Tag Archives: Pr

How the social media landscape will develop is a question that is always discussed during social media think tanks. Not only are we unsure of the future – and is it just a phase? – but we can also play a part in guiding it.

This post from Ragan.com gives six interesting prediction for social media in 2013. And some of them we’ve all heard before, so we should take note. A picture does tell a thousand words. Infographics are on the rise. And yes, timing is everything.

 

Although 2012 was filled with exciting PR and social media developments, including London’s 2012 Olympic extravaganza,Prince Harry’s Las Vegas scandal, and a down-to-the-wire race for the U.S. presidency, the coming year is sure to see even further transformations of the media landscape.

1. LinkedIn is the new Facebook. More brands will use LinkedIn to monitor conversations and connect with customers and influencers. New and enhanced features on the site, such as its “endorse” capability (which employs the one-click validation of a Facebook “like”) and new profile and company page designs are encouraging users to spend more time building their personal brands with LinkedIn’s tools. Companies, particularly in the B2B world, will increasingly recognize its marketing potential. Also, as adoption and activity on LinkedIn surge, journalists will spend more time using the platform for research, identifying sources and breaking stories.

Read the rest here.



This post was so interesting and helpful that I wanted to post it into our Industry blog so that you can all refer back to it any time you need it.

LinkedIn groups are useful for a range of reasons. People tend to be more careful about their use and inclusion in groups on the platform because of its professional outlook, and while I like the platform, I don’t find the interface to be that intuitive (not that I love the Facebook one either).

On top, LinkedIn seem to be moving more and more towards developing their niche and their own tools, having separated some partner functions from Twitter and embracing their own market more.

This is a re-post – no ownership implied.

 

 

Are you currently managing your ownLinkedIn group?

Are you considering launching a LinkedIn group?

Keep reading for five tips on how to better manage LinkedIn groups.

Why Start a LinkedIn Group?

Building a LinkedIn group around a specific cause or niche topic can provide many business benefits.  You could:

  • Build more awareness with your target markets
  • Position you and/or your company as an industry thought leader
  • Nurture valuable industry relationships
  • Showcase and highlight your own thought leadership content
  • Generate interest and inquiries for your company
  • Convert group members to subscribers and advocates for your brand

As you can see, there are many good reasons to start a LinkedIn group, but it can be very helpful to have some guidelines for managing a successful group after you launch.

Read the rest here.



Here is another great post, from Firebrand.

 

Not only do I love infographics (and they seem to be increasingly popular) but this  one is really helpful for brands trying to figure out what platform to use. These days, Facebook is trying so hard to monetise that they are not the friendliest platform for brands. Ok, brands to get a group or page for free, but the time and money behind managing the account is still a cost factor.

Now, Facebook wants to charge for posts, if you want them to be visible in your fans’ streams. This post will tell you a lot more about it.

The main message we’ve heard from our HK social media guru, Jay Oatway, is move on! Grow your audience in a new place, Facebook is becoming hostile grounds.

 

Facebook is seen by many as the ultimate social media marketing platform to engage with your customers and prospects.

 

Nearly 1 billion potential customers are using it, so why participate on any other social network? It seems that marketing with Facebook will provide you with the means to reach and engage with all of them.

Read the rest, here.



Faith Brewitt, the name behind China-based company Have Faith in Your Brand, has kindly agreed to write for WMN and to let us re-post some of her earlier blogs.

Originally posted July 2012, re-posted with permission.

 

Eight Things Any Small Business Must Know Before Jumping In
China has become THE place to be and I often hear from U.S. and European small business owners that it seems like every company, big and small, is already there selling a product or service. The worry being, ‘Am I too late?’ The good news is that as fast as your competitors enter China, there are scores of Chinese businesses and customers coming online just as quickly; meaning there is more than enough to go around and the potential profits are sizable. So how do you break through the clutter to grow your customer base, build effective partnerships and get the media’s attention – all while not breaking the bank

 

 

In my 20 years of working and living in China, I’ve come to appreciate the dynamic and fabulously complex place that is modern China; and I’ve learned some surefire methods to getting the biggest bang for your PR spend. 

 

GETTING STARTED 
Choose a local PR agency. Now this sounds pretty obvious, and by “local” I don’t mean the Beijing office of one of the top global “full service” PR agencies like (Hill & Knowlton, Edelman, etc.). Small businesses do not need, and likely can’t afford, to spend big bucks on monthly retainers with these guys. What they don’t want you to know is that if you are small you won’t get the best talent working on your account. Sure they might send in the VP for the pitch, but in the end you’ll have an Account Executive or lower. Don’t be concerned with their title. Be concerned if the person really working on your account has the media relationships, knows all the universities and best venues for events, and has relations with the most popular (and affordable) local celebrities.  They will also need a real understanding and appreciation of what your company is all about – because they will become the de facto “face” of your business to the Chinese public.   

Go ‘native’. China is all about relationships, face-to-face interactions and respecting China. Going in with the wrong attitude can spell disaster. If you find a match with a small agency, they will help you navigate the local business customs and garner you the right kind of press. One challenge will be language. Many, not all, of the smaller Chinese boutique agencies spend all their days speaking Mandarin and while they do learn English in school, finding someone that you can really communicate with may take time. Take the time.

Get the right kind of exposure. What is the ‘right exposure’? If you are in transportation, pharmaceutical or banking, for example, and looking to make the right impact to your business, I’d prioritize government relations over traditional public relations. There are some great government relations agencies that are worth every yuan spent! But if you are in consumer goods or IT, I’d focus on finding a small agency that is working or has worked with companies you admire within your specific industry. 

 

Be clear and meet the team. When looking for an agency, be sure to send out a well written Request for Proposal (RFP) and specifically ask for bios of the real team who will work on your business along with their hourly rates. Meeting the agency’s team in-person is the absolute best case scenario and one that I highly suggest. You really need to see China to truly comprehend it and as previously mentioned, personal relationships are critical to success so TAKE THE TIME AND GO TO CHINA. But if you can’t for whatever reason, then definitely use a webcam to see the proposed team. Be prepared for awkward silences, because this happens when junior staff is sitting in front of their managers. Here’s a tip to getting around that – send your questions in advance, in writing and specifically ask for certain people on the team to answer them. This may seem strange in Western cultures, but it allows non-native English speakers time to digest the question and prepare a well thought out answer that best represents her or him and his firm.

 

NOW YOU HAVE AN AGENCY, WHAT NEXT?
Beyond press releases. If you only have a small budget, and as a small business owner I’m assuming you do, you want to make the biggest bang for your buck. Real engagement with press and potential customers is essential to building your brand and business, and that’s not going to happen as quickly as you need it to by sending out press releases in China. There are hundreds of journalists, at almost as many publications, and they get bombarded with press releases hourly. Journalists in China want face-to face time to meet with executives and appreciate tours of offices, factories and stores to learn first-hand about your business. So why not hold a summit or luncheon or roundtable and bring existing customers in with new prospects and media and hold a conversation about a trend or issue that relates to your business offering. This is a great way to promote your company as a thought leader.

Funny thing about titles. While you shouldn’t be worried about the title of your account person at your PR agency, you do need to be concerned with title when identifying spokespeople in your company. When it comes to Chinese media, they will always want to meet the CEO, then VPs, so make sure someone senior is available when doing press tours or large PR activities. 

What doesn’t work at home, works in China. While today in most Western countries, press events are no longer the norm and most journalists prefer to simply speak to you via the phone to save time and money, events and press conferences are a must in China. Press events around things you’d never imagine doing at home, like office and store openings, really work. Small events can run around US$10,000 for most agencies to support, plus out of pockets. The price rises depending on size and complexity of the event.  The old adage ‘to make money you need to spend money’ is true when it comes to publicizing your business in China.  Perception matters and photo opportunities (so you will need a colorful backdrop) and even finding a local celebrity to come to your event works extremely well. When done right these can garner a lot of buzz for your company.

Forget Twitter, try Weibo. Mastering social media is a challenge for any business in every country, but when getting started in China you need to know that both Facebook and Twitter are blocked by the government and therefore can’t be leveraged like in your own country. Knowing the local versions of both of these is a must. Your agency needs to able to use these tools to get the word out. Volume matters; literally hundreds of millions of Chinese use social media every day, so ignoring it is not an option. Make sure your agency is thinking about multiple audience categories also, like students and NGOs, as well as customers to speak on your behalf. One thing to remember – focus on your products and their benefits and stay away from anything controversial or critical of China itself.

 

Using PR to building your brand in China doesn’t have to be a daunting task. And in fact, it can be a lot of fun. The above tips are just to get you started. I’m eager to hear your comments and help point you in the right direction.

 

 


 

 

About Faith
Faith is a senior branding executive with 17 years international experience managing global public relations programs for Fortune 500 companies in the United States, China and across Asia Pacific and Japan. A mandarin speaker, she understands the complexities of the China market and how to help companies build brand awareness through engaging marketing and PR campaigns to meet and exceed business objectives.

 

Her company, Have Faith in Your Brand, delivers strategies and tactics for brand and corporate citizenship, strategic philanthropy and issues management. With capabilities in both Beijng and Singapore, we have the senior-level knowledge, to help grow brands in China and promote worthwhile causes and issues for both business and social progress.

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