Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Social Media in a Corporate Context conference

I was one of the speakers at the Social Media in a Corporate Context event today, run by the lovely people over at Communicate Magazine. I was whittering on about the role of social media and investor relations.

(yes, again!)

Really interesting set of presentations and discussions, the summaries of which you read here.

What struck me most about this whole event was how the whole sector is maturing, particularly when comparing it with similar events I went to a couple of years back. I remember back in 2006/2007 talking almost exclusively about CEO blogs and wikis - we didn't even touch on Facebook or Twitter. And how scared everyone was - all the discussions then were about getting management buy-in, establishing a business case, looking at what IBM and people were doing.

Speaking to people today was so different. Now, we're looking at social media as being almost mainstream. There isn't the "fear of the new" that permeated the audience back then in the dim dark days. Now, we're openly assuming that most organisations are embracing social media, either as an established comms channel, or as a monitoring tool.

The challenges now are how we can get most bang for our hard earned comms dollars, how we can minimised organisational risk, and how we get people to start using the tools in the way that we comms professionals expect them too!

And if you want to follow up on any of the points I talked about, feel free to contact me.

Friday, 23 April 2010

That splintery sound you hear is newspapers scraping the bottom of the barrel

Interesting article today on econsultancy all about the Express newspaper group flogging off links to advertisers, in piss poor advertorial copy. And there was me thinking that this type of bottom-feeding revenue generation went out of fashion about the time went bust. You can even see a "list of shame" for those advertisers who have gone along with this at the econsultancy article.

But I can't say I'm surprised - the the and the website still uses popunders (remember them?) to some of the pikiest sites (online bingo anyone?); and the Express site hides links to commercial partners in the left hand main nav bar for their site. To help the user experience, each page is totally covered in ads and sponsored links, and to be honest looks a complete and utter mess. It's sometimes difficult to tell where the content finished and the advertising starts - mind you this might not be surprising when you consider the offline products, and the demographic of their readership (again, online bingo anyone?).

However, above all, this really does highlight a problem for newspapers - just how are you going to make money now, when circulation for your offline product is dropping, and people can get online news for free in real time elsewhere?

The Murdoch solution to this is paywalls. Fine for a bit of short term revenue generation, but this really doesn't have any long term future. In my last job, we used to take the temperature of online reputation influencers on a regular basis, and one of the surprises that kept coming up was how little people referred to publications like the Wall Street Journal, where users were charged to view content. This isn't good for these publications in the long term - if you can't share content or show off the quality of your editorial, not only will you lose off line readers, but your reputation as a quality publication online is in jeopardy. If companies like mine didn't see you as a key influencer (because people couldn't share your content) why would be engage with your journalists?

And the WSJ example is probably not even fair - it's a specialised publication aimed at a professional community who are used to paying for content. How this is expected to work for Joe Public is yet another question. After all, if would I want to pay (or could I even afford) a subscription to see a site that's covered in ads for dating, payday loans and betting sites?

Online bingo anyone?

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

FT Bowen Craggs 2010 results

The annual FT Bowen Craggs corporate website effectiveness index has just been published for 2010, and pleased to say that my old site, ranked 5th globally for most effective corporate site.

Great news! and goes to show how much you can achieve on a limited budget, with targetted resources and a bit of thought, planning and a supportive team.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Google moves to web disclosure for Reg. FD

Google moves to web disclosure for Reg. FD

Really interesting bit of news on, about Google moving away from the newswires for distributing regulatory news announcements. Traditionally, listed companies here in the UK and abroad have used these newswires to syndicate their announcements to a variety of news channels (in the UK this often covers UKLA requirements for market sensitive information), and so it's an interesting development that Google regard their own website as having the same (or better) reach.

Wonder if any UK companies will start to take this approach...?

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

reBlog from Twitter launches Ads, New Business Model

I found this today. Realling interesting post from Shiv Singh, all about Twitter and their new "adwords" concept:

Something we've all been eagerly (maybe too eagerly) waiting for has finally happened. Twitter has finally launched Promoted Tweets which is a Google AdWords like program to further monetize its business. On first blush, I like the promoted tweets program unlike the third party sponsored tweets programs that I've blogged about in the past. But first let me explain how it works.Companies can buy search result terms so that their chosen tweets appear at the top of the page when a user searches for that keyword. So for example, if I were to buy the keyword "television" every time a user searched for television, he'd see my ad. My ad wouldn't be like a Google Adwords customized advertisement though. It would be a previous tweet of mine that I would have selected to appear as the ad for that search term. The promoted tweet would be clearly labeled as a promoted one and wouldn't get lost in the stream as time passes. It'll stay at the top of the page. Some other factors to keep in mind about promoted, Twitter launches Ads, New Business Model, Apr 2010

You should read the whole article.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Social media conferences

I'm speaking at the forthcoming Communicate Magazine conference on social media (Social media in a corporate context). Investor relations and social media and networks.... riveting stuff!

I'm also going to be on a session at the Investor Relations Society conference IR in the new decade, again about the use of social media in investor relations.

Get tickets while you can!