No business, big or small, is immune from the potential threat of a social media crisis. From customers writing negative comments on your company Facebook page, to disgruntled employees sharing their thoughts on their Twitter feed to poor reviews on third-party sites, it is crucial to have a well-thought out and well-resourced social media crisis plan.
Ideally you should include a crisis plan in your social media strategy and policy. The strategy will be how your business introduces and uses social media as a means of increasing commercial activity. Your social media policy will be your company’s policy around staff using social media, particularly if they represent your company and, within reason, your expectations of staff behaviour on their personal accounts.
And your social media crisis policy is for when it all goes pear-shaped, because like any business plan or strategy you need to plan for a “What if?”
What ifs could be a viral video of staff misbehaving (Domino’s 2009), an advertisement that set Twitter on fire (JC Penney’s Kettle), rogue, upset retrenched staff in charge of a Twitter account (HMV), or your promoted Facebook post appearing on Condescending Corporate Brand’s Facebook page (yikes!)
True, it is difficult to predict when and where a crisis might occur. What might seem trivial to some looms large for others. But the principles of crisis management can be applied generally to a social media crisis. Managing your risks and being prepared are key to surviving the crisis.
1. You’ll know who is in control
Keep track of who has access to your company’s social media passwords and accounts. In a time of crisis can you easily access your accounts (and change the passwords) if your social media manager is unavailable or if the issue arises after hours?
What resources do you need to manage the crisis — extra staff, an AdWords campaign, a Google Alert update, a Facebook post, a company update on the website or LinkedIn page, a blog and e-mail campaign?
Do you need to call in external resources?
Inform your staff about what you are doing or what you plan to do, and ask for their feedback and ideas.
2. You’ll be prepared to face the noise
“It is just a storm in a tea-cup,” so might a JC Penney executive thought when similarities between a new product and Hitler were raised.
No matter what you might think, damage from a social media issue can spread rapidly, regardless of the truth. Don’t think that because there was no foundation to claims or accusations that you should ignore what is being said about your company. You may have to repeat yourself silly for three days but it will be worth it if you address the issue head on and honestly.
3. You’ll know to keep it simple
Don’t over think or over complicate the situation. Regardless of the speed of the social media crisis, taking the time to think about the company response is important. You may experience short-term pain for long-term gain.
What are the messages you need to send to your community or customers?
Do try and limit your key messages to three if possible. Do you need to be strong or can you tread softly with your messages?
What is the easiest and swiftest way to get the message into the hands of your clients and who should be the spokesperson?
In the event that tweets and posts are coming in beyond the ability of your team to manage replies, think about how you can best manage these — do they have to be addressed personally or can you create a number of replies to cover most posts?
4. You’ll find out who your friends are
What would your fans and advocates be thinking? Can you call upon them to provide a third-party endorsement for your business? How willing would your fans be to help in shutting down the crisis? How would you ask for help without appearing needy, or do you think your customers would be willing to leap in to defend you without being asked?
Can you involve the staff in playing the role of advocate/defender?
5. You’ll learn a lot
Reflect on what happened — cause and effect. Review the entire process from the beginning to the end. What would you do differently? Do you have any data on posts (views, shares, likes and comments), tweets and retweets, mentions in media, Google alerts, hits to your website, open rates on emails (including unsubscribes), search terms and stats on the issue from analytics?
Can you turn this data into a sentiment analysis and decide if you came out on top of the crisis?
Look at the allocation of resources — did you have enough? How would you prevent the situation from occurring again?
Communicate the outcomes of any analysis with staff members so they have a complete picture of the event. Seek their input for any suggestions on improving the social media crisis.
A well thought out and well-resourced social media crisis management plan will cushion any fallout your company experiences, mitigate losses and help you prepare for future issues, even those not of your making.
It’s hard to come across an article about SEO or any facet of marketing that doesn’t espouse the wonders of content. These days, brilliant content is all the rage, for nearly every conceivable industry and niche. But have we reached content saturation? In a world with a nearly unending barrage of blogs posts, videos, and infographics, have we finally reached critical mass?
Why Good Content Never Goes Out of Style
Don’t believe the negative chattering that content marketing is on the way out. The truth is, content marketing has been integral to success since the advent of business; we just didn’t have fancy labels and names in the early days.
Great content tells the story of your business, and gives your potential customers an emotional and intellectual tether into your success. It’s the bait that attracts the big fish; people know what they are looking for, and your content expresses that you are the company to serve them. Whether you work in B2C or B2B environments, the content you create is the beacon that announces your presence to the world.
How Content Marketing Has Evolved
In the old days, marketing felt a lot more like a free for all, littered with hard sells and little to no valuable information. Consumers would be inundated with commercial interruptions and blatant product placements. Tactics were unsophisticated, and often felt desperate and full of trickery.
Slowly but surely, we’re witnessing a beautiful evolution. In the online space, marketers must now be far more creative, joining the flow of information streams instead of constantly interrupting our focus. Brands, therefore, are learning to influence the minds’ of consumers by offering truly valuable information, for free. Once we are sold on their credibility and integrity, we are open to being sold on their services.
This model certainly provides a lot more creative challenges to marketers, but the payoff to consumers is huge. Yes, we still face a tremendous amount of old-style advertising, pulling tricks to try and divert our attention. But as modern content marketing tactics prove more and more effective, this magnificent evolution will continue to quite literally improve the quality of our lives.
Content Marketing: The Ultimate Hybrid
Content marketing really is timeless. From the moment one of our ancestors traded information for food, content has been the heart of marketing. Today’s view of content marketing encompasses many aspects that were once considered completely separate entities. PR, advertising, SEO, and content creation are all integral pieces of a successful content marketing campaign.
At the end of the day, the secret to success lies in the ability for marketers to influence consumers through the content they create. This has always been at the forefront of traditional advertising; nowadays we do best to influence by giving valuable information, not through ruses or a lack of honesty with the customer we are attempting to woo.
The Secrets to Content Marketing
In addition to a clear focus on the art of influence, content marketing only works when there is a clear vision and a dedication to consistency. If you embark on “random acts of marketing”, without a decisive understanding of your target demographic, your results will most certainly be lackluster.
Likewise, it’s essential to create a content plan, with topics for individual pieces and an overall theme or perspective that you stay true to. Think of it this way – brands that don’t have a clear identity try to be all these to all people. This creates mass confusion in the minds of your audience, and will normally result in making your brand forgettable, or at least unreliable.
Never ever be afraid to clearly define the traits of your brand, and be fiercely dedicated to expressing these in every content piece you produce. This consistency, combined with a focused unraveling of relevant, time-sensitive, and truly valuable content will do wonders in improving your company’s acquisition and retention strategies.
You will never see substantial success through a series of haphazard tweets or random blog posts. A comprehensive content plan with editorial dates and an adherence to your brand’s identity all come together to create an enormous potential for success.
Final Advice for Content Marketing Virgins
If you’re brand new to the world of great content, don’t be intimidated by the emphasis on big picture planning. Your content plan does not have to cover a large chunk of time, nor does it need to be overly complicated.
If you’re just starting out, first take the time to clearly define your brand attributes. Then craft a content plan that is true to this vision, as well as the needs of your demographic. This can be a series of just 3-10 pieces released over a period of just a couple of weeks.
Remember to create a benchmark of your current business metrics so you can accurately track the movement generated by your new content releases. This includes a willingness to listen to the reactions of your audience, and adjust accordingly. There’s a good chance that your courageous willingness to try a new content-focused strategy will start paying off; you just have to know how to measure and track this success. And, most importantly, how to continue the positive trajectory.
Has your company adopted a content marketing strategy? If so, what have the results been?
If you didn’t notice—and it was hard not to—Samsung was a sponsor of Sunday night’s telecast of the 86th annual Academy Awards ceremony.
In fact, the most documented moment of the night, in which host Ellen DeGeneres gathered a group of stars together for a selfie that broke the retweet record as well as Twitter itself, involved the use of a Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It was in many ways an ad for the phone.
Though Samsung could dictate which phone DeGeneres used onstage (or, in this case, in the audience), the host got to say which phone she used for photos backstage, and DeGeneres opted for an iPhone for those photos. Her tweets say it all:
Sploid notes that DeGeneres is a well-known iPhone fan who even made her own game for Apple’s popular gadget. “PR people will never learn,” writer Jesus Diaz bluntly stated.
Slate put it this way: “Samsung shelled out big money to sponsor the Oscars and still managed to come out of the event looking like the brand that people only use when they're forced to.”
This is just another example of how tricky social media can be. Should Samsung have to force the host of the Oscars to use its phone the whole night? Is there really much of a difference between the stage and what goes on behind the scenes anymore?
Social media turned out to be pretty slippery for the audience, too. Some analyses that used social media to predict who would win Sunday night were almost completely wrong, though at least one (from the firm Farsite Forecast) nailed it.
Writing skills are high on almost every list, but shouldn’t the ability to express our thoughts out loud be as important as putting them on paper? Public speaking is integral to pitching new business, winning approval for programs and budgets, and contributing to meetings.
When you get to that point in your career where you’re invited to speak at industry events, your reputation as an expert rests in part on capturing and holding an audience’s attention. Expertise alone is not enough if you can’t make yourself understood.
Yet when I attend industry events, I see PR people committing the kinds of presentation errors that they would never let their clients make.
Their slides are dull and wordy, their stories meander, their content is unfocused, and their delivery is sloppy.
To find out if you’re part of the problem, ask yourself these questions:
• Do your slides consist mostly of black text on a white background?If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, check out these five things you can do to make your next presentation a success.
• Have you ever uttered the phrase, “You can’t read this in back, but …”?
• Do you believe facts and logic are the keys to persuasion?
• Do you run over the allotted time or have to skip things to stay on schedule?
• Do you spend the first couple of minutes talking about yourself?
• Do you get questions you haven’t anticipated?
1. Make your visuals truly visual.
You should have no more than a handful of words on your slides. I average fewer than three per slide.
Keep in mind that your visuals are there to support what you say, not replace you. If everything is on the screen, why bother showing up? Just send a memo.
This is not new news. Steve Jobs showed us the way for years. Seth Godin has written a free, must-read guide on the subject.
Still, people persist in inflicting Death by PowerPoint. It’s mind-boggling. Take the time to do this one thing right, and you will automatically stand out from 90 percent of your peers.
2. Avoid the dreaded data dump.
As a presenter, you are not designed to be an information delivery vehicle. There are countless ways to convey information: memos, handouts, leave-behinds, websites.
Instead, you should spend most of your time focusing on the why, not the what:
• Why should the audience care?You're there to motivate, inspire, and get people to act—to do the thing you want them to do, whether it’s approving your idea, hiring your firm, or inviting you back for more.
• Why must this issue be dealt with now?
• Why is your idea or solution better?
3. Tell stories.
Facts and figures will get you only so far. If you want your ideas to stick, nothing beats a well-told story.
Just make sure you understand what a story is. People play fast and loose with the definition.
Just so we’re clear, a quote from Winston Churchill is not a story. A customer testimonial is often not a story. An anecdote is usually not a story.
Those things can be effective, but don’t have nearly as much impact as a full-fledged story with a relatable character at its center, a real conflict that resonates, and stakes that count.
4. Make it about them, not you.
What’s the first thing we do before planning any campaign or program? We study our audience, right?
The same thing applies for a speech or presentation. Find out who’s attending, and learn as much as you can about their needs, interests, doubts, fears, perceptions, and misperceptions.
Remember, you’re there to solve their problems.
Whatever you do, don’t spend the first few minutes talking about yourself and your stellar credentials. Give us a reason to care first by delivering some great content.
5. Practice, practice, practice.
I've heard PR people brag about showing up and just "winging it." If this is you, I promise you that your natural instincts are not as good as you think.
One of the greatest speakers today, Nancy Duarte, spent 18 hours rehearsing one of her TED talks. She notes that a less experienced speaker may need more time.
Rehearsal is for everybody. Know your stuff backward and forward. Anticipate every possible objection. And please, please, please practice your technology before we get in the room.
I know what you’re thinking. “I’m not Steve Jobs, and this is no TED Talk. My presentation (or the subject matter or the venue) is not that important or worth this amount of effort.”
The notion of “content shock” is that consumers have a finite number of minutes they can dedicate to consuming content, and as the odds of your content being found and read or viewed diminish, the cost of producing that content becomes untenable.
I don’t buy the idea of content shock for a lot of reasons, many of which I articulated here. One of the points I make in this post is that few content marketers are trying to get everybody to read their posts. We target niches, where people who have an interest in our content will be more likely to find it.
In arguing that content shock is inevitable, one commenter to a Content Marketing Institute post said that the fact good content targets niches doesn’t matter. Filip Galetic wrote:
People still have only 24 hours a day to spend on activities, and content is competing not just with content about the same niche, neither with just the content about OTHER niches (as people typically have more than one interest), but also social activities, work, sport, hobbies and a multitude of other ways people spend their time.
A niche, however, can be a powerful thing. Consider the very targeted niche of bank customers seeking customer service. NatWest, a British bank, identified questions being asked via Twitter over and over again. Rather than type in a response for each iteration of the same question, the bank (working with its ad agency) created six-second Vine videos that provide the solution, such as this one:
The process here is one content marketers should consider carefully. A customer asked a specific question and the company responded with ready-to-share content that took the customer all of six seconds to consume. I don’t care if the customer had reached his allotted time for content consumption; he would take six seconds to solve his problem.
(Hat tip to the Twitter Advertising Blog for reporting the NatWest case study.)
Warby Parker is taking the idea to an even farther extreme. The online vision-wear company is responding to individual email questions with video responses, emailing the video back to the customer. The customer is bound to watch the video—it contains the answer to their query, after all. But Warby Parker has also found that its video replies are circulated about 80 times.
In a Mobile Marketer article, RSS Research managing partner Steve Rowen says:
How clever is that? You’re taking what was a problem, you made the customer (pleased), and they’ve gone out an on average shared it with 80 people. So now the word spreads very quickly that you’re really good with customer service.
Those 80 shares are most likely viewed since they come via email from a trusted source rather than from yet another email marketer. And they’re very likely viewed even if the email arrives after they recipient has decided they’ve had all the content they can take for one day.
By no stretch of the imagination can this be seen as slick, overproduced content; nor does it require deep pockets or big budgets. What it does require is engaged employees who create and share the content. But for the few minutes it took to record, upload and respond, this one under-a-minute video produced about 200 views. More importantly, it contributes, along with similar video responses and other content, to building a sparkling customer service reputation.
The pitch at Leicester’s Welford Road Stadium – home to the city’s Tigers Rugby Club – will be fully covered when the venue hosts the first ever Leicester Music Festival (LMF) this summer. The event, due to take place on the 25th& 26th July, will use 6,500m2 of Event Production Solution’s Temp-a-Path product to protect the pitch and provide a stable surface for the 44,000 guests expected to attend.
The surfacing will be installed in just 24 hours, ensuring that the pitch can stay in use right up until the production build begins.
Event Production Solutions Director Jeremy Simpson said:
“We are well versed in protecting a wide variety of sporting arenas, as our recent work protecting the turf at Wembley Stadium demonstrates. Working with the ground staff at the Leicester Tigers has helped us to understand their requirements and recommend the right product for the job. Both the organisers of the festival and the venue hosts were delighted with our suggestions and we look forward to assisting with this fantastic new music festival in the heart of Leicester.”
The LMF will see artists including Professor Green, Labyrinth and Soul-to-Soul take to the stage. This summer also sees the city of Leicester play host to a huge homecoming gig by local band Kasabian.
A small not for profit organisation, seek an experienced Events Officer, 3 days per week for 3 months.
This role will run from 25th March to 16th June 2014 and will require a confident, personable and professional candidate, with an event coordination background.
You will work on the fringe event segment of the event. This is include developing the programme, booking fringe hosts, managing relationships and promoting fringe events.
Develop ideas for programme content, ensuring a balance of sessions which link the key themes for the summit.
Work with corporate relationship manager, business development manager and other relevant staff to develop ideas for who to approach as potential workshop hosts.
Promote opportunity to host fringe events.
Liaise and manage relationship, agreement, expectations and contract with hosts.
Book and liaise with venue.
Work with web team to develop web pages.
Promote fringe events as separate strand to summit.
Manage all fringe logistics.
Be point of contact for fringe hosts.
Liaise with speakers and leaders.
Manage relationships with partners and support their marketing.
Extensive events management experience.
Excellent communications experience.
Previous sales experience.
Digital marketing (web, email and social media)
As an Events Co-ordinator will be responsible for providing a high level of complex administrative support, focussing particularly on establishing a web presence and creating and updating a web site. You will also be responsible for the efficient and effective scheduling and delivery of a variety of events, including large scale conferences, workshops and lectures.
Be the first point of contact and manage the events, including co-ordinating dates, catering, inviting speakers, list of attendees, collating materials etc
Establish a web presence, creating web pages and uploading and presenting information.
Organise a programme of events, workshops and conferences
Organise publicity for the events programme
Assist on the day, responsible for ensuring the event runs smoothly, gather feedback as appropriate
Act as Secretary as required. Prepare agendas, minute meetings and follow up correspondence.
Co-ordinating across sites, ensuring clear and accurate communication of information
Proven ability to organise and prioritise work demands to meet deadlines with minimum of supervision
Relevant experience such as coordinating conferences, managing events
Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to negotiate effectively with colleagues at a senior level, using tact and diplomacy
Demonstrable proficient office skills, including word processing, spreadsheets, and internet usage,
The successful candidate will be well organised, be an excellent communicator (written and oral), work well within a busy environment and demonstrate attention to detail.
|Job Title||Project Management Assistant|
|Department Name||NRT Migration|
|About Network Rail|
Network Rail is at the heart of revitalising Britain’s railway. From the rejuvenation of King’s Cross station and the upgrade and expansion of Thameslink, to Europe’s largest civil engineering project – Crossrail - we are involved in some of the most ambitious and diverse ventures the UK has ever seen. This will help us deliver the better railway that is vital for the economic prosperity of this country, transforming how people travel and make a massive difference to passengers and freight users right across Britain.
Telecoms Asset Management is a single, national, integrated organisation which will support core railway asset requirements, such as signalling, as well supporting the devolved routes for business voice and data services. The team are responsible for all of our telecoms assets, strategy and policy decisions including operating, maintaining and enhancing our infrastructure and delivery of the service to the customer.
The Telecoms Support Team provides support services to Route Communications Engineers & others involved in the maintenance & renewal of the Railway Telecoms network. Support is also provided to those wishing to procure external/internal Telecoms Services.
|About the role (External)|
Delivering our projects to a high standard is of vast importance to this project and Network Rail, this role plays a significant part in helping the Scheme and Project Managers.
This position will predominantly be responsible for supporting the project manager in providing accurate and timely project control information, monitoring of project status, assist with financial reporting, identify project and process issues and providing and assist with procurement management.
As a Project Management Assistant you will support the project management team by helping to deliver high profile projects on time and within budget by using the latest in project management tools and techniques.
Using your excellent organisation skills you will process and monitor contractor possession and isolation applications so that the applications are completed and submitted in time, this will also involve health and safety risk assessments that have been carried out by contractors.
Job Skills, Experience and Qualifications
|How To Apply- External|
Network Rail welcomes applications from a diverse range of candidates regardless of background, disability or gender and is committed to creating a workforce as diverse as the communities we serve.
What can we offer you….?
At Network Rail, you have the chance to develop a long, rewarding career. There are many different career paths - and many opportunities to fulfil your potential. After all, we believe that investing in our people via training and development is one of the most effective ways of improving the safety, reliability and efficiency of the railway. You can expect competitive pay, a bonus scheme and a choice of contributory pension schemes. We also offer a generous annual leave package, plus up to 75% discount on season rail tickets.
Salary: (depending on skills and experience)
Closing date: 12th March 2014
How to apply: Please click ‘apply now’ to apply
My client is seeking an entrepreneurial and driven Wedding Planner to join a Sales focused and eager team to grow the phenomenal success of this section of the business.
This role offers the opportunity to work with some of the most stunning and iconic London Venues.
Wedding Planner/Sales Executive Role Specification:
Identify and develop new sources of potential business.
Employ proactive sales skills via phone and email as well as attending promotional events to promote company services and convert enquiries into confirmed business.
Liaise with other members of the company's Sales Team to actively promote sales opportunities, exchange information and increase professionalism.
Maintain a level of appointments weekly to maintain relationships with venues and wedding planners, as well as developing new relationships.
Attend client and company events where required to promote the Company and Group products and provide a full report post event.
Accommodate meetings and tastings with clients to suit their requirements whether after standard working hours or at weekends.
Achieve sales activities within specified time scales as directed by Customer Services Director and Group Development Director.
Wedding Planner/Sales Executive Person Specification:
The successful Wedding Planner/Sales Executive candidate will have the following experience and skills:
Experience in a similar role.
Strong proactive selling skills - Cold Calling, Warm Calling, Emails, and Attending Promotional Events to help raise company profile etc.
Strong Communication Skills both written and oral.
Strong leadership and motivational skills.