The Next Big Thing – from Storytelling to Storylistening to Storybuilding

Sep 15 2014

Pin It

Do you agree: storytelling is stories spread value #dmexcoTHE buzzword of the year in marketing and communications? From what I’ve seen, and read, and experienced, it sure is. I also got addicted (and still am) to studying storytelling and learning how to use it as a powerful tool in PR and social media (see here, here, here and here). Apparently, the hype hasn’t just affected me, but the whole profession seems to be fascinated with storytelling for business.

This was more than evident at the dmexco in Cologne last week – the international digital marketing exposition and conference with the motto “connecting the global digital economy”.

I was at the #dmexco on the second day and even though I got to choose which seminars and sessions to visit, many of them touched upon or were entirely focused on the importance of brand storytelling.

But why this sudden fascination? Why this massive interest?

Big shift in media

Well, one of the reasons, obviously, is the “big shift in media” that we’ve observed over the last decade or so.

This shift is what Jonah Peretti, CEO of BuzzFeed, presented in a really cool and funny way at the closing keynote at the event.

When talking about the “evolution” of BuzzFeed, he said that the company has quickly grown to an organisation which has the reach of a traditional media company, but doesn’t function as one. This has been due to the emergence of thousands of new media technologies and types, which on the other hand have transformed media consumption and information sharing.

Today, attention has shifted – your audience is on social and mobile, not TV or radio.

So, the learning here is this: be where your consumers are and be relevant. Continue Reading »

Pin It

No responses yet

40 Truths You Need to Know about Social Media’s Impact on PR and the World

Sep 08 2014

Pin It

My last piece got mesocial-media-implications-on-pr-and-the-world thinking about how much has changed in so little time and particularly about how much the world of PR has been impacted by the Internet and social media. I did a whole research on this topic when I was writing my first dissertation two years ago.

However, a lot has happened since then and I wonder how relevant my research findings still are…

You might think, two years is not enough for that much to change, but actually, it’s plenty.

Speaking about social media for PR, many practitioners believe that social media has simply offered additional tools and channels, but the nature of the practice has remained the same. I partly agree with that. Yes, PR is about building meaningful relationships with people and organisations and about establishing a positive reputation. And yes, social media has given us many more tools to do our daily jobs.

But the bigger picture in my opinion is not just about how social media has impacted PR, but about how it has influenced human nature and behaviour: about how we as individuals now connect, interact, make decisions, believe or disbelieve, communicate and present ourselves to the rest of the world.

Why is that important for our industry? Continue Reading »

Pin It

No responses yet

How Social Are We Really?

Sep 01 2014

Pin It

Social media is booming! The new wild world of communications and social interactionsPeople spend 6.35 hours per month on Facebook; almost half of all Twitter users tweet at least once a day; there are more than 20 billion images shared on Instagram; more than two users sign up on LinkedIn every second; 100 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube per minute… No surprise social media is now the top activity on the Internet, with 60% of that time spent on mobile devices not desktops computers.

But how social are we really?

And by that I don’t mean how active we are on social media, but how is it that we use our social skills to facilitate interaction and build relationships with others?

As an avid social media user, I firmly believe that all these new channels have allowed us to broaden our palette of ways to communicate. They have given us more opportunities to connect with individuals from all over the world and exchange information, ideas and knowledge.

On the other hand, one could argue that we might be losing our sense for face-to-face interactions.

No matter how much technology advances (for example, the use of sound and video, or Google Glass, wearable technology, smart watches and other geeky stuff), there is one element that is still difficult to transmit or sense to a full extent via the Web.

That element is emotion. Or the touch of all our five senses. Continue Reading »

Pin It

No responses yet

Pinterest: A Paid Search Engine, not a Social Network?

Aug 25 2014

Pin It

“Just pin and they will come”, Pay to play social media advertisingsaid no communications or social media professional ever. When it comes to Pinterest – 70-million-user strong online visual bookmarks platform – it requires a lot more than just pinning nice images and waiting for the repins, likes and followers to pile up. A successful Pinterest account for business requires a carefully crafted strategy that not only has visual storytelling at its core, but also advertising as well as search engine optimisation (or as I call it Pinterest optimisation) too. You may wonder, “What does advertising and SEO have to do with a visual social network?” Read on to find out.

As with any comms and social media strategy, one of the most important initial steps is truly knowing your audience and understanding what makes it tick specifically on the platform in question.

As Pinterest itself puts it, the network allows people to discover ideas for any project or interest, hand-picked by other people (or brands) they like. Boards serve as to-do and wish lists or as a “walk down memory lane” of past experiences.

Of course, you always need to start with the very basics that include demographics such as age or sex as well interests. In the case of Pinterest, these characteristics are an 84% female user base among four top pinning categories: Food & Drink, DIY & crafts, Home Decor and Holidays & Events.

But what about deeper behavioral characteristics? After all, they are the ones that determine consumer buying habits. Continue Reading »

Pin It

4 responses so far

Why not only Corporate, but also Individual Choices are Key for a Sustainable Future

Aug 18 2014

Pin It

Did you know that countless fruits Why individual choices matter for sustainabilityand vegetables are needlessly thrown away every day by mass producers, yet the only thing wrong with them is that because they are disfigured, ugly or misshapen they are deemed unworthy and out of the norm? In reality, they are just as delicious and just as good for you as the “pretty”, perfectly shaped ones. This is why French supermarket company Intermarché decided to do something about it. They launched a film, print, poster and radio campaign called the Inglorious Fruits&Vegetables, promoting the beauty of not-so-perfect fruits and veggies and so fighting food waste.

French consumers can not only enjoy healthy, fresh foods, but also save money as the previously deemed unfit for consumption fruits and veggies are offered at 30% less. The French supermarket chain buys the foods from farmers who would usually throw them away. This way the company also supports local production.

The overall aim of the campaign was to send an important message: it’s not what fruits and veggies look like, but how they taste that matters – disfigured, hideous or ugly fruits and veggies are just as delicious and should not be tossed simply because of their “looks”. Continue Reading »

Pin It

No responses yet

Masters of Storytelling: The Brands that Excel at it

Aug 11 2014

Pin It

Every brand has a story to tell, Brand storytelling is keybut not every brand has mastered the art of telling its story in a way that is meaningful, attention-grabbing and long-lasting. Just as people, some brands have a “way with words” – they are natural storytellers – while others find it a little bit more challenging and need to acquire the relevant skills first. Learning from the best in class is one step ahead at becoming a masterful storyteller.

But which are those brands that we can learn from? Who are the masters of storytelling? What do they stand for and what is their purpose?

That’s what a recent study by Aesop tried to find out. It surveyed 2,000 consumers in the UK, asking them to rate companies against nine key storytelling elements:

  • unique character/personality
  • clear opinion
  • vision/purpose
  • intrigue (that urges us to learn more about them)
  • credibility
  • unique world
  • shareable, worthy to talk about content
  • entertainment
  • memorability

The combined ranking result is enlightening: Continue Reading »

Pin It

No responses yet

Generation Z: The Natural Sustainability Generation

Aug 04 2014

Pin It

Global warming, extreme Generation Z as future sustainability leadersweather events, resource scarcity, food and water crisis, instability of financial institutions – these are all interconnected global risks that we are facing today and that require us to act as fast as possible as they have major systematic impacts. But do you ever wonder who is going to solve these issues? Is it governments? Or companies? Or non-profits? Or regular people? I’m afraid I don’t have the answer, but here’s an interesting suggestion – it might be a whole generation.

Meet Generation Z – the bold rebels with the cause to save the world.

Gen Zers are the ones born after the mid 1990s. They now account for more than a quarter of the world’s population, with that number rising steadily.

In many ways, Gen Zers are the opposites or extreme versions of Millennials, aka Generation Y – the previous generation.

In an article for Forbes Emily Anatole says that while Generation Y are optimistic, Generation Z are realistic, resilient and pragmatic. They know how scary, volatile and complex the world can be as they have grown up post 9/11 during a serious recession; they have seen or experienced poverty and violence and they have witnessed their parents and older siblings struggle.

Inc calls Generation Z “humble, informed, optimistic, and hugely entrepreneurial.” It even goes on to say that this is the most entrepreneurial generation of all, largely due to the fact that they have been surrounded by DIY education and crowdsouncing, made possible by the world of digital and social media. Continue Reading »

Pin It

No responses yet

Older posts »

  • RSS
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • YouTube