Sunday, 20 July 2014

Merging editorial and advertising: good or bad?

Coming from a PR background before getting into social media, I would go into an apoplectic rage [sort of] if anyone suggested that editorial and advertising in media titles should work together.

I have always been of the school of thought that editorial should be independent and in no way influenced by the companies that advertise. Down that path lay eternal hellfire and damnation - and perhaps more importantly, a loss of credibility of the media title as soon as readers/viewers/listeners started to see a disproportionate amount of positive coverage about the brands that advertised the most.

OK, so I'm exaggerating slightly. But I've always believed there should be a separation of church and state in publishing.

Now I'm having second thoughts. I'm starting to see the benefits of the two working hand in hand. Going to meetings with the editorial team and media sales guys, I've seen content ideas created that deliver something for the brand while having editorial integrity and deliver benefit for the readers.

The trick to me seems to be the editorial team retaining editorial control and doing what is best for the reader/viewer while the brand funds content on something important to its business.  As long as there is full disclosure, like the NY Times native advertising etc, and the readers aren't duped, then I think it can work. It gives the media titles the new revenue stream they badly need and brands a new, perhaps more meaningful way, to communicate with audiences.

I guess we'll see, but it seems to be working for Facebook who combined their sales and product teams and set them both the same target: revenue. Just saying.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Facebook organic reach still works - with the right content

Despite Facebook's change in algorithm that significantly reduced organic reach to low single figures, I've seen some content on Facebook Pages still getting significant reach. Content on CPG Pages that I'm involved with have been getting upwards of 30% organic reach in the last few weeks. I started to wonder if Facebook's algorithm change isn't as punitive as we originally thought and it comes down to sharing really good content [pretty obvious, I know].

Then I came across this article from Newswhip / AllFacebook that talked about how interaction around content from media companies is increasing, with sectors like music, the environment and health getting the most interactions.

My conclusion is that content on high interest topics, like entertainment and health, made to be extremely compelling and in context can still deliver great reach on Facebook. It's up to us as brands, to up our game on content and make it highly appealing to our audience to get the most out of Facebook.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Creating a video to go viral

Often we get asked to 'create a viral video'. The restrained [sometimes] response being 'viral is an outcome, not a type of video' - unless of course its a video about Ebola. IMHO, the trick is to have a damn good idea, then decide the best way to communicate it to people.

Often this is video. Especially when it comes to awkward moments and facial expression of by standers.

Like this one:)

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

How to engage with Wikipedia

The CIPR UK had updated its really useful guidance on how to engage with Wikipedia as a PR professional. The full doc can be found here

I think the general rule of thumb is don't try and dupe anyone, be honest and don't be a dick. 
Below is a summary of the key points from the CIPR:

  1. Register a personal rather than a corporate account and disclose your conflicts of interest on your user page.
  2. If you are concerned about the accuracy of a Wikipedia article but have a conflict of interest you must address this via the community. Don’t edit any page you have a conflict of interest on.
  3. Head to the Talk page for the Wikipedia article concerned and draft your response. This works in almost all situations however if you don’t get a response then raise it on the relevant noticeboard.
  4. Escalate with kindness and don’t be an idiot. When faced with a situation where you have a choice to be an idiot or not be an idiot, choose to not be an idiot. 
  5. You can freely contribute articles related to your profession, hobbies and interests, where you do not have a conflict of interest. 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Calculating calories in your food - an app for that.

A nifty gizmo that you use to calculate the amount of calories in your food patented by by Consumer Physics Inc., a startup based out of Tel Aviv, Israel

Monday, 3 February 2014

How to make money from Instagram

Simples: Have a great butt and photograph it every day.

That's how Jen Selter got endorsement deals from fitness products and become probably one of the most followed people on Instagram.

Aside from inventing the word 'belfies' aka Butt Selfies, its quite interesting what's happened from a brand POV. Someone who has become famous for working out, developing a great physique and showing it off to the world, has now secured relevant sponsorship deals e.g Cirrus Fitness. It makes perfect sense and I'm guessing we will see a lot more of these brand partnerships as the channel develops.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Social media stats 2014

if you like stats, you'll love this slideshare from WeAreSocial

It's 143 pages long, but my highlights are
  • Whats app = 4th most popular social network. 
  • Brazilians spend the most time on the internet
  • UAE has the highest social media penetration [or, Canada depending how you measure it]
  • UAE highest mobile penetration at 252%
Thanks WeAreSocial.