29 Jan 2014
During the one year programme, successful applicants will have the opportunity to rotate through three of our specialist practices and to work across a variety of sector areas.
The programme is a great first step towards a career at one of the World’s leading integrated Communications and Marketing agencies. Come join us.
Full details here: http://fleishman.co.uk/careers/graduate-programme/
Those of you who follow me elsewhere online will have noticed that I recently started a new role as EMEA Social Business Lead at FleishmanHillard.
I’ll be working with clients being serviced by any of the 45 FleishmanHillard offices in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Richard Kanareck, Managing Director of our London office, from which I will be based, is quoted in this news release covered by Holmes Report:
“Robin is a true thought leader and will help us better support clients who are ready to move their digital and social media programmes into the strategic heart of their organisations.”
In a note to my new colleagues, I took a stab at explaining how social business is different from social media:
“Most brands recognise that social media offers new opportunities to target and engage directly with audiences through carefully crafted content and messaging. But social media is a two way street – and brands need to be well prepared to participate, as equals, with a variety of stakeholders there.
Whilst there once were clearly defined boundaries between the responsibilities, and stakeholder audiences, of distinct business functions, in social media such organisational silos often lead to poor governance, repetitive investment, and inconsistent messaging.
Social Business is an approach towards solving these challenges by bringing stakeholders, both internal and external, closer to business critical activities through the strategic application of people, platforms and processes.”
I’ve already been impressed with the people I’ve met in the London office and members of the Regional and Digital/Social leadership teams am an looking forward to getting involved in the strategic programmes they’re working on with clients. If you fancy being one of those clients, drop me a line at the new place: firstname.lastname@example.org
06 Nov 2013
It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to roll my sleeves up and get involved directly in building a website. That all changed, over the weekend, when my wife convinced me to build a website for Just Sheep, her new online business selling wool blankets. They’re lovely products, by the way.
Because I’m familiar with WordPress, which I use for Cybersoc.com as well as my (now defunct) blog about St. Albans, I decided to set up a fresh instance, buy a domain name, and install a theme.
The first install went badly, and I went a bit beyond my own capabilities making alterations to the theme, so I ended up wiping the the WordPress database using the MySQL control panel provided by my host.
To be clear, I don’t actually know what I’m doing half the time, but I do tend to understand how different configuration settings are likely to work, and actually enjoy trying to sniff out the bits of code that determine positioning, system messages, etc. After the fresh install, which wiped out a good 4-5 hours of work, it’s all been pretty smooth sailing.
The theme I bought and installed integrates really nicely with WooCommerce, an e-commerce service I’ve never used before. It handles inventory, pricing, postage calculation and all that fun back office stuff. It also has a nice shopping cart based ordering system for customers, with PayPal enabled check-out. I’ve also set up google analytics and google adwords for the site as well as a fresh paypal account, ebay account and amazon marketplace seller account.
There’s still a lot of work to do on the site. Our product photos need to be re-shot by a professional in a studio, rather than by us in the living room on a Sunday morning, and we need to get unique product codes (UPC) for the products before we can sell on Amazon. A logo is being created. The text content needs to be reworked- there are just basic product descriptions at present. And, although I’ve already set up Pinterest and Twitter accounts, there’s more work to be done planning and setting up social media services.
If you’ve not built in WordPress before, or it’s been a while since you’ve done so, I strongly encourage you to give it a bash – it’s not just an immensely powerful CMS, it’s also reasonably easy to get your head around. It’s also quite fun, if you usually work at the strategy, planning and content end of things, to actually bring a new website to life through your own efforts.
In many of my posts over the past year or so, I’ve found myself questioning the value of digital and social media but make no mistake, these posts are not attacks, rather pleas to the industry to do a bit of necessary growing up.
Brands don’t need a social media strategy any more than they need a press release strategy, a payroll strategy or a Christmas party strategy. They need a digital and social media programme that is aligned to their overall business strategy.
Yet many brands and organisations still approach it from the wrong end of the equation – by deciding they should “do” digital or social or Enterprise collaboration before actually knowing why, or even whether, they should be investing in these areas. It’s like choosing a hammer before realising you actually need a drill because what you really want is a millimetre perfect hole.
Fans and followers, retweets and likes, click throughs and shares are all great IF they lead to outcomes of strategic importance. They are meaningless, however, in isolation.
If its not clear why you’re investing in social media, all the statistics and measured outputs in the world won’t deliver a positive return on investment. Here’s a ten step approach to help you make the most of your investment:
- Take the time to understand your business strategy
- Identify and prioritise important strategic objectives
- Understand existing processes for achieving those objectives
- Look at the resources required to deliver those processes
- Understand what stakeholders – employees, investors, customers, etc – need to be engaged so as to turn those processes into desire able outcomes (and don’t forget to tease out their motivations)
- Map it all back to digital and social media, finding the sweet spot(s) where you can leverage these tools to deliver more effectively or efficiently
- Define a programme for doing this
- Tie the desired outcomes into existing measurement frameworks
- Implement, measure, analyse and iterate
- Capture best, and worst, practice and share the knowledge widely
27 Sep 2013
Cybersoc is 17.
In late September 1996, I decided to publish my MA Sociology Thesis, an ethnography about online communities, online. I ordered a copy of Adobe Pagemill, the first WYSIWYG html editor, and bashed together a website which, aside from a purple background and the odd blink tag, wasn’t THAT bad.
Within a few days I was getting letters from my ISP, Demon Internet, complaining that traffic to my site, hosted on a “tenner a month” account, had temporarily knocked down their entire web hosting infrastructure. Unbeknownst to me, I’d be listed as “Yahoo’s Cool Site of the Day” back when Yahoo mattered (this was two years before Google launched).
Happy 17th birthday, website.