Video Clip of the Month: Precise Strategies Liberate

A sound communications strategy or creative brief is the most important part of a successful communications campaign or product. It is the firm foundation determining how your communications mix (i.e., public relations, advertising, promotion, and direct marketing) will work together to achieve your communications objectives. It is the genesis of every word you write, every product you produce, every conversation you start. All too often, however, communicators … [Read more...]

HOW TO: Ground VOA’s Global Ambitions in Reality

Just after reading a fascinating post on Mobile Mahaal, an innovative experiment making radio more interactive in Afghanistan, I read another by Kim Andrew Elliott on proposed Voice of America (VOA) budget cuts and programs "under other names." Kim wrote: "Congress should not spend money on an international news service that the private sector can accomplish at no cost to the taxpayers." Kim's comment was in reaction to a post on the Mountain Runner blog by David … [Read more...]

Web 2.0 Suicide, Not Armageddon, Komen’s Problem

Breast cancer is personal for me. My own grandmother survived breast cancer. Three of my coworkers had breast cancer and one died, leaving two young children. Another friend of mine also survived breast cancer. For that reason, when I received a direct message from Beth Kanter on Twitter asking me to post tweets with #takebackthepink and #supercure during the SuperBowl I did. I supported Beth's efforts to make women's health care accessible to everyone. Every … [Read more...]

Conversation, not Context or Content, is King

What do you think you would need most to harness the Internet to transform Facebook’s privacy policy in Europe? Great storytelling (a.k.a. content)? Opinion leaders or household names driving traffic to your killer web presence and its top-notch user experience (a.k.a. context)? Or an easy way for people to act to support your efforts and spread the word to their friends? (a.k.a. conversation)? Tough one! What turned out to be the answer for Max Schrems, a … [Read more...]

Video Clip of the Month: Concentrate on Relationships

Groundswell is so far the best book on social media I've ever read. Written by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff (and recently updated), the book is a must read for anyone who pieces together coherant communications strategies. My favorite quote — "concentrate on the relationships, not the technologies" — supports the book's four steps for social media planning: (1) people, (2) objectives, (3) strategy, and (4) technology. It also sets the stage for a brilliant … [Read more...]

Understanding Values from Around the World

Today, every organization is a global brand. Thanks to Web 2.0, people from around the world can access your content, discover and interact with other members of your online communities, and add their own voice to the conversation. This is exciting but also a little unnerving. How do you relate to people from another culture? What do you say, or not say, to start a conversation off right? Are there cultural taboos you need to be aware of? Fortunately, a … [Read more...]

An Influencer Is an Influencer Is an Influencer?

"Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose," is a Gertrude Stein quote we've all heard reminding us things are what they are no matter what you call them. In the communications world, however, the term "influencer" doesn't necessarily mean the same thing. One communications practitioner may define and apply the influencer concept in a way worlds apart from a second practitioner, though both are trying to harness influencers to change ideas, motivate new … [Read more...]

HOW TO: Unleash the ‘Crowd’ to Create Change

A Communications 301 rule of thumb is "information alone doesn't change behavior." You might have brilliant left-brained arguments about why people should do something, but if you don't touch them emotionally, they won't be swayed. O.K., maybe they'll give you a thumbs up, but they won't act. Raising awareness is only effective in changing behavior when you have the time and resources to reach the saturation point of "everybody knows that everybody knows that … [Read more...]

Video Clip of the Month: Leading Online Communities

How can you turn a leaderless communications swarm into a collaborative online community that achieves results? That's the zillion dollar question for 2012. As my runner up for January 2012 video clip of the month below shows (and anybody who has been following the news knows), self-directed communications swarms fueled many of the top news events of 2011. While my runner up for video clip of the month above is inspiring, especially on the New Year, my main … [Read more...]

Strategic or Scary? Public Diplomacy Commission Cut

After Tripoli fell to anti-Gaddafi forces last August, I remembered a particularly clairvoyant blog post/radio interview I ran across a couple of months earlier. The blog post/radio interview gave a spot on analysis of how information could be used to empower Libyans to take back their own country. When I went back to the blog to find out if its author had any new predictions, I found out the Mountain Runner blog was on hiatus because its author had recently … [Read more...]

Did No Social Media Policy Lead to Racist Remarks?

A dozen or more New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers could get dooced for posting offensive comments on Facebook calling West Indian Day parade-goers in Brooklyn “savages,” "filth," and “animals." (Dooced, in case you don't know, means fired from one's job as a result of one's actions on the Internet.) The New York Times reported last week at least 20 comments maligning parade-goers on a “No More West Indian Day Detail” Facebook page were from NYPD … [Read more...]

Video Clip of the Month: Teenager’s Snipe Goes Viral

A teenager's snarky, potty-mouthed tweet about Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback contains important Web 2.0 lessons for us all: Anything you write on social media, no matter how small your audience, has the potential to go viral. Trying to control your message behind the scenes is not only futile, it could backfire in a big way. Check out the CNN video below, my pick for December 2011 video clip of the month, on the latest most-famous tweet in the United States. To … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Message: Gratitude, Love & Blue Keys

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend." —Melody Beattie Even in tough times like these, we all can count our blessings on Thanksgiving. We can be thankful for our family, the accident of our birth in a nation with abundant food and water, and a roof over our head. We … [Read more...]

AP vs. Social Media: For Whom the Pepper Spray Tolls

Chilling video images surfaced online today showing a campus police officer at the University of California, Davis, calmly pepper spraying the faces of Occupy Wall Street protesters seated quietly in a line with their arms interlocked. The images, captured with cellphones by several onlookers, quickly spread virally across the Internet. As unsettling as the video images are, the keyword for me in the news event is onlookers plural. It reminded me of … [Read more...]

The Klout Fallacy from Its Marketing Manager Herself

I hit the Klout jackpot this week. No, my Klout score of 40 isn't suddenly up. Klout's Marketing Manager Megan Berry personally left an incredibly insightful comment on my blog. Her comment isn't gold to me because of the ego boost (O.K., maybe a little). It's gold because it plainly illustrates the fallacy of Klout's claim to be "the standard for influence." Here's how Berry summarized how Klout scores work: "1. Influence isn’t about you, it’s about your audience. … [Read more...]