Wednesday, December 15, 2010

...follow the plan: create, launch, rework, conclude

I'd like to refer to this blog post by Chris Brogan which my Marketing Director, The Nomad Marketer, brought to my attention this week.

The blog post expertly charts the mechanics of online promotion.

Plan: is always the most important mechanic - they say 'fail to plan, plan to fail' and this is what he suggests when he itemises all the components to consider. Plan (goal, target, area of approach, resources, website, tools, ads and marketing, content, third parties, etc)

Create: bringing to life the audio and written content, including a plan for how the social media and blog angles will be. Hoping that the story you’re hoping to tell aligns with the bloggers you’d like to have work on the project.

Launch: where the rubber meets the road....the execution of the plan. I've chosen to reuse his visual here...

Rework: This is usually where the most value can be derived (and certainly where my company, IQPC, is determined to get better at). Whatever the case, you should always have a “rework” phase in your plans so that you can adjust your tactics and better deliver on your strategy. We use the word 're-purpose', to me this is adapting a relevant piece of content to a different format that people will engage with...

Conclude: I interpret this step as the 'thanks' and 'evaluation' section. Using this time to thank you partners, and evaluate the performance of your channels and to keep an eye on the competition for the next few months.

Obvioulsy for a more comprehensive overview of these steps, check out Chris Brogan's direct link above.

Until next time,
Chris Archer

Friday, November 19, 2010's the concrete jungle where dreams are made of

So I've arrived in New York City - this is my first week on the job as Online Content Manager for this office.

So far, so good - just trying to get my head around the topics and each of the conferences, meeting everyone, understanding what they do and how different it is to Sydney (my comfort zone).

I'm looking forward to learning about this market though and how these marketeers operate to acheive their results.

The most promising thing from my perspective is how big the market is here - the potential to tap into our target through various social media channels, and online content, is massive! Much to be learned, much more to do!

Until next time,
Chris Archer

Friday, October 29, 2010's blogs like this

In chapter 5 of 'The New Rules of Marketing and PR' - Scott explores the vast world of Blogs: Tapping millions of evangelists to tell your story.

I like the use of the word 'evangelists' in his heading - for the world of conferences, we use terms like 'prospects', 'customers', and 'advocates' - I think the word 'evangelist' takes this to a higher level, imagine if you had people evangelising about your business....

So I've outlined below some of the most interesting parts of this chapter, as we continue learning about the new rules of marketing and pr...

- Your blog will most certainly serve you as a valueable creative outlet
- Only about 20-30% of marketing/pr professionals read blogs....and less than 10% write them (i'm in a minority!)
- Blogs are written because someone is passionate about a subject and wants to tell the world about his/her area of expertise
- Sometimes blogs are misperceived by people who don't read them. Journalists as well as PR people are quick to dismiss the importance of blogs because they often compare them to magazines, and newspapers, with which they are comfortable!

My favourite quote about web-as-a-city...

"The woman next to you at the bar may not be a journalist, but she sure knows something, and you can choose to believe her or not. Incidentally, seeing the Web as a city also helps make sense of other aspects of online life. Craigslist is like the bulletin board at the corner store, eBay, a garage sale; Amazon, a bookstore replete with patrons anxious to give you their book tips. You've even got the wrong side of the tracks spots via the web's adult-entertainment underbelly...."

So the FOUR uses of Blogs for Marketing and PR

1. To easily monitor what millions of people are saying about you, the market you sell into, your organization, and its products
2. To participate in those conversations by commenting on other people's blogs
3. To work with bloggers who write about your industry, company, or products *this one is central to what we do here @ IQPC
4. To begin to shape those conversations by creating and writing your own blog

The best example this chapter gives is how the Obama campaign used blogging and social media to connect with the public of the United States. The author says "...I am absolutely convinced that Obama won the U.S presidential election because he was the candidate who most strongly embraced social media...".
People were excited to be interacting so closely with officials from the national campaign pages as well as their opinions posted - they felt 'heard'.

So I guess my question is - how long does it take for people to stand up and listen? Are you listening? Can you hear me? Then talk.

Until next time,
Chris Archer

Thursday, October 21, 2010's how to use news releases to reach buyers directly

By Courtney Green - Senior Marketing Manager, Sydney
As it has for many things, the Web has changed the rules for news releases. The way buyer’s access news via Google, Yahoo and various PR wire sites means that it’s not just journalists accessing your news but millions of people around the world. How to reach and engage with these millions of people around the world is what the Author, David Meerman Scott looks at throughout Chapter 17.

Scott says in regards to news releases “you are providing your buyers with information that they need in order to find your organisation online and then learn more about you”. This makes perfect sense – for instance I have a Ministerial Keynote Address that has just been added to a conference I am currently marketing, therefore writing a news release about his address will then lead to people becoming aware of this and in turn learn more about the conference.

Scott goes on to say that a fundamental change about news releases is that you don’t need to wait for big news. Write about pretty much anything that your organisation is doing!

  • CEO speaking at a conference? Write a release.
  • Win an award? Write a release.
  • Add a product feature? Write a release.
  • Publish a white paper? Write a release.
This to me, I feel would keep the momentum of your marketing strategy at full pace so you are constantly at the forefront of people’s minds with interesting and relevant information to share.

Scott also looks at the use of RSS feeds which increase our ability to reach a much wider audience than ever before. Here at IQPC Australia we use Media Atlas (aap) and I have just come across a new one called which has a technology and finance focus. Just this week I uploaded a Smart Grids press release and within the hour it had been picked up in Google Alerts and also by the CIO Council who then distributed the press release to their utilities database thus reaching people that I may not have otherwise!

One section in this chapter looks at the importance of links in your news releases. This is something I have become increasingly aware of over the last few months as we move to more web centric marketing. Not only do links within your news releases allow buyers to easily move between the news release to your event website or specific piece of content, it also increases your event website ranking – and we all know how important that is! Scott says “Each time your news release is posted on another site, such as an online news site, the inbound link from the online news site to your web site helps to increase the search engine ranking of your site, because the search engines use inbound links as one of the important criteria for their page ranking algorithms”. 

The final and perhaps most important section of this paragraph looks at the value of repurposing your news releases for other audiences. Scott says that “too often, organisations spend tons of money on, say, a PR program that targets a handful of journalists but fails to communicate the same information to other constituents”. Putting it into context it would be like having a very good press release and not repurposing it into an effective piece of copy to email to the database of a supporting association. For me, repurposing is time effective, smart and allows you to reach audiences that could have been missed opportunities.

Probably the advice that stands out to me the most is last paragraph of the chapter where he writes about the importance of having relevant, fresh and regular content/news releases. He says a regular editorial calendar means your company is busy. A non-updated media room can appear as if you company is stagnant. To me this rings true for our download centres. It is important for us to be constantly on the look out for relevant news articles or content opportunities so that we appear as not just a conferencing company but an information provider that is on the cutting edge of news and industry trends.

I feel that chapter 17 really reiterates what I and my team have been trying to achieve in our marketing strategies of late and it is encouraging to know we are on the right track.

Courtney Green

Monday, October 11, 2010's chapter 16 of the New Rules

Our bible here at IQPC is 'The New Rules of Marketing and PR' - how to use social media, blogs, news releases, online video, and viral marketing to reach buyers directly.

As a unit, the team has been reviewing and discussing a couple of chapters each week, and as the Online Communications Manager, I've decided to take it one step further and chart my learnings - since the aim of this blog is to 'evolve an online communications manager'.

The good thing about this book is the simplicity of the language. The author, David Meerman Scott, uses plain english, real world examples, and cuts the crap. The book was evolved as a result of his experience with his own blog and the feedback and conversations he had with the readers. In addition to this, the book does not read front to back - you can open any chapter and read, and it's not required that you've read the early ones....

So this is how i'm going to post - chapter 16: Video and Podcasting made, well, as easy as possible. Overall impression of this chapter: I think it reinforced to me that we are doing a good job in terms of new media within business - our standard of podcasts and videos are excellent, but we can certainly take it to the next level...

Key learnings:  
  • Video: Essentially the chapter explores how easy it is to create engaging content via video. The best line in this part of the chapter is where the author says ‘Creating audio and video content for marketing and PR purposes requires the same amount of attention to appropriate topics as other techniques. It requires targeting individual buyer personas with thoughtful information that addresses some aspect of their life or pr they face. By doing so , you brand your organisation as smart and worthy of doing business with...
  • He says that the idea of companies using video for business is still fairly new. He mentions Youtube and Vimeo as channels through which companies can publish video content (and develop a channel) - ‘Vlogging’ is an interesting term for embedding video content into a blog (we should think about engaging with our bloggers and encouraging them to embed our content?)
  • Podcasting 101: A podcast is a piece of audio content tied to a subscription component….I wonder what he means by this, and if it’s something we should consider? Ultimately, are we really only creating ‘Audio interviews’ if they aren’t podcasts, because there is no subscription element? Podcasts also presume that people can access them on their iTunes or iPods (mobile), but is this how we envisage they’ll listen to it?
  • ‘Many people will help promote a show they have been featured on..’ - this is a great line which got me thinking about how we should encourage our interviewees to leverage the content to their networks also - after all, they invested the time to doing the podcast, they should do more for us!!
  • Put links to your podcast on your website, email signature, and on your offline materials (business cards, brochures)


“Podcasting is great marketing because, like blogging, it is a human voice”

“Most podcast’s don’t have a PR stamp on them, so the shows come across as being human. The reason why this is interesting is that there is a big marketing shift going on right now. The older traditional advertising model, like the 1950s TV, is that we publish and you consume. However, today’s marketing model is that we publish and you respond to it. It provides me real feedback from real people, and I have conversations. I can be interactive."

Until next time,
Christopher J Archer

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

...It's All Online, September 2010

This is the monthly eNewsletter I send to our marketing and production teams which gives them updates on online communications. Usually I have action points for each producer or marketer, but sometimes I like to share or educate them. Read on....
Welcome to ‘It’s all Online’

Social media can’t be left to one person….

Jason Romain, Global Head of Marketing, explored the concept of ‘Social Network Fatigue’ in his latest Marketing Newsletter. SNF refers to the sheer burnout experienced by the vast number (and increasing) of social networking and sharing sites available online today.

I’m stealing his material in this edition, because I want to highlight that in light of SNF….social media can’t be left to one person…

Social Media can't be left to one person. It's the whole organisations responsibility, producers, customer service, sales and marketing must all leverage social media. Obviously we can't (nor should we) ignore this powerful channel, but we also can't let it distract us from effective marketing. Marketing is about communicating a story, a story that resonates with our audience, regardless of the tools. Effective marketing is about measurement, some of these new tools also have great new metrics but we shouldn't forget it's about driving revenue or attendance at our events. Integrated direct marketing is about wrapping it all together, measurement, channel and message. Aligning them is where success lies.

… More importantly we must find influencers in the social media space and engage them in our events. It's not always about the latest or greatest tools, it's about telling a story (and measuring success).

So continue to spend time on social networks to engage with influencers who can promote and advocate for our events.


Daily in marketing we have commenced ‘Power Hour’ which is a dedicated time between 9-10am for us to engage with social media channels.

What we do:
  • Join groups on LinkedIn
  • Start discussions centred around themes of the conference (ask questions etc)
  • Connect with speakers and influencers within the groups
  • Search for relevant blogs and engage with the author (eventually we’d like to share content on the blog)
  • Tweet our content on our mining and construction portals
  • Try to build our LinkedIn groups through mass invites
  • Trial new social media portals to see how we can use them to leverage our content
  • Use promotions to connect the event with our group (by offering linkedin offers etc)
  • Ask people who join our groups to ‘Introduce themselves to the group and make mention of their interest in X topic’
  • Use our speakers are leverage, an area we must get better at. People are more likely to engage with our speakers, not us!!
 What we don’t do: 
  • Start a discussion on Linked In and say ‘Come to this conference because…’
  • Start new groups of stage one launches without a clear and defined growth strategy as to how this will grow post-event
  • Email group members directly spouting that they attend
  • SELL our conference on social media – we share content and knowledge aligned to our conferences.
So, I challenge you to commit some time to social media of your own – after all, you hold much more knowledge, you have stronger relationships with the speakers and you can interact and respond to them online. GO TEAM!!

Friday, September 10, 2010's a video showcase

I just want to share a few of the more recent video interviews i've conducted. Each of them has taught me something different about video production (obvious things), but without ACTUAL training in this area, i'm learning as I go - enjoy!

In this interview, I was director / camera man only. We arranged for our media partner (IT News) to interview Andi Luiskandl from the Smith Family on Cloud Computing. What's the first thing you notice when the image appears? Whooops!

Clearly the rule here is simple - watch out for your reflection!!!

In this interview with Scott Stewart, CIO, Wilson HTM - we tried to achieve the illusive 'engaging' interview with the interviewer (me), asking questions to Scott in a conversational way. I think we've done ok - but the lesson learned here is to REALLY understand the question you ask to your interviewee. Although you may not know the topic well (or at all in this case)...understand why you are asking, and what it means!

Until next time,
it's all online
Chris Archer