2010 Digital PR Awards: Digital Communicators

Idil Cakim, Senior VP of Interactive Media, GolinHarris

The word on the street is that Idil Cakim is demystifying a critical but underused communications tool: word-of-mouth marketing. As senior VP of interactive media in GolinHarris’ Dialogue practice, Cakim has helped turned thousands of consumers and other stakeholders into advocates. The secret? “There is a tendency to focus on the tool or technology to generate word of mouth,” says Cakim. “However, it’s just as important to think about the story, the message environment and audience behavior when designing a WOM campaign.” A renowned expert, she was elected to the board of WOMMA twice, and chairs a research committee exploring the intersection of online/offline word of mouth.

Bill Dunn, Manager of Emerging Media, National Shooting Sports Foundation

Responsible for the design and content updates for the NSSF’s digital platforms, Dunn has taken the program to new heights, drawing over 3 million hits on the redesigned NSSF Web site, and developing robust Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages that have grown from hundreds of fans and followers to thousands. In addition, Dunn has also increased the circulation of the NSSF’s e-newsletter, Bullet Points, to 70,000—up 42% in less than a year. How was that accomplished? “We provide a ton of ways to get people on the list, giving event registrants and Web site visitors multiple opportunities to sign up,” says Dunn. He has also created NSSF mobile applications for iPad and iPhone, and is currently developing a mobile site for the BlackBerry. Dunn has built a program that firearms industry leaders take note of, and which routinely exceeds NSSF expectations.

Tim Haran, Manager of Social Media Content, Chief Blogger, USANA Health Services

Blogger extraordinaire Tim Haran drives awareness of USANA and its health care offerings. His blog (whatsupusana.com) surpassed 175,000 visits and 275,000 page views in its first 18 months, signifying it as a must-read for its core audience. Haran cites consistency as a factor in the blog’s success. “Once readers identify with the blog’s authors and can expect regularly updated content, they’ll make a point to visit the site regularly,” he says. Haran works with other corporate departments and independent distributors to generate frequent, original content, and coordinates content for USANA’s corporate blog (usana.com/blog), which topped 28,000 visits and 40,000 page views in the first six months of 2010.