Reading Edelman – Can Someone Help Me Find My Socks?

The brain-trust over at Edelman does it again, does it regularly. Here are some thoughts on the emerging landscape and how traditional business models, and needs fit into the mix. While not all together new, the placement of public relations as a function in the context of the online space is part of a compelling debate that D. Armano (among others) provides insight to, here’s more on that….

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Digital Embassies: A Blueprint For Community Engagement

View more presentations from Edelman Digital.
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Engaging your community. So Call this a blueprint if you will for how you and your organization can think about building and managing multiple embassies in a hyper-connected world
Community Engagement
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Community management is not a new discipline and aspects of it can be traced back to traditional message boards and online forums. These dynamics are evolving and mutating into mainstream activities as powered by large and niche social platforms as well as social “layers” added to digital properties. Community engagement is often limited to moderation which is the minimal form of the activity and the least proactive. The most proactive community engagement combines the activities of “ambassadors” with technology. Best Buy’s Twelpforce, for example combines employee ambassadors with a home-grown management system that tracks employee participation and content creation
Advocacy is one of the end goals of community engagement—it’s the only way to scale it as hiring an endless supply of community managers is not the answer. A disciplined team leveraging the right technology can influence opinions and attitudes of stakeholders resulting in their advocating on behalf of the organization. This is one of the core goals of community engagement and why it’s worth implementing.
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5 Steps Toward Community Engagement
1. Assess Community Needs & Interests
2. Develop Rules For Engagement
3. Identify The Right Managers For Your Community
4. Establish Internal & External Process
5. Step 5, Train Equip & Deploy (T.E.D.)
Where Does Community Engagement Live In Your Organization?
The philosophical answer is everywhere. But if your organization decides to invest in community engagement, it has to fall within the structure somewhere.
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As with any organizational initiative, KPI’s (key performance indicators) and forms of measurement must be put in place. This topic can stand on its own for an entirely separate article, but at a macro level it’s worth noting that measurement should be looked at from a dual purpose. Some metrics are based around a behavioral change. For example, a community manager engaging an unhappy community member who was leaving a stream of negative comments and changing that stream to positive is a behavioral change. Crisis avoidance can have economic implications in the form of cost savings (projecting how much it would have cost the company if the crisis escalated to mainstream media). Advocacy can play a role in both these scenarios. Measurement frameworks for community engagement can start here.
In addition, leveraging tactics such as training and deploying community managers outside of original forums is a natural extension of how the Web is evolving and emulating the physical world.Read more at

Engagement: How We Now Do Marketing

Engagement is that really so important?

I read a blog post recently commenting on the differences of publishing and marketing in today’s new media marketing environment. And it’s a great point to make. Today’s social media marketing approach is quite different than that of simply publishing content.

And while we, as new media marketers, do a large number of ‘awareness’ campaigns, we know too that engagement is the solidifying factor; not simply the icing on the cake, but the proverbial glue that brings it all together.stick together

So, pushing pushy products without any real concern for the validity and value of a product – accordingly – has a limited shelf life as an approach to sharing your brand’s story and driving interest. Moreover, understanding a community and being (1) capable and (2) willing to engage on that very honest level is currently how it’s getting done.

If your agency, if your company is online in the networks and isn’t bolstering their campaigns and programs with genuine engagement you need a redirect. Remember people talk to other people and without trying, you may well already have a reputation online.

Keep today’s new rules for engagement in mind. Find your influencers, stay relevant, and stay engaged. As you pursue success with your own ‘engagement’ campaigns, don’t forget new opportunities do arise. Here are a few to consider.

Spring and Summer Potentials for Your Next Community Engagement Campaign

foursquare_logoGo Mobile & Get Social ~ Mobile will sweep you and your customers away this summer. While the gadgets take a beating occasionally we know they likely aren’t going anywhere soon. And now with 4G approaching and iPhone look-a-like/act-a-likes on the market the marriage of mobile and social networks continues to gain shape and evidence in our lives.

Businesses should find ways to share their unique value proposition in places where they can be found.

There are a growing number of case studiesarticles, and blog posts pointing to this potential. So, let’s get to it.

Yelp, the nifty review site, is a resource and opportunity for local and smaller businesses looking to tap the web for work. Consider yelp-logotapping into Yelp’s free business tools. And again, recognize Yelp has a collaborative, simplifying aspect that we hope to see in more of the tools and networks we use. Resources of this type have a promise and staying power that complicated systems just cannot enjoy. Choose wisely and don’t avoid building with the long-view in mind.

The need to clarify and simplify continues to go unfulfilled. Use that.

Wear-down of Networks ~ A lot of people are still looking for that one-in-all tool that can help make things online cleaner, simpler and less frantic. Businesses should be aware of the exhaustion and obscurity potentials when asking cusotmers and clients to join yet another group, page, network, or outing. Some poeple need more, most need less.

For instance, the recent announcement of Google Buzz left a lot of social media enthusiasts saying, “no more, please!” Though it’s usefulness, at least in my mind, is closely tied to it’s namesakes suite and the ability to bring regular users one step closer to Wave, Google Buzz, still represents, just that, another network.

Gist is an organization tool from a company that understands users have a need to up with contacts across multiple networks. I’ve just recently started using this service, but really like it so far. The modules that bring items including email attachments, searches for individual contacts, RSS feeds and more all together really do seem like a potential time-saver and advantage.