Monday, 6 April 2009

Marketing = PR

As I’ve discussed before, marketing has slowly changed to involve many PR tactics. Previously, marketing meant ‘brand’ and PR meant ‘media and public relationships.’ Now, consumers, stakeholders and organizations want participation, interaction, involvement and relationships.
Marketing has developed into something more than just advertising, and PR has become more than mainstream media audience. Together in the online world, marketing and PR have helped to establish and sustain relationships and reputation between organizations and stakeholders. The use of the web allows companies to establish transparency and loyalty to their costumers and stakeholders because online, ‘you are what you publish.’ To some, this can destroy reputation but to others it can enhance reputation. As the media landscape is ever changing, I believe that traditional media needs integrate new forms of social and online media in order to improve brand reputation and customer relations.

Tradiational vs. New media landscape

As social media platforms like facebook, linkedin, and twitter become increasingly popular, many organizations are utilizing them in order to build brand identity and reputation. The problem with traditional forms of media is simply the lack of personal connections and interactions. As the landscape changes from traditional media to new media, the influence of personal contacts on the internet continues to grow. Organizations now have the capability to interact one-on-one with consumers and stakeholders 24/7. This new approach will help to enhance customer relations and customer service which will inevitably improve relationships and trust….and subsequently the organization’s brand and reputation. Web features such as wiki’s, blogs, flickr, twitter and facebook have made it much easier to broadcast and promote individual and organizational brands as nearly 2/3 of the world’s population participate in social network sites and web activity.

Convergence of marketing, PR & Technology

There has certainly been a noticeable convergence of Marketing and PR & Technology. In past years, PR and marketing in the offline world have been completely autonomous entities: Different departments hosting different people with different skill sets. However, with the growing use of the web and technology Marketing and PR have grown to be synonymous and complimentary of each other. This is especially noticeable in the online world. Statistics show that people spend nearly 33% of their time communicating online. It is evident that there has been a move towards businesses operating and socializing on the web, and therefore, Marketeers and PR’s utilize technology in order to build a brand identity and sustain valuable relationships that will benefit the organization and its publics.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Ideas on the web can wildfire!

With the recent and massive use of the web and social media, it is now possible for anyone to spread and publish their ideas to a global audience in a heartbeat. In some cases, the spread of such thoughts are benign. However, in other cases, the malicious use of the web can be severely detrimental to an individual or a company’s reputation.

Because ideas that are surfaced on the web are so rampant and come from so many varying sources, the reputation of a company or individual can be either decimated or nourished in only the click of a mouse, and they can spread like wildfire. This use of technology and the social web can easily work in favor or against a company or individual, and its consequences/rewards can be extreme. And in most cases, it is extremely hard to reverse any damage that is perceived.

Let’s take a look, for example, at the Christian Bale case:
Christian Bale Rant Video
*He was audio-taped and video-taped on set of the movie batman ‘flipping out’ at a crew member who accidentally walked on air while he was filming. After I heard the video, my perspective of this actor changed dramatically, in a negative way. His reputation was quickly destroyed, and it will take a lot of explaining on his part to attempt to rectify this situation. I don’t expect that he got away with this type of behavior without any consequences. But, again, this illustrates how the widespread use of the web can easily and quickly change the image of an individual or a company.

Another similar case was that of Michael Phelps, the U.S. Olympic Swimming Gold Medalist.
One picture changed his life:
Michael Phelps' marijuana use puts focus on debate over the drug
The picture (and news of his marijuana use) was so widely and quickly publicized on the internet that it inevitably changed his reputation (and image) permanently.
The use of such technology can work to advocate or decimate the image, brand, and reputation of individuals and companies throughout the world.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Cancerous Technology?

On an online news post, the headline ‘How using facebook could raise your risk of cancer’ caught my eye and certainly made me wonder: “how could that be possible?” The article insists that social networking platforms, specifically facebook, may cause serious health problems due to the lack of face-to-face contact and the inevitable isolation of individuals. Although I sometimes agree with such skeptics about the use of technology, I must say ‘bullshit’ this time. The use of online networks may have decreased the amount of ‘face-to-face’ contact; however, it has substantially increased the networking effect and has brought people all over the globe closer together. If you haven’t noticed, most companies are currently using these social platforms, not only on a personal level but within their own offices amongst colleagues and co-workers. So, it may not actually have a significant effect on face-to-face contact if people are using the web in the presence of other people so frequently.
The web has definitively done its part in enhancing the lives and the opportunities of people and companies across the world. It has blurred social boundaries and brought people together quickly, efficiently and effectively. People should not rely solely on the social web for networking and communication, but the web should certainly be a tool that helps to enhance such skills.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Does technology simplify or complicate our lives?

Today's generation of children are considered 'Digitial Natives.' This simply means that children, in today's society, have been raised to understand and utilize technology nearly everyday, in some way. However, the baby boom generation could be considered the opposite, 'Digital Immigrants.' Ostensibly there is a huge disparity between these generations, and in order to keep up in society being technological savvy is a pre-requisite to almost anything we do (texting, emailing, facebooking, blogging, online shopping, etc).
Although technology and the use new media certainly has its benefits, I find that it makes life much more stressful. For example, I lost my cell phone the other week. If any of you are like me, my phone is my LIFE LINE! I have nearly every contact in my phone, along with their personal information. I stressed out for a few days while I attempted to retain all my contacts. I was unlucky at retrieving the contacts in my phone, but I did get a new phone and the same mobile number. But, I'm still trying to find the contacts I lost and it still has me stressing. I've become so dependent on 'technology'a nd the use of my cell phone that when it comes to living without one, it's nearly impossible for me.
To extrapolate the complexities that technology plays in my life, let's talk about facebook...
Ok, so I'm actually an addict to facebook, I will admit! I added facebook nearly 4 years ago when i was in college (when it was ONLY open to college students). Now, the facebooking network has expanded to people all over the world, of any age. As I use facebook for the network effect it serves, I still find it extremely hard to keep up with...and when i do keep up with it, I feel like I'm wasting my time just 'stalking' other people. And now, not only is facebook the sole networking figure on the web, but there is twitter, myspace, web2.0, LinkedIn, AOL IM and other international web networks. As a member of several of these, I find it hard to keep up with conversations and people in the different networks I belong to. But, I also feel that if I'm not part of a network, then I'm missing out on communicating or contacting people. I find that as the growth of web technology becomes so rampant, yet neccessary, it's increasingly harder to keep up with it too.