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Coverage Cup round up w/c 21 September 2015

Coverage cupAdvantage Spark. With the rugby in full swing, the Dynatrace team secured coverage in CBR by monitoring the IRB app and website. Bit9 jumped on Gartner’s security spending report, which resulted in a great InfoSecurity Magazine article. The Elsevier team arranged an interview with Chemical & Engineering News, which evolved into an article reinforcing Elsevier’s position as a thought leader. Finally, the Verizon team put points on the board after converting a mobile malware feature opportunity in Information Age and placing a blog post with The Digital Banking Club.

The full list of Coverage Cup nominations for the week can be found below:


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Follow me, why won’t you follow me?

social media“I’m hoping to see the day, when my people can all relate…follow me, why don’t you follow me?” were the unforgettable lyrics to Aly-Us’ 1992 floor-filler ‘Follow me’. Who could have predicted that more than 20 years on, the message would be more relevant than it probably ever was?

While the impact of social media in the consumer space has been well documented, it also has a significant role in the b2b sector. To turn social media activity into an exercise that not only reinforces but enhances a business’ reputation, agencies need to approach social media in the right way.

Pick your platform

Reaching the individuals you need to influence is fundamental to any social media campaign. To connect with relevant individuals, you need to know which platforms they’re using and how to tailor content for these channels. If you’re looking to influence analysts, for example, run the individual analysts or analyst houses through LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. to evaluate their presence on each platform.

Limit your social media presence to a handful of platforms, because often less is more. There’s little to be gained by joining every platform under the sun, as this will spread your resources too thinly. Do your research; identify the platforms that best suit your campaign and give them your undivided attention.

If you’ve got a stack of content waiting to be shared, think about which platform can best promote your content. If you’ve got a pipeline of cool images, a platform centred on visually impressive content, such as Instagram, could be well suited. However, if your target market doesn’t use Instagram, you are unlikely to connect with the people you want to unless you can build a campaign that has widespread appeal.

Social media can be measured for free, and it’s a relatively cheap marketing medium, so it’s easy to test an approach and then either cull or invest further in a channel or type of campaign.  However, its not just about the platforms and the content, in order to maximise your chances of success you need to influence the influencers or at the very least participate in their conversations on their platforms of choice.

Rules of engagement

Don’t be afraid to unashamedly share content from the individuals that you’d like to influence (ensure that you flag their contribution). By sharing content, it suggests to the individual that you have a common interest and that you’re on the same page.  By monitoring content shared by your target market, you’ll be able to gain insight into their interests, and you’ll be better positioned to tailor your content as a result.

If it’s easy for someone to share your content, they’re more likely to do so. As such, you should link social media content to its original source on your website, blog or another social media account. This not only drives traffic across your digital channels but also encourages others to drive traffic on your behalf.

Social media is a platform for interaction and shouldn’t be used for direct selling or to preach corporate messaging. Instead, social media accounts should be used as a tool for engagement. With this in mind, you should foster relationships by promptly replying to outreach and by providing exclusive content / discounts. While you should always reply swiftly to your community, be wary of trolls. Handle negative comments professionally; delete the comments or ignore the comments completely. Whatever you do, never rise to the bait.

If your social media campaign isn’t performing as expected, don’t be afraid to scale back, regroup and take a different approach. There’s little to be gained from throwing good money after bad and what worked for one client, might not work for another.

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Coverage Cup round up w/c 14 September 2015

Coverage cupOur feet hardly touched the floor last week, with some great coverage results coming in for a variety of clients. Following on from the announcement that HCL and IBM have partnered to foster IoT adoption, fantastic coverage was secured on both CBR and IT PRO. Trustmarque showed off its hard work with Coventry & Warwickshire Growth Hub, with case study coverage on Computer Weekly. Elsewhere, comment from JDA’s Lee Gill and supporting research stats stats were used in Retail Week’s Multichannel supplement. Finally, excellent Byline coverage was secured for Verizon’s Robin Schlee in Outsourcing Magazine, Bell Integration’s Andy Soanes on Information Age and last but certainly not least Changepoint’s Jean-Pierre Ullmo on Channel Pro. All were giving expert opinion on a range of different and fascinating subjects.

This is only a small snapshot of the nominations; a full list can be found below. Who gets your vote this week?

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Coverage Cup round up w/c 7 September 2015

Coverage cupAnother week at Spark, another set of top-tier coverage. The HCL team enjoyed further success off the back of the Manchester United campaign, securing a fantastic article on BBC Online. ViaSat UK was quoted in The Times’ Cyber security supplement, thanks to weeks of persistence and hard work. Not wanting to be left out, the Dynatrace and Centiro teams achieved coverage in The Times’ Customer Experience supplement. Elsewhere, ElasticHosts’ research was featured on Business Reporter and Liberata’s partnership with Burnley Council saw coverage Computing, Computer Weekly and Government Computing amongst others.

The full list of Coverage Cup nominations for the week can be found below:

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Forget churnalism, great journalism is still what matters to PR

newspaper-412441_640Over the past decade or so, the media industry has developed dramatically. Firstly, the advancement of technology has meant that it has become far easier for people to get online and consume information, than ever before. According to recent research by the United Nations agency that oversees international communications, the number of Internet users has increased from 738 million in 2000 to 3.2 billion in 2015. This has meant that journalists are now having to provide a continuous flow of new information to inform its readers across the globe. This in some cases resulted in churnalism, the word given to journalistic content that only contains press releases or wire stories. 

Secondly, the industry is now said to be, for the first time home to more PRs than journalists. This growth, however, is often blamed by critics, as opposed to celebrated, for the decline in old school journalism, as journalists rely more so on PR-generated content.

A couple of years ago, Chris Atkins, a journalist who wanted to demonstrate how often this was happening flooded the market with several hoax press releases, with the majority of these releases becoming the newspapers most read story.

Certainly PR plays a big role in servicing this need for a constant flow of news, however to say it simply supports churnalism is missing the point, as there are number of different ways PRs can help journalists. Take issue responses, for example, a key tool in any successful PR campaign. PRs provide journalists with expert comment and analysis to back up their story and give their readers insight and different lines of thought to consider. The material we provide can also act as a lead generator – alerting the journalist or the publication to a story that they may have not already been aware of. By-lined articles are another aspect of PR that offers a publication’s audience relevant and entertaining insight. Years ago, PRs could release a detailed product release on upgrade 2.2.4 and expect some great pieces of coverage. This is no longer the case. In the incredibly competitive world of journalism, publications are competing to be and provide the best for their readers and are after far more than a new product description. Journalists require good analysis and opinion, which is where our client step in.

From my personal experience, journalists are not often an easy crowd to please and are incredibly selective as to what they publish. As a result, PR content that they use always needs to be of particular interest to its readers and in line with the publication’s messaging. Due to the fast moving nature of online media and the battle for click-throughs, churnalism is a product of the age we live in, but good quality stories from trusted sources still hold the best PR value.

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