Tag Archives: space

Earned media gone bad

9 Jan

After reading an interesting blog this week by Deborah Bates from Red Rocket Media on The Wall about earned media I was grateful for the clear definition as to what it is. I was even more grateful that it fits in tightly to my job description. Earned media is just a new buzz word for PR – third party endorsements. For a moment I thought my client knew more about the industry than I did!

But, what this explanation of earned media doesn’t do is identify that it can go wrong (and often does) for brands – through negative comments.

No one has time to read the full list of online brand blunders to date, but I’ve had to blog about the stupidity of Odeon, American Apparel and Helen Flanagan just in the last few months. So how are we meant to prevent earned media gone bad?

1) Respond to all enquiries
This will help stop challenges before they get off the ground. Even if you can’t help, try and signpost the user to the right direction. You can’t fault someone for being polite can you?

2) Don’t delay
If you take too long to respond to an enquiry and it blows up into a social media storm, people will be pull you up on the time it takes you to respond. Too long and you’re perceived as not caring / understanding that there’s a problem.

At the beginning of campaigns, why not troubleshoot some potential issues with mock responses and solutions and file away just in case you need them?

3) See it from their POV
A customer has just had a negative experience. Have some empathy – we’ve all been there. Acknowledge the issue by giving them a shoulder to cry on, offer a solution and ask others to come forward that might be feeling the same. Brands often sort out issues one-on-one but they could earn brownie points by helping a few others at the same time.

4) Be consistent
A colleague at William Murray raised a brilliant point today: a key message posted online today might not be relevant or in line with your strategy tomorrow. Make sure you don’t stray too far from your company’s core values to demonstrate consistency to fans and followers. Any curve balls will be thrown back, hard.

5) Be honest
If you’re being measured against earned media be honest with your client. Great – you’ve secured 10 examples of positive comments. But, if you don’t flag the 100 neutral-negative ones, then the client will be saying something to you and it won’t be pretty.

It doesn’t mean a bad job has been done – it just reiterates that nobody has a grip on cyber space. Put the figures in perspective.

What are your views on earned media? How is it working for you and your clients?

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Virgin’s new competition is out of this world

4 Sep

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Just days after the world said goodbye to modest hero Neil Armstrong, Virgin Atlantic has announced its latest ‘out of this world’ competition campaign which will see one frequent flyer a win a trip to space.

Mission Galatic‘ will reward the user with the most ‘elevate’ points with a trip on Virgin’s sub-orbital space flight. Points can be collected each time a customer books a trip on all three Virgin airlines: America, Atlantic and Australia between now and next August.

This is a great PR campaign that will generate lots of attention around the world, because it allows everyone to get involved in a piece of history. With live video coverage to be captured from the ‘space craft’ and post-event interviews and case studies of the winner, Virgin is feeding journalists with a real story. What’s more, the winner will benefit from a lot of PR exposure by association too. Win-win.

But, a small step for Virgin is a giant leap for me. This could be the first competition I’ve come across that I wouldn’t want to win. Frightening is not the word. After all, who hasn’t seen Apollo 13?

Can a holiday which doesn’t give you the opportunity to purchase a postcard really be considered a holiday? Ok, the prize has a cash value of £128,000 but it’s clearly not me Virgin is targeting; it’s business class members that travel all over the world, and often. And, I’m sure anywhere with ample leg room is enough to get them to register.

Would you want to travel in Virgin’s space craft?

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