Hughes PR, Social media

Quora? That is the question.

Quora – an online website where questions and answers are created, edited, and organised by everyone who uses it – was launched in Beta about a year ago and there’s been quite a bit of buzz about it on Twitter in the last few weeks.

After coming back from leave recently I setup an an account, which was incredibly easy. Using it is also quite intuitive, something I always like in a new service or any online service for that matter. Although being the type of service it is, I could always ask it how to use it.

In relation to my job at Hughes PR regarding social and digital media, I am able to follow topics related to these areas to see what questions and answers people are adding. I can also follow a particular question and if someone answers that question I am notified within the system, a feature I particularly like because I don’t always remember to follow up on these things. I can also see what questions my followers are following and what the trending topics are.

Therefore it’s quite a social system. But is it of any use to our clients? I think it could be.

Rather than showcase a particular client, I did a search for ‘Adelaide’ being the city in which Hughes PR is based:

This search could just as easily been for a brand. See in the image above how one word in the search bar will show a bunch of related questions so if you do a search for your brand or business you can immediately see what questions are being asked.

These results show me that Quora is not only being used in Adelaide, but that people are asking and answering questions related to Adelaide.

Quora answers are also showing up in Google search results making it another tool to potentially add to the digital strategy arsenal for businesses. At the very least it should be monitored for any references to your business.

One of my first thoughts after starting to use Quora was that it could be more useful than LinkedIn groups facility for questions and answers. I think Quora is a bit more user friendly in this regard.

There are roughly 1 million registered Quora users, although the jury’s out on how accurate any such number is. It has a way to go to catch up with the likes of Twitter and Facebook and maybe it never will, but in the meantime I’ll keep an eye on it.

Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.

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Crisis management, Public relations, Social media, Twitter

Social media risk management

A few months ago I came across a really useful infographic about Social media triage. Credit to Charlene Li for this one as outlined here. Click on the image to view in full.

Steps to follow in a social media crisis

The first thing outlined in the diagram above is to assess the message. This means that someone has to be monitoring your brand. But are you?

Last year, there were many examples of companies that failed to monitor their brand and consequently were unable to react to a crisis in the time that social media users expect. Messages from people using Twitter and Facebook can spread very quickly and their reach can be enormous.

Here are some examples of crises that were managed well and not so well via social media.

Good social media responses

  • Harvey Norman ran a radio ad about photos with Santa at Christmas with a reference to lap dances. People found this offensive and voiced their opinions in Twitter. Because Harvey Norman were monitoring social media they saw this and the ad ended up being pulled four hours after the first Tweet. Read about it here.
  • Two Domino’s Pizza employees made a video of themselves doing unsanitary things to food being prepared for customer delivery and posted it to YouTube. Domino’s responded with a video of its own. While the Dominos response was good, it was perhaps a bit late.

Not-so-good social media responses

Harvey Norman and Domino’s both responded to the criticism positively and relatively quickly. They assessed the message, evaluated the purpose, and fixed what needed to be fixed. In Harvey Norman’s case, they took the radio ad off the air. In Domino’s case they responded with a video saying that the employees had been dismissed and that this was an isolated incident.

Qantas didn’t respond at all which just added fuel to the fire and while Nestle did respond, they responded negatively and defensively which impacted their brand negatively in both cases. Qantas should have responded more rapidly (and one would assume the company has put mechanisms in place to do that in future). Nestle shouldn’t have deleted Facebook comments or responded defensively to others. It should have used the criticism as feedback about its brand and made appropriate changes – which it eventually did, but not before the damage was done.

These case studies show that social media can spiral out of control, but how do you mitigate potential risks?

  1. Monitor social media. There are paid tools to do this but there are also free ones, namely: Google Alerts, Social Mention, Twitter search, Booshaka. Setting these up should cover most of your bases.
  2. When/if something does happen, take a deep breath, stay calm and respond to it using the social media triage shown above.
  3. Are you in the social media space now? If you have a crisis, what social media channels will you use to respond? It’s better to have engagement with followers who can become your advocates in a potential crisis rather than scramble to find them if a crisis occurs.
  4. Do you have policies in place for social media? If not, it’s worth setting some policies up so that employees know how to respond, if they should respond etc. Usually companies have some sort of communications policy or guidelines and the social media component can form part of these.

Have you had to deal with crisis that involved social media?

Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.

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Hughes PR, Public relations, Social media

Australian PR/social media blogs

We’ve been reading blogs related to this one for some time now and we’d like to share them with you.

Below is a list of our favourite Australian public relations/social media blogs in alphabetical order.

Our criteria for their inclusion, apart from being Australian and about PR/social media, is that they are current and updated pretty regularly.

It’s also interesting to see if these bloggers use Twitter because people are more likely to interact using Twitter than comment on blogs so Twitter details have also been included. By the way you can follow Hughes PR on Twitter also.

Blog Twitter
Dennis Rutzou Public Relations – a mixture of PR and social media posts. @DennisRutzouPR
Digital Marketing Lab – an Australian hub for digital thought leadership, trends and statistics and practical advice to enable marketers to effectively exploit the digital channel. Written by Teresa Sperti, Head of Marketing & Technology for http://www.realestateView.com.au. @DigitalMLab
Edelman – sharing all things PR, digital and online. @EdelmanAust
eGovAu – eGovernment and Gov 2.0 thoughts and speculations from an Australian perspective. Written by Craig Thomler. @craigthomler
Encoder PR – Topics include news, research and insights into public relations and digital/social media. Written by Encoder PR staff. @EncoderPR
FrankVizeum – a media company that writes about how the digitisation of media has fundamentally affected the way that every brand relates to consumers. @FRANkVizeum
Hothouse – reviews of the latest digital trends, discussion about interactive marketing, industry commentary, links to regular podcast interviews with digital thought leaders, and news about latest projects. @Hot_House
Mumbrella – everything under Australia’s media & marketing umbrella – including PR. Editor, Tim Burrowes. @Mumbrella
Life. Then Strategy – Mark Pollard, Strategy Director at McCann Sydney does brand and digital planning for clients. He started the blog about strategy and life because he wanted to write more. @MarkPollard
My Social Media Policy – Social media issues in the workplace. Written by Vivienne Storey, the General Manager of BlandsLaw, a boutique law firm specialising in Employment Law.
Public relations and managing reputation – thoughts and resources on public relations, marketing and social media. Written by Craig Pearce. @commaim
PR Warrior – News and views on all things public relations, marketing & communications and social media. Written by Trevor Young, employed at Edelman Australia. @trevoryoung
Social network by Laurel Papworth – Laurel writes about the business of social media, online communities and social networks. @SilkCharm

 

I don’t see this list as definitive by any means and hope to periodically update it. If you know of any that should be included please let us know.

Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.

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Hughes PR, Public relations

Racy new approach

Repromed sperm donor campaign We’ve recently been involved in a campaign for one of our clients, Repromed and if you can read the print in the image, it’s a campaign about recruiting sperm donors.

It’s a departure away from Repromed’s traditional marketing channels and one that seems to be paying off for them so far.

The campaign, featuring a lingerie model (pictured) and an online questionnaire, attracted nearly 2000 visits in the first few days following the launch, including hits from places as far afield as Lithuania and Canada. It’s also garnered lots of traditional and social media coverage – but most importantly valuable inquiries to Repromed.

An ad is also being run in January’s issue of FHM magazine (out now) including a full page picture of the lingerie model and a link to the online questionnaire which will hopefully result in even more enquiries for Repromed.

Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.

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Social media, Twitter

Caption competition winner

@Coaten with his prize

We recently ran a Caption competition using Twitter.

Pictured is @Coaten picking up his prize – a Beerenberg gift basket and a $50 movie voucher.

It was a good learning experience and quite a bit of fun doing this competition and hopefully we’ll do something similar in time to come.

Again we’d like to thank everyone who participated. There are some very clever people who are naturals at coming up with excellent captions.

If you don’t already, follow Hughes PR on Twitter.

Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.

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Social media, Twitter

Caption competition on Twitter

Twitter is one of our favourite social media tools and this past week we’ve had a chance to test some of its best uses – hashtag trends and competitions. We had a collection of good staff photos here at Hughes PR, so we decided to use them to run a week-long caption competition on Twitter.

Hashtags

Hashtags are words or themes preceded by a # sign, so that they’re easily “catalogued” and searchable on Twitter and  people can follow that theme and contribute. For example, this week you could have searched the #ashes hashtag on Twitter to keep up with people’s commentary on the cricket.

We knew it would help boost the caption competition’s visibility if there was a hashtag, so we registered #captioncomp on What The Hashtag. (You don’t have to register hashtags, but it can be prudent if you’re interested in that phrase and you want to provide your followers with a reference point. It doesn’t stop tweeters from using it as they like).

Terms and conditions

Competitions are relatively easy to run on Twitter.  They don’t have onerous terms and conditions (like Facebook for example). People enter quickly on a whim, to have some fun. Competitions don’t cost much to run either – but they do take staff time and a prize. (You don’t necessarily need to have  a prize – a lot of Twitter users like to participate just to show their skills and enjoy the platform).

We did post some basic competition guidelines on our Hughes PR website, in case some entrants were interested, as well as a competition page which summarised the daily winner.

At the time, Hughes PR had also reached 1000 Twitter followers, which helped to spread the word about the competition.

Monitoring

#captioncomp Twitter trend

We monitored the competition hashtag’s performance on Trendsmap and Twirus. These provide a good overview of the popularity of a topic. The results were good – particularly on day one and the #CaptionComp “trended” in South Australia almost every day. Sites like What The Hashtag and Tweetreach also contributed to our picture of the competition’s progress.

Choosing a winner

Our ‘judging panel’ was made up of all Hughes PR staff, who could vote for the daily winner. To do this we created a poll and asked staff to vote for their favourites.

At the end of the competition week, we compiled one final poll for staff to vote on.

The results

The caption competition provided us with many opportunities including:

  • Connecting with followers in a fun way
  • Helping our followers put some ‘faces’ to Hughes PR staff names
  • Demonstrating our own adoption of social media
  • Testing how a Twitter competition can evolve
  • Providing ideas we may present to clients in the future
  • Directing some traffic to our official website
  • And of course, further promoting Hughes PR online. ‘Hughes PR’ itself became a trending Twitter term.

We received a lot of funny caption competition entries. The finalists are on our website and it’s well worth taking a look!

Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.

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Crisis management, Hughes PR, Media training, Public relations

Are you sure you don’t need media training?

This video shows a great example of a chief executive who has no idea what to say to the media. We saw this video on the Mumbrella site and they say:

News.com.au reports that the chief exec in question – the Australian Dr Stephen Duckett – has been let go by the Canadian health service as a result of the bizarre cookie-fixated exchange going viral.

Hughes PR offer media training as one of our services. We partner with Ron Kandelaars who runs a half day media training session which includes:

  • background, theory and practical media management experience, including time in front of the camera
  • a focus on equipping up to three or four participants at a time with the skills to manage issues or promote their business through the media in a positive way

I’ll bet their next CEO will have media training and spending half a day media training has got to be worth it.

Read more about our media training and how to organise it.

Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.

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