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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.’
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.
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.
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.
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:
I’m on the new O2 plan… Unlimited Smoke Signals 250 Pigeons a month Free messages in a bottle to other O2 customers #O2
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.
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.