Monthly Archives: September 2010

What Awaits Me

One of the many reasons why communications experts are needed by today’s organizations is that employees, managers and CEOs are busy doing their own job. They are busy doing the technical things. They are busy managing people and they are busy running the company. They are so busy with their individual or group tasks that they need someone like communications experts to connect them to one another and to connect what they are doing to the outside environment. They need people to tell the external environment the kind of products they are developing and the ideas they are coming up with. Organizations need to inform the world. Organizations are busy with their operations and they need to connect with the ones whom they are working  hard for. This is why organizations need communications experts like us.

There are a lot opportunities out there to communicate and connect with the organization’s stakeholders. With New Social Media around, we are provided with tools which if maximized can be really helpful to our brands. Maximizing does not mean using all of these social media. One should always remember the audience, the purpose and the possible effects before deciding on the type of NSM is to use. Maximizing means exploring every possible feature of  the appropriate tools/ social media to reach these stakeholders. It also implies combining these modern tools with the traditional ones whenever necessary. We should not also forget the purpose of this new kind of tool which is to engage people and be engaged as well.  As we apply what we have learned about  new social media and organizations, we should not forget the values and the lessons that were taught by the case studies, by our professor, by this blogging activity and by our class interactions. We should not forget because next year, we might be needing them already. The tools today might be different and these  will surely keep on evolving but the same ethical principles still apply. DON’T LIE, BE TRANSPARENT AND RESPECT OTHERS. Actually, these values are the same values we were taught in kindergarten. These values will guide us not only in our online interactions but in our life’s journey as well.

I believe we’re ready for our first year in the corporate world!

NSM, the Coca- Cola Way

Coca- Cola is an example of a company that realized the importance of social media for their brands. It has great online content on their social networking sites,has a big investment in its social media efforts and has launched its social media policies that concern Coca- Cola ambassadors’ online ethics.

Here are some points from Coca- Cola’s Social Media Head, Adam Brown.

If you want to be successful in your organization’s social media efforts, you should bear these in mind.

 

1. These are opportunities and responsibilities.

Everyday, there are almost 5 thousand conversations online that mention Coca- Cola. These are opportunities for the company to engage their customers. The company has also regarded responding through these social media as their responsibility. Brown says that when people are talking about Coke online, when they are excited about coke, and when they are complimenting the product, the company has the responsibility to respond. When people are misinformed and when they have concerns about the brand, the company has that same responsibility to be present. Here, we could see how Coca- Cola values both positive and negative mentions online.

 

2. Fish where the fish are.

Coca- Cola adheres to the main principle of penetrating the places where the target audience is. Brown says that instead of creating different websites where they could drive people to, Coca-Cola goes to the different social media sites where the people are.

 

3. Keep fans first.

“Our brand is not what we think it is, but what our fans think it is.”

-Adam Brown

For Coca-Cola, the fans are important because they define what kind of brand Coke is. For them, it’s important to keep what they have because these fans prove the kind of brand Coca-Cola has become.

 

 

4. It should also be a business of the subject matter experts.

Brown believes that engaging and participating in the discussions online is not only the Communications Department’s duty. When people are asking about health and business, Coca- Cola’s company dietitians answer. If the concern is about packaging, then the people who designed Coca- Cola bottles should get involved. They are the ones who are best knowledgeable about the subject of concern therefore could give the best answers.

 

 

5. Empower others to participate but protect the brand.

A  Communications Department  is present in every organization because it should be the one in charge of the external communication of the company. If the company will let people from outside the department do the talking, the company’ s reputation and image might be compromised. Communication experts know what to say and what not to say, that’s why most organizations believe they should leave “talking” to these people.

Coca- Cola believes otherwise. The company knows that empowering other members of the organization to participate is an effective way of addressing consumer concerns. It has launched its New Social Media Policy to guide its global staff in their participation online. This policy emphasizes transparency and  common sense, two important things that the brand’s associates and ambassadors should keep in mind.

These are Coca- Cola’s 10 Principles for Online Spokespeople. Most of these also apply to other company bloggers and ambassadors out there.

  1. Be Certified in the Social Media Certification Program.
  2. Follow our Code of Business Conduct and all other Company policies.
  3. Be mindful that you are representing the Company.
  4. Fully disclose your affiliation with the Company.
  5. Keep records.
  6. When in doubt, do not post.
  7. Give credit where credit is due and don’t violate others’ rights.
  8. Be responsible to your work.
  9. Remember that your local posts can have global significance.
  10. Know that the Internet is permanent.

 

 

Facts are from Ragan Communications’ Social Media at the Coca-Cola Company

What I’ll Blog About in the Next Five Years

The sem is almost over and everyone’s almost done with their blogs. 😦

Though not everybody, I’m sure some will miss this activity, right?

We can’t really tell 🙂

Next year will be the turning point and the coming years will be different, challenging and exciting as well that’s why I have planned to document what I want to do during those years.

This is step 1: Sharing the world what I’d love to do 5 years from now.

 

 

1. Ultralight Flying

 

I would love to fly!

 

It’s pretty expensive to enroll in flying lessons but if I have extra money, I’d love to try. e- Philippines offers Introduction Flight for those interested and I would love to earn money for that experience. It’s a bit expensive though.

 

2. Food Trip

 

yumyum!

 

I know how to make some of the common Filipino dishes like adobo, sinigang na baboy and tinolang manok but I think I need to improve on my cooking. Haha. One of my future plans is to travel and visit places, experience their culture and taste different kinds of food. Of course, I’d start exploring the Philippines first and then Asia and maybe  the world. Haha. It seems very idealistic and expensive but I’ll make time planning and working for these. And making money is of course one of the requirements for these dreams to be realized.

 

3. Blogging and bragging about home

Speaking of travel and tourist destinations, I would also like to be a tourist in  my own home island. I actually live in a small island municipality in Romblon but I am guilty of not being able to really explore the beauty of my own home 😦  Before visiting other places, I believe it’s more important to know your own first. This is why I would like to tour our place first and learn more about our culture. By understanding and appreciating my own, I believe I can better understand and value what other places and cultures have to offer. There is not much information in the internet about our place that’s why I think it needs more exposure and promotion. I believe this will be the application of what I have learned in 152! Yes! Haha. I’m already excited!

To give you a preview of what my post (maybe after graduation) will be, here are some pictures.

 

that's our house over there!

 

 

 

a beach in one of our barangays

 

There are also caves in our place and I’ve heard they’re really ancient. Don’t worry, I’ll be showing some pictures after my tour 🙂

 

4. Bungee Jumping

 

adrenaline rush it is

 

This exciting experience is what I want to have before I die. Not really minutes before I die because it might be the case that I’ll die while bungee jumping! The experience would be something interesting to blog about.

These are the things I would love to do in the coming years and I hope to share it with you through status updates, blogs, photos and videos 🙂 I just hope I would have time to do all these things (hello corporate world!). There will definitely be new types of social media five years from now and I believe we would  still see each other in these future social media types. For those who would keep on blogging, happy blogging guys!

For Crisis’ Sake

The Dell HELL Experience

How can blogs help during crisis situations? Here’s a case study that would prove the importance of new social media in today’s organizations.

 

Dell is a multinational information technology corporation based in Round Rock, Texas, United States, that develops, sells and supports computers and related products and services.

 

 

What happened at Dell?

Dell failed to deliver customer service promises. Jeff Jarvis blogged about Dell’s shortcomings. Dell failed to address in public the mistakes they have committed. Then it became hell for Dell.

 

 

What Dell did next?

1. Invested an additional $150m to improve customer service.

2. Launched an official Dell customer service blog and two other social media sites “Dell Studio” and “IdeaStorm”

IdeaStorm hosts online brainstorming sessions on Dell products and invites insights from people about the products and services offered by Dell while Studio Dell is where people can share Dell-related videos. At IdeaStorm, one can view all posted ideas, post his/ her own ideas, promote or demote ideas and see his/her own ideas in action.

 

 

Responses

At first people were critical about the step Dell took.

“The subtitle is ‘direct conversations with Dell’
but this is as much a conversation as yelling at
a brick wall. There is not one link there. It’s filled
with promotions for Dell’s wonderfulness.”

– Jeff Jarvis

 

 

Dell responded

With the initial criticisms, Dell assured people that they are actually listening to what they have to say.

 

 

Social Media  in Action

1. When Dell’s blog was launched, a serious issue emerged. Because of an exploding laptop, Dell was forced to announce product recall and because of the company blog the recall process became easier.  Dell was able to calm people down by announcing what they are already doing regarding the issue. The blog also provided an avenue for Dell to address the concerns brought by that exploding incident.

2. IdeaStorm has also been successful in promoting stakeholder democracy. One incident was when Dell preserved the option of XP despite the original plan of having Vista because of a suggestion in IdeaStorm which was agreed by almost 14, 000 members of the community.

 

 

Was Dell’s social media strategy effective?

A study showed that after months of having blogs and other social media sites as the customers’ platform for expression, perceptions about Dell improved and complaints decreased. Of course this would not happen if Dell only allowed comments to be expressed without them acting on these comments.

 

Lessons Learned:

1. Listen…

very well.

At first, Dell was not able to listen very well that’s why the problem became worse to the point of attracting so many bloggers and people online.

 

2.  Assure people that you are listening.

It’s difficult for a customer to feel that he/ she is being listened to, especially by a huge organization such as Dell. That’s why it is the organization’s duty to  tell customers that “Hey we’re here and we’re listening.”

 

3. Respond immediately.

How an organization responds to crises is very crucial for its reputation because it shows how it values customers and their perceptions. Organizations should not take customer concerns for granted because customers are the ones in control, as what Jeff Jarvis said. An immediate response is necessary and also crucial, that’s why organizations should carefully plan what they will say in response.

 

4. Admit mistakes

Pride and being defensive will only worsen things. If it’s your mistake, admit it.

 

5.  Act on it.

After assuring people that you’re listening and after informing them of what the company will do about their concerns, do what you need to do. You don’t want people telling the world that your company is just trying to put up a good image by managing online reputation without actually translating these attempts into action.

 

6. Take advantage of the NSM.

Analyze what type of social media will best address the problems at hand. There are a lot of SNSs out there but not everything will work well with the kind of crisis the organization has. Strategize.

 

It is equally important to engage people via the available social media even there’s no crisis at hand. Would you wait for a crisis to happen before you welcome New Social Media in your organization? Well, it’s up to you.

 

 

“The fact is a lot of companies thought they had
control of their brand.
“Guys: you never had control… Your customers
had control. If you give up the notion that you had
control, and listen to your customers, monitor
what they are saying – make monitoring blogs
part of what customer services does. Then if you
have a good product and good service and good
people it will work for you, people will talk about
you, recommend you.”
– Jeff Jarvis

I am your NO.1 Fan

There are too many dumb fan pages on Facebook and there’s a fan page about these dumb fan pages!

BRANDED A DUMB FB FAN PAGE!

Fan pages have been a popular tool used by celebrities, organizations and even people who just want to have fun. If there’s something that really benefits from this tool, it’s the private sector. They are those who use fan pages to increase their bottom line by engaging people and identifying them with their brands.

Why make a Fan Page for your brand?

Here are some of the reasons why your brand needs a Facebook Fan Page.

1. Your target market is on Facebook.

Simple. Go where the fish are.

2. Compared with TV ads, it’s a lot cheaper.

3. It’s more effective

It allows information dissemination + feedback generation + individual promotion to the target audience

4. You’ll be a loser if you don’t have one.

If your target is on FB and you still don’t have a fan page, then you’ll lose against your competitor who has already one.

5. Your customers want to be  engaged.

6. Fan Pages can reach millions of potential customers and brand advocates.

7. Your brand needs to be talked about.


What makes a KILLER Facebook Fan Page?


1. Content

VIDEOS

Pringles is among the 5 brands who have killer Facebook Fan Pages. I love Pringles! Pringles has 4 892 671 fans already as of today. One unique thing that could be accounted for this huge number of fans is the videos posted in Pringles’ FB page. This is according to the Killer Facebook Fan Pages by Callan Green. To verify, I checked the videos. Yes, their videos were entertaining and cool! Haha. That made me like their page too. 🙂 Among my favorites are Pringle Bells, Pretty Pringles and Pringles Jump Around.

 

Here are 10 content qualities that can make your video go viral.

1. Make a parody/spoof or something similar.

2. Incorporate music.

3. Make your video very short.

4. If you use music, keep it uptempo.

5. Edit you video into sharp, quick scenes.

6. Be funny to people other than you.

7. Don’t get stuck on quality.

8.  Be bigger than life.

9. Shock your audience in the first five seconds.

10. Remove as much corporate friction as possible.

 

From 10 Qualities That Can Make Your Video Go Viral

By Rebecca Corliss

 

Pringles’ videos are not that funny. It’s not the type that will make you laugh out loud, but it’s light and comical. Simply put, the videos are not boring. There is also a good choice of music allowing a smooth transition from one scene to another. Like what is suggested above, the videos are also short.

Good videos among others, make a fan page successful. If a page has excellent videos, fans are more likely to share these videos to non- fans who if pleased will more likely click the like button 🙂

 

PHOTOS

Coca- Cola has 12, 018, 468 fans! What is notable about this brand’s fan page is the photos uploaded by the fans and the creator of the page as well. These photos show how Coke becomes part of every occasion, experience and even the usual activities of its fans/ consumers. The fact that the page is created by two coke fans also makes the page owned by the community who loves Coca- Cola. It’s different when the fans seem like owning the page. Of course, coke does its part too. Responding and engaging should not be neglected just because millions of fans are already voluntarily participating.

2. Updates

For Starbucks, “their updates share videos, blog posts about all aspects of coffee — and not just on the official company blog — including how to grow coffee beans, articles about Starbucks and Starbucks employees. The tone of each update is informative and casual, and even their product updates are kept varied enough to remain interesting, for example, by offering up reviews of new music or books for sale in their cafes.”

Fan pages should not only be updated when there is a  new product to be launched or when there is crisis to be solved. What made Starbucks join the 5 Killer FB Fan Pages is its ability to give updates that involve not only the product but also the things that they thought would be helpful to the fans. A good update is something that is new and interesting to the audience. In giving updates about new product features, brands should address how the new feature can help the fans in their daily lives. The fans should see the relevance of these updates to their daily lives.

3. Maximizing

A successful fan page is one that is able to promote the brand’s other activities and campaigns. Organizations should maximize their fan pages using it as tool in their other advertising campaigns and activities. Adidas for example reached lots of fans and non-fans by promoting the contest they sponsored on their FB Fan Page. They were ale to use their fan page to create a buzz about a contest they sponsored and since their target audience were active Facebook users, many got interested.

 

adidas Host with the Most Contest adidas Host with the Most Contest

4. Creativity

What accounts for Red Bull’s 8 million fans is the creativity of the applications and games that its page has. The games are targeted to teens and college age individuals, the same group of people they have as consumers. Aside from cool apps, Red Bull also incorporates tweets from their Twitter account into their Facebook Fan Page. Also seen in their FB Fan Page are tweets of famous athletes whom the fans are interested to interact with.

A KILLER FAN PAGE

has excellent content

banks on creativity

facilitates interaction and engagement

updates fans

is maximized

 

 

Facts from the Killer Facebook Fan Pages

They are Kids and They Fight

I’ m facing a lot of problems right now and who isn’t? Well, like any other graduating student, I’m doing my thesis and busy finishing what is there to finish. When I go home, I do a lot of chores. I also have problems budgeting our allowance and sometimes dealing with my younger siblings. I’m busier now and more challenging problems are making my life harder. I can say that I’m facing battles right now and I’m running out of time since it’s almost the end of the semester. Well these are my life’ s battles, and sometimes I lose hope of winning these battles on time.

With a viral video requirement, I was able to realize how blessed I am despite the trials and complexities that life brings me. I was able to know people who are fighting the most difficult battles… at a very young age. Yes, I might be fighting for my diploma, but these kids who have cancer, they are fighting for their lives. And they too, are running out of time. There are times that they come face-to-face with death, yet they bravely fight. Who am I to complain about why things are this hard for me when kids with cancer are already fighting for their most important right, the right to live? They are only seven years old, others are even three. And I’m already 19 turning 20 next year! Oh my, I’m turning 20 next year? 😀

The Survivor turned Warrior

James Auste is the cancer survivor behind Cancer Warriors Foundation Inc. The organization helps children, especially those who could not afford the high costs of medicine and treatments, avail of the proper care needed by cancer patients. James is a man of extraordinary faith and strength. He battled brain cancer and leukemia. Grabe lang talaga! It’s best if you read his story. It’s better if he’s the one telling it.

 

I was wondering why he seems familiar. Then I remembered that when I was a kid, he was the featured person in a Health and Home issue I was reading that time.

 

The Cancer Warriors Foundation, Inc.

James’ mission is not to let anyone suffer and die of cancer. For ten years, Cancer Warriors Foundation, Inc. has been helping kids, especially the underprivileged, beat cancer.  They believe that with an early diagnosis and proper care, cancer can be beaten.

Why help?

Because you are so blessed you don’t suffer from excruciating pain during chemo sessions.

Because you can play, go to school and live a normal life without worrying you might get weak.

 

Because you’re fighting for something but these kids, they are fighting for their right to live.

 

Because you can do so many things for them.

 

Because they need you.

 

 

Because kids should not fight cancer alone.

 

Learnings and Insights:

1. Your heart for those who need help is very important but this feeling must be translated into action because without action, passion is dead.

2. I should develop the skills I need in order to produce a good output, an excellent one. This way, I could help better. This is making myself better for others. There are instances when we could have done better but because of lack of the necessary skills and experiences, we were not able to do our very best.

3.  Your heart for those who need your help will make you learn those skills you lack and encourage you to take the risk of experiencing what you need to experience. Sometimes, that genuine feeling of wanting to help remains the only motivation  why you continue despite of what you see around. Do not let that desire go.

 

This is the video we made for CWF. It tells us that everyone can do something.

 

We are running out of time. Please visit Cancer Warriors Foundation Inc. now.

Loving From a Distance

An upcoming movie starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long is about loving across the miles. Erin and Garret’s supposed-to-be summer fling turned into a serious and meaningful love affair. Will their love survive the distance between New York and San Francisco as Erin leaves New York for graduate school?

Long distance relationships as something most couples would have today, challenge how romantic relationships should be. On one hand, it’s an existing trend that is often doubted in its ability to maintain the love between two people in a relationship.

Because of the internet, things have changed. Even love and relationships have evolved in their forms and meanings. One can marry someone he/she has never seen face-to-face (as in the real face-to-face). They say that people nowadays are more empowered and bold in doing something for the advancement of their careers. Today, most individuals are more likely to grab opportunities abroad and have long distance relationships instead. There are some success stories on LDRs but most would say being in one is hard.  Of course there are trust issues while others would say it’s the touch issues  that complicate things.

96 long distance activities were suggested by Michelle and Frank in their website for this kind of relationship to be a realationship.

Some of these activities I have copy- pasted from their website since I don’t have a LDR experience to share 😀 You’ll find their suggestions very creative so please continue on reading. These might help you someday.

P.S. The “I” below does not refer to me. It’s Michelle.


Not your typical list of long distance activities

–  by Michelle and Frank, Loving from a Distance


1. Watch things simultaneously together!

  • YouTube and Amazon both offer movies you can rent online. Use the links to be taken directly to their online movie rental/video on demand pages. Frank and I have tried both and they work awesome 😀
  • Hulu.com – Frank and I use this site to watch Glee together 😀 (and best of all it’s FREE)


14. Join a virtual world!

Some may cost you money if you want extras, but Second Life, Kaneva, IMVU, and There have free basic membership. You can socialize with other people in these virtual worlds with both voice and text chat. Programs like these are great for those in long distance relationships because they can allow you to go on virtual dates, and can be more interactive than just talking online.


26. Go on a virtual vacation together.

You can visit faraway places with your partner without having to be together and without leaving your own homes! Pick the places you’ve always wanted to take a trip to and explore. Here is a great website to get you started! 360Cities.net: “All our city sites are produced by experienced and dedicated VR photographers around the world who are committed to high professional standards and use the latest VR techniques. Click on any image from our many city site homepages and your browser will open a full, 360-degree panorama visualization of a street scene, museum, neighborhood, restaurant, bar, hotel and more. In the side bar you’ll see a thumbnail list of nearby locations. Start clicking and take a virtual tour through the area.”

Another semi-related idea? You can use Google Maps for your virtual vacation as well, but now with Google Maps’ street view function, you can virtually walk down your boyfriend/girlfriend’s street and explore the area where they live. This function isn’t available for all streets and cities though, but you’ll probably most definitely be able to see a satellite view of their home.

Also try out EarthAlbum.com which combines Flickr photos and Google Maps. Just click on any place in the world to view beautiful photos taken there.

30. Watch them walk by.

I once got Frank to walk by a public live webcam at his college. He trekked across campus just so I could see him walk by. It was awesome 🙂 I am so easily amused! If you go to college, many campuses have live public webcams. Search your school’s website. Want to find other live public webcams? Here’s a site where you can search for public webcams: OnlineCamera.com


53. Make Babies!

Well, not real babies… haha. MakeMeBabies.com is a website that can take two images (one of you and your boyfriend/girlfriend) and generates an image of what your future child might look like. It is the coolest thing ever! 🙂 Take a look at our baby! Frank and I tried it out ourselves. The program doesn’t pay special attention to skin tone, just facial features. I think it does do a good job with the facial features though; I can see the resemblance.

Here’s another cool website you can try out…  Cyberinfants.com

Not ready for a baby? Try adopting a virtual pet: AdoptMe.com


56. Apologize for something stupid you did.

Okay, we all do stupid things once in awhile that hurts our other half from afar. Often they usually require an apology. Sometimes though it can be hard to overcome our pride and say “sorry.” And then sometimes saying sorry doesn’t cut it, and the hurt party throws it back in your face and tells you that you don’t really mean it. We’ve all been there right? Well when you’re at a distance, apologies are even harder, for example, you can’t offer a comforting hug to make the other person feel better. And can you really help it if he/she is giving you the cold shoulder and they’re not responding to phone calls or email?

So anyways, I found this form, and I know it can’t replace a hug, but it might just make them smile again. All you have to do is fill it out and whamo bamo, you have yourself a formal apology! Formal Apology Form. Also try: Record of Remorse.

There are crazier things suggested by Michelle and Frank, so if you want to know more about LDR activities, just visit LFAD’ s website.V


It’s amazing how social media works to bring hearts together. As I was pondering upon what the internet can do to relationships, I realized that the success of LDRs would still depend on love. There are some who can remain in love even if they do not communicate regularly. I believe LDRs can work as long as love is sustained. Cannot we feel the love of the other person when we interact with him/her online? Can’t we feel what the other person feels when we communicate via Skype? Of course we can. Just a few minutes ago, I was talking with a friend in YM and though we only shared words, I felt the burden and the heavy feeling  she was carrying.  A tear dropped, then a second one followed.

Okay. Now I’m going to play a role of a love guru. Imagine!? Kim Fiecas, a love guru? Haha.

Please bear with me because these are really important. 🙂

Kim’s Guide to Successful Long Distance Relationships

1. We are not made for LDRs

It’s nice how social media builds and maintains relationships among people, but we shouldn’t forget that we are made to interact with others face-to-face. We are humans that’s why. And we are humans that’s why we find ways to connect if FtF interactions are not possible. Online communication is not supposed to be enough so it should not be!

2. Honesty is still the best policy

Distance will not prevent your significant other from knowing about your secret hobbies. He/ she does not need to hire an agent just to spy on you if he/she feels you’re hiding something. With the internet and new social media, you might  find yourself being monitored. Or if you’re not careful enough, your FB messages might just give you away.

3. While honesty is the best policy, T-R-U-S-T is also very important

Learn to trust your partner’s love. Just trust.

4. Assurance which he/she can trust.

Regular communication and assurance are very important because in LDRs, these lessen the doubts and the what ifs. Assure the other person of your love and make sure that it’s something he/she can trust.

5. NEW SOCIAL MEDIA helps. A lot.

Maximize the internet. There are different activities you can do together though you’re miles apart. Activities that will not only keep the relationship alive but also make both of you love each other more.

There you go. It’s your turn to suggest. Maybe you have an experience to share. 🙂