Tag Archive for digital PR

Guerrilla PR

A form of ‘guerrilla warfare’ against big budgets and larger brands, ‘guerrilla PR’ is an effective tool to combat peer group branding activities.

The concept of guerrilla advertising and guerrilla marketing has been around for a while now. The practice essentially comprises of targeting specific focus groups through a controlled effort by initiating spurts of high intensity campaigns sporadically keeping in mind the industry scenario and peer group activities.

The result in terms of brand association and end-customer engagement has been encouraging. This is music to the marketers in a sluggish economy that a broader impact can be achieved with a minimal budget!

We see examples of this on business pages everyday where a small banner of a capital market listed company is placed in the centre of the article which talks about biggest stock gainers of the day with associated tag line ‘Biggest gainers choose …’

Contextually placing ads to leverage content for a brand is a common practice in the digital space. Google along with many Social Networking Sites (SNS) have monetized their business and made a fortune by offering user profiles and activity details which help in placing contextually relevant advertisements.

Public relations thrives on user connect and third party endorsement which makes the maxim ‘influencing the influencers’ a functional necessity. In PR target audiences and media based on client brief are defined at the strategy and planning stage.

Niche audience targeting is a more specific and precise science than the general ‘spray and pray’ method generally practiced. Can traditional PR practitioners develop messages and campaigns which can be leveraged at key moments in a company’s business cycle keeping in mind the organizations environment and arrive at a viable business proposition viable to the company?

Here, social media can be a handy tool to conduct sporadic campaigns which are targeted specifically and engineered towards maximum consumer engagement. Brand building and sustenance of perception through consumer engagement has become a flatter process for organizations as they can initiate contact with a consumer directly rather than relying on an influencer to carry forward their messages.

A form of ‘guerrilla warfare’ against big budgets and larger brands, ‘guerrilla PR’ is an effective tool to combat peer group branding activities.

The nature of the medium aids in implementing simple, tactical digital media practices to leverage a brand for a short-term and long-term, as well. For instance, during crisis when a negative link to a company appears on the first search page on Google, a new positive release is disseminated online to bury the link in older pages. This is just indicative of the broader possibility and is already practiced by many traditional PR firms.

Guerrilla PR can bring about a sweeping change in traditionally accepted PR practices and redefine the communications business. In times of an economic slowdown where advertising and PR budgets are taking a hit across the board, can the business offer customized solutions which are cost-effective and help the company to achieve its branding goals.

The change is just around the corner. Are we there yet?

As newsprint prices undergo steep rise, is digital the final solution

Business Standard has carried a story today which says that due to rising newsprint prices leading publication houses are deferring their new edition launch plans and increasing their advertising rates.

Newsprint prices have risen by 50% over the past 6 months which mirrors the global scenario of the print sector. Until now, India was an anomaly to the global trend of decreasing newspaper circulation and ad rates. India, a booming media market, with market projection predicting bullish trends for the next two quarters may undergo revision.

Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has asked its members to reduce its newsprint usage by 20%. This downward trend puts a serious question mark over the proposed plans of many mainstream publication houses in India, as the report suggest.

It has been long suggested that the newspaper in its current form will soon be extinct and be replaced by other digital mediums like mobile, internet, digital kiosks and tablets, etc. This may be an early sign.

Technological innovation has changed the media business time and again. As Marshal McLuhan famously proclaimed, ‘medium is the message’.

Social media, the much abused yet little understood term, may be the next big wave to define the way we imbibe and consume information. This virtual congregation of masses to connect and share thoughts, ideas with each other will perforce necessitate that news dissemination also undergoes a change to cater to these new media audiences.

With these changes inevitable, the business of engaging with the media will also change. This is where specialized new media practitioners will enable entities to engage with a tome of dynamic, coagulating yet disintegrated mass.

The writing is on the wall, it is time we start preparing.

Continuing the debate: Todd Defren says…

I was reading Brain Solis’s Essential Guide to Social Media this morning where he emphasizes the need of being immersed in a social community to be accepted and become a part of it. Only this would eventually lead to a sustainable relationship.

To further the observer and user debate, Todd Defren posts that those who are using social media tools to monitor brands, influencers and conversations (in that order because for most that is the priority hierarchy) must be empowered.

I agree with this view, even though deliverables in social media can be measured effectively, is widely considered an ‘all fart no shit’ exercise. So the need is to find that connect with consumers, the end-users, which is must more often than not due to decision levels and dependency which delay the process of engaging.

But you can take it further, into the realm of “Actionable Listening.” The difference here is that the folks doing the listening/responding are empowered to effect change within their organization, on customers’ behalf.

Read on: Actionable listening vs. active listening

Brain Solis, Todd Defren