Archive for public relations

Blood from a stone III – Discovering the ROI within your social media campaign – The ROI of Reputation Management

Posted in social media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2009 by mediapirate

This blog entry has been a long time coming so I do apologize. I had some personal issues that I needed to address and that involved me moving back to Canada and getting established which takes a lot more time than I ever wanted to invest. A hard transition but much needed and worth it.

So onto the task at hand. Your online reputation. It really comes down to the fact that there is a conversation online regardless of whether or not you are a participant. People talk about everything and sometimes they will talk about you. Sometimes in a good way and sometimes not. It’s the latter that I will be discussing today.

If there are negative comments about you and your brand they do need to be dealt with. Most people these days Google companies or services prior to purchasing. What you don’t know about yourself online could be hurting your bottom line. Social media will give you the opportunity to change this by becoming part of the conversation and if you use it correctly it actually gives you some control of your online reputation.

Here are some simple steps for you to maximize control of your reputation online:

Step 1 – Join in the conversation
Get yourself on the tools that you are being talked about on. This will at least put you on the same page as your targets.

Step 2 – Search out negative press
Search for the people that are talking about you and follow them. This will allow you to watch the conversation unfold and see what the issues are. Also, make sure that you do Google searches for negative press and make a note of contact information of each of the unsatisfied parties.

Step 3 – Research the situation
Prior to responding determine what the real issues are and where the real fault lies. Was it your companies fault? Was it one of your staff that over promised? Was the product at fault? Or is it the end client that is simply over-reacting.

Step 4 – Come up with a strategy

Don’t wade into the middle of a hostile conversation unarmed. Have a solution ready to present. In fact, have multiple solutions ready. The unhappy party may just want to be acknowledged and talked to. That can actually diffuse most situations but be prepared with a secondary strategy should the situation escalate.

Step 5 – Communicate
Just the act of communication is a positive step online for your company because it immediately shows that you care. Go over the entire situation with the end client. This will make sure that you are both on the same page. It will also allow the end user to reflect and realize if they maybe over-reacted. Make sure that your main goal is listening. You aren’t the one with the problem, the client is.

Step 6 – Attitude

No matter what the other party says or does, understand that you are working for a company and this is not personal. Maintain a level of professionalism and continue attempting to resolve the situation. The public will see this and even if you can’t come to an understanding it at least shows that you cared enough for this client that you made this very personal effort.

Step 7 – Document
Record all occurrences of communication between you and the end client. This can build up a great social media case study for you to showcase on a blog. It can also be a necessary component if it ever comes down to a legal battle. This information is invaluable to your organization because it is honest feedback and may allow for these type of situations to be minimized in the future.

Step 8 – Transparency
Above all remain transparent. If you lie or try to manipulate the situation you could be providing the ammunition that an unhappy client needs to damage your brand even more. It’s all about connecting with your community on a human level. Say that you’re sorry, help your client and move forward in a positive manner. We all just want to be acknowledged and these days there aren’t many accountable companies. Become one and you may have just found the key to stand out in your industry.

There are many more elements in a solid reputation management campaign but by starting with these few basic steps you will be well on your way. The end result of a properly maintained reputation management campaign is to address negative press and convert it to a positive case study by developing brand advocates. Doing this also assists in the build of your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) campaign and increases your overall brand equity. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. I would love to hear from you!

Mediapirates Top Five Reasons To Use Social Media!

Posted in Media, social media, Twitter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2009 by mediapirate

In the past few days I have used social media for so many things that I think I’m almost starting to take it for granted. It’s just SO convenient and I use it so much that I think that I would be lost if it suddenly disappeared. So for those of you not yet completely immersed in this fantastic new form of communication I present my top five reasons why you might want to consider it!

5) Driving Traffic – Who knows maybe this is how you found my blog! It’s just amazing how powerful social media is for driving traffic to your own media or things that you find interesting. I can’t tell you how many sites I visit daily because my social media community has recommended them. It would really show the power of social media traffic to know how you got here so if you get a moment leave a comment on this entry and just say how you found out about my blog.

4) Getting Work – Since starting our social media initiatives Sterling Cross Communications has received numerous business leads, speaking offers (Which have lead to business), partner projects and actual direct contracts. I believe that in the future this will be our largest segment growth for new business. Yeah, I know this one should have been higher but I like social media for so many other things than just work.

3) Searching For Talent Or Just Plain Advice – When I go to look for a specific talent or I need to know something, social media is the first place I turn. I can’t even tel you how many times I have needed to know something specific or needed a very specific service and have found it in my network. In fact last night I was looking for a PR arm in Ohio and within six minutes I received well over 30 responses! These people are amazing!

2) Posting Media – Posting my photos, videos, blog entries, etc. and being able to share these moments instantly with family and friends. Allowing people to share my life from a distance is very important. My girlfriend lives in Fargo, my daughter and friends live in Calgary AB, Canada, and my parents go between a lake place in Canada and a winter place in Texas so you see how crucial communication is to me. My social media campaigns allow me to feel connected to all of the people that matter in my life and that really rocks 🙂

1) Community – My favorite part of social media without a doubt is being part of something bigger and being able to rely on the support of a community. The reach of social media is truely unlimited and I have met some fantastic people that without social media I never would have met. Some help me in business (I hope I do the same for them as well) and some I just like to chat with but regardless of the reason the world seems just a little bit smaller.

If you ever had doubts about the value of social media I hope this helps. Please feel free to add me and say hi! Below is a list of just some of the social media portals I am on. If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear from you.

All the best,
Scott

Myspace
Facebook
Plurk
Twitter
Friendfeed
Jaiku
LinkedIn
Hellotxt
Pandora
Mashable
plaxo
Ping FM
Hi 5
tagged
youare
Pandora
Blip.fm
Wordpress
youtube
bebo
yammer
tumblr
technorati
Flickr
ReJaw
Brightkite
Identi.ca
Kwippy
Utterli
Mahalo
poprl

Is too much social media a bad thing? (Part II)

Posted in Media, social media, Twitter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2008 by mediapirate

In response to a comment from my last entry (Andy in specific) – I did tweet (a post in the twitter application for those not familiar with tweets) some time ago about the ineffective use of social media and how too many social media portals has the tendency to become advertising or spam. After a number of discussions with SM professionals though I decided to investigate some of them. I ended up applying for twenty or so to see what they were all about. I quickly found I didn’t have time to manage the relationship building. I then discovered hellotxt thinking it was a way to manage communicating to these multiple portals but this just wasn’t the case. I was only talking and not listening.

To me the “social” part of social media is the overall exchange of ideas, links, and conveying your overall personality in an online arena. This is something you just can’t get across if you aren’t actively reading and responding to other peoples postings. I have since ended up using my many accounts through hellotxt as a way to reach the masses and using the most active of my social media accounts to engage and showcase my presence. This still of course isn’t ideal but neither is being spread thin enough that I render them all ineffective.

So how do all of you manage your social media applications to effect. I know that my business audience would be greatly interested in your insight as would I. So please feel free to share your practices in as much or as little detail as you would like. Maybe we can actually find a way to manage our social media so we can have actual lives offline too.

By the way Arik, the link you sent me was great!

To check out all of the previous comments, Arik’s link and my last entry: Is too much social media a bad thing (Part I) click here

Also check out Em’s related blog here

Is too much social media a bad thing?

Posted in Media, social media, Twitter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2008 by mediapirate

I’ve had much discussion lately about social media applications and how to adequately utilize them in order to expand a network. A number of people have said to me that in order to know the best route to take, you really have to subscribe to as many social media portals as possible and utilize them all. While I understand that developing a familiarity with all applications is ideal, is it really feasible? I mean, in order to see if one application is more effective you really have to commit yourself to it, and with the time required to develop real engaging relationships in a social media application is there enough time in the day?

Granted, there are ways to utilize technology to conserve some time while reaching the larger masses such as hellotxt which allows you to send out messages to multiple social media apps such as facebook, myspace, twitter, linkedin, (Even an Asian social network with the lovely name of feecle lol) and many, many more, but isn’t this closer to spamming than developing engagement? I am very torn right now due to my love of playing with new online apps and my need to effectively communicate.

Can we develop real engagement and response with multiple apps? Is it necessary to understand every app on the market? Is this a contest to see who can be found in the most avenues or is this a sad exercise in self gratuitous futility?

Please let me know your thoughts on this. I can be reached by:

email: scott at sterlingcrossgroup.com
LinkedIn: Scott Baird
Facebook: Scott Baird
Myspace: Scott Baird
Twitter: mediapirate
Plurk: mediapirate
hellotxt: mediapirate
Pownce: mediapirate
Jaiku: mediapirate
Blog: mediapirate.wordpress.com
etc……………………………………..

Expectations Where You Least Expect Them

Posted in Customer Service with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2008 by mediapirate

A few days ago I was having a bad day. Not a horrible day or anything but one of those days where a lot of little things pile up on the fact that you were exhausted in the first place and everything drives you a little crazy. In the midst of this my girlfriend and I decided to grab a quick snack. Not in the mood for anything in particular we went to Applebees.

Our server Aaron brought us our drinks and we ordered some apps. About 10 min later Aaron returns with the news that they have a deep-fryer down so our food may take some time. The food did take a little longer than we expected, but when it arrived it wasn’t the food we ordered. As we were a little pressed for time I could just feel this adding up to become the proverbial straw breaking the camels back in my day. I called Aaron over and mentioned the issue with our order. And then it happened…

Good customer service!

It’s actually been a long time since I have witnessed this amazing phenomenon. People who care enough about their business to actually help the customers that support it.

Aaron disappeared into the back and within minutes a manager by the name of Brett appeared with our corrected order and his apologies for the confusion. Before leaving he then told another staff member to bring us a couple of complimentary mini-bacon cheeseburgers as well. I think I was actually in shock. I didn’t even complain and I had a managers attention. I felt my day taking a turn for the better.

Our mini-bacon cheeseburgers arrived and with them another manager named Casey. He apologized for the complications and delay in our order and asked if we needed anything else. We thanked him for the good customer service, finished our meal, paid, tipped, and left the restaurant. It was when we left that I noticed it though. My day had become better. My stresses were lighter on my shoulders and I felt as if it was a new start on my almost completed day.

This is what a good customer service experience is truly all about. Now can you imagine if every place you visited had this respect for you. We would all have a little less stress in our days and a little more reason to smile. It really puts it into perspective for me. I may not always get to choose who I do business with, but I do know who deserves my business, and all it cost Applebees was a little time with their customer and maybe a buck or two if even that for the mini-burgers.

So if you are ever in Fargo ND and feel like a bite to eat, stop in to the Applebees just off 13th Ave S. and maybe your expectations for customer service will become just a little more than you ordered.

How fast is Twitter Growing?

Posted in Media, social media, Twitter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2008 by mediapirate

Just to give everyone an idea of how fast Twitter is growing check out Twittearth in this youtube video or just click on the link. I mean even the presidential candidates are using this. Pretty cool stuffs! Don’t worry, I’m not using this as a lame attempt to get out of writing a real entry.

Twitteriffic!

Posted in Media, social media, Twitter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2008 by mediapirate

Around our office the latest tech applications are always embraced. From Wiki’s and Blog’s to Podcasts and custom CMS conversion tools it’s all good. As long as you can find a purpose for it. Social media is usually silly and definitely fun but when it can be effectively integrated within a strategic campaign it’s even better. Twitter is no exception to this rule.

The basic concept of Twitter is like subscribing to a newsletter. The only difference being you only have 140 characters in which to type your content and you can receive many in one day. In terms of valid content this can definitely provide a challenge having so little space, but I feel these limitations are definitely overcome by its strengths.

Twitters strength is its reach. This means its ability to contact your dedicated fan-base at any given time anywhere they are. There is really no other way to gain this reach in as effective manner, and as mobile internet capability increases this will only become more powerful. While its content may be limited, it’s definitely an ideal driver.

I tested this effectiveness using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, my mediapirate WordPress blog and the Sterling Cross website. With links connecting each of these media applications together I simply sent a message telling people to check out my latest blog entry and included the link. Then I sat back and watched the stats. It was really amazing to watch how Twitter interacted with my followers and my Facebook friends, sending them to the mediapirate Blog and then watching the runoff into the Sterling Cross site and my LinkedIn profile. Within the first twenty minutes I had seventeen views to my Blog and about five visits to each of my other portals. I was really impressed with how immediate the call to action really was. It was basically as personal as calling everyone up and telling them to go check out my Blog.

If you have any innovative uses for Twitter please feel free to share them with me. I would love to hear your cool ideas. If you would like to follow me my Twitter name is mediapirate. If you get a chance check out my heavily twitterized co-worker Chris on Twitter. His name is MrChristopherL and he’s constantly Twittering. I believe he is also launching a Twitter based blog at abovethebuzz so take a peek there if you aren’t twittered out yet.

Check out the latest Twitter application Twhirl. It’s a desktop client for Twitter that makes your texting addiction even easier. 🙂