Let's talk about money.

Michael Porter describes strategy as defining and attending to those activities at which an organisation must excel in order to create a sustainable difference in the marketplace, and thereby create sustained value for its shareholders (or sustainable value in the case of non-profits).

Once you've articulated why your organisation exists (the mission), and what you want it to be (the vision), the strategy describes the what, who, how, when and where needed to pursue the vision, and specifically how these differ from the competition. How these help beat your competition.

However, as hard as strategy formulation is, the really hard part is putting it into action. The Balanced Scorecard Institute finds that 70% of organisations with a strategy simply fail to execute it. And this becomes the more obvious the further away from the sale / the product / the service you get; the more you get into the intangible assets pivotal to your success.

Marketing and PR are intangible assets. They are intangible investments. We all know that the right mix of the panoply of marketing and PR activities is essential to organisational success – to the successful definition of organisational strategy and its execution – but too often we're not quite sure how so. This is most apparent when, particularly in harder times, marketing and PR are considered cost centres first and foremost, and cost centres that can be cut.

When we put a dollar in, we want more than a dollar back. Stands to reason. Yet a systematic understanding of how to measure the return on investment of marketing and PR remains the exception rather than the norm.

Both David Meerman Scott and I posted about this alarming inadequacy this week. The Digital Publishing Forum invited me to speak this week to address the ROI of social media, yet it turns out that social media is no different to other aspects of marketing and PR. And it turns out marketing and PR are not so different from all the other investments your organisation must make in intangibles. Unfortunately it turns out that too many organisations underperform in mapping and quantifying the strategic benefit of all such assets, not just marketing and PR.

Money. How often are you surprised by the gap between our regard for it and our appreciation for how it's put to work? How often does your management team require you to articulate ROI when you know you have no material way to respond? If this is the case, then I can assure you the answer starts with fixing the failings of the management team, not the marketing and PR teams, although you can be instrumental in identifying this and helping to put it right.

Best regards, Philip and the MarCom Professional team.


Brand Journalism: The Rise of Non-Fiction Advertising

by Rebecca Caroe of Creative Agency Secrets

Imagine a world in which brands tell the truth, advertisers act like publishers and all communication is real-time.  Is this world possible? #brandjo

Kyle Monson – Editor JWT
Brian Clark – President of GMD Studios
Bob Garfield – Advertising Age
David Eastman – CRO JWT North America
Shiv Singh – Head of digital, Pepsico
Eastman: Everyone understand the brand bit – the journalism is an editorial approach to brand buildling – thinking engagement and transparency over messaging and control. More...


‘Bing’ – the sound of a backlash

by Simon Hilliard of Racepoint Group

There’s two very lovely things in the this here world that often show themselves during great tragedies; the human capacity to give generously and the capacity for large companies to put their money making ways aside to unify large followings into donating hefty sums.

Social media has taken hold in this area as well as any other. What better way to get a request for donations out than tweet a link and request to your company’s vast number of followers on Twitter?

Of course, it’s always best to keep your own interests off the boil while doing this. More...


Public Relations 2011: Issues, Insights and Ideas

by Trevor Young PR Warrior of Parkyoung

Sydney-based strategic communications consultant and blogger, Craig Pearce, has just released a timely e-report called Public Relations 2011: Issues, Insights, Ideas.

Craig compiled and edited the report - essentially, a PR thought leadership 'e-dossier' - with the help of a disparate band of PR folk from around the globe (I'm proud to say the PR Warrior was lucky enough to be included in such esteemed company).

Contributors include academics and practicing professionals from countries such as Switzerland, New Zealand, Canada, the USA, England and Australia. More...


The Future of Broadcast is More Than Integrating Tweets into Programming

by Brian Solis of

The future of broadcast is literally at our fingertips…

The living room is the epicenter of family, the hub of the household. Perhaps more so than the dining table, the living room hosts hours upon hours of family attention and interaction every week. Whether we were gripped by the music and voices emitting from radios or entranced by the moving images illuminating our televisions, we celebrated everything from togetherness to relaxation around a common centerpiece.

This once mighty magnet of attention, through its iterative forms, is learning to share its powers of attraction forever changing the idea of the family cornerstone. More...


SNCR Research Findings Highlight the Evolution of Social Business

by Vanessa DiMauro of Leader Networks

I am proud to introduce the results of the 2nd annual New Symbiosis of Professional Networks research study by The Society for New Communications Research (SNCR); a benchmark on the impact of social media on enterprise decision-making.

The study is a result of collaboration between my co-researcher Don Bulmer and me as part of our fellowship with SNCR.  We have also benefited greatly from the analysis of my colleague at SAP and senior fellow at SNCR, Peter Auditore.
In the first study we focused on professionals’ More...


SEO giving way to social search – and there’s more

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

Here’s an article that I’ve written for Fresh Business Thinking continuing my thesis that search will give way to social search and recommendation via social networks.


It’s a topic that I’m picking up in a pitch at Reputation Online’s Live event ‘Where social meets search and PR’ event on Friday in London.

There’s a cracking line-up of speakers including Sony Ericsson’s Ben Padley, Punch Communications’ Pete Goold, Browser Media’s Joe Friedlein and O2’s Alex Pearmain. More...


SXSW 2011: Transmedia Content Marketing

by David H Deans of Digital Lifescapes

Brand marketers in a variety of different industries are beginning to accelerate their multimedia production and distribution efforts. They're acting more like non-fiction storytellers and commercial publishers, as they create new forms of digital content.

This established trend was one of the significant themes at South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) 2011. In addition, the early-adoption of Transmedia Storytelling techniques -- by a relative few forward-looking organizations -- was the noteworthy emerging theme. More...


Tweet Manually and Be Sincere

by Ari Herzog of Ari Herzog

I recently received three direct messages from people after I followed them on Twitter:

1. Thanks for following. I try to mostly tweet interesting stuff I find. Hopefully you’ll find it interesting as well.

2. Thanks for following! I do check my messages daily, so be sure to DM me if you ever need anything in blogging & social media!

3. Thanks for following. I look forward to your tweets!

Direct messages are private messages that can only seen by the sender and receiver. You can only DM me if I follow you. More...


What’s the ROI of social media?

by Philip Sheldrake of Influence Crowd LLP

I was delighted to have the opportunity to present my take on the ROI of social media to approximately 80 people yesterday evening at the Digital Publishing Forum. It seems this was a hot topic of interest; as well it should be. I sought to put the topic into perspective with the following challenge. What's the ROI?...

Of the latest rebrand?
Of the office refurb?
Of the internal communications activity?
Of the training and development programme?
Of the upgrade to Windows 7?
Of the new standard issue smartphones?
Of the stakeholder engagement via social media?
If you'd like to see where we went from there, here's the presentation: More...


Marketing ROI and what you should measure

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

These days, the Web gives everyone — B2B companies, consumer brands, consultants, nonprofits, schools, etc. — a tremendous opportunity to reach people and engage them in new and different ways. Now we can earn attention by creating and publishing online for free something interesting and valuable: a YouTube video, a blog, a research report, photos, a Twitter stream, an e-book, a Facebook page.

But how should we measure the success of this new kind of marketing? The answer is that we need new metrics. More...


B2B Social Media Lead Generation Explained

by Brian Solis of

Guest post by Eric Schwartzman and Paul Gillin

B2B social media marketing is particularly well suited for business-to-business lead generation. Business purchasing decisions are made by stakeholder committees with diverse priorities and a voracious appetite for details. Social media is the most efficient channel for committees of engineers, product developers, purchasing managers and marketers to self-educate, and a way for marketers to abbreviate sales cycles.

B2B social media makes it possible for marketers to inform communities with greater fidelity and less friction. More...


3 Reasons to put Business back into Social Business

by Walter Adamson of NewLeaseG2M

Three reasons to get "business" back into Social Business are: to manage its risk, complexity and cost as a major project initiative; to ensure it fits with business strategy and informs it from customer strategies; and, to ensure that it is effectively operationalised.

Getting "business" right is a pre-requisite to getting the use of social media right. The notion of Social Business (in the new for-profit sense) has evolved from discussions over the last couple of years that started with social media and evolved into such things as "social business design". More...


Are specialisms a hindrance for PR professionals?

by Danny Whatmough of Wildfire

As regular readers of this blog will know, I’m very interested at the moment about what the future of agencies will look like. And I’m looking forward to the PRCA debate on this exact subject taking place next week.

So I was intrigued by a blog post from Steve Rubel that was highlighted to me yesterday by Drew Benvie.

Systems Thinking


The gist of Steve’s thinking is that despite the current trend towards specialisation – e.g. people that are ‘experts’ in digital and social media – More...