A blog by Campbell Consulting Group, based in Bend, Oregon.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Spreading a love of chai!

How fun is my job? Check out how happy this contest winner is! She tweeted about winning the Oregon Chai - Satellite Sisters recipe contest and we love what she had to say. That just made my day.
I won the @OregonChai @SatSisters Week 2 recipe contest. And ... on Twitpic
@raschknits: I won the @OregonChai @SatSisters Week 2 recipe contest. And check out my haul! AWESOME.

SEO in action

Search engines don't always know which web sites will have the information the searcher is looking for. Often they need help to know what a web site is about. That's why it's important to pay attention to the code and text on your site, so you don't end up in search engine oblivion. If your web site is invisible to search engines, it might as well not exist. Here's a good anecdote about the power of search engine optimization, or SEO. You would think that a search for "ThinStick" should turn up ThinStick.com, right? Well up until a few weeks ago, ThinStick.com was still stuck in the middle of page two on Google search. Now, it's the first result thanks to help from the web site's developer. The main problem with the web site was that the home page lacked text for the search engine spiders to read. By adding some more written content, plus writing text descriptions of the images into the code, Google was able to figure out what the web page was about. We also added links to ThinStick.com on a few other web sites to help with placement. The next step is to edit the pages "meta tags" -- the code that controls what appears in the title bar at the top of your browser. This is actually the most important place on your web site to put code. Now if you search for "ThinStick," these are the top results on page one: 1. ThinStick.com 2. athinday.blogspot.com (ThinStick official blog) 3. ThinStick on Facebook 4. ThinStick on Twitter 5. ThinStick in the Metabolic Maintenance (parent company) store 6. ThinStick on the Campbell Consulting blog
-Adrianne (@msfener)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Outsmarting Facebook

I just read this great article about the good, bad and ugly of using Facebook as a public relations and marketing tool. It happens to be intended as advice for non-profits contemplating the medium but its lessons are more widely applicable to companies in general.
Basically, the upsides of Facebook are not that great. Facebook is a walled-off zone where user-generated content becomes the property of Facebook and can't even be accessed or exported outside of it. Most companies don't have a lot of success with Facebook. The branding benefits are dubious and there is no really effective way to use Facebook to drive sales. The corporate Facebook rush at times seems more like a capitulation to peer pressure than a strategy.
However, you have to be on Facebook. Here are the reasons why. 1) Facebook is improving the offerings for corporations and soon you can have *very* sophisticated data about some of your customers. Facebook already offers targeted advertising that is very affordable. And in the future there may be ways to do business, like direct sales through Facebook. 2) Because if you don't take control of your online brand, somebody else will. I refer you to this old post about how Domino's met YouTube. The author of the non-profits/Facebook dilemma article offers some seriously smart advice in the form of seven guidelines for effective Facebooking. He cautions, wisely, against Facebook tunnel vision. Facebook is a means, not an end, and it's only one of several similar means.
  • Never require anyone to use Facebook to interact with you in a particular way. For example, always make the same content available in an open format elsewhere.
  • Never require anyone to use Facebook to interact with their peers in a particular way. That is to say, don't make your part of Facebook into an exclusive club.
  • Always look for ways to pull people out of the lobster trap and into the greater connective commons. Use Facebook as an entry point into other, more broadly connective media, never the other way around.
  • Never develop content only for Facebook. This is a corollary of #1, but warrants emphasis.
  • Always work to make your network's social maps more generally visible. In other words, one of Facebook's strong features is being able to meet friends of friends. In the case of your networks, don't let Facebook be the only place that happens.
  • Never confuse Facebook with the social networks off of which it feeds. For example, don't name your social networking projects after Facebook or other media. Name them after the groups of stakeholders you are trying to empower.
  • Always be especially disciplined in your thinking where peer pressure is at work. Keep in mind how you are influencing people by virtue of the connections you're fostering.
  • -Adrianne (@msfener)

    Friday, July 24, 2009

    Book for August 2009: Groundswell

    I love books. After 13 books read in one month while in New Zealand (April = rainy season), I've made a deal with myself to read at least one book a month. So far I'm doing good, but sometimes it's just hard to stay awake after working hard and playing even harder in Central Oregon. My book for July was The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. I absolutely loved every word and immediately started The Poisonwood Bible. Now because July was such a casual choice, August is going to be aimed at a more professional level. I've worked with Forrester Research and read articles with quotes from Forrester in the past, but today I've found a book written by two of Forrester's top analysts: Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li. Groundswell: How Social Media Compels Your Brand The book is here "to show you how to turn the force of customers connecting to your own advantage." I'll post a review here on the Campbell PR Blog in August, in the interim - visit the link above to get your own copy. September 2009 Update: See what AdvertisingAge has to say about Groundswell @ http://adage.com/bookstore/post?article_id=128179.
    -Jacq (@jacqsmith)

    Monday, July 20, 2009

    Anatomy of a social campaign: Twitter for Sh-tters

    Creative shop Skadaddle Media just launched a social marketing campaign for Wherever the Need (WTN) called Twitter for Sh-tters. The campaign draws on raw language, rather than euphemisms, in a drastic departure from traditional fundraising. WTN aims to use this social media campaign to stimulate discussions on eco-sanitation, global health and poverty issues in social networks in order to raise money and promote awareness for eco-sanitation toilets in the poorest regions of the world. The Twitter campaign asks people to tweet about the cause -- "talk sh-t" -- or ask people to donate to the fund through the WTN Web site. It costs $500 to build one eco-sand toilet and donations are already growing; @tw_tter4sh_tter just announced the campaign raised enough to buy its second eco-toilet. Viral videos uploaded to YouTube and Facebook come next. The crew has already begun to tape hundreds of flushing toilets to create music symphonies and montages, and the video will begin shooting on in mid-August. This carefully planned marketing schedule leads up to World Toilet Day on Nov. 19 when we expect there will be some sort of sanitary showdown. WTN took a marketing challenge -- how to talk inoffensively about third world sanitation -- and fipped it into a viral advantage. We can't wait to see what comes out of this campaign next.
    -Adrianne (@msfener)

    Monday, July 13, 2009

    This weekend: The Deschutes Brewery Sagebrush Classic Golf Tournament & Feast

    We're so excited that the 21st Annual Deschutes Brewery Sagebrush Classic is almost here! The Sagebrush Classic is the Pacific Northwest's premier golf, culinary, libatious and social event and it just keeps getting better every year. On Friday, an amateur golf tournament pits 52 teams against each other in fierce but friendly competition for prizes, bragging rights, and a possible mention in the next day's Oregonian. Then on Saturday, 1,000 guests will gather in the meadow at Broken Top for food from some of the world's top chefs and beer from one of the nation's top microbreweries. This year, four-star Spanish chef José Andrés will prepare a dish teasingly titled "Not your everyday Caprese salad" to pair with Deschutes Brewery's Green Lakes Organic Ale, an amber ale with a mellow malt profile intertwined with subtly surprising hop flavors, brewed with five types of 100% organic malted barley and balanced with Liberty and Salmon-Safe Sterling hops. (IBUs: 45, ABV: 5.2%) Chef Andrés was recently lauded by Frank Bruni, the head critic at the New York Times, who called his food "extraordinary" and "mesmerizing." Chef Andrés will be cooking live and meeting guests this Saturday at the Sagebrush Classic Feast, starting at 5 p.m. in Broken Top Meadow. Find out more at http://sagebrush.org/feast/. There is still time to buy tickets for this fantastic, unique event, so head over to http://www.sagebrush.org/tickets/ and register a team for the golf tournament or buy tickets or a table for the Feast.
    -Campbell Consulting (@ccgpr)

    Wednesday, July 8, 2009

    Beyond promoting, and onto complaining?

    I really enjoy blogging, especially for Campbell Consulting Group. But this week, I had no idea where to start... I was afraid I would post about Twitter, again. The thing is - Twitter is happening, and as more than just "an ego-stroker for those who want to broadcast the minutiae of their lives in 140 characters or less [every hour]." Twitter is for everyone. Complaining for Results In the NYT article linked above, you'll read of different ways people have benefited from their use of Twitter, from a B2C perspective. A better Jet Blue plane seat, a response, an apology or even a direct phone call ending in an agreement. As stated in the article, these outcomes are a result of a customer's tweeted complaint. Twitter as a Resource Beyond Twitter being a part of the 2009 Iran elections, CNN is and has been using Twitter as a source for new content. How serious should we, especially journalists, take all tweeters? Does gaining a large following lower the probability of gaining good, worthy and honest tweets? Maybe the name of American actor Jeff Goldblum rings a bell? In the hyperlink, Goldblum tries to convince Colbert that he is in-fact alive, despite what the tweeter "@Delicioushair" tweeted about. It's worth a watch if you have 5 minutes to spare. Personal benefits from Twitter A small but measurable example, @Kebaba offers a Twitter Tuesday deal to their followers. I saw there was only 1 hour left from their updates, and I was able to call in a lunch order of two schwarmas and get the 20% off Twitter Tuesday discount. Simple! As far as complaining on Twitter to get a result, I attempted it with CHASE, but only got so far... Last week, I was on hold with CHASE for over eight combined hours, still working but getting so sick of the elevator music, even at a low volume. Once an employee answered, I was immediately hung up on, for the second time that day. Immediately, I twittered "I hate CHASE!" An hour later, I had a new follower, @iHateChase.
    -Jacq (@jacqsmith)

    Tuesday, July 7, 2009

    Twitter in the newsroom

    Check out journalist Abraham Hyatt's latest Oregon Understory podcast, "Twitter in the newsroom." He interviews reporters, editors and anchors in the Pacific Northwest about how Twitter has changed journalism, public relations, and their interaction.

    Stop rolling your eyes — this is more than just a Twitter love fest. We talk about why journalists aren’t using it, why it’s changing how the PR industry views reporters, and why it really doesn’t matter if Twitter blows up and disappears in the next few months.

    It's an interesting look at how editors and reporters are reacting to Twitter's uses and challenges, as well as the greater lessons microblogging can teach media professionals.

    -Adrianne (@msfener)

    Sunday, July 5, 2009

    Influencing the influencers

    In yesterday's NYT, an article about PR caught our attention. For several years now, we PR practitioners have been scrambling to take as many online webinars and read as many industry e-letters as we can. Scrambling - some would say panicking! - to remain experts and stay on top of our game. Public relations and media relations have become blogger relations, influencer relations, user relations, follower, friend and fan relations. Sometimes it has felt overwhelming, but as we move forward, we've realized something that this article sums up pretty well: it's not as much about the medium as it is about the message, and the relationships we build to get those messages out. We're still communicators and the web is a great place to cast a wide, wide net! Read the article here.