On Nov. 1 Instagram said it was testing a feature that will allow users to buy what they see in their feeds directly from brands. The beta involves 20 brands, including J.Crew, Macy’s and Levi’s. The user clicks on a button and up pops the product’s name and price. Another click provides a more in-depth description of the product. Then there’s the ever-popular “shop now” click, which takes the user to the retailer’s website. Seems simple, right? Actually, the implications could be enormous.
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Remember about five years ago, when everyone in PR became enamored with analytics and how numbers and math would create a Moneyball across the communications landscape? While today no one disputes the fact that analytics has become a standard communications tool, it is clear that a new—and surprising—weakness in our industry has emerged: the written word.
Hurricane Matthew recently taught millions of Americans a lesson they should have long-since learned: that it is dangerous to live or work on the coast. Of course, telling coastal dwellers this is like telling Kansans that it’s dangerous to live in Tornado Ally – or a Los Angelino that it can be unhealthy to live on a fault line.
In case you’ve been studiously avoiding all forms of media surrounding the run-up to this week’s election, the atmosphere has become politically charged in the past few months. Brands are advised to raise their shields. As we noted a few weeks back, Bisquick attempted to inject gluten-laden levity into the second presidential debate, asking the Twitterverse innocuously if it would “vote” for a pancake or a waffle. Social media winced, urging Bisquick to back off on the funny stuff during such an important moment. “Get off my Twitter feed, Bisquick,” roared one disgruntled tweeter, representing the consensus.
Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. (TAMS) struggled with ensuring integration. As I’m certain you know, in a fast-paced environment it’s very easy to get caught up in your projects and fail to consider integration, or much of anything besides your immediate team. Over the past five years TAMS has implemented processes that have helped—dare I say forced—its marketing organization to integrate. Here’s how TAMS did it.
Get PR pros together to discuss Instagram and the topic moves to the Instagram Storiesfeature very quickly. That’s to be expected: What some call a Snapchat clone has gained popularity fast. Just weeks ago, barely two months after its introduction, Stories confirmed a TechCrunch report that it already has 100 million daily active users. And, yes, for those in the glass-half-full camp, that means 200 million daily active users of Instagram haven’t availed themselves of Stories. Still, brand communicators are taking advantage of Stories’ capabilities to show a montage-like sequence of photos on Instagram. In addition communicators are excited about Oct. 21 media reports that Instagram is testing live video.
The public apology is dead. Long live the indignant counterattack. Thanks to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, public figures and corporate chieftains who find themselves on the receiving end of scrutiny by media or other actors may no longer need to recite painfully scripted statements with stoic spouses standing by their sides. They just need to fight back.
Research consistently shows that effective internal communications help increase employee job satisfaction, productivity, morale, commitment and trust. An engaged workforce inspires excellence and results in employees who are motivated and consistently produce good work. As we know, to achieve staff engagement, employees must be kept informed through regular and effective communications that are timely and relevant. So how can organizations use PR to continually connect with employees?
With the Snapchat environment in flux, what should communicators do to measure their Snapchat efforts now? A sensible approach is to begin with the basics, Baird says. Set goals from the outset. Are you trying to sell product through Snapchat? Gain exposure for your brand, raise awareness and create buzz? “Your goals will dictate your measurement methods,” she says. Indeed, the communicators we interviewed favored various measurement tactics, including unique views, open rates, story completion rates, screenshots and Snapchat’s own Snapchat score.
We most often hear about updates to the hardware and software platforms we depend on through a product launch, some early buzz about the next iPhone, updates to the Microsoft Office suite or early leaked photos and video of Snap spectacles. And no matter how many blogs, Twitter handles or newsletters you follow, it seems we are more often than not part of the consumer pool, hearing about these new things as they launch. We’re then left scrambling to adjust our strategies and skill mixes to adapt and adopt so as to not be left behind. What if communicators and IT worked together instead of assuming it was an “us vs. them” scenario?