Got Something to Say?

November 29, 2008

I got your press release, 
I wouldn’t change a single word… 
and that single word is on page 5!

Ouch! but in today’s fast paced attention grabbing media frenzy, you really have to get to the point in seconds or your reader is gone, there’s too many choices, yet too little time. Sticking your press release on your website hoping your audience will drop by & pick it up, is a waste of your time, as they won’t be dropping by, they’ll be reading what someone else has sent them directly. Plus writing a book every time is wasting their time, if they actually bother to read it that is!

Brevity is the way ahead, if the gist of your release doesn’t fit within the header of an RSS feed, you’ll get skipped over. Twitter limits you to 140 characters, but if that’s where your audience is then that’s what they want. The mobile platform is happening right now, if you’re not on it, you’re not being read.

So sending out press releases the old way isn’t cutting it anymore, you have to be pro-active to survive, you need to be opening up dialogue, and when someone does contact you, you need to respond to them directly.  You need to focus on producing something they’ll want to discuss with others, and build a platform so they can!

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For one answer click this link to the BBC dot.life article by Rory Cellan-Jones

It’s a good question to ask and anyone in a marketing or branding department should take note, as it’s not just gadgets that can be made or broken in this way, but services, reputations or even your brand!

There’s been a lot of press about the Obama Campaign utilising web 2.0 in the run up to the election, although it will be interesting to see if they continue to use Twitter & the likes as much after the campaign, odd’s on they don’t, but that’s a another conversation!

Social networks & web 2.0 services such as Twitter make the individual very powerful, and it doesn’t take long for an opinion or rumour to ripple out across a network, as per the Korean proverb “Whether it be a grain of sand or a rock, in water they both sink alike.” So size doesn’t matter as much anymore, what matters now is who’s talking & more crucially who’s listening. It’s important that businesses listen in on what is being said, plus essential they are actively in there themselves. Blanket marketing & advertising doesn’t work as effectively as it used to, we all place a recommendation from a colleague far higher than an anonymous advert, when the likes of Stephen Fry, whom is held in great esteem & is loved by his fans & followers (I’m one of them), gives an opinion on a product, we listen, because we trust him.

And there in lies the rub people, you have to be trusted, but trust takes time, you have to put in the effort and you have to be open & transparent in your opinions and take a genuine interest in what people are saying. You can’t fake it, Stephen Fry is no fake, he’s honest & open, plus he’s probably mortified that he has the power to make or break a gadget, but as “with great power comes great responsibility”, and I for one would trust Mr Fry with this power.

Here’s a link to Stephen Fry

Get Mobile

November 26, 2008

There’s great advantage of brevity, we all use our mobiles for communicating, for texting and now surfing the web.

Your kids and grand-children, will be using mobile devices we’ve never dreamed of, and they’ll probably never see let alone use a computer, because they won’t exist… Sounds unlikely, well ask yourself this, you don’t expect them to buy vinyl, or even CD’s anymore, they’ll just download music, DVD’s & BluRay, will be gone in 5 years (BluRay may hold one for 10 years tops). In developing nations, almost anyone can get a mobile phone or has seen one, the rate of computers being sold year on year is dropping, while mobiles is increasing. In these countries the users will again never see or use a computer, Even, English won’t be the main language spoken on the internet, countries such as India & China dwarf English speaking nations, plus with ICANN soon allowing non-roman characters to be used in URL’s this change will probably happen quicker than anyone expects.

Anyway I’m breaking my first rule, “Brevity”, but you needed to think about all this… the mobile platform & brevity are the future, make sure you’re part of it.

Networking or Not Working

November 14, 2008

In today’s 24/7 wired world of social networks, web 2.0 & mobile platforms, if you’re business is not networking then you’re not working!

Do you have a group or page on a social network such as Facebook?
Do you have a Twitter account?
Do you have a Blog?
Do you have a YouTube Channel?
Do you have an account on Get Satisfaction?
Do you run a Forum?
Do you have a mobile strategy?

Answer no to any or all of the above, then ask yourself why not? If you say it’s because you can’t afford the time or the resources, then find the time & the resources, as the cost to your business of not utilising these platforms will outweight your investment of time.

Answer yes to any of the above, great stuff… answer yes to all of them, that’s amazing! But remember simply registering in these places won’t mean anything if you’re not participating & engaging your audience on a one to one basis, plus it’s not just about getting large numbers. Having 5,000 people in your Facebook group won’t mean a thing if you’re not having direct two way communication with them.

It’s easier now more than ever for you to open dialogue & interface with your audience directly, but it’s also easier than ever for your audience to talk about you to others, you need to ensure what they’re saying showers you in a positive light. If you ignore the conversations going on, soon you won’t be in them anymore, as your audience will be talking about, and to, your competitors, and it will be very difficult to get them back!

Marketing or Publicity?

October 2, 2008

Well, basically it depends how much you want to spend… simply put you pay for marketing, while publicity is free! well free as far as you don’t give anyone any money, but of course it doesn’t just happen on it’s own, you’ve got to invest the time & effort, but it’s probably more fruitful than blanket marketing & advertising.

Invest your time building a dialogue with your audience, leverage social media sites & the web 2.0 revolution, find out what it is they want and give it to them. Don’t waste you time developing products then spend the rest of your time looking for an audience, invest your time in building your audience base, build a rapport with them, then develop products and services they want, stuff they will wax lyrical about to everyone else, thus in turn increasing your market share and exposure.

These early adopters become your publicity channel, continue creating products they want and they will continue spreading the message, focus on them, not the wider market, as they’re do your marketing for you, for free!

Be Unforgettable

September 10, 2008

When you devise your company name or create it’s brand & identity, create a marketing/ advertising/ viral campaign, put on a live event or show, interact with a client or customer, you have a choice…

you can be memorable, you can be remarkable, you can even be phenomenal, but best of all, be unforgettable… I know which one I’ll being aiming for, I bet you don’t forget that : )