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The model is called Media of the Moment and it will give you some ideas as to how we move beyond using communication to build awareness and manage reputation, into a dynamic relationship framework that turns experience into action. We’ll get there shortly. First, let me set us up.
What does “the new PR” mean to you? I’m sure we all have our own take or opinion on what it is. To me, in the context of my job, it is to help organizations manage relationships and reputation across multiple channels. It may be simplified, but it helps me educate people in a digital world on how I add value as a communication professional.There are two sides to the new PR. On one hand, it is still driven very much by conduit-based communications. We develop a story and identify the best space to get it published or distributed. On the other hand, our ability to truly manage public relations must happen in a more direct manner. Social platforms, social media friendly content and community management are all aspects of the new PR that help us manage relationships and reputation. Both sides are meant to influence and impact moments.The concept of moments is something that really appealed to me when I decided to join SapientNitro because it’s a term I had been using for a while as well. For those of you who don’t know SapientNitro, we are a customer experience agency. We combine strategy, creative and technology to shape the new marketing landscape.One of the things we talk a ton about is meeting customers in the moment. When we combine moments and media, amazing things can happen.
Moments happen everyday. Good moments. Bad moments. Planned moments and unexpected moments.
Media are active, not passive. Today, people comment on stories and react in real-time, or after the fact. We all have a voice. Most of us have access to media, whether it’s mass or mine. I can be a consumer. A publisher. A marketer. A critic. A friend and a foe. And I’m in the know, more so than any generation ahead of me, for good or bad.
As communication professionals and marketers, our job is to activate moments, whether we create them, or find and align with them.
We can amplify media, again whether it is mass or mine.
We meet people in the moment…
And create opportunities for them to remain engaged out of the moment. We create media channels or avenues out of the moment to turn our voice into theirs. I’ll talk later about being social media friendly, but it’s a really important concept because as PR professionals, you create content that is timely, relevant and factual (at least I hope so). PR content is incredibly powerful in the context of search too. The news of the day drives activity.Bottom line, we don’t need to tell every story anymore. By sharing and suggesting, people will pick up our content – our photos, videos, sound bites, quotes, anecdotes and the like - and use it to tell their stories. That’s one of the major benefits of social in the communication mix.
So at the core of this shiftis a model called Media of the Moment. I first created it about a year ago as an emerging media framework. It’s traditional. Digital. Social. Mobile. Local. All the buzz we hear in the industry fit within this model. There are four layers that ultimately get an organization closer to the audience, whether they’re a customer, an employee, a journalist or brand advocates.CONTEXT = Listen to establish insight, shape fit and drive relevanceCONVERSATION = Engage influencers and build alignment based on context and relevanceCOMMUNITY = Drive engagement with groups of people interested in brand, product, service and lifestyle messagesCAPTIVATE = Increase brand value and extend the moment across multiple channels with clearly defined intent and purpose
Context surrounds usIt frames the momentIt is shaped by the “here and now” Where am I? Why am I here? Who am I with? What does this mean to me?Context opens our eyes to the options available – whether it’s a new brand, product or serviceContext may emerge through a conversation with a friend - an Internet search - an article - a product review - or advertisement, to name a few
Companies with bricks and mortar locations are using technology to frame context. For example, I may see something at the checkout that catches my eye on a video display.
Listening and analysis are essential to determining context and evaluating impactSome context is measurable via benchmarks and general insightsContext in the moment is hard to predict due to the number of variables – place, people, perspectiveOur director of analytics at SapientNitro and I found some common ground when it comes to measurement. He likes to put people in boxes so he can measure performance. My team likes to pull them out of boxes so we can hear their opinions, gauge their reaction and assess our perception. Successful measurement programs are rooted in context and strike a balance between performance and perception data. When combined, we get a holistic view of the brand, the organization, products, services, competitors, trends and issues from both the corporate and customer view. I don’t really get into it today, but am happy to discuss integrated measurement with anyone at a later date.
Marketers need to understand consumer context and align with those conversations and communitiesThat doesn’t mean being intrusive, but respectful and useful instead
So as we move out of determining and understanding context, we see that moments spur conversation with people who are personally close to “me” or close to the moment based on proximity or context. This is typically word-of-mouth and if we can identify where moments lead, we can begin to engage in meaningful dialogue.A conversation can be a point of entry for brand representatives or advocates, but as I mentioned on the last slide, respect is essential. Align with the conversation, don’t interrupt. It’s more of an art than a science. We use science to identify and understand the moments (as we saw in discussing context), but art opens eyes and ears. It’s more human. More authentic. And hopefully “of the moment.”
The social space gives us invaluable insight into how people perceive our organization, brand, products, services and the issues that surround.If we’re using social insights and relationships well, we can move from contextual awareness to an understanding of the subtext which gives us cues as to why conversations are happening, where content is being sourced from and how influencers perceive the activity. Conversational dynamics help us protect and position.
So what we typically do is use audience and influencer context from reports like this, to create a relationship matrix that allows us to ultimately map a network, understand and predict typical moments of influence, and prepare our content and brand representatives for conversational engagement.
I still like the phrase “conversational marketing” because it speaks to the value of receiving and giving in the modern marketing mix. Conversations do two things. First, they help us move a brand or organization into a more dynamic relationship with people. They teach us about our position and role, and allow us to align or redefine across the entire marketing ecosystem. Second, conversations also force us to let go a bit. A corporation can’t have a conversation with me. But I welcome someone from the organization to engage with me. Let me, the customer, define the comfort zone. Do they want to interact in public or in private? Our interest as an organization is to have favourable conversations or constructive closure in public, but more personal (or impersonal) rants in private. I used to give a session called “When social media become unsociable” and one of the key insights from that topic that’s relevant here is empathy. Your ability to be empathetic is an important skill in effective conversational marketing. It all comes down to respect. To humanizing your communications.
Beyond direct relations or conversational marketing, we can also share and repurpose our content for reputational impact. It’s impossible to be part of every conversation. Time or resources often are typically not on our side. The sheer volume and velocity of social media is daunting. I initially defined the concept of “social media friendly” to help highly regulated organizations realize opportunities in the social space. Many cannot engage but still need a voice in the dialogue. Active listening paired with social content channels and relevant perspective enable almost any organization to establish a useful presence.Now, unless you speak Swedish (which I don’t), you’re probably looking at the background here and either you get it or you don’t. It represents a good example of how companies share content that can become an integrated element of the social universe. Video, photos, commentary, behind-the-scenes footage, links to social communities and conversation are all great ways to be social media friendly. Tools like the Social Media Release often called an SMR, SMNR or Social Media 2.0 Release, and even social media newsrooms, are smart ways to create content that is not only social media friendly, but influential on search rank. Other useful tools include blogs, microblogs, community profiles (like Facebook, Google+, Twitter) and content sharing platforms (like YouTube and Flickr as shown in this example) are core elements of the contemporary PR toolkit.But don’t just share the content you have. Listen and think about where you can add value. Align with the conversation and what you see people searching for. Adopt their language. Feature your people and teach them how to participate, engage and ultimately turn experience into action. Drive people to your presence. Arm them with questions to ask the experts in their lives. Arm the experts with facts, information and connections to grow their familiarity with your perspective. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Respect is an even greater necessity when we evolve from more direct or intimate conversations to the group dynamic of a community. Moments spur conversation. Moments and conversations activate and ignite community. We use community to add depth and new types of moments into the mix.But remember, while we may be hosting the party, we can’t make everyone dance. We don’t own the community. We need to empower the community to define the dynamic through general terms of engagement and established tone. Your job is to manage the activity, moderate through respect, introduce (and sometimes co-create) relevant topics and seek useful feedback to drive future direction.
One great example of an engaged community is the Auburn University Facebook presence. The level of engagement is phenomenal. When we look at published and contributed views, we see a very open and respectful space. Published content from the University is relevant and well received. The community dynamic allows for people to share opinions in a relatively public venue with constructive dialogue. When communities mature, its members self-police and take ownership in ruling what’s right and wrong. It’s very social. Usually egalitarian. That’s one of the challenges for organizations. Because social is such an egalitarian space, you are only equal. Authority is earned. If you want to influence, you need to participate, contribute and earn the right to be heard. This is why the PR mindset is well aligned with the social space. PR professionals specialize in earned media, which if you haven’t heard, is all the buzz right now. You listen. You adapt. You create. You relate. We just need to learn not to get so overwhelmed. Social is one-to-one and one-to-many. It can also be somewhat mass if it’s well targeted and relevant. The more you explore this world, the easier it becomes to apply your skills and expertise.
I like to distinguish between manage and control. Control will kill you because it’s practically impossible (and I’d argue inappropriate) to achieve in today’s dynamic world of integrated media, marketing and communications. But you can work at managing the message, the relationship, the community, your team, and your channels.
A great example of a community initiative that sufficiently lets go yet builds brand value is a property we launched for Foot Locker called Sneakerpedia. It is a niche community for “sneakerheads” and collectors. People upload photos of their fave kicks and share stories. They also react to and comment on others contributions. The goal is to create the greatest sneaker archiving wiki in the world. Being a wiki, anyone can contribute and edit the content, and community members get to know each other. You might call them “sole mates.” Anyway, beyond the core community, the brand uses established social channels to highlight activities and share unique stories. Twitter is a channel dedicated to growing followers and community by reacting to people’s tweets about their sneakers. It’s all about recognition, a concept closely related to respect.Facebook is used to share Sneakerpedia event coverage, showcase timely or relevant sneakers and aligning with sneaker celebrities. There is also a Sneakerpedia blog that showcases events, releases, collaborations, and site developments.Each extension adds depth to the Sneakerpedia community.
Location is another natural community builder. Given mobile location functionality and the fact that more people access their social networks via mobile devices than computers, this is a game changer that we all need to pay attention to.We see the National Hockey League tagging and leaving tips at hockey destinations via Foursquare. Another location-based network, Gowalla, allows people and brands to create Trips. Disney is all over it. In Toronto, where I live, there is a fun trip based on places featured in the cult film, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. MINI earlier this year created a Wanderlust campaign that encouraged MINI Space community members to answer what Wanderlust meant to them. “Wanderlust was about escaping the day-to-day and celebrating freedom from the mundane.” People mapped Wanderlust events and moments, and could invite friends to join.When we talk about meeting people in the moment, and giving them channels out of the moment, these are all great ways to engage and motivate people in a local community. Leaving tips can build brand preference, communicate useful information or issue a call to action. Ask people to use the information or share the experience. There are too many lost opportunities today and people don’t often think enough to share on their own accord.
The last couple of slides spoke to both engagingcommunity and captivating people. The final element in Media of the Moment is Captivate. When people are captivated, they are more likely to spend more time in branded experiences, or take time to learn more, or step up and be an advocate. This is ultimately where we can motivate people to take action, and more significantly, drive action. Common tactics include:social gamification to bring competition and reward into the mixapps that deliver utility and create valueadvocacy initiatives that drive brand buzzloyalty programs that motivate repeat business and can spur advocacydeep or rich content that educates and engages the audienceA captivated consumer feels aligned with the brand and receives value because the experience is either relevant orpersonalized.
Let me show you a great example that combines everything we’ve talked about in a truly captivating experience. This is a program called EpicMix produced by Vail Resorts. There are a couple of really great videos that you can check out at epicmix.com that show you the scale of this program. It takes your real life experience and uses RFID technology to make your day, weekend or season at the resort so convenient. Social enhancements help you see where your friends are and share your experience in a single click. A mobile companion app is always with you. Members collect points and badges as rewards for feats accomplished. Photographers roam the slopes and capture moments that are shareable via EpicMix.So, this is a phenomenal customer experience. But how do we think about it from a PR perspective? Hopefully your creative juices are flowing. There are some amazing opportunities here. Just think of all the content, all the voices, all the motivation. It’s a great example of meeting people in the moment and giving them avenues out of the moment to share their experience. This is what Media of the Moment is all about. I become the media and share your story if you give me the assets to help me tell mine.Wow.
Ultimately, Media of the Moment is a model designed to pull people closer to the brand. Don’t just think of this as a customer model. It works within an organization. It works in B2B environments. It is a flow that ebbs back and forth between people on all sides of the relationship. With that said, I’m going to wrap up with our lens focused on the consumer.
Media of the Moment helps us turn experience into action.
Sometimes just asking is enoughProvide passionate customers with shareable digital keepsakes Photos, videos, facts, coupons, and group incentives all help people tell their stories and carry them forward
Brand value is achieved when we turn experience into action It is powerful, authentic, and “of the moment”
Empower others to tell your story, share your content and make your brand more relevant to themAlign to customers, employees, business partners, media
If you listen and respect, you might just manage to captivate them in the moment and beyond the moment.
MEDIA OF THE MOMENT<br />TURN
WORKING YOUR PLAN:<br />GOING BEYOND
THE MASSES<br />Presented by<br />David Bradfield<br />Director, Social Experience<br />SapientNitro – sapientnitro.com<br />Twitter @dbradfield<br />Email email@example.com<br />Office 647.837.5396<br />Mobile 416.520.4224<br />September 30, 2011<br />#PRseries<br />SapientNitro<br />SM<br />How to Supercharge Your PR Program with Social Media<br />www.marketwire.com/engage<br />
MEDIA OF THE MOMENT<br />TURN
EXPERIENCE<br />INTO ACTION<br />@dbradfield<br />How to Supercharge Your PR Program with Social Media<br />www.marketwire.com/engage<br />
WORKING YOUR PLAN:<br />GOING BEYOND
THE MASSES<br />Presented by<br />David Bradfield<br />Director, Social Experience<br />SapientNitro – sapientnitro.com<br />Twitter @dbradfield<br />Email firstname.lastname@example.org<br />Office 647.837.5396<br />Mobile 416.520.4224<br />September 30, 2011<br />#PRseries<br /> QUESTIONS?<br />SapientNitro<br />SM<br />How to Supercharge Your PR Program with Social Media<br />www.marketwire.com/engage<br />