During the last 18 months, Hunter PR has gone to great lengths to develop its digital and social media capabilities. With the objective of establishing itself as a digital thought leader, in June 2009 Hunter PR created 12 task forces to gain expertise and share best practices related to different facets of social and digital media. The work by those groups led to the development of social media “101” and “201” presentations outlining how different marketing disciplines can partner to achieve maximum results in social media marketing. These often-updated presentations have been shown to clients and prospective clients in 2009 and into this year. So far, so good. The agency has secured $1.25 million in fee billings for social media projects during the past 18 months—most notably, for 3M, Diageo, Hasbro and Kraft.
With the decision to use digital media as its anchor PR platform, health care company Kaiser Permanente has significantly ramped up its presence online. As recently as 2007, the company did not have external-facing blogs, social media channels or even a corporate news Web site. It now has several external-facing blogs, strong visibility on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and other channels and, yes, a frequently updated corporate news site. Equally as important, Kaiser has created a network of PR professionals, executive leaders and physicians who share their subject matter expertise and health-related news through social media channels—not an easy feat in a heavily regulated industry. The efforts have generated stellar results. When announcing a new study on extreme obesity, a YouTube video featuring a Kaiser Permanente physician was syndicated on outlets such as NPR.com, USNews.com and Time.com; the link to one of Kaiser’s 2009 TV spots was tweeted by New York Times writer David Pogue, doubling the views of the video overnight.
MWW Group’s digital and emerging media practice, Digital Media Leadership: DialogueMedia, created and launched three digital initiatives in 2009: MWW Pulse, a panel of online thought leaders elevating the online conversation and sharing relevant industry insights; D.Advocacy, a social media platform for public affairs and government relations; and M.Insight, a mobile application for PR, marketing and advertising professionals. MWW Group team demonstrated its digital dexterity with a number of clients and campaigns in 2009, but its work with Nikon typifies the agency’s cyber strategy. MWW created the Nikon Festival—an online film festival within social media—which merged HD video and user-generated content within the social media space. The objective was to leverage the theme “A Day in the Life” with noteworthy spokespeople, prize content and unique consumer engagement to generate positive online buzz with the help of Ashton Kutcher, actor Rainn Wilson, photographer Chase Jarvis and Internet evangelist iJustine.
Since 2005, Weber Shandwick has been building the foundation for a robust digital and social media presence. And five years later, the fruits of those efforts are easily seen. It starts internally, with The Hub, an Intranet platform designed for knowledge sharing across the agency. The WS Digital Download keeps staff informed about digital trends and insights; the Shout Quilt is a internal social network in which employees can shout about their own activities; and the Share/Hear blog celebrates the work in a community forum. Externally, Weber Shandwick’s team of 250 strategists, producers, writers, UX designers, developers, bloggers and syndication and analytics experts embedded in 34 offices around the world deliver an array of services to clients. The agency has successfully integrated digital and social media campaigns for PepsiCo, Oscar Mayer, GM and many others. Most importantly, Weber Shandwick understands integrated communications are the key, and a campaign must reach the right audiences offline and online. They call this concept “inline”—it addresses the fact that people use multiple platforms in which to communicate and receive information.