The 2011 Plan

Let's talk strategy.

Without thorough strategy, one is resigned to contribute nothing to living up to your organisation's mission and pursuing its vision. Thoroughly resigned. And the turn of the year is an apt time to take the strategic long view.

But let's begin with the shortest view. David Meerman Scott's latest book 'Real-time Marketing and PR' (book review) emphasises that being attuned to the second by second deliberations, assertions and flippancy of the social Web is nothing short of imperative for many organisations. Nevertheless, he also points out that we need our approach to be informed by the organisation's over-arching needs and guided by sound and consistent policy.

The title of a post by Brian Solis this week articulates the challenge succinctly, "failing to plan is planning to fail" and Vanessa DiMauro also calls for proper diligence in her post, "not so fast!"

So how do you know if you're doing OK, or going hand to mouth? Why do too many of the leaders I work with consider they have this licked and yet discover otherwise?

Here's an acid test. Grab a handful of colleagues in your marketing and PR teams this afternoon for fifteen minutes and ask the following four questions:

1. Can you articulate our mission (why we exist) and vision (what we want to be)?

2. Can you tell me, in terms of your department / group / team, how you help us live up to the mission and pursue the vision? What's the strategy?

3. How do you know when you're making progress or falling short, personally and as a team?

4. Can you walk me through your activity this past week in this context and take a guess at how much time results in concrete progress rather than fires fought?

The greater the degree of stumbling answer, the greater the inconsistency, confusion and bamboozlement, the more attention you need to pay strategy this month, and the communication of strategy, and the alignment of activity with strategy. 2011 will work out the better for it.

Wishing you a prosperous one, Philip and the MarCom Professional team.

For Immediate Release marks 6th anniversary with evaluation of BP’s Deepwater Horizon crisis

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

Congratulations to Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz who celebrate the sixth anniversary of their podcast For Immediate Release this week. Each week Hobson and Holtz spend an hour digging under the headlines in communications and PR. It has become a regular part of my media diet.

Hobson and Holtz recently recorded a special show with two communication professionals involved in the response to the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill arguably one of the largest crisis communication efforts of the last year. More...

Shaq Googled Big House Outside of Boston

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

Last night the big man from the Boston Celtics, Shaquille O'Neal, was on David Letterman's talk show. I live in Boston and it is amazing how quickly fans have embraced Shaq. I had a chance to watch him in action a few weeks ago from courtside. Amazing.

Anyway, Shaq told Letterman that he found his house on Google with the phrase: "Big house outside of Boston."

Some smart real-estate person scored big time with that one!

You'll hear the Google reference at about 2:25 in the video: More...

In Social Media, Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

I’ve received a series of inbound requests for comments based on a report from Gartner, an IT analyst firm, that estimates as many as 70-percent of social media campaigns will fail in 2011. There are a series of discussions hitting the blogosphere and the Twitterverse exploring this very topic, some elementary and others on the right path. I contacted Gartner earlier this week and the problem is, that this data isn’t new at all. In fact, these discussions are fueled by information originally published in 2008 and in early 2010. More...

Britain’s newspapers leading world in media innovation, says The Economist

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

By most conventional measures Britain’s newspapers look doomed, according to The Economist (disclosure: client), as readers abandon print for the Internet and TV. But The Economist finds Britain’s papers are being “exceptionally innovative, busily testing new formats and sizes.”

In an article in this week’s issue it examines three different strategies being played out by newspaper publishers:

News Corporation – pay wall and direct sales via initiatives such as The Sunday Times wine club
Daily Mail – More...

All set for Social Media in 2011? Not so fast!

by Vanessa DiMauro of Leader Networks

It's 2011. You've made launching your social media initiative one of the top business resolutions for the year. It's easy, it's quick, you're rarin' to go, let's jump in, right? Not so fast!

Are you really ready? There are three things you must do to be sure your company or organization is prepared to engage with your audience in the social sphere.

First and foremost, do you have a social business strategy? Do you know what your social efforts should achieve? Creating a social strategy means applying your professional business skills to identify the goals and objectives for your social initiatives. More...

The future is bright in 2011 and the future is digital

by Andrew Grill of London Calling

John Wren, chief executive of Omnicom was quoted recently in the FT that the advertising group planned to introduce a technical education programme for all its 63,000 employees to teach them the ways of Google, Facebook and other online media. According the the FT, Omnicom is to accelerate its push into digital media and marketing in 2011 by focusing on new partnerships with technology companies and large-scale training for its staff.

Some of John Wren’s other quotes from Tim Bradshaw’s article amused me slightly, such as

Advertising space on social media such as Facebook is not yet “fully priced”, he says. More...

Exploring the Twitterverse

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

Happy New Year!

Twitter officially launched to the public in July 2006. By 2008, the universe of applications developed to enhance the Twitter experience was boundless. Not only was the ecosystem burgeoning with apps, the ability to track and manage the apps designed for specific purposes was elusive.

I spent the better part of Fall 2008 studying and organizing the available Twitter apps available for new marketing, community management, and customer service professionals. Once organized, I published Twitter Tools for Marketing and Community Professionals on October 17, 2008. More...

You cannot control your brand

by Dave Harkins of Dave Harkins' Blog

A company, like an individual, can only control its intention, its action and its reaction. If you think about it, this is  only about 1/4 of a brand’s value through in daily interactions between the customer and the company.  The customer controls the remaining 3/4 of the brand’s value based on their perceptions of how the company delivers, whether it be product quality, service and fit with the customers needs, values and expectations.

Companies influence their brand value through interactions. More...