The UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations hosted last week it’s annual Social Media conference. Focusing on how social, digital and mobile channels are changing communications and business, the #CIPRSM team brought together some leaders from the worlds of mobile, analytics, finance and international diplomacy to discuss the future of our profession.

I attended and chaired the panel on #SocialMedia across international border with Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s Executive Director for Corporate Communication’s Allan Schoenberg (@allanschoenberg) and Noriyuki Shikata (@norishikata) who is the Political Minister to the Japanese Embassy to the UK.

I put together a review of the conference on Storify (#CIPRSM Share This Conference: A Review). If you are on this network then do follow me.

 


 

#CIPRSM Share This Conference: A Review

The UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) this week hosted a social media and public relations conference in London. Speakers shared insight on how technology is reshaping pr, reputation management and management consulting.

 
  1. Technology is reshaping the public relations and communications professions. Social networks have connected people, they have empowered them and given them a platform through which they can share their thoughts and opinions. And because of the rapid adoptions of smartphones and tablets consumers and stakeholders are sharing their views from wherever they are.

     
    Delivering the opening keynote to this conference the Economist’s social media editor Tom Standage shared with us the real history of social media, all the way back to Roman times!
  2. Literacy widespread in Roman world & Tom Standage comparing it to social media of the time #ciprsm conference
     
     
  3. Fascinated by @tomstandage keynote at #ciprsm on how social media “has been around since Roman times” pic.twitter.com/HS4nGJn2u7
     
     
  4. What did the Romans ever do for us? Social Media says @tomstandage illustrating his point with a Roman iPad #CIPRSM pic.twitter.com/IDV54Tq11Z
     
     
  5. Tom (@tomstandage) didn’t waste any time in telling us that social media is not a fad. In fact, what social networking channels do is return us to communicating before the recent era of broadcast mass media.
  6. “Coffee houses were the hubs of choice in the past” – nothing changes! @tomstandage #ciprsm
     
     
  7. Fascinating argument from @tomstandage that social media as we know it is a rebirth, cycling back to pre-mass media, pre-19 century #CIPRSM
     
     
  8. “Social media doesn’t cause revolutions but helps them along by synchronising opinion and acting as an accelerant” @tomstandage #ciprsm
     
     
  9. Social media is at least 2000 years old. Mass media in 20th century was an anomaly says @tomstandage #ciprsm
     
     
  10. @tomstandage Brilliant, but a question – should’ve asked, has old ‘broadcast media’ times tought people (orgs) to ignore listening first? 🙂
     
     
  11. @twofourseven Yes, I think it has. When you’re used to one-way/broadcast, it’s hard to adapt to two-way/social
     
     
  12. The conference was then divided into two work streams in the morning, the first of which focused on Mobile Media and the Visual Web. Running concurrently, work stream two looked into Audience and Online Habits.

     
    In session one we had Founder and CEO of Kred Andrew Grill (@AndrewGrill) and #CIPRSM’s own analytics expert Andrew Smith (@andismith). The conversation was all about analytics and understanding influencers and the capital that people gain through social networks.
  13. Panel sessions are under way, with @AdParker @AndrewGrill @andismit on ‘Understanding social capital’ #ciprsm pic.twitter.com/imULmiuAPf
     
     
  14. “CMOs want to see big numbers for impressions, it’s b**l s**t” @andrewgrill #ciprsm
     
     
  15. @AndrewGrill says we need to package #social propositions to the C-suite in their language #CIPRSM
     
     
  16. Need to speak C-suite’s language says @andrewgrill – slide showing how ‘Digirati’ organisations 26% more profitable as an example #ciprsm
     
     
  17. As you all know, I am a big evangelist of mobile in communications and business development. Mobile has positioned itself to be at the heart of how businesses and services are developed and delivered. They are also at the centre of how people today share insight and information. Mobile can crunch the time it takes to build or break reputations.
  18. Mobile has changed everything in comms, pr, #socmed and digital @ilicco tells #ciprsm. Of course he’s right….
     
     
  19. LBI’s @ilicco discussing digital dualism at #ciprsm – we are the same online as we are offline. @Pontifex agrees: precisebrandinsight.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/the…
     
     
  20. The big debate came with regards to how mobile is used – an essential question that is often ignored. Ilicco Elia (@ilicco) highlighted the case of Starbucks that has started to pull people from across departments to work on solutions for their customer base. Of course, for us, the consumer, we don’t see them as solutions. I see seemless interaction as common sense!
  21. How many departments need to be involved with mobile? All of them – @ilicco #CIPRSM pic.twitter.com/jYpg2yxZXk
     
     
  22. #socmed engagement forces organisations to collaborate internally to to deliver a better consumer experience -insight from @ilicco #ciprsm
     
     
  23. The brilliant @illico talking about mobile at the CIPR social media conference #CIPRSM
     
     
  24. Meanwhile 33-Digital’s Peter Sigrist (@psigrist) discussed the rise of wearable technology. Sigrist says that PR agencies need to stop recruiting art graduates or those with a PR 1.0 degrees, a point that I’ve been echoing for 3/4 years.

     
    I’ve been arguing that our profession needs mathematicians, coders, designers, analysts, data scientists. Yes, like 20 years ago it was all about social psychology, today it is about understanding our audiences and designing experiences that resonate with how they have been conditioned.
  25. @psigrist now up at #ciprsm talking about mobile and the future, wearable tech and how information flows fast and free.
     
     
  26. The public does the talking in today’s world of media campaigns says @psigrist. Linear 1-way broadcast is ineffective. Damn right #ciprsm
     
     
  27. “PR firms need to better understand data and start employing mathematicians not art graduates” says @psigrist. #CIPRSM
     
     
  28. After lunch we had two further work streams. As an International PR Social Media Consultant and Digital Strategist I brought together two leaders in their respective fields, Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s Executive Director for Corporate Communication’s Allan Schoenberg (@allanschoenberg) and Noriyuki Shikata (@norishikata) who is the Political Minister to the Japanese Embassy to the UK. Up for debate was how to use social media across international borders. An essential point given that social channels today cut straight through borders and jurisdictions.
  29. For Financial Services, China matters on social, says @allanschoenberg. Deliver local language content there. #CIPRSM
     
     
  30. @CMEgroup‘s social media timeline. Innovation is what @@allanschoenberg does in terms of comms. #ciprsm pic.twitter.com/awcTkNx6Hw
     
     
  31. Importance of using the right platforms in different regions vital to success in financial markets says @allanschoenberg #CIPRSM
     
     
  32. Following Allan we had Noriyuki Shikata, a leader in eDiplomacy. Nori shared with us his insight on how social networks were used by the Prime Minister’s Office of Japan following the great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. For the government of Japan it became an essential tool in engaging with the international community.

     
  33. @norishikata talks about Social Media strategy for Japan and fitting this with western concepts and crisis comms #CIPRSM
     
     
  34. Social media is one important element of public diplomacy, global comms and global comms engagement. Totally agree with @norishikata #ciprsm
     
     
  35. Lessons from @norishikata on international crisis comms in aftermath of Japan Tsunami – put data in context, use 3rd party voices #CIPRSM
     
     
  36. “Effective social media use in crisis management from CEO/leaders could be way to demonstrate leadership” @norishikata #ciprsm
     
     
  37. @norishikata talks about combining traditional and social in international comms. Not understanding cultures cannot be an excuse! #CIPRSM
     
     
  38. Really enjoyed hearing @norishikata – has a calm, measured way of presenting & is gently persuasive: powerful combination! #ciprsm
     
     
  39. The session following ours focused on digital and social commerce. Speakers focused on using social and digital channels to support sales and how sales should be owned by everybody in an organisation, especially with the influence of social channels.
  40. To use social as part of sales process you need to understand customer behaviours says @katyhowell #ciprsm
     
     
  41. Rounding off the conference we had Nick Jones (@NJones) from Visa Europe. A former head of COI.
  42. #ciprsm Keynote @njones ‘BAU is the things we do again and again that make money’. Social Media BAU
     
     
  43. Liking the phrase “business as unusual” from @njones #ciprsm
     
     
  44. At #ciprsm @njones cites @brands2life research that says more and more journalists are being measured on social media sharing of content.
     
     
  45. Fact is that reviewing this conference, we can see that the communications landscape has already changed. It has changed because people have adopted technology, they have turned to social networks and mobile devices to share more, to discuss and debate, all through channels that we can listen in.

     
    Organisations though still retain their 20th Century broadcast mentality. They talk and expect you to listen. Yet the more that people talk, the more that people share the more empowered they become. The faster they expect answers and service, let it be from the private or public sectors.
     
    As a result, business has to change, the delivery of public services have to change. Digging your heads in the sand only goes and creates opportunities for others. And those that are risk averse have more to gain.
     
    Public relations today is more than just about reputation building and management. It is about business development. People who work in public relations need to remember that it is our skill in understanding the public that sets us apart. Let’s change how we work.

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RISJ Digital Survey 2013
RISJ Digital Survey 2013

Research from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) at Oxford University has found that mobile phone are becoming the main to news for people on the move.

The report, which surveys news consumption habits in France, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Japan, Brazil, and the US, as well as the UK, found that audiences increasingly want news on any device, in any format, and at any time of day.

The report identifies 25-35 year olds as the age group most willing to pay for online news across all nine countries surveyed. Yet just over one in ten (11%) of online users of all ages who participated in the survey said they had paid for news in the last year – about one third higher than the average in the 2012 survey.  The report says that this rapid increase can be partly explained by the relatively low starting base, but it highlights significant growth in the percentage of consumers who have paid for digital news in countries such as the UK, France, Germany, and US.

The survey also shows surprising national differences in the rate of online participation. The Spanish (27%), Italians (26%), and Americans (21%) were more than twice as likely to comment on a news story via a social network as the British (10%). Meanwhile urban Brazilians were five times more likely to comment on a news site than the Germans or Japanese surveyed, and nearly half (44%) shared a news story on a weekly basis via a social network, with around one third (32%) doing so by email.

Of those who are not currently paying, across all the countries more than one in ten (14%), on average, said they were ‘very likely’, or ‘somewhat likely’, to pay for digital news in the future.

The way that people are consuming and commenting on news is having a defining effect on public relations. Many organisations are going to have to realign their engagement and outreach work, and spend more time listening and learning.

If you would like a copy of the report then with thanks to @NicNewman you can download a copy from my Scribd account below.

 

Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2013 by twofourseven

Instagram, here today, gone tomorrow?
Instagram, here today, gone tomorrow?

Everybody loves a start-up. They are new, agile and the so-called ‘gurus’ like to describe them disruptive. The problem though is that many often lack basic business experience – common sense leads many to be here today and gone tomorrow.

Enter Instagram, which was founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in October 2010. Instagram was one of the first photo sharing and social networking services that enabled users to ‘take a picture, apply a digital filter to it, and share it on a variety of social networking services, including its own.’

Instagram was a runaway success. Within it’s first year the application had over 5 million users, a figure that grew to 30 million by April 2012 when Facebook approach the company and bought it for a cool $1 billion. Today, Instagram has 100 million registered users.

Facebook though isn’t going to buy such a company without thinking of how to monitise it.

Which is why on 5th December this year Kevin Systrom announced at Le Web that Instagram was going to block Twitter from displaying photos as Twitter Cards. This announcement didn’t go down that well with users who shared their photo’s on Twitter.

The removing of Instragram from Twitter cards was nothing in comparison to the announcement on 18th December that the company was changing its terms and conditions. Under the new policy, the company would have the rights to sell users’ photos to advertisers without “compensation or notification.”

This announcement was described by users as a ‘suicide note‘, especially after Instagram announced that the only way to opt-out was by deleting a users account before 16 January 2013.

Instagramers took to Twitter to denounce the new terms and conditions. High profile photographers deleted their accounts and the media, rightly so, went negative.

Kevin Systrom took to the company blog to try and manage the crisis. In a post he appeared to claim that users had misinterpreted its revised terms of service. He blamed the furore on “confusing” choice of language.

Blaming the language is an odd strategy, as legal documents are supposed to be written in plain English. And in any case, any change in terms of use should have gone through both compliance and PR.

What is stranger is that given that this was not the first time that a photo sharing site had both been caught trying to claim copyright over users content, it was odd for Systrom to blame ‘confusing language.’

Let’s remember that in May 2011 Twitpic, which went mainstream after a user captured a US Airways plane crash landing on the Hudson River, announced a change in its terms and conditions. The changes sought to secure copyright over all images on the network. A backlash ensued with users hastingtaging #twitpic #delete.

Twitpic founder Noah Everett apologised on the site’s blog for the “lack of clarity” in the language used. Photo sharing network Plixi was also caught in a similar situation when entered into a deal with World Entertainment News.

Fact is that many photo-sharing sites have tried to monitise their business by trying to grab exclusive copyrights from users.

Networks such as the Yahoo-owned Flickr tried something different though. In May 2009 Flickr entered into a deal with Getty Images. As part of the deal Getty can approach users in order to secure a deal on an image that they have taken. Users can then take anything between 20 and 30 per cent of sales through the renowned global picture agency.

And Getty is not the only site that offers to pay users. The Agence France Press backed Citizenside acts as an agent for pictures that are sold, often passing 50 per cent to the user.

So the question to Instagram and Facebook is, why try and grab everything and then blame the lawyers, when you could have set the scene for crowdsourcing opportunity for amateur photographers?

Photo sharing sites have tried to grab copyright from users in the past and failed. Perhaps, sharing money earned would have enhanced Instagram’s reputation.

Perhaps speaking to your PR, Instagram could have saved themselves a lot of grief.

As it stands, and according to Andrew Beaujon at Poynter, ‘unhappy Instragram users are still suspending their accounts.’

Nokia adverting picture, ‘supposedly taken by the Lumia 920’ but in fact wasn’t!

The unveiling last week of the much anticipated Nokia Lumia 920 handset was supposed to be a good news story occasion for the once dominant Finnish telecom company.  Instead it turned into a case-study of HOW NOT TO launch a smartphone.

Nokia has fallen on hard times since Apple and Google came on the scene with their respective iPhone and Android operating systems.  Last year in 2011 Nokia took the decision and ditched it’s Symbian OS and forged a strategic alliance with Microsoft in the hope that it could re-establish itself as a key player in the smartphone market.  All that was needed was a clean marketing and communications campaign.

Nokia Lumia Advertising Photo shoot with Lighting Equipment ((© johaee (at) gmail.com) via Hacker News)

It all started to go wrong for the Lumia 920 handset after the impressive launch in New York with Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer present when video reportedly shot by the phone’s PureView camera was reportedly faked.  Nokia even withdrew the link for the promo video from it’s YouTube channel (which is below).  Stills that were also supposed to have been taken by the phone’s camera, which claimed to be ‘better  than most digital SLRs’, were outed as having been taken by a DSLR at a photo shoot in Helsinki.  A picture of the shoot even appeared on Hacker News site.

Nokia has invested it’s future with it’s partnership with Microsoft.  The hardware on the device is good.  The promotion and lack of understanding of how the online community is, by the looks of it, lacking.

With so much is riding on a launch it would have been better to keep the campaign simple – focus on the quality of the hardware.  Above all, when planning the promotional campaign don’t fake the quality of the device when there is no need to.  The crowd is smarter than that.

Here is the video. Watch the reflection of the camera crew on the window of the stationed van at 27 seconds – boyfriend taking the view on the Lumia or truck with video camera? Ermmm.

UK mobile network O2 was today battling to restore services to it’s customers nationwide after a massive outage.  The issues began yesterday lunchtime with many users reporting that they were unable to make calls or use data services on their smartphones.  Subscribers to Tesco Mobile and GiffGaff services were also affected, which use the O2 network, were also affected, although O2 said that the issues were not geographical.

Consumers took to social networks like Facebook and Twitter to let friends, family and colleagues that their phones were not working.

An analysis of shares on Twitter using Topsy.com reveals insight into what people were sharing during the outage.

  • 11 July – at 12.25 people mentioned O2 182 times, with the most popular shared link being of the site’s  Accessories Page
  • 11 July – at 13.25 people mentioned O2 144 times, with the most popular shared link being of O2’s Support Page
  • 11 July – at 14.32 people mentioned O2 480 times, with the most popular shared link being a Tweet to share if ”RT this if you have a problem with your phones reception (O2/3)
  • 11 July – at 18.35 people mentioned O2 7,185 times, with the most popular link to share being the story O2 outage story on the BBC news site.
  • 11 July – at 21.35 people mentioned O2 19,962 times with the most popular link being to Sky News story ‘O2 Customers Suffer Lengthy Network Outage
Mentions of o2 during July 2012 network outage (© Topsy.com)

Even at 03.25 there were over 300 tweets mentioning O2 with the top story being share being a link to the network’s service status page.

During the outage O2’s own status support page went down with so many people trying to find out what was going on.  Interestingly enough, technology sites such as Twitter use Blogger, while others host their support sites on Tumblr in order to keep in touch with customers if their own sites go down.  Why haven’t O2 considered this?

In all over 57,000 Tweets were sent mentioning O2 during the last 24 hours, many with negative sentiment.  Customers even took to using irony and sarcasm to discuss the mobile operator, with a popular Tweets like the one below:

Social media keeps us connected on the go and during a crisis, it is speed and reaction time that saves your reputation.  It’s communicating with influencers in these channels who, if convinced, can re-share your story to the audiences.  Below is a list of the most popular links, many from news sites, that were shared during the network outage.

Popular news links shared during O2 network outage (© Topsy.com)

Your communications have to ready.  Prepared for real-time engagement and communications.  There is no excuse, unless you like to be slow and enjoy watching your brand suffer, which I am sure your board and shareholders don’t.