Tuesday, 4 May 2010

My last post for this digital media and PR class will reflect on my use of Twitter and its use in a recent public relations campaign.

Upon logging onto Twitter today, I learned that today is official Star Wars day, so for all you Jedi’s out there I take great pleasure in saying May the fourth be with you!

Last year I set up a Twitter account under the name lifeofPRstudent, initially I used it to keep abreast of the latest developments with the CIPR Scotland board elections and since then my main use of Twitter has been to publicise my blog. This has been successful to a certain extent, as I mentioned in my Google analytics post that a few Twitter followers visited my blog.

One feature of Twitter that I really like is the ability it gives to share information, I created various ‘lists’ on my account which allowed me to group followers into PR people, classmates, and other friends. This has been great for keeping up to date with what the rest of the PREP 67 class are blogging about. However my overall my use of Twitter has been fairly minimal, since creating my account I haven’t had the urge to tell my followers (the vast majority of whom I don’t actually know) what I’m up to every hour of the day. Maybe if I had one of these ‘Smartphone’s’ that allow users to access mobile internet at a far greater speed than my rusty Sony Ericsson I’d be more inclined to tweet on a regular basis.

Twitter is an excellent way of keeping up to date with the latest news in different topics, I’ve followed a lot of the election coverage on Twitter- I can go to the Labour, Conservative or Lib Dems page and find out where each of the candidates are going to be on that day.

A recent example that highlights the use of Twitter in PR campaigns is the ‘shoe hunter’ campaign which has recently been launched by designer Jimmy Choo. The campaign will see a pair of trainers from the new Jimmy Choo range 'check in' online at fashionable hot spots around London by sending real-time updates via Twitter.

Brand enthusiasts will then have several minutes to track them down and get to the location in order to win the shoes in their size. As I mentioned in my social network fever blog, it is becoming increasingly popular for companies to use sites like Twitter to create a buzz around a product and generate word of mouth.

The concept was created in conjunction with social media agency FreshNetworks and is the first time Jimmy Choo has employed social media to engage with its audience online and offline simultaneously.

Well guys, as this is my last post as part of the digital PR module, I’d like to thank all my followers for their comments over the last ten weeks. I hope you found my posts interesting and relevant.

One love.

Google Analytics

During the last few weeks I’ve been using Goggle analytics in an attempt to learn more about how people are using my blog. To be honest I had great difficulty installing Google analytics, so my findings are considerably lower than they would have been if I had gotten to grips with it earlier.

Did anyone else find installing Google analytics a challenge? I had to resort to following some YouTube tutorial videos to help me get the programme running successfully. As you can see from my hit counter (which stands as 267 at the point of publishing) my blog hasn’t been hugely popular.

I enjoyed limited success from promoting my blog on social network sites like Facebook and Twitter, my blog received 36 and 18 visits from these websites respectively. It is not surprising that most of my visits came from PREP 67 classmates, with more than 80% of hits from the U.K. However Google analytics did inform me that I had some views from further afield, in countries like Bahrain, America and Canada.

So, what did I learn from Google analytics? I would say the main lesson is that it’s pretty tough to set up properly! However, I can definitely see why it would be beneficial for organizations to have, it allows then to see where their internet traffic is coming from which allows for easy distinction of publics. Google analytics tells us much more about the use of our blogs than a typical hit counter and the fact that Google analytics is free is also a major benefit.

I came across an article in Mashable that reveals Googles plans to open a full application gallery for its Google Analytics services. This will also users to analyse their internet traffic for specific elements of their campaign such as SEO, site auditing, content management and email martketing.

Monday, 19 April 2010

PR expert Panel and Networking event

Canapé Craig Fergusson pulled off a great evening on Thursday and I would like to thank him for all the effort he put in to ensuring the night was a huge success!

The purpose of this blog is to talk about Craig McGill’s presentation on Digital Media and Brand Development. Craig delivered his presentation from a Scottish perspective which I found quite refreshing as most of our course text book examples focus on the role of social media from a broader U.K or American scope.

Loads of the stuff Craig covered is very relevant to our up-coming report for PREP 67...here’s a link to the slide show for those who missed it

The presentation delivered some astounding statistics that really drove home the fact that Scotland is lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to being digitally ‘savvy.’ For example did you know that out of the 13 newspapers in Scotland only 4 have dedicated online staff? AND none of Scotland’s six radio stations have any online staff!

This news is quite frightening when Mashable-the world’s most visited social media news site was actually created in Scotland! As the next generation of PR professionals we can play a part in shaping the digital future of the industry...

As Craig quite rightly said ‘You can’t think Scottish because you serve the globe’. The internet is most peoples first point of call when they want to find out about something new, when searching for your brand/company they don’t want to find ‘we can’t ship there’ or ‘we don’t do online’ as they will simply go elsewhere. Today companies are more than bricks and mortar and a decent corporate site should represent an investment similar to the impact on reputation that a good headquarters has.

I think Craig’s company, Contently Managed has a great website and some of the stuff on their could definitely be of benefit come report-writing time! Check it out and let me know what you think...

I’m keen to get some more feedback about Thursday''s event, who was your favourite speaker? How did you enjoy the networking event? Was there enough wine....? :)

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The Social Network Fever

My PREP67 class mates have had the mid-semester break to reflect on group A’s presentation about ‘The use of Social Network Sites in PR Campaigns’. What did the audience think? Despite our technical difficulties I reckon we did pretty well!

Talking for an hour did seem like a daunting task, however once myself, Gigha, Kathyrn and Kirsten got into it we soon discovered that we could talk for ages about the topic.

It is clear from our presentation that social media is being used as an effective communicative tool in PR campaigns. My fifteen minute slot in the presentation looked at how a boutique PR agency in London has successfully integrated social media into a campaign...

The name Fever PR may not mean anything to you, but you’ll definitely heard of their clients (Warner Brother, Mercedes Benz, Swatch Watches and Toshiba) to name a few.

In 2009 Fever were given the task of launching the Friends 15th anniversary DVD box set. Although the team knew that everyone loved Friends they realised that many people thought it had nothing new to offer since the show’s last episode was aired in 2004 and since then there’s been endless repeats (and a terrible spin off show with Matt Le Blanc!) Fever came up with the idea of the central perk pop-up which would see the shows iconic cafe return to London’s cosmopolitan area of Soho for two weeks.

Fever created Facebook fan pages for the pop-up cafe, which generated a huge amount of interest and led to queues outside the cafe each day. Facebook was instrumental in the campaign as it was effectively used as a platform to create a buzz about the cafe. This word-of-mouth coverage was achieved at a relatively low cost and highlights how influential social media sites can be.

Fever also hired Gunther from Friends to serve coffees which went down well with customers. The central perk pop-up concept received a great deal of national press coverage including an article in The Guardian, and T.V coverage on the BBC and Sky News. The pop-up cafe was also one of the top ten tweeted about topics in the opening week of business as it was mentioned by more than 13,000 users.

Many of the guests who pulled up a pew on the iconic cafe sofas bought the DVD box set which was one of the biggest selling titles at Christmas.

The recurring theme throughout our presentation was the use of social media to publicise campaign events. Social media are an ideal platform for this due to the number of people who use sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. What’s more is that this publicity can be generated cheaply through the successful adoption of social media as part of an integrated PR campaign.

Has anyone spotted another PR campaign that used social media well? Or maybe one that hasn’t? I bet there are a few good examples of companies that have ‘dived in’ and used social media because it seems like the fashionable thing to do...