What role do you play at Porter Novelli?
I am an EVP in the Washington, D.C. office, where I head up the very talented digital team, having transferred from Porter Novelli’s London office in August 2012. I’m also part of the PNConnect global leadership.
What developments on the Web are you most excited about right now?
I’m fascinated by the way the social web is infinitely nuanced and there is no “one size fits all.” What you do and where you spend your time is precisely tailored by who you are. While Facebook was the broad entry point to the social web for many people, we are now seeing more niched social networks with unique selling propositions that exert a gravitational pull on different demographics. Look at how Pinterest has taken off among millennial women, for instance, or Tumblr among teens. Diving in to the ever-changing “Who does what and where?” helps me think about how to map audience behavior and preferences to client needs.
What one thing would you change about the digital landscape today?
I’d love to stamp out cyber-bullying. Twitter’s move to add an in-tweet “report” button is a welcome step in dealing with the bullies and trolls.
What are the toughest challenges you and your clients are facing?
There is so much clutter now in digital marketing, and clients want to know how they can stand out. At PNConnect, we address this by helping our clients act like publishers, by producing compelling content that is distributed both through their own site, and then via the social networks their audience inhabit. This brand publishing approach means all that rich information remains accessible to search engines for months and years to come and avoids the inevitable content decay that social network updates experience within hours or even minutes.
What’s one thing you’re seeing differently now compared to a year ago?
The sky – it’s blue a lot more often in D.C. than in London. Also the rise of video sharing. Vine was just emerging when Twitter bought it in October, then it grew to 13 million registered users in June, and by August, that was up to 40 million. Instagram introduced video in June for its 130 million users, and its owner, Facebook, has been integrating the two services ever more closely. Video is playing a bigger role in many other networks, too, and with the push factor of people loving to share videos and the pull factor of the big players making it easier to do so, this is one trend that will continue into 2014.
The team looked to the consumers themselves. The “HP Inkology at Home Challenge” asked 100 average consumers to compare the quality and user experience of using HP ink versus refilled ink over the course of five weeks. Through weekly printing tests, the participants saw the quality, durability, and reliability of HP inks firsthand. The team encouraged participants to shout their findings on their blogs, Twitter profiles, and Facebook pages, and then republished and repackaged that content across HP sites and social media channels. The team also pitched the challenge and its results to target tech media read by the “refill” customer, securing positive coverage that questioned the perceived value of refilled ink.
The campaign produced an overwhelming flood of positive sentiment towards HP and negative sentiment toward refill ink. Through comparative printing, the Home Challenge successfully fostered discussions on considerations other than cartridge price and illustrated the overall superiority of Original HP ink. Prior to the campaign, 72 percent of participants purchased Original HP ink. After the campaign, 96 percent of participants said they will be likely to purchase Original HP ink again.
Each month we select a client’s “Burning Question” and solicit answers from other clients and our senior staff. Something on your mind? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about it.
Before an event, consider what content the activities might yield and note what you’ll need to bring it together. During the event, keep an eye out for other possible angles. Take plenty of high-resolution, quality photos, so you’ll have the imagery you need. Record important presentations (ideally on video), so you’ll be able to include exact quotes in your article. When it’s time to craft your next report, you’ll be well on your way.
For more information about our team and approach, or to learn how we can help your organization with digital strategy, development and measurement, please visit the PNConnect site.
Jeremy Harrington in Des Moines contributed our feature story on the fundamentals of responsive design. From Seattle, Will Tucker brought us the case study on HP’s Home Challenge, and Tom Harris in Raleigh shared insights on publishing a monthly report. Chad Hyett in New York and Chris Thilk in Chicago contributed stories and insights for the Social Networking Stats, Advertising Trends, and Noteworthy News sections, and Amanda Wu provided the latest stats. Helen Nowicka took the Spotlight hot seat, and Christopher Barger, Doug Haslam, and Will Tucker answered this month’s Burning Question.
Thanks to Jennifer Laker, John Ciacia, Peter Schiebel, Jeremy Harrington, and Sean O’Shaughnessy from the Platforms team for providing design and development support, and to Beca Mueller, Lauren Sandelin, Josh Hallett, Dave Coustan, and Tom Harris for editorial oversight and proofing.
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