Can I be your friend?

“Can I be your friend?” This video shows how odd our online activities sometimes are. We would never behave like this on the streets! In fact it is an advertisement for the production “Two Boys” of the english national opera. Have a look!


Is Facebook changing PR practice?

What impacts does Facebook have on PR practice? I think this is a really interesting theme to think about. Facebook has 600 million users in the world so far and it is still growing. It changes our life in so many ways, so there is no question that is has an impact on working environments, too, especially in the media and communication sector.

Facebook presumable is the most important tool for people coming together and sharing ideas. So PR practitioners have to show up on Facebook if they want their message to be noticed. That definitely has changed the way PR works because the audience is no longer passive but an active participant in a conversation. Institutions lost control over the agenda that’s why their only chance is to get involved and to communicate to people in a clear and transparent way. This is definitely a chance because it brings institutions nearer to the people who use their products and services.

It is not only about talking to people on Facebook, it is necessary to offer something that is worth sharing with friends. Just promoting a commercial message won’t be seen as valuable. The Facebook App of the beverage manufacturer Schweppes for example is a tool with which people can recreate their Facebook profile in a stylish way. If people like an application they will share it with friends so that it will spread really fast.

A good example of how to market a brand on Facebook is the Facebook page of the fashion brand New Look. A case study compared the Facebook pages of New Look and River Island (which is a fashion brand, too) to each other and evaluated the way of communicating. While the language of River Island was dry and sales-driven, New Look tried to write in a much more personal way like it wants to be a girl’s best friend. Thus, New Look got the audience engaged. River Island in comparison did not have that much likes and posts on its Facebook page. It’s not quite sure if this had made a difference to offline sales. But it is interesting that New Look recorded a rise in underlying annual profit while River Island’s declined.

Free pizza with Foursquare

Have you ever used Foursquare or do you use it regularly? A recently published study says that Foursquare and other location-sharing services like Facebook Places for example do not appeal to young people. The study published by Dubit, a youth communications agency, says that nearly 50 per cent of the British teenagers have never heard of these services. 58 per cent of teenagers who have heard of them do not see the point. Altogether two thirds of the 11- till 18-year-olds in Britain do not use location-sharing services. Digital analysts say that it will take a little bit more time as people understand what practical benefits will occur to them for “checking-in” to a location.

There can be a practical benefit what the example of the delivery service Domino’s Pizza shows. If you have become the “major” of a Domino’s franchise, that means you are the person who most “checked-in” to this location, you get a free pizza once a week. I don’t know how often you have to go there to receive this benefit – probably you don’t want to have the free pizza anymore then. So Foursquare is not only about telling your friends where you are. The example of Domino’s Pizza shows that it already is a marketing tool for local businesses. And I’m sure it still has a great deal of potential, not only regarding pizza delivery services.

It’s not a surprise that in Germany Foursquare hasn’t even started yet. I read that it will be launched there this year. I haven’t signed up to far. We don’t have Domino’s Pizza in Germany, so what’s the point then?

The perfect birthday party…

The video by john st. posted in this blog entry shows how to set up a campaign by using social media. We watched this video in class a few weeks ago and everyone was quite irritated. I think that was because of the example that was used: An eight-year old girl’s birthday party.

After having watched it a several times I have to say that I think it is quite clever, even if I still don’t know if I should take it seriously. I mean, it shows very well how to set up a social media campaign even though it tells the story with a wink. Probably the idea behind it was just to show it in an easy, funny way. Reading the comments on YouTube I got the idea that people are not quite sure if it is a joke or if it was meant seriously. Probably that was the intention. The goal of creating awareness though should proceed successfully.

How to find a work placement in the UK?

Time is passing quickly and sadly, my semester in Sunderland is nearly over. I really enjoy being here in England and I’d like to stay a little bit longer that is why I started thinking about doing a work placement before I’ll go back to Germany. I think this would be a good complementation to what I’ve been doing this semester. I have to say I really liked the practical focus of the seminars I took part in here. My study program in Germany is much more theoretical and I always felt like I was missing out the practical part. Now that I have nearly finished my semester in Sunderland I’m feeling a lot more confident with my skills in public relations and especially in social media (even if I’m still confused by Twitter sometimes).

I have already done a few placements in Germany, but applying for a job placement in another country seems to be a bit more difficult. I really enjoyed my last placement at the public relations agency Moskito PR in Germany that’s why I would like to go to an agency this time again. So the first challenge will be to find an agency in Britain that’s ok with me making mistakes as I’m not a native speaker. I have absolutely no idea how difficult that’ll be. Maybe it is not too hard, I just don’t know.

The thing is that in Germany I feel comfortable with all the unwritten rules of job applications that I’m now struggling with. Should I call first or just send my CV in? Will people accept an unsolicited application or is it better to only apply to agencies that are asking for it? I just started researching which may be the reason why I do not have a clue so far. But if someone gave me an advice I would be grateful!

Follow Your Interests. Discover Your World.

Still looking for inspiration how to use Twitter, I found this advertisement. I didn’t even know that there existed an advert for Twitter itself! The video communicates the idea behind it very well, I think and shows that there is not just one way of using it, but many. It is definitely worth having a look!

Why use Twitter?

Why use Twitter? I’m still thinking about that, I have to admit. I mean, I already started using it, somehow. But I have to say, I’m still quite confused what to do with it. I of course heard of Twitter before I came to England, even if I never really got the idea of it. Last year one of my lecturers in Germany, a journalist, told us that he thought Twitter is a stupid thing that won’t win through. So I just didn’t deal with it, because no one I knew really did.

When I signed up for Twitter a few months ago I was still quite sceptical. I hardly knew anyone using Twitter… who would listen to me then? So the outcomes of my Twitter efforts still sound very sad including only two own Tweets and about three followers so far. I mean, I really like following interesting people by now. There are a lot of things I noticed because people talked about it on Twitter. But even so I still don’t really know what to tweet about. It’s just that I don’t feel I have that much meaningful to say to everyone out there. So I’m still looking for inspiration for my next Tweets… I started following my fellow students of the social media class and I hope I can take some inspiration from how they use Twitter!