Social media – a peep into the future

Practising Social Media PR for a profitable business-measuring its pros and cons

London, U.K. – TweetFace; a popular social networking website announced its launch of a new webcast “PR and Social media” to underline the benefits that social media can have for business organisations. An official press conference held today at 2:00 pm in Threemasons Hall, Holborn was attended by 50 journalists and PR practitioners from different sectors. 

Hi TweetFace!

Tweetface for the first time has taken the initiative to reinforce the fact that the social media platform can be a boon for business entities if its complete potential is realised. 

Diksha Sethi, Digital PR executive of TweetFace and the creator of this webcast said “It is important to learn new ways to communicate to the audience in a digital environment. I look at it as a possibility of connecting with your audience at a more personal level which has been driven by social change.” 

The webcast highlights some key benefits of social media for any business organisation; local or international. 

1) Social media is cost effective and offers unlimited space, unlike the traditional newspapers, radio and television. 

2) It is easy to recognise the potential market and segregate your niche which further helps in customising the message accordingly. 

3) Social media gives the audiences an equal chance to voice their opinion and help organisations deliver exactly what is in demand. Thus; saving their time, energy and resources. 

4) New Public Relations strategies like viral campaigns, webcasts, blogs etc have the capacity to change public opinion towards an organisation or a brand from negative to neutral and from neutral to positive. 

5) Increasing Revenue On Investment is the most important goal social media helps to achieve for organisations. 

Matthew Holland, Head of digital PR department of TweetFace further hinted at the importance of being fair and honest in using this medium which is still under the experiment stage. “The nature of the medium is more volatile than television or radio. Because its reach is far and wide, the message looses it control once it has been disseminated. Therefore, it is extremely important to be honest in delivering your message to your audience. Else, the outcome can be ravaging for the brand’s reputation.” 

Social Media has brought about a paradigm shift in the PR practices directed towards various sectors of business where the consumer forms the focus. Apart from being a visual treat, this webcast shall touch upon some key approaches to communicating in an evolving digital world.
 
The webcast is available and downloadable from TweetFace and YouTube. 

 

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Boiler’s Plate: 

TweetFace was founded by Danny Berg in 2003, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit in 2 weeks. 

TweetFace is the world’s 2nd largest social network, with over 400 million users. 

TweetFace added 70 million unique user from 2009-2010. 

Till january 2010, TweetFace had 124 million users just from the U.K.

             ____________________________________________

 

Danny Berg:CEO and Founder TweetFace
Office: 1602 S, White Avenue
Shaftesbury
London, U.K. 

Contact Person:
Ms.Diksha Sethi Sharma
Executive communication manager
Phone: 0203467654 (ext-123)
mobile: 07898226050
Email: sethi.diksha@gmail.com 

Follow us:
http://twitter.com/diksha_sethi
http://www.facebook.com/#!/sethi.diksha
http://www.linkedin.com/myprofile?trk=hb_tab_pro

 

The endangered future of newspapers

Is social media a threat to newspapers?

It has been 4 years when I last made my diary entry. And within that time, almost everything has moved from a tactile to virtual form. Even personal diaries have moved to virtual spaces on “blogs”. The other day, in Matts class, we were having a discussion if newspapers would eventually become extinct entities and would rather be found in museums for our prodigys to admire. We are living in a “touch and go” global environment where everything, from the way we eat, sleep, shop, communicate, make friends or build relationships – everything has undergone a transformation online.    Philosophers, poets, academicians and theorists quote in their own way, that – Old ideas, thoughts and structures become redundant one day and must make way for the fresh one’s. That is the cycle of life. But does that mean, newspapers would actually disappear? We would rather be carrying an i-pad or a palm-sized laptop on our way to offices?! Just because newspapers deliver news which is already being twittered 12 hours before, on every website or bloggers’ space? I have my qualms. Maybe it is the question of credibility and authenticity which bothers an avid reader who would rather enjoy skimming through the newspaper with a cup of coffee than concentrating his eyes on web pages.     Some examples occured my mind while I’m still pondering over the future of newspapers and the growing dominance of online media. Why do people still ride bicycles when they can zoom in their cars and reach anywhere within no time?! like I would still prefer to go to a fashion store to take a look around what’s in and latest and buy it myself rather than shop from a virtual window! Why do people still post greeting cards on special occassions when an e-card is just a click away?! why do we prefer meeting a friend over a weekend and not talk through skype?   Maybe some things are just there to stay – be it out of loyalty, habit, warmth or sheer comfort! I guess, We all have basic needs which the virtual world still cannot fulfill. There is still, a long way to go…………….!

Diksha

Fashionista

19th February 2010: BodyAmr @ London Fashion Week, 3:15 pm; ThreeMasons Hall, Great Queens street, Holborn

I’ve grown up seeing paper thin models wearing stunning clothes and walking amidt the awstruck crowd. lights, camera and LIVE action with no retake! I thought this is so easy. All one has to do is walk down on those 7inches alongwith something remarkably cut and put together! That’s how I precieved a fashion show to be like. The world of fashion is anything but easy! Never thought I could get such an opportunity to work for the London Fashion Week only to see the chaos back stage, last min disasters, months of hard work put in by the designer, fashion producer, technicians, photographers, hair and makeup artists, the PR team  and models; all this for a 20 min Gliterati. 

For a deisgner, it always feels like the first show even if it is his 100th! the excitement is sky high always! The who’s who of the tinsel town comes all decked up to see what’s in and out for the next season.

The experience of sharing a space with the nation’s talent was truly enriching and unforgettable. I took some pictures of Jacob Kimmie’s show and Sado’s show. (as seen in gallery)

Below are some of the pictures and vidoes of BodyAmr’s show: enjoy!

Diksha

Bodyamr features at Vogue: http://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/show.aspx/full-length-photos/id,7992

BodyAmr fall 2010: http://www.coutorture.com/London-Fashion-Week-Bodyamr-Fall-2010-7470673?page=0,0,15

Nicola Roberts LIVE: http://www.t5m.com/live-from-fashion-week/nicola-roberts-at-body-amr-live-at-fashion-week.html

Non profit PR v/s the other sectors

” Charities is the only sector that practices ethical PR and all other sectors mainly practice spin or propaganda”

 

Being a part of this debate, i had to support one side of the statement that yes, charities is the only way to do good, ethical PR for a simple reason that charities work for a philanthropic cause and not for scaling profits. So who cares what means were adopted to achieve a noble end! ” greater good for a greater number”. But unfortunately, the world isn’t like a black and white grid of chess board that it would be so easy to seggregate the good from the bad!

My conclusion about this debate like all other debates is that if there have been a series of scandals in the corporate sector and our politicians (whom we love to hate) have been caught doing propaganda just to cash in more votes; the NGO sector has also had its fair share of bad press and public scrutiny. NGO’s have also been attacked as a puppet at the hands of corporate giants who aim to cash in more credibility for their CSR activites on behalf of the charity they loop in. And in return for their favour, they end up getting huge sums of donations!

It could be argued that NGO’s are also selling a “product” of contented conscience for two main motives 1) To gain more media attention 2) For more donations 3) Win more supporters. But there is a difference in the approach and the end result. They are not serving the way trade unions or trade associations do.

Trevor Morris in his book “PR- a persuasive industry” says that NGO’s are engaged in a sophisticated transaction where there are no tangible goods involved or a conventional exhange of services. But customers end up buying a contented afterglow after contributing money or investing their time. Good PR at work ensures sustainance of volunteers or donors.

According to the international journal of Not-for-profit law, volume 8; january 2006: there has been a gradual erosion of confidence in leaders, institutions of governments and corporate houses. The paralysis and poor performance of these groups who promise to serve for public good have given an endless stream of scandals and have shattered public trust. in such a scenario, NGO PR emerges as a credible source of information in an effort to address the deficiencies.

The key points that came out from the debate were:

Credibility and transparency are the two main credentials which an NGO seeks to have because that leads to more donations and good publicity. But this is impossible to achieve without being ethical. Since NGO’s are not accountable to any governed body; thus,PR techniques used by NGO’s should be subject to greater scrutiny to ensure long term public trust.  

NGO sector has to be more ethical in terms of practising PR to mobilise the cause that they believe in with no underlined selfish motive. otherwise, it fails the very purpose of being n the voluntary sector. The attitue has to be self(less) and not self (ish)

NGO PR would ideally not wait for a crisis to occur and act with profound responsibility towards all citizens; unlike other sectors who indulge in CSR only if there is a crisis, an emergency or bad press.

NGO PR believes in building a “brand image” through long-term relationships with its donors and media, active campaigning and spreading awareness without calling it an act of “PR”

NGO’s use tool of persuasion in order to bring about awareness and change in the public opinion towards an issue or a problem. Unless persuasion doesn’t cross the line of propaganda, spin or astroturfing, it is acceptable!

Diksha

Related articles:

How to get media attention for your cause: http://nonprofit.about.com/od/nonprofitpromotion/fr/attentionreview.htm

Issue management: http://nonprofit.about.com/od/mediarelations/tp/issuesmanagement.htm

propaganda: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Pentagon_military_analyst_program

coke zero indulges in astroturfing: http://www.thezeromovement.org/

Social Media Webcast

Public relations and Social Media – webcast by Diksha Sethi:

After taking the new media and PR module, I realised how the nature of communication has undergone a drastic change within a span of 4 years! While in some parts of the world, the best way to communicate for people is stil the E-mail or maybe the telephone, for some others, tweeting updates through social networking websites has become an addiction.
 
Making this webcast was a struggle initially, but now that I can see the finished results and finally about to upload my video, it gives me a sense or relief that i’ve finally done it! This webcast is an attempt to understand the flavour of social media in our day to day communication alongwith the buiness context. Social media is still a cause of apprehension for many entrepreaneurs because they havent realised the power of social media and how it can give an image makeover to brands. (either new or established). Not only the image and reputation, it also has brought a paradigm shift in the fundamentals of doing business! Rather than spending millions on a expensive PR campaign, smaller, more personalised and interest-driven attempts are being made to gain the audience’s attention, support and loyalty. The tables have turned; pushy sales has taken a back seat and building customer relationships has become centric.  
 
Despite all of us being so diverse in our cultures, traditions and mannerisms, yet the medium has picked up on our basic needs to share, talk, express our emotions and stay in touch. Ofcourse it cannot substitute for a physical exchange of ideas, yet it has become an inevitable part of our busy lives. Social networking websites hae been customised according to our cultural backgoundsand do allow us to personalise content! at the same time, it facilitate formation of comunities, fan clubs and groups with those who have some commonalities with us. This phenomenon helps businesses to identify their niche and target their message to the right audiences!
 
If there are positives of using social media for a business activity, it has some of the dangers too. If on one hand social media is fast,accessible, cheap and has a massive reach. on theother hand, one mistake can be lethal for the reputation of the brand and the company. For eg: the dominos gross video spread like wild fire and had millions of hits on outube overnight! It gives less time for comntemplating in a crisis and demands prompt action. otherwise, things can be blow out of proportion. A careless use of the medium can get the world attacking you in no time. Another danger is the lack of control over the user generated conten being disseminated through blogs, videos, picture sharing or social networking websites. Too much transparency could spin the tide.
 
well, its time for me to wrap up and get ready for the london fashion week. hope you enjoy the my little endeavour 🙂
 
Cheers
Diksha 🙂
 
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Marketing professionals shifting from direct marketing to social media
50 ways to use social media
How to set up a domino effect of traffic
Related Videos:
  Social Networking in Plain English          
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Think Global, Act Local

Local Public Relations has been known for the benefits it drives to its clients and the reputation it enhances leading to better business prospects for them. International or Global Public Relations is no different. It has a similar set of objectives based on clients need and a strategy to ensure a positive outcome. Where it varies is in the scope of its operations.

Global or Local PR?

Local PR as the name suggests acts in a localised environment and deals with a target audience which either reside in that particular area or have their interests associated with it. Segregating such a group and reaching them economically could prove to be an arduous task. Local PR deals extensively with local media and opinion leaders and tries to influence them in their clients’ favour.

International PR on the other than has a multinational approach and deals across cultures. The overwhelming challenge is to ensure that the campaign is perceived in a similar way across nations and the message doesn’t get diluted or misinterpreted. The local opinion groups rooted in their inherent culture could take a different approach on the communication being presented to them during such a campaign. It is of the utmost importance to understand what strategies work in one region and offends local sensibilities in the other.

But are they really so distinct from each other and can they function independently? ‘The best PR is that which works on both a global and a national basis,’ insisted Weber Shandwick CEO Harris Diamond. ‘There is no question that globalization is a reality, but all PR is local. According to Diamond, even ‘think global, act local’ is not an accurate descriptor of how global PR ought to work. ‘It’s an attempt to think about PR better, but “think global, act local” implies that a central strategy exists, a sort of NASA mission control.

Innovating and adapting to this environment is the biggest challenge an international PR initiative faces at its very conception stage. Local PR has the advantage to deeply connect with the local target audience and customise their approach. The small size of the target group makes the campaign more agile and effectively ready to face problems and offer counter measures speedily. The international PR has to make sure that the campaign takes into consideration number of international factors like the ongoing political scenario in the countries where the campaign is going to be implemented. This becomes of prime importance for example if you are holding a campaign on human rights in a country like China. Anticipating the possible outcomes could help smoothen the process, however it does impact on the overall efficiency of the campaign.

Lending total responsibility to the local agencies may also not prove beneficial because their messages would be limited only to a particular sect, community or a group which comprehends the language and the context behind it.

And going completely International may miss out on the local flavour, the culture, the background knowledge and may lead to misinterpretation of the message if not put in the right context. Harris Diamond gives the example of an Australian ad for the Electrolux vacuum cleaner – suggesting that the ‘Electrolux sucks’ tagline would not work in America.

Michael Burrell, vice-president, Europe, Edelman says in an article in PR Week Nov 2005, ‘It’s how to put global brand messages into local markets. It’s about getting the trust from clients to let you give business to indigenous agencies if you don’t have the skills in a certain area already.’

In conclusion, I would say that ‘think global, act local’ is the best way a PR campaign can be executed into any market, with the right message conveyed with a global appeal that brings everybody on a common platform and yet maintains the indigenous appeal.