Friday, May 8, 2009

the BIG idea speeches

Along with 300+ other marketers, I attended BCAMA Vision Conference this week in Vancouver, BC. The theme was to discover your next big idea. Lots of inspiration! Highlights for me were speeches by Jim Carroll, Richard Bartrem, VP West Jet and Brian Scudamore, CEO 1-800-Got-Junk.

Futurist Jim Carroll started his presentation with a cool text/sms poll (poll everwhere) asking the audience when they think the economic recovery will happen. No surprise the majority said 1-2 years. He’s a great speaker and talked about innovation and the necessity for a relentless focus on growth and continuous improvement. Here’s a quote from his website:

"Forget about the concept of innovation as simply involving the design of cool new products. In the high-velocity economy, where faster is the new fast, it's your ability to adapt, change, and evolve, through a constant flood of new ideas, that will define your potential for success." (From the opening chapter of Jim's newest book, Ready, Set, Done: How to Innovate When Faster is the New Fast)

Richard Bartrem, VP Culture and Communications WestJet, talked about the culture of care and how important using the right language is. WestJet gets it for sure!

People vs. Employees / Promises vs. Policies / Lead vs. Supervise / Guests vs. Passengers

Entrepreneur, Brian Scudamore, CEO and founder of 1-800-Got-Junk didn’t use PowerPoint (yeah!) and engaged us with his story about the journey through starting a business and growing it to $100M biz. I loved their “can you imagine” wall for employees. Such a great way to get employees engaged in the vision and dream. He recommends reading the book emyth so will have to check it out.

The last session, fireside chat style, with Yahoo Canada’s GM Kerry Munro, Professor & Author Ken Wong, Social Media Group’s CEO Maggie Fox and GREY Canada’s creative VP Clare Meridew, was full of interesting comments about marketing, social media and recessions. Ken Wong said many brilliant things, since he is a Professor, but one comment that stuck out for me is "Companies that continued spending through the recession grew at 200% post recession. Those that cut grew only 19%." [research from 1980-85 recession]

All in all an interesting conference. Thanks BCAMA.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Social Media Tips

Social Media Tips

Marketing communications is about two-way engagement and creating conversations. Have a strategy, framework and commit to an ongoing dialogue.

1. Find out what your brand keywords are. Search on Google and your top 10 “hits” in all areas are your brand. List out your top 10 keywords. Use these keywords in all communication. To use keywords that get searched more often check out Google Adwords. Go to Technorati and find out what is being said about you. Sign up to monitor what others are saying with Google alerts, Tweetlater, Tweetbeep.
2. Get your online domains. Sign up for accounts on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter to avoid others using your name. Even if you don’t know what you are going to do yet get your domains now.
3. Use Tweetdeck on your desktop to manage twitter conversations.
4. With marketing and communications, link to videos and photos to make it more visual and interesting. Use Youtube and Flickr.
5. Have a blog or online forum and build a community.
6. Advertise with Google adwords and Facebook for ROI.
7. Be authentic and real as the online community sees right through spin and instantly you’ve lost credibility. Some people are ok about talking about what they had for lunch and others aren’t. Be your brand and personality and engage with your communities.
8. If you are using news releases, use social media releases and connect with bloggers and online sites. Marktetwire, CNW, PitchEngine (free), PRweb are a few resources for this.
9. Have a blog and online policy for employees. Some companies, like Zappos, encourage employees to have Twitter accounts and others encourage participating in blogs and on Facebook. Employees like customers are your community and your brand. Connect with them. See samples of blog policies.
10. Monitor and measure your objectives. Use free services like Google Analytics, TweetStats. Or if you want to pay use Radian6.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Putting the Public Back in Public Relations

I'm reading this book by Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge. Learning highlights of chapter 1 ...

Reminder that good PR:
- provides credibility with 3rd party endorsements
- builds trust and relationships
- influences and changes opinions
- builds reputations
- creates presense
- builds brand loyalty
- evokes response and action

Tailor your story and spark conversations. Engage with people.

Use social media releases (more on this next week).