communications, but he didn't send out a resume like the average Joe. Using Facebook's precisely targeted advertising, he caught the attention of the entire SHIFT office through this ad which appeared in their Facebook sidebar.

pic via

7 iun. 2009

How big is Wikipedia anyway?

3 iun. 2009

Are you suffering from IOS?

Take a look . It may not be too late

31 mai 2009

Which blogs should we read?

PR Reader’s Choice Blog Awards announced its shortlist:

30 mai 2009

For 2 months, Bucharest stopped breathing

...at Olimpiadele Comunicarii (for team Jack).

In the past 2 months, we "created" an agency, formed a team and completed 2 campaigns. In other words, we competed at Olimpiadele Comunicarii.
After good times, sleepless nights, running in circles and brainstorming all day long, we made it to the podium, second place to be exact, with this campaign:

6 mar. 2009


Skittles thought social media would be like stealing candy from a baby, but this time the baby fought back.

It all started Monday morning when all visitors trying to access the official Skittles site found themselves looking at a Twitter search page.

The “Chat the Rainbow” slogan was supposed to encurage visitors to share their thoughts on Skittles, so that the Twitter stream would look more like a story made of 140 character-long bits.

This PR stunt was cleaver in theory- getting people to talk about your brand in a new, exciting and different way. But what Skittles omitted in practice was the very essence of social media (and Twitter in particular)- actively engaging, interacting with the community.

People don’t just settle for information anymore, they want a human face to go with it; they want conversations, answers tailored to their needs and wishes.

When brands like Starbucks, Whole Foods, Home Depot and even Kodak choose to connect, listen, engage and bring value to their consummers, you can’t afford to do it wrong.

Sure, Skittles covered all the bases (again- in theory)- from Twitter to Facebook and from Flickr to Youtube, but a closer look unveils the lack of implication and communication with the communities they entered.

As for the Twitter stream, the lack of filters and no way of moderating tweets, the Skittles campaign opened the door to some very offensive tweets right on their homepage; moreover, visitors looking for actual information about Skittles products easily got frustrated by the effort of “digging” through pages and pages of spam in order to find the relevant bits of information they were looking for.

Due to the backfire of the Twitter experiment, Skittles moved their homepage to Facebook and later on Wikipedia, failing to adapt to the new conditions. Now, the Skittles social media campaign has become a case study on how to fail in social media. Lesson learned?

1 mar. 2009

Evan Williams on what's behind Twitter's explosive growth

24 feb. 2009

Gabriel Rossi on branding

Here's a great interview with Gabriel Rossi, branding strategist from Brazil and a social media ace (If you don't know him yet, be sure to check-out his Twitter page):

1. Please name a few companies who are effectively branding right now and why would you call their branding effective?

A. The Marketing Store: They are one of the world’s largest integrated marketing communications companies. Martins Vieira Jr (Their CEO in Brazil) is a dear friend of mine and someone who really believes in the importance of internal transparency and solid bonds with his team. What’s the result of emotional connections with your employees? The brand delivers on its promise with outstanding performance. The Marketing Store doesn’t put lipstick on a pig. They fulfill high expectations. That’s why I like the brand.

B. McDonald’s: I must confess that my consumer side sometimes gets very critical about their customer service. It’s also true that McDonald’s needs to improve its online posture (more friendly and accessible feedback platforms, for example). However, the giant made a very smart move by coming back to the basics. Instead of blindly relying on growth, they focused on what made them so strong during all these years, better exploiting ‘the infant’ archetype as well as starting to pay more attention to things like quality, cleanliness etc..

C. Hyundai: The brand understands the vital importance of creativity when facing tough times. Hyundai’s recent Assurance program was very smart and a sign of truly consumer centric approach.

2. If a company wants to rebrand itself, what are a few things it should consider?
Rebranding is a bit more than changing the design of your logo. Rebranding is a long process (usually takes years) and always requires an inside-out response. You need to craft your brand again from the inside-out. It can be quite challenging, tricky and dangerous. Do it quietly and patiently… I advise companies to invest time in sorting internal issues out first of all. Ask your employees what the company represents to them. Do they understand its story and ambitions? What kind of dreams do they have for the future? Where does your organization want to go taking into consideration the current market place?

3. Is the process individuals use for personal branding different from the one companies use?
The concept of ‘Personal Branding’ was introduced by Tom Peters over a decade ago. It’s a pity that it’s so misused and banalized by self-aclaimed ‘leading experts’ and gurus. Me me me me… Your brand is a lot more than what you want to generate by the color of your blackberry or the price of your suit… Your brand is about who you really are inside people’s minds and hearts. It’s not about me, it’s about THEM. A personal brand is what they are going to say about you when you turn your computer off…
On one hand, we are considering people’s gut feelings about an organization or its products or services. On the other, we are talking about people’s feelings about you as a human being. Have you performed a self-assessment of your strengths, weaknesses and ambitions? Are you an authentic and happy person? Have you let people down?

4. What is the compelling sales benefit for a branding investment in this economy?
I’m a marketer. I’m a huge believer in profit. If a brand doesn’t serve the sales force, it’s like putting the cart before the horse.
“…. Profit is not the primary goal, but rather an essential condition for the company’s continued existence” - Peter Drucker

5. Who should participate in branding a company?
A Brand is a collaborative process. In other words, a Brand is generally made by strong relationships with all its stakeholders. It takes not only the marketing department, but also the internal force, communities, media, investors, in some cases Government or even the local Church.

6. How does a business owner know whether she has effectively branded her company?
I think quality Branding coupled with a solid and competitive business plan should define whether a company will survive or not in this ‘new digital era.’ We (consumers) need shortcuts that help us simplify our choices. Clutter gets worse every day and we lack time. Decreased price sensitivity, increase of profitability and market share are just some examples of the power of a strong brand.

7. Should companies think differently about branding when it comes to twitter?
The basic principles of branding in Social Media are very much the same. Lessons that guys like Drucker, Levitt and Al Ries taught us have shown to be immutable. For example, listening and talking to your consumers are still vital things to do before starting any Branding effort. Allen Adamson makes a really good point on his new book ‘Brand Digital’:

“… Given that the primary objective of any organization should be to get a better understanding of human thought and behavior in order to serve people’s unmet needs, the magnifying power of digital is a very good thing, if it is used in this manner. It is a good thing if an organization uses it as it should ne used to gain meaningful insights about its core audience and its primary competitors…”

I would go further and say that good Branding Professionals go outside their offices and come back with their hands full of dirt, brains fueled by consumer’s stories and their feet in need of recovery. No brand has any value without market validation. Powerful Brands in the digital world don’t rise from mirrored offices. Go outside and remove the illusion of separation between you and your consumer. Digital Branding is not about us. It’s about THEM! It’s a symbiotic process that has only any value if it fulfills needs and expectations. Windows instead of mirrors always folks.

8. Can you recommend a few articles that help a small to medium sized business understand branding?
Marketing Myopia‘ by Theodore Levitt
In Praise of Marketing‘ by John Quelch (one of the best articles about Modern Marketing I’ve read in ages)

‘Building Strong Brands’ by David Aaker.
‘Corporate Religion’ Jesper Kunde and B.J. Cunningham
‘Brand Digital’ and ‘Brand Simple’ both by Allen Adamson
‘Brand Aid’ by Brad VanAuken
'Authenticity’ by James Gilmore
‘Zag’, ‘The Brand Gap’ and ‘The Designful Company’ by Marty Neumeier
Positioning by Ries and Trout (One of the most important books in the history of Marketing & Branding)
‘The Practice of Management’ by Peter Drucker (Chapter 5 is responsible for what we call Modern Marketing today)
‘A Clear Eye’ by Tom Asacker
‘The Brand Bubble’ by John Gerzema and Ed Lebar
‘Taking Brand Initiative’ by Hatch and Schultz
‘Surviving is Not Enough’ by Seth Godin
‘The Open Brand’ by Kelly Mooney
‘Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000: Running a Business in Today’s Consumer-Driven World’ by Pete Blackshaw


21 feb. 2009

Best Books Ever Written on Marketing or Media

AdAge staff picks: 

 "Where the Suckers Moon" by Randy Rothenberg

 "20 Ads That Shook The World" by James Twitchell

 "A Whole New Mind" by Daniel Pink

"Positioning" by Jack Trout and Al Ries

"Madison Avenue and the Color Line" by Jason Chambers

"The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell

 "It's Not What You Sell, It's What You Stand For: Why Every Extraordinary Business is Driven by Purpose" by Roy Spence with Haley Rushing

"The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart"

"Beer Blast" by Phillip Van Munching

"Doing What Matters" by James M. Kilts

"Desperate Networks" by Bill Carter

"The New Media Monopoly" by Ben Bagdikian

"Liar's Poker" by Michael Lewis

"Direct Marketing: Strategy, Planning, Execution" by Edward Nash

"Groundswell" by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff

"The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" by Michael Chabon

"Sunday Money: Speed! Lust! Madness! Death! A Hot Lap Around America with Nascar" by Jeff MacGregor

"99 Francs: A Novel" by Frédéric Beigbeder

20 feb. 2009

Social Media Metrics

Activity Metrics
        Unique visitors
        Posts (ideas/threads)
        Number of groups (networks/forums)
        Comments & Trackbacks
        Time spent on site
        Active contributors
        Word count
        Completed profiles
        Connections (between members)
        Ratios: Member to contributor; Posts to comments; Completed profiles to posts
        Periods: By day, week, month, year
        Frequency: of visits, posts, comments

Survey Metrics
        Quality and speed of issue resolution
        Referral likelihood
        Relevance of content, connections

ROI Measurements
        Cost per number of engaged prospects (community vs. other initiatives)
        Number of leads/period
        Number of qualified leads/period
        Ratio of qualified to non-qualified leads
        Cost of lead
        Time to qualified lead
        Lead conversion
        Number of pre-sales reference calls (to other customers)
        Average new revenue per customer
        Lifetime value of customers
        Customer Support
        Customer satisfaction
        Number of initiated support tickets per customer per period
        Support cost per customer in community
        Product Development
        Number of new product ideas
        % of ideas from customers/prospects/community
        Idea to development initiation cycle time
        Revenue/Adoption rate of new products from community vs. traditional sources


        Retention/Employee turn over
        Time to hire
        Prospect identification cost
        Prospect to hire conversion rate
        Hiring cost
        Training cost
        Time to acclimation for new employees

Individual Metrics

        New 'friends' after 30/60/90 days
        Number of friends met online that users have met offline
        Number of friends met online that member has subsequently collaborated with
        Number of ideas that the user has gotten and then used in their work

General Internet Tracking (outside of enterprise-sponsored communities)
        Net Promoter Score 
        Meme Lifecycle
        Number of mentions (tracked via web or blog search engines)
        Positive/Negative listing ratios on major search engines

17 feb. 2009

20 Reasons Why You Cannot Ignore Social Media

1. 394 million people watch video clips online
2. 346 million reaqd blogs/weblogs
3. 321 million Read personal blogs/weblogs
4. 307 million visit a friends social network page
5. 303 million SHARE a video clip (viral marketing anyone?)
6. 272 million manage a profile on a social network
7. 248 million upload photos
8. 216 million Download a video podcast
9. 215 million download a podcast
10. 184 million started a blog or weblog
11. 183 million uploaded a video clip
12. 160 million subscribed to an RSS Feed
13. Blog Reading has risen 66% on a global scale in a year
14. 60.3 million american have read a blog
15. 36% of consumers will think more positively about companies that have blogs
16. 32% of consumers trust bloggers opinions on products and services
17. Social Networking has an estimated 272 million users (Myspace, Facebook, etc)
18. 43% of online consumers belong to a social network
19. 74% of social networking users message friends as part of their daily routine
20. Video Uploading growth is 31% to 82% global reach seen in all markets

10 ian. 2009

Press Release Grader

HubSpot's Press Release Grader evaluates your press release and provides a marketing effectiveness score. This score is based upon basic factors from public relations experts including the language and content of the release, plus advanced factors from Internet marketing experts such as links and search engine optimization characteristics.


7 ian. 2009

Online reputation

CIPR Northern Conference - Sept 08

From: 3wpr,
3 months ago

3W PR's Online Reputation Management presentation for the CIPR Northern Conference in Manchester 2008

SlideShare Link

5 ian. 2009

The value of being ordinary

Stats via Twitter

- in October 2008 people spent 33.9 billion minutes on Facebook, 41.6 bil on Google, 18.5 bil on MySpace, and 120 bil on Yahoo

- Over 70% of all Twitter users joined during 2008, with an average of almost 10,000 users joining per day

- Wal-Mart is the 19th largest economy in the world. Its revenues (>$400 Billion) are greater than the GDP of countries like Sweden or Austria

- Men can read smaller print than women; women can hear better

- Medical marijuana sales in California generated $100 million in sales tax for the state during 2007

More fun stats here