Category Archives: Branding

Is there a problem with the sponsorship of public sector events?

We ran some user testing of the GovCamp website last week. One of the topics that came up was the size and positioning of the sponsors logos.

Actually the comments did more reflect on the difficulties we had last year adding the logos to the site rather than any bigger issues.

However it did spark a discussion about sponsorship in general some of which have been raised in the past.

So here are some thoughts/questions which feedback is welcome. They are definitely not directed against any particular sponsor.

As far as I know at least the first two GovCamps did not have any sponsorship. Jeremy Gould kindly held them in the basement of MoJ – I have no idea who paid for the food at the time – maybe even Jeremy himself?

As the event grew a bigger space was needed which leads onto issues such as needing to pay for a venue; then security, then food; then sponsors..who need visibility so then t-shirts are needed to display logos and money is needed to pay for the t-shirts. You get my drift.

Is there a thing such as a ‘good’ sponsor who the public sector should accept money from and who it should refuse. So it is it a smallish startup ran by someone well known in government digital is that alright? What if the company offering is a big SI who might not have such a great public profile? Does it make a difference where the money comes from?

Are the people planning to attend influenced by which sponsor logos they see on a website? Should the organisers of public sector events draw some kind of moral line and say I cannot work with x kind of sponsor? What if their boss tells them not to?

Should there be a percentage of sponsorship which one organisation should not be able to exceed? Should sponsors serve ‘fixed terms’ so that there is not an over reliance on particular companies?

What kind of information should be provided to sponors about attendees? Their name, job title, interests, contact details? If someone is attending on their own time at the weekend are they even to be linked to their weekday job title?

During the event is there a way that sponsors should behave. Sit in a corner and ignore the event and try to pitch to likley business or attend all the workshops? How much visibility should be given to the sponsors logos – splash them all over the event with many stands or pop-ups; or is something more discrete sensible?

So there are a few questions. What do you think?

Another social media ‘disaster’ – are we adding fuel to the fire?

It is almost becoming typical Sun headline – another ‘social media disaster’.

Recently it was HMV now it is Burger King.

Perhaps we can ask a few questions…

Do we make the so-called disaster any better by reading the related articles and then re-sharing them online?

Do  those involved in the ‘disaster’ feel gratitude for the extra publicity?

If we do help generate more publicity for the ‘disaster’ is it because we feel a sense of relief because it did not happen to us?

I suspect that if a ‘disaster’ happens to us we will appreciate some help and advice rather than more fuel being poured on the flames.

Indeed we could ask what is the definition of a ‘disaster’ and is a social media one any different from any comms difficulty? Discuss….

Maybe next time we see a ‘headline’ including the word disaster we might reflect a  moment before we press that Retweet button or other sharing tools?

Managing your online network

Somehow over the last few months I have started using a few tools that help either manage my personal reputation or keep a track on my network. I suspect that this is because I follow some people on Twitter who have a strong interest in recruitment.

So here are a few interesting/useful tools:
Bullhorn reach does a few things but I only use it to ‘monitor’ what people in my network might be doing. I say monitor in the loose sense as it more to see how the tool works. What it does is track what others are posting or changing on their profiles and sends out messages saying:

24 Potential Movers in your Network

Based on their activity, the following people may be considering a career move – then lists some names.
Job change notifier is added to your LinkedIn account and sends you email alerts when someone changes jobs. It also does this when their job title changes. Its quite handy if you want to congratulate someone on a new job.
I might have mentioned MyWebCareer before as a good way of managing your own online presence. For example yesterday it sent me alert saying that it had found new mentions of me online and did I want to check them as really being me and something I want to highlight. Quite handy.
Topsy can also be useful to set up alerts on your own name and see what others can see of your activity on some common social networks.
Of course this is not even considering what you might want to do with LinkedIn which is another story…

The power of the image and Big-on (NAO graduate recruitment campaign)

Have you heard of Big-on, the campaign name of the NAO graduate recruitment program?

For some time we have been using social media to help spread the word about Big-on.

One of the key parts of the process has been having a presence at a number of the graduate recruitment fairs. On the stand is a ‘Big-on box’ which is used to engage with students.

The box is meant to be a bit of fun so that students can have their photos taken in ‘amusing and entertaining’ poses while crouching in the deliberately small box. Students being students, they usually come up with some funny approaches. Quelle surprise.

The point of the process is for NAO recruitment colleagues to talk with students and in particular have them leave their contact details for follow up. At the same time students give their permission for their photos to be used by the NAO.

Sceptics that we are, we keep being surprised how popular these photos are. They are used mainly on our Flickr site which is extremely popular and has racked up 10,000s of views. We also use them on the related Facebook page.

In addition we have seen some students use the photo we took of them as their personal image on Facebook. Which is nice as the Big-on brand is usually in these images.

More surprising over the last two weeks one student posted a link to their photo on Twitter and circulated it around with a nice comment. Another even contacted us to say that they could not see their image on Flickr yet.

So what does this show? Well students like fun, of course. They like photos and they like sharing them.

Let’s not forget the power/popularity of images and the desire to share – being social.

What is your online brand? Part 2

I wrote an item earlier this year asking ‘What is your online brand?’

I mentioned one free tool Topsy which can be used to set up some alerts so that a subscriber can see how what you might post on some social media channels such as Twitter or Foursquare appears to others. Another option is to set up a Google Alert on your name.

Since then I have come across a couple of new tools that are worth looking at if you want to check how your professional image is represented online.

Why not have a look at Brandyourself

The basic account is free. You enter some basic information about yourself and some of your online accounts. It then gives an overall mark on our profile. I get an A- This tool can be quite useful if there are a number of people with a similar name as you can start to see how you stand out from the crowd, or not.

Another handy tool is Mywebcareer

This is slightly different to Brandyourself as it focuses more closely on the professional information that you have published about yourself online. It then highlights where on one site such as Linkedin you have missed out a piece of key information that you have mentioned on another site.

Again the basic account is free and worth having a look at.

There are probably more tools out there, and more to come, but these are a good starting point.

What is your online brand?

I have been talking to a few people recently who have made me think about personal online brands.

This might sound a bit odd. Why should I be interested in my online brand? I did not know I had an online brand. I thought that was just for ‘brands’ such as Nike or Coke?

In fact if any of us that use the internet we have an online brand. It is made up of all the things we say and do, the name that we use for ourselves and perhaps most importantly what others think of us.

For example have you ever thought about what name you use on different digital channels whether it is Facebook, a discussion forum, Twitter, Instagram, or a blog?

Do you always use the same name? What happens if someone has the same name as you? Do you want to look the same to all your ‘audiences’? Do you even want to be recognised?

How often have you done a search on your own name to see what it throws up – is it what you expected? What do you think of your ‘brand’ now? What would someone think if they were a recruiter or were checking you out prior to a meeting?

Why not also try some free software called Topsy. Type in the name for yourself that you use on social media channels. You should be able to see what others see. Did you really mean to use those swear words when talking about that episode of the Apprentice? Probably not.

So is your brand ‘on message’ with who you think you are, or for what you want others to think you are?

If not, it might be time to do your own personal brand audit. If you need any help just let me know. My usual charge-out rates apply.

(I wrote this originally for work colleagues)

What is the value of our content? Or ‘show me the money’

I have been pondering what would happen to our digital content if I said to colleagues:

‘what would you do differently if you got a pound for every time your report was downloaded; someone visited the landing page, or said they had followed one of your’ recommendations?

As soon as I have said this to a couple of colleagues they have said ‘ooh that’s a nice idea’ though I am not sure if they are referring to the money or the principle itself?

However it does raise an interesting question – what would we do differently?

Start thinking about goals and objectives; create calls to action, monitor results etc?

If that is the case why don’t we do it now? Can we? When do we start?

So my follow up thought was – well what actually is the value of our content and if we could work it out could we put a value on each download or visit to a landing page?

I need to have a think about this but I have a feeling I can do something along the lines of:

A) Cost of producting a report

B) Divided by:

number of downloads

number of page views

mentions on social media e.g. Twitter

C) Gives an ROI of X

So does this mean we could create goals in Google Analytics and then give them a value?

I am thinking aloud here but that’s an interesting thought?