2007-08-22T15:29:39.944+00:00I'm not updating this blog for the moment. In the meantime, you can always check out my delicious account for Interactive PR at http://del.icio.us/paulb/interactivepr
2007-01-06T13:36:09.228+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, flash, SEO]. Michelle Field looks at:Email Marketing, Newsletters etc.Michelle FieldE-mail Marketing is immensely used for commercial purposes often to promote a company’s services and products in hope to gain customers and therefore increase sales. In addition e-mail campaigns can deliver specific messages to an audience in hope to get them to carry out a required action (e.g. ‘register now’). E-mail marketing can also be used in the form of greeting cards, newsletters and event alerts. These e-mails are usually created using HTML (and elements of flash) or text formatting. There are several aspects that make a good and bad e-mail marketing campaign. There are also advantages as well as disadvantages in using e-mail as a form of interactive promotion. I will be identifying some of these features and providing examples of where and how they are used on the internet. Below are examples of web companies that provide e-mail services: 1) Yahoohttp://www.yahoo.co.ukyahoo/Yahoo offers multiple services to their customers. For example, users are able to use the search option, shop, listen to music or they can read/compose e-mail all from the same page. This is convenient for users as almost everything they need is in one place, saving the time of having to search around a number of sites. I think that Yahoo mail is set up for all internet users (all ages) as its wide range of features caters for a variety of needs.2) Hotmail http://www.hotmail.com/Every e-mail that is sent through a hotmail account contains the hotmail logo. Therefore, the millions of receivers of these e-mails will come to recognise the extent of hotmail users. In addition, this is a good way of 'spreading the word' about their e-mail facilities.Hotmail also sends their current users e-mails informing them of the new facilities available in attempt to get them to sign up to them. Some cost money such as more e-mail storage space and others keep up with competition and keep users hooked, for example by providing updated versions of MSN. I believe that Hotmail’s target audience is the younger generation averaging from 12-28 years as its features such as MSN appear to cater for this age group.Some companies using e-mail marketing have become concerned that their deliverability rates are decreasing through the use of spam filtering. Image/link blocking is currently used by e-mail providers such as hotmail. If the e-mail sender is not in the receivers address book links will not be live and pictures will not be visible. How do legitimate e-mails overcome this? ‘It's getting your recipients to "whitelist" or "safelist" you. How do you do that? Ask them to add the e-mail address you send from to their address books.’ (Jennings, 2004, Online). However this is easier said than done. Jennings also suggests, “You should also run every e-mail you send through Spam Assassin or another content/format filter before you send and check your score to be sure you're below the 'probably spam' threshold.” (Jennings, 2004, Online).Below are some examples of companies that use e-mail marketing campaigns: 1) Cancer Research UKhttp://www.cancer2020.org/The company has sent automatic e-mails to existing members (e-mail blast) of their organisation, encouraging them to sign a petition, to prepare the NHS for future cancer needs. These people then also have the opportunity to 'Tell a friend' in hope to spread the word as a result this could create a viral effect.I would say that the target audience for this campaign is very wide as it is an issue that could potentially affect everyone. Also many people have fought cancer or have had friends or family that has had the disease.When receiving the e-mail a link takes you through to the website that is set up for the petition. From visiting the website I feel the need to participate in the petition because of its good cause nature. The use of stating the number of people who have already signed signifies the extent of how much people care. The use of calm colours such as b[...]
2007-01-05T10:20:32.476+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, flash, SEO]. Palminder Shubh looks at viral marketing:A viral could be a video, email, quiz that is sent from person to person, therefore like a virus. a website that i find is a good example of this is http://www.weddingcrashersmovie.com/ where you can put your own pictures on the site and create a trailor.As the name suggests viral marketing is something that literally spreads from person to person, or perhaps in our case computer to computer. It is a style of marketing which is aimed to spread awareness of a brand. Virals can come in many shapes and forms for example, e-mail, video, a quiz and others. A good viral should encourage an individual to “tell a friend” therefore spread awareness of a product or advertise it. Its aim is to create potential growth, therefore potential sales and business (if in that particular market). Advantages to Viral Marketing As viral marketing comes in many shapes and forms, this I believe is its biggest advantage. You can adapt the type of viral marketing campaign you create depending on what the campaign is, the content, keep the audience in mind. So depending on the mentioned factors you can create a viral campaign accordingly. Viral marketing spreads easily; this is its job so this is another main advantage to this type of promotional technique. Growth in the market is very much guaranteed with this promotional technique, for instance if you give away an e-book to three friends and each give it away to another three friends and so on you can see the exposure the book has gotten by doing this, plus content in the e-book will also promote other business. Disadvantages to Viral Marketing Though viral marketing is a very positive, creative, effective and efficient way of marketing and promoting products it does have its drawbacks and negative aspects. First of all if we look at viral content itself which may be a video clip of streaming video, it may be too large for the recipient to receive. Not everyone is on the faster connection of broadband internet, so this may be an issue. The media format may also be an issue if for instance you require certain software to view the message. If a viral campaign is done through a email attachment then having firewalls and anti-virus software may prevent you from viewing the message. This particularly be the case in office based environments. Examples of Good Viral Marketing A very good example of a classic viral is www.hotmail.com. This is a free e-mail service, so when we sign up to this and send our friends and family e-mails there will be a little message under every email saying “Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com” therefore, this email facility will increase and become popular. http://www.hasbro.co.uk/Subbuteo/English/kick/index.asp?allowKick=0 The above example is an ad game which I gained access through via the Sun website. This is I find a good example as it is very much interactive for the consumer and is entertaining. You do need to give your email address and a name, which may be off putting for some people but perhaps not for others. This is the only downside to this particular viral campaign. The target market for this website is 18-24. Again you need a very strong web connection. http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,11064-11032,00.html The above snapshot shows the top 25 viral emails that can be viewed on the sun website. The images you get are delightful and are meant to be funny. The images though are protected by copyright and you are not able to save them, unless you contact firstname.lastname@example.org. One of my favourite viral campaigns I viewed had to be the coca-cola M5 project: purely because of the way it was designed, the colours it used. The theme, the style, the computer generated imagery that was used in this was very professional and I believe eye pleasing to any consumer. It is a very youth orientated design, with great use of vibrant colours and exciting music. I would email these to my friends as I am positive [...]
2007-01-04T08:34:10.496+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, flash, SEO]. Second year web design degree student Lee Aplin looks at:Search Engine Marketing and Optimisation Introduction to Search Engine Marketing Put simply, search engine marketing is an important part of website promotion. A large part of search engine marketing is in optimisation and submission. Web design companies often offer these services when they build new websites for clients. However, in order for this to be successful, the end result must be that the website in question ends up higher on search engine results, therefore getting more hits and creating more revenue. There are several methods of optimising websites, and some of these are outlined below. Search Engine Optimisation: Search engine optimisation aims to index and improve website rankings on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, or MSN Search. In order to optimise web pages, different methods can be used. Such methods include using keywords in the HTML coding, Meta and Title tags, and also Alt tags on images are useful. Good design and easy navigation in the website also helps to optimise it for search engines. Advantages of Search Engine Optimisation: Besides the obvious advantages of SEO, such as being able to find what we are looking for easily and quickly, there are many other benefits which are less noticeable. For example, a well optimised website will often also be very accessible and have high usability. For example, by keeping maximum sizes of web pages at about 100kb, are not too large to be overlooked by search engine spiders, but they are also small enough that they will still load at a reasonable rate on slower internet connections. Another overlooked, but somewhat obvious technique, is using appropriate page titles. Many people forget how important page titles are to both a user, and for search engines. The title of the pages is often the first thing that is recognised by search engines; therefore it should be meaningful and contain several key words. It is also the first part of the webpage that loads up in the browser, often before any of the content has loaded. This means it is the first thing that the user sees. A good article which covers the advantages of SEO is Secret Benefits of SEO: Increased Usability, by Trenton Moss. Disadvantages of Search Engine Optimisation: The disadvantages seem to be quite minor in comparison with the advantages; however it could be argued that there are some flaws with SEO. There is always the chance of getting too much business. A company with a highly successful website may find that business is moving faster than they can cope. With something such as pay per click advertising, it would be easy to turn off or remove the advertisements, but it wouldn’t be as simple to remove a whole website in order to slow down sales. The only website I could find with any real information about the disadvantages of SEO, was Cornish Web Services Consultancy, and the disadvantages are considerably less than the advantages. Pay Per Click Advertising: Often, text advertisements are placed near search results. When visitors click on the advert a small amount is charged to the advertiser for the service. The price of this varies depending on the amount of hits the website gets, and the popularity of the search engine. Currently, PPC advertising does not generate any income for the advertised website; the PPC adverts merely increase the traffic to the website. Revenue is generated only when pop-up adverts or banners are clicked on. There are 3 categories under which PPC advertisements fall under. These are Keyword, Product and Service PPC's. Keyword PPC's: Advertisers bid on keywords, which consist of different words of phrases which can be found in the HTML code of websites. When a specific keyword is typed into a search engine, a list of the advertiser’s links appears in order of bidding. According to a study carried out by the Search Engine Ma[...]
2006-12-06T15:45:40.176+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr]. The Media Guardian reports on the rise of the fake news report - essentially a video press release that is broadcast by news organisations without any attribution: "Video News Releases, or VNRs, corporate propaganda designed to look like legitimate news". It shouldn't come as any surprise that, just as lazy and time-starved journalists will reprint press releases verbatim, lazy and time-starved TV news operations are doing the same with VNRs. This seems to me like a very bad idea for PR agencies, and one that will ultimately blow up in their faces much as the fake blogs and YouTube videos have.
2006-12-06T13:56:55.216+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, flash, SEO]. Tarika Vara looks at:Social networking What are social networks?Social networks are websites that enable individuals to interact with one another via the internet. It allows its users to use this platform to gain intersest from web users on a professional or social basis . These websites allow people to not only get to know one another but to also share Photos, music, view TV clips, messages ang blogs. In this way Social networks are used by companies in order to promote their brands or products to the public or for general use and as a way of making friends. As the popularity of these social networking websites rose, it seemed that some have taken advantage of it by using them as a way of promoting themselves as a brand. This is mainly the case for those who are trying to breakthrough into the Music or Televsision industries. Therefore Social networking has now become an Interactive Promotion technique.Examples of these Social Networking websites are MySpace?, Bebo and YouTube?. These are general websites that are open to anyone, whereby an individual can dedicate pages to themselves, promoting who they are and what they are about. Many use these websites to launch a career or generate a "buzz" on the internet before appearing anywhere else in the media.The Advantages of Social networking as an Interactive Promotion techniqueOne of the main advantages of social networing websites such as MySpace? is it is free of charge to use and so many feel that there is less financial strain when trying to breakthrough into the entertainment industry. As it is free to set up an account and URL for themsleves, it is a cheaper way of creating a name or a branding image, rather than having to spend thousands of pounds on promotion in mainstream media and advertsising. It is an easy way of promotion by word of mouth. The internet is a vast and potentially powerful tool when dealing with the masses and creating a stirr, especially when dealing with such well known websites and networks such as YouTube? and MySpace?. Therefore once a webpage has been set up with the aim to attract attention and enable poeple to view or sample a persons talents, the word quickly spreads and fanbases are created.Many people that choose to use social networks as a promotion tool begin as unsigned acts, therefore they have complete control over what they promote and the style or image that is created.This is important as they are not seen as commercial puppets, but rather are themselves who genuinely have a passion for whatever it is they are promoting. In essence their raw talent shines through. This can be said of the award winning band who started off in this way, "The Artic Monkeys."- They made sure that they had cut out the middle man which meant no corporate interference and more control over what they showcased and how they did it.The Disadvantages of Social networking as an interactive promotion techniqueIt can be a risk to use social networks as an interactive promotion technique as word of mouth can also be viewed as a negative reason. Once something is added to a persons webpage or uploaded and negative perceptions are made, it can be very difficult to retract this negative image from the public. This is due to the speed and mass audience the webpage can be viewed. The same could be said for Television too, however, the internet has less if no regulations and a persons image can be tainted very easily. It has been noted that after a massive increase in the use of social networks such as MySpace? and Friendster, public images were being ruined. The new scientist online magazine has stated that; "The use of such social networks have led to the demise of reputations and even miscarriages of justice." (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19025556.200?DCMP=NLC-nletter&nsref=samplemg19025556.200). This can be very damaging as it can hinder a persons future job prospects and [...]
2006-12-05T12:34:02.896+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, flash, SEO]. Marc Taylor looks at:Mobile phone marketing*Mobile phone marketing*Virals >>WHAT IS MOBILE ADVERTISING Mobile Phone advertising has taken the Advertising industry by storm. It is estimated in according to the Shosteck group, ‘the value of the global mobile advertising market could reach $10 billion by 2010’ Nigel Hollis 2006? As Mobile technologies advance, the consumer experience has changed dramatically. As technologies converge, the mobile phone now offers consumers the ability to watch Television, listen to MP3’s and Radio and use the Internet (WAP) turning the phone into a mobile media center. But its not just mobile phones that can be interpreted as Mobile marketing. Nigel Hollis, Author of Mobile Marketing: Making a good connection says ‘Mobile marketing, interpreted most broadly could describe any approach to communicating with consumers while they’re on the move: all manner of electronic devices (MP3 players, PDAs, etc.), as well as more traditional media such as outdoor advertising.’ However I’m going to primarily look at Mobile Phone Advertising. There are already companies like SMSconnect [ http://www.smsconnect.com/.] that specialises in Advertising campaigns to mobile phones. So why use mobile Advertising instead of traditional means? >>Benefits Of Using Mobile Advertising. “ For marketers, mobile marketing and advertising has great promise - it combines the wide reach of television with the precision of direct marketing and the tracking potential of the Internet.” [http://www.cellular-news.com/story/18034.php 29th June 2006.] >>The biggest factor about using Mobile Advertising is that it has a one to one marketing ability, (like direct advertising.) Mobile Phones, PDAs are very personal and are generally kept very close to the individual. This gives companies the ability to contact individuals wherever and whenever- which is an additional benefit over using Internet, television, radio or other means of Advertising, where people spend set periods of time on the computer, TV, Radio etc. >>75% of the UK population carry mobile phones on them and so has a very high targeting possibility. >>There are huge databases of mobile telephone numbers offering Senders the ability to trace, which they sent advertisements too, when they sent them and if they have had Interest/ a reply from the Consumer. (Like Internet advertising) >>You can control and choose the name of the sender; making it very easy to change the company’s identity. >> It is very cost efficient compared to print based, Television and Radio advertising Here are the different forms of Mobile Advertising: - >>SMS ADVERTISING SMS messaging has already got the reputation as being “the cheapest and most widely-used mobile technology” SMS connect [http://www.smsconnect.com/] is a company that specialises in Advertising campaigns to mobile phones; Offering games, Prize competitions, trivia and quizzes. Also offers txt alerts for gossip, news, product updates, receiving the contents of your websites and membership information. At this current moment in time SMS messaging is “the only way 80% of adults in the UK can be contacted through their mobile phone. Volumes are still growing, and it’s short, concise, convenient and relatively cheap.” Dredge, Stuart 12.10.2006 Pp25? --Major Downsides to SMS advertising >>The main problem of SMS advertising is that if you don’t target your audience specifically the SMS messages can irritate users much like Email Spam. “Some people did abuse the rights they has when the acquired lists of mobile numbers…A lot of these campaigns have been a complete non-success…Most have been completely unfocused. It’s about pushing messages to an unknown audience, which created a lot of noise, and a lot of irritated customers.” Dredge, Stuart 12.10.2006 Pp25? >>Another downside to SMS messaging is tha[...]
2006-11-29T09:51:35.743+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, flash, SEO]. Esme Arora looks at: Blogging, Podcasts, vodcasts and RSS Blogs A weblog (blog) is a web application, which range in scope from individual diaries to arms of political campaigns, media programs and corporations. Either an individual or a large group of writers can publish blogs. Many blogs enable visitors to leave their own comments, which can lead to a community of readers centred on the blog. There are thousands of blogs on the Internet, some generating news or influencing events. The format of blogs varies, from simple bullet point lists, to article summaries or complete articles. Individual blog entries are almost always structured in the same way, with the newest post at the top of the page and the readers’ comments appearing below it. The individual or whosoever blog it may be, needs to ensure that they update the blog on a regular basis, if one is to keep readership. Advantages of reading and publishing blogs There are many reasons why individuals feel that having a blog is beneficial: 1. Anyone (author of blog or visitor) can write anything at any time. 2. An individual’s way to speak out and get their voice heard. 3. A chance to hear what other people have to say in response to your own personal views on a topic. Many organisations also see advantages in having a blog: 1. They are an excellent way of sharing knowledge within an organisation 2. Blogs are a low cost and fast publishing tool for any organisation. 3. An excellent way to maintain a stream of news from the organisation. 4. Blogs can be a positive way of getting feedback 5. Allows employees and marketers to post messages updating companies’ developments, and thus, serve as a useful PR tool. 6. The consumer and the organisation itself are potentially better informed, which is good in the long run. As with anything, where there is good, there is bad. Although there are not many disadvantages in having a blog, the following are a few downsides in having one: 1. For an organisation to have a successful blog, they need to ensure that all the parties involved use the blog. 2. Must write down thoughts/ideas in a compelling and clear manner, because the thoughts in your head may come out different when written. 3. Blogs are easy to start, but hard to maintain. 4. They take up time. Where to find blogs Finding a blog on the Internet is simple and straightforward, this can be done either by searching for blogs on google or other search engines, or there are certain websites where one can find blogs. www.blogfinder.com and http://blogdex.media.mit.edu are just a couple of the many blog finders on the Internet. Example of a blog The most recent example of a blog is “the biggest blog in history” http://www.channel4.com/news/special-reports/special-reports-storypage.jsp?id=3621 . This has been in the news during the week, as History Matters have been asking people all over the country to post a diary on the Internet of how they lived on the day of 17th October 2006. The idea is that this mass blog will be a record which future generations can look at and see what their ancestors got up to in mid October. Behaviour change from this : This plan is a really good idea as it is aimed at people of all ages around the country, and encourages them to speak up and be heard. For people to write about themselves and their day can be seen as a behavioural change because talking about such things are personal to the individual and it is not something that they would normally take part in. Factors to be taken into consideration with this particular blog What needs to be taken into consideration when carrying out an exercise such as this is that many people may not give true accounts of what happened during their day, as they would want to make their addition to the blog sound inter[...]
2006-11-28T08:47:29.546+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, flash, SEO]. UCE Birmingham Interactive PR student Dorota Jablonska looks at:Search Engine Marketing (including SEO) A search engine is a program designed to help find information stored on a computer system (e.g. World Wide Web).It also helps to drive the potential customers to your website. What is more, Search Engine Marketing builds online brand awareness and consumer relationships. There are different kinds of search engines: search engine, which searches for information on the public Web, enterprise search engine, which searches on intranet (a private computer network), personal search engine, which searches individual personal computers, mobile search engine. In order to achieve the business objectives the producers can use one of the Search Engine Services that offer optimisation and submission services. Let’s look at some examples of those. HQ Search Engine Service Interactive Return- Online Marketing Agency Get me on Google, a specialist search engine marketing company SearchPath? Internet Marketing What do they offer? Search engine submission, which means getting listed, Search Engine Optimisation, which refers to the act of altering your site so that it may rank well for particular terms, Search engine placement and positioning refer to get your site to the “top ten” ranking for a particular keyword or search terms., Search Engine Marketing and Promotion as the overall process of marketing on search engines such as: submission, optimization, managing paid listings etc. Internet Marketing Consulting Pay Per Click Advertising Online Advertising Email Marketing builds brand awareness, influence sales offline and keep their customers informed with relevant updates, news and offers. Online Marketing Training, courses are facilitated by Interactive Return's online marketing, usability and ecommerce consultants. The main solution of these websites is to connect the business to the Internet searchers. Some of these point need to be described in greater details Search Engine Submission: Getting listed Act of getting listed with several different engines , other words search engine registration. In order to let know the search engine that your web exists . "Search engine submission is akin to you purchasing a lottery ticket. Having a ticket doesn't mean that you will win, but you must have a ticket to have any chance at all." (SearchEngineWatch?.com) Search Engine Optimisation : Improving The Odds Method that improve the number and quality of visitors to your websites from search engine listings. It is also a subset of search engine marketing, which includes sponsored search listings. The term SEO also refers to "search engine optimizers". " Returning to the lottery model, let's assume there was a way to increase the odds of winning by picking your lottery numbers carefully. Search engine optimization is akin to this. It's making sure that the numbers you select are more likely to win than purchasing a set of numbers at random ". (SearchEngineWatch?.com) Search Engine Optimisation Tools Keyword Research Tool Search Engine Position Checker Link Popularity Checker Keyword Analysis Tool Search Engine Spider Simulator Meta Tag Generator Web Page Analyser Top PPC Bids Checker Link Appeal Rewrite Rule Generator Search Engine Optimizer An industry of consultants who carry out optimization projects on behalf of clients Pay Per Click Advertisements They can be found next to search results and are called sponsored links or ads. When the user clicks on the ad the advertiser gets paid for the service. PPC is categorized in Keyword, Product and Service engines. How to register with search engines? If you want to use the Search Engine Marketing service you need to pay for an initial setup and monthly fee. Some[...]
2006-11-27T12:10:02.710+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, flash]. Guillaume Piot looks at:Interactive TV advertisingWhat is interactive TV ?Interactive TV is a recent marketing technique, that has been developed during the evolution of digital TV. The option that is available to the consumer is to press the “red button” of their remote control in order to access an interactive page displayed on the TV screen.The “red button” option usually appears in the top right hand corner of the program or advert that contains an interactive page. Interactive TV is the perfect example of media convergence and remediation as it needs a connection to the internet in order to access the interactive page.The following quote describes some application of this marketing technique:“Typical interactive TV uses are selecting a video film to view from a central bank of films, playing games, voting or providing other immediate feedback through the television connection, banking from home, and shopping from home.”www.sidetrips.com/support/glossary_a_l.aspIn order to understand the way interactive TV works, I thought it would be useful to present the following schema (figure 1) :(sorry, impossible to upload my picture on the wiki)Advantages and disadvantagesThe advantages of Interactive TV marketing are:• It is a new experience for consumer who can interact with the advertiser (or the brand). “Interactive and personalized TV offers significant opportunities to advertisers, advertising agencies, TV Channels but most importantly can turn passive viewers to active participants, enhancing the TV viewing experience.”(Lekakos, http://www.eltrun.aueb.gr/papers/itv.pdf).• It is accessible from the comfort of TV room and uses the fact that people spend a lot of time in front of their TV screen, and just have to press a button to access which is not a difficult task.• It uses the advantages of interactive TV itself to enhance the quality of advertising, which are the following :o high-speed internet accesso digital quality videoo surround-sound audioo email via your TVo films on demand or selected from a list of possible choiceso online shopping and bankingo cheap telephone calls over the Interneto video conferencingo many more TV channels, some USA companies are quoting up to 1000!(information available from: http://www.school-resources.co.uk/advantages_of_interactive_digita.htm)One main disadvantage of interactive TV marketing is the “digital divide” between the one who have digital TV and Internet connection and the one who haven’t. Nowadays, this is not the majority of the TV viewers who have this option and therefore restricts the audiences on interactive TV. Nevertheless, interactive TV subscriber number is rising (see figure 2) and therefore the digital divide should narrows during the new few years and widen the audiences on this marketing technique.Examples• The National Geographic channel is currently using interactive promotion to advertise its brand new programme called: "I didn't know that". The programme broadcasted on digital TV gives the option to "press the red button" in order to get further information.On the National Geographic web site, different techniques are used to get the attention of the visitors on the new programme, and to spread the message. A banner adverts send the user to a flash animation which features a game, a competition, some videos, and a virtal marketing applicattion (eg. apply a fake smile to picture and forward it to your friends). The promotion gives a lucrative view on National Geographic programme, usually seen as boring.http://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/vc/idkt/ • The toothpaste and soap brands (Colgate and Palmolive) recently associated in a red button advertising campaign. The principle is that consumers can send a pict[...]
2006-11-24T10:16:31.103+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, flash, SEO]. Today, Marie Williams looks at:Display advertising (banners, Flash, etc.)It’s the cookies that give information out on what adverts should be placed on each individual page. Online Advertising Every where you look you will always notice some form of advertisement; whether it be sitting on the tube, reading a newspaper, watching the television or walking down the road, you will always see, read and take in an advertisement; but most recently advertising on the Internet has become a new medium in itself. No matter where you click, or what site you look on you will always be bombarded with adverts; whether they are banners, pop ups or standard adverts, you will always notice one when you browse the internet. Online advertising is becoming a vast medium in which a huge amount of revenue can be made; placing your advert in the right place could be the best move you could make; ‘All advertising is tricking the reader into reading your ad with a clever, cute or curious head line.’ (Vitale, Joe:1997) Online advertising can be anything from display banners to pop ups. Interstitial is also another way of advertising by inserting flash anagrams and adverts between pages, with the use of flash and rich media products, online advertising can be used to not only enhance sales and media distribution but also personalize and further more enhance product knowledge across the World Wide Web. ‘ Display advertising is a step above from both "in-column" and "listing" level advertising. Display advertising is available in many different sizes-from a quarter-column ad to two side-by-side pages ("Double Trucks")! Whatever your message is, you can say it all with a display ad.Don't miss an opportunity to attract new customers! In fact, more than 54% of top headings users are new to the business. 88% have made or intend to make a purchase. Display advertising gives you a competitive advantage over other advertisers in your heading.’ ( http://www.bellsouth.com/bapco/products/126.96.36.199.html 29/09/06 ) Pop Up Ads: ‘Pop-up ads or pop-ups are a form of online advertising on the World Wide Web intended to increase web traffic or capture email addresses… A variation on the pop-up window is the pop-under advertisement. This opens a new browser window, behind the active window’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popup (29/09/06) Pop up ads such as those for casinos, credit cards, loan repayments and pornography can be blocked by using specials buttons such as the one on Google: http://toolbar.google.com/. The new Msn Live network now has a large pop up box when you sign in; although this comes automatically with the new version, there are still some additional banners on this pop it self, one links off to msn games and the other to a windows live page, which advertises the Xbox. This once again reinforces the fact that pops ups and online advertising are used to create revenue and links between major websites. http://www.bromleyfc.com/ is another website that’s uses pop up boxes. When logging into the forum, you have wait for a pop up box advertising credit or cars to load and then click on it too close, but like many pop ups if you accidentally click on the box it automatically takes you away from the site you want to look at. Not only can you not block this pop up, but there is no way of looking at the site unless you get rid of it. When trying to find more sites a lot of the pop-ups kept getting blocked. The recent revolution of the pop up blocker has enabled viewers to look at web site with out boxes springing out from no where with content they don’t want to look at. The pop up blocker can be turned on or off. Banner Ads: ‘Banner ads are less expensive than traditional media advertising.’(Pg139) When looking on various interne[...]
2006-11-24T10:19:28.210+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, flash, SEO]. Profile Extra has information about EuroBlog 2007, "the second major study into the impact weblogs and social software are having on public relations and communications practice.
"Last year EuroBlog 2006 discovered a two-speed Europe, with some practitioners
enthusiastically embracing the new media but a significant minority failing to
see any business or organisational advantage. The latest survey sets out
discover whether the enthusiasts were right and social media is changing PR
2006-11-23T12:01:05.036+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, flash, SEO]. Today the report comes from Katie Butler:Giveaways and user servicesWhat is a Giveaway? A Giveaway is something that is offered for free, generally branded, and is usually a good tool to promote a company / business or product. This could be anything from free software to download, free samples, free screensavers & Wallpaper or free music for example. Examples of Giveaways Microsoft giveaway free trial downloads of their latest products and software on their website http://www.microsoft.com/downloads. The idea of this is not only to promote Microsoft’s new products, and encourage consumers (such as existing Microsoft users) to go out and buy the full product package or update their current one, but it also aims to promote to the consumer the company as one that is associated with good quality products – assuming that the consumer likes what he/she see’s. Free Wallpapers ( http://www.freewallpapers.to ) are Google's highest ranked site for free wallpapers. This is great for the company as it reflects how Google have found the site through being the most talked about / and linked to on other websites; Displaying impressively how their promotion technique is already working. This site is a good example of free giveaways, as they have hundreds of wallpapers under several categories such as 'Car Wallpapers' and 'Movie Wallpapers' that people can click on and set as their desktop wallpaper. The quality of these images are good, and the site doesn't ask you to sign up first which is an added bonus. The purpose of this site is not to promote the company, but simply to please people. However in doing this, they may actually promote themselves anyway through word of mouth. Arsenal FC ( http://www.arsenal.com ) like many other Football Clubs, giveaway free desktop wallpapers for two main, beneficial reasons: 1 - To 'generate goodwill' - A way of saying thanks to the fans, their target audience, who already support the Club. And… 2 - To promote the Club (to potential new fans) Arsenal’s wallpapers are of a high quality standard and are of recent pictures of players and matches. They are all offered in different screen sizes, which means that everyone's wallpaper will be of the same standard, regardless of their individual screen resolution – good usability. The Arctic Monkeys ( http://www.myspace.com/arcticmonkeys ) are one of the most recent and yet classic examples of how giving away something for free can work well in your favour. The band, before making it big, offered free downloads of their music on the popular MySpace?.com . Through word of mouth and recommendations, the Arctic Monkeys were soon recognised for their musical talents and were fast signed up by a major Record Label. They are now one of the most popular British bands in the UK at present. Initially, the target audience for The Arctic Monkeys would have been teenagers and young adults, however the excellent networking concept of MySpace?.com allowed the group’s music to reached beyond the target market, promoting them further and so resulting in their success. What is a User Service? A User service holds a similar concept but as its name suggests, provides a free service. Examples of User Services Hotmail ( http://www.hotmail.com ) provide 250mb of space & a domain name for free (NAME@hotmail.com) as part of an e-mail service for the public. As a result of this, Hotmail are skilfully promoting themselves across the World every time their users send e-mails. Yahoo! ( http://www.yahoo.com ) an alternative company and arguably just as popular as Hotmail , who offer a free mail service. With 'Award-winning spam protection, anywhere access from PCs or mobile phones and tons of storage' Yahoo! M[...]
2006-11-22T11:32:42.333+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, flash]. In the third of my Interactive Promotion students' research reports, today Nushin Hussain looks at virals: Virals (videos, emails, quizzes, games): Viral promotion fundamentally is a form of advertising where a message is passed user to user through different forms of interactive methods such as videos, emails, quizzes and games. The purpose of viral marketing is to increase awareness of a brand or message. This technique of promotion creates growth in the message’s visibility and effect as it can spread rapidly. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, to millions. Viral marketing was a term originally coined by venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson to describe the unique referral-marketing program created by Hotmail, one of the first free e-mail services.Hotmail is one of the best examples of viral marketing without a database. Setting up a Hotmail account is free, but every time someone sends an email using the Hotmail service, the email automatically contains an advertisement for Hotmail. Hotmail had rapid development in the 90s, which grew from zero to 12 million users in 18 months There are different types of viral campaigns – Pass-along: A message which encourages the user to send the message to others. The crudest form of this is chain letters where a message at the bottom of the e-mail prompts the reader to forward the message Incentivised viral: A reward is offered for either passing a message along or providing someone else's address. This can dramatically increase referrals. "Edgy Gossip/Buzz marketing" ads or messages that create controversy by challenging the borders of taste or appropriateness. Discussion of the resulting controversy can be considered to generate buzz and word of mouth advertising. User-managed database: Users create and manage their own lists of contacts using a database provided by an online service provider. By inviting other members to participate in their community, users create a viral, self-propagating chain of contacts that naturally grows and encourages others to sign up as well. Viral Advantages There are many plus points to viral marketing hence the popularity of it. The first and most important advantage to viral marketing is that it is cheap as there is no media cost to it. But the concept of the campaign has to have time spent on it for it to work and extend as the campaign will be unsuccessful if the message is not passed on from person to person due it not being impressive. Another point is that viral marketing has the prospective to have a global audience. This is particularly useful if a product/ service exist worldwide as it is possible to promote with low costs rapidly. A further advantage to viral marketing is that it is easy to measure the effectiveness of a viral campaign as you can find out exactly who has responded to your message and capture data about them. Viral marketing is also a great method of promotion for the reason that people can trust a viral marketing message because they received it from someone they know therefore it’s trustable and most of all, the message will be looked in to where as if it was from an unknown person the email, game etc would be most likely ignored. Viral Disadvantages As well as the advantages there are quiet a few disadvantages to viral marketing. The main disadvantage is that there is no guarantee that the message being promoted is being read and being forwarded. Though the idea of a message being spread over the internet around the world may seem perfect, it does have its draw backs[...]
2006-11-14T09:05:25.163+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, flash]. In the latest of my Interactive Promotion students research reports, todayAzim Haque looks at flash websites and animations:Flash websites, animated introductions etc.“Back in 1994, Yahoo had only just launched, most websites were text based and Amazon, Google and eBay had yet to appear”. Mark Ward, ‘Technology Correspondant, BBC News website (2004) Flash is said to be ‘99% bad’ and until recently, I would have thought that this statement was mistaken by one percent. There seems to be a divide amongst designers between those who like using flash, and those don’t. It was at one point quite trendy to have a flash website but as with most new fancy tools of the trade, designers can overuse an idea and it can become tired for many reasons. However when the tools are used effectively, the results can be quite impressive; as we will explore.Here are some examples of websites that have used flash effectively, but who decides what makes it a good website or not? To understand flash, we must explore it through the designer’s vision, and the user’s experience. The context in which the designer has created the website will give us an understanding as to why the website looks the way it does, and how it was meant to be consumed.I looked at these three websites created with flash are designed for young users to compare how flash is used in different ways, and to breakdown the pro’s and cons of using flash. These websites should therefore be easy to use, entertaining, colourful, fun and should satisfy and capture the imagination of a child.www.nick.comNickelodeon Television ChannelThe Nickelodeon website is colourful, the designer uses yellows, oranges, bright greens – if we look to colour theory, these colours stereotypically convey a sense of youth and vibrancy. The designer makes interesting use of bold typography and rollover button action. Aspects such as these create a more exciting and animated experience for the user. It is not so busy as to put the user off, but there is, in my opinion too much writing on the screen to sustain the interest of a young consumer.This is a perfect example of how technology advances and how problems are quickly over come, the designer on nick.com, like many others has adapted the design to tackle a common problem with using flash. Usually the back/forward controls within the internet window do not correspond with flash as flash is a series of animation frames, and not a series of pages (unlike hand drawn cartoons, flash can be used cleverly to ‘tween’ groups of frames to create seamless movement from one point to another). This back/forward page control can still be a great problem, but in this case the designer has placed the individual flash movies onto a flash stage which allows for much easier and linear navigation as it separates the flash movies, and gives back the user of going back and forth with the normal controls. www.citv.co.uk Childrens BBC Channel The Children’s ITV Channel makes very little use of flash, and fails at inspiring its user. The colours are dark, deep reds and navy blue colours are usually associated with formality. The website was created to look quite formal, possibly masculine, but it is not, to my knowledge, in keeping with its target market.The flash advertisements, and tiny preview screen of shows to come are the most interesting thing on this website. Both these things are created effectively in flash and do add something to the page, but are also equally irritating as they bombard the user with flashing images. The advertisement for upcoming CITV shows looks very much like an advert[...]
2006-11-13T11:09:37.980+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, flash, SEO]. I recently asked my Interactive Promotion students to research a particular aspect of interactive promotion. I'll be publishing a different report each day, beginning with games, by Kylie Gammans:Games (via email, phone or website) Games via email phone and websites are a form of entertainment for users and can use a variety of different techniques to promote something. Games have a practical way of promoting something as they are bound to keep users amused, therefore consumers are more likely to take notice of the promotions that are taking place, rather than to get distracted by something else, such as things in the background of a website. A user of a game is constantly interacting so their attention is fixed hopefully making them more aware of the promotions that are taking place. Games can promote a range of different areas within the media including movies, television programmes, celebrities, companies and brands. Games via emailGames via email are not as successful as games via websites and mobile phones. The reason for this is because when people get sent games via their email they may not have the correct software needed for a particular game on their computer so they can not gain access to the game. Games via websitesGames promoting brandsExample 1 : www.nikefootball.comOn the official Nike website, viewers are able to play games that are linked with football and the famous stars who promote the brand Nike. For example the audiences can play a game called ‘kiss the ball’ where the viewer has to click the mouse to make the famous football star Ronalinho keep the ball up (there are different varieties to this game such as speed, touch and accuracy). Including a famous celebrity helps to promote the brand because if consumers see that particular celebrities who they aspire to take part in the website this will help to promote the brand in a positive way. On the website http://www.nma.co.uk/Articles/29559/Analyst+Speak+-+Players+not+put+off+by+in-gaming+advertising.html I found an article called ‘statistics on in game advertising and games on medium forms’ it mentions how ‘ Over two-fifths (44%) of gamers think that having real brands or companies in games adds to the experience.’ (Milsom: 2006: NMA Magazine online) This shows that if a user of a game has had a positive experience and are aware of the brand its promoting they will relate this experience to believe that the brand is constructive. This game is an excellent example of a successful game that helps promote the brand; it is on Nike’s website which looks very professional and the viewer is bound to see information about the brand before playing the game. As well as this, because the target audience of this website will mainly consist of males who are interested in football it is important to have a game which will keep their attention fixed, so they don’t go off track, get bored and cancel out of the game. When searching for games that promoted brands on the internet I came across an article called ‘Nike launches soccer game online’ on the website http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=1006711 This stated that when Nike launched its “secret tournament” advertising campaign to ‘promote its new soccer gear in a four-month-long TV and online campaign’(Saunders: 2002: Online) they launched an online game in conjunction with this called “Scorpion Knock Out.” The advertising of this campaign aimed to try and convince people to visit nikefootball.com where they could ‘take on the role of coach, assembling teams of players, training the players to hone their skills and practice special [...]
2006-11-09T08:41:20.550+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr]. Thanks to the NUJ's Gary Herman for this list of mailing list software:Free Groups/community:Google: http://groups.google.co.uk/intl/en/googlegroups/tour/ Topica: http://lists.topica.com/ MSN: http://groups.msn.com/ Cool List: http://www.coollist.com/ Paid Groups/community:NPOgroups http://npogroups.org/lists/ GreenNet (they do Catherds for NUJ freelances): http://www.gn.apc.org/services/services.html#lists Free announcement lists: Mailer4U.com: http://mailer4u.com ListPower: http://listpower.com FanBlast! (100 subscribers max): http://www.fanmass.com/ Server.com: http://server.com/communityapps/maillistapp/ Your Mailing List: http://www.yourmailinglistprovider.com/ Notify List: http://www.notifylist.com/ Bravenet: http://www.bravenet.com/ Free hosted lists:Free Lists (tech related): http://www.freelists.org/index.html Group Apps (from Server.com): http://grapps.server.com/groupapps.html Free list software:Majordomo: http://www.greatcircle.com/majordomo/Mailman: http://www.gnu.org/software/mailman Ecartis: http://www.ecartis.org/[...]
2006-11-03T09:16:03.336+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr]. Here's a useful article from NetSquared: "By using RSS, you can perform a search once and subscribe to receive all future search results automatically."
2006-10-26T15:42:19.633+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, SEO]. Reading a student's piece on giveaways has prompted me to search for online resources about them. Here's one, about screensavers; You might also check out 10 Reasons Why Screensavers Boost Marketing Results (registration required), while if you want to convert Flash movie to a screensaver you can do so with this or this kit.
2006-10-24T10:12:11.233+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, viral marketing, SEO]. The latest victim of the unforgiving glare of YouTube is Yale student and self-proclaimed "CEO and professional athlete" Aleksey Vayner, who created a 6 minute video for a job application to a bank (read more here). The video has found its way onto YouTube, where its self-delusional and allegedly fallacious claims (the 140mph serve; the skiing qualifiers; and 'lifting' enormous weights albeit with three other men 'helping') have produced much amusement, and email-forwarding.
2006-10-20T11:13:27.470+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, email marketing]. The IAB has released what looks like a very useful document in the Marketer & Agency Guide to Email Deliverability. Their site claims:
"This document reviews the definition of email deliverability, provides a perspective on how it has changed, and discusses the impact it has on marketers. [It] addresses the critical issues of how to measure, monitor and resolve deliverability issues, enabling agencies and marketers to increase the overall effectiveness of their email marketing efforts.
"Deliverability challenges can cause email messages to be placed in a Junk Mail folder, to be discarded before the recipient ever sees them or to include disabled links and/or images. More than 20%* of legitimate marketing messages are incorrectly identified as spam by server and client level spam filtering. The result for marketers is lower open rates, lower click-through rates, lower conversions, and lower revenues."
2006-10-16T14:33:35.536+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, blogging]. Online Media Daily reports on some phony blogging tactics:
"A pro-Wal-Mart blog called "Wal-Marting Across America," ostensibly launched by a pair of average Americans chronicling their cross-country travels in an RV and lodging in Wal-Mart parking lots, has been reduced to a farewell entry. One of its two contributors was revealed to be Jim Thresher, a staff photographer for The Washington Post.
"The blog, launched Sept. 27, was profiled in this week's issue of BusinessWeek, which exposed the site as a promotional tactic engineered by Working Families for Wal-Mart (WFWM), an organization launched by Wal-Mart's public relations firm Edelman. WFWM paid for the RV and all travel expenses, rerouted the trip's original plan, and plastered a logo on the RV's side. Although the blog featured a link to WFWM, it did not identify the organization as a paid sponsor."
2006-10-12T08:20:32.973+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, SEO]. Here's a useful article from the Web Marketing Blog that covers strategies for getting links to your site and building your ranking on search engines. Sample quote:
"You will need to continue building links down the road to insure that the search engines continue to be influenced by how people have linked to you in the past and kept those links in place and also how new people are finding your site helpful and relevant. If the engines see a sudden spurt in link growth and then see that growth stop you are not likely to have a strong ranking indefinitely in any but the lowest competition sectors."
2006-10-03T08:44:39.613+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, SEO]. This is one of the best SEO tools I've seen in months: Search Engine Preparation Tool. Enter your webpage address and the keyword you want to optimise it for (i.e. the search term you want your site to come high up for), and it will tell you where you're going right - and wrong.
2006-09-29T11:30:23.180+00:00[Tags: interactive pr, pr, email marketing]. Here's a website to add to your bookmarks: the Email Experience Council: "a resource that empowers you to positively impact your email marketing efforts. We are believers that the way to succeed with email is to leverage its power as the backbone of all digital communications. We advocate holistic messaging and data driven targeting as ways to make email successful. Our mission is to demonstrate the power and impact that email has in out lives."