This was written in January but it's still a good piece - social media guru Jeremy Owyang has collated a range of statistics across Facebook, MySpace, Twitter etc. It's a good 'social media stake in the sand' as at early 2009.
If you're interested in what's going on in New York in terms of social media, this is a good read.
The indefatigable Sam Mutimer has created @tweetupmellers, a hook-up for Melbourne-based Tweeps. Their first event was held this week - who attended? Find out here! If you haven't heard of Sam - or met her on Twitter or in the flersh, you will soon!
I tend to roll my eyes when companies and brands - generally through their advertising or digital agencies - proudly proclaim they're producing a 'viral video' and expect it's going to be watched by millions.
Now, there's nothing wrong with producing cool videos (or games) for the internet. Often it can be a good tactic (BMW did it successfully years ago - remember 'The Hire'?). But the number of times I've seen companies waste money on videos that quite frankly are pretty self-indulgent, well, let's just say it doesn't make sense.
Rarely can anyone predict what will 'go viral' (obviously you can 'tick the boxes' of humour/sex/controversy etc and hope for the best) - but usually, the videos that take off in a big do so because they engage the public in some way. Quite often they're raw and authentic.
Here are two examples of videos that have hit the big time in recent times. One has been a slow-burner, taking months and months to hit the tipping point while the other became an instant global hit within a matter of days.
A Lion Called Christian
The 'Christian the Lion' video was produced in 1971 but somehow bubbled to the surface some 38 years later and gone gangbusters, fueling sales of a book that was first published in the early 70s.
In short it's about two young Aussie guys living in London who bought a lion cub ('Christian') from Harrods and raised it in their home for a year before releasing it into the wild.
They returned a year later to Africa to visit Christian. Check out the video to see what happens next.
Susan Boyle - Britain's Got Talent
Then there is the Susan Boyle phenomenon.
The 47-year-old unemployed woman got through the first round of Britain's Got Talent in stunning fashion and subsequently has won hearts around the world for her performance on the show.
You've probably seen the video by now - it certainly cut a swathe through Twitter the other day! I can't include the video here because YouTube, for some inextricable reason, has disabled the embedding code - is this the work of the TV network, and if so, why? It's fantastic publicity for the show. Duh!
Like Paul Potts before her, Susan's video went viral extremely quickly, and then the media picked up on the story in turn driving even more interest.
The book, called PRide and PRejudice: Conversations with Australia's Public Relations Legends, was written by Karen Morath, herself a highly experienced and talented communications practitioner.
It includes chapters devoted to a range of PR legends, including:
Noel Turnbull, the bolshy contrarian
David Potts, the gentleman professor
Peter Mahon, the business strategist
Lesley Brydon, the truth teller
Harry Smith and Alan Chipp, the dynamic duo
Peter Lazar and Richard Lazar, the dynasty makers
John Connolly, the global enigma
Apart from conversations with the legends themselves, Karen also covers perceptions and misconceptions of the profession and explores PR from the perspective of truth and trust.
From busting strikes through to introducing healthy bread and educating the public on the benefits of fluoridated water, these communication professionals set the foundations for an industry that continues to grow today as companies, brands and organisations recognise the power of PR.
Talk of the town has Alessandra Facchinetti (ex Valentino) already working on Tom Ford's nascent women's line. So reported The New York Times' T Magazine from Milan Fashion Week, however, the news was broken not by the print edition, nor even by the style magazine's blog, The Moment. Instead, a BlackBerry alert posted to The Moment's Twitter account informed 100,000 followers in a single "tweet" (N.B. it now has 330,000+ followers!!).
A look at a new report by Michael Stelzner about social media marketing - apparently nine out of 10 marketers are currently using social media but most (72%) are new to the game. The report is definitely worth a look - download it here.
Isn't it ironic it's often the small (but savvy) tactical advertising executions that generate the most attention and therefore are the most cost-effective.
Companies spend millions of dollars producing and airing advertising the general populace doesn't see or care about. But then a 'small' ad punches well above its weight because it's cleverly executed and relevant (and unexpected).
I searched hungrily to see which public relations experts had scored a gig in what is a pretty high profile conference within the marketing industry (for the record, I was part of a PR panel for last year's instalment of the same conference in Melbourne; it was a solid, worthwhile event).
No mention. Not one PR speaker. Zilch. Nada. Zip. Zero.
Maybe it was simply an oversight (in a McDonald's-forgetting-to-put-a-burger-in-the-bun kinda way)?
The flipside, of course, is that public relations (a core element of the marketing communications mix) was left out because, well, perhaps the organisers did not consider it to be important enough?
Try telling these highly-rated brands that PR is not important:
Trevor Young has built PR Warrior into one of the world’s foremost showcases of what can be achieved at the intersection of public relations and social media.” - Brad Howarth, Smart Company, September 2011 More »