Monday, June 29, 2009

Get Buy-In Before Crossing the Digital Divide

You are already to use social media in your next marketing venture. The problem is those around you are not supporting your efforts. How do you get buy-in?

At today's Public Sector Marketing Conference in Canberra, two speakers offered practical ideas to help you get others behind your online efforts.

Jason Davey of Bullseye, an Australian Aussie digital marketing firm, suggests to persuade the Boss you should:
  • Detail the data. Successive research reports are showing Australians are increasingly going online for their information. A good start in letting your Boss know the facts and stats would be the latest report by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (read here).
  • Educate and immerse the Boss in the social media application you want to use. There is nothing better than getting him or her to test drive the new tool.
  • Pick out a similar organisation (or one the Boss admires) and show how they are successfully using social media.
  • Mock up tweets, blog pages or sites to show how the final product will look. Seeing is believing so try a demonstration.
  • Suggest running a pilot program. The words "pilot" or "trial" can go a long way in removing the corporate fear factor when trying something new. It's a good way to reassure the doubtful as you head into new territory.

My Twitter buddy Diana Mounter from the Local Government and Shires Association of NSW offers practical tips for getting the IT guys on board when you want to introduce social media into your marketing:

  • Develop a relationship with the IT team and get to know their issues before proposing anything too radical.
  • Regular informal discussion is a great way to make sure a new venture starts properly and then stays on track.
  • Talk about your communications needs rather than the technology you want. Chances are your IT guy has other options that could meet your marketing needs better than the one you're suggesting.

The key take-out: build support within your organisation before crossing the digital divide.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sponsorship and Fund Raising Presentation

Go here for our latest fund raising presentation for community groups.

If you have ideas on how not for profits can keep their cash flow going in these uncertain times please share them with others by leaving a comment.


Sponsorship And Small Business

Small businesses often get approached for sponsorship, whether it is for the local sporting team, craft show or another business’s seminar. Although money is tighter this year, no doubt many of you will still be approached and in certain cases utilising sponsorship can be an effective marketing tactic.

Before you decide to be a sponsor consider the following:

Relevance for Your Customers

Choose sponsorships that are relevant to your brand or business and appeal to your current and potential customers. Try not to choose sponsorships that only interest you or a particular employee. It is no use sponsoring the local football team if the players or spectators are not your target market.

What Are You Getting for Your Sponsorship?

Make sure you discuss with the organisation or event organiser how you can maximise your sponsorship dollars and get in writing what exposure your business will receive.
Some questions to ask are:

• Where will my logo, brand or business name appear?
• How and how often will my logo, brand or business name appear?
• Is it an exclusive sponsorship or is it shared with other businesses?
• What additional benefits will I receive for my sponsorship?
• Insist on approving all material featuring your logo.
• What marketing activities are being done to promote the event and the sponsors?
• Will I have access to the customer database?

Check past Sponsorship Results

If there have been past sponsors, ask why they are no longer sponsoring the event or activity and if possible speak to the past sponsor. Although information may be confidential, see if you can access the results that have occurred from past sponsorship deals.

Cost Versus Benefit

Analyse the cost of your sponsorship versus the estimated results you want to achieve. Compare your sponsorship costs to other marketing tactic costs to determine if your money could be better spent on an alternative marketing tactic. For example, if you sponsor a luncheon how many leads do you hope to generate from the sponsorship? Would you generate more leads from a direct mail or email campaign to the same customer base?

Setting a Budget

Set a budget for how much you want to commit to sponsorship. Plan in advance what event, organisations etc you wish to sponsor for the year and stick to your plan.

Tracking Results

Tracking of sponsorship tactics is often difficult due to the wide audience they have the potential to reach. Some ways to track your sponsorship results include:

• Measuring the media exposure from the sponsorship eg. mention of the event and your sponsorship in the local newspaper, on the radio station etc
• New customers that have come from your sponsorship involvement eg. asking customers where they heard about you or undertaking market research which analyses customer recall of where they saw your brand or business name.

Sponsorship can be a great marketing tactic; however it is always wise to work out what it will do for your small business before you commit to spending your valuable marketing dollars.

(I came across the above article recently. I can't remember the author but I'd be very pleased to attribute it fully if it was you and you let me know).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Aussies Are SMS Mad

Telstra's State of the Nation Report released this morning shows Aussies are text message mad:
  • One in three Australians said they choose SMS to communicate major life events – compared to using the phone, email or social networking sites.
  • We are more likely to SMS news of a birth (25%), or a promotion (18%) compared to other major life events.
  • Four in 10 Aussies indicated that they send between 3 and 7 text messages every day to family, friends and their partner respectively.
  • It seems few places are text-free - 34% admitting sending them while at the movies, 21% in a business meeting and 15% whilst attending a funeral, christening or wedding.
We'd love the hear how you are using text messaging in your marketing?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rudd, Turnbull And That Ute

This past few days accusations have been flying around the Australian Parliament about Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (or his staff) allegedly using his position to help a friend gain access to government-supplied finance.

The same friend has "lent" Mr Rudd a utility truck (ute) which he uses as a mobile billboard in his Brisbane electorate.

The Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull sees this a a flagrant abuse of Prime Ministerial power while Mr Rudd denies the accusations. An Auditor General's investigation into the matter kicks off shortly but right now it's a case of he said she said.

One PR outcome is certain. Either the Prime Minister or the Opposition Leader is likely to emerge with damage to his personal brand.

Mr Rudd has consistently advocated for open and transparent government. If the accusation is proven the Prime Minister's credibility and reputation will take a hit. He will be seen as failing to walk the talk on ministerial accountability and broken a key PR commandment: you can't say one thing then do another.

In the end if Mr Turnbull's charges fail he will be criticised for misleading the public. And many people will wonder why he chose to divert the national attention to a trivial matter and way from key issues such as climate change and an uncertain economy.

Meanwhile the rest of us will watch this issue unfold - mostly in the media - as both men go all out to prove their communications credibility. It's likely to prove a fascinating case study in media relations, reputation management perhaps even crisis communications.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Communications Lessons from Obama's Cairo Speech

This past week President Obama delivered a speech on building bridges between the US and the Muslim world. Immediately after he delivered the speech in Cairo it was posted to the White House and media websites around the world and so far has received warm endorsement in the US and abroad.

Obama is a masterful communicator, perhaps the most effective Presidential orator since Ronald Reagan. Aside from its strategically critical content, the speech was a significant piece of communications and something from which we can all learn as we speak out on behalf of our own organisations:
  • Obama spoke with a keen awareness of his audience - not only the 3000 strong audience at the University of Cairo but to Muslims listening throughout the world. He started by acknowledging the contributions Islam has made to world history and by noting his own personal credentials, namely his childhood experiences in the Muslim world. He established a connection between himself and those listening to him, acutely mindful of the cultural sensitivities that have plagued US - Arab relations in recent years.
  • He outlined how the US and the Arab community might connect better in five specific areas providing examples of how closer cooperation in each might be achieved. The speech had both vision and detail.
  • The speech was simple and clear. It was big on optimism yet at the same time he acknowledged that moving ahead was not going to be easy. So often great communications start by focusing on what brings people together and then identifying the way ahead for resolving the challenges that keep them apart.
Hopefully Obama's aspirations for a safer Middle East will be realised. At least they have started with more empathetic and effective communications than we have seen in a very long time.

Top Aussie PR Blogs And Twittering Journos

This week we are grateful to:
We know how much work goes into starting lists like these so well done Kylie and David.