Just as a tree falls in the woods with no one to hear it make a sound, content is only great if there are people to enjoy it and share it. So, before you write the perfect pitch and start your outreach, you must be sure to have a rock-solid media list.
Recently, while preparing a formal report on cross-cultural communication for an advanced business writing program, my experiences with language and other cultures resurfaced. In a three-part series, I will present the contents of my report here along with personal insights from my career, a glimpse into the changed world of today’s Communicator. The topic of the report is Cross-Cultural Communication. First part focuses on the Highlights of Cross-Cultural Communication.
Branding and corporate identity guru whose clients included Volkswagen played integral part in Orange launch. By John Plunkett
Mafalda Correia's insight:
Very sad news. Wally Olins was a brilliant and charming man. I had the privilege of hearing him last year at Rotterdam School of Management. It was the most remarkable and inspiring analysis about the challenges of corporate branding I’ve ever listened to.
It’s a sad fact that reputation management literature largely deals with the defensive aspects of the issue, such as responding to attacks and crisis management. But how about working ahead and being proactive in establishing solid goodwill between the company or institution you represent and its clients and stakeholders? Goodwill, after all, is capital that can be leveraged towards your objectives and mobilized in times of crisis. One of the keys to this in the 21st century, especially online, is tapping into the Gift Economy.
Until quite recently, the Gift Economy was a dynamic studied by anthropologists and historians. In the societies analyzed by these scholars, the offering of gifts (with no expectation of immediate reciprocity) was a way to cement social and political relationships and to build prestige. Typical case studies here came from Polynesian or Stone Age societies.
With the emergence of a networked society, and largely thanks to the Internet, the Gift Economy has become a powerful yet often misunderstood facet of late capitalism. Given the relatively low cost of producing and sharing digital property (software, music, video etc.) and the massive networks that can now be accessed for distribution, the Internet has opened up a powerful channel for large-scale gift-giving. These days, the free digital gifts we regularly receive from distant ‘gifters’ draw us into relationships that reinforce their prestige and control of key markets.
Any content marketer worth their salt has seen "Crap. The Content Marketing Deluge" - a slidedeck that serves as a call-to-arms for only producing quality content online and a condemnation of the alternative. What Velocity Partners may not have predicted, however, is a successful B2B content marketing strategy that relies solely on crap. The Movoto Real Estate blog seems to have cracked this code.
Mafalda Correia's insight:
Interesting perspective about the efficacy of bad content...
Incorporating humor and even trickery into mainstream marketing and public relations is a longstanding practice that can be both smart and entertaining. However, a new wave of “prankvertising” (a real word) goes way beyond updated versions of Candid Camera stunts or extreme episodes from reality show take-offs inspired by Ashton Kutcher’s Punk’d from MTV.
Prankvertising employs elaborate pranks and stunts that target unsuspecting “victims.” They are filmed with the intent of creating a video that will go viral on the Internet and produce massive visibility for a company, product or cause (translation – “sales”) for a much lower budget than traditional advertising.
After years of marketers singing digital content’s praises, it appears businesses are finally catching on. New research from LookBookHQ’s annual State of Content Marketing report reveals that content has finally been accepted as a mainstream digital strategy for businesses. Fifty-four percent of surveyed businesses reported that they produce at least one piece of digital content every two weeks, while 29 percent of companies produce multiple digital items on a weekly basis.
The transition toward greater content production has triggered a change in the type of work demanded of marketers. One-third of all marketers surveyed said they are now being asked to produce two to five blog entries per month, for instance. Meanwhile, the percent of marketers who do no blogging at all is less than half that, at 17 percent.
Perhaps most importantly, companies are starting to see how their digital content production can help target consumers and drive business. Yet despite the spread of digital content, the report also revealed a startling disconnect among businesses. Even as they are widely embracing content as a strategy, a mere 37 percent of those companies track that content’s engagement.
In other words, 37 percent of companies are flying in the dark when it comes to content.
Mafalda Correia's insight:
Companies will never know if they are in the right path if they don't evaluate the results of their communication effort.
Once considered the product of genius or divine inspiration, creativity — the ability to spot problems and devise smart solutions — is being recast as a prized and teachable skill. Pin it on pushback against standardized tests and standardized thinking, or on the need for ingenuity in a fluid landscape.
The view of creativity as a practical skill that can be learned and applied in daily life is a 180-degree flip from the thinking that it requires a little magic: Throw yourself into a challenge, step back — pause — wait for brilliance to spout.
The point of creative studies, says Roger L. Firestien, a Buffalo State professor and author of several books on creativity, is to learn techniques “to make creativity happen instead of waiting for it to bubble up. A muse doesn’t have to hit you.”
Do you need marketing content for your brand? Let’s talk about how to produce AWESOME content for it—punch lines, taglines, meme pictures for your company Facebook page, etc. There’s no doubt that coming up with engaging concepts and ideas is a struggle for many busy business owners. What can you do to effectively nail brand-worthy copywriting? Let’s take a look.
In this world of tight deadlines, limited budgets and super-fast turnarounds, the process of proofreading is something that can often fall by the wayside. It’s an indulgence; the client will check the work anyway; we just don’t have the time! But proofreading – proper proofreading – can be essential to effective quality control. Here are some top tips…
Humor is effective in marketing because it humanizes and surprises. You can play it straight and write a blog post that clearly and emphatically states how your computer router can handle up to 6.4 terabits of data. Or you can get the point across and create something relatable, charming and (of course!) shareable. Cisco did this by positioning its decidedly impersonal router as the perfect "forever" gift for Valentine's Day: "Nothing says I love you like the Cisco ASR 9000." The former is boring. The latter infuses the message and brand with a human element that's anything but expected.
For small, scrappy brands, "humor can help you stand out in a crowded world," says the brains behind the router ad, Tim Washer, Cisco's senior marketing manager of social media and a comedy writer whose credits include Late Show With David Letterman and Saturday Night Live.
Though the world of #selfies seems to be dominated by teenagers, they aren’t the only ones turning cameras on themselves.
Now that social media has solidified its place as a necessary part of communicating for brands and consumers alike, the audiences on these channels have evolved. Using social media platforms with purpose instead of a scattered approach targets your message to the people most important to it and indicates the types of content that you should be creating for that audience. Congrats to Grey Group and the WWF on their social-savvy communications efforts!
Dmitri Mendeleev might have designed the original periodic table – a graphic representation of all the basic building blocks of the universe – but artist James Harris has done something way cool with that template — the Periodic Table of Storytelling.
That’s right. Harris has taken all the tropes, archetypes and clichés found in movies (not to mention TV, comic books, literature, video and even professional wrestling) and synthesized them into an elegantly realized chart. Instead of grouping the elements by noble gases or metals, Harris has organized them by story elements — structure, plot devices, hero archetypes. Each element is linked to a vast wiki that gives definitions and examples. For instance, if you click on the element Chk, you’ll go to a page explaining the trope of Chekhov’s Gun. And if you click on Neo, you’ll go to the page for, of course, the Chosen One.
Mafalda Correia's insight:
The table every communication professional should have. Using these story elements in the corporate world will improve corporate stories and capture a larger audience.
For years, marketing, advertising, and public relations folks fought over budgets, scopes of work, ownership, and talent. It was an inefficient, yet accepted dance at organizations of all shapes and sizes. There was paid media, and there was earned media — and for the most part, everyone understood their role.
If only things were still this easy. Today we have Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Managers, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) analysts, Digital Analysts, Community Managers, Content Marketing Specialists, and way too many social media ninjas, gurus, and rockstars. There’s paid media, earned media, owned media, shared media, and something called omni-channel media. The traditional buckets of marketing, advertising, and public relations seem so quaint now.
Customers don’t care about your org chart, your P&L, or which of their agencies are managing which channel. They just expect you to move seamlessly and consistently from channel to channel and device to device, whether that’s using paid, earned, or owned methods.
Social media has some serious marketing potential. Here's what biologically and socially drives your customers to share content.
When we as marketers create experiences, content, and opportunities that help people feel good about themselves, we can tap into the self-disclosure lever, social identity needs, and evolutionary adaptations that predispose people to enjoy helping each other.
Big data, split testing, and software can help us target the right people, identify what goes viral, and scale our efforts. But ultimately, we as marketers have to understand people and the social decision-making mechanisms that produce personal satisfaction.
These lessons from the sciences are particularly valuable right now because social media is increasing the frequency of interactions, and this changes the context of the brand-customer relationship. Theoretically, we have more opportunities to serve a potent biological and social experience and leave an audience with a long-term memory of our brand. In the highest form, our content will produce gratitude for a brand, not merely an impression.
Publicity is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. A brand without a face or voice lacks visibility, especially in a competitive marketplace. We get decision fatigue: decisions as simple as what kind of toothbrush to buy can become daunting. Promoting your brand and product can be a challenge.
Mafalda Correia's insight:
Great tips from Elisette Carlson of SMACK! Media for how to best use publicity to sell your products.
How to Communicate Your Giving Campaign for Improved Participation You’ve created a Goodness Program to address an issue your company is passionate about. Now you need to get people on board – and that’s all about grabbing their attention and getting them involved through an effective communication plan. The good news is that you don’t need to be Steven Spielberg to create a compelling narrative that stirs people into taking part. Inspire people at the outset to get them motivated, update frequently to keep them involved, and share the good outcomes and impact afterwards to instill a sense of accomplishment. Here’s a look at how to get the word out, and start-to-finish program communications that get more people participating.
PR agencies are getting over their traditional inferiority complex in relation to their colleagues in advertising and media as clients increasingly recognize the special sauce PR pros bring to the table.
But an old hand in the PR game pointed out to me the other week that there is a legacy effect that still holds back the progress of the communications discipline and causes PR folks to act more like dogs than cats.
Mafalda Correia's insight:
It's a classic! Advertising and PR are like cats and dogs... Stereotypes aside, it's true that most clients underestimate the power of PR.
The PR team at Malaysia Airlines has been under fire in recent days with the Telegraph newspaper today describing the actions of the airline and the Malaysian government as a “masterclass in how not to deal with the aftermath of an incident".
But how do you prepare for an unprecedented disaster – a Black Swan event that has no case study to refer to in the crisis management manual?
This desperately sad incident has no precedent. No plane has ever been missing for so long without wreckage being found. Combine that with the multitude of civil, defence and private organisations involved, the international scale of the effort and the fact that the traditional methods for tracking the plane had been switched off and I imagine the PR team were tearing pages out of the crisis comms manual with every hour that passed.
An exciting part of running a business is communicating with your target audience – creating and sharing marketing collateral, engaging on social media, and sending emails to subscribers. However, it is possible to over-communicate – so it’s important to tune in to how your audience reacts to these types of communication in order to determine just how much is enough to fulfill, but not exceed, their expectations. It’s true: frequency improves compliance. However, you don’t want to annoy your loyal audience by repeatedly sending out communication to reach those who haven’t taken action yet.
Successful social media efforts can result in a dramatic increase of positive recognition for a business or brand. Many of these strategies, such as posting engaging updates or replying to a follower’s comment, require no additional resources. However, there are several aspects of the most successful social media marketing campaigns that are easier to accomplish with a few trendy resources.
Why is having a content strategy so important? Social media is just media now. The convergence is no longer a possibility. It is a reality. According to the 2013 eNonprofit Benchmarks study by NTEN and M+R, nonprofit Facebook pages grew by 46 percent last year and nonprofit Twitter audiences rose by 264 percent. The need to feed the beast with content is only growing more important.
The struggle to create effective content strategies for social networks either comes from not having enough time to devote to social media or not having enough content to post. Truth be told, most nonprofits have an overwhelming amount of content on their websites or other communication channels that can be easily repurposed for social. Below are 10 tips for managing your time and dealing with the problem of feeding your organization’s social media beasts.
Think of the planet’s best human being. Who are you thinking of? Pope Francis? Your parents? Justin Bieber? According to Business Insider, it’s Mark Zuckerberg. Why? Because he’s planning to donate $1 billion (less than 5 percent of his massive fortune) to charity. While it’s certainly welcome, philanthropy is far more insidious than it appears at first sight. It tends to lead to fawning press coverage, but little in the way of good reform. Worse, it perpetuates the myth that society’s problems can be solved by the rich and powerful.
Mafalda Correia's insight:
Great article. It explains why charity is a very profitable activity for the rich. It works as a humanitarian mask hiding the underlying economic exploitation.