Tuesday, 30 November 2010

10 social media trends from this year - Reputation Online 2010 conference

I was at the Reputation Online Live conference on Friday and left feeling reassured that PR has a key role to play in the future of social media. 
PR has always been about creating content and campaigns that have the ability to engage and create brand loyalty. No other marketing discipline has the ability to develop enduring conversations to such an extent. The advent of social media has merely given PRs access to a new world of tools with which to create these conversations.
PR is currently in the strong position of having genuine credence as a bridge to unite and lead the other disciplines in the marketing mix. Moving forward, the more PRs embrace social media and incorporate it into their brand campaigns the less it should be seen a ‘specialism’ and solely the remit of ‘the digital guys’. And that’s not just twitter and facebook...
Of particular interest were the 10 key social media trends of the year:
1.    Clear evidence of social media’s successful role in behavioural change campaigns
2.    Influencer vs evangelist
·         You don’t have to look to the people with the biggest reach. This is all about being highly targeted, speaking to the specific audience you want to - those who are huge fans of the brand - and letting them evangelise
·         When George W Bush came to power his team knew he couldn’t win over large sections of new voters, so instead they focused heavily on the core of existing supporters who they knew would be powerful enough to get him into power if he engaged with them
·         Marmite is famous for being a love/hate brand. It therefore uses social media to engage with it’s most fervent fans, rather than trying to target a mass audience
3.    Truly open content
·         Increasing use of open source technology
·         Allow the consumer / community to do what they / it wants to do with your content, rather than controlling all the content yourself with no interactivity
·         Let your audience touch and feel the brand
4.    Feedback and product development
·         The ability to listen and react
·         giffgaff built an entire blueprint, and then product, based on market feedback
5.    Search and snapshot
·         Reputation management through paid search
·         Google searches now act as an instant snapshot of your brand, not just a listing
·         Ann Summers bought up key words linked to hot topics like “BA Strikes”, “election” and “recession”, and then put up cheeky stories when people searched for them. They also got a load of ancillary PR off the back of it
6.    Branded content
·         Make it appropriate, fun and interactive and it will beat the classic celebrity endorsement format
7.    Social commerce
·         This will get bigger and bigger
·         Max Factor are launching sales through facebook
·         Groupon is one of the fastest growing websites in the world
·         French Connection has a Youtique on Youtube
8.    Speed
·         Quicker, more relevant, greater impact
9.    Disillusionment
·         There is a new notion of the quarter life crisis – kids / young adults turning to each other through social media as they want to do something more meaningful in their lives
10. Pro bloggers (this links to the influencer point above)
·         There is huge potential for one key blogger to create a major knock-on effect for a brand, both positive and negative
·         Social media isn’t just about twitter and facebook, it’s about what can happen to your brand if it goes wrong. Crisis comms will remain just as important

-          Tim Court

Friday, 26 November 2010

Back by popular demand!

After an intense but satisfying first few months at my new employer, Fabric, where I was expecting to be setting up a new division recruiting marketing staff for them, I have some incredibly exciting news. 
I am happy to say that it has now been agreed that I will instead be returning to the information industry, to set up a division recruiting records, information and knowledge managers for Fabric.  The firm already recruits PR, communications and digital staff, so information (content rather than architecture!) professionals is a natural extension for us.  A Marketing division is still also on the way, headed by someone else however.
This is an exciting time for the information profession, despite the concerns brought about by public sector uncertainties, with people from the various different ‘flavours’ of the profession collaborating and communicating as never before.  The discussion on the CILIP LinkedIn Group about the 'Fragmentation death of the information profession', for example, is leading to meetings to discuss how the various associations and groups might collaborate to create one more powerful voice for the profession.
Recruitment at Fabric is a premium service, based around consultants who are industry experts and focused on selecting exactly the right match of candidates to present in detail to client, rather than relying on a large and unweildy database of CVs.  I am looking forward to bringing this ethos, for a personal, tailored service on each and every vacancy, to the information industry.

- Nicola Franklin

Thursday, 25 November 2010

AWR – are hiring organisations ready for this new legislation?

Hiring a ‘temp’ to provide cover for permanent staff or to work on a backlog or project will get more complicated next year, with the introduction of a new piece of legislation called the Agency Worker Regulations (AWR).
Recent research by Adecco found that “61% [of HR professionals] don’t realise that the AWR will come into force in just twelve months time and 80% said they have ‘no idea’ what the consequences of non-compliance are.”  In addition “Seven in 10 claimed they had some level of understanding of the AWR but just 19% had a ‘clear’ understanding”
The AWR makes it a legal requirement that temporary workers have the same pay and conditions as a permanent member of staff doing the same or similar work, after an initial 12 week period.
This means that hiring organisations will have to have the information to hand to tell their recruitment agency the full details of the pay, benefits  and conditions (eg access to staff canteen) of permanent staff when placing a vacancy for a temporary worker.
It could mean that pay rates will need to increase in some cases, and hirers will have to make sure that temps have access to the same facilities as other team members.  The real problems could come if a temp (or a group of temps at a larger organisation, in a class action) felt they were being underpaid and brought a case to tribunal for unfair treatment under the AWR.
Overall the message is – be aware of the requirements and make sure you give your recruiter all the information they need to make sure temps get the right pay and benefits.