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Thursday, 5 May 2011

5 Steps For Building a Social Media Campaign

This video describes in 5 STEPS ,that how to build a successful  Social media campaign for your company. I hope you guys enjoy the video.!!


Osama’s Death Created New Records

It’s not astonishing to know that most of us found out about Osama’s demise from a social media site instead of some major news source.  Atleast I got to know about this through Twitter. I was surprised because five minutes prior to going online I was watching T.V and even flipped news channels but nothing of this sort caught my attention.

Its not surprising that news of Osama ‘s death has set new records on twitter. There have been  on an average 5106 tweets per second, easily leaving behind the Royal Wedding’s meager which was 67 tweets per second. Even facebook started pages that are going viral till now like "Osama bin Laden is DEAD, "Osama Bin Laden is Dead 5/1/11," and "And That's How the USA Outdoes a Royal Wedding". The facebook page Osama bin Laden is DEAD, accruered more than 450,000 likes. The page has now become a center for Facebook members to share news and opinions on this important event.

Even Foursquare users had their own party and to celebrate their joy people began to check in to a world where Osama Bin Laden no longer exists. So many check in sites were created all over the globe, all related to an Osama free zone. The most popular venue people were checking in was Osama Bin Ladens Dead Party.

Through every social medium in one way or other people celebrated the death of Osama. And we have to admit that in todays digital age Social media sites have become the main source of breaking news for most people and for others a place to share their joy over such news. Now we don’t have to wait for news channels to inform us rather now social media can inform journalists of what exactly happened. And a great example of this is the story of 33 year old Sohaib Attar, Twitter user@ ReallyVirtual who unknowingly tweeted live on twitter the assault on Osama Bin Laden pleasure palace in Abbotabad,as the whole event was happening.

Sohaib was initially irritated  by the large noise of a helicopter hovering above the area and then he started tweeting about it live. He recently Tweeted, "Uh oh, now I'm the guy who live blogged the Osama raid without knowing it.".After his tweeting about the event, he has become a big online celebrity and he is even getting marriage proposals on Twiiter.

To check all the tweets from Sohaib you can check!/ReallyVirtual


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Google Does The Magical Stats For You

As a part of my digital media module, I had to connect my blog with a Google Analytics account and  talk about it. Though before starting this module I was not even aware of what all Google can do for us.

Google Analytics is a tool that collects statistics of visitors ,visiting a particular  website. According to Wikipedia, GA is the most widely used website statistics service with 57 percent of the 10 000 most popular websites currently using it. 

I used Google analytics to track my followers and doing that so was so much fun. I have to admit that every time I used to check blog statistics there was a smile on my face. It was very easy and exciting to find out from this tool that were people actually reading my blog posts or were just checking them out.

My Google Analytics account states that I have had 176 visitors since I started my account in March and 243 page view since I started blogging. The average time spent on page was 4 minutes 15 seconds that clearly indicates that my blog was read and not just flipped. I had visitors in my account from 7 different countries i.e. India , United Kingdom, Spain, Norway, United States , Russia and Australia. I had my maximum visitors from U.K and India. Most of the visitors used referral sites to visit my blogs and one 3% used search engines to visit my blog.

As a PR student I believe that Google Analytics can prove to be a very helpful tool when doing a campaign with social media websites. It can helps us in getting the answers of who, when, why ,from where and how visited the websites which can then provide a better understanding of the campaign direction. This tool  helps you measure the people who visited the website and also gives an insight about how people landed up to you website. I believe this kind of a tool is also very useful in measuring ROI after launching a PR campaign.

Over all for me using Google analytics was a wonderful experience and hopefully I will use it in my future for professional purposes also.


Wikis in PR

Internet has given various tools to public relations practitioners for effective communication with their organizations, internal and external publics, media and other stakeholders. These tools include emails, blogs, websites, social networks, search engines and many others .One tool which is still not explored and majorly used for external communication purposes is Wikis.

A Wiki is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor.  It differs from a traditional website because the content is user created and dynamic.  This type of website allows any user to create and edit pages from the browser.  Users can even edit the existing entries, add new entries, and even create new pages.  . All of this occurs in an observable manner with all changes being logged and publicly viewable.  The most visited wiki is the user-created encyclopa , Wikipedia .Wikis change the role of the website user.  From just passive viewers of a document they become the potential creators, contributors, and editors.

The potential for wikis in public relations is great.  This form of website meets the requirements for dialogic communication in a way that other Internet tools are unable to.  In terms of relationship creations, management and enhancement, wikis are an ideal form of Internet communication. . A wiki can be used to suit your project, as it will reduce the time of having meetings , even the changes made to the wiki can be tracked by ‘watching’ – receiving email notifications when someone changes something, you can also upload documents, photos, videos etc.

Even for the purposes of research and development for a PR campaign wikis are of a great help. Wikis are used  internally do gain knowledge from organization’s internal stakeholders in order to get  better understanding of their perceptions, or externally in order to gain feedback from the public. This information can be valuable for several reasons as it will promote interactivity, stakeholder relations.
Wikis can be seen as a tool for applying Grunig’s principle of two-way-symmetrical communication where all users have an equal opportunity to make a contribution to the content which is communicated i.e. they have an option to provide their feedback. Wikis are of best use when formulating a joint piece of work or organizing an event where often plentiful copies of work are edited and are lost in the process of email – but a wiki allows for a single editable copy.

So the use of Wikis is huge for internal communication from a public relations perspective but for external communication, it is still limited because companies are afraid of vandalism. What if someone writes negative comments or expresses anger on the wiki page of organization ,the whole image and reputation will be soiled in few hours.  Because it is very difficult for PR practitioners to re edit the wrong information on organizations wiki page especially now when Wikipedia is available in more than 100 active language editions it will be really hard for PR practitioners to know what has been edited in which language edition.

So in my Opinion I think If a company uses a Wiki for external communication. Then it is very important that they have someone in charge  who whole-solely looks after it and keeps an eye on content which is added by people outside the organization.

Here is a video explaining How wikis can be used in an organization.


Friday, 29 April 2011

Risks Involved in using Social Media for Public Relations

We live in a world filled with social media obsession. From Face book to Twiiter to Youtube people have embraced all the tools that can help them interact and share knowledge from any part of the world. It is undeniable that social media brings enormous benefits to people and all kinds of organizations for different purposes.

 A study showed that the consumers who are Face book fans and twitter followers of a brand not only recommend but all buy the brand they tweet about, which results in increase of sales. We cannot deny the good things that social media does but at the same time we should also focus on flaws it can bring for the organizations.

In my opinion all the PR practitioners and companies should think twice before using social media. I feel this because firstly, sometimes online presence can have numerous side effects. An organization or brand present online is prone receive more unconstructive comments than positive ones.

Secondly, if a company opts to use social media it has to be their 24/7.You should be ready to spend all the time to connect with your audience all the time. Otherwise law of reciprocity will apply. The essence of social media lies in give and take. And if you do not satisfy the customer with your feedback or information. Your audience might lose faith in you and your reputation is at stake.

Thirdly, another disadvantage is the viral potential of social media. This can also act as advantage though sometimes. In today’s digital age news spreads like bushfire all around the world. And in the cases when news is in bad taste , the good reputation can be soiled in few hours.  For example if a company issues wrong information by mistake, the chances to correct it in time before it is widely spread are very low. It is not even possible to make sure that correct version gets to all the people who got the wrong version.

So it is very important that companies should be aware of both the good and bad when engaging with social media and should not forget the fact that poor management of social media can lead to crisis. The best thing to do before engaging in social media is to make a thorough analysis to see how appropriate is an approach with the company’s objectives.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Social Networks United People

 When telephone landlines and mobile phone connections collapsed with the terrible 8.9 scale earthquake and devastating 33-foot tsunami the social networking sites became the lifeline and only preferred line of communication for people.

At this moment , for many people social networks became the easiest, quickest and reliable way of keeping in touch with their relatives and also in providing necessary emergency information to those in stricken areas. Facebook along with Twitter become very helpful for the rescue operation. These sites become the helping hand that brought the families’ together in the aftermath of the disaster.

Skype and Google became an invaluable resource for those trying to find their missing relatives. Google launched its person finder tool  for the Japan earthquake in both English and Japanese. This tool provided two links ,one for people seeking information for their relatives struck in affected areas and the other one for people who wanted to post information about individuals.

 Side by side people in Japan were also using these social medium like,Twitter, Mixi and Facebook ,to update news about the whole disaster as in how serious the situation was ,where they were struck and they even uploaded mobile videos which they had recorded .These videos were seen by hundreds thousands of people even before mainstream media rebroadcasted these footages.

Even the Red Cross Organization started to spread the message about their 90999 text message number for Red Cross Relief on Facebook and Twitter. Basically if you message Red Cross on this number you will be automatically donating $10 to Red Cross for relief efforts.

I feel , though we keep on complaining about social networks, that they invade our privacy but , we still can not deny the fact that they have proved to be a lifeline for millions and help many saving their lives.

During this horrible disaster, Social networks have brought out best in people they are just did not inform and update about the disaster but also helped people unite and continuously encouraged them to take action and even supported them in bringing the relief to the victims.


Video source

Friday, 18 March 2011

No More Churnalism


While searching a topic for my next blog , I came across a very interesting website called Churnalism .com which is an independent, non profit website built by Media Standards Trust. Which gives people the opportunity to distinguish original journalism from churnalism. invites people to paste press releases on the site and compares the copy with more then 3 million articles published by national newspapers websites, the BBC, or sky news since 2008.
This website compresses all articles which are published by national newspapers, the BBC and sky news online into a series of numbers based on 15 character strings and then store them in fast access database. So when someone pastes the text in the box and clicks compare, the churn engine compresses the text entered and then searches for similar compressions. If the engine finds something similar to the pasted materiel like more then 20% similarity then it suggests the article to be churn.

The website also shows you the percentage of the copy, cut and pasted into the article from press release. You also get to see the press release alongside the article highlighting the bits that have been copied.

I feel somehow this website works like university plagiarism software which can catch your copy pasted parts and sources. And as a Public relations student I feel I won’t mind if I get to see my press release as a article in newspaper till the time I am being documented as the source.

Image and information source