Friday Wrap #11: PR leading convergence, social media’s total value, BYOD as a recruiting advantage2012-07-27
(c) Can Stock PhotoMy feeds deliver some great content, but I can’t write an individual blog post about them all. Hence, the Wrap.
Can PR lead the move toward media convergence?
I wrote last week about The Altimeter Group’s report on media convergence and the need to move past organizational silos that isolate PR, marketing, advertising and other communication functions (while still maintaining areas of specialization and expertise). When it comes to the profession to which organizations should turn to manage the convergence, the answer is shaping up to be public relations. After all, if your organization’s reputation is in the tank, none of the rest will matter much, and all the convergence planning in the world won’t mean a thing if your customers are horrified at the idea of touching your product (a situation Burger King is facing now after an employee channeled the Domino’s Pizza employees from several years back by sharing an image of himself standing in the lettuce that goes on your Whopper). That’s why AOL and Nintendo have put PR pros into the top marketing spots. MarketingWeek points to former Thomson Reuters PR chief Jolie Hunt, who has become chief marketing and communications officer at AOL. The position was created to elevate the company’s content brands like Huffington Post and TechCrunch, but you can see the convergence in assigning a PR executive to head up marketing. “With people having 24/7 access to information, speed and budget are becoming two critical aspects of marketing,” she told the magazine. “PR people have had to deal with very quick deadlines and by and large minimal budgets, at least compared to the greater marketing mix.” As for Nintendo, Sally Pearce has been assigned to run marketing in the UK after leading up European PR for the company. The article also lists Katie Sheppard, co-founder of Cherish PR, who now heads marketing at Match.com, who says PR’s proximity to leadership gives them an edge. “That’s why PR people are so critical to the marketing mix right now,” she told Marketing Week. “They are great communicating their ideas across all areas of the business.” The article also quotes Chis Moriarty (without identifying his credentials) who notes that these three hires don’t indicate a wider trend. Well, not yet, says I.
I got your social media ROI right here
Okay, so it’s not your ROI; you still need to figure that out for yourself based on the KPIs and objectives you set. But the McKinsey Global Institute has released a study that values the improved communication and social media, split into four business sectors, at between $900 billion and $1.3 trillion in value to the economy. Most of it comes from improved productivity, along with improved customer focus and better-functioning teams. According to a New York Times blog, this number validates the recent spate of acquisitions of social media companies by bigger organizations (like Salesforce grabbing up Radian6 and Microsoft buying Yammer). Social media benefits mainly “interactions workers” like managers, consultative sales reps, engineers working with teams and health care workers tasked with figuring out a patient’s needs. “The industries with the highest percentage of itneractions workers have the highest spread of profets per employee,” according to report co-author Michael Chui. “It’s low in mining, but can vary by nine times in banking. If you make these people more effective, you can make the biggest difference.” The study is here.
In the battle for talent, BYOD gives companies an edge
Companies go to great lengths to be an employer of choice. The best employees can lead to the best products, the best innovations, the best service. To get there, companies invest in getting their engagement levels up (to mixed results, since a Towers Watson study found that 63% of employees are not fully engaged). They conduct Best Places to Work studies and sink resources into boosting low scores. Getting off the dime and implementing a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy can tip the scales for candidates deciding between several prospective employers. At SAP India, most employees—notably those in the 25-to-45 age group—want to use their own smartphones and tablets for work. A survey released early this month found that 85% of Asian respondents are using their own device; the global adoption is at 74%. Asians also don’t care much about policies that restrict using a personal device for work; 42% globally blow off policies as a trade-off for efficiency. “It is important for organizations to identify primary benefits derived from BYOD and gain support of key stakeholders,” according to Anil Khatri, South Asia head of Global IT, Client Technology and Field IT at SAP India, quoted in a ZDnet piece. And don’t think this is just an Asia imperative. Seventy-four percent of global workers already using their own devices, many taking a cavalier approach to the rules, is nothing to sneeze at. Marketing to prospects that this is the way your company works can help you win those talent wars.
“Second Screen” is already mainstream; businesses still igore it
We still may be couch potatoes, but at least we’re leaning forward instead of back while watching TV, which has become an interactive rather than a passive experience. The Pew Internet & American Life Project has released a new study that finds half of all adult cell phone users are “connected viewers,” watching TV with cell phone in hand for a variety of reasons. While the top use is keeping themselves occupied during commercials or breaks, 23% are engaged with others watching the same show, 22% are verifying what they’ve heard on TV and 20% are visiting websites mentioned on TV. As second-screen apps proliferate, I keep waiting for a tool companies can use to apply the second screen to events like annual shareholder meetings or employee town halls. Just as TV fans use Miso, GetGlue and others to access information related to what they’re watching—such as, “Was that Mad Men account a real company?”—companies can give one-tap access to content related to whoever’s speaking or whatever topic is up for discussion. It’s getting to be a habit; we need to capitalize on it.
Philadelphia Eagles add Augmented Realty to season tickets
I’m an Augmented Reality fanboy; I’m working with a client right now to implement an AR solution to the challenge of communication with plant workers who don’t have access to an intranet. So I was excited to see that the Philadelphia Eagles have applied AR to their season tickets. They may have a miserable season ahead (sorry, Eagles fans), but at least season ticket holders can entertain themselves with their phones and their paper tickets as they get drubbed once again. Hover your smartphone over that game’s ticket and you’ll get a mix of highlights, previews, player messages and analysis. Mashable says the Eagles are using Aurasma for the service. In a press release Eagles president Don Smolenski said, “We think there’s a real wow factor when season ticket holders use their smartphones over these tickets and watch them come to life.” The team has even dedicated a page to the initiative. My only question: Why just season ticket holders? Couldn’t any Eagles-issued ticket give any fan the same experience? Here’s a video demonstrating just how it’ll work.
Communicators: Take a lesson from AT&T U-verse customer service
I have to admit I hadn’t heard of the concept of a “smart video” until a ready Ryan Kim’s piece in GigaOm, but the notion grabbed me and shook me by the collar, yelling in my face, “There’s more to me than customer service!” Here’s the idea: A customer with a problem or question about their bill calls the call center, where a rep directs the customer to an online video that is assembled on the fly from clips in an inventory coupled with data about the customer. It’s an instant personalized video that brings together visuals, narration, and account information. Put it all together and it’s a video bill with customer service built in. According to Jim Disco, president of SundaySky, the company behind the videos, they work becasue “they’re an effective alternative to sitting on hold for users,” according to the article. And, of course, video has been surging as a communciation channel over the last few years. The article focuses on the customer service potential for other companies, but I’m thinking about product support, how-to’s, B2B relationships and a host of other opportunities. Here’s a demo of the AT&T solution: