The strategy and communications advisory firm of which I'm a partner - parkyoung - is partnering Jennifer in David's forthcoming tour of Australia. Accordingly, I'm helping Jen promote David's two masterclass events in Sydney and Melbourne.
Okay, with disclosures out of the way, here's the PR Warrior's snapshot of World Wide Rave.
In social media circles, David Meerman Scott sits comfortably in the top echelon.
His 2007 book The New Rules of Marketing & PR was a best-seller. Practical and easy to read, it takes a sensible look at how the world of communications is changing, and what you can do to stay ahead of the pack and, importantly, get your message out into the marketplace without spending (wasting?) huge amounts of money on advertising.
With World Wide Rave, David takes the 'new rules' a step further and includes plenty of case studies to illustrate his theories.
The great thing about these examples is they're incredibly varied - from the very big - i.e. the launch of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park attraction which the marketing team promoted in the first instance to just seven people and as a result ended up reaching 350,000,000 - through to the geographically diverse (a number examples are from Australia) as well as smaller companies and organisations, including a cosmetic dentistry practice, several online businesses, a personal development virtual conference, a university and a women's community group ('Girls Fight Back').
The book basically extrapolates on what David calls his Rules of the Rave.
Nobody cares about your products (except you) - what people care about is themselves and ways to solve their problems.
No coercion required - when you've got something worth sharing, people will share it...no coercion required.
Lose control - this scares most companies...you must lose control of your 'messages'.
Put down roots - if you want your ideas to spread, you need to be involved in the online communities of people who actively share.
Create triggers than encourage people to share - to elevate your online content to the status of a World Wide Rave, you need a trigger to get people talking.
Point the world to your (virtual) doorstep - using World Wide Rave tactics, you can drive people to your stuff via search engines.
World Wide Rave is a quick and easy read but still has enough in the way of case studies and ideas to get you thinking. If you run a business or community organisation, or are in the marketing team of a larger company, it's worth adding World Wide Rave to your list of reading.
The interview covers digital radio (currently in its early days in Australia), social media and news (”it’s challenged everything traditional media has been about”) and radio’s current hot property, Hamish and Andy.
Steve also has some strong views on the public relations industry in terms of practitioners and how they pitch stories to radio newsrooms.
The PR Warrior blog notched up two years this week; to commemorate the momentous occasion I created a #prwarrior2yrs hashtag on Twitter under which I re-released some of my (IMHO) more interesting blog posts written over the journey.
(For a quick peek at these 'from the vault' posts in the one place, click here).
According to TweetReach, the #prwarrior2yrs 'campaign' (including retweets) generated exposure in excess of 89,000 potential 'impressions', so it was a worthwhile exercise.
Kate responded with a comment to the previous PR Warrior post - 'Twitterrific' Time Magazine Shows Up the Australian Newspaper. It contained some insightful comments regarding the future of newspaper journalism, and I felt it appropriate Kate's view was not buried in the comments section but rather given 'centre stage'.
Great post Trev. OK, here is the hack's two-second guide to the future of newspaper journalism. (Well, someone's got to have a hack at it!).
There is definitely a place for a tangible offering, although not in the current format. It needs to be more portable to cope with the changing consumer behaviour – being out of the home more. This doesn't necessarily mean it has to be digital.
Employ community managers across masthead sections and new media specialists – and by specialist, I don't mean promoting the old-school reporter who started with the paper as a cadet at 17! They need to have a fresh and critical eye. If you can get someone who can transcend into the weblebrity sphere, then you have a portion of your traffic sorted.
Walled content is a tricky situation to trial since most content is available for free a click away. If you go by the 'content is king', then if something is truly outstanding/remarkable and unique, people will pay. Specialist news sites work well e.g. Crikey and the WSJ. Most would hardly expect to pay for something like News.com.au since it's mainly what I'd call 'stock' content.
Complement online content with print. Print crusaders don't have to replicate all of their stories online – sure the breaking news is a must, but longer features could be a print treat – give people a reason to buy it.
Hire knowledgeable people – people who can research well. The problem with the bashing of Twitter by old-school outlets is that they don't understand it and haven't done enough to try to. One of the benefits of reading peer-related content online is that I hear from people who don't try to be generalist – they are specialist reporters. Bloggers who actually understand what they are writing about (well most of the time). If a journo has covered local political beats for an eternity and then moves across to a story about Twitter without ever being on the platform, then surely it will turn out to be a compromised report.
In my opinion, the people who are keeping the cred up online of papers, are the technology and digital reporters. Often, these evangelists have more followers and online connections than the masthead itself. If you search the following keywords 'Sydney Morning Herald Twitter' into Google, you almost get Asher Moses – the tech reporter - before the actual official account.
And yes, perhaps News's new MySpace are sites like The Punch? But, I still question the innovation and longevity of the offering. Especially since it is not paying for contributions when it has the capacity to – hardly encouraging sustainable journalism (*currently trying to source the link where I read this*).
Anyway, why didn't they buy something like 'The Bulletin' and use the masthead equity to launch a solid site with a strong and full editorial team? Good on them for getting it up and running though.
A feature article by Time magazine this week entitled 'How Twitter Will Change the Way we Live' highlights the gulf between savvy, 'with it' journalism and head-in-the-sand 'old school' media thinking when it comes to social media, and Twitter in particular.
For the latter (read: old school), look no further than The Australian newspaper. Here are some recent examples:
-- (Hat-tip to Mumbrella for keeping us up-to-date with The Australian's anti-Twitter campaign, especially for spotting the newspaper's editorial piece because, let's be honest, who really reads tub-thumping editorials anyway?) --
While The Australian mocks: "Like swine influenza, technologies such as Twitter race around the world before spluttering out", Time explains "...the key development with Twitter is how we've jury-rigged the system to do things that its creators never dreamed of"...and...
..."the most fascinating thing about Twitter is not what it's doing to us. It's what we're doing to it".
Traditional media is undergoing a series of massive challenges the likes of which it has never faced before. Newspapers, especially, are under the pump as the internet generally, and social media in particular, play havoc with their business model.
Major newspapers around the world are axing staff in massive numbers. Many are closing.
Instead of learning from the arrogance of the music industry, which all but ceded control of the digital distribution of its recorded product to Apple's iTunes, many of the major media players continue to belittle the new technologies that are changing the game. Whether it's fear or bullheadedness or some weird sense of self-preservation, I can't be sure, but it certainly seems to be an impediment to the industry moving forward with confidence and vigour.
Editors and journalists who are turning blue in the face from trying to blow back the winds of change have focused their attention on Twitter because it's the 'new, new thing'.
However, they're failing to realise it's not about the platforms per se but the bigger seismic shift that's occurring i.e. the collective empowerment of the people and their desire to create for - and consume content by - their peers, as well as the added intensity of connection they now have with each other.
Why do people consume peer-created content? Because they trust it. It's genuine, the real deal.
Will the public give away consuming the big stories as covered by professional journalists? Of course not.
But they will continue to trust their peers who enthusiastically champion Twitter (or any other technology platform) long before they will take any notice of the Stephen Patchetts of this world.
The Australian boasts:
"Melbourne's Herald Sun engages every day with close to 1.5 million people who are passionate about football and care for their city. And because the product is convenient and the content is appealing, the paper is a community that people pay to belong to."
I agree, the Herald Sun is a major media player and has a huge daily influence on the lives of many of its 1.5 million readers; while I'm an avid Herald Sun reader, however, I'd probably draw the line that it's a 'community'.
But again, The Oz is missing the point. Why are they even bothering to compare the Herald Sun with Twitter is beyond me. (And on the subject of community, the strategic integration of social media would well and truly enhance the Herald Sun offering and further strengthen its relationship with readers).
Time magazine, on the other hand, points out: "And yet as millions of devotees have discovered, Twitter turns out to have unsuspected depth."
Will Twitter continue to power along to become a mainstay in our daily lives? Will it morph due to commercial pressures (i.e. pay per tweet)? Will it be bought by Google? Will advertisers kill it off through over-commercialisation?Who knows.
All I can say is the media landscape has changed irrevocably and senior media executives would be better served accepting this fact and trying to better understand emerging technologies and the societal trends they're creating - indeed, perhaps incorporating them more effectively into their own offering - rather than pooh-poohing social media platforms and waving them off with a dismissive flick of the hand.
Twitter is a new channel and in turn will evolve and stimulate other offshoots. Scary times? Nah, exciting - gets the blood pumping!!
To be fair, while I've had a 'go' at The Australian, I should acknowledge the newspaper is published by News Limited, which recently launched its major new blog offering, The Punch ("Australia's best conversation"), a major departure from traditional newspapers.
Kate Kendall, Marketing Magazine's online editor, will endeavour to keep it up-to-date, so if you have any additions, or want to comment directly, click here.
A bit disappointing it's not a bigger list. No doubt there are some blogs missing, but my observation is the Australian public relations industry doesn't seem to have embraced blogging with the same enthusiasm as its counterparts in the US and UK.
When you're active in the social
media space (as I tend to be, along with countless others in the marketing
sphere), it's sometimes easy to get caught up in the minutiae of Twitter, Digg, LinkedIn, blogs and the like.
I've been having my kitchen
renovated these past few weeks and – as anyone who has gone through this
process can attest - you get to meet a variety of people who come in, do the
work, have a chat and then leave. In my instance, it was Nigel the chippie,
Nick the plumber and Elizabeth the fine arts student who paints kitchens on the
side (and a damn 'fine' job she does too!).
As a communications
practitioner, I'm always interested in the best and most effective ways to
reach people. Elizabeth the painter, for example, couldn't give a brass razoo
about Twitter or social networking sites generally.
She's not alone by any means
and there are plenty of consumers who are happy with the 'traditional' media
diet of newspapers, magazines, TV and radio (this is despite my 77-year-old
mother the other day asking me about Twitter – now that freaked me out!).
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 »