Monday, 7 February 2011

Celebrity endorsement in the non profit sector

The effectiveness of using celebrity endorsement to promote a charity has been explored in a recent survey and the results are somewhat surprising. NfpSynergy surveyed more than 1,000 11- to 25-year-olds living in Britain. Only one in five young people said they would support a charity because a celebrity happened to endorse it. The non profit sector is something that I myself am particularly interested in and I love to see the latest campaigns and viral ads. I do think celebrity endorsement can be effective but I also think that some charities simply rely on their message to reach their audience.

The results of the survey also showed how a celebrity's influence can diminish the older you get with much more 11 to 13 year olds insisting that a celebrity might sway them to support a charity whilst many 23-25 year olds could not say the same. Whether this will affect the direction that non profit PR takes is doubtful. However, maybe it will encourage more charities to take a different approach to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive sector. Personally I think if you are going to incorporate celebrities into a campaign then you need to pick the right ambassador who feels strongly enough about the cause to do it justice

Monday, 24 January 2011


Recently I have been there first hand to witness the devastating effect that job cuts can have on employees and the negative atmosphere it can create within an organisation. When budgets are squeezed and staff are being laid off and you're left with the 'lucky' ones who have managed to survive (this time) can you really blame people for wondering who's next? Understandably it creates a terrible atmosphere full of whispers and an each for their own mentality which can be detrimental to business.

I am left wondering whether less money means less chance of success. Obviously this depends on which sector you are in, the scale of the job cuts and the skill and attitude of your workforce but in general terms does throwing money at something guarantee that it will work? Sometimes it may well do but this is certainly not a hard and fast rule. In marketing and communications I believe that money doesn't always equal success and I have seen small scale campaigns which have been far more imaginative and effective than those done by huge multinationals that have a much bigger budget to play with.

The best example that I can think of to demonstrate this is when a small Tourism board promoting a little known island off the Great Barrier Reef started a marketing campaign called The Best Job In The World. It created a huge amount of media attention and was a great tool to promote the Island. There were 34,000 video entries and when they did eventually recruit the campaign didn't stop there as the winner Ben Southall then began blogging about his new adventures. The campaign has done wonders for the Island and demonstrates how something great can be achieved on a relatively low budget. I think that sometimes not having so much money to play with forces you to think outside the box and push the boundaries to make your campaign stand out from the crowd

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Mind the Gap

One of the biggest marketing stories of the last few days was high street clothing retailer Gap introducing the redesign of their blue box logo. The decision was badly received by customers who rushed to twitter and facebook to channel their rage. More than 2,000 comments were posted on the company's Facebook page on the issue and it was a perfect example of how social media is influencing corporate behaviour. I personally find it extremely encouraging that online media is becoming so incredibly influential and shaping the way that organisations communicate with their stakeholders.

The big question now is whether this is genuine and Gap had in fact planned to use the new logo or whether this was merely a publicity stunt to increase brand awareness and attract attention for the company? In either case the consumer was (in this instance) victorious and Gap insist that if they do consider to rebrand in the future then they will handle it much differently. The company itself admitted that it had missed the opportunity to engage with the online community. Personally, I would have recommended that they showcased the logo on their social media pages and possibly conducted a survey into which logo customers preferred. This would have encouraged customers to provide feedback and helped them to feel involved in the decision making process as if their opinions were valued by the organisation. Now it remains to be seen whether Gap's reputation will be negatively affected and whether they will decide to have more two way communication with their customers in future

Monday, 11 October 2010

The best a fan can get?

Gillette is arguably the most famous shaving brand on the market and it appears as though their innovative thinking doesn’t end in their products. They have launched a twitter campaign which aims to answer the age old question of whether the public prefers a beard to the clean shaven look. The campaign features twins Dean and George Georgiades who sport the different facial hair styles and whoever recruits the most followers will be victorious.

I am impressed with how Gillette is interacting with its customers and exercising two way communication to increase brand awareness. Clearly they have been alerted to the value of social media and are utilising it in a new and creative way. I am looking forward to seeing which twin is favoured in this fight of facial hair. I myself am backing the clean shaven look!

Social media- rules of play

I have an ongoing obsession with social media and more specifically the role that it plays in marketing an organisation and communicating with its publics. However, I become infuriated when some organisations continue to make the same mistakes and misuse social media.

Personally I have some golden rules and I would be interested to know whether these are shared with others or if I am just a little finicky? So here are some DOs and DON'Ts which I have come across:

DON'T use social media for the sake of it. Don't set up a fan page or group and just leave it. It requires investment and you will only reap rewards if you put the work in

DON'T get too personal. Remember this is business and if someone leaves a negative comment then be professional and when you respond don't aggrevate the situation

DON'T focus just on what you want to tell people. This is supposed to be two way communication. Create a dialogue, get feedback and try to understand what your customers want

DON'T sink to the level of astroturfing where your colleagues leave positive comments and reviews. It is a slippery slope and can damage credibility

DON'T think one size fits all. Just because it worked for someone else it doesn't mean it will work for you so think about who your customers/clients are, where they are present online and how they want to be communicated with
DO have strict controls on your groups/pages/accounts so that comments are moderated. You don't want a nestle-greenpeace situation on your hands

DO add value to your social networking activity by thinking what users would want from joining (e.g. information about new products, competitions, discounts)

DO use social networking to communicate in a crisis if it is convenient and appropriate for your organisation. It worked well for some airlines during the ash cloud

DO use social networking to create business links and build up your contacts

DO use it for relationship management with clients (depending on your organisation)

DO regularly monitor whether what you are doing is working. Remember not every business has to use social media but it can be helpful for some

I'm sure there are more and I would love to hear what other people consider to be the DOs and DON'Ts of social media


Welcome to my marketing blog where I will explore what I consider to be hot topics and points of interest within the industry. I welcome your opinions and am always willing to hear alternative points of view. Firstly, I will tell you a little about myself. I am a recent public relations graduate. I have completed a marketing internship and work placements whilst at university and am now talking with local charities about contributing to their marketing and promotions. I work full time and am building my experience in the hope that I will one day be in my dream marketing job. In my spare time I love to read, travel, cook, go to the cinema and to the gym. In terms of work my personal strengths are social media, copywriting, corporate writing, events and blogs. I am ambitious, optimistic, passionate and hard working and i love blogging because it encourages interaction and I am genuinely interested in other people's view points.