Thursday, July 29, 2010

Old Spice Campaign - Viral Success Or Failure?


Posted by Amanda Walsh

Just about everyone has heard about the Old Spice videos that became wildly popular on the Internet recently. If you haven’t, let me bring you up to speed.

Old Spice launched the advertising campaign called, “Smell like a man, man,” which included TV ads and Youtube videos that some are calling the most successful viral campaign ever. Coupling the videos with a Twitter account and persona, actor and ex football player, Isaiah Mustafa starred as the Old Spice man who amazed viewers with his smooth voice and clever retorts. The spot was a hit, drawing more than 13 million views on YouTube according to a NYtimes.com article.

To continue promotion of the ads, a team of writers and editors searched Twitter for responses to the Old Spice Man Twitter account. Later they filmed personalized video responses to Tweets including ones to celebrities and political figures. About 185 response videos were posted for the Old Spice guy, which furthered the sensation. One unusual request asked for the Old Spice man to propose to Twitter user Johannes S. Beals’ girlfriend. Shortly after the request was made, a video starring the Old Spice man was created. The happy ending was complete when Beals followed up with a tweet, “She said yes!”

Old Spice hit the mark with a funny, unique and dynamic ad campaign. They successfully reached out to consumers and built relationships with their audience, but here’s the real kicker- they listened and responded.

Always room for improvement


There were, however, critics Old Spice’s campaign; namely those who pointed to sales reports that indicated that sales were down seven percent. According to an article on brandchannel.com though, sales reports came out before the campaign hit its peak success.

I believe the real downfall, if any, of the campaign was that it came to an end. The Old Spice man tweeted, “Well friends, like all great things this too must end.” This is the first rule of getting started on social media, if you commit you need to continue. I don’t know how many times I have followed a brand and was genuinely excited to communicate, only to find that a few months later the account has gone stagnant. Last year Skittles temporarily turned their homepage into a stream of real-time comments from customers who referenced Skittles, only to abandon the revolutionary campaign as quickly as it started. Whether it is a Facebook page, a Twitter account or blog, the important thing is not only to get started but to continue producing quality content and building relationships.

I did hear rumors that Old Spice has another campaign in the works. I’ll be sure to keep you posted!


(photo credit: zootpatrol.com)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Get Involved With Twitter Chats


Posted by Amanda Walsh

When I was living in Madrid, I began to notice many people getting together on Twitter every week at the same time tweeting using common hashtags such as #blogchat or #journchat to connect all of their comments together. Eventually I realized that people were participating in scheduled Twitter chats. What a great idea!

A Twitter chat is a scheduled time every week when Twitter users get together to discuss a topic of interest. Since I’m back in the same time zone as many of the people I follow, I have begun participating in a few on a regular basis.

Twitter Chats I recommend are:

* #u30pro chat "is a place for working professionals to drive the discussion to bridge the generational gap, demolish stereotypes and break down differences in the professional workplace."
* #PRstudchat brings together public relations students, professors and professionals alike. There is #journchat, for journalists and public relations professionals as well.
* #Commschat is a London-based chat that brings together communications professionals from all over the globe in a variety of industries.

Why are chats so great for public relations and marketing? You can connect with others. It’s all about building relationships and Twitter chats are an awesome way to connect with peers all around the world. When you start to participate in chats regularly you see the same Twitter users all the time. You’re able to foster relationships with people, seek or give advice and share tips. Check out some of the recommendations I provided or Google search some of interest to you!
(photo credit: http://lacasacomics.com/)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Want More Retweets On Twitter? Here Are Some Tips!

Posted by Amanda Walsh

One goal for many Twitter users is to have their posts retweeted to increase their reach. I found this interesting article on SocialMediaToday.com and wanted to share some of the tips with our readers. Below I use some Twitter terminology. To read more about the lingo, check out Gina's Legal Intelligencer blog post, "To friend or Not to Friend – Social Media for Lawyers Part 4: Twitter for Lawyers".

Discover Hashtags. Some of you may have noticed others using messages beginning with # followed by specific keywords (ex. #journchat). These are called hashtags. They are very useful because other tweeps can follow tweets based on specific hastags. However, make sure to use hashtags in a strategic way and be careful not to overuse them. Others with similar interests will see your tweets and may choose to retweet your information.

Retweet Others. This may seem like a no-brainer tip but it’s true! I have found that the more I retweet relevant and useful information to my followers , the more my own messages are being retweeted.

K.I.S.S. As a guideline for many PR professionals in all types of writing, KISS stands for ‘Keep it Short and Simple.’ This rule is helpful in formulating tweets as well. It can be difficult to stick to a 140-character limit while including a message, shortened URL and hashtag. This is important when crafting useful messages however and the key to getting others engaged enough to retweet.

Use a Call to Action. If you retweet useful information, the easiest way to get others to share your tweet is to simply ask!

Back in January, my colleague Katie Noonan also blogged about some retweeting tips found here. Try these tips next time you’re on Twitter. Happy Tweeting!
(photo credit: http://www.territoriogeek.com/)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tungle.me: Next Big Thing In Scheduling


Posted by Amanda Walsh

Although the name seems a bit deceiving, Tungle.me is not an inappropriate website but rather an innovative system for scheduling that aims to increase productivity and take the headache out of scheduling meetings and events both professional and personal.

From what I understood from the tutorial video on the website, Tungle.me can easily sync your existing calendar whether it's Google, Outlook, Lotus Notes, or on your Iphone or Blackberry. The best part is that you determine your times of availability and make those times public to those who want to schedule with you. Your co-workers or friends can then suggest possible times within your availability and Tungle takes care of the rest. Their suggested meeting time is sent to you for approval and you select one that works for you. Tungle updates your calendar and takes away your available time on your calendar and confirms the meeting with the invitee. Others don't need to sign up for Tungle to schedule with you and it also eliminates the possibility of double-booking your precious time. How easy is that?

I can't say that I've used this yet but it does seem like a new innovative way to easily fit in everything in your day. Just another tool to help productivity in the office, I'm sure Neen James

would be proud!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Jing Your Way To Employee Training


Posted by Amanda Walsh

Last week, I watched a video that Gina F. Rubel made to train the Furia Rubel team on backing up files in our time management system. The video displayed Gina's computer screen while she moved her mouse and opened files. Her voice was recorded in the background and she explained how to back up the necessary files while demonstrating on her own PC. I learned where and how to save the files within the system all under 5 minutes.

She used the program Jing to create the training video and I was blown away by what a great training tool it is for educating employees quickly and efficiently. While I watched the video, my colleagues were able to continue working on their projects instead of taking the time to work with me.

Jing allows the user to take a photo of their screen, record onscreen action, and share instantly on the web, IM or email. There is a free option that can be downloaded to your desktop and used right away. To read more visit, Jing.

(Logo credit: Jing)

JD Supra and LinkedIn Launch 'Legal Updates' to Create World's Largest Legal Content Distribution Network

Congratulations to our friends at JD Supra. Today they announced that LinkedIn, the premiere social networking platform used by more than 70 million professionals, has added JD Supra's Legal Updates (http://bit.ly/c8JRjh) to its exclusive list of (now) sixteen Intelligent Applications (InApps), which also include Reading List by Amazon and Presentation by Google.

Powered by JD Supra content-articles and analysis published by legal professionals around the world-Legal Updates distributes a feed of expert commentary and guidance as well as legal news tailored to the professional interests of LinkedIn members. Currently, Legal Updates is the only application for distribution of professional legal content and information available on LinkedIn. It is free to LinkedIn members and available immediately.

The Legal Updates app will be the subject of an online demonstration led by JD Supra founder Aviva Cuyler, on July 22, 2010, at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT. Ms. Cuyler and co-founder Adrian Lurssen will demonstrate the application's more powerful features, including customized legal feeds on LinkedIn and the ability for users to recommend JD Supra documents to their LinkedIn contacts as well as sync their JD Supra and LinkedIn profiles.

For webinar registration, go to: http://bit.ly/9NOeuL.

The benefits of JD Supra's Legal Updates Application on LinkedIn include:

- JD Supra's Legal Updates application empowers legal professionals to communicate their expertise not only to their own list of LinkedIn contacts but beyond to LinkedIn's entire network of 70 million professionals across a range of fields, including Insurance, Banking, Tech, Real Estate, HR, and more.

-With JD Supra's Legal Updates application, LinkedIn's 70 million members can receive custom-tailored, fully editable content feeds based on their industry and areas of interest. Real estate professionals get updates on real estate law; HR professionals get updates on HR law, etc.

-The JD Supra application provides a compelling reason for lawyers to join LinkedIn, and for those who are already members, a reason to more actively use LinkedIn.

-JD Supra Legal Updates provides the only searchable repository of professional legal analysis and information on LinkedIn.

The features of JD Supra's Legal Updates Application on LinkedIn include:

-Prominence: JD Supra articles are uploaded directly on LinkedIn and delivered straight to members' homepages.

-Custom feeds: With Legal Updates, JD Supra can deliver custom-tailored, fully editable content feeds to any of LinkedIn's nearly 70 million members based on their industry and areas of interest: real estate professions receive real estate articles; HR professionals receive HR articles, etc.

-Managed feeds: Users can subscribe to feeds in over 50 different subject areas and/or subscribe to feeds from individual JD Supra authors.

-Web 2.0 sharing: Legal Updates users can instantly recommend and share JD Supra articles with colleagues on LinkedIn.

-Library building: Users can mark articles as "favorites" and build a library of helpful reference articles over time.

-Information sharing: Legal Updates allows other LinkedIn members to see which articles you have recently read, shared, made favorite, and uploaded.

-Browsing/Searching: Users can perform a text search or browse the full JD Supra library of documents in all subject areas from within LinkedIn.

-Enhanced profiles: JD Supra members can sync their JD Supra and LinkedIn accounts, automatically adding their JD Supra articles to their LinkedIn profiles.

-Connection: JD Supra articles contain one-click access to any author's full portfolio of JD Supra content.

-Network expansion: Each article comes with a button allowing the reader to add the author to his/her network.

For more in-depth user case studies, bios, and training resources, visit http://bit.ly/dtBW1u

In with the Nu Out with the Old Captcha

Posted by Katie Noonan

Most people have encountered Captchas even if they don't know it. They're the random, distorted letter or number combinations found on many websites. Captchas are commonly used on "contact us" and credit card purchase forms -even E-mail providers like Gmail and social media sites like Facebook ask you to complete one when you enter the wrong password one too many times. They're great for securing information and preventing computer hackers from wreaking havoc on websites.

The basic premise is that if you can effectively type the Captcha you're human. They've been around for the last decade and have become increasingly more complex to stay a step ahead of wily hackers. Pesky, yes, but also necessary.

Now, Leap Technologies has released NuCaptcha. NuCaptcha technology uses streaming video clips in addition to letter combinations and asks Internet users to pick out the letters in red while watching the video clip. According to Leap Technologies, NuCaptchas are more secure than their predecessor.

For now, they make keep hackers at bay, but for long it remains to be seen.

Visit the Nucaptcha site to learn more or check out a demo.

How To: Set A Custom Username For Your Facebook Business Page

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Today’s tip for our readers deals with Facebook pages. If you are looking to create a custom URL for your Facebook page, which you definitely should do for your business’ or organization’s page, you simply need to visit www.facebook.com/username.

Once you’re on that webpage, there is a link that reads, “Set a username for your Pages.” When you click on it, a drop down box appears saying:“Easily direct someone to your Page by setting a username for it. You will not be able to edit or transfer this username once you set it.”

Since page URLs are not able to be edited, make sure you put some thought into the decision. A custom URL is a good way to maintain brand consistency across the various social media platforms that may be a part of your marketing campaign.

For more help with the username setting process, go here.

(Photo credit: http://www.dakno.com)

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Tips for E-Newsletters

Written by Laura Powers and Katie Noonan

As we’re putting the finishing touches on the Furia Rubel E-newsletter this month, we want to share a few tips with our readers:

Keep it Short and Sweet. E-newsletters are a fairly quick read for most people. Because they’ll most likely skim long articles, you can make your newsletter stand out by keeping the content as short and concise as possible.

Make a Checklist. Make a checklist that shows your reader a step-by-step process. This will cut down on the length of sentences.

Ask for Feedback. Ask for feedback about your newsletter. Readers may ask you to add more to one area and delete from another. They may also offer tips on the content and its relevance. All of this feedback will help to improve your newsletter and prevent people from deleting it without reading or unsubscribing.

Do Your Homework. Subscribe to other e-newsletters for ideas. Set up another e-mail address and subscribe to various newsletters. This is a great way to objectively view newsletter content to see what works and what doesn’t.

Be creative. Add color, add your logo, add a few small photos, brand your newsletter. Do something creative to make your newsletter pleasing to the eye. People will be a lot more inclined to read it all the way through.

Include a takeaway. E-Newletters should include company news- not be consumed by it. While you want to share exciting news about the company with your readers, it’s nice to include something for them as well. If your company specializes in finance or investments, include a helpful tip on managing 401Ks.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Organic SEO - Web Tips

Our in-house SEO expert Laura Powers shares with readers the top three rules for creating successful websites:

  1. Easy-to-use navigation
  2. Regular updates
  3. Search engine optimization (SEO)

Navigation
No one wants to have to dig for information on your website. Make sure you have a site map that makes sense and points to the right categories. If you have a larger site, design a site map so that users can access pages more easily.

Content
Keep your pages fresh with new content. You will increase your website traffic and your site will show up with higher ranking on search engines like Google. Here are some examples of ways to add new content to your site:

  • Press releases
  • Blog entries
  • Articles
  • E-newsletter blasts
  • Online shopping products

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engines like Yahoo, Google and MSN work like directories for the Internet. They crawl pages for relevant content according to the “key words” users input to find information. To make sure you show up on the pages, you need to look at a few things:

Organic options

  • Keywords & Metatags: Make sure your website html has keywords and metatags relating to users’ potential searches
  • Online Directories: Make sure you are listed in all free online directories like Google
  • Blogs: If the content is updated regularly you will rank higher in search engines
  • Press Releases: Similar to a blog, this will also keep you ranked higher in search engines

Paid options

  • Google Adsense: Allows companies to purchase ads that appear on certain section of Web page when keywords are used
  • Pay-per-click: Targets consumers in same industry as yours with ads on all sorts of high-traffic Web sites

Thursday, July 01, 2010

How Your Business Can Avoid Common Social Networking Mistakes


Posted by Amanda Walsh

Just because your business or organization has a Facebook or Twitter account does not mean you are reaching the audience you want. Steve Overly’s “Social networking sites: 10 mistakes organizations make” featured on Washingtonpost.com this week offers some great tips on this topic. Here are a few takeaways I wanted to share with our readers:

*Instead of trying to tackle a dozen social media networks at once, identify those key sites that will reach your target audience and focus on those first.

*Consider organizational needs. Is the goal of social media engagement to network with others or to market the brand? Overly illustrates his point by noting that a restaurant most likely uses social media to bring in new customers, whereas a government agency could be looking to find allies within the government.

*Place social media responsibility with an experienced and reliable member of staff. Management of social media networks should be assigned to someone who understands the medium, and is comfortable with putting a personal touch on outreach while staying on target with the brand messages.

*It is important to listen to, respond to and engage your audience. Social media is not just another platform to push information on followers. It should be a conversation. Overwhelming followers with information is a sure way to lose them.

These are just a few tips to consider but to read all 10, check out the article on the washingtonpost.com website.


(photo credit: www.briansolis.com)

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