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Posts Tagged ‘#andrewatnokia’

Lady GaGa concert

Image via Wikipedia

Okay, I am starting to enjoy the regular writing on this subject and the ideas that have been stimulated in the process. We left off last time with a challenge about the tools we need. Today, I want to rant a little on what I have learned from Lady Gaga and how it impacts me as a PR pro.

In short – if you’re not using those tools in real time, and as real communication tools, especially after you raise your customers’ expectations, you’re going to be in a lot of trouble.  Not only with your customers.  At some point your company’s board of directors is going to want to know what you are doing to manage the risk associated with social media.  In fact, at companies like Nokia, IBM, Novartis and others, the stakes in social media have been raised so high that their boards are now requiring a thorough review of the risk associated with social media and a mitigation plan for each.  This truly represents the elevation of social media to the highest levels of the enterprise.  I should point out that none of these companies have chosen to avoid or hide from the new realities of social media rather they are confronting the opportunity and its risks head on much like they would any other operational risk associated with their business.

Believe it or not, we have a lot to learn from Lady Gaga. You think she’s not a business? She’s building a brand, just like all of us are. Forbes quoted a media expert saying “she is directing every frame of her music and her life imagining what clips will appear on YouTube and what people will Tweet after she appears on the VMA’s (That’s Video Music Awards for those of you over 35.).”

In addition, a comprehensive social media campaign for her, orchestrated by Universal Music Group, featured daily Facebook and Twitter updates, a blog and more. She became the first living person with 10 million fans on Facebook…  Now she has 27 million Facebook fans, and more than 7.8 million Twitter followers. The payoff? 11,500 mainstream media stories cited her just in 2009. Sure, it’s easier for a pop star than a detergent manufacturer to generate buzz, but remember: she was dealing with a very crowded field, and used a carefully orchestrated strategy that is all business.

Of course, more conventional companies are moving more aggressively into social media. Nissan invested heavily in it for the debut of its new electric car, the Leaf. The car has had its share of problems, primarily availability issues. But a combination of micro-site, Facebook page, and Twitter presence is helping Nissan gauge marketplace attitudes, manage expectations, and respond to criticism.

 And Old Spice last year, a mature, even stodgy brand, revitalized itself with one of the fastest-growing online video campaigns in the relatively brief history of such things. I’m sure you’ve all seen the “I’m the man your man could smell like” campaign. It started with simple TV ads, which went viral on YouTube, and follow-up videos and tweets. The result: Ad Week estimated the campaign reached 110 million, “surpassing the reach of traditional broadcast.”

Now, a lot of you are probably sitting there thinking, “Sure, that’s easy for you to say. You work for a mobile company. This stuff is your bread and butter. But how are we going to do this? How are we going to staff for it? Where do we start?”

Stay tuned for the answers in my next rant…..

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Okay this is my first draft and a flow of thoughts about the changing face of public relations and our need to adapt with the times. I thought I would post a series of comments and thoughts over the next few weeks and see if I can get some feedback and ideas from the group.

So here goes: Rant 1

While I am trying to hold your attention, I will be competing with the buzzing and vibrating – and perhaps, for the mortified few of you, ringing – of your smart phones.

Until recently, I would have only had to hold your attention against emails from your colleagues and superiors, many of which you would have been only too happy to ignore…

Those days, however, are gone. Now, just in the course of the next 20 minutes or so, you may be informed, thanks to Foursquare, that your friend has just landed at JFK. Thanks to Twitter, he will lament his inability to find his bag. You may receive a text message, or perhaps a Tweet, informing you that your own flight home is being delayed and so on and so forth….

Thanks to Facebook, several hundred of your very closest friends will share their forecast for tonight’s basketball game, report their latest accomplishment from pilates class, pontificate on the state of the union, or publish a mildly compromising picture of you from last Saturday night’s festivities at the local pub.

And the rest of you will be playing Angry Birds.

In short, we are not only connected, we are immersed. And the immersiveness of communications, the intimacy of our relationships with the devices that make it possible – smart phones, tablets, and the like – have become irresistible.

The result? Our communications – inbound and outbound, personal and professional – are spinning out of control. And unless we can figure out how to regain at least a little of that control, our careers will spin out of control as well.

It’s not only a matter of clutter, or the competition for attention, though certainly that’s a big part of it. The confluence of social media and mobile technology has empowered everyone to be a mass communicator, to do it instantaneously, from any location, at any time, in a wide variety of media. Messages, including those about companies and products, can go “viral” overnight.

The impacts range from the trivial to the profound. Protests and revolutions in countries around the world, most recently in Tunisia, have in large part been fueled by this ability.

And that means our ability to deliver our messages to their intended recipients, clearly and uncorrupted by the intervention of third parties, has become nearly impossible.

But it also creates extraordinary opportunity to establish deeper and more intimate relationships with our customers than we’ve ever had before. Think about this – Nokia lives in the pockets of more than 1.2 billion people around the world. That is the perspective from which I speak today.

Whether we seize the opportunities for customer engagement, or continue to let the world spin out of our control, will determine the futures of our organizations and our own careers.

Inevitably, any discussion of this subject has to start with a consideration of where the technology is likely to take us. And we know from hard experience how treacherous those waters are:

[Consider projecting the following quotes on a screen]

• “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us,” a Western Union memo, circa 1878.

• “Television won’t last. It’s a flash in the pan,” Mary Somerville, pioneer of radio educational broadcasts, 1948.

• “We will never make a 32-bit operating system,” Bill Gates

We’ve predicted for the last twenty years that mobile would be a game-changer. But it took a long time to happen at scale. Smart phones – and as much as I hate to say it, especially the iPhone – changed everything. They were cool. They were intuitive. And the apps, the incredible variety of things you could do with the phone, completely changed people’s perception of what a mobile phone is for.

At the same time, social media, especially Facebook and Twitter but more recently things like Foursquare, Gowalla and other location-based services, gave people an easy way to use these new devices that is personal, intimate, and in nearly constant use. They transformed each other and created what some people call the biggest change in the way we communicate with each other in at least 50 years, maybe in history.

Where is it headed?

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