Thursday, February 24, 2011


After recently attending a social media event with like-minded professionals who believe in the importance of the tool, it was clear to me that the business benefits of social media are indisputable.

Sure it’s challenging to measure the exact ROI of your efforts. You can’t monetize a tweet or a blog comment, but there’s no denying that social media offers an affordable and effective way to connect with your audience, build relationships and create brand awareness.

And as a business, isn’t that what will ultimately increase sales? (Along with a great service or product of course!)

The old adage of “if you build it, they will come” doesn’t hold true in today’s society with so much competition out there. It’s important to not only differentiate your brand, but also create loyal customers who won’t get distracted by the next big, or shiny, thing.

Social media tools enable you to connect directly to your customers and get a clear understanding of who they are and what they want which is the key to any company’s success. After all, where would you be without your customers?

Developing a good social media campaign can help you form trusted relationships that go a long way. It’s human nature to form connections and communities, so listening to what people are saying (both good and bad) and having two-way communication is key in forming that bond with your audience and giving them what they really want.

Using social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube, Digg and Wordpress properly can easily increase your visibility and create brand awareness.


But with that said, don’t try to be everywhere. Just because there’s a social media tool available, it doesn’t mean that it will necessarily enhance your business.

The first step is to set your goal. What do you want to accomplish? Generate leads? Increase traffic to your Web site? Engage your customers? Whatever it may be, it’s important to build your plan around achieving your goals. Do your research and figure out what tools will best suit your needs and then focus on kicking *ss in those medias. Don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to be everywhere, because no one will notice you.

Social networks offer endless opportunities to connect with your target audience and attract new fans. Without a doubt, if you put effort into engaging, interacting and informing your audience, you’ll add value to their lives and create loyal followers who trust your brand. 


Thursday, February 17, 2011

You're pleased to announce and I don't care.

The media release is the primary tool of the public relations industry.  At its best it is a tightly written, well-structured document clearly presenting the ‘who, what, where and why’ of the story you’re pitching right up front in the lead paragraph. 

Unfortunately, the art of writing a media release seems to have been lost.  Just check any news feed and you will see hundreds of releases where the lead says nothing and the actual news, if the release has any, is buried in the third paragraph.  It’s like the writer is trying to play a game of ‘hide the news’ with reporters, forcing them to call the public relations professional to find out what is actually going on.

Worst yet, the first quote features the CEO or some other company spokesperson saying, “We’re pleased to announce.” So what.  How does a quote like that add to the newsworthiness of a story?  The first quote, actually all the quotes, should feature good, newsworthy facts and figures.  Those are the quotes reporters can use.

In today’s world of communication overload and six hour news cycles, it is crucial that public relations professionals do not contribute to the noise, but instead help cut through the confusion. 

Following some simple guidelines will help alleviate the situation.  Only put out a release when it actually has news value.  Ensure the news is presented up front and all the details are covered quickly and efficiently.  Use quotes that are meaningful and contain facts.  And remember that a reporter receives a hundred of these things a day, so the better it is written, the better your chance of getting coverage.

Hugh Cameron

Monday, February 7, 2011

Social Media reacts to Bridgestone, Bieber and "Big Game" ads...

As many Canadians know, we don’t get to see the multi-million dollar mini-movies known as “Super Bowl Commercials”. We get stuck watching local ads which tend to be previews for Canadian shows which are often only on air at all to meet government regulated Canadian-content laws.

So we have to scurry to YouTube to catch the big ads, the movie trailers and to see what everyone south of us is tweeting, facebooking and blogging about.

Bridgestone came out a winner. Check out this clip to see “Reply All” which quite simply kicks ass:

Props must also be given to CANADIAN Justin Bieber who starred with Ozzy in a Best Buy ad. You can see the Bieber ad in the link below… outlines which spots were most discussed online and HOW they were discussed by gauging the tone. Bridgestone had both ads at over 90 per cent positive. TiVo was able to show how often specific ads were replayed. Click here to read the article.

- John