Friday, January 8, 2010

Marketing, social media, communications resources

I've collected a list of online resources and thought I'd share. Let me know if you have other great ones to add.

Marketing Communications (funnel marketing) (email service) (email service and email marketing benchmarks)

Social Media (PR 2.0) (for Twitter) (not for profits and social media)

Monitoring (keywords) (free)


Community Relations


Setting up as a Consultant in BC

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Government Relations Presentation at CPRS Vancouver event - Summary

Government Relations (aka Lobbying)

I attended a very fascinating CPRS (Canadian Public Relations Society) Vancouver’s lunch session this week. The topic was communicating with government aka lobbying. With lobbying having so many negative associations, the presenters did a good job dispelling misperceptions and positioning lobbying as an important mechanism of the public interacting with government.

Karen Shepherd, Commissioner of Lobbying, spoke first about the federal legislation and interpretations of lobbying, with the definition (long one – see below), types of lobbyists (consultant, in-house corporations, in-house organizations/non-profit) and designated public office holders.

Federal definiatoin of Lobbying: Lobbying is communicating with a public office holder, for payment in respect of:
• The development of any legislative proposal,
• Introduction, defeat or amendment of any Bill or resolution,
• Development or amendment of any policy or program,
• Awarding of any grant, contribution or other financial benefit,
• Awarding of any contract,
• Arranging a meeting between a public office holder and any other person.

Registration can now be done online and consultant lobbyists have 10 days from undertaking (agreeing) to carry out a lobbying activity while in-house lobbyists have two months. It was a bit confusing when Karen talked about monthly disclosures and when it is required. Many grey areas for interpretation for sure!

Mary Elizabeth Carlson, Executive Director, Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists, spoke about lobbying in BC and started with a slide that said “Lobbying is not a crime”. The provincial definition of lobbying is essentially “communicating with public office holder in an attempt to influence” (different and shorter than the federal definition). Right now there is a Bill before the house to pass a new Lobbying Act which should have positive changes in BC. The Ken Dobell incident seems to have prompted many of the proposed changes. It will be interesting to see what the outcome is. Another positive is that they are working on a new registration system that is expected to be live in April 2010. Here’s a link to the current registration system which by the way requires you to pay $150 per registration (that is going away with the new system)

Here’s a quote from a Vancouver Sun article about the negative associations with lobbying:

“It's a profession that often dares not speak its name. Or, at least, does so reluctantly. Just ask the embattled Ken Dobell, who told reporters recently that he was reluctant to register as a lobbyist because the job description has a connotation "that none of us particularly like."

There was a comment by an audience member “then many charities in this country are lobbying and not declaring it”. The response by Karen Shepherd is that her mandate is to educate across the country about lobbying and more non-profits are registering as lobbyists.

Perhaps what needs to happen is that we should get rid of the word lobbying and replace with government relations to help build up credibility and overcome the long-tail negative perceptions associated with lobbying?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Communication and Collaborative Change / Upcoming Event

From acquisitions, to restructurings, management transitions, and diversifications, organizations continually encounter changes. How the organization communicates changes directly affects recruitment, retention and engagement.

Typical phases of organizational change:
1. Create awareness and sense of urgency.
2. Engage the culture.
3. Transform the culture.
4. Monitor impact and results.
5. Respond to feedback.
6. Sustain the change and commitment.

To set your communications strategy around the change, ask these questions:
• What are the business objectives with the change?
• How can communications help?
- Generate awareness?
- Educate and engage?
- Drive behavioural change?
- Mobilize commitment?
• What do we need to communicate to achieve our objectives?
• Who is the audience?
- What do they know/understand?
- What motivates them?
- What other changes have they been involved with and when?
• What is the best order to communicate with each audience?
• What communication tools/channels will be most effective and when?
- Whether an organization is small or large, private or public, the timing of the communication is extremely important and even more so now with social media and citizen journalism.

Change is a process, not an event and it is an emotional experience for those involved and people adjust to change at different rates. Therefore, it is important to have messages that help employees embrace the change. Following a framework helps in crafting messages around the change. Once you have the overall main messages then tailor for each audience to achieve a higher level of acceptance and engagement.

Change message framework:
• Provide background information about the change with reasons why and what the big picture vision is during and on the other side of the change.
• Present employee-specific information about the change including emotional reactions.
• Allow employees to provide input with questions, concerns or ideas about the change.
• Let employees know what is expected of them and what resources are available for support.
• Summarize and express appreciation in making the change work.

To learn more, attend the session “Communication for Collaborative Change” at the symposium “The Flexible Organization: Organizational Design & Change” October 15 in Burnaby or October 20 in Victoria. In the Communication session, you’ll learn how to apply a framework to the communications process. All participants will have the opportunity to participate in group exercises and discussions as well as be given a workbook with templates using best practices from IABC, industry research and case studies.

For more information bout the symposium, go to

Monday, September 7, 2009

How to monitor online conversations

To build your online community, monitor blogs and become part of the conversation. 

How do you monitor blogs?

MarketingProfs has a useful "how-to guide" for blog marketing and in it has listed tools for monitoring blogs. 

My favourite one is BlogPulse, what do you recommend?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Email Marketing Tips

I'm currently working on email marketing campaigns using Vertical Response, integrated with Salesforce, and found that it is important to remember the basics including what your purpose is for the email. From the book "Email Marketing An Hour a Day" they talk about the 5 types of emails:

1. Awareness
2. Consideration
3. Conversion
4. Product Usage
5. Retention and Loyalty


Awareness -- purpose is to ID interest -- use ad type placement in email

Consideration -- purpose is to accelerate interest and qualify -- use way to capture opt-in

Conversion -- to move from marketing to sales funnel after getting a buying signal -- use click-to-call or request demo

Product Usage -- purpose is to drive engagement with brand -- use cross and up-sell offers

Retention and Loyalty-- to deepen relationship -- use value added info (tips, e-newsletters)



Remember when your approach to email is different depending upon your brand awareness.

70% of business emails are opened and read within 3 hours of receipt.


Segment as much as possible and track stats (received, opened, clicked, conversion, bounced, unsubscribe).

HTML or text? Depends on your audience and what they expect. Youtube generation wants design and humour; boomers want the facts. Research your audience before you email ... buy, source free online, or survey.

And don't forget to comply with CAN-SPAM laws 

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Opportunistic trend marketing

I'm a big fan of opportunistic marketing.

I noticed one campaign this week while watching a TV ad at the gym. Nestle's Juicy Juice Immunity. It is using the H1N1 scare and back-to-school time to boost awareness and sales. Since kids are exposed to so many germs this juice promotes how the extra vitamin c and zinc will help boost the immune system. I'm sure many Mom's are going to go for this as who wants their kids to be sick let alone get H1N1. Brilliant new product and marketing IMHO !!!


Friday, August 7, 2009

5 marketing communication tips

1. CRM system like are fantastic systems for tracking leads, prospects, sales and all related communications through the funnel.
2. Email marketing programs like Vertical Response or Mail Chimp are easy to use and have templates and analytics to view %open, bounced and unsubscribe rates.
3. docmetrics provides tracking PDF tool to get stats to help with lead generation.
4. White papers are great “call to action” in direct marketing campaigns – whether email or mail. To share content there is Creative Common.
5. Leadlander gives you information about who is accessing your website.