Category Archives: Content Strategy

Esquire Magazine on Steroids

I got excited when I saw what Wired magazine did with an interactive experiment by publishing on the iPad. Well Esquire magazine has done an even better job at it and I am waiting for more publications to catch on. I think this is one of the most exciting events for magazines since color offset printing got more cost effective. Check out this great informal video from Mashable.

The Viral Formula Revealed

I went to a great info MeetUp event the other day. It was all about viral marketing and how to get it to work. Tod Malfin gave the presentation and he covered a slimmed down client presentation PP show relating to organizing and planing for a successful viral marketing campaign.

I took some notes on my Blackberry as others typed away on their iPads or clutched frosty beers. It was fascinating to see some of the best viral videos from the past several years being deconstructed and broken down to their essential parts.

What we discovered was that most viral “fails” are missing some of the elements that Tod thanks need to be included for success. Check out my notes below and then tMedia’s website or go to this link from the PP presentation (thanks Tod) and if that’s not entertaining enough, look for more great viral samples and stories in the column on your right.

Based on my notes here is what you need to be aware of.

  • One theme (concept) is best
  • Weird is better than normal
  • It has to either Silly, Serious or Amazing
  • Have to match audiences with the content
  • Reward must be given to people who share
  • Make it a series and up the concept each time
  • Use social media to get feedback and to push awareness
  • Some viral videos sit dormant for months and then explode
  • Use highly connected Twitter people to spread the message

Check out this Doritos ad for a company who does it right with over 6 million views.

How to Find Great Information

Anyone who has a blog or website knows that content is king. However in this increasingly busy worked we often neglect or blogs and websites and in the long run that can hurt your business and brand. Have you ever visited a dormant blog… it feels like visiting a ghost town. Bad for you and much worse for the brand that was putting out the blog. Websites that never change there front page (landing page) are also hurting themselves and looking sales because your offers are either out of sink with what the market needs that week or worse you just talk about yourself. Remember it’s not about what you sell it’s about solving other peoples problems. That is where people see value.

To make life a bit easier hear are some great resource that will help you get fast and up-to-date information on practically anything. Good hunting…

Then the next question is how you can find these stories, videos, and blog posts. I have four methods for you to use:

If you sign up for the service, you can tell it the subjects you’re interested in. Then when you “stumble,” it will only take you to pages that other StumbleUpon users have liked in that subject. To really use StumbleUpon well, gets its toolbar. Like 14,846,969 others, I use the Firefox version because it lets me pick categories and share pages via Twitter, Facebook and email.

SmartBrief is a company that’s in the business of providing associations with good content for its members. As such, they have subject matter experts who search every day for good content. All you have to do is go to its website or subscribe to its email newsletters to benefit from their effort and expertise.

Alltop is the online version of the magazine rack in your bookstore except that it has 900 subjects and is free. It aggregates news by topics, presents the five most recent stories from the best websites and blogs about a subject, and gives you a preview of each story.

You could hire people—usually interns—to find stuff for you. For $10 to $20/hour, there are lots of starving, smart people who will comb the Internet to look for good content. They’ll probably use StumbleUpon, SmartBrief, and other tools, but what do you care if they’re doing what you could easily do for yourself?

PR in a Social Media Age

Glee fans in a Malaysia flash mob

I think that people have had to tighten there belts and do more with less. Because of this, PR has had a chance to show that it can be a great way to promote a business cost effectively.

I think that the rise of social media as a PR tool is what is driving the PR renaissance in Canada. People are now much more involved with PR related ideas and events. The rise of Social media as an alternative form of marketing has made a big difference to the PR industry.

The ability to track and monitor PR through social media sources has enabled the industry to bring a lot more interesting data to the table. Street level events, trade shows, business events or event a “flash mob” get a lot of attention and instant feedback from people’s camera phones, Tweets and Facebook Walls.

People will react and post the wearied and unusual events or sightings by posting an image or short report instead of calling a friend. This is because the distribution of that cool sighting or mini-reports can be more efficiently distributed through their social media platforms and the creator of the content will get faster and better feedback. This is what drives the new Viral media content that keeps our social media platforms busy with new stuff to consume.

What is needed are more PR agencies that specialize in these platforms so that they can supercharge there PR campaigns with live feedback from people responding to “twitter blasts” and “Facebook Wall Posting”.

Why Your Website Is Not Working

I think this is a great comic that sheds some light onto why most websites fail as communication devices. It’s not that the website is poorly designed (which should not happen since we have so many free or cheap templates) but more that the content has little or no relevance to the people who are using the west to gain knowledge. To often website content development is focused on parts of an organization that management feels is important. History, HR and other deep knowledge are the things that can be berried and product or service information should dominate most of a website. Share buttons should be easy to find and only 1 or 2 key messages should be on the front page.