Join Me at The Walkley Public Affairs Conference


Next month, on Thursday August 12, the Walkley Foundation is holding a conference on the importance of telling a good story and getting it covered. For two days, What’s the Story will explore the importance of organisational story-telling as a powerful way to capture attention, engage an audience, and motivate people to act.   If you are in a public affairs, public relations or communications role, this conference is a must-attend event.

I will be taking part in a panel discussion as part of the Content, Context, Communications and Culture stream. Joining me will be James Tuckerman, founder and editor of Australian Anthill and Julie Posetti, well-known journalist and journalism academic.

There are also streams on government relations and public impact and social media and reputation. It promises to be a fascinating two days. Download the full PDF program or call 1300 656 513 or email to register.

Right Here, Right Now – Socialnomics Updated

When I put together this short presentations of videos that explain social media, I included one from the Erik Qualman over at Socialnomics. Now it has been updated with more facts and figures – and yes, it uses Fatboy Slim's anthemic Right Here, Right Now.   

Now, while you are bound to see this turning up in every social media related presentation this side of Timbuktu, think about the people you know who work for the largest businesses in your country. Think about the small business owner around the corner. Think about the kids at the local high school. Think about the impact that these macro changes will have on actual people. It truly is large scale change happening right here, right now.

How Big Brands Do Facebook Marketing

It is not uncommon for brand managers and marketing directors to think only of Facebook when discussing social media. Sure, Facebook continues to grow (and maintain) it’s dominance on the web, but there are a plethora of other useful sites and platforms that may be more useful for your brand.

But if you ARE one of those who are actively pursuing Facebook as part of your social engagement strategy, you will be interested in the following presentation. Created by the folks from Webtrends, it provides a quick overview of the aggregated statistics, but then moves into the differing approaches that you need to take for a socially-driven campaign. Rather than working with the standard marketing funnel, they suggest that you work with a campaign cycle. And while this applies to Facebook, the same framework can easily be applied to any campaign (yes even a traditional ATL campaign).

There is a section on how Webtrends can be used in conjunction with your Facebook apps and pages, some tips on getting started and some things that you should avoid.

My experience reinforces the findings. Facebook ads have been spectacularly useful and can be minutely targeted. It requires a little more strategic thinking, and creative effort, but can generate significant results. Combine that with some smart apps or page widgets and you’ll be amazed at what can be achieved. Oh, and one other point – give yourself enough time to allow the network to grow and generate results.

How the Big Brands do Facebook Marketing

View more presentations from Webtrends.


Uniqlo – Rethinking the Banner Ad

Like David Gillespie, I am a little behind on this campaign, but I love this case study on the Uniqlo lucky switch. It’s a great strategy of transforming the concept of the banner ad into something more useful, interactive and even delightful.

Imagine, for example, what happens when a widget that you have distributed across the web suddenly transforms itself into an offer? Think about what it means to re-think the banner as interruption – configuring it instead as a kind of tribal driven lucky dip.

I wish I had thought of it myself.


Real Life Social Networks

Here is a great presentation on social networks by Paul Adams (with thanks to Rachel Beaney). Complete with slides and speaker notes, the presentation steps through the marked differences in our behaviours online and off.

It’s the perfect primer for those who are just coming to grips with the world of social media – and a nice reminder for those who are more conversant with topics such as:

As you go through the presentation, think about your clients and think about your customers. Think about the topics from their point of view – and then also think through your own behaviours. Think about how you use social media/networks at work and at play – is there a difference? Should there be? Will you change what you do based on what the presentation reveals?

I will be interested to know!

Five Must-Read Posts from Last Week

Well, I don’t know about you, but it has been an exceptionally busy six months. And now, here in Australia, we are heading into a new financial year … so I am hoping for a breather. I can’t see it actually happening!

Again, there were some great posts this week, but the following really stood out for me:

  1. Here is a great podcast featuring young entrepreneurs. In this week’s Business21C podcast, Mary Nguyen and Alfred Lo talk about the business start-up incubator, Vibewire, where I am a member of the board. Check it out.
  2. Iain Tait’s blog has been exploited by a pharma-hack. Yes, when WordPress gets a little out of date, holes emerge and these beasties crawl through. They usurp your search rankings and link back to you. Not nice.
  3. Kevin Dugan has been on fire over the last couple of months – writing some brilliant posts. This one, on the subject of the BP Oil Spill is another cracker.
  4. Russell Davies talks about the neurological hit that we get when we share stuff. It’s partly what makes social media and blogging so addictive and taps into my thinking about creating coincidence.
  5. Julian Cole shares his lessons from two years of fulltime work. Some great insight from one of the bright young minds of the Australian industry.

How Google Works – The Scary Truth About Search

I can remember when Google first came along, promising improved search. I scoffed. “Who needs better search?”, I said. After all, I knew the most relevant and valuable websites. I knew some people who kept and updated good site lists. I could navigate the web with confidence. I felt like a Renaissance Man of the early web.

And even after my colleagues began using Google, I resisted. I kept plugging away at AltaVista. I kept alternating with Yahoo! I leapt over to Excite for certain search types and AskJeeves for others. I was proud of my knowledge and capabilities.

But I did not know what I did not know.

A couple of tentative searches on this white, clean, non-polluted search engine changed my online behaviour. Now, I did not need to know where to go, because Google knew for me. I could colour my searching by including not just keywords but also sentiment related words. I could search wider, faster from a single interface, rather than jumping from search engine to search engine.

The results were good. Better. Best.

But then, as I began to take on more responsibility for the creation of sites, I realised that there was not just art, but also science, involved in making your site “findable”. The exact recipe for this was held tighter than Colonel Sander’s secret recipe.

And it still is.

But those clever folks over at the PPC Blog have created this stupendous diagram that shows just how Google search works. Well – it’s a good approximation. After all, this really is the secret to Google’s $20 billion a year business.

Take a look and think about how Google (and therefore your customers) find and access your website. Then think about whether you are delivering business value with your current setup. Try to be honest. And then, when you think you have all the boxes ticked, throw “social” into the mix and see how you stack up. Scared? You should be.


Lead Generation, Community, ROI and Other Games of Chance

Back in April I had the opportunity to speak at the ConnectNow conference. It was quite a daunting situation as I was the first speaker at the three day event featuring people such as Tara Hunt, Darren Rowse, Brian Solis, Katie Chatfield, Jim Stewart, Debs Shultz, Stephen Johnson, Hau Man Chow, Laurel Papworth and Gary Vaynerchuck, but I saw my role as setting the scene – creating a platform for the following days.

I looked at lead generation, community, ROI, discussing:

  • What works
  • How to sustain it
  • What to expect

Along the way, I pick up on the recurring themes that I write about here on my blog. Topics such as how audiences are changing (the new B2C), the Auchterlonie Effect and why it is the future of your brand, continuous digital strategy, influence and fat value