Thursday, 27 October 2011

Why companies should blog?

Blogs are one of the exciting ways of communicating to your audience. The concept of blog is not new. It is a digital adoption of the old tradition of writing a diary, but the difference lies in the author’s ability to publish his thoughts online.

In business, blogs are great way of communicating informally with the wider audience both externally and internally. Blogs can be used to tell a story or express an opinion about something. Ideally, for business communications, blogs are an effective tool to build a relationship with the consumers or the targeted audience.  It provides a widow for consumers or other stakeholders to communicate directly with someone at the top position  of a company. By engaging with the audience, and by responding to their comments, the company can win over consumer confidence and loyalty.

Blogs fill a strategic vacuum in a brand's communication process with the wider audience. It sits between advertisements and   customer service by creating a relationship with consumes where they don’t feel simply feel bombarded with messages but also get a chance to air their views on the products and services they consume. 

From company’s perspective blogs help to build what can be termed as ‘emotional quotient’with the consumers. Since blogs can be on anything, it can open up a forum and can be widely used to discuss ideas from the consumers themselves about their next product launch or their opinions about a new product. In many ways by engaging with the consumers, it can help to find out what exactly people think about the company or the brand.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

The Audience Factor

Five centuries ago, William Shakespeare declared that the ‘all the world’s a stage.’  Over the centuries the stage has become bigger, wider, sophisticated so much so that it is not about an individual playing his individual role, but it is about corporate, brands and governments enacting their roles in front of a global audience.
In literal terms, an audience is described as a group of people who participate in an event of any kind. The classification of audience can be based on a number of factors like gender, age, race, religion and so on.  The data about audience is broadly used for understanding the consumer patterns of a given population; it also provides valuable insight about the preferences, attitudes and behaviour of a given culture. For example, an audience for a football match is much higher in Europe than in Asia, which indicates that most people in Asia prefer other sports over football.
For media, PR and communication, audience form the very basis of marketing.  Whilst audience can be more specific where it comes to a concert, television show or a theatre; the universality of the internet and social media communication tools has meant that the audience for a particular message or advertisement can be potentially global. Moreover, audiences today are not just receptors of a message; they in fact influence or even participate in the creation of messages. In other words, brands and businesses increasing use communication tools to talk about things that they perceive that their audience want to hear about.


Monday, 10 October 2011

Let's be quiet

Silence, they say sometimes can be golden. In the world of PR, communication is the core of all that we do. It involves disseminating news about our clients through various channels of communications. PR also involves doing crisis management for the clients, especially when the information sent out is misconstrued by the receiving parties. With the advent of social media, communication has become a two way process. Whilst social media is a great tool to maximise the reach of your messages, brands and companies have to shore up contingency plans to bear the knock on effect should there be negative comments about them.  

For consumer brands, using social media is an absolute necessary.  It provides a great platform to directly engage with the consumers, learn about what they think of their product and so on. However not all responses on social media sites can be positive. Sometimes consumers load embarrassing photographs of a minor flaw in service or can sometimes post a disproportionate response to something unpleasant they experienced with the product or a service. Whilst it is a good idea to engage with your customers, it is also necessary to understand the type  messages they you are going to respond to, and more importantly what information should you put up on public forum.

You cannot surely please all the people at all time, and  this applies to business too. Therefore it is good to be quiet and let the minor storm pass without any damage.