Quantity versus Quality

Let’s play a game. Imagine I have both of my hands filled with M&M’s – but my right hand is far more full than my left. So full it’s overflowing. And you’re a chocoholic. Which hand are you going to pick?

(If you said left, then you’re either lying or not playing properly.)

Here’s where my metaphor will start to shock. That overflowing hand of M&M’s you’ve picked? All of the chocolate is stale, and mouldy and inedible. In my left hand – the hand that was nowhere near as full as my right, are peanut butter M&M’s. And they are fresh. And they melt in your mouth. And you love peanut butter. Are you catching my drift?

This is the old quality versus quantity debate. Most people will choose the hand with more M&M’s – not questioning the quality. More means better, right?

So how does this relate to PR?

With the convergence of traditional and digital media, the PR landscape is rapidly changing. It’s no longer enough to send out media releases to journalists in the hopes of getting front-page coverage on a metropolitan newspaper.

Today it’s all about digital. A rise in social media platforms, SEO awareness and user engagement has naturally lent itself to the PR industry. Companies today are touting themselves as ‘social media experts’ claiming they can assist with ‘social media strategy’ as a component of an overall PR strategy, getting your company’s Facebook page hundreds of likes in days of launching.

But how do you know you are getting value from these likes and follows? And how do you measure ROI?

This is where strategy comes into play. Before commencing any social media project, make sure to compile a digital strategy report. The report should highlight the varying social media channels including recommendations around whether your company should even be on social media in the first place. That’s right – sometimes it’s better for your company to stay off of Facebook.

If your company does require a social media presence, make sure to work at creating online communities that cater to your business’s target market audience. Facebook insights are brilliant in that they tell you exactly who is engaging with your page; by age, gender, occupation – you name it.

The thing is, anyone can buy your page hundreds, if not thousands, of likes in a matter of days – even Tony Abbott did it. But the insights tool will show you that these likes are from hundreds of people in Mauritius (as an example). Great if you’re launching in Mauritius. Not so great otherwise.

It’s time for businesses to realise that the true value in social media and digital strategy is not necessarily around how many likes your page has, or how many followers like your status. It’s about the quality of the connection – does the follower fit your target market? Will engaging with them online increase sales opportunities?

If your social media page has far less followers than your competitors, but over 80% of your followers are your target market, then you’re onto a good thing.

And you should reward yourself with a handful of M&M’s.


 

Contributor:

Hollie Azzopardi, Account Manager for Stolen Quotes

‘Pinfluence’

According to the GlobalWebIndex, Pinterest has become the fastest growing social media platform in the world. Not Facebook. Not LinkedIn. Pinterest.

While Facebook still remains the most popular social networking site, with 62% of Internet users actively using the page, Pinterest’s active users grew 88% this year and is projected to continue to grow at such a high rate in 2014.

Why is Pinterest so popular?

Pinterest differs from most social media platforms as it’s not about sharing, it’s about collecting. The bonus is that other people can see what you’re collecting, and collect as well. For those not familiar with Pinterest, you can create boards such as ‘Travel’ or ‘Food’ and collect images that inspire you. You can choose to have your boards public (everyone on Pinterest can see them) or private (only you can see them).

Psychologically, people feel less exposed on Pinterest – they don’t need to hand over private details such as birthdates or include an image of themselves. There also seems to be less judgement on Pinterest in comparison to Facebook and Twitter because Pinterest is a site that people use for themselves, not to interact with others.

If we think about the majority of content on social media, images reign supreme. Social media has moved in a direction where visuals attract the most engagement. It’s no wonder a social media platform all about images is growing so quickly.

Pinterest is also an extremely powerful marketing tool. In fact, Pinterest does more than just spread brand awareness – it can directly influence sales. I like to think of this as ‘Pinfluence’ (I thought I coined this term but a Google search proved it’s been around for months).

According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, 21% of Pinterest users bought an item in a store after pinning, repinning or liking the item on the site. The site is acting like a user-generated catalogue for individuals. Individuals are searching products online, pinning the ones they like and then entering a physical store to purchase them. The article suggests that users pin 24% of their images from strangers, 19% from friends, and 7% from retailers. Consider the power and virality of a product image getting pinned just from one individual.

If this isn’t powerful enough, Pinterest is also a great SEO tool in driving traffic to your website. Pinterest was the 7th referral site for one of our clients, whose Pinterest page has only been active for 2 months.

If you’re still on the fence about Pinterest – create a page and have a play with it yourself. Some of the most popular boards are Travel, Fashion and Weddings. You might find that you have been ‘Pinfluenced’.

Contributor:

Sarah Brown, Account Coordinator for Stolen Quotes.

An obsession with deadlines

It may seem odd, but it’s true. I live for deadlines. I love them. There’s nothing more satisfying to me than a big, looming deadline ? except perhaps new stationery to assist with said deadline.

Deadlines are great. Not only do they keep teams on their toes, working harder, faster and more efficiently, but they crave organisation. You can’t smash a deadline if you’re not extremely organised.

Working in PR, you’re expected to juggle a million deadlines at once: client deadlines, internal deadlines, supplier deadlines… the list goes on. To really nail the expectations of all of these stakeholders, it’s important that your team is working to a united deadline, with the same milestones to ‘tick off’ along the way. An obsession with to-do lists is a definite plus.

To-Do lists are the life-blood of an organised business. I keep two to-do lists a day. This may seem like overkill, but for the 10 minutes I spend a day compiling my to-do lists, I am left with a highly organised day-to-day plan which means I:

  • ?Never miss a deadline (internal, client or other)
  • ?Never forget to complete a task that was assigned to me
  • ?Never stay back late catching up on minor tasks that should have been completed during a work day

It also means I am always complimented on my efficiency in responding to client and media enquiries.

It may come down to something embedded in my psychology about a need to please people (in fact, I’m almost sure it does), but to me, there is nothing worse than failing to deliver on an outcome or timeline that has been promised to a client, or a direct report. Realistic deadlines that are agreed upon even before project commencement lead to realistic timelines and process steps, a more organised team and ultimately, a happy client.

And it doesn’t get much better than that! (Unless you’re offering me free stationery, of course.)

Contributor:

Hollie Azzopardi, Account Manager for Stolen Quotes.

Go Figure.

With last week’s sad announcement of Grazia Magazine being dropped from Bauer Media’s list of publications, discussions around the future of print media are rife.

This latest closure follows on the heels of the closure of Australian Good Food Magazine and FHM Australia in 2012, due to lack of advertisers and poor circulation figures.

According to ABC News, almost every newspaper and magazine in Australia recorded a drop in circulation in the last few months of 2012.

While it comes as no surprise, given the rise of the digital media wave, and availability of ‘free’ blogs and online publications, what does this slump in figures mean to the PR industry?

First, let me start off by saying I don’t think there will ever be a time where print media is completely irrelevant. I still buy my monthly copies of CLEO* and Cosmo (in fact, I collect them, but let’s not get into that). I am one of many that indulges by flicking through a glossy magazine in my free time ?there is something substantial about holding a hard-copy publication as opposed to flicking through print on an iPad.

That being said, to be successful, publications are recognising the need to build a solid presence and following online. ?The truth of the matter is, however, that it’s not enough to have an Instagram account and a Facebook page. What are readers gaining from your Tweets? How are your daily posts of awesome free product sent to your office going to get you more readers?

Publications need to think strategically about the way they utilise online media in an attempt to increase their circulation figures, and ultimately, stay afloat.

In terms of PR – shock horror- it’s no longer all about the column centimeters. What matters to clients, ultimately, is if they are going to get results ? will their product sales increase?

It’s no longer enough to have product mentioned in a publication with dwindling figures. Companies seeking significant ROI should look to online PR including strategic use of social media, SEO and digital advertising which, when done correctly, can compliment existing print-focused PR strategies.

 

 

*Yes, I am an avid CLEO reader. I spent two years interning at the publication which, contrary to the horror stories you hear, were the best times of my interning and university life.


Contributor:

Hollie Azzopardi, Account Manager for?Stolen Quotes.

2013 – The Year of Dreaming Big

If you’re anything like the team here at Stolen Quotes, the first week back at work is full of goal setting, brainstorming, and dreaming big.

It’s also a time for reflection.

  • What did you set out to achieve this time last year?
  • Did you achieve what you wanted? If not, why not?
  • Where do you hope to be a year from today?

Last year, our major goals were to grow the team from a team of two to a team of six, win new clients and, in my boss’s case,? climb Mount Kilimanjaro and have a baby.

We wrote these goals down in December 2011 and had absolutely no idea how we were going to make them happen.

By December 2012, we had achieved all of the goals we had set out.

One of our clients once said:

“If you know how you’re going to achieve it, it’s not a goal – it’s a milestone. Goals should be big enough so you have no idea how you’re going to get it, but you commit and give it a red-hot go anyway!”

With that in mind, we have set some big goals both personally, and for the business, in 2013. Some are scary, and some we have absolutely no idea how they will happen ? but that’s part of the fun, right?

What is your big, scary goal for 2013?

Contributor:

Hollie Azzopardi, Account Manager for Stolen Quotes.