When Instagram began as a lowly image sharing app in October 2010, few outside of the app’s creators could have predicted the social media channel would have such a significant impact on the future of communication and business. Having grown to 100 million active users by April 2012, the potential was beginning to be realised.
What began as simply a free mobile app to share images with your social network, quickly become one of the most successful avenues for business (and individuals) to promote and shape their brand and public perceptions. While social media has been accused of providing a platform for egoism and manufactured reality, the channel is about more than extravagant holidays and unrealistic fitness photos.
Instagram is a branding playground for businesses that know how to use it to their advantage. The platform is full of people who are excited to engage with visually appealing content. Businesses have begun to skilfully tap into this goldmine and use their presence to establish a brand and name for themselves among a very powerful and diverse audience.
While businesses are currently benefitting from the exposure presented by Instagram, experts in the field of communication predict that businesses that do not get on board the social media band wagon, will not survive.
Not only does Instagram help to make your business ‘pretty’, Instagram provides yet another opportunity for you to engage and communicate with some of your most important stakeholders. We know how important that is when our audiences expect engagement.
We know what you’re thinking. So, I not only have to establish a successful business, I have to constantly communicate with the market AND the communication must be engaging and exciting?! It can be daunting for many business owners but the best way to show your audience that you are a forward thinking business is to engage in a technologically advanced way.
The most important thing for businesses to remember is that not every post is going to (or has to) sell your product. While you may post periodically about products you have for sale, ads don’t always engage people. Create content that uses your products in an exciting way to interest your audience. Yes, you can include detail on purchasing the product (or your key message) at the end of your caption, but it should not be your sole message.
The purpose of using Instagram is to establish a following that will promote your business for you, which will lead to trust and credibility, resulting in sales for you. Research has shown that buying behaviour has changed. People shop online, but rely on social media comments and online reviews to gauge if they will purchase a product. Therefore, your following will become very important in selling the message you have to share. It is therefore essential that you gain their trust and they will, in return, establish credibility for your brand and message.
With this in mind, it is easy to understand why there are now professionals trained purely to manage and conceptualise business social media profiles.
Instagram is powerful; use it to your advantage!
For companies willing to be a little creative and push the limits, stunt activations are the perfect way to take their brand to the people and the next level, all whilst creating strong leads and interactions with their target demographic.
We all know of a stunt gone wrong, or an attempted quick gimmick by a company, that has significantly backfired – but a well-executed, sophisticated activation can achieve very real and tangible results, elevating and positioning a brand in new light and attracting new customers.
The Red Bull Stratos stunt is known world-wide and created immeasurable cut-through for the brand, resulting in a hundred million cumulative views on YouTube. Everyone held their breath as Felix the astronaut jumped from space, free falling until he landed on the ground some 40 kilometres away. On Huffington Post alone we counted 18 articles about the event. The stunt even spawned a documentary “Space Jump” on National Geographic. The result of Stratos was a significant increase in Red Bull’s brand prestige, cementing themselves as an industry leader in energy drinks.
The truth is, you don’t need to jump from space to pull off successful stunt activations. The team at KDPR conceived and executed an “Unforgettable Proposal” event in Queen Street Mall for Valentine’s Day this past week. While not quite as adrenaline-charged as Stratos, it was successful in generating hundreds of thousands of impressions, interactions with the client’s brand and adding numerous potential new clients directly into to their database.
So what are the common themes of successful PR stunts? Firstly, they’re out of the ordinary and are specifically designed to create a sensory or emotive reaction from the target demographic. They also have a creative premise that relates directly to the brand and the brand’s personality. For instance, Red Bull associates itself with extreme sports and adventure, so jumping from space takes the brand to new heights…quite literally. Finally, these events had PR firms and practitioners behind them who ensured smooth logistics, brand alignment, audience engagement, partnership negation and delivery as well, of course, as media coverage.
So if this has you excited to extend your brand a little further and contemplate how a stunt activation could work for your company, please give us a call. We promise we won’t encourage anyone to do a space jump 40 kilometres above the earth’s surface but we can’t promise the concept won’t be just as exciting.
There is something particularly intriguing about the interconnected world we find ourselves in. We are connected to hundreds of people every day by our mobile devices, social networks and even our watches.
On any street, almost every person walking past is, in some way, connected to technology. Whether they are attempting to text and walk, have earphones peeking out from their hair or have a tablet tucked under their arm, we are all increasingly reliant and dependent on technology.
However, something equally surprising is that these users are not just millennials. People of varying ages are becoming more accepting of technology and this is, inadvertently, changing the way businesses operate. While some grandparents may continue to fear and be suspicious of technology, it seems that the ‘tech-savvy’ audience we hear of so frequently has changed.
This poses the question, if a wider audience is now becoming accepting and engaging with the digital world, are digital tactics still only relevant to the millennial audience (generation born from 1980’s-early 2000’s)?
In short, no. Not anymore, not exactly.
Like everything that isn’t black and white, neither is this. Every business is different, which is why it is always important for businesses to have a clear target audience for their key messages and Public Relations campaigns. It may seem like an easy and obvious step in developing any business, but you may be surprised that this is a step many businesses skip or don’t give adequate consideration.
Curated Digital said: “The traditional world of communications is slowly being taken over by technology and at the forefront of this change are the millennials; paving the way for creativity and experimental content.”
While this statement provides insight into the future of communications, we are already seeing aspects of this emerging. For example, Dove is a creative (and successful) example of how thought-provoking campaigns work for a digital audience. Their ‘real beauty’ campaign is innovative and has engaged a wide audience of varying ages, through their use of diverse talent.
Advice for businesses incorporating digital tactics, regardless of their target audience, is to ensure they are building relationships with their audience, not just regurgitating content. The digital world is challenging businesses to rehash the way in which they think about PR and it’s a very exciting world to be part of.
So, while the millennials may hold the largest share in the digital marketplace at the moment, expect that to change and be ready when it does. Research already shows millennials don’t respond to online ads, so it is only a matter of time before this trend of online advertising is supplemented for engaging PR content.
A word to the wise: Be aware of your audience, be prepared for the digital market and go forth and conquer!
Facebook recently introduced new features: Facebook Live and Facebook Story. Both features incorporate video content in a slightly different way than just uploading a new video. Of course, both features has its upside and downside. Now, what are they, and how can we use it in PR?
This feature enables the user to broadcast live videos, directly to their news feed and their story, from their devices so their followers on Facebook can watch the video as they record it! Another upside is that friends and followers get notified when you start to go live, so it is more engaging than just uploading videos. Viewers can still leave comments, likes, or share the video as it’s being broadcasted, which leads to better interaction with the audience.
Broadcasting live videos can be risky – what if something goes wrong? Hence, preparation is critical. Run your script and do a practice video to minimize the risk!
Facebook Live could be a suitable option to broadcast an event, allowing anyone to access and be involve in the event from anywhere.
This feature allows user to share short videos instantly, with lots of editing option (fun filters, text, geotag). Unlike Facebook live, your story will only be accessible for 24 hours after you post it and viewers can only respond with direct message – messages are not made public, therefore Facebook Story is more suitable for direct interaction with individuals.
Given its short availability on the internet, try not to rely on this feature for important announcements and information if you don’t have a huge following. However, Facebook Story is great to keep you Facebook account active and interactive! It’s also great for ‘behind the scenes’ of your project or event. It may work as a ‘teaser’ video to build people’s curiosity and strengthen the buzz.
The prospect of a media interview can be overwhelming and nerve-wracking but it doesn’t have to be! Those who haven’t had proper media training can find the approach by media anxiety-producing.
At KDPR we boast a broad array of experience and skill in the media realm. Our Managing Director spent many years being the one giving the interviews at Network Ten. Our staff are either trained journalists or work with media, knowing what they want and how they want it, every day.
If you’re feeling daunted or overwhelmed by the prospect of media interviews, there’s no need to panic! KDPR offers excellent media training services for those preparing for a media interview. After a session with us you’ll know exactly what to expect and how to get your message right.
In the meantime, we have developed a range of quick tips for interviews with print, radio and TV journalists.
When giving an interview you have to be prepared to deliver a perfect performance. Although it is possible for some to ‘wing it’, being organised is a must for the majority of us. You need to understand how the media works and how journalists think in order to tailor an effective message. Aim to develop three core messages, and don’t forget to pay attention to nonverbal language (dress code, eye contact, even tone of voice!)
Print interviews are generally conducted over the phone. They are usually more in-depth than a radio grab or a voice-to-camera television piece, so it’s essential to bring your notes. Remember that even though the interview is via phone, journalists can quickly tell if you mean what you’re saying. Don’t be afraid to be animated while you speak!
Radio interviews are also done mostly over the phone. This medium is as instantaneous as it gets, so ensure you’ve done your preparation and developed core messages before the interview. Keep your answers concise and try to have fun; never underestimate the power of an engaging tone of voice.
This is often labelled the most ‘daunting’ of the three mediums. Bearing that in mind, remember to relax! There is a performance aspect to an excellent TV interview; you must be engaging but not overbearing. Stick to your key messages, but not too religiously, or your message will come across as artificial.
We won’t deny it; media interviews can be completely overwhelming if you aren’t prepared. Our media training services are designed to prepare you for absolutely anything that comes your way in an interview. Ask us for help at KDPR; we’ll make sure you get your message right.
Having effective communication skills when working in public relations is essential for PR projects and assignments to run smoothly and to their fullest potential.
There are some certain tips and tricks that lead to great communication whilst working in PR, here are a few:
1. The importance of two-way communication
Two-way communication between multiple parties is essential in order for projects to run smoothly. This is particularly important between the PR professionals and their client. Clear, two-way communication allows for prompt responses to shifting priorities and identification of any amazing possibilities as well as identification of any issues. PR agency staff work best as an extension of the in-house team, kept constantly in the loop of communication.
2. The importance of constant communication
It is important for there to be constant communication throughout the three main stages of a PR project. These are:
Strategy development, goals and target setting
Post project feedback and reporting
Clear communication at the start of a project ensures strategic goals are set and targets are well-defined. Communication is important during the delivery phase of a project to ensure priorities haven’t shifted and the tactics are working effectively. The final phase of the project is recognition of all the work and feedback on its effectiveness.
3. The importance of effective written communication
Between all the phone calls and meetings the importance and effectiveness of a well-written piece can often be forgotten. Written communication is time-efficient and allows for specific goals and targets to be defined. The result is less misinterpretation – the communique will be ‘archived’, the content to seen and saved. Written forms of communication can also help create ‘templates’ for how the PR business has previously dealt with projects and obstacles in the past.
These tips and tricks are stepping stones to happy, healthy, effective communication – the cornerstone to a great PR/client relationship.
The annual Sensis Social Media Report – a survey of 800 consumers, 1000 small to medium businesses, and 100 large businesses – provides valuable insights into the social media habits of Australian consumers and businesses.’
It informs the decision-making of business owners around their exploration of the cost-effective digital avenues of the online world. It’s an important tool by which they improve customer engagement and target marketing efforts toward a specific audience. The increasingly large number of Australians that use it has cemented social media as one of the most effective weapons for communicating with and advertising to consumers.
According to the report, the average Australian owns three internet-enabled devices – most commonly smartphones – which provide instantaneous, around-the-clock access to social media. It found we spend more than 12 hours per week on Facebook alone, the vast majority accessing social media sites multiple times each day.
Businesses are taking notice, but it comes as little surprise that many of them struggle to keep pace with the rapidly evolving online landscape generally, and social media specifically.
Facebook was overwhelmingly the most popular platform among businesses, used by 89 per cent of small, 79 per cent of medium and 89 per cent of large businesses respectively. Conversely, a much lower proportion of businesses said they used Instagram, with only 12 per cent of small, 28 per cent of medium and 42 per cent of large businesses active on the platform.
This is interesting, and at KDPR the figures struck us as counterintuitive. Through our experience in public relations, consulting regularly with clients on social media, we have found, on average, Instagram to be the most effective platform. It seems strange that so few businesses have invested in it.
This anecdotal evidence shows the effectiveness of social media channels is highly circumstantial and should be assessed on case-by-case basis. What works best for one company might not for another and results achieved online are likely to vary based on the size and nature of a business, and its audience.
While useful, studies like the Sensis Social Media Report should not be taken as gospel. Businesses should not be afraid to experiment with a variety of different social media platforms until they find the one that works best for them.
With the results of the Federal election still being counted, it would be fair to assume the communications’ practitioners behind the campaigns are busy counting up their own wins. How much coverage was achieved? Did all of the key messages appear? Were the calls to action strong enough? Did the tone of the messaging resonate with the target audience?
Key elements of a communications campaign include ensuring a clear understanding of who you’re targeting and most importantly, how they prefer to receive key messages. Audiences have a variety of communication channels to receive information and therein lies the challenge for the communications practitioner. The ability to identify what channels to invest time and money, to gain cut-through and results, is a mixture of thorough research, data crunching and taking calculated risks. This process starts well before the campaign goes to market. It is vitally important for the communicator and the audience to be on the same page and understand who the campaign is designed to reach and why. To make this process easier it is important to ask the following questions:
To make this process easier it is important to ask the following questions:
- What does success look like for this campaign?
- What do you want your target audience say about you after this campaign?
- What does the commercial success for this campaign look like?
- What are the time frames?
While it is exciting and fun to plan and develop ideas for a new campaign, it is even more exciting to see a campaign deliver the results intended.