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introducing my new thing

By on Feb 9, 2015 in stradigal |

A few weeks ago, I left big agency life to do my own thing. It’s taken a smidgen over 40 years, but I think I’ve finally figured out what I want to do when I grow up: I want to convene a collective. A collective is a group of entities that share or are motivated by at least one common issue or interest, or work together to achieve a common objective. Collectives differ from cooperatives in that they are not necessarily focused upon an economic benefit or saving, but can be that as well. Like many of the people I know who started off in the internet and social media industry ten or more years ago, my initial interest wasn’t making money – indeed, back when I started, there were very few “proper jobs” in digital. Instead, I was motivated by the belief that, used in the right way, digital tools offered new opportunities to forge a new sort of society...

news feed algorithm changes not a problem for brands with an engagement focused strategy

By on Nov 20, 2014 in fleishmanhillard, online community, public relations, social business |

[Note: A slightly reworked version of this post now appears on LinkedIn] A new research report by a Forrester analyst, suggesting that brands are wasting their money on Facebook and Twitter, has generated lots of interest this week. The report itself is behind a pay wall, but has been covered on the Wall Street Journal CMO blog. “You don’t really have a social relationship with your customers,” analyst Nate Elliott wrote in a new report titled “Social relationship Strategies That Work.” According to Mr. Elliott, top brands’ Facebook and Twitter posts only reach around 2% of their fans and followers, and less than 0.1% of fans and followers actually interact with each post on average. What’s more, Facebook announced last week that another tweak to its news feed algorithm will soon make it even less likely brands’ unpaid posts will actually be seen by users. As a result, marketers hoping...

10 ways to be a great agency client

By on Nov 3, 2014 in fleishmanhillard |

Below are some top tips on how to have a successful relationship with your agency… 1. Involve stakeholders early on I’ve been involved in situations where clients share too little too late with their own internal stakeholders. The reality is, organisational silos inhibit success, so keeping things to yourself is unlikely, in the medium to long-term, help anyone achieve what they set out to.   2. Disclose budgets In the real world, whenever we want to purchase a product or service, we outline the budget we have in mind – otherwise, how would the car dealership know what you mean when you say you want a “great car” or an estate agent know what you’re looking for if the only parameter is that your seeking “the perfect home”? Disclosing your budget, even as a range, helps your agency develop a proposal aligned with your expectations....

communications is key in the evolution of business models

By on Jul 31, 2014 in fleishmanhillard, public relations, social business |

Most Communications professionals spend their time focusing on tactical executions – crafting outputs and pushing them out hoping that that they’ll create outcomes in the form of events or, if they’re lucky, events that generate patterns. I’ve long argued that the role of Communicators can and should be more strategic. To do that, we need to get involved in the development of structures and new organisational mental models. Findings from FleishmanHillard’s proprietary research on Authenticity identified 9 key drivers of brand authenticity. Only one of those drivers, Credible Communications, is directly under control of the PR and Marketing function. The rest, which include Innovation, Consistent Performance, Better Value, Customer Care, Care of the Environment, Employee Care, etc are mostly the sort of things that are determined at the Structural or Mental...

the past, present and future of social media (or why facebook is pretty much dead to me)

By on Jul 28, 2014 in Uncategorized |

Clearly, as someone who has earned a living off helping brands devise and implement social media strategies for around 15 years, I’m off message with this post. Or am I? Social platforms come and go. I remember setting up my first bulletin board system on an Apple IIe back in the mid-eightys. I clearly recall building a 5000+ person email list on Yahoo Groups in the early 90’s. I ran facilitated web chats with a variety of experts in the mid-90’s. And I created a whole slew of bulletin boards, both personally and professionally, around the same time. I’ve always been an enthusiastic (usually) adopter of just about every social platform to emerge, and sometimes die, from the late 90’s until today. For some time now, I’ve realised that my use of social media has segmented across three distinct use cases, based on my perceptions of time and the...

internet, social and mobile usage statistics for europe

By on Jul 23, 2014 in academic studies, social software |

I’m always on the hunt for fresh, well presented, statistics on the use of the internet, mobile and social in different countries and regions. There are loads of sources, some presenting conflicting views. Regardless, it’s handy to have a single go to point when you’re in a rush and just need some top-line insight. Kudos, then, to the people at WeAreSocial who have created a treasure trove of such insight: Social, Digital & Mobile in Europe from We Are Social Singapore There’s a blog post with highlights here:...

speaking at the european communication summit, brussels

By on May 20, 2014 in Uncategorized |

I’m going to be presenting at the European Communication Summit, Europe’s top event for in-house Communications leads. The event takes place in Brussels on the 10th and 11th of July and has a start-studded line up of presenters including AOL’s David Shing, Lars Silberbauer-Andersen from Lego, Jimmy Mayman, CEO of the Huffington Post and many others. Details here:...

speaking at the global pr trends summit, doha

By on May 20, 2014 in conferences/events, fleishmanhillard |

I’m speaking at the Global PR Trends Summit in Doha, Qatar on the 1st and 2nd of June before heading over to our Dubai office for a few days. If you’re in planning to attend or are in town whilst I’m around, drop me a line.