Stop your PR campaigns and start living in the NOW
I’ve been a long time follower of David Meerman Scott, author of the brilliant The New Rules of Marketing and PR which I still remember reading for the first time a few years ago and the impact it has made on my outlook to the industry in which I work. Six months on the BusinessWeek bestseller list and published in 26 languages from Bulgarian to Vietnamese, New Rules, now in its second edition, is a modern business classic.
There have been a few new books written by the author since but for a real take on what makes @DMscott tick, I would highly recommend dipping into his blog WebInkNow for some truly insightful posts on marketing and social media PR in 2011.
It is on his blog that I caught the following video of David delivering a keynote speech about Real-Time Marketing & PR at the Marketing Sherpa Email Summit in Las Vegas.
In his own words, David describes the video thus:
“I created a crowdsourced video, with inspiration from crowdsourced concert films by Radiohead and theBeastie Boys, to pull everything together to give you a sense of what it was like to be in the audience experiencing the talk in real-time.”
You can view the complete crowdsourced video (50 minutes in length) here: http://vimeo.com/20136837
Magdalena Georgieva (@mgieva) has created a step-by-step guide on how to create your own crowdsourced video over on the HubSpot Blog. Go and take a look, there are some interesting uses of Twitter hashtags included and some tips on editing the final masterpiece together.
I find David’s take quite refreshing and a welcome step away from ‘campaign marketing’ where I guess many of the big brands still find themselves today. The budget-driven planning of marketing campaigns means that many brand managers are still focusing too much energy on long-term calendar activity which is ‘safer’ than real-time seat-of-you-pants reactive PR.
In his speech Scott gives the example of Oakley sunglasses equipping the Chilean Miners who were recently thrown under the global news lens with branded sunglasses on the day that they all emerged safely from their mine. It is estimated that this act alone secured the company around $41m worth of advertising value and is a lesson to brands to get off their behinds and start playing in the real world of ‘Now’ marketing.
I can’t help but read the following statement on Oakley’s blog and admire their unashamed pride in securing the publicity around the Chilean Mine affair:
The rescue team in Chile is relying on Oakley eyewear to protect the miners’ eyes when they are brought back to the surface.
A few weeks ago, Oakley was contacted by Jonathan Franklin, a journalist who works for Addict Village, a boutique media agency in Santiago, Chile. Mr. Franklin was covering the rescue efforts and had recommended Oakley to the Chilean private health insurer, known as ACHS “Association Chilena de Seguridad,” for eyewear protection for the miners once they surfaced.
Based on their requirements and full product specifications, Oakley donated 35 pairs of Oakley Radar® with Black Iridium® lenses in Path™ and Range® lens shapes for the miners who will need the protection of Oakley sunglasses as their eyes return to normal. Minister of Mining Laurence Golborne (who is leading the rescue) has asked to wear one of the extra pairs to show solidarity.
Now the question for me is this: If you can secure up to $41m worth of advertising publicity by being reactive (although the Oakley example is probably exceptional), shouldn’t brands be allocating more budget on a reactive presence office (social media + traditional press office) and hire a team of real-time marketers who can act with agility and precision?
I still value the power of the long-term campaign in terms of brand equity building (Guinness and St Patrick’s Day, Ben & Jerry’s and Free Cone Day, Thorpe Park Fright Night and Halloween, etc.) but many brands need to step away from the safety of their budget/planning cycles and take a punt on the news agenda once in a while. Sometimes it can pay off handsomely.
The above video and speech draw upon David Meerman Scott’s research contained in his latest book Real-time Marketing and PR which I have to admit, I still haven’t got around to reading. I guess I need to focus a bit more on the NOW and get a copy!