The Family Relation Dynamics of Traditional and Social Media

week 2 tradtional and social media

Everyday we watch, read, and listen…and have the option to speak. When comparing traditional to social media marketing, there is nary a soul alive that doesn’t see how social media marketing is completely trumping the reach of traditional media venues, much the same way a computer dominated a typewriter.  Not only has fast-paced technology completely altered the marketing landscape, the traditional communication nuclear family has been shaken to its core.

Before you think I’ve completely thrown out the “old uncle” with the bath water in lieu of the “teenage niece gulping downing energy drinks,” let’s hold on a second. Direct mailings, print, radio and television traditional marketing has efficiently served the business world in the timeframe it solely dominated the scene and as the saying does, “for every season–there is a purpose.”

I’m all about seeing the Internet through the eyes of Captain Kirk, Even though William Shatner tickled my fancy in elementary school—let’s go with that deliciously brazen Chris Pine version and the quest to “boldly go where no smartphone has gone before!”  But like a fine wine, I prefer nightly sipping on television, and breathing in standard talk radio while hustling out and about in the DC metro area.  I also don the well-worn comfy classic media bathrobe on Sundays while drinking coffee with that sweet feel of leisurely turning those nostalgic Washington Post newspaper pages in my happy-overworked hands.

Direction of Communication Marketing

It all boils down to traditional and social media being family.  Despite the generation gap, family takes care of each other.  Grandpa started the business, dad took over and now junior is at the helm.  As generational marketing naturally evolved, many challenges were overcome such as the one-directional classic media format transforming into finely tuned multi-directional interactivity media.

Holmes (2017) comments that the strongest proponents of the importance of interactivity are the ‘second media age’ theorists (Gilder, Poster, Rheingold) who bestow it with emancipator meanings in contrast to the one-way architecture of first media age. Traditional media of newspapers, radio, television and cinema are viewed as repressive, controlling, subordinating and an attack on individuality itself. New media, in contrast, are seen to place the control of meaning-making back into the hands of the individual.”

There’s little argument that the continued direction of sophistication in marketing communication is on the rise creating unprecedented opportunities to connect with customers and constituencies.  As McGoldrick (n.d.) aptly mentions, “What once was a low-cost channel seeking simple results such as Facebook “likes” now is a more polished discipline: one that builds by word-of-mouth through complex interactions and enables a better understanding of who influences whom and how tipping points are reached.”

Scope of Marketing

Classic media was limited to zeroing in on specific target audiences and markets as best they could to optimize results.  Social Media is available to just about everybody.  Even though social media marketing is still like shooting fish in a barrel, at least the ammo is cheaper and the range potential is more far reaching. With the mass amount of consumer big data available, the scope of marketing appears endless to exploit the richness of targeting based on data.

(Young, 2014) “As traditional media has digitized, so has the availability of data and the ability for media planners to capture and respond with increased granularity.  Outcast Media, a digital media company that sells video advertising atop fuel pumps across gas stations throughout the United States, is now working with advertisers to run video ads based on a profile of the user’s credit card.

A good example of the integration of traditional to digitized media is when apparel manufacturer Patagonia shocked the system in 2011 by running a full-page ad in The New York Times with the provocative headline: “Don’t Buy This Jacket.” In the ad, readers were prompted to go online and sign a two-part pledge to reduce consumption and waste by buying items only when needed, repairing them when they break and recycling products at the end of their useful life. The buzz online was fortified by coverage in top outlets like The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post and The Guardian. The campaign aim was to reinforce Patagonia as a high-quality brand that offers durable, long-lasting products.

The kinship of media integration

In his book “Twitter is Not a Strategy,” J. Walter Thompson Asia CEO Tom Doctoroff explains how integrating the traditional and digital branding is the best strategy for brands. Digital age, he contends, is enabling consumers to be much more empowered in terms of how they engage with manufacturers and brand messages and how they provide feedback, so there’s a more dynamic interrelationship between consumer and brand than there was in the past. (Abulashivili, 2015).

Within the old and new media family integration, for the first time our consumer cousins came to the reunion and responded by triggering a mass dialogue — adding the speaking element to what we all do well as a family, gather on the sofa and watch, read and listen.

 

Tradeshows: Maximizing Awareness in a Tidal Wave of Brands

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How can a brand really stand out at a tradeshow?  It’s not as hard as you may think. Using the the 62nd PGA Merchandise Show that featured more than 40,000 industry professionals from more than 70 countries, let’s first establish branding consistency, goals and target priorities for the event. For instructional purposes and to better establish goals, I will assume promotingCallaway (Links to an external site.) that manufactures and sells golf clubs, balls, apparel, footwear and accessories in more than 110 countries worldwide.

Branding consistency: Displaying consist branding through our black and white color schemes, combined with our data-driven targeting and social media strategy will ensure all our promotions are easily identifiable.

Goals: To make the Callaway booth the #1 destination for attendees amidst the 1,000 competitors at the PGA Merchandise show and 1) Showcase the new Callaway Chrome Soft golf balls and secure at least 1 million balls in sale orders; 2) Feature the advanced Big Bertha Alpha 815 driver and secure $30 million in sales during event. The booth sales person who writes up the most orders will get a $10,000 bonus.

Target:  Reach out and secure onsite appointments with all top industryexecutives. Maximize attendance at opening night Callaway hospitality suite. Maximize attendance at Outdoor Demo Day, the world’s largest professional golf testing event where we will be showcasing our new drivers, clubs and 65 compression soft golf balls.

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Top Three mainstream communication channels

Proximity! Proximity! Proximity – Having been to many trade shows where there are an endless sea of booths—proximity marketing is perfect for the PGA show. We will be using Qualcomm’sGimbal Bluetooth Low Emitting (BLE) beacons (Links to an external site.)because it not only provides a way to communicate with bluetooth capable devices forproximity awareness (Links to an external site.),but the system and customer experience can be customized. The PGA tradeshow floor is so extensive with 1,000 vendors, instead of getting an alert when someone is quite far from the Callaway booth and can be easily distracted, microfencing is much more granular and accurate and will send alerts when attendees are within a stone’s throw of the booth. Afterwards, to ensure that someone who has already visited the booth isn’t alerted again, the registered API key recognizes when a person has been in the booth space.

To sweeten the pot for users to grant permission to enable communications, we will offer a free four pack of our new “soft” golf balls in choice of four colors. Here is a good video that explains the microfencing processhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR8txVtT_Ao (Links to an external site.)

PGA Show Mobile App – The PGA show mobile app will give quick access to an optimum 41,000 attendees, buyers and industry leaders from 79 countries. The app highlights exhibitor map, presentation schedule, show specials, discounts, featured areas and events, demo day info, agenda planning, appointment requests and callbacks.  Because Callaway is a major sponsor for the event, this is a new channel we want to take advantage of to get our maximum reach. As part of the package the most important feature will encourage current and prospective retailers to set up appointments with Callaway during the show.  Other ways we will utilize the app is with the following:

    • Callaway logo branded on all pre-show and onsite show marketing which includes all digital and printed material
    • Callaway logo branded on PGA Show Mobile App registration pages and confirmation email
    • PGA Show Mobile App postcards will be handed out to all at onsite registration
    • Callaway sponsorship mention in first text message opening the show
    • Callaway logo on intro splash page and home page banner ad
    • Feature Big Bertha and new soft golf ball photos & descriptions
    • Feature our latestCalloway video (Links to an external site.)
    • Link directly to Callaway’s featured Showroom

Twitter – Callaway needs to step up their game with Twitter (only 938 followers) and very rarely do they issue a tweet let alone answer a tweet. The show will be a good chance to use this channel with a sample of the following:

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Other Best Fit IMC

The other top two forms of multimedia communication that would be the best fit to support Callaway marketing communications plan for the tradeshow are email and postcards.

Email: We will target top people specifically by sending a visually attractive email encouraging to set up appointment with Callaway during the show. This will include a special invitation to the best hospitality suite at the event for several reasons.  1) They know all the big execs in industry will all be in one room in a relaxed atmosphere to do some heavy-duty networking; 2) The reception will be peppered with golf pros and celebrities; 3) The complementary food and drink will be topnotch; 4) there will be special giveaways at this invitation only event.

Postcards: Postcards may seem like a very outdated and outmoded marketing tool—but these can be effectively used and why they are a really good fit for the PGA merchandise show. Postcards would be used two different ways for the show.  They are really good for pre-event promotion because nowadays most businesses are inundated with promotional emails. About one-month prior to the show we will use our best mailing list and send a really nice, glossy postcard that features the booth number and a message that says to call/email to set up an appointment during the show and bring the card for a one-on-one tour and demonstration of all of Calloway’s newest featured golf equipment and clothing. Afterwards, you will receive your choice of a selection of our any latest top products.

The other use for the postcards, is each day at the entrance of the tradeshow we will have a couple of employees passing them out: Stop by the Callaway booth this morning for a complimentary cappuccino/latte in a souvenir cup. The next day we can pass out another with the message to stop by Callaway’s in the afternoon for a beer in a souvenir porcelain mug.

Search Engine Optimization Keywords Case Study

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’m a real foodie so the company I used as a case study (because it owns my favorite food product—Orville Redenbacher popcorn) –is ConAgra® Foods.  ConAgra was formed in 1861 by pork ‘n’ beans king Gilbert C. Van Camp and officially became  Nebraska Consolidated Mills in 1919 during its first overseas expansion in 1957. NCM became ConAgra in 1971.

Here are the keywords listed in order as they came up in the results for the ConAgrafoods website with the top listing coming up first. I also noted which websites were listed above ConAgrafoods.com:

  • Banquet (1st)
  • Orville Redenbacher (2nd listing behind orvilleredenbacher.com)
  • Chef Boyardee (3rd listing behind chefboyardee.com and Wikipedia.com)
  • Parkay (3rd listing behind parkay.com and Wikipedia.com)
  • La Choy (3rd listing after com and Wikipedia.com)
  • Hunt’s (4th listing behind hunts.com, huntsphotoandvideo.com, Wikipedia.org)
  • Wesson (5th listing behind smith-wesson.com, wessonoil.com, Wikipedia.org, blogs.loc.gov)
  • Hebrew National (5th listing behind hebrewnational.com, coupongreat.com, Wikipedia.com, facebook.com)
  • Marie Callendars (6th listing behind mariecallendars.com, mariecallendarsmeals.com, mariecallendars.com, com and Wikipedia.com)
  • Peter Pan *(I originally searched the term “Peter Pan” and ConAgrafoods came up 16th primarily being superseded by the fictional character. After changing to “peter pan peanut butter” Conagrafoods.com came up 4th behind peterpanpb.com, Amazon.com and Wikipedia.com)

Just to set the record straight, ConAgra Foods also owns Reddiwhip, Swiss Miss, PAM, Healthy Choice, David’s Sunflower seeds, Dennison, Egg Beaters, Fiddle Faddle, Fleischman’s, Guldens, Anderson, P.F. Changs, Pen Rose, Rosarito, Ranch Style beans, Andy Capps, Bertolli, Act II Popcorn, Alexia, Wolf Brand Chili, Blue Bonnet, Crunch ‘n’ Munch, Kangaroo, Kid Cuisine, Libby’s, Rotel, Spicetec and Slim Jim. The companies/products I chose above happen to be their oldest holdings.

All keywords appear on ConAgra’s homepage with codes embedded in each of the brand logos. I believe this is primarily because of the volume of companies they own.

Because of the high volume of products, I was actually surprised to see “ConAgra” listed high in the rankings on Google. I expected to see each of the actual brand websites, but not the more obscure affiliation to ConAgra foods.

 

Successful Foundations of an Effective Social Media Strategy

12-steps-to-social-media-marketing-success-infographicA good-simple starting point to building a fruitful social media plan is to use the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound) outline as a guide. However, to populate the SMART outline you must first have all the data and information at your fingertips to make intelligent strategy determinations.

The underlying foundations of the strategy

Primarily based on researching and knowing our audiences, this back information avails to us topics and interests our buyer personas are most social about, as well as what problems we can possibly solve for them based on their complaints or pain points.

This segues us into a solid path in selecting the right social media channels for our brand mainly based on which social networks our customers are using.  Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are naturally good brand ambassador platforms for most key audiences. Pinterest and YouTube can be a good medium to use for graphically enhanced posts. Instagram, snapchat and periscope/meerkat would probably be the least effective for most customers in creating awareness and engagement because capturing fun to share images is generally more social in nature.

Measurability is an extremely important goal

It’s imperative to identify key performance indicators (KPI) to measure progress towards accomplish in quantifiable terms. A social media marketing playbook is a good thing to write centering on selected social media channels while detailing KPIs, audience profiles, brand personas, campaign concepts, promotional events, contests, content themes, and even a crisis management plan. Metrics reporting should also be designated as weekly, monthly, or bimonthly, depending on your goals and desired outcomes.

To increase followers and engagement

Have tactical timelines in place that note each element along with the responsible blog/social media channel engagement person/customer service rep, milestones and timelines. The editorial calendar goes hand-in-hand by noting scheduled tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn posts, Pinterest pins, and other social media content relevant to newsworthy topics and events. One thing that many miss the mark is treating all social channels differently and not posting the same message to each. Reanalyze your plan on a regular basis. If something in your plan isn’t working, switch it up or do some testing to determine what your audience responds to better. Another strategy is to create and join groups/forums to expand reach relevant to your industry. This allows you to provide helpful and informative advice or to start relevant discussions that can help generate interest in your brand.

As far as what to post

I am a big fan of the more visuals the better because we are a visually attracted and stimulated society. The Social Media Examiner addresses how to engage better with visual content because it’s easier to understand, can tell a story and evoke emotions more easily than written posts. 11 ways to increase social sharing and fan engagement with images. (Links to an external site.)

Just as a reminder, the primary reason to be on a forum is to participate in other people’s discussions. Answer, chime in and let the community guide the discussion and don’t just shamelessly promote your content. Q&A sessions are also a great way to inform the public about new products, services, and promotions.

Community Content a Hotbed for Attracting Millennials

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Some social media networks are held together by the desire of millennials to communicate with already established interpersonal relationships. Community content is a an important byproduct of social media by fostering a large, overarching group of millennials that generally share common interests by maintaining, updating and populating content in a shared environment. Community content can be as simple as posting a picture, small snippets of information or just by commenting or replying to content which adds to discussion or continued dialogue. However, with the ever-growing ability and practice of adding video and audio,–community content is much more robust, entertaining and informative for millennials and beyond.

“By 2017 40% of the population will use video and social networking on the mobile devices. Visual engagement on a mobile platform can help brand content in a pleasing way; with audio adding another dimension. This makes it more appealing and interactive than just print or static websites. People love video and it’s a way of capturing attention and beating boredom, especially to 18-34 year-olds.” (Rhoads, 2015)

To further enforce this trend, PR Daily reports, “Five billion videos are viewed every day by millennials on YouTube, making it among the hottest places around to tell your story visually. The videos are embedded, enabling a fan of an airline or carmaker to drop a URL into a blog, spreading its reach.”  Needless to say, this works well in millennial social networks as well as community sites.

 Transition from social to content? Is it both?

The blurred line in delineating social media to community content is becoming even harder to see where one ends and one begins. As Dr. Michael Wu puts it, “Communities can overlap and are often nested.”  The crux that is catapulting the two together is the advancement of technology, thus easing the option for anyone to add audio and visual content to just about any social media channel.

It is both? Strangers initially in a community based forum input content in pursuit of individual, yet similar goals.  However, through consistent interaction and getting to know each other, even virtually, you make connections and actual friendships which is an integral part of millennial social network dynamics. Through this incidental union, this content community channel gives even more access to branch out a step further.

How does Instagram measure up to being a content community?

Instagram is a great example of how a community channel can skyrocket based on its intriguing content appeal.  Numbers don’t lie—especially for this powerhouse that began in 2010 and boasts the largest increase of users and now reaches 400 million.

In exploring Instagram’s inclusion as a community content card-carrying member, according to Search Engine Journal, “Three factors that make Instagram very attractive to businesses targeting millennials: visual appeal, engagement, and mobility. This last factor sums up the very nature of the network. Once an Instagram account gains a substantial number of followers, it starts to feel and behave like a community. The beauty of Instagram is that its content can be found across many social media platforms; with the motivation to see what others are doing successfully.”

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New Hyperlapse app

Instagram also features the ability to customize photos and videos with several custom-built filter effects. Moz Blogs Julienne Staino sums it up nicely, “Video content is like the new sliced bread.”

TechCrunch has to this to say about Hyperlapse, “Generally speaking, image stabilization tech is processing-intensive to the point where it really isn’t feasible on mobile but it’s progressing. However, by using the gyroscopes in the phone itself, the Instagram team used algorithms to calculate the movements of the phone and correct it in the shot. They’re able to get away with this by using a cropped portion of the massive resolution available in your phone’s camera, leveraging the extra pixels of the sensor to stabilize the view. The end result is an app that creates beautiful, souped-up videos that look and feel as though they were shot by professionals using expensive equipment.”

Adding the new standalone app, Hyperlapse, is a progressive smart move to keep the spike of millennial mobile users rising, however, Instagram’s success is really built on simplicity. Pre-set filters and easy streamlined process replace tedious editing and commenting. From start to finish, the process is centered around simplicity, something even this old gal managed in minutes.

Social media baseline audits are well worth the effort in successful brand management

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The intent of a social media audit is to establish a full baseline measurement of your brand management media performance and landscape to determine which areas are strong, mediocre or need attention. Here are some tips to keep your social media program from falling into disrepair:

  • First develop an active and relevant strategic audit plan and be diligent in tracking recommendations and actions to completion.
  • Get your team involved in determining objectives that should have clear measurements and specific success goals for tracking progress.
  • Make sure you are comparing social media efforts with priority focused messaging.
  • Analyze and audit all routine and special social media campaigns and be constantly vigilant to identify and report successful and unsuccessful engagement.
  • When problems or unsuccessful social media trends are identified during routine and scheduled audits, prepare suggestions for short and long-term remedies and solutions.
  • Conduct occasional focus groups and ad hoc groups within your primary and secondary target audiences to better serve effective two-way conversation methods.
  • Don’t forget to evaluate social media data to assess compliance with your existing policy.
  • Determine how you can consistently exceed the standards and customer expectations by keeping all website material updated, especially if there are gaps in role responsibilities.
  • Include in the audit leadership and key internal feedback on the current social media climate, especially in providing good insight where more efforts need emphasized identifying improvements.
  • Back all audit reports with quantitative and qualitative data whenever possible to the most viable extent possible and ensure transparency to those in your  organization who would benefit from receiving the periodic data.

Audits are a starting point that need to be constantly assessed and monitored to implement evolving changes. Even though thorough audits are oftentimes tough to complete in an ever-increasing work load, delving into results will increase knowledge in the ultimate quest to build viable strategies that will benefit your entire organization.

 

Woo-woo! Consumer engagement for Medical Professions to climb aboard the technology train

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Even though medical professions are very proactive on social media, it’s often challenging to come up with great content to post.  Why not try more tactile consumer engaging tactics such a monthly Kids’ poster contest, preventive health webinars, and a fun pharmacy/or ER wait time app to give your social media channels a much needed “shot in the arm.”

Initial impression is extremely important to acquiring new users, especially when rolling out a new initiative. These same principals are effective when trying to establish or keep loyal patrons.  It’s also just as important that the campaign be kept simple to include the ease of downloading the app, registering for webinar, or entering the contest.

Social media will continue to be the primary focus in promoting each of the new offerings with Twitter and Facebook being the primary drivers of your new app and poster contests based on its universal usage and appeal.  This will also give you that opportunity to use some new channels such as adding LinkedIn to your channel portfolio with the promotion of the preventive health webinars. This may also be a good time to consider establishing a Pinterest account to additionally announce monthly poster contest theme winner. The only apprehension is being able to consistently add content after the contest but just think periodic quality-visual preventive health measures and you will succeed.

Most medical organizations have some type of preventive health initiative and this can serve as the impetus for your kid’s poster contest.  Before I progress, direct emails can also be used to announce each of the initiatives to maximize building  awareness.

Each social media post during pre-launch, launch and post launch will have a call to action whether it’s entering the contest, downloading the new app, registering for the panel of subject-expert led webinars, asking questions, sharing, leaving comments or getting more information.

Don’t forget to send your free-helpful messages to your local news sources that are always looking for posts on their websites that positively impact their audiences.

Kid’s Poster Contest special tactics

  • Using the “drip” conversion tactic, the rationale behind the monthly theme is to send a steady stream of messages to encourage entering the contests
  • During the first pre-launch give an overview of each monthly theme (January – Fitness, February-Heart Health, March – Nutrition, etc.) and some of the prizes they can look forward to during the year
  • During the pre-launch, also make a splash on news and partnering organizations and some of the prizes that they can look forward to during the year. As far as determining prizes, this is a great opportunity to get your full organizations involvement, ideas and motivation for the campaign
  • Have pictures of kids painting and drawing posters in home and school environments to add visuals  which is intended to encourage parents and teachers.

During the entire application and engagement of your plan, the social media and marketing teams and management will listen carefully to consumers and adjust engagement as feedback trends occur. This not only also includes listening to what the metrics are reporting with drop off rates and similar measurements, but being poised to answer any and all questions that are raised on all social media forums as soon as possible–but never to exceed 24 hours.  Response comments should be encouraging, light-hearted, and/or humorous when possible.   This will foster even more Indirect Customer Testimonials.

Most of the promotion is designed to run continuously, especially in the case of the monthly poster contests and health webinars as noted above. For the Pharmacy/ER mobile app the promotion will also be continuous for a six-month period to build maximum awareness for the new app.  Don’t forget to make small posters for all your initiatives and display throughout your facility.  The major opportunity for all three new initiatives during post launch is you can cherry pick positive comments in promotional efforts.  You can also begin showing visuals of the poster winners and those viewing webinars to encourage new entries.

More post-launch strategies are to ensure each webinar recordings is posted within 24 hours of the live version to afford quick access to all those who missed webinar.  Include a few positive comments from those who initially attended to include some of your staff watching in a group in a conference room to encourage other medical professionals of the value.

Don’t forget to ask viewers what webinars they would like to see in future as well as any changes to the mobile app or content to make it even better.

 

Gaming technology ripe for the picking for government branding

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It took 10 years for $1 billion in sales of consumer smartphones for the years leading up to 2016. During 2017, $1 billion in mobile phone purchases is one of the major reason to get into gaming technology, especially when more than half of Americans play mobile games.  What hasn’t caught up with this growing brand enlightenment trend is the  phenomenon that many brands are missing the boat in their own business marketing strategies.

Most non-profit brands understand the importance of mobile marketing but have been overlooking the value and possibilities of all the various uses of gamification on mobile devices when planning media strategies because they may feel it’s a strategy  more for the profit business world.  Winds have been shifting and all brands need to rethink how they can align their marketing with consumers’ favorite mobile pastime.

Part of the reason for marketers’ changing attitudes that’s becoming widely realized is  those who enjoy engaging with various types of games are not isolated to a niche of teenagers. As more data becomes available about how mobile technology is booming, it has become clear that all ages are engaging in mobile games, especially in the growing senior demographics (ages 50+).

Classic marketing is becoming irrelevant

We are now in a world of connections and that social media train is now being powered by the exciting gaming technology locomotive.  Here are some examples of how some non-profit’s are successfully using gamification to not only to lend justification for trying this fairly new trend, but to give a better vision as to what types of success they are experiencing using games to increase customer and employee engagement for their organizations.

iRecycle – The Department of Energy has an app that tells you where you can find local recycling locations. It also explains through creative visuals what you should recycle and where you can recycle certain materials. Features include providing connections on social media to get in touch with other recycling enthusiasts. The iRecycle app adds a connection dimension between the DoE to consumers while making it easier for people to get involved with the recycling message they’re trying to spread.

Access Earth – Access Earth has been recently adopted by Disability.gov which connects people with disabilities, their families and caregivers to helpful resources. Access Earth is essentially Google Maps for people with disabilities. One of it’s best features is locating hotels worldwide that are handicapped accessible, as well as giving specific travel details that might impact different disabilities.

Tax Evaders – Tax Evaders is a national project involving artists, game designers, researchers, protest groups, grassroots organizations and concerned citizens that advocate against powerful corporations paying less tax than ordinary citizens.  Tax Evaders is a game where you can take out your frustrations by playing a game where you blast companies by name “stealing nearly $100 Billion each year out of our national economy.”

What’s really important in measuring success of a new augmented reality campaign?

augmented realityBefore embarking for the first time on an augmented reality (AR) social media campaign, I found the best place place to start is first determining how you will measure the return on investment.  The good news is that even though everyone usually has a difference of opinion when it comes to looking at a brand’s marketing endeavors and what does or doesn’t make it successful, most experts are in agreement to ascertain identifiable facts that would point to solidifying success or non-success based on these fundamental variables.  Here are the general differentials I utilize as a thermometer in determining a brand’s campaign success:

  • Innovativeness – I’m a serious advocate to trying new approaches to boost any marketing campaign, especially for a product or service that has a history of stagnant sales or consumer interaction. Putting a focus on a “yet to be tried”  innovative marketing campaign can also be the needed driver to push your product/service to the forefront of a competitive landscape.
  • Purposeful direction and planning – Planning a purposeful direction rather than just casting blindly for the sake of jumping on the innovation bandwagon is integral. I’m a big proponent in trying anything once but it must be remembered that the best marketing campaign is the one that gets the results we anticipate and that takes planning as a coordinated effort and not just a complete shot in the dark.
  • Resources – How much resources and manpower you have to devote on your campaign will greatly affect the marketing strategies chosen. Because AR is much more affordable and more mainstream in many circumstances than Virtual Reality (VR), first take advantage of what resources are already at your disposal and how you can shift emphasis.  Your past overall track record is key in establishing trust with your executives before embarking on a new campaign that’s more inline with progressive marketing.
  • Revenues/ROI – Before planning a marketing campaign, we have to ensure it aligns with the company’s business plan. You can always expect that you will have to give interim progress reports as well as end of campaign results and how they relate to revenues. Most savvy marketers measure a campaign in direct correlation to revenues. In most cases, when businesses are in the black during the time frame of a campaign, this is generally the pulse executives take when examining the effectiveness of expenditures versus revenues. Most good business leaders are also aware that it often requires a reporting cycle or two to see the ripple effect of a campaign’s impact. It’s always easier to equate campaign ROI when a company is having a successful quarter.  However, many companies are also more poised to try new endeavors when backed in a corner.
  • Consumer Impact – How will/did the campaign strategy and objectives actually interest your target market in your products and/or services? What channels did you use? We all know that some communications channels are better suited that others to brand primary and secondary markets. If the innovativeness of a campaign isn’t really going to reach you’re your audience, or they don’t care, it defeats the purpose. I think there is too much tunnel vision that social media is the affordable end all-be all. Many questions about the target audience has to be asked such as where do you really reach them and what are some collective habits? Where do they spend their time? Where are they most likely to see or hear and pay attention to information about your products and/or services?
  • Measuring overall campaign effectiveness: Before, during and after a campaign it’s imperative to constantly monitor and rate the campaign based on all the aforementioned factors–but most importantly–gut reaction. Needless to say this is why building realistic goals and objectives is paramount.  Really zero in to create goal parameters and objectives beyond “I want the campaign to increase more sales.”
  • What do you really do with Key Performance Indicators? – It’s very rare that most don’t put a heavy emphasis on KPIs, but what’s disturbing is that most organizations aren’t quite sure how to modify and maximize KPIs as a campaign rolls.  I’ve seen too many account managers slowly stop annotating KPIs because they lack time which unfortunately leaves us with no real fact-based metric baseline moving forward.

The key to success in any augmented realty campaign boils down to trying different things and not always taking the safe status quo easy road.

Ethical Challenges for Public Affairs Professionals in Striking a Balance  of Loyalty and Timely Dissemination of Truthful Information 

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Retrieving newsworthy information from various sources is one of the key elements in researching and preparing a compelling news article by all media professionals.  The challenge of obtaining any or all information pertinent to the newsworthy event is generally dependent on how the source perceives the ultimate benefit to the individual, business, non-profit organization or government agency.  This trend taxes both the media and sources and is due to growing in lockstep with the current increasing high visibility and accessibility of the global media landscape. To keep up with this possible volatile news climate, more press liaisons and spokespersons are being hired and in place to run interference.

The first knee-jerk reaction is that these spin doctors are being untruthful and only giving information that is false, to save reputations, revenues and ultimate perceptions to the media.  Although there are accepted codes of ethics that guide the practice of public relations, the pressure on many practitioners to give unequivocal support to their employer, even when those actions may be unethical and possibly illegal, remains a critical challenge for the profession.

Behind the scenes, PR professionals attempt to do their best without sacrificing or compromising accurate, truthful and timely information.  There is much at stake for many of these organizations, especially when certain information is withheld to keep advertising revenues intact.

In an effort to ensure that information is properly vetted before hitting the public foray, more media liaison professionals have been hired over the past 20 years to keep up with the ever burgeoning and demanding electronic media landscape. Even though the process of available information is being handled by more trained professionals, the end product is usually more sanitized and prepackaged.  As a matter of survival, many of in the communications industry have to protect their livelihood, coworkers and mission as much as possible–but are also committed to striking the best balance in ensuring the viability and truthfulness of the news imparted.