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Friday, 17th May 2013 at 2:31pm
So it comes as no surprise that Audi is asking the question, which Spock is better? In the advert we see the two playing chess online, then a new challenge is laid down.
The commercial is comical, showcasing their latest car, but drawing on some past achievements of Nimoy with an interesting ending.
Created by the same team that produced the viral dollar shave club commercial, Paulilu and agency PMK*BNC.
Watch it below.
Friday, 17th May 2013 at 8:01am
The value of your company and products’ reputation should not be underestimated. Reputation should be treated as an asset. Reputation is everyone’s responsibility. A good reputation buys you the benefit of the doubt when things go wrong.
The toughest lesson is to learn that sometimes it’s not what has happened that is the issue – it’s what people think has happened. Perception is everything.
What is an issue that can affect an organisation’s reputation?
“A condition or event, internal or external to the organisation, that if it continues will have a significant effect on the functioning or performance of the organisation or on its future interests”.
- Staff dispute
- Shortage of stock
- Supplier goes out of business
- Negative comments published online
- Computer virus
- Change in working hours for staff
- Health and Safety
Sign up to relevant Google alerts around your organisation’s name. If appropriate use other software available that will help you monitor mentions online. Be prepared to respond to comments if needed but you must be straightforward about who you are and never let emotional language influence what you are saying.
Do you know who your organisation’s stakeholders are? If not, find out. Stakeholder groups can include employees, clients/customers, opinion formers such as trade associations and professional bodies, your local community, investors in your organisation and key media who will act as commentators on what you are doing.
Don’t wait until there is a problem to engage with people; be proactive wherever you can. This also means getting together with colleagues in other departments to share and help identify potential causes for concern, even if an issue does not actually materialise.
You can gather information to help identify and manage risks via:
- Staff surveys
- Industrial relations
- Customers’ feedback
- Product development teams
- HR and Legal teams
- Health and Safety audits
Think about developing a crisis plan – you may need to get in expert external help. At least have a record of people/agencies that can help you if needed.
What threats can you anticipate? What do you know based on past experience? Do you know how to handle journalists, or who is the nominated person in your organisation that looks after this? This all goes back to having regular dialogue with your colleagues in other departments too – not just when the problem has happened.
Five core tips to get you started:
1. How much access during work time do your employees have to engage with social media and company data?
Blocking access to the internet or certain sites is often seen as the domain of the IT manager, but in today’s workplace this goes beyond merely the computer at your desk.In our networked environment people can access content and store information and data via their phone, tablet or laptop at any time of day. Therefore the rules are changing and your organisation needs to adapt.Expert Jamie Claret (www.amazingsupport.co.uk) suggests for starters you need think about:Good antivirus softwareSimple blocking systemsAdvanced blocking and monitoringPreventing sensitive data leaving your businessThe impact data leakage and wasted time during work hours versus empowering staff with access to these sources.
2. Does your organisation have a clear social media policy?
Social media encompasses a broad range of online activities, all of which can have a marked impact on the credibility, perceptions and awareness of an organisation. Outside the workplace rights to privacy and free speech can protect online activity conducted in someone’s personal social network with that person’s personal email address. However, the inevitable connections that can and are made with someone’s workplace can blur the boundaries. What is your organisation’s policy on this?
3. Have these policies been communicated to all staff?
Are they part of your induction programme?Your policy and procedures need to be communicated – don’t just rely on a document that sits in the drawer. Building this into your employee induction programme or at a team update meeting brings this to the forefront of people’s minds.Are your employees aware of the potential negative impact that online comments can have? Where social media interaction is not used exclusively for business, it is important to provide reasonable guidelines on online behaviour if any reference is made to the workplace. Furthermore you may need to draw attention to matters regarding confidentiality as they relate to your organisation or business, and how this can also cover photos or images posted online for example.
4. Are you aware of how other stakeholders might be looking at your organisation through social media?
Media management is likely to rest with either an external agency or your in-house communications team, or for smaller enterprises with a nominated employee or manager. The press have increasingly turned to social media channels not only regarding breaking news, but also to uncover more intimate details about an organisation.This can also be true of any stakeholders. And content posted online is hard to have removed… therefore you need to be as aware of what is being said about the organisation online, as others will be. Do you have any mechanisms in place to facilitate this?
5. Are you ready to act if something potentially negative happens?
You need to have a contingency plan; whether it’s customers commenting on a faulty product or poor service, or a disgruntled employee out to stir up some reactions or actually carrying out some form of deception. How will you react? Who needs to be aware of a problem as and when it occurs and importantly who should be tasked with sorting it out? Do you have an issues management team and plan? Does this plan map onto the online world?
Thursday, 16th May 2013 at 2:37pm
The series was created as a way to connect the time she spent in New York with her new home London. The series was released on Instagram using a set of photos she took of New York on her iPhone during her last month in the city, she then took the same number upon arrival in London. She then used software on her phone to carefully overlap the images, created a merged image of the two cities.
The full collection can be seen on Yatzer here. Zalcman also has a Kickstarter to get the photographs published as a book here.
Thursday, 16th May 2013 at 9:33am
London-based light artist Chris Bracey is currently displaying his works in his first solo exhibition at Scream Gallery in London titled 'I've looked up to heaven and been down to hell'.
The artist, who learnt his trade from his father, has manipulated his lights into incredible designs using themes which mix religious iconography, retro fairground bulbs and neon advertising styles.
Bracey has also provided dramatic installations for films such as Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Batman films.
Many of Bracey’s works are self-produced neons, referencing popular culture – “Shine A Light in the Darkness of Your Soul” was written by Martin Gore from Depeche Mode and “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” is from a song by The Smiths.
His work also draws upon iconic imagery such as tattoo designs and the sights of Las Vegas and Soho, London.
The exhibition is on display until the 1st June 2013.
Wednesday, 15th May 2013 at 4:36pm
American Airlines has rolled out a new perk for social media users, access to their Admirals Club lounges, regardless whether you are flying with them or not.
To gain a one-day pass for the club, you need to have a Klout score of 55. What does this mean? Klout is a tool that measures your usage and engagement on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
The perk includes almost 40 lounges across the world including airports in San Francisco, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo and London.
With others already signed up to Klout Perks including Sony, Nike, Microsoft, Disney, Audi and Gilt, this is a major push by the social measurement tool.
A clever development, but one can't help thinking that social influencers may see through it, regardless of whether they take advantage of it or not.
Wednesday, 15th May 2013 at 3:01pm
The videos, which were originally made for the Asian market, first appeared on Microsoft's general YouTube channel by mistake, but now are openly being shared.
Watch the unusual series below.
Wednesday, 15th May 2013 at 12:01pm
Google has been working with the U.S. Geological Society and NASA to produce some amazing time lapse images of our planet.
Collating images from over 40 years of Landsat satellite footage, the search engine has produced several timelapse videos, that show how the world has changed from 1984 to 2012, as seen from the sky.
They map out several major changes to the planet, from the Shrinking of the Amazon forest to the growth of Las Vegas. The project was also partnered with Time Magazine, for their Timelapse project.
You can read more on the Google Blog, and see the timelapse here.
Wednesday, 15th May 2013 at 9:52am
The advert, created by TBWA/G1 Paris, creates scratches in the paintwork of the car as users try to swipe through the ad, which then repair themselves.
Very clever use of the swipe motion that people use whilst browsing to highlight another innovation.
Watch the ad in action below.
Monday, 13th May 2013 at 9:17am
The Swedish furniture company has this time sent out digital and direct mailers to customers, giving them a weather report for their garden over the recent Bank Holiday weekend.
The mailer, created by LIDA, was sent out to the 900,000 IKEA Family loyalty customers, encouraging them to make the most of their gardens, weather permitting.
There is also an online invite system so that IKEA Family members can create fun, bespoke weather reports with the help of its weatherman, Harry Caine, to encourage friends and family to visit.
The campaign could work well, with its level of humour and personalisation, coupled with the unpredictable weather we face in Britain.
Friday, 10th May 2013 at 3:27pm
Carphone Warehouse has recently set up a competition in their Oxford Street store to promote the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4.
They set up a promotional display including Samsung's latest phone, encouraging customers to answer it when it rang to win an instant prize, claiming "Everyone Wins!".
The trick was that the phone calls are made by famous 'Fonejacker' comedian Kayvan Novak.
See what happended in the video below.
Friday, 10th May 2013 at 11:31am
As part of The Think Tank's sponsorship of B2B Marketing's Knowledge Bank PR Channel, our PR Director Samantha Dawe has produced a Whitepaper titled 'PR in a changing media landscape'.
The Whitepaper looks at the need for a new mindset in a changing media world. Many commentators have spoken about the basic model for media and marketing being broken. While media fragmentation is seen as a challenge, an expanding range of media options is also an opportunity.
The Whitepaper is free to download either from the B2B Marketing web site or by clicking the link below:
PR in a changing media landscape.pdf (254 kb)
Thursday, 9th May 2013 at 1:30pm
The installation, which was created by Deutsch Los Angeles, is a showcase of their Threshold home décor line and features between 3,500 and 4,000 products, with staff on hand for demonstrations and help.
The dolls house was built in just 54 hours by fitting together interlocking 4-by-8 panels creating a 1600-square-foot open-plan house, as well as a patio and lawn area. This space allows Target to show-off their latest lines in their entirety, which would not be possible to do in stores, and will give some great exposure with over 500,000 people visiting the station every day.
You can find out more about the installation at Ad Age here.
Thursday, 9th May 2013 at 9:17am
The list spoke to us at The Think Tank so much that we had to share it with you.
Buzzfeed built the list from this BBC article and this thread on Facebook.
Some of our 'favourite' points are:
- People leaving the kitchen in a mess
- Endless Birthday whip-rounds (and when it's your turn)
- Stupid Buzzwords
Take a look at the full list here, and let us know which speaks to you the most.
Wednesday, 8th May 2013 at 8:54am
The ad contained a wireless router that would provide 15 days of free WiFi, the router would last for two to three hours per battery charge.
The premise is that Office 365 is a use-anywhere version of Microsoft's Office software, allowing people to work on documents where-ever they are.
A clever but costly stunt.
Tuesday, 7th May 2013 at 3:10pm
This year's Sony World Photography Award winners have been announced, and are currently on display at Somerset House, London.
The awards are organised by the World Photography Organisation and have two main categories; open and professional. They are judged by an Honorary Judging Committee which is broken up in to groups for a selection of categories from Architecture to Sport.
The Professional winners from each of the 15 categories are being exhibited at Somerset House until 12th May 2013, including the overall winner, Andrea Gjestvang for her series, 'One Day in History,' which intimately captures the young survivors of Utoeya, Norway massacre in July 2011.
Other winners include Fabrice Fouillet in the Architecture category and Christian Aslund for Campaigns.
Take a look at all the entries and winners here.
Buy tickets for the exhibition here.
Tuesday, 7th May 2013 at 11:52am
Design studio JamesPlumb has followed up their refit of East London based store Hostem's shop floor with a new showroom in the basement of the same building.
A dimly lit room, decorated with some unique furniture, The Chalk Room is currently dedicated to Hostem's bespoke service, made-to-measure clothing and accessories, but shoppers can also order furniture from JamesPlumb including a chandelier made from clusters of antique lampshades and a chest of drawers built from stacks of suitcases.
To create the downstairs room the studio opened up the space, painted it dark and dimmed the lighting, creating calmness by making the corners and edges of the walls disappear.
Some of the unique furniture they have provided for the space includes a Chesterfield sofa that has a table coming out of the centre and a wardrobe that appears to be falling over.
Find out more about their work with Hostem at dezeen.
Photographs by Thomas Giddings.
Tuesday, 7th May 2013 at 9:40am
The campaign for the soft drink, which was released in Russia back in 1998, currently comprises of two videos.
The videos show the penguins getting up to no good in a shopping centre and underground rail station. The campaign is similar to the 'Gets you through' campaign currently running in the UK.
Take a look at the wacky videos below.
Monday, 6th May 2013 at 3:52pm
The Think Tank is proud to be the sponsor of the PR channel on the B2B Marketing Knowledge Bank, the UK’s premium resource for B2B marketing advice and best practice.
As part of our sponsorship we will be issuing a range of articles, white papers and web casts over the coming months, focussing on Public, Press and Media Relations.
To kick off this sponsorship we have issued the following ‘How To’ guides, case studies and white papers (click on the titles to view):
HOW TO: Survive a press interview
HOW TO: Manage your brand online
CASE STUDY: Permasense turn to The Think Tank to launch new company in risk-averse sector
Whitepaper: PR in a changing media landscape
We hope that you find these interesting and if you would like to discuss any of them in detail please contact Samantha Dawe, Director of PR, The Think Tank at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 020 7831 2225.
Monday, 6th May 2013 at 9:45am
Through the development of the brand identity in the UK and an integrated marketing strategy the introduction of the new brand has been a great success.
Over the past few months The Think Tank developed a range of collateral and marketing tools for AluK, ready for the launch in April 2013. This included a sophisticated web site that engages target audiences and provides them with the information they require to specify and purchase AluK products. This is already delivering results through lead generation.
The Think Tank organised a launch event for customers and the press at the beginning of April and has introduced the brand through a combination of PR, Advertising, eDM and Social Media, building brand awareness and encouraging enquiry. This has seen immediate results for AluK and has started to develop a new positioning for the group that offers a complete range of aluminium windows, doors and curtain walling systems.
We are continuing to develop the marketing strategy for the group and to raise awareness of the brand through a variety of marketing channels. This include engagement and support for existing customers as well as the launch of a wide range of new products over the coming months.
View the new AluK web site here.
Thursday, 2nd May 2013 at 10:50am
This piece has been written by Samantha Dawe, The Think Tank's PR Director.
Working with the press can be a great way to get stories about your products and your organisation across. But before you leap in for a chat take a few minutes to think through what you are going to say.
Using the press effectively to get your point across is a skill. In most cases, you only get one go at this in an interview, so you need to get it right first time when you are speaking to journalists directly.Whether you’re speaking at a planned face-to-face interview, a quick chat catch up at an industry event or a short briefing over the telephone, you will be in the spotlight. Here’s a short memory-refresher on the dos and don’ts of dealing with a press interview.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
Wherever possible build in time to do some preparation before you meet the journalist. Read the publication they are writing for. Ideally find out what the journalist wants to cover in advance so you can be ready with the right sort of information for them. If you don’t know this in advance, ask them when you meet or speak to check. This will also give you time to collect your thoughts. Have you had some media training? It’s worth it if you are in any type of marketing role.
Know your facts and figures
Remember you can talk to a journalist about any information that has already been announced, and bringing in other examples as context can often help illustrate a point. Again, have facts and figures to hand (be prepared wherever possible) so you can refer to them.
Try to speak in short sentences and repeat key points that convey your view. This helps to minimise the risk of being quoted inaccurately. Resist the temptation to go on and on about your favourite theme unless this is the only subject to be covered in the interview.
Raise points that you feel may be of interest
The journalist may have done some preparation but you are also able to raise points on a subject too. Make sure they that are relevant to the journalist’s train of thought; showing them you are trying to give them as much information as you can is usually perceived as helpful as long as you don’t go overboard.
Bring in how you see the industry or your sector developing, if appropriate. This sort of insight also shows that you and your company are continuing to keep track and responding to change. Don’t speculate though unless you are happy to see your speculations in print.
Don’t talk about areas you don’t know about
Don’t make forecasts about products, markets or sales, unless the information has been agreed beforehand and you can produce the data to back it up. If you don’t know much about a subject, say so. And wherever possible get someone in your company to speak to the journalist who is an expert.
And don’t be derogatory about the competition; it’s unprofessional. Just give factual information to the journalist, and let them make their own comparisons. Talking too much about the competition actually helps to sell it, so you may want to avoid that.
Don’t be evasive
If you don’t know something (see point 1 above) or you feel you need to get more information in front of you, say you will find out for the journalist and get back to them; check the deadline they are working on. This can also be used to ‘buy some time’ while you formulate an appropriate response to a tricky question. But if you promise further information, make sure it is followed up, even if it is to say that you need more time.
Use colourful phrases with care
Avoid the use of particularly colourful phrases unless you are absolutely sure you want them used. Otherwise, they may appear out of context or as headlines. A sub-editor may well select the juiciest quote from a journalist’s copy just for this purpose: “Widget Ltd’s Marketing Director Paul Smith says that they are murdering the competition”. Enough said.
Don’t go “Off-the record” unless you are really, really confident
This can be a dangerous trap – you are giving information ‘off-the-record’ for a journalist’s guidance, they should not publish it under any circumstances.
You have to tell the journalist the information is ‘off-the-record’ before you give them the information. The phrase should not be used retrospectively.
You should then say when the information you are discussing is ‘back on the record’ that means they can write up what you are saying.
A general rule of thumb is not using ‘off-the-record’ at all. In exceptional circumstances with a journalist that can really be trusted and you know – for example a trade press journalist you are in regular touch with and you know writes in a fair and informed way, and above all will respect this convention, you might be OK. But why chance it?
A Director I knew went ‘off the record’ with a journalist to say that he expected the privately-owned company he worked for would be floated in the next six months. It was a great story and appeared in print. You can imagine the fall out that happened when it was published.
This piece was written as part of The Think Tank's sponsorship of the PR Section of B2B Marketing's Knowledge Bank, and forms part of a series of guides, blog posts, case studies and a white papers.