Tag Archive | "mashable"

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Brand ‘Management’ – it is all about control…or is it?

The lexicon used in reference to brands and those who ‘run’ them usually explores words such as ‘guardian’, ‘manager’, ‘owner’ and even ‘police’.

Control over brands has been sought after and fought for through courts and high courts and this is perhaps no surprise given the wealth attached to some of the super brands.

However, social media is changing the rules. It is like the ‘Right to Reply’ show screened by channel 4 from 1982 – 2001 and the newer Whistleblower series, only with more power, more voices and greater reach. Thinking that we can totally control what is said is second in foolishness only to trying to ignore what is said about ‘our’ brands, and non-engagement is not a viable option.

However cynical one might be about the arguably extreme actions of Skittles in giving over their entire site to Twitter last month, it has to be said, that it was a brave move and one that signalled Mars’ move  from denial to embracing the latent power of social media. One could argue that this is a little like taking your much loved and nurtured child out for their first ever bike ride, taking off their stabilisers and sending them headlong down a steep hill, but, the principle remains that the brand police over at Skittles have decided to get active and see what the world is saying about (and therefore to) them.

It’s not just the commercial sector that has its Brand Guardians, the Third Sector does too and the challenges are the same; how do you preserve the lovingly crafted and tended values, tonality and standards of your brand, whilst talking so that the supporters will listen and listening so that they will talk? It is a question of dialogue and social media is just that but, the challenge for brands is that their definition of dialogue has historically been to run focus groups and then ‘own’ the conversation..  so, what now the audience have started to backchat?

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Twitter ye well…

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Twitter ye well…

green tea and keyboard

From my early days on Twitter (back in 2007) seeing the Frozen Pea Friday campaign, where folk changed their Twitter photo icon so it had some peas in it to help raise awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness in support of well regarded blogger Susan Reynolds, I kind of “got” what Twitter could do – don’t get me wrong, I didn’t know what Twitter was, or what I should do with it, but I saw what other people were doing and liked it.

Since then there have been numerous charity campaigns and fundraising events coordinated and launched in 140 characters: including the amazingly successful TweetsGiving set up by the indefatigable Epic Change – (who I understand have just completed TweetLuck) through to what some might call the “Charity meets Social Media tipping point” that was Twestival in february of this year, with over $250,000 US raised for Charity Water. Even the mighty Mashable have extended the #followfriday initiative to promote their top five charities on Twitter.

But this weekend – specifically at 20.30 across 400 cities around the world the power of the tweet will help dim the lights (I know bad metaphor) and hopefully make a significant impact on the folks that currently run the world to try just that bit harder…again.

There are of course many detractors who question what it’s all for and why bother – but like my early encounters with Twitter, as long as some people (and hopefully the right ones) “get it”, then that’s what counts.

By way of several tangents (that’s what I do), this is one of the reasons we’ve started this site – to celebrate the stuff that’s good when social media meets charity and good causes and to help raise the profile of these activities to a broader network – hopefully so more folk “get it”.

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