Samsung offers chance to get photo on Sydney Opera House sails

Samsung Sydney Opera House mock up 1024x406 Samsung offers chance to get photo on Sydney Opera House sails

Samsung and the Sydney Opera House are offering Australians the chance to have their photographs projected onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House.

To enter you simply need to head over to and upload your photo.

Seeing an idea that was developed over a few beers come into reality and be executed at this scale is incredibly exciting. I can’t wait to see what sort of entries come in and the images being projected onto the sails on 23 April at the Samsung GS4 launch.

Think you’ve got a photo worthy of Australia’s best canvas?

Here is what marketing trade title Mumbrella said about the promotion.

Full disclosure – Samsung is a client of my employer Edelman.


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Social media monitoring and engaging influencers

Social Media Monitoring and Engaging Influencers 300x300 Social media monitoring and engaging influencers

Below is a presentation on social media monitoring and engaging influencers that I presented this week at a General Assembly training day on the basics of social media. The audience was made up of a mix of people from agencies and inhouse B2B and B2C companies.

The presentation was purposely pitched to provide simple tips that people could take away immediately and get started with.

The presentation covers:

  • Tools for listening:
    • Google Alerts
    • Twilert
    • Tweetreach
    • Radian 6
  • What to listen for
    • Brand names
    • Competitor brands
    • Industry trends
  • What to do with the data
  • Tools for identifying influencers
    • Klout
    • TweetLevel
    • BlogLevel
    • Lists
  • Dos and don’ts for engaging influencers

I would love to hear from you if you liked the presentation and found it useful. Likewise if you don’t agree with anything I have included, or have anything to add, drop a note in the comment box below.

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Should I block employee access to Facebook?

Restricted Access Featured Image Should I block employee access to Facebook?

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked by small business owners if they should block social media access to their staff.  My answer is always no.  Social media represents an enormous opportunity for small businesses to increase sales, better connect with customers and partners, and market themselves in a cost-efficient manner.  Besides, if you block social media platforms at your work, your staff will simply use their phones to access Facebook.

So if there is no way stopping your staff using social media whilst at work, how do you ensure they are doing so responsibly and not placing you or your business in any potential harm?

Head over to the MYOB blog to see my five top tips.

Image credit -

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Go Try It On – a review and overview

Header 1024x513 Go Try It On – a review and overview

The last week or so has involved me trying on clothes in the morning, heading into my little girl’s room (the only room in the house with a full length mirror) taking a photo and then uploading it to Go Try It On, a relatively new online and mobile community that rates outfits uploaded by community members. OK, so I might be one of the few people on the network over the age of 21 and almost certainly the only one uploading pictures with a cot and children’s toys in the background, but I love it. I think the network has huge potential for fashion and clothing brands. Below are some thoughts from me on Go Try It On.

What is it:

A mobile based social network, where users can upload photos of outfits they are planning to wear and then nominate the type of event they are intending to wear it – a work thing, a casual day, for a wedding etc. Once uploaded anyone on the network, assuming the user hasn’t adjusted their privacy settings to show to only friends, can rate the outfit as either, wear it, or change it. Once your picture is up there the scores rattle in very quickly and typically within half an hour you will have 40 or so votes and a definitive community decision on your outfit.

Beyond the ability to simply upload outfits, you can also select stylists to review your look. These stylists may be your friend, or simply someone you have found in the community whose style you like and whose opinion you value. If you are selected as a stylist by a member you are then notified every time they upload an outfit and invited to rate their look.

In addition to fashion, members also ask the community to rate make-up, accessories, shoes and can also upload two different outfits and ask the community to vote for which is their favourite.

The community can be accessed via a web-browser, though the best experience is undoubtedly via the iPhone app, which supports the use of the inbuilt camera.

What about privacy:

Despite the fact you access the app via either via Facebook Connect or Twitter the app only details the first letter of your surname (I come up as Matthew G from Sydney Australia) and doesn’t allow any way for users to get access to your Facebook or Twitter accounts. You can’t even search for users. If a user isn’t already your Facebook Friend there is no way to find users in the community.

To help protect the privacy further there is a nice blur spot option that allows you to blur out your face on any uploaded photos. You can also use it to blur out anything else you might want to.

Given the community is made up of a lot of young girls I think these measures are sensible and commendable.

Feedback 200x300 Go Try It On – a review and overviewTone of the community:

The creator of Go Try It On, Marissa Evans, and her team have gone out of their way to manage the sentiment of the community so that it is more focussed on positivity and suggested improvements rather than bitchiness and laughing at outfits. When providing feedback on an outfit you have rated as ‘change it’ the most insulting you can be is, ‘it isn’t appropriate for this event’, or ‘this doesn’t do you justice’. The outcome of this is that the feedback on the site is very positive, but you can’t help but think some of the fun is taken out of fashion when you can’t laugh at those who you believe less fashionable.

Opportunities for brands.

There appears to be limited involvement from brands at the moment. Sephora, Grazia.IT and Vente-Privee USA are listed as featured stylists, but beyond that it seems pretty limited. In my opinion this could be the perfect platform for a fashion retailer. You could imagine an account that is managed at an individual shop level where shoppers could upload an outfit they are considering and get the community to rate it.

Currently there is a range of online fashion brands that are integrated into the app including ASOSJC Pennyand These stores can be accessed by community members when reviewing outfits, so that suggestions with links to a location where the product can be purchase can be made.

Suggest Retail 200x300 Go Try It On – a review and overviewHow could Go Try It On be better?

There is not much I don’t like about Go Try It On, this is a very cool application. The app is currently only oniPhone, so it would be great to see it on Android and other platforms, though I guess you could access it via your mobile browser. The team behind Go Try It On have a pretty cool blog, where they provide information on fashion generally, though it is primarily US focussed. It would be nice if this and potentially other fashion blogs were featured in the app under a news section.

What do you think?

What do you think? Do you think this will take off? Do you think fashion and beauty brands should be taking note?

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Social activism: how to respond to an attack on your social media presences

Anonymous Image Social activism: how to respond to an attack on your social media presences

This post provides five tips on how to respond to a social activist attack on your brand or company social media presences.

Protesting has changed

Organisations’ social presences, be they on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter or elsewhere, are quickly becoming primary targets for activist organisations attempting to change company policy or build awareness of questionable business practices. Of course this is not to say the days of the old ‘hey-hey ho-ho’ chants, signed petitions and pickets are over, but there is a definite rise in activist activity on the internet and organisations need to be prepared to address and respond to these instances when they occur.

How best to respond to an attack by an activist organisation

  • Pre-attack create escalation procedures - Ensure comment traffic system and escalation procedures are in place across all social presences so that negative comments are quickly escalated to the PR and corp affairs team where additional escalation can be made quickly.
  • Investigate the source of the activity and engage – My mother always said treat the problem, not the symptoms. Identify the source or sources that are convincing people to come to your social presence and engage with them directly. Your engagement efforts with the activist influencers will be more effective that engaging with every single individual on the page. In my experience this engagement will be welcome and shows a willingness to address their concerns.
  • Don’t stick your head in the sand – Be transparent with your community on the channels they are attacking you on and make commitments to investigate their concerns and provide more information.
  • Be timely – an hour is a long time in the social media world. Get responses and information to your community as quickly as possible. Delayed silence will suggest you are trying to spin the situation.
  • Listen and respond – There is no magic number of negative comments that denotes when a company should change its policy, but any considerable number of negative comments should be taken seriously. Comments on Facebook and other social presences are like a barometer on your customers’ feelings towards your brand and products. Only a fool doesn’t listen to their customers.

Do you have any other tips you would add? Do you agree with what I have listed?

Image credit – Gaelx

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Trust Barometer and its implications for social media

This post was first published on the Edelman Australia Blog.

The Trust Barometer findings presents interesting implications for businesses in the area of social media. Below are four aspects of the report that we thought are worth highlighting that should help justify an increased spend in the area of social for your business or organisation.

Listening to customer needs and feedback

Expectations for business Trust Barometer and its implications for social media


As the above graphic highlights, listening to customer needs and providing feedback is the best way to build trust among the general public in Australia. Social media is one of the most effective ways to do this. If you are not listening and responding to the conversations occurring in the social space around your brand you may be missing one of the most effective ways to grow your brand’s or organisation’s trust.

CEOs are least trusted company spokespeople

Expectations for business Trust Barometer and its implications for social media


Trust in CEOs as a company spokesperson has fallen, whilst ‘a person like me’ has risen. This is an ongoing trend that the Trust Barometer has been highlighting for some years. Community managers and normal employees speaking on behalf of organisations in social media are an effective way of building trust in your brand, especially in times of crisis.

Limiting your spokespeople to handful of very senior people is not the most effective way to build trust.  The days of control communication are over. Open up your communication channels so a wide range of ordinary employees can speak on behalf of your your brand within social media. Of course that is not to say training and governance for people commenting on your brand/organisation in social media is not necessary.

Trust in social media as a credible source of information has doubled

Growth in social media trust 1024x637 Trust Barometer and its implications for social media

Social media as a trusted source of information about a company has consistently risen over recent years. The 13% above are people that listed the fact they trust information they find about a company on social media ‘a great deal’. It does not mean that 87% of people don’t trust information they read about a company within social media.

If you haven’t already the time to take the jump is here. People are on social media researching your company and are trusting what they read. If you aren’t present you are missing an opportunity to influence and grow trust.

Repetition overcomes skepticism 

Repitition overcomes skepticism 1024x640 Trust Barometer and its implications for social media

Australians need to be exposed to the same message multiple times before they will trust the information. If you are simply relying on traditional channels you are missing opportunities to repeat your message.

Social media is one of the most cost effective means of communicating frequently. Take advantage of it.

What are your thoughts?

Does the above make sense, does it align with your experience of implementing social media and growing trust within your organisation?

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Compelling brand created content is not an extended TVC

Branded content Compelling brand created content is not an extended TVC

The following post is an essay I wrote as part of Edelman Consumer Marketing’s 12on12, a compilation of essays from some of Edelman’s consumer marketing leaders around the globe. This is the third in a series of essays from the compilation. To read more essays from the 12on12 series, visit the Edelman Scribd Channel.


Now, more than ever before, there are opportunities for brands and organizations to create meaningful relationships directly with their target audience through compelling content. However, there are historical lessons to consider in determining what comprises compelling content.

Creating branded content is not a new concept. For a long time, brands and organizations have developed content, but it has been firmly in the province of marketing. The content that brands have traditionally created is short form; be that a television commercial (TVC), a print ad, or radio commercial. In order to engage audiences today, and to create the type of content that will be shared by consumers, simply extending the traditional marketing style content into a longer form will not work.

Today we are seeing brands like Red Bull through their creation of sports properties, KFC restaurants in Indonesia that host live music performances, and McDonald’s in the U.S. and Quiksilver France launching their own TV networks, creating the kind of quality content that, traditionally, we have associated with traditional media players. They have done this by focusing on what the audience wants first, and how they can benefit as a brand second.

To understand the opportunity for brands and organizations with regard to content, it is worth spending some time looking at what content consumers have traditionally engaged with, and looks at the evolution of content up to today.

Where We’ve Been

Traditionally, content was created by a few people. The delivery systems and the means of production were expensive. Only a few very wealthy individuals had access to the type of investment required to run huge print machines, or to buy the licenses and the studios required to deliver content via broadcast. This scenario meant that those who did create content had enormous power. The scarcity of content producers meant the content that was produced was highly valuable to the audience. There wasn’t much of it, so what was created was seen by many. This was the era of mass audiences, grouped together due to the scarcity of quality content.

What Changed in the Late ‘90s

Like the arrival of the printing press in the 1400s that dramatically changed access to printed content, the self-publishing phenomenon that arrived in the late ‘90s revolutionized content once more. No longer was content creation limited to the few with great means or great connections; now anyone could publish materials and gain an audience very cheaply and simply. The outcome of this was a mass fragmentation of the audience. No longer were audiences forced to watch a small amount of mass content, but could indulge in their favorite niches that were no longer controlled by geographical borders or high barriers to entry. There was, however, a yawning gap between the quality of content that was made for niche audiences, and those created for the masses. The mass audience content was still superior in quality and still attracted larger audiences.

Fast Forward to Today

Most of the formerly niche platforms have gone mainstream, and there are now very few discernible differences between the likes of the new-media Huffington Post and traditional media outlets in the U.S.; political opinion blogs like Crikey in Australia and traditional political publications and Rue89 in France share readers and media space. Further, the arrival of Facebook pages, branded YouTube channels, Google+ pages, and Twitter has meant that brands are doing more than merely creating content directly for their audience – they are talking with their audience like peers.

Traditionally brand content (or ads) was seen jammed between the bits of content we are really interested in. We watched them only through sufferance. They were a nuisance that paid for the stuff we were really interested in.

However, in order to gain traction in a world with more content and a fragmented audience, brands need to evolve their content. The content needs to be less about marketing messages and be truly entertaining, informative, or educational. In short, it needs to resemble much more the content that brands used to buy ad space around, and a lot less like the ads they have traditionally created.

Tips for Brands Wanting to Make Content Today:

At Edelman, we believe there are five simple tips that brands should keep in mind when planning and creating content. We call these the “Five Cs of Content.”

The 5Cs of Content

Creativity: Compelling storytelling is still the core component of all successful content. If we don’t care about the characters, aren’t interested in the story being told, or aren’t compelled to watch until the end, then it is unlikely the content will be successful.

Context: To create great content, you need to understand what your audience wants, needs, and desires. But you also need to take into account the platforms you audience uses to consume the content, be it print, video or audio; also, when they want it, and how often they are prepared to engage.

Connectivity: There is great value in creating content that connects members of your target audience together. By doing this, you create a mutually beneficial scenario that creates a virtuous circle of connectivity around your brand.

Continuity: There is a reason that soap operas like Neighbors, Derrick, Columbo, and The Bold and The Beautiful are successful. They have long-established audiences who know there will be a new episode on a regular basis. The same goes for content that brands create. There is great value provided by sustaining efforts over time, ensuring that an audience built around your content. Though remember, no audience will be built overnight.

Collaboration: Gone are the days of one-way communication with an audience. Today your audience is unlikely to want to sit idly by and consume the content you have created for them. They will want to be involved, have an impact on the direction of content, and be recognized for their contributions. What’s more, if they are involved, they are more likely to share their efforts – we all have egos, after all.

Image credit - Roadsidepictures

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Carlsberg Bikie Stunt

Check out the clever video below produced by Carlsberg featuring a cinema full of rough and scary looking bikies.

This type of stunt is not necessarily new, Heineken did something fairly similar not that long ago, which you can see at the bottom of this post.

Though just because it isn’t new doesn’t mean it isn’t successful or effective. For the fraction of the cost it would have taken to create an advertisement, not to mention the spend required to buy media, this clever stunt has generated in excess of 2.7 million views. It only went up a week ago, so this number will likely grow albeit at a slower pace! This number also doesn’t include the additional buzz traditional media and the blogosphere would have created. Check out a small snapshot of the additional buzz on Google.

Regardless of the fact that in retrospect coming up with an idea like this seems simple, I can guarantee it isn’t. Good work Carlsberg – a good fun and effective stunt.

Henieken’s similar stunt, which must be noted has only 900K views:

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State of the internet infographic and advice for PRs wanting to communicate complex data

STATE OF INTERNET e1317042469681 State of the internet infographic and advice for PRs wanting to communicate complex data

Keeping up with the scale of the internet and its associated stats and facts is a daunting task. In an attempt to simplify some of the data have prepared a pretty stunning infographic.

I love infographics generally, but this one is extra special special because it is interactive. Once loaded it will calculate how many new internet users there are in the world, the number of new websites being created and even how many dollars have been spent on e-commerce since the page was loaded last.

I have been banging on to colleagues and anyone else that will listen for some time now about the opportunity infographics represent for PRs. They are the ideal way to communicate complex information in a compelling and highly consumable way that is perfect for web consumption. In my opinion every survey or research media release should be accompanied by an infographic to bring the stats to life. There are additional thoughts and examples of infographics on the Edelman Digital blog.

Check out the interactive State of the Internet Infographic here, or simply marvel at its non interactive beauty below.

Hat tip to Digital Buzz Blog where I saw this first.

State Of The Internet 2011 State of the internet infographic and advice for PRs wanting to communicate complex data

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One Million Heineken Hugs

Heineken’s Facebook Page has hit the 1 million member mark. In celebration of this milestone, the company sent out a team of Heineken Huggers onto the streets of Amsterdam. According to the YouTube video they hope to get to everybody eventually. I have just hit ‘Like’ on the page. icon smile One Million Heineken Hugs

This is a great example of online driving, real world experiences, which in turn feed back into online buzz.

Nicely done Heineken.

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